The CFO's Perspective

Monday, January 07, 2013

18:00 - 20:30

Q - What do you get when you cross three of the UK's top CFO's with Jonathon Porritt?

A - An insight-rich, and potentially explosive start to 2013 with the Forum!

Alan Stewart (M&S) was joined on the stage by Tim Haywood (Interserve) and Lucinda Bell (British Land) to discuss how sustainability is a growing part of their remit and CFO's needn't be seen as the obstacle to developing sustainable business strategies; often it is just a case of learning to speak the same language.

We were delighted to have Jonathon Porritt asking the questions. He probed our panel on the above hypothesis. Would it hold true or is it just the smell of money that gets CFO's out of bed in the morning? What happens when the going gets tough? Will they stay the course, or cut and run?

 

Speakers

Alan Stewart M&S

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Doug Johnston EY

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Jonathon Porritt Forum for the Future

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Lucinda Bell British Land

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Tim Haywood Interserve

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Round Tables

Supply Chain

Does local sourcing equate to sustainable sourcing? What are the other headline factors that organisations need to consider if they are to build sustainable supply chains?

Carbon Strategies

How should companies set carbon targets? Please consider issues such as the length of time, determining ambition, bench marking, flexibility, supply chain and in-use targets.

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OWNERSHIP
• Owned from the top down, mainly in the sustainability department (CSO, Energy Director)
• Processed by the operations department, so they should be more involved than they are at present
• (Consultancy perspective) ensure the client owns the target as well
• Seeking ownership by financial officers
• CARBON = COSTS
• Introducing universal ownership; preach green to green people, cost to cost people
• Attach financial benefits to encourage universal ownership

DETERMINING AMBITION
• Radical targets inspire radical results
• Admitting your failing radical targets increases corporate and consumer trust in the brand so little to lose in aiming high
• Difference in internal and external targets, demonstrate the ability to meet targets to external stakeholders yet apply pressure for extra effort from internal staff

BENCHMARKING & IN-USE TARGETS
• Mandatory carbon reporting will force companies to a country wide standard and make benchmarking an easier process
• Comparing progress to high profile campaigns (Plan A, 10:10). “More than just something commercial does”

FLEXIBILITY
• To demonstrate progress to external stakeholders targets have a shorter term absolute
• Targets should be absolute to allow greater comprehension, though intensities are necessary to determine what is reasonable to expect for the long term, with a greater degree of flexibility in the deadline

SUPPLY CHAIN
• Mandatory carbon reporting for scope 1 and 2 is incentivising sourcing from outside the UK
• Sales staff are not seeing demand for carbon targets in tenders, even from companies with bold targets themselves
• Members of a company’s supply chain (and other scope 3 factors) are the bulk of most companies’ carbon footprints but is also the most difficult to attain data for

LENGTH OF TIME
• Setting frequent targets is costly
• “Never underestimate the power of feedback”
• Short term goals to grab ‘low hanging fruit’ easier to grab the first 40%-50% reduction but how to keep interest from employees for the long term?

Finance & Corporate Sustainability

What does a best-in-class sustainability investment approval process look like? Please consider; who approves, measurements such as paybacks / ROI, tangible v's intangible, how it is funded, supporting new innovations etc

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After the introductions at the table we began by discussing who within an organisation would approve an investment with a sustainable component. There was a broad agreement across the table with attendees feeling that it should be treated as a normal investment/business decision. Furthermore, the concept of a lower hurdle rate was mentioned but it was felt that this wasn't a necessary step. The table felt that the major challenge in this domain was to ensure that the Financial Director understood sustainability issues and appropriately factored them into their decision making process.
The table then considered the investment criteria that would be suitable for these types of investments and how it may differ from a typical business decision. For some cases, energy savings for example, a typical approach such as ROI was deemed suitable but in certain cases, such as water usage, where the cost is so low, this methodology isn't appropriate. Therefore the table discussed the fact that in some cases the business case should supersede the financial case, with the need for environmental/social issues to be presented as part of the business objectives. This was a continuous theme throughout the discussion with various participants believing that reputational damage, although very challenging to quantify, arising from environmental or social factors should be a key component of business decisions.
Ultimately many participants felt that developing a culture with a clear vision will encourage employees to consider these issues without prompting. This will in turn potentially lead to a reduction in costs as these issues are considered at the start of any new business ventures.
Throughout the round table discussion a continuous theme was the difficultly in handling intangible aspects of a business, such as environmental impact. These “finer judgements” were deemed to be a challenge with much debate required over where in the accounts they should be included, how they should be reported (with possible variation depending on organisation sector and size) and the most efficient ways to make any changes in the business. Some participants felt that it was important for an organisation to have strong leadership from the top and to possibly “take a leap of faith” in developing a vision and forming quantitative targets. However these considerations were mediated by an awareness of the subjectivity of doing the “right thing” and the necessity to balance it with typical business considerations.

Summary Points

• An organisation with a proactive CFO focused on these issues will encourage the development of an internal culture of action. (Example)
• The government's renewable bill has pushed this process along, with more organisations beginning to engage with the issue. (Example)
• Develop an internal vision within an organisation and then set targets ensuring that employees keep to these. This will ensure these issues become a regular part of any decision making. (Solution)
• If the current approaches aren't working consider forming partnerships, lobbying government for legislation and forming corporate deals. (Solution)
• Ask simpler questions to avoid getting hung-up on the lack of a standardized reporting methodology. (Solution)
• At present investors don't typically “interrogate” organisations on their approach to sustainability. A difference in this mentality could drive through change at an accelerated rate. (Solution)
• Setting quantifiable targets within an organisation will enable the finance director and other management to keep a track of progress. (Solution)
• There doesn't exist a clear set of guidelines across sectors and organisational type on how and when to report environmental/social costs. (Obstacle)
• It is important to keep a strategic focus to ensure that altruism doesn't become the enemy of sustainability. (Red Flag)

Communications

What does best-in-class integrated reporting look like, and what can we learn from the new framework that is being piloted by 80 companies under the supervision of the IIRC? Paul Druckman joins this table as an expert.

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The discussion started by asking each attendee to give examples of what best in class integrated reporting looks like. Eskom (South Africa) was mentioned as a good example of producing an Integrated Report. - http://financialresults.co.za/2012/eskom_ar2012/
Some of the attendees felt that some of the current reporting is a tick box exercise. The companies represented at this round the table discussion mentioned that their companies are redefining a reporting mechanism for their business. It was stated that Balfour Beatty will opt for an Integrated Report for the next financial year.

The companies taking part in the IIRC piloting programme have been provided with guidelines on how an integrated report should look like. It was mentioned by one of the attendees that one company involved in the IIRC piloting scheme is moving from both the Sustainability Report and Annual Report to an Integrated Report.

Paul Druckman (CEO IIRC) explained that the consultation draft of the Integrated Reporting framework will be launched on 16th April 2013, version 1 of the Framework itself being released in December 2013 - http://financialresults.co.za/2012/eskom_ar2012/
The majority of attendees felt that integrated reporting could be the way forward as long as most of information captured is used by the business to support decision making and continual improvement.
There were also debates about what sustainability aspects should/could be captured into the financial/non financial reports.
The attendees were in favour of Integrated Reporting and are looking forward to the launch of the IIRC consultation draft in Apr 2013

Technology

It's 2020, and delivering a sustainable economy turned out to be cheaper and easier than envisaged. We ask this table to identify the technologies and new business models that enabled the change.

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Internal
• These should be certain and manageable otherwise you will not be successful
External
• Govt incentives – feeds in tariffs, RHI… all drive risk. All relieve or create uncertainty
• Technological innovation in the EU (German €100bn in tech subsidies) is driving up prices here to reduce costs for the rest of the world
• Pricing externalities properly such as water. Making consumers care through hitting their pockets. This will drive innovation and business strategy

WARNINGS
• Consumers are the core driver in achieving a sustainable economy. Businesses will respond to consumer demands
• Sustainability must be integrated into all areas
• Language needs to be improved by business, governments, scientists et cetera to better communicate to the consumer climate issue
• One solution does not work for all
• Attitude of consumer – focussed on multi-tasking and giving less time and attention to environment agenda. Message from business has to be clear, concise and convincing.

SOLUTIONS
• Data collection and measurement is key to addressing problems to enable informed decision-making. Knowing what data to collect is a challenge. This will provide the opportunity to drive consumer behaviour. Smart meters and digitising the world will allow the collection/automatic mining of data.
• Requirement of actionable information – for business and for consumers
• Benchmarking and target setting – allows a company to get an idea of their relative performance and provides feedback
• Education – through targeting social media and gaining awareness. More effective for climate sceptics than pro-green campaigners though.
• Small, passive changes will make a big difference – e.g. fluoride toothpaste (easy, cheap, long-term benefits)

OBSTACLES
• The need to globalise the climate agenda. Everyone needs to start working together
• IT technology part of the problem – creating more efficient products but encouraging greater overall consumption.
• Lack of focus on long-term objectives. Requirement to plan medium to long-term.
• Lack of investment – economies of scale not being achieved. Need for greater incentives for business.
• The Press have a key role to play in influencing and changing beliefs. Current trends and social media encourage short-term thinking.
• Positive incentives have a limited life (subsidies) where negative ones last forever (tax)

Corporate Strategies

Are we witnessing a paradigm shift on tax payment? Should companies continue to minimize their tax payments, or seek for find a measure that can be considered  "fair" by society? 

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Summary
This month’s Green Monday topic examined the role for CFO’s in driving sustainability change within an organisation. In the roundtable following the plenary, the role of corporate tax payments as a social contribution were discussed, with a particular focus on defining the concept of a ‘fair’ rate of tax.

What follows is a summary of points brought up in the roundtable discussion following the plenary session. Comments are non-attributed. The notes have been grouped under Obstacles (O), Solutions (S), Examples (EG) & Red Flags (RF).
Drivers
(O) Being seen to be paying a ‘fair’ rate of corporate tax has become crucial aspect of the restoring trust in business debate. This is in part due to the global recession and consequent austerity measures which have re-focused public attention on the role of businesses, and their contribution to society.

(O) Tax optimisation is a part of operating strategy for every business within a competitive market. Indeed, successive UK governments have steadily decreased corporate tax levels in comparison with other jurisdictions in order to attract business to the UK . Businesses operating internationally, over different tax jurisdictions, are able to minimise their tax through legally sanctioned methods. Those companies whose tax policies are perceived to be too aggressive are now coming under scrutiny for the tax they pay in markets that provide profits to them.

(RF) An overly aggressive tax policy can be a dangerous strategy for businesses. The recent high profile House of Commons Public Accounts Committee investigation and resultant media commentary of Amazon, Google and Starbucks amongst others in the UK, was a reminder of how important reputation damage can be to businesses.

(O) Whilst legal, the public backlash against those businesses seen not to be contributing ‘ a fair amount’ has been significant. The argument has been somewhat reductionist and the complexities for global firms managing their tax affairs across different jurisdictions has not been necessarily been considered in the popular press. Also, despite the public and media outcry, no one has yet defined what a ’fair’ amount of tax should be. However, managing the risk of potential damage to a brand from tax payments is vital to a businesses’ ‘social’ sustainability. At the heart of this problem lies the concepts of corporate purpose: whether a business’ primary focus is to maximise shareholder wealth or to serving its customers, or the wider society.

Communication
(S) Corporate tax has become a proxy in the eyes of many for a businesses’ social contribution. As a result of this focused attention on tax paid, there has been less commentary on the wider social benefits (job creation, staff training etc.) of business. Successful communication of the business’ social contribution as a narrative will be an important element to addressing this issue.

(RF) Strategists can learn from the response by Starbucks to the recent negative publicity. Despite not being legally required to, Starbucks offered to pay additional tax while they decided what appropriate changes needed to be made to their tax payment structure. Their response appeared more reactionary then strategic as they admitted fault and paid a ‘fine’, whilst still drawing criticism for not being clear about what systemic changes would be made to address their approach to tax policy. However other companies that were cited for the low rates of tax they paid, e.g. Amazon, ahave ppeared to avoid significant public opprobrium. The seemingly random nature of the of the reputational damage caused by the tax payments debate, will be a cause for concern for many companies as it is not clear which exposes’ will cause the most damage.

(EG) Unilever provides an example of good communication. Recognising that a functioning market is paramount to their survival, they declare that they run the business for their customers and wider society, not just for shareholders.

Energy Policy & Strategy

The Energy Bill: what are the key elements that relate to energy users and generators, and how should they respond in 2013?

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Overview

It was recognized amongst participants that there has generally been a positive reaction to the Energy Bill, but more needs to be done in terms providing the detail to enable generators to make the investments that are needed. The reforms are incredibly complex and there was doubt as to whether the full objectives would be achieved. There is concern that the Energy Bill captured energy efficiency as an afterthought rather it should be integral to future energy policy. There is inherent concern about the costs but was noted that existing commitments make up a large fraction of the funding put forward. There is a clear focus on electricity in the bill, but far less detail on heating and transport. Gas is recognised to have a role in the future energy mix, in addition to nuclear, renewables and coal with CCS.

The Government is looked to for leadership on energy efficiency – clear information, benchmarking and decarbonisation targets are all crucial in any successful strategy, and the benefits of taking action must be demonstrated clearly.

Discussion Summary Points

Obstacles

• The Energy Bill focuses on electricity, less clarity on heating and transport.
• Conflict between DECC and Treasury has sent out a mixed message – a dash for gas, nuclear or renewables?
• Ambitious targets have been set, but the practicality of meeting those targets is unclear.
• The levy control framework essentially sets a capacity cap; if nuclear takes off, how much will be left to support other more traditional renewable technologies. If nuclear fails, then what?
• The pace of change in generation is considered by some to be too rapid meaning targets are unlikely to be met. The complex rules could hinder investment rather than encourage it leading to security of supply issues.
• Is there enough capacity in the market to undertake the investment for the required generation capacity? E.g. grid re-design.
• Feed-in-tariffs seen to throttle back innovation, by limiting the size of the market according to size of FIT. Markets based on subsidy don’t function well, due to uncertainty regarding changes in future subsidy levels.
• Strike prices for projects need to be decided before an influx of finance for construction of additional generation capacity
• Energy efficiency not always at the top of priority list for SMEs – more must be done to capture their attention.
• Negative views on potential cost implications of energy efficiency in property management – the benefits need to be highlighted.
• CFOs often unwilling to invest if payback time is more than 2 years.
• The Green Deal has many implementation issues, and the financing available through it is only attractive to SMEs and domestic consumers.
• A global carbon pricing is hard to achieve – energy prices vary hugely by country and region.

Examples

• £7.5 billion available from Energy Bill by 2020, but much already ear-marked for existing commitments.
• Funding for additional capacity should not come from FIT, instead reward end users for good behaviour and pay for itself. The “subsidy” should come from consumers, not taxpayers.
• Coal use in Germany increasing despite large renewable installation reflecting the market signals.
• M&S signed PPAs for renewables, but found there was a net zero gain.
• Government plans for retrospective clawback of Renewable Obligations for CHPs – creating a great deal of uncertainty.



Solutions & Opportunities

• There will be a dash for gas – the question is not if there will be gas, but how much and at what price.
• Nuclear, renewables, gas (and possibly coal with CCS) all have a place in the country’s generation mix.
• Combining CfDs for renewables with rewards for reducing energy demand at peak times, as exampled by California, can be effective. The concept of a “negawatt” (a negative, or megawatt not consumed) is introduced.
• Consuming less (through energy efficiency, behavioural change) is a key component of meeting the energy challenge.
• More focus needs to be placed on energy efficiency, and demonstrating the benefits far outweighs the effort required.
• The Government will be looked to for leadership on energy efficiency – a great deal can be achieved through simple regulatory changes.
• Clear information, benchmarking and decarbonisation targets will all play a key role in ensuring out climate change commitments are met.
• Energy from waste can play a key role – e.g. low grade heat. Plenty of interest and planning in the pipeline, but distribution remains an issue.

Resource Efficiency

What are the environmental and social issues that are entering the CFOs remit and how will this change in the years to come? What are the fundamental drivers of change?

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The resource efficiency table discussion was prompted by asking if they thought the age of sustained high resource prices was here to stay. It was initially agreed that it was and could only become a bigger challenge but will significantly depend on the sector. There was discussion on whether the drivers were different for different materials and it was generally agreed that it ultimately came back to the same because we have finite resources irrespective of type. One of the main issues however was to better try and understand the constraints placed on companies’ supply chains, particularly lower tier suppliers, and to ratchet up the ways in which companies can influence their supply chain (and their use of resources and associated resilience).


1. Solutions
• Must create bottom line examples that illustrate the stark contrasts as there is a need to impress the CFO in a short window of time; they are the gate keepers of change after all.
• There is a need for co-ordinated change with suppliers to create a ‘tipping point’ - this will happen at various stages and different resource types.
• Impact measures need to be on a national scale as it is too difficult to carry this out internationally, and ‘change at scale’ will come about at the business-to-business level, with ‘first leadership’ benefits accruing to such companies.
• We need to create talking points across businesses and consumers to generate consensus; providing good news stories to the media and other organisations acting as vehicles of information can support this; at present there is a severe lack of stories from new companies.


2. Obstacles
• Can’t wait for the Government to act quickly and legislate and therefore business needs to take the lead but there is a need for stability in policies and this is where the government can take the lead.
• Following on from this, there is a need for a simpler regulatory regime/ framework with carrots (e.g. tax relief), sticks, and a simple consistent message.
• At present the arguments presented to consumers are too confusing for them to be true drivers of change; the true drivers for change at scale are from business-to-business.
• More effort needs to be made to apply the economics of ‘natural capital’ and ‘biodiversity off-setting’ into decision-making, and to monetize the benefits.

3. Examples
• Is our practise at present creating environmental disasters that we can’t afford to support, e.g. increase in impact from hurricanes

4. Red Flag (Warning)
• Biggest risk to moving forward is to think that we can take a steady approach as we are leading the global way when in fact China and India are doing better; they are very receptive and quick to react whereas we are self-congratulatory and good at PR
• The UK is ‘back-fitting’ policies and practises into an ageing infra-structure.
• Generating change in addressing resources sustainability is typically (still!) incremental here, but is likely to be a step change in the emerging markets.

Plenary roundtable - 1

How can the finance and sustainability functions best work together? What do these functions need to understand about each other, and how should sustainability information be presented to the finance function? 

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OPPORTUNITY
• To save the planet and/or to save money; both arguments are valid
• To ensure economic growth under increasing resource pressure, and to remain in business
• To get the CFO as an advocate, not an enemy
• To help the CFO do his job in the Boardroom and convincing investor.
• To measure the value of sustainability to the business

OBSTACLES – IDEAS TO ADDRESS
• Boards are used to looking at financial information; sustainability terminology is unfamiliar needs to be conveyed in familiar language
• There is a lack of a common model for measuring sustainability; currently considerable time must be invested in creating metrics and gathering data. Forums such as exist within sectors e.g on environment metrics need to be encouraged and spread cross sector.
• Over-complication; keep it simple - 1 page communication (eg. long quarterly reports that were largely ignored have been scrapped)
• Separate sustainability and financial reports; integration is vital in ensuring mutual benefits
• Getting senior qualified accountants to identify with sustainability is difficult: win over the new accountants through including sustainability in training (ACCA and ICAEW do this);offer secondments/work experience for finance people in sustainability teams and vis a versa; get finance function engaged with sustainability agenda (e.g. M&S finance function led the volunteering intiative)
• Sustainability people often lack commercial awareness: invite finance function to talk with the sustainability team e.g. give workshops, training on excel, talk about the business
• A lack of engagement with the investor community; communication channels between the sustainability departments and investors are poor. Better connection between the finance and sustainability departments is essential in ensuring investors understand sustainability. Sustainability people can offer to meet the investor sustainability teams – helping out finance and building stronger relationship.
• Reporting: different people deviate from the standard metrics of reports we need consistent reporting metrics standards
• Must show the financial benefit of being sustainable; it is not enough to simply say 'we must be sustainable'.

ROUTES
• Have a finance person in the sustainability department; vice versa. Create a partnership
• Reporting; sustainability should be treated as a risk, which should be embedded into the strategic plan.
• Engender a common understanding of the potential benefits
• Identify attractive goals (eg. monetary savings, resource risk reduction)
• More courses which bring finance and sustainability people into the same room

EXAMPLES
• M&S: It was the right thing to do, and was perceived as being more important that financial influences. Stuart Rose had the vision to see the future benefits
• Real estate: Regulation is behind the curve

Plenary roundtable - 2

How can corporate sustainability experts influence decisions made by their organisation’s pension fund? With a few organisations linking their sustainability teams with their employee pension scheme, is there a potential for transformative change here?

Ecosystems & Natural Capital

When should companies start to recognise nature in their financial accounting? What is the significance of the "state of the nation" report due out from the  Natural Capital Committee in February 2013?

The Changing Energy Landscape

How is the collection of energy data going to impact the next generation of energy strategies, and how should companies be collecting this data?

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Overview and key themes
The table discussed key issues relating to the collection of energy data. A number of obstacles to the collection of energy data were identified along with a number of strategies for ensuring that data was used effectively and appropriately.

The table noted that energy data collection has become more sophisticated and complicated over time, with increasing granularity of data. Energy use can now be tracked minute by minute, at individual sites, at specific areas within those sites and on individual devices. Technology enables remote monitoring and control of devices.

The increasing sophistication of data collection provides opportunities to improve energy management, but also has the potential to provide little additional value if not appropriately managed. Over time energy strategy has changed considerably. Energy strategy was once about the procurement and security of energy, but now encompasses demand management, behaviour change, cultural change, sites and facilities, increased efficiency and on site generation of power

Examples of energy data collection and its use
Table participants had experience of energy data collection in their organisations and found it was having the following impacts:-
- Collection of energy data is driving behaviour change
- Individual sites can be given clear targets to reduce energy use and receive feedback on progress
- Analysis of energy data segmented by use enables energy use reduction strategies to take into account where, when and how energy is consumed
- An example of energy data driving change in business practices is the insight provided by energy collection data that lowering service levels would enable a significant reduction in energy use. This facilitated a conversation with partners where a drop in service levels was found to be mutually beneficial
Obstacles to energy data collection and its use
Energy data collection and the technology that enables it is still new, therefore the following challenges exist:-
- No standard methodology for collecting data
o Data is not comparable across suppliers, organisations and sites unless the same methodology is used
o Many businesses have only rudimentary data, therefore developing a case to improve the collection of energy data is challenging
- New technology makes it more challenging to demonstrate the effectiveness of energy data collection
o Decision makers may be sceptical about the reported performance of new technology
o Unproven technology may underperform or have problems that need to be resolved

Energy data collection is only a first step and achieves little by itself:-
- There is potential for data overload. Data collected without a clear purpose can be overwhelming
- Collection of data itself can become a goal, rather than the means to achieve organisational goals

Putting data collection procedures in place can be challenging:-
- There is unlikely to be sufficient expertise within the organisation to being energy data collection
- Energy data is increasingly complex with the need to differentiate between energy suppliers, how energy is produced and the associated environmental impacts of the energy
- Doing ‘half a job’ where data collection is added on to somebody’s job as a low priority can signal that energy data collection is unimportant
- Installing energy meters can be expensive and a hard sell compared to an energy saving project
- The utility of data collection may be limited by aspects of the business that individuals are able to manage
o For example facilities, equipment and suppliers may be outside of direct control
- Energy data can be hard to access, for example when held by third parties, such as suppliers
o Third parties may use different methodologies when producing their data, creating a management challenge to encourage consistent reporting across suppliers

Short term outlooks, such as year to year strategic goals, makes it difficult to construct an effective case for energy data collection, which has long term benefits.
- In particular short term financial reporting is an obstacle to:-
o Considering future risks and investing to manage those risks
o Investing to take advantage of opportunities to reduce energy use

Poor communication and engagement strategies are an obstacle to the collection of energy data.
- Inconsistent signals on energy data collection and management diminish the impact of messages on the importance of energy
o For example organisational leaders not modelling sustainable energy behaviours, such as turning off office lights

Red flags – what not to do when collecting energy data
- Setting a KPI relating to energy data collection can be a powerful way to change behaviour, however if this KPI is not well thought out it can distort behaviour and fail to achieve organisational goals
- Collection of data itself is not sufficient to achieve organisational goals. The tail can wag the dog, with data collection becoming an end in itself, rather than supporting organisational objectives
- The CRC data collection scheme was described as complex, providing little benefit and inappropriate for some businesses

Solutions – ensuring that energy data collection is successful
When planning energy data collection the following should be taken into account:-
- Taking a long term view is essential to successful energy data collection and its contribution to energy management strategy and business objectives
o A long term view drives very different decisions to short term decision making
o A long term energy strategy is necessary to enable the benefits of an energy strategy to be realised
o Obstacles that cannot be tackled from a short term perspective, such as lack of control over buildings or facilities, can be tackled from a long term perspective

- It should be clear that energy data collection is part of business decision making
o The collection of energy data should be used by the business to drive decision making
o Energy data collection is an investment in the business, rather than part of a disconnected environmental agenda
o A strong energy strategy is a strategy that achieves business objectives, and cannot be separate from an effective business strategy
o Energy data collection should only take place if it is clear how the data will be used, rather than collecting data for data’s sake

Communicating and engaging staff in an energy data collection strategy should involve the following:-
- Energy collection data should be meaningful to the audiences that it engages
o Around the table examples were given of communicating energy data in terms of money, or in terms of equivalent salaries or sales
- Financial information is relevant to a wide audience, particularly decision makers
o Energy data collection may be better justified in terms of costs than in terms of saving carbon
- Environmental impact can also be communicated so it is relevant to staff, such as calculating carbon reduction in terms of miles driven by a family car or the additional benefits that accrue to the business and wider community
- Consistent messages on energy data collection should be disseminated, in particular by the business leadership
o A clear vision of how energy policy is integral to delivering business objectives should be established
o Leaders should model desirable behaviours, even if only through small actions such as ensuring that lights are switched off when not necessary
- Ensure that colleagues are accountable and rewarded for energy data collection and management
o For example Marks and Spencer’s have incorporated Plan A criteria into staff scorecards
- Make sure that the staff in place to put energy data collection into practice have the knowledge and skills to do so

Energy data collection practices should include the following:-
- Methodologies for collecting data that enable the comparison of data across sites and suppliers
- Standardisation of data collection should be balanced against:-
o The needs of organisations to create data collection procedures that are relevant to them
o Encouraging participation and uptake of energy data collection should be balanced against a focus on standardisation
- Collection of data should be taken seriously and incorporated into business plans
o Relevant expertise from outside the business should be sought to perform data collection or to support staff in performing data collection
- Clear guidance and support should be provided to suppliers to ensure that energy data collection across the supply chain is accurate, consistent and comparable


Promoting energy data collection will be facilitated by the following:-
- Clear examples of energy data collection and management that can be applied within a business to accelerate the adoption of energy data collection practices
- Energy data collection and management projects should start small, with simple, self-contained projects with clear objectives and outcomes
- Flexibility will be required to develop energy data collection skills and capacity, with the expectation that mistakes will be made which can be learnt from

Venue Detail

Bank of America Merrill Lynch: King Edward Hall

King Edward Hall | 2 King Edward Street | London | EC1A 1HQ

Directions

Bank of America's offices are a very short walk from St Paul's tube station (Central Line). Exit the station at Cheapside/Newgate Street. Go past the BT centre, with it on your right-hand side and take the first available right down Edward Street. Continue down this road for 80m and the entrance to the venue is on your left-hand side.

Do not go to the main reception desk at their offices when you arrive. You are looking for an entrance that leads you directly into the King Edward Hall.