Hidden treasure: Why energy efficiency deserves a second look


A few years ago, energy efficiency was still considered to be a topic of interest primarily to plant managers and technical staff. Today, it has caught the attention of senior management, including CEOs. Some 80% of business leaders consider energy efficiency to be strategically important, while more than 50% believe that they have not done enough to integrate energy-efficiency initiatives into their business strategy.

The latest Bain study “Hidden Treasure – why energy efficiency deserves a second look“ explains how energy-efficiency programs can help save substantial costs, meet increasingly strict regulatory requirements and help companies become more attractive employers by taking broader corporate responsibility. On top of these benefits, energy-efficiency champions typically capitalize on their efforts by developing new business models that focus on energy efficiency, resulting in measurable impact on their top-line growth.

Bain & Company has developed an integrative approach that comprises nine levers (see figure) and describes how to successfully and sustainably implement an energy-efficiency program in your company. Although most observable energy-efficiency efforts include technical measures, you need to do more: setting financial targets, mobilizing people and anchoring energy efficiency in the organization are equally crucial to success. We show you how you can analyze your specific exposure to energy efficiency and how to set up a program that will put your company in the same league as energy-efficiency champions.

Oliver Straehle is a Bain partner in Zurich and leads Bain’s German and Swiss Industrial Goods & Services practice. Kim Petrick is a partner with Bain & Company in Munich and a member of the Industrial Goods & Services practice, serving clients in the energy and infrastructure sector. Fabian Stierli is a principal and Adrien Bron is a manager; they work for the Industrial Goods & Services practice in Zurich and have broad experience in the energy sector.

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