Studies have shown that businesses in the UK could save more than £1.6 billion if they reduced their energy use and waste simply by implementing greener behaviours. We have compiled the 4 essential steps that can help your organisation become more energy efficient through behavioural changes:
#1 Understand your energy usage
First, you should understand where your energy is used and how much of that energy can be saved. Resources can be wasted easily. Some technical understanding is essential in identifying where the greatest savings can be achieved. A site walk around audit is a good starting point. If you have a smart meter installed at your premise, you are at an advantage since this will give you more quantitative data to work with.
Tip: Many Meter Operator Provider (MOP) offer energy monitoring software and your utilities management company can help you analyse and make sense of the data.
#2 Understand your building and facilities
Make sure you understand how your buildings work and how your staff – and customers – use the facilities. Are different functions carried out in different parts? Has the building function itself changed over time? Are there frequent changes in occupancy? Larger organisations will not just have one building but several – each with their own characteristics.
#3 Understand your people
Try to understand what makes your staff do the things they do. The field of behavioural psychology offers some help when it comes to understanding thought processes and motivations. It is also vital to understand the value systems of those who you want to encourage to be mindful of energy wasting behaviours. Our values influence everything we do, such as how we interpret situations and our decision making, and forcing someone to do something that doesn’t fit with their values is usually not sustainable. Since changing values is difficult and takes time you should start with behavioural changes that are in line with the values the people in your organisation already hold.
Tip: Conduct surveys and focus groups to gain deeper insights into what is important to your staff, and how they interact with the building and facilities.
#4 Promote and Support Behavioural Change
Once you have prioritised your actions based on the insights you have gained into your energy usage, building, and staff values, you can set realistic and measurable goals. Balance potential savings against the probability of achieving change to avoid disappointment. At this point it is important to get your staff’s buy in. The people in your organisation need to understand that the changes are important and they need to see that you are optimistic about the outcome. Provide everyone with support material and the necessary tools to change their behaviour, and make sure that it is as easy as possible to implement the changes you decided to make. Let your staff feel that everyone is joining in, encourage and include feedback from them, and keep them updated on any progress made as you monitor, refine and improve.
Here are some easy changes to start with
If you have any questions, or would like to talk to us about site audits or energy monitoring, please get in contact!