07/07/14 :

Trending: Energy Efficiency Becomes Business as Usual for Fortune 100 Companies

Fortune 100 companies are investing in energy efficiency.

When considering whether or not particular investments have been deemed successful, it makes sense to look at how the largest companies in the country are spending their money. In Power Forward 2.0, a recent report authored by Ceres, David Gardiner & Associates, The World Wildlife Fund and Calvert Investments, it’s abundantly clear that Fortune 100 companies are prioritizing the investment in energy efficiency. In fact, fifty-three companies are reporting a collective savings of $1.1 billion annually from efforts to reduce emissions, become more efficient and source more renewable energy.

Making and Meeting Efficiency Goals

As of 2013, 60% of Fortune 100 companies had set clean energy or GHG reduction targets. These companies’ projects have achieved significant financial returns in short to medium-term time frames, and the majority of savings reported thus far have come from energy efficiency projects.

The report summarizes the findings by stating, “The trends are clear: leading companies are capturing business value by executing effective clean energy strategies, and with proven results.”

Success Stories

So how are the collective annual savings of $1.1 billion adding up? A few highlights:

  • Lockheed Martin had a target to reduce emissions 25% by 2012, compared to a 2007 baseline, and exceeded the goal by reaching a 31% reduction.
  • Walmart announced new commitments to renewable energy and energy efficiency in April, 2013. These commitments are expected to generate more than $1 billion in annual savings once fully implemented.
  • By 2012, Johnson Controls had implemented or planned to implement 835 projects focused on energy savings and emissions reductions.

Fortune 100 companies have already saved a substantial amount of money and energy, but nonetheless they continue to establish and work towards new goals. They understand the “low hanging fruit” of energy efficiency provides opportunity for additional savings.

Moving Forward

In addition to measuring the ROI of energy investments, the report provides a set of recommendations for Fortune 100 companies and other entities. The report suggests: time-bound commitments, the joining of GHG targets with efficiency and renewable targets, transparency in reporting and more. There are also recommendations for investors, policymakers and additional stakeholder groups that emphasize the abundance of opportunities for energy efficiency investment.

Although some may argue that it’s unrealistic for small businesses or households to model themselves after large companies with deep pockets, it is important to remember that investing in efficiency at any scale will provide money and energy savings. From switching out incandescent bulbs for LEDs, to performing an energy audit on an office building, every step counts. Energy efficiency is an investment that everyone can agree upon.