GLRPPR Sector Resource: Motivating towards energy efficiency in small and medium enterprises
Motivating towards energy efficiency in small and medium enterprises
Industry is responsible for about 50% of world energy consumption and therefore for a big impact concerning greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. An important strategy to achieve the target of energy policies in Europe, of reducing the energy consumption by 20% by 2020, must consider reducing energy consumption in industry. When talking about industry, it must be remembered that small and medium-sized enterprises are a central part of economies worldwide, comprising 99% of enterprises and providing about 60% of employment. Increasing their energy efficiency represents considerable value for economies, societies and the enterprises themselves. Together with cost savings, energy efficiency can deliver other benefits that can help those companies grow and develop, for example by improving productivity, profitability and competitiveness and product quality. By reducing reliance on energy imports, and lowering environmental impacts, it increases value, not only to business, but also to society. Despite the benefits resulting from energy efficiency measures, their implementation in companies is not an easy task, due to existing barriers that must be identified in order to define motivation strategies that can fight those obstacles. A project, aiming to identify the situation in medium-sized enterprises and to provide them the necessary conditions to adopt energy efficiency improvements, was developed in Portugal. It enabled to conclude about best practices and technological solutions that answer the energy efficiency problems and to identify the main barriers that prevent that adoption, and measures that can contribute to overcome them. The research within the sectors studied showed that changing individual energy behaviors requires strategies that address both internal and external influences on behavior change and not simply new technologies, price incentives or information campaigns.
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Journal of Cleaner Production, 139, 42–50.
Date of Publication:
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