Climate Group: Companies accelerating energy efficiency work during price crisis

Companies involved in the Climate Group’s EP100 programme have posted an average 6% year-on-year improvement in their energy productivity – making their progress more than three times as rapid as the rest of the global economy.

Climate Group: Companies accelerating energy efficiency work during price crisis

The milestone has been confirmed through the Climate Group’s latest annual report on the programme, which requires businesses to either reach net-zero carbon in their operations by 2030, double their energy productivity within 25 years or implement an energy management system within 10 years.

EP100 is designed to mainstream energy efficiency monitoring and accelerate energy efficiency improvements across the private sector.

The report confirms that 127 companies are now participating in EP100, collectively representing almost three million employees globally, and $700bn+ of combined annual revenues.

More than three-quarters (78%) of EP100 participants have either already met their energy productivity goal before their target date, or are on course to do so.

Member businesses collectively recorded $290m in cost savings relating to energy efficiency last year, plus a combined 54.4 million tonnes of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions avoided.

Businesses leading the way include British bank Natwest, digital technology firm Schneider Electric and telecoms giant Nippon Telegraph and Telephone – all of which hit or exceeded their energy efficiency targets in 2023.

The Climate Group’s Helen Clarkson emphasised that “without a reduction in our overall energy demand, the energy transition will be significantly more expensive and take much longer”.

“Improving energy efficiency will reduce the overall number of renewables and battery facilities we need to build and bring global climate ambitions closer to our grasp… Energy efficiency is key to net-zero, and it opens the door to increased energy security for countries, corporates and communities.”

A new global vision

The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) pathway to a net-zero global energy system by 2050 includes a 4% annual average energy intensity improvement in the 2020s and 2030s. The improvement rate in 2023 was just 1.3%, with a decrease recorded as Covid-19-related lockdowns eased and industrial activity ramped up once more.

At the most recent UN climate summit, COP28, more than 120 countries supported a new global ambition to double the annual rate of energy intensity improvements.

This ambition was part of a broader ‘Global Decarbonisation Accelerator’ initiative which is also convening nations in efforts to double the world’s installed renewable electricity generation capacity this decade.

The IEA’s head of energy efficiency and inclusive transitions Dr Brian Motherway said: “We are at an historic moment for energy efficiency. For the first time ever it is a key outcome of COP in the form of a specific commitment to push for a doubling of global efficiency progress by 2030.

The focus now is on action – and converting this unique moment into efficiency gains that lower energy costs, lower emissions and enhance energy security. As the IEA has stated, we will not achieve our climate goals without such a strong push on energy efficiency, and of course business is central to this. That is why the EP100 is so important.”


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