Energy consumption needs to be discussed in the boardroom, says Jens Madrian, chief financial officer of RWE npower.
This was the key message at the launch of npower's 'Twenty Per Cent Imperative' report, which outlines how companies can reduce their energy target by 20 per cent over a period of five years, at the Institute of Directors in London earlier this week.
RWE npower's head of I&C Energy Solutions, Tony Slade, added that most of the time the board doesn't have the fundamental understanding of what the energy costs are and where the money goes to.
He explained that he could ask a HR manager to give him a detailed analysis of what the cost of each employee to the company is and they'd be able to come back with a report almost instantly.
However, ask a board member how much a particular air vent is costing the business and they most likely won't be able to give such an exact answer - if they're able to answer at all.
"You need to know where to start from and you need to understand the complexity of the spend," Slade warned the finance directors present at the launch.
As the cost of energy is only going to increase, the report outlines key ways that companies can reduce their energy usage and limit costs.
They include: generating your own energy; investing in renewables; recovering and recycling energy; training, behavioural change and a shift in working patterns; and looking into external financing options.
Each point needs to be part of a comprehensive energy-saving programme which can show a return on investment in a reasonable timeframe, npower said in the report.
Slade added that they don't just talk the talk, but they also walk the walk.
The energy supplier made the choice to implement the model within the company three years ago. They've exceeded their target and have already achieved an absolute reduction in energy usage of 28.49 per cent, which equals to a net saving of £750,000.