The report, Shining A Light, argued that energy efficiency could boost overall business and economic competitiveness for SMEs across the UK. "Better energy management can help firms cut costs," stated the research, "shaving around 15% off energy bills."
The recommendations, which ranged from measuring and managing energy use to employee engagement, were produced as a result of interviews with 100 CBI members across a variety of sectors, including manufacturing, financial institutions and professional services.
'What gets measured, gets managed'
The CBI paper began its recommendations by advising small businesses to measure the cost of their energy. It states that organisations leading the way on energy efficiency "have been able to pinpoint exactly where energy use is at its highest, and where it can be most reduced." The report advised that businesses set up teams to make use of energy management systems in order to decide what action is needed to reduce costs.
'Everyone in the company must be engaged in the energy efficiency agenda'
The research highlighted the need for every employee to play a part in energy saving, stating that accountability should not lie solely with managers or directors, but "awareness should be spread across all employees."
"A lack of awareness at all levels undermines business' attempts to better manage their energy use."
'Demonstrate a strong financial justification for the need to change'
The report argued that a business case needs to made in order to sell in energy-saving measures across the company. "Presenting the rate of return should become standard practice…managers have been known to drastically undervalue energy efficiency investments if they are not judged to be mission critical."