Retailers wasting money by failing to implement cost saving energy measures, claims 2degrees


2degrees, a leading community for sustainable business, has published a report which reveals some of the world’s largest retailers and businesses are missing opportunities to cut energy costs by failing to implement proven energy saving measures. The findings also show it is the senior leaders of some companies who are proving the main barrier to action on energy efficiency.

The Sustainable Business Trends Tracker shows while a small number of businesses are leading on energy performance, one quarter said they have no plans to implement initiatives such as switching to off-site renewables, investing in on-site solar panels or investing in building controls.

Despite 62% of retailers spending £1m or more on sustainability initiatives, and more businesses in the retail sector saying a sustainable approach is central to their overall strategy than any other, this is not translating to investment in energy saving measures. The Carbon Trust has estimated that big businesses in the UK are wasting £1.6bn annually on energy bills, which reveals the scale of the opportunity being missed.

The Trends Tracker is claimed to be the most comprehensive of its kind revealing business attitudes towards sustainable business and is based on survey responses from 490 businesses, including some of the world’s biggest corporations such as Tesco, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and GSK.

Despite rising energy costs – with 16% of businesses saying they spend more than £10m on electricity alone – 42% of respondents said engaging senior colleagues is the greatest impediment to energy efficiency.

Martin Chilcott, CEO of 2degrees, said: “At a time when energy prices are going up and increasing the cost burden on businesses, it is remarkable that business leaders are holding up achievable energy saving efforts.

“In many respects retail businesses are ahead of the pack when it comes to sustainable business, yet on the central issue of energy efficiency some are failing to seize the opportunity. Retailers must ensure they are directing their significant budgets to deliver achievable energy savings.

“Retailers have often led the way on sustainability. The opportunity now is for the sector to lead on energy efficiency and demonstrate the value – to both reputation and bottom-line – of a more energy efficient approach.”

To access the full Executive Summary of the Trends Tracker please visit: