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An Increasing number of businesses in Ireland are becoming more focused on sustainability

Siobhan Mac Mahon Marketing & Communications at Naturgy

Siobhan MacMahon

Marketing & Communications Executive
27/05/2021

Irish businesses are currently examining how they can re-open their doors, get their staff back to work and grow their operations with a key focus on sustainability.  The Irish marketplace has evolved, businesses want a simple path towards a sustainable future.

Large energy users in Ireland spend billions collectively on energy costs, making utilities such as electricity a significant overhead for many businesses. The challenge for companies who have operated throughout the pandemic and those who are looking to re-open soon are:

  • how do we reduce our energy costs while also reducing our carbon footprint?
  • How can we manage the need to become more sustainable when looking to grow and develop our business into the future?

Increasing energy efficiency and reducing energy waste are obvious steps that every business can take to help reduce their energy costs and carbon footprint, such as ‘Lighting’, sustainable lighting options can reduce overheads through the installation of LED lighting as efficient bulbs can be installed at low cost, very quickly and provide instant, verifiable savings.  

Other systems that businesses are implementing include energy management methodologies such as ISO50001. This process implements and ensures the best ways to minimise energy use and incorporate energy efficiency in the planning of all new investments, helping your businesses to grow efficiently and sustainably. Over the last five years Naturgy has supported more than 300 large projects, sized between 1 and 5 GWh energy savings per annum, for which a variety of energy efficiency measures were employed.

With many businesses looking at other cleaner, greener ways to grow sustainably there has never been a more cost-effective simple way to reduce your company’s carbon footprint by simply becoming a power customer of Naturgy. Naturgy was Ireland’s first supplier of 100% renewable power to its customers. Irish companies are in a uniquely strong position to benefit from renewable energy to power their businesses, as Ireland has the highest share of electricity generated by onshore wind in the world[1].

Other considerations businesses have been undertaking include renewable gas (biomethane). Renewable gas is produced by a process known as anaerobic digestion (AD), from organic and animal waste. The waste undergoes a biological process and produces a mix of gasses including methane.  This methane is captured, refined and treated and then injected into the grid as renewable gas, which is now available to Naturgy customers as a direct certified replacement for natural gas.

The rise of the Sustainability Manager has been a trend in businesses over recent years as more companies establish internal objectives for their own sustainability goals. For many businesses, the Energy Efficiency first principle is the first step on the journey towards sustainable energy procurement.  The Sustainability Manager of 2021 will then begin to address the carbon intensity of their scope 2 GHG emissions. This can involve going above and beyond the standard 100% green tariff procurement options to procure green certificates in your company’s name. These certificates can prove your commitment to sustainability and can help your business to meet renewable and emissions targets.

Each year, more and more large energy-consuming businesses are buying their energy straight from renewable projects through Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (CPPAs).  Naturgy has been working with several customers in procuring their business energy usage from specific renewable projects. This means that the energy they receive is 100% traceable to a renewable energy generation site on the island of Ireland. This also means that their business is directly supporting a renewable development. One of Ireland’s environmental targets is to have 15% of total electricity demand coming from CPPAs by 2030 – now is the ideal time for businesses looking to reduce their costs and begin familiarising themselves with Corporate Power Purchase Agreements. CPPAs are no longer an option exclusive to data centers, Naturgy can help its customers access renewable projects today.

Some businesses are looking towards building their own renewable energy source on-site, which is the optimal energy procurement option from both business and sustainability perspectives. This initial cost of installing the infrastructure is recovered over time through a considerable reduction in energy costs and total avoidance of costs associated with transmitting & distributing electricity through the grid, as well as avoidance of market operator cost, taxes, and levies.   

The electricity generated on-site is used to power your own premises first, and any excess power can be exported to the grid creating an alternative income for businesses willing to invest in on-site generation. 

Ireland is now at an important transition point and businesses should be planning their future energy goals and targets to become more sustainable.  The earlier this is done the more beneficial this will be for businesses.

Contact Naturgy to see how we can help you on your energy sustainable journey by email: carbonkaizen@naturgy.ie or visit: www.naturgy.ie

[1] https://windenergyireland.com/latest-news/4126-ireland-now-number-one-in-the-world-for-onshore-wind-energy