A majority of businesses are lacking the data they need to effectively report on their supply chain sustainability performance, according to an article released by Environmental Leader last week. The study found that of the 30 senior sustainability and procurement executives at major companies surveyed, that poor data quality also hinders their efforts to improve sustainability in corporate supply chains.
I find this troubling because harnessing and analyzing energy management data is essential for accurate, clear sustainability reporting and planning. And, while energy data helps develop concrete metrics that show if companies are reducing energy usage, it also provides insights that are key to developing comprehensive energy management strategies that help reduce energy costs.
A primary challenge for businesses is gathering and organizing all the data, which falls into three different categories, customer data, historical market data, and future market data. I recently presented a webinar about the topic, and shared some practical strategies on ways to begin using energy management data effectively.
For example, in most large organizations, it requires bringing together several multi-disciplinary teams such as IT, accounting, procurement and facilities in order to better understand how to use and update energy data for the larger benefit. It’s important to understand, first, what systems of record are used and the type of data flows that are currently set in place for accounting or financial planning purposes, measuring business production, etc.
In some cases, energy management software can be hardwired into systems that are already set in place, providing useful information to multiple stakeholders internally. When this happens, everyone can see the value in reporting. We’ve seen this come to light with our customers using our VirtuWatt™ energy management solution, which integrates real-time metering and building control technologies to implement cost-saving energy strategies. The facilities department sees real time data coming from the location(s) and when accounting and procurement are given the data in a format following best practices within the organization, it provides valuable benchmarking information.
The development and integration of innovative software and systems to pull valuable energy management data is an emerging field. The first step in pursuing this type of solution is working with a reliable outside company that has the tools to translate all the data worth tracking. There are many options out there, but if you’re reading this and are wondering where to start, you can always contact us at Constellation via our social media inbox at email@example.com to begin the process.