85% of healthcare organisations say the energy crisis will impact emission reduction plans and 30% have more-immediate business challenges to address, according to a new report from Schneider Electric
The energy crisis is having a negative impact on the health sector’s ability to meet carbon emission targets, according to newly-published research by Schneider Electric.
A survey revealed that 85% of business leaders within the UK and Ireland’s healthcare sectors believe the energy crisis will impact their organisation’s ability to meet emissions reduction plans.
Of that figure, around half of organisations say they are delaying planned investment in sustainability and net zero plans (48%).
And nearly a third of the same organisations (30%) say they now have more-immediate business challenges to meet, while 41% claim that emission reduction targets are no longer an issue for their stakeholders.
Furthermore, more than a third (38%) of organisations claim that taking practical action to meet targets is difficult.
Meeting the challenge
Given the direct link between lower energy use and decreased emissions, organisations that maintain efforts to meet their emissions targets will also reduce energy use as a result.
This, in turn, will lower their overall energy costs and provide a useful boost to the bottom line in a challenging economic climate.
Our research suggests that some of those working in the UK and Ireland’s healthcare sectors are ‘kicking the carbon emissions can down the road’ as a result of the energy crisis
Crucially, the survey of more than 1,500 large organisations reveals that healthcare leaders still recognise the importance of working to emissions reduction targets, as 42% believe that climate change and net zero ambitions will become more of a priority over the next three years.
Only a small minority (11%) believe that national net zero commitments will be diluted in that time.
“Business leaders tell us that the energy crisis should be seen alongside the many other challenges they have faced over the last 12 months, including economic pressures, cyber security, and skills shortages”, said Kelly Becker, zone president for Schneider Electric UK and Ireland.
Kicking the can
“Yet our research suggests that some of those working in the UK and Ireland’s healthcare sectors are ‘kicking the carbon emissions can down the road’ as a result of the energy crisis.
“As fears grow about progress against global commitments made under the Paris Agreement, and the UK’s Climate Change Committee warns of a lack of progress on emissions cuts, the UK and Ireland need organisations to play their part and stick to their net zero and emissions reduction targets.”
The survey also reveals that only 18% of healthcare leaders surveyed believe energy prices will fall over the next three years, while nearly three quarters (73%) think their organisation will still be addressing the energy crisis in 12 months time.
Presenting the survey findings, Becker urged those in the healthcare sector to re-engage with their emissions reduction ambitions.
Organisations still have time to meet their net zero commitments by understanding and addressing energy use, investing in renewable energy and energy-saving technology, and embedding sustainability and carbon reduction targets in their business plans
She said: “It is not all doom and gloom: as our research shows, business leaders still believe in their climate change ambitions – they simply need to push the subject back up the corporate agenda.
“The technology required to help businesses decarbonise is already available – and the return on investment for these solutions has never been more attractive, with payback periods measured in months, rather than years.
“Organisations still have time to meet their net zero commitments by understanding and addressing energy use, investing in renewable energy and energy-saving technology, and embedding sustainability and carbon reduction targets in their business plans.
“What’s more, those that invest in green skills and green jobs will reap the rewards of a diverse workforce for decades to come.”