The 2020s will be critical for the world’s future, and many people will pay close attention to how businesses use raw materials and energy. Fortunately, there are already many positive signs on the horizon.
Consider the USA’s “megafarms”. The fact that their output has doubled since 1970 should come as no surprise. But what if we also said that land use has decreased, water consumption is lower than in 1970, and we will soon be able to say the same about chemical fertilizers?
Then take a look at US manufacturing, which accounts for 25 per cent of the world’s industrial output, even after China’s strong growth. Until 1970, the use of metals such as aluminium, nickel, copper, steel and gold increased in line with manufacturing and GDP. Is it possible that the use of these metals in the US has declined since 2000, while manufacturing has continued to grow?
One thing that has increased even more closely in line with economic growth than metals is energy consumption. Does it sound plausible that this stopped around 1970, that US energy consumption has risen 60 per cent since then (and remained stable over the last ten years), while GDP has risen 300 per cent?
The answer to all these questions is in fact yes, according to an astonishing book published by MIT Professor Andrew McAfee in late 2019. In the book More from Less, he uses an impressive array of figures to demonstrate how the consumption of energy and many raw materials now appears to be in decline.
How is your company’s energy consumption faring? Have you considered that a large proportion of your company’s carbon footprint can be linked to its assets and contracts? Greenhouse gas emissions from the cars you lease, for example? Or the electricity and water consumption in the offices you lease (or own)? Or the emissions resulting from the business flights your employees take?
Investors, customers, employees and others are increasingly paying attention to the developments described by McAfee. That’s why measuring emissions and consumption is not only the responsible thing to do, it also makes good business sense. We believe that more and more customers will demand to see that you measure your performance and can demonstrate a steady improvement.
Fortunately, you need not be a professor at MIT – with a couple of research assistants – to get an overview of your company’s emissions. House of Control has developed an ESG solution. ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Governance. Currently, it is easiest to measure environmental factors, primarily because this area has the most relevant data available.
Shall we have a chat about how your business can measure and report on ESG figures in a simpler and more accurate way?