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FDs called to environmental action

Finance functions are under continued pressure to respond to the
government-led environmental drive, and will now have their load increased by
the European Commission’s new National Energy Efficiency Action plan.

The EC has set a target reduction of 9% in overall emissions by 2016 for all
member states and 20% by 2020. It recently made its first assessment of the
action plan, which member states were required to submit by last June.

The UK government initially put forward its own plans to reduce emissions by
1% each year and advised companies, the public sector and households on the most
efficient ways to contribute – then it raised the target to 2% each year.

The conclusions the EC made in its first assessment on what member states
should do to reach the objectives, include:

  • New energy services;
  • Energy auditing;
  • Smart metering – phasing out estimated bills – and informative billing;
  • A range of financial instruments and subsidy schemes;
  • Easy access to information that encourages efficiency improvements;
  • Investment in energy efficient technologies; and
  • Energy services more widely available and more affordable.

With the latest targets and imminent legislation, the pressure is on the
finance function to find the capital to deliver the reductions.

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