In a summary article published in Business Green following the session, Louise writes that despite recent UK policy relaxations in net-zero targets, individuals and businesses remain committed to energy efficiency efforts in the built environment - recognising the crucial role of this approach for net zero. Louise also lists the main barriers to implementation of large-scale efficiency measures.
“In the UK, most of our emissions come from the built environment, contributing to two-fifths of the country's overall output… "
“But what are the main challenges to a large-scale rollout of energy efficiency measures? The three main barriers are demand- people actually being willing to make those changes; supply chain; and of course, money”.
Reflecting on the Net Zero Festival panel discussion, she outlines key insights from industry experts:
- A discussion with Phil Butters from Keele University emphasised collaborative working as a key step to achieving net zero, and Phil described how the University and Equans are working together to enhance Keele’s Smart Energy Network Demonstrator project helping to further reduce their carbon footprint.
- Practical tips for businesses looking to embark on their net-zero journey were highlighted by Jamie Browne from the Energy Saving Trust. He outlined a three-point plan which focuses on addressing insulation, employee engagement, and establishing a baseline for energy use measurement.
- Matt Ferretti from the Green Finance Institute discussed that financial constraints remain a significant barrier to change and he advocated for innovative financial products like green mortgages to drive demand and incentivise energy-efficient practices.
Louise summarises her article by emphasising the importance of organisations understanding their current net zero journey positions, setting goals, and embracing learning opportunities. She recommends that starting with smaller actions, such as energy-efficiency measures and staff engagement, can lead to significant contributions. Collaboration is also crucial, with allies playing a key role in unlocking the expertise required for achieving net zero.