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Energy and sustainability management: successful decarbonization thanks to data-driven strategies

08 August 2023

Technological progress, volatile energy markets and increasing pressure from stakeholders make it abundantly clear: now is the time to switch to renewable energies. And many companies are already actively shaping the decarbonization of our economy. They are equipping themselves for a responsible future with well thought-out energy and sustainability management. According to a study by energy experts at ENGIE Impact, more than $300 billion has been invested in renewable energy projects every year since 2014. But establishing and expanding a dedicated renewable energy program can be difficult. Options are diverse and emissions impacts vary by region. In addition, many projects involve long-term or substantial commitments. This is precisely why it is so important to establish a robust decarbonization strategy.

Energy and Sustainability Management for Modern Business

Approaching decarbonization with a plan means focusing on a goal and a common measure of success together with stakeholders. A decarbonization roadmap sets the direction. It maps solutions, approaches and measures for investment decisions and an individual energy portfolio. But that alone is not enough. Reporting and ongoing monitoring are also critical - and in some cases mandatory - in energy and sustainability management. Under a new draft law of the European Union, even medium-sized companies will in some cases be required to report on sustainability as early as 2024.

Data management - an important tool for decarbonization

  • Data plays a critical role in energy and sustainability management on the path to Real Zero.
  • Data forms the basis for audits and reports and makes the successes of a sustainability strategy measurable and visible.
  • Data makes it possible to understand the financial and environmental impacts of renewable energy investments.
  • A meaningful database also allows sustainability programs to be designed and scaled in a targeted manner.

Data-based energy and sustainability management in practice

Unfortunately, the potential of data is often not yet recognized in practice. According to the energy experts at ENGIE Impact, 84 percent of companies and organizations have already set their own sustainability goals. However, only 28 percent - less than a third - are on the right track to achieve them. Data plays a key role here and is the most important lever for efficient energy and sustainability management. However, given the sheer variety of data sources, formats and their availability, mapping processes in a data-based manner is no easy task. This effect is amplified for multinational or even globally operating companies.

Sustainable Data: Understanding Sustainability Data as Leverage

In order to capture and manage information about resources, assets and supply chains, their central visibility at audit level is crucial - keyword: Sustainable Data. This includes important information that covers the spectrum of Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 emissions as comprehensively as possible. Sustainability data provides information on energy procurement and emitters throughout the supply chain. They form the basis for a successful sustainability program and for tracking progress toward the targets we have set ourselves.

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The central overview: Identifying sustainability data

According to ENGIE Impact, companies in many industries are not even able to correctly map their Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. Up to 20 percent of CO 2emissions are simply not recorded due to missing data. In the Scope 3 area, the gaps are sometimes even larger. What are the reasons for this? According to ENGIE's energy experts, companies lack a streamlined process to track the collection and tracking of a variety of data sources. However, energy and sustainability management means getting an overview - of site types, buildings, operating facilities, logistical processes and more.

Data management-as-a-service - for successful sustainability measures

Most companies have neither the capacity nor the internal expertise to collect and evaluate sustainability data at a site-wide level. However, they can seek support from proven energy and sustainability experts. Our colleagues at ENGIE Impact, for example, offer a wide range of data management and analysis tools. These can be used to perform comprehensive analyses and provide robust sustainability data. They help companies to optimize their resource productivity in the Scope 1 to 3 area and in the energy, water and waste sectors.

Case study on data-based energy and sustainability management

A current example shows how data in energy and sustainability management can lead to success: A global fashion chain implemented a holistic energy management program with the help of ENGIE. However, this was no easy task. The company has hundreds of sites worldwide - and without the right data, analysis methods and software tools, top-level management had no overview. This is where the experts from ENGIE Impact brought in their know-how. It quickly became clear that the largest overhead cost factor for the group was the energy sector. This was also the most important target sector for reducing emissions.

ENGIE has developed an optimized energy-saving plan for all of the Group's 440 sites in Germany. At the same time, up-to-date energy management software was implemented to analyze numerous sustainability data in the company. The result speaks for itself: In the first year after the program was introduced, the fashion chain achieved energy savings of 300,000 euros and 1.1 million kilowatt hours of electricity. Also in the first year, the company was able to reduce its CO2 emissions by 400 tons.



Data plays a key role in energy and sustainability management today. However, the collection and evaluation of sustainability-related information is still a problem for many companies. Here it should be said: the solutions already exist. Modern analysis methods and software tools provide comprehensive insights into emissions budgets and the success of sustainability strategies. The experts at ENGIE Impact will be happy to advise you on this and all aspects of data management.

Our Expert

Anne-Katrin Hagel
Anne-Katrin brings deep expertise in project management (agile and classic), account management and business development. She is highly knowledgeable about the industrial insurance business, financial services, offshore wind and digitalization. She currently oversees the efforts of ENGIE Impact’s DACH Team to build a strong go-to-market strategy. She joined the Sustainability Solutions team at ENGIE Impact in 2023 as a Director of the DACH Team. Anne has 15+ years of experience advising utilities and businesses on IT transformation and offshore wind construction projects.

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