We live in an age of corporate social responsibility (CSR), where businesses are increasingly motivated to invest in the use of sustainable processes and materials. This has been inspired largely by the changing attitudes of consumers, with shoppers willing to pay more for sustainable goods.

Pursuing sustainable processes also helps businesses to save money over a sustained period of time, and it’s likely to have an extremely positive impact on the natural environment. After all, around half of the UK’s total emissions are produced by commercial activities, highlighting the need for businesses to develop more sustainable ways of operating.

Modern firms must also comply with a growing range of environmental regulations and standards in the modern age, both in the UK and continental Europe. But what are the responsibilities of British-based firms when it comes to energy consumption?

A look at the energy savings opportunity scheme

The mandatory Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is a relatively new adornment to the commercial landscape, and one that offers a comprehensive assessment of energy consumption among UK firms.

Firms that qualify for compliance must initially appoint someone from the ESOS lead energy assessor register to conduct a review, before receiving a detailed report that measures the total output and consumption within the business.

This will apply to all processes and disciplines, including everything from building maintenance to waste removal and logistics (where applicable).

The assessor will then make several recommendations alongside their findings, offering businesses guidance on how to reduce waste and improve their processes. At the same time, it highlighted any compliance issues with the Environment Agency, allowing businesses a fixed amount of time to correct these before further action is taken.

How can business-owners comply with these standards?

The ESOS has met with some criticism, thanks primarily to a lack of authority when dealing with non-compliant businesses. At the same time, it only applies to large UK firms that employ 250 or more members of staff, making it relatively restricted in terms of its reach and impact.

However, it sets a standard that all businesses should look to follow in the modern age, particularly when you consider the long-term environmental benefits and cost savings.

One way in which firms can achieve this is to embrace new energy technologies and processes, before integrating these into their daily operations. Service providers and flow control experts like Weir can be worth their weight in gold here, as they offer several products that are applicable to businesses across an array of markets.

Take the waste-to-energy process, for example, which relies on highly evolved engineering principles to transform waste products into variable sources of heat and electricity. This represents an extremely evolved energy recovery technique, and one that translates into huge savings, greater efficiency and reduced emissions over time.

By embracing this type of innovations, businesses can fully enter the age of CSR and create an infrastructure that complies with the very latest environmental standards.