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From Energy Diagnosis to the Sustainability Plan

February 27, 2024

Discover the difference between the energy diagnosis and the sustainability plan, and learn how to apply them to your company.

From Energy Diagnosis to the Sustainability Plan

The energy diagnosis is the cornerstone for developing an environmental sustainability plan.

As such, the very first step consists in carrying out an energy analysis of the company.

Energy analysis and consumption reduction 

The underlying concept is that by reducing energy consumption, the impact on CO2 emissions is also reduced. The advice is thus to undertake improvements only once energy consumption, and consequently emissions, have been adjusted to the correct parameters. Now that I have reduced the CO2 emissions related to my activity, I can take other steps to compensate for what I could not eliminate in the first instance.

The rationale behind this approach is the acknowledgement that there is only one planet and a finite amount of resources. This is proven by the fact that every year natural resources are depleted around June, and up to December we exploit the resources intended to be used in the following year.

Nowadays it is considered common knowledge that if all people were to act unrestrainedly, without lowering their consumption, we would soon reach a point where there would not be enough resources to compensate for those used. This is why an energy diagnosis is a fundamental step.

Energy Diagnosis: what it is and how it is performed

The Energy diagnosis is a snapshot of the company’s actual energy performance.

It is carried out by analyzing all the energy flows that the company conduct, taking into account the final uses of energy.

It is important to verify:

  • the primary energy uses and modalities
  • individual energy uses
  • the established benchmarks in order to compare them with the specific consumption of each business. 

Once these steps are secured, the improvement measures will be defined.

The term ‘diagnosis’, in addition to analysing consumption patterns, refers in fact to the identification of the improvements aimed to reduce them.

Through a diagnosis we get a clear picture of the situation, establishing the baseline: this moment is considered the starting point for implementing our improvement path.

With the energy analysis, the first action from an energy viewpoint has been taken, and the company is now aware of the investments needed and the efforts it will have to make in order to achieve the objectives set.

It is now possible to design the interventions to be carried out, according to a suitable schedule based on the company’s needs and resources.

The first step towards a sustainability plan has been completed. The latter is in fact a complex process having as its ultimate goal carbon neutrality, meaning the gradual phasing out of CO2 emissions according to predefined targets.

The energy diagnosis is not only performed at the beginning of the process, it is repeated at least once a year to monitor the energy status of the company.

Sustainability plan: a multi-step process 

The first step of the energy analysis is an assessment that will allow the planning of improvement measures.

Once the essential needs for energy consumption are known, it is possible to proceed with the sustainability project. From the energy diagnosis, it is necessary to switch to an area related to CO2 emissions; it is thus necessary to conduct a carbon footprint analysis to assess the relative carbon footprint of the product under consideration.

Whether one wants to focus on measuring CO2 emissions for a specific product, thus considering the whole life cycle of that product, or whether one wants to consider the organisation as a whole, it is necessary to implement GHG inventory analysis – Greenhouse Gases.

This means analysing the CO2 emissions of the organisation’s site, taking into account both direct and indirect emissions. Usually, the main impact is generated by the fuel consumption already examined during the energy diagnosis.

Indirect emissions include indirect greenhouse gas emissions related to the company’s specific activity, but also include the portion related to energy purchased from the grid, since it is not produced directly by the site.

Riuscire a coniugare la sostenibilità ambientale e il risparmio energetico con la crescita del business è la sfida di tutte le aziende. Vuoi sapere come? Contattaci.

Siamo specializzati in consulenza strategica e servizi di sostenibilità aziendale, mercato ed efficienza energetica. Contattaci per la creazione e l’implementazione delle tue strategie di sostenibilità, la valutazione e il miglioramento della performance ambientali, sociali e di governance (ESG), la redazione di bilanci di sostenibilità.

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