ENERGY CONSULTING AND ENERGY AUDITS
In accordance with the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act, all large enterprises in Poland are obliged to conduct an energy audit under the penalty of up to 5% of the company’s revenue generated in the preceding year of the obligation.
The scope of the energy audit offered by us for enterprises includes:
- Description and assessment of the current state of devices/facilities consuming energy in the areas of electricity, heat and cooling sources, heating and cooling networks, electrical grids, technological processes, and transportation.
- Development of an energy balance for the facility based on collected data and supplementary measurements, including the determination of energy consumption coefficients.
- Estimated assessment of the potential for improving energy efficiency in all the aforementioned areas.
- Measurement of selected installations and devices by a group of engineers, enabling the identification of potential savings (measurements can cover areas such as electricity consumption, air and water flows, thermography, temperatures, energy carrier consumption, etc.).
- Development of an energy efficiency improvement policy for the facility for the next 4 years.
Energy audits are conducted to assess energy efficiency and energy management in buildings, industrial facilities, institutions, and other structures. They serve several important purposes and offer various benefits:
- Identifying Energy Savings: Energy audits enable the precise identification of areas where energy can be saved. This may involve reducing electricity consumption, fossil fuel usage, and other energy carriers.
- Evaluating Energy Performance: Audits help assess how well a building or installations utilize energy. They can identify potential sources of energy losses and suggest ways to improve efficiency.
- Reducing Energy Costs: Improved energy efficiency translates to lower energy-related costs. Audits can help identify actions that will decrease energy bills.
- Limiting Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Enhanced energy efficiency helps reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide (CO2), contributing to the fight against climate change.
- Raising Awareness: Energy audits can increase awareness among facility managers and employees regarding energy consumption and ways they can contribute to savings.
- Ensuring Compliance with Regulations: In some jurisdictions, there are regulations requiring regular energy audits, especially in larger commercial and industrial facilities.
- Increasing Property Value: Improved energy efficiency can enhance the value of a property. This can be significant for investors and property owners, especially in the context of growing environmental awareness.
- Ensuring Energy Supply Continuity: Audits can identify potential threats to energy supply and suggest measures to ensure reliability and continuity of supply.
- Supporting Sustainable Development: Energy audits align with the pursuit of sustainable development through the efficient use of resources and environmental protection.
Energy audits can be conducted by specialists in energy and energy efficiency, and the results of such audits are often used to develop action plans aimed at improving energy efficiency and reducing energy-related costs.
Every large enterprise is obligated to undergo an energy audit. According to current legal regulations (the Law of March 6, 2018 – Entrepreneurs Law), a large enterprise is defined as an enterprise that, in the last two financial years:
- Employed an average of at least 250 employees, or
- Achieved annual net turnover from the sale of goods, products, and services, as well as financial operations, exceeding the equivalent of 50 million euros, and the sum of its balance sheet assets at the end of one of these years exceeded the equivalent of 43 million euros in Polish złoty.
An extension of the energy audit for an enterprise is an energy efficiency audit of an undertaking aimed at improving energy efficiency.
Energy efficiency audits are conducted for the purpose of obtaining certificates of energy efficiency, known as “White Certificates,” for specific initiatives aimed at improving energy efficiency. This is in accordance with Article 19, paragraph 1, of the Energy Efficiency Act dated May 20, 2016.
The strategy of climate neutrality for businesses is a new reporting obligation for commercial law companies, stemming from Directive 2013/34/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of June 26, 2013, regarding annual financial statements, consolidated financial statements, and related reports of certain types of entities. This involves disclosing greenhouse gas emissions in scopes 1, 2, 3, and the results of actions taken in relation to the climate goals of the European Union.
The aim of these new requirements is to shape businesses towards managing their own impact on the climate and presenting it to their stakeholders (regulators, supervisors, customers, society, or competitors). This includes a continuous reduction of the negative impact on the climate through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. These actions contribute to slowing down the ongoing global warming, which is already affecting society. They are also essential in conducting business. The introduction of these guidelines supports the achievement of the EU’s common goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 and achieving a reduction of 80-95% by 2050.
The rising energy prices and the proposed directive on reporting actions for sustainable development make delaying the energy transformation in businesses not only costly but soon to become mandatory.
ESG Taxonomy is a colloquial term for a new European Union legal act, namely Regulation (EU) 2020/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council of June 18, 2020, establishing a framework to facilitate sustainable investment.
The new regulations aim to increase environmental protection by redirecting capital from environmentally harmful investments to more eco-friendly alternatives.
ESG stands for “Environmental, Social, and Governance,” representing a framework or analytical tool used to assess the social, environmental, and managerial impact of investments or the activities of companies and organizations. ESG Taxonomy refers to the categorization and classification of ESG aspects, allowing for a more precise assessment and comparison of the actions and performance of different entities.
Here is a brief description of each of the three ESG categories:
- Environmental: Pertains to aspects related to the organization’s impact on the natural environment. This includes greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, waste management, nature conservation, and other aspects related to sustainable use of natural resources.
- Social: Addresses social issues such as workers’ rights, health and safety of employees, gender equality, diversity, stakeholder relations, access to education and healthcare, and other aspects affecting the community and society.
- Governance: Encompasses principles and management practices within the organization, including management structure, business ethics, transparency, independence of the supervisory board, anti-corruption measures, adherence to ethical standards, and compliance with regulations.
ESG Taxonomy assists investors, companies, regulatory bodies, and other stakeholders in more precisely defining and assessing the extent to which an organization incorporates ESG aspects into its operations. This tool is increasingly important in the context of sustainable investing and management because it allows for decision-making that considers both financial and social and environmental aspects. ESG Taxonomy is also a crucial tool in the pursuit of sustainable development goals and reducing an organization’s impact on the natural environment and society.
The primary goal of assessing an entity from an ESG perspective is to develop a comprehensive report and an effective way to inform the capital market about the results of an analysis conducted by independent analysts. Therefore, the first step towards climate neutrality should be an examination of the organization’s carbon footprint. Calculating it allows the organization to determine the starting point and a synthetic indicator, the decreasing value of which will indicate progress in actions.
Once the starting point is known, the recommended second step is to develop an ESG policy, planning actions in both the long and short term.
With the data in hand, the next step is to develop detailed action plans for each year and then monitor progress according to the so-called “Energy Transformation Plan”.