- account for a rapidly growing business
- more honest if a business contracts (the result should also shrink)
- a gold standard
- helps achieve the overall goal of reducing climate-changing emissions worldwide
Our experience was that the best approach is the provide both types of data, show trends, and also the reduction plan.
Explaining the results is even better.
As a nice example, see Genetech's sustainability page:
The SSF site achieved a 3% reduction in total onsite energy use despite a net growth in square foot of 6%, which meant that energy use per square foot (a key metric in understanding our energy efficiency) improved by 10%.Another great example is Baxter's incredibly thorough climate change page:
From 2005 to 2010, Baxter decreased net GHG emissions from operations by 7% on an absolute basis and 29% indexed to revenue, exceeding its 2010 target of a 20% reduction indexed to revenue. Baxter has extended its commitment to reduce GHG emissions by 45% indexed to revenue by 2015, compared to 2005.Ok, here's the tough part: There has to be a commitment to an overall decrease (absolute). Without this, the commitment is called into question. My experience is that most businesses can find and cut 20% of their energy use through a comprehensive energy auditing, metrics and efficiency program.
I'll try to put some thoughts together on how to develop that target number. What are your thoughts?