The recent report from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, “From Shop Floor to Top Floor: Best Business Practices for Energy Efficiency,” details the spectrum of companies’ energy efficiency endeavors, and looks at primary motivations for initiating programs.  Its data show that most compelling reasons to improve energy efficiency are carbon management and energy costs.  But what makes an energy efficiency initiative succeed?

There is lots of good information in the report, but I will cut to my must-have recommendations.  Goals and data.  Clearly defined goals and good data are absolutely critical to any program’s success.  Without goals, what are you working toward?  Without data, how do you know whether or not your program is successful?  Data are the currency for evaluating and measuring the success of a project — whatever it may be – and communicating the compelling results that will reinforce the successful behaviors and get others aboard.

So step up to energy efficiency, or enhance an existing commitment.  Just don’t forget the metrics for evaluating your programs.  And remember to make the data gathering a core part of the project design. Trying to pick up metrics mid-stream is often ineffective, and deprives you of the opportunity to track the full impact of your initiatives.

I plan to circle back to data in subsequent posts.  In the meantime, if you haven’t already, check out the Pew report and the recommendations, and think about where your organization is on the efficiency adoption curve.