Latest research from ABB shows that businesses around the world remain concerned about the impacts of energy security and prices, which could be a catalyst for a range of environmental, social and economic ripple effects.
In fact, 92% of respondents feel that the continuing instability of energy is threatening their profitability and competitiveness.
“Businesses say they need to insulate themselves from energy prices and insecurity and are re-evaluating current and future spending plans. Taking action to mitigate this is a clear priority, but this doesn’t have to be a catalyst for potential workforce or environmental impacts. Investing in smart and sustainable on-site renewables and energy efficiency technology means businesses can simultaneously cut costs and reduce their emissions. With the right approach, it is possible for industry to achieve cost savings without sacrificing competitiveness, workforces or the journey to decarbonization,” says Morten Wierod, president, ABB Electrification.
- The key impacts on businesses due to rising energy costs in the last year include lower profit margins (34%) and cuts to spending in some areas (34%), leading to a shift away from investment in R&D and other business growth initiatives. Over a third (38%) have or plan to reduce technology investment, while a third (33%) expect to cut spending on infrastructure and 31% foresee a decline in marketing spend.
- 42% will spend less on recruitment; 38% will decrease spending on salaries, overtime and bonuses; and 37% will reduce investment in staff training and development.
- Over half (58%) of business leaders surveyed said the cost of energy could delay achieving their sustainability and carbon reduction targets by anywhere from 1-5 years. While reducing energy costs is the top priority for 61% of companies, only 40% currently have reducing carbon emissions within their overall business priorities.
- 83% of business leaders express concern about the security of their business’ energy supply, and many are taking action to address this. Over a third (36%) are worried about further rises in energy costs, 31% are concerned by power cuts and blackouts, and a quarter by energy rationing.
- Almost half (49%) of respondents feel they don’t have the know-how or resources to proceed.