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Making energy metrics relevant to service firms:: from energy conservation to energy productivity
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7334-2480
2020 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 256, article id 120493Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Although energy conservation and reduction in environmental impact are on the international and most national agendas, service firms rarely include energy consumption metrics in their strategic decision-making. One reason for the omission is that for service industries, firm level energy utilization is most commonly measured in kilowatt hours per square meter of office space where changes often related to the space rather than the firm performance. The measure also presents several problems for firms in service industries. First, energy conservation and reduction may be counterproductive for service firms that are growing and require energy to sustain that growth. Second, it may not relate to national and international goals which are often focused on the amount of carbon dioxide produced generating energy than the total amount of energy consumed. Third, it treats energy as a utility rather than a resource in firms’ value creation. Results from a field study focused on service firms in Sweden suggests that focusing on energy productivity overcomes the limitations of existing measures and produces positive results. By conceptualizing energy productivity as output per unit of energy, we create a conservation metric that enables service firms to measure their contributions to energy consumption relative to national economic growth. As a result, energy productivity aligns the interests of service organizations with those of policy makers and conservationists. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Ltd , 2020. Vol. 256, article id 120493
Keywords [en]
Abductive research, Corporate social responsibility, Energy conservation, Energy productivity, Service organizations, Carbon dioxide, Decision making, Economics, Energy utilization, Environmental impact, Office buildings, Productivity, Corporate social responsibilities (CSR), Economic growths, Energy metrics, Firm Performance, National agendas, Strategic decision making, Service industry
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-47158DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.120493Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85079352666OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-47158DiVA, id: diva2:1397123
Note

Export Date: 27 February 2020; Article; CODEN: JCROE; Correspondence Address: Ekman, P.; Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Box 883 721 23, Västerås, Sweden; email: peter.ekman@mdh.se

Available from: 2020-02-27 Created: 2020-02-27 Last updated: 2020-02-27Bibliographically approved

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