Schneider Electric: Three Sustainability Steps That Boost Business

by Frederic Diot
Oct 17, 2019 11:25 AM ET

For retail and other businesses, brand image is important. When people value a brand, they’re more likely to spend money – perhaps twice as much. Now, with the IoT (Internet of Things), AI (artificial intelligence) and other advances in technology, businesses can enhance their brand while cutting resource usage and saving money.

So, what appeals to consumers? Being environmentally friendly. Millennials, those born between about 1980 and 1999, are now the largest generation in terms of numbers in the U.S. and elsewhere. Global surveys have shown that millennials say sustainable shopping is a priority.

Buildings have various environmental effects: greenhouse gas emissions, particle production, the release of volatile organic compounds and more. But, satisfying sustainability must be done in a way that boosts brand image, increases sales and cuts costs – which together can drive up profits. Most retailers’ profit margin is 4 percent. So, a 15 percent reduction in energy consumption ups that to 4.75 percent, a 18.7 percent increase in profit.

That’s the sustainability opportunity. Meeting it is easier because innovative technology can monitor and track the consumption of electricity, water, gas and other resources. This can work for one building or across an entire portfolio of sites and stores. See this earlier post about applying technology to curtail energy use.

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