Broadening to sustainability the perspective of industrial decision-makers on the energy efficiency measures adoption: some empirical evidence
- 359 Downloads
The industry should take further efforts towards increased energy efficiency, that is a major contributor to improve industrial sustainability performance, by implementing energy efficiency measures (EEMs). However, the rate of adoption of these measures is still quite low. Hitherto, EEMs and barriers to their adoption have been evaluated almost exclusively from the viewpoint of energy efficiency decision-makers, not accounting for the broader sustainability perspective. This work aims at understanding whether an industrial sustainability perspective can better address issues related to EEMs adoption, analyzing the question through different viewpoints and insights offered by industrial decision-makers of different industrial sustainability areas within a firm. By doing this, we aim at offering a contribution in the understanding of the low rate of adoption of EEMs. As case studies, we investigated 12 firms from Northern Italy. In comparison to previous literature, results show that an industrial sustainability perspective can better explain the real decision-making process of adopting an EEM. Indeed, people knowledgeable about different industrial sustainability areas may perceive different barriers about the same EEM. EEMs may be negatively affected by reasons related to other areas of industrial sustainability, while positive reciprocal impacts may exist among areas of industrial sustainability; thus, EEMs may have effects on areas other than energy efficiency, and these effects may be perceived only by such areas. The study concludes with some remarks for policy and industrial decision-makers and advice for further research.
KeywordsEnergy efficiency measure Industrial decision-maker Industrial sustainability Barriers
The authors would like to thank Deborah De Cesare, Daniel Odorisio, Flavia Ricetti, and Gloria Valentina Riva for their invaluable help in the collection of the data.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Arvai, J., Campbell-Arvai, V., & Steel, P. (2012). Decision-making for sustainability: a systematic review of the body of knowledge. Network for Business Sustainability. https://nbs.net/p/systematic-review-decision-making-for-sustainability-32e9291b-e3be-41a8-a898-d49cb67752d0
- Brunke, J. C., Johansson, M., & Thollander, P. (2014). Empirical investigation of barriers and drivers to the adoption of energy conservation measures, energy management practices and energy services in the Swedish iron and steel industry. Journal of Cleaner Production, 84(1), 509–525. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.04.078 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Cagno, E., & Trianni, A. (2012). Analysis of the most effective energy efficiency opportunities in manufacturing primary metals, plastics, and textiles small- and medium-sized enterprises. Journal of Energy Resources Technology, 134(2), 21005. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4006043 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Chiaroni, D., Chiesa, V., Franzò, S., Frattini, F., & Latilla, V. M. (2017). Overcoming internal barriers to industrial energy efficiency through energy audit: a case study of a large manufacturing company in the home appliances industry. Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy, 19(4), 1031–1046. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10098-016-1298-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Cooremans, C. (2012a). Energy-efficiency investments an interpretative perspective and energy management. Proceedings of the International Conference on Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings. https://doi.org/10.13140/2.1.4787.5529
- EASHW (2007). The business benefits of good occupational safety and health. https://osha.europa.eu/en/tools-and-publications/publications/factsheets/77
- Elkington, J. (1998). Cannibals with forks: the triple bottom line of 21-st century business. In Capstone new edition, 1–16.Google Scholar
- ENEA. (2016). Rapporto Annuale Efficienza Energetica (RAEE). http://www.enea.it/it/pubblicazioni/edizioni-enea/2016/rapporto-annuale-efficienza-energetica-2016.
- Evans, S., Bergendahl, M., Gregory, M., & Ryan, C. (2009). Towards a sustainable industrial system. The Institute for Manufacturing, Cardiff. http://orbit.dtu.dk/fedora/objects/orbit:81752/datastreams/file_4085316/content.
- Frini, A., & Benamor, S. (2017). Making decisions in a sustainable development Context: A State-of-the-Art Survey and Proposal of a Multi-Period Single Synthesizing Criterion Approach. Computational Economics. In press. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10614-017-9677-5.
- Gibson, R. B. (2006). Beyond the pillars: sustainability assessment as a framework for effective integration of social, economic and ecological considerations in significant decision-making. Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, 8(3), 259–280. https://doi.org/10.1142/S1464333206002517 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Gong, M., Simpson, A., Koh, L., & Tan, K.H. (2016). Inside out: the interrelationships of sustainable performance metrics and its effect on business decision Making: Theory and Practice. Resources, Conservation and Recycling In press. Elsevier B.V. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2016.11.001.
- IEA (2014). Capturing the multiple benefits of energy efficiency. http://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/Captur_the_MultiplBenef_ofEnergyEficiency.pdf
- Lucato, W. C., Costa, E. M., & De Oliveira Neto, G. D. (2017). The environmental performance of SMEs in the Brazilian textile industry and the relationship with their financial performance. Journal of Environmental Management, 203(Pt 1), 550–556. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2017.06.028 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Massoud, M. A., Fayad, R., El-Fadel, M., & Kamleh, R. (2010). Drivers, barriers and incentives to implementing environmental management systems in the food industry: a case of Lebanon. Journal of Cleaner Production, 18(3), 200–209. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2009.09.022 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- McKinsey & Company. (2012). McKinsey on sustainability & resource productivity. Number 1, Summer 2012. https://www.mckinsey.com/client_service/sustainability/latest_thinking/~/media/5E14ED58049D44148B5A47C0124A7E66.ashx.
- Morrow, W. R., Hasanbeigi, A., Sathaye, J., & Xu, T. (2014). Assessment of energy efficiency improvement and CO2 emission reduction potentials in India’s cement and iron & steel industries. Journal of Cleaner Production, 65, 131–141. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2013.07.022 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Nehler, T., & Ottosson, M. (2014). Including non-energy benefits in investment calculations in industry—empirical findings from Sweden In ECEEE 2014 Industrial Summer Study - Retool for a Competitive and Sustainable Industry, 711–19.Google Scholar
- Patton, M.Q. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods. 2ND. Newbury Park, California: SAGE.Google Scholar
- Rademaekers, K., Zaki, S. S., & Smith, M. (2011). Sustainable industry: going for growth and resource efficiency. ECORYS Nederland, 1, 1–164 http://www.chemicalleasing.com/sites/default/files/17_6_Brochure-Sustainable_industry-Growth-Resource_efficiency-15072011.pdf Google Scholar
- Rasmussen, J. (2014). Energy-efficiency investments and the concepts of non-energy benefits and investment behaviour. 2014 Eceee Industrial Summer Study Proceedings, 733–44.Google Scholar
- Remler, D. K., & Van Ryzin, G. G. (2014). Research methods in practice: strategies for description and causation (2nd ed.) SAGE.Google Scholar
- Saldaña, J.. (2009). The coding manual for qualitative researchers. SAGE.Google Scholar
- Shakir, M. (2002). The selection of case studies: strategies and their applications to IS implementation cases studies. Maha Shakir. Research Letters in the Information and Mathematical Sciences, 3, 191–198.Google Scholar
- Sorrell, S., Mallett, A., & Nye, S. (2010). Barriers to industrial energy efficiency: a literature review, background study for the UNIDO industrial development report (IDR) Industrial Energy Efficiency Pays, Why Is It Not Happening?. SPRU, University of Sussex, Brighton. http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/53957/1/WP102011_Barriers_to_Industrial_Energy_Efficiency_-_A_Literature_Review.pdf.
- Sorrell, S., Schleich, J., Scott, S., O’Malley, E., Trace, F., Boede, U., Ostertag, K., & Radgen, P. (2000) Reducing barriers to energy efficiency in public and private organizations. SPRU, University of Sussex, Brighton. http://www.sussex.ac.uk/Units/spru/publications/reports/barriers/final.html.
- Svensson, A., & Paramonova, S. (2017). An analytical model for identifying and addressing energy efficiency improvement opportunities in industrial production systems – Model development and testing experiences from Sweden. Journal of Cleaner Production, 142, 2407–2422. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.11.034 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Thollander, P., & Palm, J. (2012). Efficiency in industrial energy systems: an interdisciplinary perspective on barriers, energy audits, energy management, policies, and programs. London: Springer.Google Scholar
- Yin, R.K., (2009). Case study research design and methods fourth. Applied Social Research Method Series Volume 5. Sage, London ISBN-10: 1412960991.Google Scholar
- Zorzini, M., Hendry, L., Stevenson, M., & Pozzetti, A. (2008). Customer enquiry management and product customization an empirical multi-case study analysis in the Italian capital goods sector. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 28(12), 1186–1218. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443570810919369 CrossRefGoogle Scholar