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Step 1: Obtain Senior management commitment

This is the first of 20 steps in the in the Energy Management Action Programme (Energy MAP).
Learn about Energy MAP and what it can do for your business.

What to do and how to do it

Personal commitment

The starting point is that you believe that energy management not only makes good sense, but that it makes ‘business’ sense for your organisation. This belief is fundamental for you to successfully influence others.

Preliminary case

If the case for action comes from senior management, then the first move is already made. Alternatively, talk with the most senior manager on site and put the case for action to him/her.

Initial and ongoing commitment

You need initial commitment from senior management to release resources to investigate the business case for energy management, and then you will need commitment to implement your Energy MAP.

Investigate

Canvass opinion through short meetings with key personnel to identify potential benefits, opportunities and barriers to Energy MAP and identify the reasons why your organisation would want to implement it.

Identify benefits and costs

Identify the benefits of Energy MAP to your organisation and also the costs to implement it. Present these in a suitable format and language for senior managers. Make sure that the benefits of the Energy MAP are aligned with the main strategic purpose, or mission, of your organisation.

Business benefits will be the driving force for most organisations to implement Energy MAP. These range from bottom-line cost savings through to corporate social responsibility. Convince senior managers that their commitment to energy management will benefit the organisation, by selling these benefits to them.

Summarise and present

Prepare a short summary of your Energy MAP implementation plan for senior management based on the business drivers that apply to your organisation. Remember to keep this concise, e.g. one page. Make your case to senior managers. Use the Guide on 'Elevator Pitch’ to organise your thoughts.

If you have already developed your Energy MAP, make sure that the ongoing achievements are communicated to senior management.

Possible problems and how to deal with them

You’re not serious

Implementing the Energy MAP is a programme of change. If properly implemented, it will result in setting new objectives for all units, managers and staff, and must be supported by commitment from all involved, above all senior management. So if you are not serious and do not realise what might be involved, then do not start. A half-baked approach can do more harm than good.

Senior management commitment based on personal commitment of one manager

If this is the case, and the manager leaves, then the Energy MAP will be undermined and may lose support. To avoid this, make sure the Energy MAP is adopted at board level and endorsed through a company-wide energy policy. Target other stakeholders within your organisation and get their commitment by selling the benefits to them of the Energy MAP.

‘Language’ and format

Senior managers will be mainly interested in business benefits, in particular, cost savings. Present the benefits of the Energy MAP in short, summarised, visual and ‘punchy’ format. Avoid lengthy reports, where possible, and do not use technical jargon. Top managers are likely to read only the executive summaries of reports, so make sure this is well presented. Face to face communication through presentations is often the best way of selling the benefits, so try to get slots in management meetings.

Achievements not adequately communicated

Demonstrate the ongoing success of the Energy MAP to senior management in a similar way as you communicated the benefits. This will help secure continued commitment and reinforce the programme.

How long does it take to complete this step?

It may take several weeks or even months to compile the information on the benefits and costs of implementing the Energy MAP. Once this information is gathered, presenting it in a format suitable for senior management could take a few days or up to a week.

How do I know when I have completed this step?

You have completed this step when senior management:

  • has the Energy MAP benefits and cost information in a suitable format for decision making.
  • has acted on the information and the board has agreed to implement the Energy MAP.

What do I do next?

Now you have senior management commitment, it is time to get a senior manager appointed as a sponsor and to appoint an Energy MAP Co-ordinator and an Energy MAP Team. Once the team is in place you can prepare an energy policy.

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