Setting Meaningful Energy Reduction Goals
March 2021 --
Climate change is a popular topic these days. With more and more companies committing to greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, you may be prompted to ask: What is my company doing? Should we set a goal, and what should that look like? Lockheed Martin’s first carbon reduction goal was established in 2008, as part of the rollout of our Go Green program. Fast forward to today, and our GHG goal has matured into a “science-based” metric that reflects emissions associated with energy use across the corporation. However, we also dedicated goals for facility energy use, after learning early on that facilities organizations speak “energy” more fluently than “emissions”. By achieving facility energy goals, we achieve our GHG goals and we reduce cost.
Our first two generations of energy reduction goals were “absolute”, or a fixed percent of a company-wide baseline total. On the plus side, absolute goals are easy to set, measure, and communicate. Establishing intensity goals, on the other hand, can be more challenging, especially in the manufacturing sector where analysis is necessary to determine which drivers of energy use should be included in the metric. Our current goal is an intensity goal: energy use per occupant. While absolute goals may be easier to communicate, the intensity goal more accurately measures business growth and other drivers of energy use, like the numerous energy efficiency projects we undertake each year. Either way, measured as absolute or on an intensity basis, setting a goal for energy is important.