Strategies that Work:  Energy Use

Overview

How we produce and use energy contributes significantly to climate change. Electricity generation alone represents 25% of the total GHG emissions in the US and globally. Moving to sustainable energy is critical to decarbonization and achieving net zero.

 

In this track, we explore the typical journey organizations undertake when transitioning towards sustainable energy. We cover the tangible steps that organizations take towards decarbonization and net-zero by addressing energy use and electricity procurement. 

 

We also introduce more advanced topics of how organizations come to understand their baseline energy use and carbon footprint, and the role of target-setting, policy, and industry standards in making decarbonization a priority.

Big Opportunities

  • Support decarbonization targets: Tap the momentum to advocate for net zero ambitions. Understand your organization’s internal and external stakeholders to galvanize support.   

  • Prioritize energy efficiency: Opportunities include no-cost, high ROI and capital cost options, from turning off lights by hand or with motion sensors to replacing heating oil with heat pumps.

  • Promote switch to sustainable energy: Source low-carbon electricity, such as roof-based solar installed on site, or purchase renewable energy.

  • Understand your carbon footprint: Advocate for a GHG inventory. Understand your energy use, where and how you source the energy, and how to account for the related carbon footprint.

  • Get engaged: Advocate for policies that support greening the grid and incentivize energy efficiency, with attention to environmental justice, inclusion and equity.

Explore: Readings

Google, Blog Post: A timely new approach to certifying clean energy (M-RETs hourly REC pilot, March 2021)
Reading
Our World in Data; University of Oxford / Global Change Data Lab
Learning Tool
Energy and Climate
Podcast
The Citizen’s Guide to Climate Success by Professor Mark Jaccard
Book
Google, White Paper: 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy: Methodologies and Metrics (Feb 2021)
Reading
Microsoft, Made to measure: Sustainability commitment progress and updates
Reading
Energy Exchange
Podcast
Switched On
Podcast
The Interchange
Podcast
Sustainable Development Goal Tracker
Learning Tool
The Energy Gang
Podcast
Carbon offsets: Task Force on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Offset Markets
Reading
The Interchange Episode on Microsoft’s climate innovation fund:
Podcast
Google, Explainer: What's the difference between carbon neutrality, 100% renewable energy, and 24/7 carbon-free energy? (April 2021)
Reading
International Energy Agency (IEA)
Database
The Energy Gang
Podcast
Energy and Climate
Podcast
RESurety, Locational Marginal Emissions
Reading
CDP, Transparency to Transformation
Reading
US Energy Information Administration (EIA) - Consumption & Efficiency
Website Resources
The Interchange
Podcast
Google, White Paper: 24/7 by 2030: Realizing a Carbon-free Future (Sep 2020),
Reading
WattTime, A vision for how ambitious organizations can accurately measure electricity emissions to take genuine action
Session 2.3.3
Energy Exchange
Podcast
The Energy Transition Show
Podcast
The Economist, How much can financiers do about climate change
Reading
United Nations, 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy Compact
Reading
The GHG Protocol, one of the most influential standards for GHG accounting, offers free training courses in how to account for GHG emissions at the corporate/organization level
Reading
US Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Database
Switched On
Podcast
International Energy Agency (IEA)
Website Resources

Explore: Media