Stuart O'Brien, Author at Energy Management Summit | Forum Events Ltd

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Stuart O'Brien

WATER MANAGEMENT MONTH: Turn the tide in your favour by choosing the best suppliers

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Rising water costs coupled with an ever-increasing demand for this precious resource necessitate proactive water management strategies. But with a multitude of water management solutions providers vying for your attention, navigating the options can feel like searching for an oasis in a desert. Fear not! Here are some top tips to help you find the perfect partner to quench your organisation’s water usage and reduce your environmental footprint…

Understanding Your Water Consumption

  • Water Audit & Benchmarking: Conduct a comprehensive water audit to identify areas of high water consumption within your facilities. Benchmark your water usage against industry standards to assess your efficiency.
  • Identifying Leakages: Leaking pipes and inefficient fixtures can account for significant water wastage. Invest in leak detection technologies or implement regular visual inspections.
  • Water Usage Breakdown: Disaggregate your water consumption data to identify specific areas where water reduction strategies can be implemented. This could include washrooms, catering facilities, or irrigation systems.

Matching Provider Expertise

  • Industry Experience: Seek providers with a proven track record in your specific sector, whether it’s facilities management, hospitality, or manufacturing. They’ll understand the unique water challenges you face.
  • Solution Portfolio Review: Ask for a portfolio showcasing the provider’s water management solutions. Look for a range of options like rainwater harvesting systems, water-efficient fixtures, or real-time monitoring technology.
  • Sustainability Credentials: Prioritise providers who are committed to sustainable practices and offer solutions that align with your organisation’s environmental sustainability goals.

Functionality and Cost-Effectiveness

  • Return on Investment (ROI): Evaluate the ROI of proposed solutions. Consider upfront costs, potential water savings, and long-term operational savings. Choose solutions that offer a clear pathway to cost reduction.
  • Scalability & Future Planning: Select solutions that can adapt to your organisation’s future needs. Consider potential growth or changes in occupancy that might impact water consumption.
  • Integration Considerations: Water management solutions should ideally integrate with existing building management systems (BMS) for centralized data monitoring and improved operational efficiency.

Collaboration and Partnerships

  • Clear Communication: Choose a provider who actively listens to your needs and works collaboratively throughout the planning and implementation stages. Open communication fosters a successful partnership.
  • Staff Training and Engagement: Enquire about the provider’s approach to staff training and engagement.Empowering staff with water-saving practices is crucial for a sustainable water management strategy.
  • Ongoing Support & Maintenance: Ensure the provider offers reliable technical support and maintenance services to ensure the ongoing effectiveness of the implemented solutions.

Beyond the Meter: A Holistic Approach

Leading water management solutions providers go beyond simply installing technology. Look for partners who offer a comprehensive approach:

  • Data Analytics & Insights: Real-time data analysis of water usage patterns allows for targeted interventions and continuous improvement strategies.
  • Behavioural Change Programs: Engaging staff through awareness campaigns and water-saving incentives promotes a culture of water conservation within your organisation.
  • Regulatory Compliance Support: Providers can help navigate complex water regulations and ensure your organisation remains compliant.

Investing in a Sustainable Future

By following these top tips and fostering a collaborative partnership with a water management solutions provider, you can significantly reduce your organisation’s water footprint, lower costs, and demonstrate your commitment to environmental sustainability. Remember, water is a precious resource, and its responsible management is not just an environmental responsibility, it’s a smart business decision. So, take action, source the best partner for your needs, and turn the tide towards a more water-efficient future for your organisation.

Are you searching for Water Management Services for your organisation? The Energy Management Summit can help!

Photo by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash

SFG20 research indicates 50% of FMs are struggling with systems integration

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Nearly half of building maintenance professionals state that systems integration is one of their most significant struggles, according to a recent poll by SFG20, the industry standard for facility maintenance specifications.

Using this industry insight, SFG20 have developed an Application Programming Interface (API) that streamlines the integration between SFG20 content and FM systems used for operational activity.

Almost 90% of FM professionals agreed on the benefit of implementing SFG20’s new ‘smart’ software, driven by new features such as automatic notifications that advise users when updates are made to the SFG20 standard.

The new API makes SFG20 content available and accessible to all via the common FM systems used for operational activity i.e., CAFMs, IWFMs, CMMS etc. As users are notified of updates to SFG20’s content, they can choose when to accept them. SFG20 guidance will then automatically flow into their FM system. The API is also bi-directional, meaning that once work has been completed this information can flow back to SFG20 who will be able to provide reporting and insight around levels of compliance and value derived from their FM provider.

Paul Bullard, Product and Professional Services Director at SFG20, says:

“Our new freely available API will allow users to access and work with the SFG20 standard more efficiently than ever. By receiving updates to SFG20’s maintenance schedules and having this content automatically integrated into various FM systems, facility maintenance professionals remove the risk of falling off the standard and becoming non-compliant.

“The API comes at no cost, and allows any FM system to link in. SFG20 also provides support with the integration process, thereby removing any potential barriers and making it as easy as possible to carry out maintenance work and achieve compliance.”

Volklec eyes EVs with Midlands battery manufacturing plant

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Volklec, a new UK manufacturing business making batteries for electric vehicles, has launched based in Coventry with the vision of Powering Electrified Mobility as it manufactures sustainable batteries for on-road, off-highway and track vehicles.

In an innovative UK technology collaboration, Volklec is working with UKBIC, the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre and national manufacturing development scale-up facility, which also provides skills for the growing EV battery sector.

Volklec, working with UKBIC, will develop batteries to meet the attribute requirements of the UK automotive market, in particular the diverse array of small volume and niche vehicle manufacturers.

Volklec’s product development and rapid route to scale-up provides a critical component in the roadmap to giga-scale production. The collaboration will directly create jobs in the West Midlands and contribute directly to building world-class battery R&D, process and manufacturing capability in the UK.

Imran Khatri, Volklec Founder, said: “Volklec has been many months and significant investment in the making, established to help the UK’s decarbonisation drive.  As a proud investment in the UK, our initial focus is on the automotive industry, providing security of supply to the sector, then we intend to look at the broader electrification markets as well.”

Sean Gilgunn, UKBIC Managing Director, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Volklec to UKBIC and to become their launch base here in the heart of the UK automotive industry. Our purpose-built facility is where businesses can develop their battery manufacturing processes at the scale they need to move to industrial production. This agreement marks the start of Volklec’s journey to create a battery with the potential to scale up to significant volumes in the coming years, and we are proud to support the business in the initial phase of their development. Manufacturing cells at volume is vital to ensuring the UK prospers from the energy transition towards Net Zero, and this agreement further demonstrates the unique value of UKBIC to the battery ecosystem.”

If you specialise in commercial Energy Storage solutions we want to hear from you!

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Each month on Energy Management Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the market – and in June we’ll be focussing on Energy Storage.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help energy management buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re a supplier of Energy Storage solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Danielle James on 01992 374085 /

Our features list in full:

Jun 24 – Energy Storage
Jul 24 – Data Collection & Management
Aug 24 – Waste Management
Sept 24 – Solar PV
Oct 24 – Lighting
Nov 24 – Heating & Ventilation
Dec 24 – Onsite Renewables
Jan 25 – Energy Management Systems
Feb 25 – Renewable Energy
Mar 25 – Carbon Management
Apr 25 – Metering & Monitoring
May 24 – Water Management/Strategy

WATER MANAGEMENT MONTH: How we’re delivering efficiency across sectors

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For energy management professionals, water conservation is no longer an afterthought. Specialist water management solutions are emerging as powerful tools to reduce water consumption, lower energy costs, and promote sustainability. These solutions offer significant benefits across both private and public sectors. Let’s explore how energy management professionals can deploy and leverage water management solutions to achieve optimal results…

Private Sector Applications

  • Manufacturing and Industrial Facilities: Water-efficient equipment installation, combined with real-time monitoring systems, can identify leaks and inefficiencies in water usage within production processes. Smart irrigation systems can optimise water usage in landscaping around industrial facilities.
  • Hospitality and Retail Businesses: Hotels can implement water-saving showerheads and faucet aerators to reduce water consumption in guest rooms. Smart laundry systems and dishwashers that adjust water usage based on load size can further contribute to conservation efforts. Retail stores can leverage water-efficient restroom fixtures and leak detection systems to minimise water waste.
  • Commercial Buildings: Occupancy sensors can be used to automate toilet flushing systems and adjust water flow based on building usage. Greywater recycling systems can capture wastewater from showers and sinks to be reused for non-potable purposes like toilet flushing or irrigation.

Public Sector Applications

  • Municipal Water Authorities: Advanced leak detection technologies, including acoustic sensors and satellite imagery, can pinpoint even small leaks in underground pipes, minimising water loss and infrastructure damage. Public awareness campaigns and water-saving incentives for residents can further promote responsible water usage.
  • Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities: Water-efficient fixtures and appliances are crucial in healthcare settings. Automated sterilisation equipment that uses minimal water can be implemented, and rainwater harvesting systems can provide a sustainable source of water for landscaping or non-potable needs.
  • Schools and Educational Institutions: Water-saving toilets, faucets, and showerheads can be installed in school buildings. Educational programs can promote water conservation amongst students, fostering a culture of sustainability from a young age.

The Power of Data and Analytics

Specialist water management solutions often include data analysis tools that empower energy managers:

  • Identifying Water Usage Patterns: Monitor water consumption across different areas of a facility to pinpoint areas for improvement and target conservation efforts.
  • Predictive Maintenance: Real-time data can be used to predict equipment failure and schedule maintenance before leaks or malfunctions occur, minimising water waste and downtime.
  • Benchmarking and Performance Tracking: Track water usage trends over time and compare performance against industry benchmarks to identify areas for continuous improvement.

The Future of Water Management

The future of water management promises innovative solutions and a continued focus on sustainability:

  • Integration with Building Management Systems (BMS): Water management solutions will integrate seamlessly with BMS, allowing for centralised control and optimisation of water usage alongside other building systems like heating and ventilation.
  • The Rise of Smart Water Meters: Advanced smart water meters will provide real-time data on water consumption down to individual fixtures, empowering more granular control over water usage.
  • Focus on Water Reuse and Recycling: Technological advancements will make water reuse and recycling more cost-effective, further reducing reliance on freshwater resources.

A Sustainable Future for Water

Specialist water management solutions are a valuable tool for energy management professionals in both private and public sectors. By leveraging these solutions, energy professionals can achieve significant water savings, lower energy costs, and contribute to a more sustainable future. Data analysis, coupled with innovative technologies, empowers them to make informed decisions and optimise water usage across various facilities. Remember, water is a precious resource, and responsible management is essential. Specialist water management solutions offer a roadmap towards a future where water is used efficiently and sustainably.

Are you searching for Water Management Services for your organisation? The Energy Management Summit can help!

Photo by Alex Perez on Unsplash

The Energy Management Summit is unique – Don’t miss out on your delegate place!

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The Energy Management Summit is the ONLY place you’ll have the opportunity to network with other energy leaders to discuss all things sustainability, net-zero and decarbonisation, while meeting with leading suppliers who can help you achieve those goals.

DATE: 8th & 9th October 2024

VENUE: Radisson Hotel & Conference Centre, London Heathrow

Book your FREE pass here

Your pass will include:

  • A personalised itinerary of 1-2-1 meetings with leading suppliers
  • Access to our educational seminar programme presented by top energy speakers
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner and refreshments throughout
  • FREE overnight accommodation at the venue
  • A 3-course gala dinner with a showcase of entertainment

For more information please feel free to contact us with any questions, or alternatively book online here.

CASE STUDY: Whatley Manor chooses Greenly to show the way towards greener wellness

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Having established itself as one of Britain’s environmentally responsible hotels over the course of five years, Whatley Manor has announced a new partnership with Greenly, a provider of carbon assessment and accountability solutions for companies of all sizes and from all industries. Here’s how it works…

The integration of Greenly’s software solutions allows Whatley Manor to measure and benchmark the impact of its sustainability actions in real-time, providing its management with actionable insights to deploy a coherent and impactful sustainability strategy. As a result of this collaboration, Whatley Manor will be able to simplify monitoring of all greenhouse gas emissions, including Scope 3 emissions emanating from its suppliers, making up an estimated 80% of a company’s carbon footprint. Such information will help Whatley Manor choose suppliers who share its commitment to the environment, helping guests to do their bit for the planet during their stay.

As calculated by Greenly, the hotel registered an impressive drop in its carbon emissions in 2023 as compared to the preceding year. Using the market-based approach, which takes into account the energy suppliers engaged by the hotel, Whatley Manor’s carbon footprint fell from 1778 tCO2e in 2022 to 1057.2 tCO2e in 2023. As demonstrated by the charts below, Whatley Manor has also reduced their carbon footprint by choosing more environmentally conscious service providers. This provides a clear example of Greenly’s long-standing belief that business can be made greener through a virtuous cycle of like-minded suppliers at every stage of the value chain.

For Greenly, this represents an important expansion into the British hospitality sector, accelerating its efforts towards debunking the conventional wisdom around the difficulties of decarbonising this sector, which currently accounts for 15% of Britain’s GHG emissions . Whatley Manor’s adoption of Greenly’s solutions reflects their commitment to a data-driven approach to addressing climate change, complementing existing ESG efforts covering energy efficiency, waste reduction, community engagement and funding climate action.

Carbon footprint of Whatley Manor – 2022 (Top) vs 2023 (Bottom). Source – Greenly

Michele Mella, General Manager of Whatley Manor, said: “Our collaboration with Greenly is the latest expression of our steadfast belief that luxury and the environment can coexist. We strive to deliver an exceptional guest experience while reducing our impact on the planet, and invite all guests and the community to join our commitment to sustainable tourism.”

For Alexis Normand, CEO and co-founder of Greenly, added: “The hospitality sector has a significant role to play in addressing the climate crisis, primarily by looking at all aspects of their operations and deploying more sustainable alternatives, such as seeking out more sustainable suppliers. We are pleased to work with a hotel like Whatley Manor which shares this vision, and look forward to helping them assess and manage their impact on the environment.”

WATER MANAGEMENT MONTH: Beyond the Dripping Tap: How modern solutions are saving businesses money and the planet

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For Energy Management professionals, the quest for greater efficiency extends beyond just kilowatt-hours. Water usage, a hidden source of energy consumption, is increasingly under the spotlight. Here’s where commercial water management solutions come in, helping businesses not only save money on water bills but also contribute to environmental sustainability, based on inout from attendees at the Energy Management Summit…

The Efficiency Equation:

Commercial water management solutions encompass a range of strategies and technologies to monitor, manage, and ultimately reduce water consumption. Here’s how they contribute to overall efficiency:

  • Leak Detection and Repair: Even small leaks can lead to significant water waste and wasted energy needed for heating or pumping water. Smart water meters and leak detection technologies can pinpoint leaks quickly, allowing for prompt repairs and substantial cost savings.
  • Water-Efficient Fixtures and Appliances: Modern toilets, showerheads, taps, and even dishwashers use significantly less water compared to older models. Retrofitting facilities with water-efficient appliances or implementing water-saving features can reduce water demand dramatically.
  • Process Water Optimisation: Many businesses use large volumes of water in industrial processes. Water management solutions analyse water usage patterns and identify areas for optimisation. This could involve implementing closed-loop systems, reusing treated wastewater, or using rainwater harvesting systems.
  • Behavioural Change Programs: Raising employee awareness about water conservation is crucial. Engaging campaigns and educational initiatives can encourage responsible water use behaviours throughout the workplace.

The Benefits Beyond Cost Savings:

The impact of commercial water management solutions extends beyond reduced water bills:

  • Reduced Energy Consumption: Heating water accounts for a significant portion of a building’s energy consumption. By reducing water usage, businesses also decrease the energy needed to heat it.
  • Improved Environmental Sustainability: With water scarcity becoming a global concern, minimising water consumption is crucial for businesses looking to reduce their environmental footprint and enhance their sustainability credentials.
  • Regulatory Compliance: The UK government is implementing stricter regulations on water usage. Water management solutions help businesses stay compliant and avoid potential fines.

The Future of Water Management in the UK:

The world of commercial water management in the UK is evolving rapidly, with exciting advancements shaping the future:

  • Smart Metering and Data Analytics: Real-time water usage data and predictive analytics will provide deeper insights into water consumption patterns, allowing for more targeted water-saving strategies.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) Integration: Sensors and smart devices integrated with building management systems will offer remote monitoring and automated water-saving measures.
  • Water Recycling and Reuse: Greywater recycling systems and advanced water treatment technologies will lead to greater water reuse within commercial buildings.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI can analyse water usage data and suggest optimised strategies for water conservation, paving the way for more efficient and automated water management systems.

Commercial water management solutions are an essential tool for Energy Management professionals. By reducing water consumption, businesses not only save money and contribute to sustainability goals but also demonstrate a commitment to responsible resource use. With a focus on cutting-edge technologies and data-driven approaches, the future of water management promises a future of efficient and environmentally conscious operations. Remember, every drop saved is a step towards a more sustainable future.

Are you searching for Water Management Services for your organisation? The Energy Management Summit can help!

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Advances on ESG could be undermined by compliance failures within the supply chain

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As businesses continue to develop the application of robust ESG standards into everyday operations, efforts could be undermined by compliance failures within their supply chain.

That’s according to new research published today by independent UK law firm Burges Salmon. In order to gauge how UK companies are reporting on the full ESG value chain of their operations, Burges Salmon surveyed over 360 business leaders across the Energy and Utilities, Technology, Built Environment, Transport and Healthcare sectors, to shed light on how prepared businesses are to meet their supply chain-related ESG disclosure obligations, set to be further tightened by a raft of new legislation, including the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive.

The report Supply chain ESG disclosure – is your business ready?  reveals that 32% of all businesses surveyed are completely unprepared to meet their ESG supply chain disclosure obligations and among those, only 29%, fewer than 3 in 10, believe their organisation fully understands the legislative and regulatory landscape governing ESG corporate disclosure.

Michael Barlow, partner and Head of ESG at Burges Salmon, says: “UK companies must first prove their commitment to ESG by complying with a range of mandatory disclosure obligations. Ensuring business partners meet ESG standards requires investment, resources and constant monitoring, and it is clear from our research that most companies still have some way to go.”

Notably, the report shows that it is large companies that are not as prepared as they should be, with only 45% of respondents confirming that they have a dedicated team that deals with ESG related matters. Similarly, only 43% of respondents in these companies say their organisation fully understands the legislative and regulatory ESG risks their supply chain may give rise to.

By contrast, evidence from the research shines a light on small and medium sized businesses as those able to provide greater levels of influence in successfully meeting their ESG compliance obligations, with 75% of respondents from this group claiming their organisation fully understands the legislative landscape.

“A small organisation might have more limited disclosure obligations and can be quite on top of it. For large organisations, obligations are more complicated, particularly if they operate across different jurisdictions. What’s more, if ESG teams are too remote from day-to-day operations, there is a danger that ESG remains on the periphery of business priorities” adds Barlow.

With research insights from across five sectors, the findings seem to position the Energy and Utilities sector firmly as the leader of the pack, with 68% of those surveyed saying their company’s ESG commitments and those of its supply chain are well aligned, and two thirds of respondents also claiming to have someone at senior level monitoring ESG policies, procedures, and compliance with regards to the supply chain.

James Phillips, partner and Head of Energy at Burges Salmon, comments: “In terms of the larger established energy and utilities companies, I think there is a high level of sophistication, expertise and understanding of what it is they need to be doing, and how to approach implementation.”

That is not to say the sector isn’t facing challenges and the data points to a number of areas where sharper focus is needed – in fact, 46% of respondents in the sector say their company has developed a code of conduct in respect of ESG matters that is adhered to by the supply chain, and only 47% say their organisation has detailed procedures in place to assess the ESG compliance of prospective supply chain companies.

Conversely, the Healthcare sector is the one at most risk of non-compliance and the least prepared of all sectors surveyed. Indeed, almost a third of respondents, 31%, say their organisation doesn’t fully understand the legislative and regulatory ESG risks their supply chain may give rise to, and over a quarter, 27%, say robust verification of the ESG data provided by the supply chain isn’t always taking place.

Meanwhile, research data from other sectors surveyed show that some are in a good position to meet corporate disclosure obligations in relation to their supply chain, but more work needs to be done. In fact, only 22% and 14% of respondents from the Technology and Built Environment sectors respectively say their supplier contracts have been adapted to enable them to gather the required ESG information, and nearly 25% of those surveyed in the Transport sector say their organisation doesn’t fully understand the legislative and regulatory ESG risk its supply chain may give rise to.

Highlighting Scotland as the UK nation that is most prepared, the report goes on to explain that it is factors such as the size of the Energy sector, particularly renewables, low carbon industries and the traditional oil and gas sector, that is accelerating its transition, which are all driving this upward trend.

Malcolm Donald, a partner in Burges Salmon’s Edinburgh office says: “Through the conversations I’ve had with clients based in Scotland, I’ve noticed that much of the ESG focus has always been on the environment, but there’s certainly much more focus on social and governance now and I think that has been driven by internal stakeholders. The other thing that clients are recognising, is that it is no longer just about what they do, but it’s about making sure that their supply chain is doing the same thing in a demonstrable way.”

If you specialise in commercial Water Management solutions we want to hear from you!

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Each month on Energy Management Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the market – and in May we’ll be focussing on Water Management.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help energy management buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re a supplier of Water Management solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Danielle James on 01992 374085 /

Our features list in full:

May 24 – Water Management/Strategy
Jun 24 – Energy Storage
Jul 24 – Data Collection & Management
Aug 24 – Waste Management
Sept 24 – Solar PV
Oct 24 – Lighting
Nov 24 – Heating & Ventilation
Dec 24 – Onsite Renewables
Jan 25 – Energy Management Systems
Feb 25 – Renewable Energy
Mar 25 – Carbon Management
Apr 25 – Metering & Monitoring