Connecting SMEs for a green economy

Powering Global Growth: Transformation in Energy Productivity B4E Climate Summit 2015

Lennard Duursema's picture

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), energy productivity improvements could generate an additional $18 trillion in global GDP between 2012 and 2035. Energy productivity describes the total economic value created in relation to the energy applied. Just to illustrate, doubling energy productivity would mean that businesses to achieve twice as much economic output per unit used. Besides economic benefits, increasing global energy productivity would naturally also achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and help in tackling climate change.

In order to successfully capture this opportunity, the 5th Businesses for the Environment (B4E ) Climate Summit in London brought together more than 250 delegates to discuss and agree on transformative approaches to increase energy productivity as a driver for economic growth and prosperity. Participants explored the emerging technologies, finance solutions and policy changes that will be required to achieve lasting benefits for society and the environment.

Ultimately, the summit succeeded in producing recommendations for increasing energy productivity in building & urban infrastructure, mobility & logistics and manufacturing. The recommended actions include the role of business, government and civil society.

Buidling & Urban infrastructure

With regards to building & urban infrastructure, they urged actors to drive up demand for energy productivity by clearly and consistently communicating the co-benefits to users and stakeholders, providing integrated one-stop solutions, and creating data sharing and community competition platforms. Additionally, an innovative regulatory framework that demands  deep renovations in buildings could be effective, supported by compatible standards and certificates. Governments should also look to invest in the training and qualification of energy planners and installers to ensure that zero energy buildings can be realized at high quality. Furthermore, policy makers, the finance industry and energy efficiency (EE) leaders should work together to improve financing for energy efficiency and productivity, through developing standard investment processes. Lastly, there is a need to increase the political will and momentum to address energy efficiency and productivity at all levels.

Mobility & Logistics

In order to ensure that the transition to low carbon mobility and logistics is achieved in an integrated and cost-efficient manner, the summit recommends increase collaboration, partnership and dialogue among consumers, government, civil society and the private sector. Furthermore, it is recommended that the potential for increased energy productivity through a mix of ‘avoid’, ‘shift’ and ‘improve’ strategies should be explored. Additionally, in order to drive cost-effective technologies and solutions, more stringent targets and standards for the efficiency and productivity of vehicles, engines and the wider transport system in major global regions should be employed.  The shift to clean and low carbon energy in transport could further be incentivized by supporting innovation, improving financing availability, and ensuring that the price of mobility and logistics better reflects the true environmental costs.


The manufacturing sector could benefit from standardizing energy productivity measurement and data.  Additionally, business energy usage (especially heat loss) in industrial parks and cities could be mapped, including examples of successful industrial symbiosis,  and analyzed to identify energy productivity opportunities and drive action. In support, businesses could benefit from a energy productivity learning networks for businesses to share best practice and collaborate on pilots. Furthermore, it was recommended that businesses cascade energy productivity targets down the supply chain, report and verify them.


To conclude, increasing energy productivity holds a tremendous opportunity for greater prosperity within the limits of our environment.  In order to grasp this opportunity, the summit provided guidelines to increase energy productivity in building & urban infrastructure, mobility & logistics and manufacturing.