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Establishing Energy Efficiency - Drivers for Energy Efficiency in German Manufacturing Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises

 
: König, W.; Löbbe, S.; Büttner, S.; Schneider, C.

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Volltext ()

Energies 13 (2020), Nr.19, Art. 5144, 31 S.
ISSN: 1996-1073
Englisch
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IPA ()

Abstract
Despite strong political efforts in Europe, industrial small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) seem to neglect adopting practices for energy efficiency. By taking a cultural perspective, this study investigated what drives the establishment of energy efficiency and corresponding practices in SMEs. Based on 10 ethnographic case studies and a quantitative survey among 500 manufacturing SMEs, the results indicate the importance of everyday employee behavior in achieving energy savings. The studied enterprises value behavior-related measures as similarly important as technical measures. Raising awareness for energy issues within the organization, therefore, constitutes an essential leadership task that is oftentimes perceived as challenging and frustrating. It was concluded that the embedding of energy efficiency in corporate strategy, the use of a broad spectrum of different practices, and the empowerment and involvement of employees serve as major drivers in establishing energy efficiency within SMEs. Moreover, the findings reveal institutional influences on shaping the meanings of energy efficiency for the SMEs by raising attention for energy efficiency in the enterprises and making energy efficiency decisions more likely. The main contribution of the paper is to offer an alternative perspective on energy efficiency in SMEs beyond the mere adoption of energy-efficient technology.

: http://publica.fraunhofer.de/dokumente/N-625069.html