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Establishing energy efficiency : drivers for energy effciency in German manufacturing small- and medium-sized enterprises

  • Despite strong political efforts in Europe, industrial small- and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) seem to neglect adopting practices for energy effciency. By taking a cultural perspective, this study investigated what drives the establishment of energy effciency 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 effciency within SMEs. Moreover, the findings reveal institutional influences on shaping the meanings of energy effciency for the SMEs by raising attention for energy effciency in the enterprises and making energy effciency decisions more likely. The main contribution of the paper is to offer an alternative perspective on energy effciency in SMEs beyond the mere adoption of energy-effcient technology.

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Author of HS ReutlingenKönig, Werner; Löbbe, Sabine
Erschienen in:Energies : open-access journal of related scientific research, technology development and studies in policy and management
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Journal article
Publication year:2020
Tag:energy effciency culture; energy effciency practices; energy management; industrial energy efficiency
Page Number:31
First Page:1
Last Page:31
Article Number:5144
zudem erschienen in: Trianni A, ed. Enhancement of Industrial Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (2021). p. 183-214. https://doi.org/10.3390/books978-3-0365-1566-3
DDC classes:620 Ingenieurwissenschaften und Maschinenbau
Open access?:Ja
Licence (German):License Logo  Creative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International