An energy expert has warned Tees Valley business leaders that corporate giants are putting pressure on companies in their supply chains to become greener.
Paul Reid, a director of 3e (Consultancy), highlighted the is sue as part of an executive briefing, supported by Henderson Insurance Brokers and Latimer Hinks Solicitors, on the subject of energy costs for businesses.
Mr Reid also talked about emerging practices, current trends and the use of Government-backed programmes to help companies cut their carbon emissions and their energy bills.
Mr Reid, speaking at the event held in Stockton, said: "Tesco has already notified its vast army of suppliers of the need to green the supply chain.
He added that other large corporations were following suit and now insisting that suppliers make firm commitments to reduce their carbon footprint.
Mr Reid stressed: "High energy bills are an is sue that is not going to go away and are a subject that needs to be on companies corporate agendas. Businesses have got to target their energy consumption and look at long-term, sustainable cost-effective solutions.
Installing hi-tech heat pumps in the roof to circulate excess heat around a building, intelligent lighting that dims automatically when the sun shines and that turns on and off depending if there are people in a particular area, as well as improving insulation, can all significantly help reduce energy usage.
Mr Reid used the example of a furniture retailer that is now achieving annual energy savings of £50,000 with its investment in energy saving systems at its superstore being recouped in less than five years.
Jonathan Willett, a director at Henderson insurance Brokers Teesside, said: "Henderson Insurance Brokers, which acts for a wide range of sectors, is committed to supporting the local business community by being involved in initiatives that inform and expand business leaders knowledge.
"The cost of heating and lighting has risen substantially during the last decade and this trend shows no signs of abating. The data and advice from this executive briefing will prove invaluable to those who attended as they formulate plans to cut down on their energy consumption.
Neil Stevenson, a Partner at Latimer Hinks Solicitors, said: "Current high energy costs can significantly eat into a companys profits and, therefore, it makes economic sense for companies to consider methods to reduce energy consumption.
"It has been very beneficial for Tees Valley business leaders to learn about emerging energy saving practices, government-backed programmes and physical changes and site and premises management that can help reduce energy costs.