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The Greta effect. Ignore it at your peril.

Changes in consumer tastes come quickly as any retailer worth their salt knows.  Changes in consumer values are much rarer but when they happen, they form a paradigm shift and if you miss one, it can take a very long time to get back into a consumer’s consciousness. In simple language, if the firm doesn’t align with its consumer values, it will be excluded from future purchase consideration.

The change that is happening now in consumer values is all about climate change; at worst not doing anything to make it worse and at best doing something to help.

Whether you think that Greta Thunberg is a precocious misguided schoolgirl or the new environmental messiah; or whether you feel that Extinction Rebellion really is the wakeup call that the world needed, they have moved the argument from crisis to emergency and consumers are listening to their message, even if disagreeing with their tone of voice and methods.

Example: In Scandinavia air travel is down by 12% on the ‘Greta effect’ where it is widely seen that air travel generates an unacceptable amount of carbon and non-essential trips should be reduced.  The airlines are worried because they don’t have a coherent response to this. The worst thing that any retailer can do now is think, ’this won’t happen to us’. It can and it might, and probably will.

The good news is that you can do something that both boosts your credentials as a firm that is taking climate change seriously and which also will either save you a significant amount, or at the very worst cost you nothing.

EMMA AI® is an energy monitoring and management tool that uses the power of artificial intelligence (that’s the AI part) to monitor utility consumption, point out anomalies and abnormalities – and here’s the intelligent part, point you to the likely causes.  So, the old regime of monitoring systems telling you that you have a problem but without telling you what or where (leaving Energy Mangers spending more time analysing masses of data rather than doing something about it) are over.  EMMA AI® will automatically direct work tickets straight to the nominated resource to get the issue fixed; plumber, electrician, FM provider, caretaker, whoever, whilst the data is held separately for your longer-term analysis and interpretation.  Energy Managers can then manage and oversee the process through a dashboard and league tables rather than fix every problem themselves. Remember, reducing unnecessary consumption is the other side of the same coin of reducing your carbon footprint.

This will allow you to claim honestly that ‘we’re serious about CO2 reduction and we’re doing something about it’. EMMA AI® needs just three things to work:

  • Reliable Half Hourly data – that comes straight from your utility provider, no hardware needed.
  • A person or persons tasked to provide feedback – in simple plain English, to continually build the knowledge base in EMMA AI’s inference engine.  A five-minute daily task, if that.
  • A network of insource and outsource providers available to fix issues. You probably already have them on your books.

You cannot say that you’re on top of carbon reduction if you have no scorecard and any scorecard that doesn’t help you improve it is useless. So, one last thing: is saving the planet going to cost you the earth? No. EMMA AI® will typically cost less than 1% of your energy consumption and no more than 20% of the savings identified.  So, spend £20. Save £80. And tell your customers, ‘we share your values and your concerns’.  It’s a no brainer.

Michael Prager, Chairman Optimal Monitoring