Vienna Energy Forum puts sustainable energy at top of political agenda

June 26, 2015

This year’s Vienna Energy Forum brought together more than 1500 movers and shakers for a dynamic debate on the role of sustainable energy in inclusive development. The issue is a timely one, with only a few months to go till the United Nations Climate Change conference in Paris, where heads of state hope to finally reach a successful climate agreement.

The Energy Forum – held on June 18-20 in Vienna, Austria – primed leaders by providing a high-level platform for energy experts and policymakers to engage on some the world’s most pressing sustainable energy issues. These included the role of sustainable cities in mitigating climate change, how to address the knowledge gap through innovation and research, the multiple benefits of energy efficiency, and innovative financing mechanisms. An important aim of the Energy Forum was to advance the SE4All Global Energy Efficiency Platform and the Accelerators.  IIP is a co-convener of the Industry Accelerator together with UNIDO and TERI.

IIP’s Executive Director, Jigar V. Shah, participated in a panel on why energy efficiency is so often overlooked as a driver of competitiveness. Some of the key points discussed by the panel centred on how energy efficiency can complement and benefit companies’ strategic decisions and behaviour in the market, and how government policies can help drive this change.

Jigar illustrated how energy management can increase competitiveness by drawing a parallel to Paul O’Neil’s success with safety as the focus for governance at Alcoa. O’Neill’s vision was to make Alcoa the safest company in America and cut workplace accidents to zero. By instilling a new culture of safety at Alcoa, he almost achieved this vision; lost workdays fell from 1.86 per 100 workers to 0.2 during his tenure at the firm. Jigar said that by putting energy efficiency at the heart of business strategy, we could see the same kind of transformative shift amongst industry.

For photos and video of the event, see the Vienna Energy Forum website: www.viennaenergyforum.org

Left: Peter Traupmann, Managing Director of the Austrian Energy Agency, IIP’s Executive Director, Jigar V. Shah, and Vladimir Nechitaylov, the Director for Power and Energy Resources, Ural Mining and Metallurgy Company, discuss energy efficiency and competitiveness in a panel at the Vienna Energy Forum 2015. Right: Jigar V. Shah.