ESOS campaign missing major opportunity to reduce emissions

Blunt focus on compliance and not cost savings or energy reduction means many organisations are ignoring scheme until very last minute.

Companies view ESOS as a compliance obligation rather than an opportunity to reduce overheads and cut long-term energy risks because of the Government’s insistence on highlighting its substantial fines structure and looming deadline, according to ecosurety.

Too many firms are unaware of the lasting financial and reputational benefits of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme as a result, warns the leading resource efficiency specialist.

ecosurety analysed the views of 200-plus members eligible for ESOS, who must submit an energy assessment to the Environment Agency by December this year.

At least a quarter of all businesses that fall under ESOS are yet to act, despite the approaching deadline, risk of fines, and ensuing reputational damage, it estimates from the research.

In total about 7,000 large businesses in the UK are obligated to carry out an ESOS assessment, according to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. That could equate to just over 1, 700 companies not yet engaging with the scheme.

James Piper, commercial director at ecosurety, says, “Our outreach suggests many company boards are still ignoring this opportunity, possibly because they were bombarded with warning messages about ESOS when the scheme was first announced.

“Many of our members have been approached by assessors, but the message about the big savings, plus the environmental benefits, really hasn’t been communicated effectively. It’s definitely been more stick than carrot and as result significant numbers are simply switching off.”

James adds, “This opportunity is about so much more than avoiding fines, it’s about sustainable, long-term financial rewards, and protecting a company’s often hard won reputation, both with customers but also inside the supply chain.”

ESOS applies to all organisations that employ more than 250 people or with an annual turnover of more than £38.98m, plus a balance sheet value of more than £33.48m. 

Under the scheme, assessments of energy use on site and in transport need to be renewed every four years, while non-compliance can lead to companies being fined up to £50, 000.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change introduced ESOS in 2014 to ensure UK businesses comply with the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, which requires all EU members to introduce a programme of regular energy audits for large enterprises.

James added: “There are still too many organisations out there that need to take decisive action. This opportunity needs to be embraced with an open mind, too, because the potential savings being found are substantial, and easily deliver return on investment.”

To find out more about ESOS compliance please click here.

About Ecosurety

Founded in 2003, Ecosurety is the UK’s leading resource efficiency specialist with end to end services including environmental compliance, waste and resource management, training and intelligent reporting. With more than 1,000 customers including the Co-Operative Group, Innocent and Virgin Media, Ecosurety is shaping best practice in waste and recycling throughout the UK, driving ever greater efficiencies of resource use.

Committed to reducing the environmental impact of UK businesses while improving performance, ecosurety is targeting to influence over one million tonnes of waste by 2020. 

Notes for editors

For more information contact Sarah Chidgey on 07805034477 or via sarah@netpr.me.uk

Colin Porter

Scheme Operations Lead

Colin joined in October 2011 and is now our Scheme operations lead. He's involved in operational planning and coordination for the scheme compliance regulation across all regulations and his impressive level of experience and expertise ensure that our scheme submissions are accurate and timely.

Written by Colin Porter Published 04/06/2015 Topics Compliance

Useful links


The UK does not yet have comprehensive EPR systems in place, but that is set to change. Are you ready?


Packaging EPR producer enrolment now live on gov.uk

The online Report Packaging Data portal is now live for large producers to complete enrolment and nominate their compliance scheme by 1 October.


Toolkit launched to help reduce packaging waste in the construction industry

The ZAP project, funded by the Ecosurety Exploration Fund, was launched by the Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASBP) to help reduce the quantity of avoidable packaging plastic waste in construction, much of which is not recycled.


Get in touch