Benchmarking

Benchmarking allows a business to compare their performance over time and with similar companies. This can help identify areas of competitive success and potential improvement within the business. Businesses with below average costs or emissions will have a competitive edge.

Benchmarking with the SPI Programme

The SPI programme has accrued almost 90 clients whose data is anonymised and used  in our benchmarking.   SPI encompasses a wide range of sectors, including

  • Hair and beauty
  • Hospitality
  • Food and drink
  • Retail
  • Engineering
  • Manufacturing
  • The charitable sector
  • Financial services

Hair and BeautyFood and DrinkEngineering

Where possible  businesses are benchmarked by sector.  Where this is not possible, for example where the number of businesses in each sector is small they may be benchmarked against a business of a similar size or foot print profile, or by geographical location.  To ensure accurate and fair comparisons businesses are graded by a relevant parameter, for example number of full time employees or number of rooms (for the hospitality sector).

The methodology used for foot printing in the SPI programme is comprehensive and robust.  We gather data from utility bills, petrol or diesel fuel cards or receipts, waste transfer notes and so on over a year period to build up a baseline and provide our clients the tools to monitor this in the years subsequent.  Importantly we keep a track of this and lend support where required.  The translation into carbon emissions is via GHG Protocol methodology.  We are therefore confident that we have a robust data set to benchmark from.  This is not the case with all benchmarking providers who may use only a portion of the data and make estimates of business size based on say, financial data.  You should check the methodology of any benchmarking provider before using their figures.
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Corner of journal pagesFinancial and environmental performance can be assessed using the costs and associated greenhouse gas emissions of the resources that SPI measures, that is electricity and energy used for heating, raw materials, waste, water and petrol or diesel.

Businesses participating in the SPI Programme can use benchmarking in a number of ways:

  • Their baseline costs and emissions can be plotted against the estimated savings the programme can bring.  This helps them to understand the full potential of SPI
  • Years subsequent to baseline can be plotted against baseline and potential savings to monitor progress over time
  • They can compare their performance with other businesses in the same sector or say, of a similar size.

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A Hotel with Below Average Costs and Emissions Has Potential for Further Savings

Benchmarking of this medium-sized hotel, shows that before starting the SPI programme (actual) the hotel’s annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and costs were below average compared to other hotels with a similar number of rooms. The SPI calculated technical savings show there is potential for improvement, with possible annual greenhouse gas reductions per room of 0.22 tonnes for gas and 0.41 tonnes for electricity, or, £41 and £145, respectively.

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A Food Manufacturer Has Reaped Gas Savings, But Still Has a Way to Go

Looking at electricity this food manufacturer had costs per full time employee above or close to their sector average at the start of the SPI programme, but associated emissions above average.  Likewise both their natural gas costs and emissions were above average at programme start.  By changing production methods and reviewing their heating needs their gas use has fallen to less than half. They have also made electricity savings but their more recent changes such as installing LED lighting and motion sensors have yet to be realised into savings.  For more on this food manufacturer please see their case study.

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Elspeth Talbot, Rumbol Products Ltd We had our benchmarking done through SPI and it highlighted two things: a. That our electricity use and emissions we were below average for our sector, which was reassuring, and b.  Our gas use had gone up since baseline, which we’re now addressing.  It gave us a very clear line in the sand on how we were progressing over time and against peer businesses and was a really useful tool”

Elspeth Talbot, Rumbol Products

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