Environment, Energy, and Utilities Industry - The Energy Sector
The energy sector is one of the most interesting industries out there today given the continuous evolution of technologies, products, and processes used throughout. Interestingly, energy technologies can be polarizing. Both oil and gas, as well as clean energy technologies are well represented in this industry, despite having at times competing missions.
No matter the vantage point of your organization, the evolution of the consumer mindset is making it absolutely essential to contemplate the sustainable and environmental ramifications of practicing within this industry. Building a reputable brand based on corporate social responsibility (CSR) will allow a company to thrive in the energy sector.
I. Frontier Environment, Energy, and Utilities Clients
Energy, power, electricity, utilities—these traditionally private sector participants are essential in fueling the consumption of the globalized world. The energy sector used to be traditionally focused on big oil and gas companies. Those companies still exist, of course, but renewable energy technologies have transformed the energy sector into something starkly different than a few decades ago. In the short term we will continue to see energy infrastructure scrutinized, and energy technologies applauded for considering environmental sustainability.
Frontier has worked with clients across the energy sector and environment sector. We have supported wind solar companies, helped transform energy stocks into a powerful sustainable brand, test new product concepts in the renewable energy industry, and support clients from the power sector and utilities industry.
Many of these companies work in tandem with one another and have been in the game for a long time. Forward thinking strategies that address the short term expectations of the energy system, while also establishing sustainable brands are essential.
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II. Types of Business Ventures for EEU Industry
Flagging the shift in consumer mindset may seem redundant with the amount of focus given to energy projects over the past decade, but it’s important to recognize the influence new sustainable technologies have had in this industry. The electricity demand is fueling consumer interest in electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles, and alternatives to traditional forms of energy.
One of the most productive methods of altering a brand is to acquire energy technologies that may soften the image of your organization. Other forms of merger and acquisition projects would include acquiring competing technologies or exploring the adjacent markets. For a company in the power sector, as an example, this may mean looking an energy sector stocks or acquiring a company in the utilities sector.
We have also worked with clients to test new technologies with consumers or employees in their own industry. As an example, we worked with a client in the O&G industry to test a type of wearable technology with their employees to see if it enhanced workflow efficiency while also adhering to OSHA standards of protection. For this project we conducted 50+ internal interviews with employees to map out workflow processes to understand what problem that wearable technology was trying to solve. Equipped with this information, we could safely present to our client, options to facilitate efficiency and safety on the job.
Lastly, CSR is a hot topic in the energy sector right now. Proving accountability for environmental sustainability can literally make or break a company in this space. Ensuring that consumer trust is higher for your company than your competitors may ensure its survival. Creating an action plan to ensure that the brand is steadfast and approved by the consumer can do a lot to support this.
III. Common Questions in EEU Industry/Energy Sector
Like all organizations, those companies in the energy, power, and utilities sector have questions they are trying to answer when they hire external consultants. Typical questions we hear from companies in this space include:
- How do consumers see my company addressing consumer-focused topics such as environmental sustainability and climate change?
- What can our organization do to promote the idea that we are exploring R&D into sustainable technologies?
- How can we add new energy technologies into our product offering?
- Who are our competitors in adjacent, or alternative, energy sector markets?
- What can we do to improve consumer trust in our products and intent?
- What types of technologies will benefit our employees, allowing them to stay safe while optimizing efficiency in the field?
- Which sector of the economy generates raw materials directly from the natural environment?
- Will governmental policies disrupt the ability for my organization to do business?
- How can we protect ourselves against changes in consumer preference and governmental regulations and restrictions?
IV. EEU Industry Standards
Compared to other industries, the environment, energy, and utilities industry has quite a few standards to which it must adhere. Namely, there are a number of organizational bodies that have been formed to ensure employee welfare and safety, as well as environmental standards are enforced. If your company is questioning whether or not it needs to make changes to its processes to ensure these standards are met, we can help.
OHSA regularly publishes reports focused on key themes and topics that surround best practices and highlight different forms of PPE to protect workers. There are also several device manufacturers that try to stay on the cutting edge of these new safety technologies and products to offer organizations in this space.
V. EEU Industry/Energy Sector: Frontier Case Study
Frontier Consulting worked with a F500 consumer audio technology company to test the viability of a new product concept in the O&G and utilities space to enhance communication between workers, as well as remote instructions in the event of an emergency. We interviewed individuals from these industries to map out their daily workflow, need for instruction, and communication needs with their peers to test the concept across the industry.
Frontier worked for a F300 tire manufacture intent on offering a better type of tire technology for enterprises using specialty vehicles (UTV and ATV) in hard-to-reach areas, on rough terrain. These tires were designed to withstand the elements, weather, and sharp objects, ensuring that teams in remote locations would have no issue getting back to base in emergency situations. Based on consumer feedback, this company went to the manufacturing phase with their design.