How can firms decouple energy costs from revenue and profit? SAP provides an illustration:
Previously SAP’s business performance was closely correlated to its energy consumption. [During] good years, profits, and energy costs, ticked upward; poor sales were linked closely to a reduced demand for energy to run its offices, data centers, and of course, resulted in its employees flying on fewer flights and commuting to offices less. SAP’s focus on energy efficiency has reaped impressive results: a decrease in energy usage and a rise in profits. With its overall energy consumption decreasing by 9% last year, SAP saved US$470 million in energy costs in 2010. [more]
More research is needed on how firms make the necessary changes to achieve these impacts, to what extent these impacts may be generalizable to firms in other industries, and the aggregate industrial energy impacts.