Book proofs arrive!

Posted by on Oct 10, 2016 in My Book, News | 0 comments

Very early proofs of the book Niall Enright has been working on for six years have now arrived!


The opinions of colleagues and family have been sought on whether to publish the print edition as one volume or two. The advantage of 1 volume  is:

  • There can be a single index so that all references to a topic are in one place
  • Internal cross-references make better sense as the two volumes are closely linked
  • The cost will be lower than for two separate volumes

The disadvantages of the single volume approach are:

  • Only the lightest paper can be used for the paperback version (so there is some “show through”)
  • It is heavy, so no exactly a cover-to-cover read, more of a reference book.

It is now looking very much like the publication date will be in Q2 2017.  The intention is to release a free PDF. The print copy will be published via IngramSpark which is the most resource-efficient method of publication since they print in three continents (so the shipping distance will be minimised) and only the required number of books (1+) are produced so waste or “pulping” of unsold copies will be eliminated.

See the section on My Book for more details.

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ESOS Services now available

Posted by on Oct 5, 2016 in News | 0 comments

SustainSuccess can now offer ESOS lead assessor services. The Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme is the UK implementation of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, which requires large organisations to have a formal energy audit every four years, overseen by a certified assessor.


The rationale behind the regulations is that there are many cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities that are not being implemented simply because organisations are unaware that they exists. By mandating that the audit results are presented to senior management, the hope is that projects will receive support. As with all regulations, some organisations will adopt a “least cost to comply” approach, while others will see this as an opportunity to add value by carrying out audits that uncover value by employing expert auditors capable of identifying cost-effective opportunities. Needless to say SustainSuccess will be offering the latter approach.

It should be noted that there is an alternative approach to compliance by implementing an ISO 50001 certified energy management system, like the one SustainSuccess implemented at Peel Holdings.

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MACCTool launched:

Posted by on Jul 14, 2016 in News | 0 comments

1_mactool_new_172x72SustainSuccess are delighted to announce the launch of the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Programs’ MACCTool. Niall Enright was the lead developer of this innovative and powerful application to draw Marginal Abatement Cost Curves, a key tool for organisations and policy-makers seeking to understand potential paths to decarbonisation.

The lead on the client side was Victor Loksha, a Senior Energy Economist, with input from Martina Bosi, Perre Audinet, Grzegorz Peszko, Adrien Vogt-Schilb and many others. The project was led by ERM’s Peter Rawlings and Braulio Pikman, supported by Sandra Seastream, Wairimu Mwangi and additional Excel development by James Joyce and Calvin Iost. This project was a major redesign building on an earlier version of MAC Tool, developed by Andreas Mastle and led by Christophe de Gouvello at the World Bank.

MACTool is a remarkably powerful MACC creation tool. Unlike MACC Builder Pro, which simply draws MACC Charts, MACCTool provides inputs for multiple cash flows in a project and will calculate the Marginal Abatement Cost and emissions abatement values given these inputs. Features provided by MACTool include:

  • Separate cash flows for a Baseline and Low Carbon Case. These cash flows can be created from “templates” designed for different sectors so that a generation technology, for example, can have a Revenue cash flow from the sale of electricity. The templates can be modified by users and re-used.
  • An intuitive interface that takes away the complexity of the underlying model and allows the user to manage many different projects using a
    pop-up Navigator.
  • The ability to categorise projects by sector/technology, SIC code, or region.
  • MACC charts can be set to show an overview of each category which can then be “drilled down” to show individual projects within the category.
  • Complete flexibility over the discount rates used so that these can apply at the model level, by sector or globally. The option to discount the abatement term, if desired (see the discussion on the previous page), using a separate discount factor.
  • A lot of attention has gone into bringing the key assumptions for all the projects into a single table which allows for rapid validation and error checking. Models can have an “in progress” status which means they are not included in totals until they are marked “complete”.
  • The ability to chart Investment Costs, Investment Intensity and other financial metrics, not just the Marginal Abatement Cost.

As one would expect from a very knowledgeable team of economists at the World Bank, the flexibility and capabilities of MACC Tool are truly staggering with the ability to use multiple currencies and to run cases also built into the system.

One metric that appears as standard in the templates that ship with MACCTool is the Breakeven Carbon Price. This is based on the notion that while there may be an overall market discount rate set which takes into account the cost of capital in an economy, private investors will expect a generally higher rate of return. Thus the Present Value of a project can be worked out using the desired rate of return rate, such as 20%. If the project PV is negative it means that it has made a loss, so MACCTool will then calculate the additional incentive in $/tonne CO2 that is needed to deliver the percent target return needed by the investor. Neat!

Another innovation in MACCTool is the wedge-MACC chart. An example of this chart is shown below.


The chart above is taken from an analysis of Costa Rica’s emissions abatement opportunities prepared in advance of the Paris UNFCC Summit in 2015 (COP21).

On the left is a normal wedge chart showing the emissions abatement per year from a range of different projects/technologies. Because these are added together the height of the chart is the cumulative total. Well, we know that a MACC chart also shows a cumulative total along its horizontal axis, so if we rotate the MACC vertically, as shown on the right hand side of the image, we can see the MAC for each opportunity in ascending order from best return to worst return with the height matching the total saving at the end of the analysis period. This combined wedge-MACC chart was first described in a paper by Adrien Vogt-Schilb, Stephane Hallegatte and Christophe de Gouvello at the World Bank.

The team at ESMAP and the World Bank have made MACTool freely available at and would welcome feedback from users. There is a handy guide on how to set up your first model, which users are strongly advised to work through prior to leaping into the tool. It is also worth mentioning that I have worked with Pedzi Makumbe from ESMAP and Braulio Pikman on another ERM project to deliver a different Excel based tool called TRACE which looks at the potential for municipalities to reduce energy use by selecting relevant opportunities across numerous sectors.


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SustainSuccess team achieve top score

Posted by on Jun 24, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

It is with pleasure that we can report that SustainSuccess Consultants have scored top in an evaluation of energy efficiency services to the Greater Manchester Growth Hub. Our team, Jane Galloway and Bob Bailey, scored top as reported by the bid manager.


The table above is taken from the letter notifying us of our successful bid. The Company Score rates SustainSuccess as an organisation; the Price Score rates our fee rates; “Question 9.1” documents our approach to Environmental Assessments for businesses; and the Individual TS Score rates the capabilities of each team member. 10 individuals were placed on the panel, although many more applied.

Well done folks!

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SustainSuccess Expands!

Posted by on Apr 1, 2016 in News | 0 comments

janegallowayWe are delighted to announce that SustainSuccess has expended. Jane Galloway joined the company on the 1st April 2016, becoming a Director and Shareholder in SustainSuccess Ltd.

Jane Galloway has over 25 years’ experience in energy efficiency and low carbon energy consulting, spanning in-depth audits, technology assessments and solutions development through to operational, strategic and management aspects of energy use. Her strong technical expertise complements the program and organisational skills that the existing Director, Niall Enright has to offer.

She has worked across a wide range of sectors and with many established, as well as emerging, technologies, so she is able to bring to projects practical insights that can add substantial value. Her attention to detail, the rigour with which she approaches projects and the integrity of her advice are greatly appreciated by clients and colleagues.

She has particular expertise in complex industrial process environments, especially in the food and drink sector and food retail establishments in the commercial sector. In terms of technologies, Jane’s experience is wide-ranging: however she is especially strong in all aspects of refrigeration. Work in refrigeration has included energy reduction programs, refrigerant phase out strategy studies, performance specification for new plant, cooling load assessments, modelling and strategy studies.

Complementing this strong engineering competency, is an equal knowledge of the management and organisational aspects of energy use, which are increasingly seen as the key to successful energy efficiency and carbon management programs. This expertise includes an in-depth understanding of Monitoring and Targeting (or M&T, a technique to achieve continuous improvement in energy use), through to the integration of energy efficiency within wider organisational systems such as TPM.

Jane has developed and presented an extensive portfolio of training and workshop materials, covering subjects including refrigeration, audit techniques and M&T.

Please follow the link to Jane’s CV page for more information.

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Dubai Sustainable Cities Summit

Posted by on Dec 20, 2015 in Articles, News, Uncategorized | 0 comments


Niall Enright was honoured to present at a panel at the Dubai Sustainable Cities Summit on the theme of Behaviour. Fellow panellists were: Sam Adams, Director, U.S. Climate Initiative at World Resources Institute; former Mayor of Portland, Oregon; Romilly Madew, CEO GBC Australia; Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of KHDA; Giovanni Schiuma, Deputy Mayor of Matera, European Cultural Capital 2019.

Niall’s introductory comments focused on the need to avoid over-simplification in change programs, emphasized by the “does not equal” symbol “≠”. Below is a complementary paper which places these observations in the context of Dubai’s ambitious energy efficiency programmes:

Thinking of change as a science

In 2004, the Canadian government spent CAN$37m on “The One-ton Challenge” to encourage Canadians to reduce their emissions by one tonne of CO2 each, or 20%. It succeeded in raising awareness of climate issues from around 6% to 51%, but few people changed their behaviour as a result.

Unfortunately, this is just one example of dozens of behaviour change programmes that have disappointed. The landscape of sustainable behaviour change is littered with failure. Contrary to our expectations:



So what does this mean for Dubai, which has great aspirations to become a leader in sustainability?

Dubai has set itself the objectives of a 30% reduction in energy use by 2030 and a 40% reduction in water. The eight programmes in the Demand Side Management strategy are clearly carefully considered, focusing primarily on technology upgrades to achieve this demand reduction.

The DSM programme reminds us that cities have three fundamental levers for change: People (their decisions and behaviours), Systems (the norms, incentives, standards, information and feedback that drives behaviour and controls) and Technology (the efficiency of the equipment in delivering the required service).


The illustration above makes two key points. The first we have already touched upon and is shown on the left: changing aspects people’s awareness and motivation alone are not guaranteed to deliver improvement.

The second figure reminds us that technology alone is not a solution. Many technology programmes miss their expected target because people are not properly considered in the project.

It is great to see that the Dubai DSM strategy has public awareness as one of the implementation mechanisms supporting the eight programmes of work. So public engagement, and presumably, behaviour change is built into the strategy. This makes absolute sense. For example, the appliance, labelling scheme and demand-side response DSM programmes depend on people making rational choices.

I note too that over 60% of all building energy use in Dubai is due to cooling. A 2oC increase in the thermostat could achieve 16% reduction in energy consumption. So a good behaviour change programme could deliver a very significant contribution to the overall target, and at comparatively low cost.

Which brings us back to history. As my fellow countryman Winston Churchill, once observed:

“Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.”

The error of history that we need to avoid is a failure to incorporate the lessons from psychology, social sciences and behavioural economics into the design of behaviour programme. The Canadians could have prevented their costly mistake if they had heeded an earlier study that showed that US$200m of expenditure in California had failed to reduce energy use a decade earlier. That study made the recommendation that advertising should not be used alone to drive change.

So what else does the scientific literature tell us?

It tells us that, like information, attitudes have surprisingly little bearing on behaviour, and that advertising simply cannot create new behaviours. Furthermore, there is no “virtuous escalator” of improvement. Asking people to make small changes (such as changing to LED lights) does not lead to bigger changes (such as installing solar PV). If you ask people to do little, you get a programme that achieves little. When people’s motivation to change is financial, then we should not expect to see further environmental behaviours from them.

The literature also tells us what does work. We know that the messages that fail in the mass media can work if delivered through a community context or, better still, face-to-face. If we combine feedback and information we see some effect, and when combined with a goal, even more and when that goal is ambitious there is an even stronger effect and if the goal has been set by the individual it is even more powerful. We know that the effect of feedback increases with frequency and by getting people to measure the improvement for themselves (called “re-materialization” by psychologists).

We know that changing occasional behaviours is easier than changing habitual behaviours. Thus, product labelling is effective because buying a TV or fridge is occasional and so people consider information in making the decision. We have evidence that changing from an A to G rating to an A++ to D rating in the EU rating substantially weakened the desirability of the top rating through psychological effects called “anchoring” and “loss aversion”.

How we frame our request has a much bigger impact that we ever suspected. For example in a large US study, when people were told that their energy consumption was higher than the average they behaved by reducing energy use, but when told that it was lower than average, their response was to increase use. The same study showed that this response could be eliminated by putting a positive message in the form of a simple smiley-face next to the savings information. These effects are due to the way that norms influence choices (the first case is the “descriptive norm” that sets the normal level and the second an “injunctive norm” that reinforces low consumption as socially desirable).

Simply put we need to treat the people aspect of our programme as a science and not an art. Since many aspects of human behaviour are counter-intuitive, the key to success is to design our behaviour change strategies scientifically and test these using the great body of knowledge that exists in the scientific literature.

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Peel achieves UK’s first ISO 50001 for a major property company

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Articles, News | 0 comments

50001-energy-management_newThe energy management system of  Peel Land and Property has recently completed certification to the prestigious ISO 50001 standard. As far as we are aware, it is the first major UK property and development organisation to achieve this accolade. Just to give some scale to the scope, the portfolio of assets certified include 1.2m m2 of property, including prestige offices in Liverpool, Manchester and elsewhere in the UK; the MediaCityUK development in Salford, home to the BBC, ITV and dock10 studios; The Lowry and Gloucester Quays Retail Outlets; EventCity, the second largest exhibition space outside of London; Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield and Durham Tees Valley Airport as well as extensive residential, industrial warehousing and retail park space.

SustainSuccess have been involved throughout in a consulting and mentoring role, writing the system specifications, supporting the implementation of the requirements, undertaking Energy Reviews, establishing the internal audit processes and steering the independent certification by Lucideon to a successful conclusion. The key to success was that the Peel Group already had a very effective energy management process in place, with committed Board level support, dedicated and professional Energy Champions for each business and Verco’s Carbon Desktop as the tool to capture energy data and improvement opportunities. Over the past four years this energy management programme has delivered over £1m of savings per year (against a bill of around £3.5m).

Commenting on the certification Niall Enright says “Despite the scale of the organisation, this has to be one of the leanest ISO 50001 systems around with the entire process is described in just 38 pages of text, albeit two-sided. This keep-it-simple outlook is very much in line with Peel’s efficient style of working and highly empowered and capable staff. Because so much good energy efficiency practice was already in place, the effort to achieve 50001 was one largely focused on documenting this practice and ensuring that all the requirements of 50001 were met. In 4 days on-site auditing there was only one minor recommendation from the certifier – that was that we did not investigate the positive variances in energy use (in other words the green traffic lights) as much as the negative variances (the red traffic lights). To have just one minor recommendation is virtually unheard-of. It really is a first class result, for which the Peel team should be very proud and which SustainSuccess is delighted to have supported.”

This is not Peel’s first accolade. Peel Group had previously been certified twice to the Carbon Trust Standard, and was benchmarked top of 29 property managers and developers by the Trust. The MediaCityUK was a pilot for the BREEAM Communities certification and scored more than the other pilot, the London Olympics site. Since then the Lowry has received a Green Apple award for its environmental efforts, MediaCityUK has received the BIFM award for Sustainability and Environmental Impact and two Premises and Facilities Management awards for Expert Services and the Overall award, largely based on the sustainability and energy efficiency activities.

There are a couple key lessons to be drawn from this: we would recommend that organisations put in place a strong energy management process based on continuous improvement, as Peel did, prior to seeking to achieve ISO 50001 as the certification will be much less painful and deliver much greater value. The awards and certification should be seen as the “cherry on the cake” which help raise the programme to a new level. The next key observation is that we should approach the subject of energy efficiency and sustainability as a continuous improvement process. Over the 6 years SustainSuccess has worked with Peel they have never once rested on their laurels and considered the job complete: they have innovated, extended the best practices and constantly set themselves new challenges. This entirely to do with very committed leadership, a culture of improvement and a highly enthusiastic team.


Above: the MediaCityUK campus was included in the scope of the ISO 50001 programme.


See also: Peel News Release

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