Utilities chief praises green impact of remote working

A leading energy consultancy that employs over 400 people has praised the positive impact remote working has had on its carbon footprint.

Nikki Lee


A leading energy consultancy that employs over 400 people has praised the positive impact remote working has had on its carbon footprint.

Utility Alliance, which is based in Hartlepool and has offices in Newcastle and Sheffield, saved over £30,000 in fuel costs during the first three months of the Coronavirus pandemic, as the majority of its Field Sales representatives swapped visiting clients for virtual catch-ups.

Working alongside fellow North East business and telecommunications provider, Nice Network, the company had already introduced the option of remote working in a number of departments prior to the pandemic, in a bid to reduce its carbon footprint and improve the work-life balance of its employees.

However, due to the scale and unprecedented impact of the virus, the company was forced to execute its continuity strategy sooner than expected and was able to work with the unified communications specialist to ensure staff were set up and ready to work remotely from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

Darren Sutherland, Utility Alliance’s chief executive, praised the impact remote working has had on the company since the lockdown was introduced and believes it could spell a paradigm change in the way businesses the world over operate for years to come.

He said: “We had a plan in place with Nice Network prior to lockdown in case we needed to quickly get staff working remotely, and as soon as the Government made the announcement we were able to put that in place.

“It has been a difficult period for businesses, but we have been able to maintain our service in the B2B sector and we have taken plenty of positives from the last three or four months.

“Those positives are not always centred around the bottom line of our figures, we take our environmental responsibility very seriously and when we look back at the lockdown period you can see the positive impact we have had.

“We are delighted to be able to welcome our staff back in a phased return to our offices, but moving forward I am sure some of the things we have learned throughout the COVID-19 situation will be implemented into how we run the business in the future.”

Sunderland-headquartered Nice Network, which also counts the NHS, Nike, Puma and Husqvarna among its client roster, specialises in providing business communication and IT solutions and has helped many of its clients transition to working remotely over recent months, by introducing remote working strategies and embracing cloud-based technology such as Microsoft Teams.

The company, which has also recently launched a campaign to help tackle the global e-waste crisis, prides itself on helping its clients to do more than just drive business growth, but also reducing carbon emissions, driving societal change and championing mental health and wellness in the workplace.

Terry Lewis, business development manager, said: “We’ve helped hundreds of businesses embrace remote working over the past few years and have witnessed first-hand the many benefits it brings, not only from a business point of view, but also from an environmental aspect.

“However, the rise of the Coronavirus and the UK lockdown that followed has created an interesting case study, proving just how effective remote working can be.  Millions of people across the globe have been forced to work remotely over recent months and the wider business community is finally starting to have its eyes opened to just how vital remote working strategies really are.

“Utility Alliance is an exemplar of this, proving a perfect case study of the impact remote working can have on not only a company’s bottom-line but also its carbon footprint and its culture, and we’re delighted to be working with Darren and his team to help them continuously improve their remote offering going forward.”

For more information on Utility Alliance, visit: https://utility-alliance.com/; or to find out more about Nice Network, visit: https://nicenetwork.uk/