Q&A: Value in Energy Efficiency

Matthias Kasprowicz, the CEO of Tecon SES and Milos Sekulic, head of Digitalisation & Smart Infrastructure discusses the benefits of decarbonisation and aligning with COP28, as well as how businesses could plan their ESG initiatives while generating economic value.

Briefly explain Tecon and its service offerings in the Middle East market.

Tecon SES is the engineering powerhouse of our mother company AlBatha, a locally owned family business with 28 companies in six sectors and around 8000 employees. We are proud to be a forward-thinking company that strives to deliver excellence and expertise across all business segments, mainly in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Our company culture stands on ethical behaviour, customer-centricity and a legacy of excellence that dates back to the 1970s for Tecon SES and early 1950s for AlBatha. Our mission is to become the leading solution provider in the regional engineering field and the employer of choice in the industry, while our business model is to provide holistic and innovative solutions to our customers as a one-stop shop.

The company’s diversification of offerings allows it to cater to several sectors, including commercial construction, oil and gas, industrial and marine. Since 1975, Tecon SES’ reputation for service, safety and quality in the engineering field has grown immensely – making it one of the region’s largest and most respected specialised engineering solution providers.

Our service starts early in a project value chain with geo-measurements and geo-fabrics, followed by earthing and lightning solutions, life safety, security, BMS and lighting solutions.

Then, in our Business Unit, ‘Digitalisation and Smart Infrastructure’ IoT, industry 4.0 solutions with instrumentation and automation capabilities and the energy and water side of ESG are at home. Finally, we are one of the leading suppliers of refrigerant gases and oil and gas-related chemicals.

What are your thoughts on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) activities undertaken by companies, and explain its importance in the wider community?

Our planet is dying, and climate emergencies require immediate action. The global climate challenges amplify ESG activities; however, ESG is a reporting tool and not a magic catalogue of measures that will make our planet a living space in the future.

ESG includes measurements of a carbon-neutral company environment and is often referred to in the context of efforts undertaken to be a better company in an environmental context.

Policymakers, boards, and executives include ESG as a higher priority as part of the company vision and strategy to address these challenges. The importance of ESG is reflected in bringing awareness to the current climate issues, and businesses are encouraged to adopt environmentally friendly practices.

Organisations across industries have been recognising the importance of ESG as a pillar for company value creation in five fundamental ways, providing top-line growth, cost reduction, regulatory compliances, productivity uplift, investment, and asset optimisation. In addition, contributing from a corporate side to the decarbonisation of the planet also means improving your profitability and cost-position of the company.

ESG activities are essential for the broader community since they influence the lifestyle of community residents by facilitating sustainability, improving the economic infrastructure, conserving the natural ecology, and residents’ prosperity.

Furthermore, considering that ESG considers equity as a pillar, it improves social standards, human rights, labour standards and health and safety; therefore, companies that adopt best ESG practices become more attractive to employees.

How is Tecon strategising to align with COP28?

Tecon considers COP28 the most important event in 2023 hosted by the UAE, whose national strategy already distinguishes itself as a global climate leader.

COP28 will trigger faster, more urgent climate actions followed by the new policies and regulations applicable to all industries and monitored by the government in milestones while expanding climate change awareness in society.

The summit will enable better access to capital, which is also vital for the energy transition. Furthermore, the deployment of renewable energy will be accelerated, the economy will be shaped with clean energy, and comprehensive movements will boost transparent ESG reporting mandatories for all companies to comply.

Tecon considers establishing, adapting, and implementing the ESG strategy a significant challenge; therefore, we are prepared to provide benefits by offering advanced energy efficiency solutions and ESG consultancy services.

Furthermore, Tecon’s company objective is in line with carbon-neutral targets; hence we aim to have a key role in the region as a technology enabler and ESG consulting partner that will drive emission reduction and strategic guidance towards net-zero.

Tecon has already started to create a task force within leading companies in the private sector to join forces for meaningful and high-impact collaboration towards COP28.

How is Tecon supporting decarbonisation and sustainability initiatives and offering its services to audit buildings and factories?

Tecon strongly believes that technology is the key to achieving decarbonisation ambitions; therefore, we would like to emphasise the importance of leveraging existing technology that should drive sustainability initiatives as the first step. However, embracing the culture of innovation remains critical for acceleration.

To support our customers on the sustainability journey, Tecon provides cutting-edge engineering solutions that have a substantial role in decarbonisation while representing an avenue to overcome operational challenges and simultaneously enhance profitability.

Considering that energy efficiency in residential and non-residential buildings is crucial for GHG (greenhouse gas) emission reduction due to the instant growth rate, Tecon is providing energy audit services to address the existing energy efficiency gaps and identify potential energy savings.

An energy audit represents an important step in determining energy consumption patterns and flows by analysing the building asset and utility data, operation condition, building behaviour, occupancy, and operating schedule.

The output of the energy audit provides the estimated energy-saving potential where our experts propose several options focusing on the area of improvements of the existing solution in addition to suggesting future modifications and re-design in several stages, depending on the customer investment preferences.

How are you providing economic value to building owners by implementing energy-efficient solutions?

Considering that energy efficiency solutions represent a capital expense to the building owners, it requires an appropriate evaluation of the economic prospects; therefore, understanding the investment requires a business case that should include tangible and intangible benefits.

Tecon provides scalable solutions by dividing the project into several phases focusing on gradually replacing the existing asset that increases energy efficiency; hence, the anticipated savings can be re-invested.

This provides an additional alternative to the building owner to reduce the initial investments and to depend on the accumulated savings, while Tecon provides measurement and verification services to validate on a monthly basis that projected savings are achieved.

Furthermore, we always explain to our clients that our solutions provide energy efficiency and cost reduction. However, it also reduces the OPEX cost; therefore, the business case shall consider this aspect along with the extended life of new equipment.

The economic value of our solutions is also reflected in the increased transaction and market property value for energy-efficient buildings while improving other value drivers such as comfort and safety.

Moreover, implemented energy efficiency measures improve the image and reputation; hence the provision of additional opportunities through better access to capital and financing while attracting property buyers and investors.