Saturday, June 22, 2024

PROFILE: Kirti Rudra, Leading Sustainable Solutions Director at ENGIE Impact

Meet Kirti Rudra, a seasoned professional in the energy industry with a remarkable record of accomplishment in accelerating customer decarbonisation strategies. Over her 17-year career, Kirti has successfully negotiated major energy performance contracts with public and private organizations on behalf of energy and energy services providers.

Recently appointed Country Lead for ENGIE Impact UK, Kirti previously helped pivot EQUANS UK engineering teams into a consulting team, led the public sector sales strategy at Centrica, and played a pivotal role at EDF Energy.

As a Chartered Accountant with a BSc (Hons) in Economics, Kirti is skilled in commercial structuring, energy markets, auditing, risk management, and business strategy. Fully committed to doing her part to speed the energy transition, Kirti has been a driving force in delivering sustainable and affordable net-zero solutions that meet the decarbonization needs of leading companies in multiple industries.

What prompted your switch from accountancy to sustainability?

My 20-year-old daughter. She’s the driving force behind my professional advocacy of the energy transition. And I never needed to make a switch. Whether working on energy markets and procurement or sustainability solutions, my goals has been to contribute to building a greener world where she and future generations can thrive. We simply must do better.

Can you highlight the key moments in your career?

A theme runs through those key moments, and it has to do with building that sustainable world. They occurred on projects where I added the most value by developing long-term sustainable business models that deliver win-win commercial arrangements to accelerate the energy transition.

For example, for a project to decarbonize the NHS foundation trust, my role was to spearhead a long-term energy performance contract using onsite generation and energy efficiency measures to generate savings and optimise their staff’s primary efforts – caring for people. That project was recognized by the Health Business Awards and Sustainable Hospital Awards. I also supported the UK’s system of nuclear power plants by optimizing their outage placements, a project that generated significant millions in savings.

Most recently, I reached commercial close on several sites within an on-site solar implementation programme that will yield a total carbon savings of 30kt of CO2 in nine countries. I highlight this because it leverages our new approach to commercial agreements in the decarbonisation space, in which the provider – ENGIE Impact – is incentivised to perform because we have skin in the game. We are not advising from the sidelines. The client’s success is our success.

At ENGIE Impact, we promote highly sustainable solutions with a long-term impact, which can be costly. Our new way of contracting involves no upfront CAPEX for the client and full risk-transfer to the provider, lowering the bar for organisations to decarbonise. By leveraging our resources to scale an on-site solar program across a portfolio of sites in multiple countries, we accelerate the decarbonisation process.

How would you articulate your personal mission?

There’s an infinite number of opportunities to deliver change, but if you do not consider how to drive this change by aligning people and creating win-win commercial strategies, it will not happen.

What do you see as the major hurdles facing the sustainability sector? And what can companies do to combat this?

ENGIE Impact’s 2024 Net Zero Report found that about half of major companies are working towards long term decarbonisation but are encountering hurdles to their progress. They need to navigate competing business priorities, with decarbonisation efforts often falling prey to budget constraints. These organisations are also slow to make decisions about carbon projects, delaying implementation.

Companies need to change their way of working, shifting from a model of doing it all themselves to working with trusted partners. By bringing in experts to manage risk and support their staff, they can start making fundamental changes and adopting a holistic approach in which carbon impacts are integrated into the decision-making process. This is how they will reach their climate goals.

What is your outlook on the future of renewable energy, bearing in mind ENGIE Impact’s Net Zero report?

My outlook is positive. There is growing global momentum to address climate change and transition to renewable energy sources. Companies are realising that accelerating their energy transition is about more than compliance. It gives them a competitive advantage.

ENGIE Impact and its Net Zero Report are realistic about our progress thus far, but by focusing on proven approaches, rethinking decarbonisation strategies, integrating emissions data, and exploring financing alternatives, we believe we can drive positive change.

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