Energy Cooperation Mechanisms in the EU

While the original mission of the European Union was to bring countries together to prevent future wars, this has spun out into a variety of other cooperative mechanisms its founders may never have dreamed of. Take energy for example, where the European Energy Directive puts energy cooperation mechanisms in place to help member states achieve the collective goal.

This inter-connectivity is essential because countries have different opportunities. For example, some may easily meet their renewable targets with an abundance of suitable rivers, while others may have a more regular supply of sunshine. To capitalise on these opportunities the EU created an internal energy market to make it easier for countries to work together and achieve their goals in cost-effective ways. The three major mechanisms are

  • Joint Projects
  • Statistical Transfers
  • Joint Support Schemes

Joint Projects

The simplest form is where two member states co-fund a power generation, heating or cooling scheme and share the benefits. This could be anything from a hydro project on their common border to co-developing bio-fuel technology. They do not necessarily share the benefits, but they do share the renewable energy credits that flow from it.

An EU country may also enter into a joint project with a non-EU nation, and claim a portion of the credit, provided the project generates electricity and this physically flows into the union.

Statistical Transfers

A statistical transfer occurs when one member state has an abundance of renewable energy opportunities such that it can readily meet its targets, and has surplus credits it wishes to exchange for cash. It ?sells? these through the EU accounting system to a country willing to pay for the assistance.

This aspect of the cooperative mechanism provides an incentive for member states to exceed their targets. It also controls costs, because the receiver has the opportunity to avoid more expensive capital outlays.

Joint Support Schemes

In the case of joint support schemes, two or more member countries combine efforts to encourage renewable energy / heating / cooling systems in their respective territories. This concept is not yet fully explored. It might for example include common feed-in tariffs / premiums or common certificate trading and quota systems.

Conclusion

A common thread runs through these three cooperative mechanisms and there are close interlinks. The question in ecoVaro?s mind is the extent to which the system will evolve from statistical support systems, towards full open engagement.

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How Armstrong World Industries is going Cradle-to-Cradle

The Cradle-to-Cradle concept holds that human effort must be biometric, in other words enrich the environment within which it functions as opposed to breaking it down. This means manufacturing must be holistic in the sense that everything is reusable and nothing is destroyed. Armstrong World Industries was the first global mineral ceiling tile manufacturer to achieve Cradle-to-Cradle certification. We decided to take a closer look at how they achieved this.

Armstrong Worldwide Industries has five plants in the UK alone. These produce an annual turnover of ?2.7 billion. They have been making ceilings for more than 150 years. Fifteen years ago and way ahead of the curve it started recycling, and has maintained a policy of not charging contractors for waste ever since. Along the way, it developed a product that can be re-used indefinitely.

The Challenge

Going green must also be commercially sustainable. In Armstrong?s case, it faced a rise in landfill tax from ?8 per tonne per year to ?80 per tonne per year. This turned the financial cost of waste from a nuisance to a threat. It calculated that recycling one tonne of ceiling materials would:

  • Eliminate 456kg of CO2 equivalents by saving 1,390 kWh of electricity
  • Preserve 11 tons of virgin material and save 1,892 gallons of potable water

They hoped to extend their own recycling project by asking demolition and strip-out contractors to join it, so they could reprocess their scrap as new batches of tiles too.

The Achievement

As things stand today, an Armstrong ceiling tile now contains an average of 82% recycled content. Indeed, if they could find more ceilings to recycle this could reach 100%. In the past two years alone, Armstrong Worldwide Industries UK has saved 130,399m? of greenfield from landfill, being the equivalent of 520 skips that would otherwise have cost contractors over ?88,000 to dispose of.

The Broader Context

Armstrong Worldwide Industries is a global leader in water management, and is bent on minimising its reliance on fossil for energy. It has implemented online measurement systems that feed data to its corporate environmental, health and safety system. This empowers it to produce reports, track corrective actions and measure progress towards its overall goal of being carbon neutral.

Next time you sit beneath an Armstrong Worldwide Industries panelled ceiling, spare a thought for how much ecoVaro consumption analytics could contribute to your bottom line (and how it would feel to be lighter on carbon too).

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2015 ESOS Guidelines Chapter 1 ? Who Qualifies

The base criteria are any UK undertaking that employs more than 250 people and/or has a turnover in excess of ?50 million and/or has a balance sheet total greater than ?43 million. There is little point in attempting to separate off high polluting areas. If one corporate group qualifies for ESOS, then all the others are obligated to take part too. The sterling equivalents of ?38,937,777 and ?33,486,489 were set on 31 December 2014 and apply to the first compliance period.

Representatives of Overseas Entities

UK registered branches of foreign entities are treated as if fully UK owned. They also have to sign up if any overseas corporate element meets the threshold no matter where in the world. The deciding factor is common ownership throughout the ESOS system. ecoVaro appreciates this. We have seen European companies dumping pollution in under-regulated countries for far too long.

Generic Undertakings that Could Comply

The common factor is energy consumption and the organisation’s type of work is irrelevant. The Environmental Agency has provided the following generic checklist of undertakings that could qualify:

Limited CompaniesPublic CompaniesTrusts
PartnershipsPrivate Equity CompaniesLimited Liability Partnerships
Unincorporated AssociationsNot-for-Profit BodiesUniversities (Per Funding)

Organisations Close to Thresholds

Organisations that come close to, but do not quite meet the qualification threshold should cast their minds back to previous accounting periods, because ESOS considers current and previous years. The exact wording in the regulations states:

?Where, in any accounting period, an undertaking is a large undertaking (or a small or medium undertaking, as the case may be), it retains that status until it falls within the definition of a small or medium undertaking (or a large undertaking, as the case may be) for two consecutive accounting periods.?

Considering the ?50,000 penalty for not completing an assessment or making a false or misleading statement, it makes good sense for close misses to comply.

Joint Ventures and Participative Undertakings

If one element of a UK group qualifies for ESOS, then the others must follow suit with the highest one carrying responsibility. Franchisees are independent undertakings although they may collectively agree to participate. If trusts receive energy from a third party that must do an ESOS, then so must they. Private equity firms and private finance initiatives receive the same treatment as other enterprises. De-aggregations must be in writing following which separated ESOS accountability applies.

Mobile Workforce Management in a nutshell

It is fairly common for businesses to have staff working across many different locations across the country or even the world.  Engaged in various activities like  door-to-door sales, delivery and installations, service maintenance, conducting inspections & investigations or even data collection.

Managing and co-ordinating tasks, scheduling activities, planning and monitoring activities and communicating can often be challenging.

Mobile Workforce Management is the automation of the entire end-to-end workflow management and operations of any field service workers. 

Mobile Workforce Management Synonyms

Mobile Workforce Management is also known as

  • Field Service Management
  • Job Scheduling Software
  • Job Management Software

Advantages of Mobile Workforce Management

It is increasingly clear that there needs to be a certain sense of discipline and streamlining of field operations and important to automate certain tasks within field sales and operations, primarily because it helps you to track your assets remotely and ensuring contact with your workforce when required. Enabling your team to get in touch when required.

Most importantly, engineers, sales representatives and customer care executives can easily send information, scan receipts, Invoice customers and retrieve other crucial information in a standardized and streamlined manner. Assisting in regulating your business and also bringing some order to what is usually a very chaotic mode of working.

Why choose Mobile Workforce Management

Work Force Management tools help you to stay in control. They assist in automating what can and should be automated leaving only the crucial human-human interactivity. Helping you to keep a record of all interactions and important data within a database, without you having to manually go through sales receipts, complaint slips and other such details.

A Field Force Management tool is a time-saver and efficiency tool for companies. Moreover, these tools help to automate several aspects of your day to day operations, leading to an increase in productivity and motivation.

Streamlining operations, will also ensure that important stakeholders are well informed and management visibility is enhanced. Helping your business to make smarter decisions and help serve your customers better.

Field Force Management is similar to an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution but is vastly different. It is specifically targeted at staff that work on the field and is intended to make their and your work more streamlined, transparent and easy to track.

Cloud based solutions help you automate

 Field Force Management is usually cloud based which means all data is stored and accessible on secure cloud servers. There is no question of losing important data or not being able to retrieve something important. If something goes missing, there will usually be a backup available. Field force management tools include the software, the hardware and also the kind of training that is required for users to use it efficiently.

The software usually helps in saving and processing information while the hardware helps employees to enter important data into devices while they are on the job. Sometimes, field force solutions can also be a mobile app which negates the need for a specific or special device.

This is very important when it comes to field jobs as carrying different devices can prove to be a cumbersome job. At the end of the day, field force solutions are meant to reduce the burden on staff and not actually inadvertently increase it.

Denizon?s FieldElite Mobile Workforce management application provides significant improvements in efficiency and service with a switch to digital working and the elimination of paperwork.

All the information that is stored on the cloud can be run through analytics software so that you get the kind of reports that you are looking for to improve your business.

Field Force Management Process

A field force management tool helps you to remain in contact with your staff while they are at work on the field. This helps you to track your personnel in real time. Field personnel or your staff can log in and enter their attendance using a smartphone. You can assign that particular day?s task remotely using a web console or your own smartphone.

Next, they can carry out whatever duties they need to while you get all the alerts that you set to receive. This helps to increase transparency. You can choose to receive alerts on your phone or on your desktop.

Finally, staff can tag completed tasks with audio and images, instead of they having to type reports. This helps to focus more on the job than on job reporting. Last but not the least, location tags help you to ensure that the job is done at the right place. Your staff will not be able to take your generosity for granted.

All in all, a field force management tool helps you to track and control your staff without you having to be physically present with them and this is the beauty of this tool.

Summary

Field Force Management helps companies to reduce administration expense and improve productivity. This helps to automate data integration which is usually done with the help of cloud servers. Moreover, you can set invoice parameters that help you to also keep track of stocks, inventories and engage in P.O. and task management.

A number of field force management users also use it as a tool to engage in credit management. Banks and insurance companies particularly find this tool helpful as payments can be received on the job, instead of asking customers to pay online or offline. This also helps in building valuable customer relationships and enhance loyalty.

Thirdly, a field force management tool helps to increase planning efficiency. This means, you will be able to allocate tasks and optimize routing. All this helps to increase your ROI at the end of the day and get back the money you invest on field force management.

Finally, you will have more control over productivity and sales thanks to automation of data collection. You will also have more control over the execution of tasks and that will invariably make your company leaner and smarter.

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