Green Business!

Carbon emissions reduction has evolved beyond simply good citizenship to being a business tool. Implementing ?green? initiatives is now a competitive weapon which defines real business opportunities and bottom line savings that can contribute significant financial value to the organisation while meeting demanding customer requirements for sustainable and low-carbon products.

Energy efficiency is a low cost resource for achieving carbon emissions reduction. Better energy efficiency simply translates to lesser carbon emissions and less energy usage which translates into saved costs.

Reduction of an organisations carbon footprint is each and everyone?s responsibility. Human activities are the key responsibility for the release of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. These include usage of electricity generated from fossil fuel, heating or driving.

At the corporate level, various measures can be instigated to increase energy efficiency. Some of these can be, having zone lighting with sensors to minimise unnecessary office lighting, timers on large IT equipment, promoting energy efficient behaviour in the office, asking staff to switch off and unplug appliances when not in use and minimising staff travel.
At the individual level; it is the small habits that count; cultivating the habit of switching off unnecessary lights, plugging out appliances that are not in use, using video conferencing or online chatting instead of having to travel to meetings, using public transport instead of taking a taxi/ personal car and using energy efficient cars.

All these initiatives assist organisations in their corporate social responsibility reports and play a role in sustainability rankings which is instrumental to customers who are increasingly considering sustainability rankings in investment decisions, while achieving the goal of cost reduction internally.

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2015 ESOS Guidelines Chapter 3 to 5 ? The ESOS Assessment

ESOS operates in tandem with the ISO 50001 (Energy Management) system that encourages continual improvement in the efficient use of energy. Any UK enterprise qualifying for ESOS that has current ISO 50001 certification on the compliance date by an approved body (and that covers the entire UK corporate group) may present this as evidence of having completed its ESOS assessment. It does however still require board-level certification, following which it must notify the Environment Agency accordingly.

The Alternate ESOS Route

In the absence of an ISO 50001 energy management certificate addressing comprehensive energy use, a qualifying UK enterprise must:

  1. Measure Total Energy Consumption in either kWh or energy spend in pounds sterling, and across the entire operation including buildings, industrial processes and transport.
  2. Identify Areas of Significant Energy Consumption that account for at least 90% of the total. The balance falls into a de minimis group that is officially too trivial to merit consideration.
  1. Consider Available Routes to Compliance. These could include ISO 500001 part-certification, display energy certificates, green deal assessments, ESOS compliant energy audits, self-audits and independent assessments
  1. Do an Internal Review to make sure that you have covered every area of significant consumption. This is an important strategic step to avoid the possibility of failing to comply completely.
  1. Appoint an Approved Lead Assessor who may be internal or external to your enterprise, but must have ESOS approval. This person confirms you have met all ESOS requirements (unless you have no de minimis exceptions).
  1. Obtain Internal Certification by one of more board-level directors. They must certify they are satisfied with the veracity of the reports. They must also confirm that the enterprise is compliant with the scheme.
  1. Notify the Environment Agency of Compliance within the deadline using the online notification system as soon as the enterprise believes is fully compliant.
  1. Assemble your ESOS Evidential Pack and back it up in a safe place. Remember, it is your responsibility to provide proof of the above. Unearthing evidence a year later it not something to look forward to.

The ESOS assessment process is largely self-regulatory, although there are checks and balances in place including lead assessor and board-level certifications. As you work through what may seem to be a nuisance remember the primary objectives. These are saving money and reducing carbon emissions. Contact ecoVaro if we can assist in any way.

What Sub-Metering did for Nissan in Tennessee

When Nissan built its motor manufacturing plant in Smyrna 30 years ago, the 5.9 million square-foot factory employing over 8,000 people was state of art. After the 2005 hurricane season sky-rocketed energy prices, the energy team looked beyond efficient lighting at the more important aspect of utility usage in the plant itself. Let’s examine how they went about sub-metering and what it gained for them.

The Nissan energy team faced three challenges as they began their study. They had a rudimentary high-level data collection system (NEMAC) that was so primitive they had to transfer the data to spread-sheets to analyse it. To compound this, the engineering staff were focused on the priority of getting cars faster through the line. Finally, they faced the daunting task of making modifications to reticulation systems without affecting manufacturing throughput. But where to start?

The energy team chose the route of collaboration with assembly and maintenance people as they began the initial phase of tracking down existing meters and detecting gaps. They installed most additional equipment during normal service outages. Exceptions were treated as minor jobs to be done when convenient. Their next step was to connect the additional meters to their ageing NEMAC, and learn how to use it properly for the first time.

Although this was a cranky solution, it had the advantage of not calling for additional funding which would have caused delays. However operations personnel were concerned that energy-saving shutdowns between shifts and over weekends could cause false starts. ?We’ve already squeezed the lemon dry,? they seemed to say. ?What makes you think there?s more to come??

The energy team had a lucky break when they stumbled into an opportunity to prove their point early into implementation. They spotted a four-hourly power consumption spike they knew was worth examining. They traced this to an air dryer that was set to cyclical operation because it lacked a dew-point sensor. The company recovered the $1,500 this cost to fix, in an amazing 6 weeks.

Suitably encouraged and now supported by the operating and maintenance departments, the Smyrna energy team expanded their project to empower operating staff to adjust production schedules to optimise energy use, and maintenance staff to detect machines that were running without output value. The ongoing savings are significant and levels of shop floor staff motivation are higher.

Let’s leave the final word to the energy team facilitator who says, ?The only disadvantage of sub-metering is that now we can’t imagine doing without it.?

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Operational Efficiency Initiatives

When was the last time you checked your technology spending against your IT infrastructure’s contribution to the bottom line?

Chances are, what’s happening underneath all those automated processes, expensive hardware, and fancy graphical user interfaces is not doing your bottom line any good.

If you don’t keep a watchful eye, your IT operations can easily nurture a lot of wastage and unnecessary costs. Underutilised servers, duplicate processes, poorly managed bandwidths, and too much complexity are among the common culprits.

For minor problems, we can eliminate wastage by setting up some technology enhancements, instilling best practices, and performing a few tweaks. However, if you’re not adequately trained on how to go about with it, your band-aid solutions can add more complexity to the mix.

Of course, there will always come a time when you will have to spend on new technologies to maintain the overall efficiency of your IT infrastructure. Whether you intend to purchase new hardware or software applications or build an entirely new infrastructure, the sheer cost of such undertakings warrants seeking expert advice.

Failure to do so can result in fragmented resources lacking in cohesiveness, which don’t contribute to efficiency at all.

Our solutions for improving operational efficiencies cover the entire spectrum: from planning what to buy, optimising what you’ve already bought, to making your team comfortable with them all. Please find time to view our solutions below and uncover ways to drive those profits up even as you work within your budget.

 

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