Progressive Energy Management: A Strategic Imperative that is part of one company’s DNA
October 5, 2011 - Energy conservation is often the most economical solution to shortages and rising costs. Most economists expect continued energy price increases over the next few years. Therefore, conservation not only helps preserve the planet’s limited resources, it also makes economic business sense at a very fundamental business level.
“Progressive energy management is part of our company’s DNA,” says M. Razeem, project engineer, sustainability with OCTAL. “That means not only uncompromised attentiveness to the benefits of conservation today, but also a dedication to future success based on an unwavering, fundamental conviction that only through environmental sustainability can a company expect to prosper in tomorrow’s world.”
OCTAL also has adopted a five-step process to determine the best options for additional energy-use reductions: audit, monitor, analyze, make changes if necessary, determine, results. According to Tarun Joshi, OCTAL’s construction manager: “Recent energy audits indicate that upgrades to our lighting, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning resulted in improved energy management.”
Lighting has proven to be one of prime areas for proper energy management because the return-on-investment can be quickly realized. When creating a better industrial lighting system, OCTAL took into consideration various sets of criteria such as: cooperation with the utility company, tax incentives and soft cost factors, such as increased productivity and employee retention.
As a result, OCTAL recently installed light pipes used for transporting and distributing natural or artificial light throughout and between buildings. The benefit correlated to having nine 75W lamps switched off for 12 hours per day, equalling 8100 watts per day in savings.
In addition, OCTAL’s direct-to-sheet technology decreases the energy required to produce DPET sheet while increasing resource efficiency. Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions are decreased by 69% and 48%, respectively, requiring 67% less grid electricity per kilogram of sheet when compared to traditional APET sheet manufacturing. OCTAL reduced the energy requirements by 6% per ton of production from 2009-2010. (Note: Scope 1-Emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by the company. Scope 2-Emissions from the generation of purchased electricity by the company. Scope 3-Indirect emissions generated by the supply chain.)
Using these experiences as a springboard for energy-saving projects elsewhere within the company, OCTAL has developed a formalized Future Energy Management Plan. This includes: additional use of natural daylight by installing light pipes for all of the companies buildings; optimizing refrigeration and air-conditioning systems; reducing output voltage of transformers; rearranging and re-adjusting A/C units; and replacing electrical copper ballast with electronic ballast.
“All companies must prepare for future energy-related risks,” says Razeem. “Acting now is the only acceptable best-business practice and should be part of the strategic imperatives of every company truly concerned with the health of its future.”