Companies looking to make their facilities— and the facilities of their supply chain partners—more energy efficient have a myriad of tools that can help them, via resources offered by the federal government and industry coalitions, not to mention vendor solutions.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings, Better Plants Program offers technical support to help companies that have voluntarily pledged to reduce their “energy intensity”—energy per unit of output—by 25 percent over a 10-year period. To date, roughly 150 industrial companies have made the pledge and collectively have saved about 320 trillion British thermal units and almost $1.7 billion in energy costs.
It’s a good start, as the industrial sector uses a great deal of energy— more than $200 billion per year, says Andre de Fontaine, who leads the program within the agency’s Advanced Manufacturing Office.
“If companies implement energy-efficient processes, they can not only reduce pollution from greenhouse gas emissions, they can also save money,” de Fontaine says. “They could then use that savings to reinvest in plants and new technologies and hire more employees.”
The agency also provides energy reduction incentives for firms within the partners’ supply chains, as up to 80 percent of energy consumption can reside “upstream” in the supply chain—from raw materials, transport and packaging to the energy consumed in manufacturing processes.
By Katie Kuehner-Hebert