Factories often cover huge spaces and employ thousands of workers, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be energy efficient.
Here are five companies who have taken energy-saving measures in their factories. From changing the lighting systems and overhauling the way they produce electricity to mobile solutions, there are lots of ideas to inspire you and your organisation.
Federal Mogul, Derbyshire
The powertrain manufacturer has trialed a sensor system that reminded staff to turn off equipment and lights by text message. The sensors collected data on energy use in the factory, showing specific areas of waste. Workers in areas where energy was being wasted got the text reminders. They also held energy saving competitions among staff. The company estimated savings of 20% on their energy usage.
At their new bottled water production plant, the food and drink company uses heat generated by the bottling lines to heat the warehouse and office areas. They also use low energy lighting. For every 1000 bottles of water produced there, the plant uses around 32 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, a saving of 20% compared to the old site.
CastAlum, Powys, Wales
The aluminum parts manufacturer replaced their old lighting with energy efficient lights that work on sensors. As their old lights had to be replaced often and were sometimes on needlessly, they have made 74% savings on their annual energy bill as well as reducing their CO2 emissions significantly.
Ecover, Malle, Belgium
The eco-friendly cleaning products company has perhaps unsurprisingly built an energy efficient factory. The position of the building, made from 95% recycled or renewable materials, was chosen to maximise natural sunlight to cut down on lighting costs. They have a green, living roof which insulates the building, keeping their gas bill down. Ecover say they don’t need air conditioning or central heating as the temperature stays between 4-26°C (in very cold weather they use small energy-efficient heaters). They also generate electricity with wind turbines, tidal generators and other natural sources too.
Azucarera, Toro, Spain
As part of the AB Sugar Group, the sugar producer installed a combined heat and power plant (CHP) so they have increased electricity production while using the same amount of fuel as before. They now supply surplus energy to the national grid. This, combined with the installation of a high-pressure steam boiler, has reduced the town’s CO2 emissions by more than 12,000 tonnes a year.