How Onsite Energy Management Helps Manufacturers Achieve Sustainability Goals
If multinational companies like Apple and United Airlines have taught us anything, it’s that ‘green’ isn’t just a fad. Working toward sustainability isn’t just about being kinder to the planet; it’s also a good economic choice. As today’s consumers become more focused on decreasing the size of their carbon footprint, companies must create and implement energy management plans to remain competitive. Here are a few ways onsite energy management affects sustainability in manufacturing.
It Encourages Lean Thinking
Energy conservation strategies share many aspects with the lean methodology. Both require companies to cut waste and strive for incremental efficiency improvements.
Furthermore, the lean business model equips teams with the tools and skills to make those changes, which is an ideal example of the work needed to manage energy more effectively.
When manufacturers adopt lean principles, they naturally become more sustainable. Reducing and eliminating quality variances saves the energy needed to replace or repair defective components, but the work doesn’t end there. Maximizing an existing energy management strategy means integrating concepts like recycling and energy recovery. By incorporating such ideas, producers can become truly sustainable.
Using Renewable Energy Sources
There’s no disputing that using renewable energy is one of the best ways for manufacturers to become more sustainable. When companies put out fewer greenhouse gases as part of an overall energy management plan, they reduce pollution and mitigate climatic effects. As more factories turn to renewable energy from wind, solar, biogas, hydroelectric, and tidal power sources, there’s less dependence on fuel imports, which contributes to political strife. With renewable energy, companies don’t just become more sustainable; they also support stronger and more diverse economies for cities and countries.
Thanks to the Internet of Things and the increasing commonality of smart devices, manufacturers can put just as much emphasis on energy efficiency as they place on productivity. When a facility’s assets are connected, users get real-time and historical insights into their energy usage patterns, allowing companies to form bottom line-focused energy management strategies. And, when energy is one of a company’s biggest budgetary line items, such views are crucial to their continued success.
Improving the Company’s Image
The financial and sustainability benefits of energy management only tell part of the story. Today’s consumers are more environmentally-focused than ever, and energy efficiency will do much to enhance a brand’s reputation—which gradually improves performance.
It Makes Employees More Productive Without Wasting Energy
Energy management reduces costs, creates sustainability, and improves a brand’s reputation, and it also creates better working conditions for employees. In the recent past, energy efficiency was thought to adversely affect comfort. Research indicates, however, that it can improve workers’ well-being and performance. According to information from Frontiers of Psychology, those working for energy-efficient and sustainable manufacturers are generally more productive, with efficient HVAC and lighting systems responsible for most increases.
Effective Energy Management Strategies Put Companies on the Path to Productivity & Sustainability
Implementing an energy management plan may be hard, but it carries tremendous benefits. While decreasing energy usage lowers costs, it also improves brand image, improves productivity, and saves the planet. As governments around the world set carbon reduction goals and energy usage regulations become tighter, it’s the right time for manufacturers to create and execute energy management strategies.