Winning from the green recovery
Sustainability and success are two sides of the same coin, which is why manufacturers could be the biggest commercial winners from a green recovery, as Ian Hopkins, Director, Centrica Business Solutions discusses.
At a time when cost reduction and operational efficiency are paramount, manufacturing businesses are achieving both commercial and environmental gains by building energy sustainability into their economic recovery plans.
That’s demonstrated by the successful net-zero manufacturing leaders featured in this report.
But how can all manufacturers ensure that they build back greener and stronger after the pandemic? What are the best technologies and solutions to meet the triple challenge of carbon reduction, cost control and operational resilience?
Data-driven energy strategy
There are many potential pathways to green recovery, but advanced energy data intelligence is key to identifying the potential energy and operational savings and setting the strategy.
This approach is working for global building materials specialist CEMEX, which has achieved cost savings and efficiency improvements at sites across the UK by using our Internet of Things (IoT) software analytics and monitoring technologies.
Our energy insights solution enables businesses to gain real-time energy insights across their entire sites – right down to equipment and process level – uncovering hidden efficiency opportunities; pinpointing operational vulnerabilities to improve resilience; optimising flexibility,and informing investment.
Securing cost and carbon performance
Many industrial sites have reduced their dependence on the grid and are generating a secure, low-cost supply of low and zero-carbon energy onsite – using technologies such as solar and Combined Heat and Power (CHP).
Our CHP/trigeneration technology is supplying uninterrupted power to Continental Automotive, along with high-efficiency heating and cooling. We’re protecting the manufacturer from grid outages to ensure production resilience while reducing carbon emissions by 14% and avoiding rising energy costs. We’re also helping Toyota to power production at one of its UK plants via solar energy.
Manufacturers can increase renewable energy utilisation by combining battery storage and using stored power to avoid peak-time network electricity costs. In this way, they can optimise energy flexibility to generate income via the most lucrative demand-side response (DSR) opportunities. Our Artificial Intelligence Virtual Power Plants are taking DSR to a new level by aggregating multi-site distributed energy resources to maximise flexibility revenues.
As manufacturers drive the shift to electric vehicles, they can create even greater value from on-site generation and storage assets by integrating them into on-site EV charging infrastructure.
For those businesses that are unable to install on-site renewable generation or storage, Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) can provide rapid, low-cost emissions savings – supporting the growth of additional new renewable infrastructure.
At a time when many businesses are experiencing capital constraints, sustainable energy projects can be funded off balance sheet via flexible finance options. That’s because distributed energy solutions can deliver strong and predictable returns on investment based on an operating cost model.
Mission Possible: Achieving a green recovery for manufacturing
edie’s Mission Possible campaign has evolved to focus on the green recovery, with a new series of reports outlining the challenges that businesses in key sectors face in relation to the coronavirus pandemic, and the opportunities that the green recovery will bring. First up, manufacturing.
As part of edie’s brand-new Mission Possible: Green Recovery campaign – which supports sustainability, energy and CSR professionals on our collective mission to drive a green recovery across all major industries in the UK – this latest series of reports will explore why a green recovery is so important for the respective industries being analysed; what a green recovery actually looks like for businesses large and small within those industries; and how sustainability and energy professionals can drive a green recovery from within.
The reports have been created in assistance with Centrica Business Solutions and uses exclusive results from edie’s green recovery survey of 243 sustainability and energy professionals. This manufacturing report has also been produced with guidance from in-depth discussions with a
steering panel of sustainability experts from some of the world’s most respected manufacturers in the vanguard of sustainability leadership.
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