Energy Management Checklist

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It’s estimated that manufacturing operations account for somewhere in the region of 22% of UK energy consumption; a stark figure that the industry cannot ignore. Adopting sustainable practices in business is more than just net zero, it’s a strategic imperative. As global manufacturers carve out bold sustainability agendas, they strive to meet carbon reduction and sustainability targets. The growth in this area is also driven by customer expectation (a recent study showed that 66% of consumers are willing to spend more money on brands that are promoting eco-friendly practices), and the undeniable fact that adopting sustainable practices can create a competitive advantage and drive long-term business growth.

Leading manufacturers integrate sustainability and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) strategies into operations for maximum ROI, but what tools are available to support manufacturers on their sustainability journey, and how can digital technology help reduce energy consumption?

1. Measure and monitor energy consumption

You can’t improve what you don’t know or measure! A great start would be to conduct an audit of your equipment and processes to help reveal potential energy savings in places where you’d least expect them. Most food manufacturers monitor energy usage via quarterly or monthly bills; helpful for understanding historical usage alongside costs incurred, but not in establishing the ‘here and now’ of energy usage!
Smart meter sensors and IIoT devices are often used by manufacturers to monitor real-time energy usage of equipment. If this is the case, ensure someone takes ownership so that the data collected is actually used to promote strategic decision making and actionable improvements.

2. Create a dedicated ‘sustainability team’

Allocate clear roles and responsibilities to those involved in the team. It would be advantageous to include people from different areas of the business such as finance, operations, engineering and quality, so that all functions are fully represented. Doing so should give a better picture of wasteful activities to help promote energy-saving measures. The team should be led by a key stakeholder such as an ‘environmental
manager’ or someone responsible for the company-wide sustainability agenda.

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