How to Achieve Your Sustainability Goals in 2015

  New-Year-2015

Watson: I have been thinking about Resolutions for 2015 Holmes. Since Sustainability is playing a bigger role every year with responsible companies, I thought maybe we could help them set their goals for the New Year.

Holmes: Great idea Watson. What have you come up with?

Watson: You know me Holmes. The first thing I always do is research to see what I can learn from others. I found that 3M’s Sustainability Goals for 2015 include the following: Read the Article

Environmental Stewardship:

  • Reduce Volatile Air Emissions 15% by 2015 from 2010 base year …
  • Reduce Waste 10% by 2015 from 2010 base year …
  • Improve Energy Efficiency 25% by 2015 from 2005 base year …
  • Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions 5% by 2011 from 2006 base year …
  • Develop Water Conservation Plans When 3M is located in water scarce and stressed areas

Holmes: Setting Goals is certainly important, but what really matters is achieving those goals. We have been implementing successful “Energy Conservation” projects for more than 35 years so we know what works and what doesn’t. 

While most in the Energy Profession are and have always been focused on Energy Audits leading to Capital Projects, we have concentrated on improving the Energy Efficiency of existing energy systems in existing facilities and reducing the amount and cost of electricity, gas, water and all other utilities. A side benefit that wasn’t talked about in our early years has always been reducing emissions including Greenhouse Gases.

Watson: And for most of those years, you have been teaching, making presentations and writing papers trying to share our methods with others. Can you summarize the most important “How-to” steps for those new to the Sustainability field?

Holmes: Using actual data from a Permanent Energy Monitoring System and applying valid scientific problem-solving techniques can result in savings of 20%-30% and more with existing systems in existing buildings. No Capital Projects are required and the payback on the Energy Monitoring System is normally in weeks or months.

Watson: As you have always said Holmes, those are things we learned our freshman year in engineering school coupled with a large dose of common sense.

Holmes: I did some of my own research and found a great article that I think clearly explains a common sense approach that will help people achieve their Sustainability Goals for 2015. The article is titled “Reduce Water Consumption in Industry” and can be found on the Sustainable Sanitation and Water Management Website. Read the Article

The article says that a small modification in existing equipment can result in substantial water savings. It includes:

  • Appoint a person in charge of coordinating the Water reduction process.
  • Read Water and sewer bills to determine how much Water is currently used and to identify peaks.
  • Install monitoring or sub-metering systems to:
    • Determine Water use by location or equipment.
    • Alert operators when excessive Water flows or reduced pressures breach normal ranges.
    • Locate leaks wherever Water consumption rises above the base level – increased usage that cannot be associated with increased production activities.
  • Calculate average Water use by department or process.
  • Rank processes/departments by Water use to determine where to focus conservation goals.
  • Survey plant operations to determine areas where Water is wasted or could be reused.
  • Develop Water reduction goals.
  • Add timers and/or pedals to assure Water is used sparingly and efficiently.
  • Adjust Water flows to the minimum required to maintain performance.

Watson: Simple and straightforward; common sense. Just add the word “Energy” and the following result is a very nice list of “How-to” achieve your Sustainability Goals in 2015.

  • Appoint a person in charge of coordinating the Energy & Water reduction process.
  • Read Energy & Water and sewer bills to determine how much Energy & Water is currently used and to identify peaks.
  • Install monitoring or sub-metering systems to:
    • Determine Energy & Water use by location or equipment.
    • Alert operators when excessive Energy & Water flows or reduced pressures breach normal ranges.
    • Locate leaks wherever Energy & Water consumption rises above the base level – increased usage that cannot be associated with increased production activities.
  • Calculate average Energy & Water use by department or process.
  • Rank processes/departments by Energy & Water use to determine where to focus conservation goals.
  • Survey plant operations to determine areas where Energy & Water is wasted or could be reused.
  • Develop Energy & Water reduction goals.
  • Add timers and/or pedals to assure Energy & Water is used sparingly and efficiently.
  • Adjust Energy & Water flows to the minimum required to maintain performance.

Remember, a small modification in existing equipment can result in substantial Energy & Water savings!  

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