- CIPEC Steel Sector Task Force welcomes new Chair
- Employee engagement recognized at Farnell Packaging
- Cruickshank sees ISO 50001 compliance as a distinct competitive advantage
- Hydro-Québec’s electricity management program helps companies continually improve
- Public Opinion Research to measure the importance of energy efficiency in the industrial and buildings sectors
- Calendar of Events
- Call for story ideas
CIPEC Steel Sector Task Force welcomes new Chair
The Canadian Industry Program for Energy Conservation (CIPEC) welcomes Aleksandra Pogoda as the new Chair of the Steel Sector Task Force. Ms. Pogoda is currently Director of Environment with the Canadian Steel Producers Association (CSPA) - the national industry trade association representing Canada’s primary steel producers and pipe and tube manufacturers.
Pogoda took over as Chair in May 2016 and she is keen to collaborate. “I am looking forward to working with and learning from energy specialists within industry and government,” says Pogoda. “As Chair I see myself as the matrix between CIPEC and the Canadian steel industry.” She adds that she hopes to work with task force members to develop action plans for improving energy efficiency throughout the steel sector.
Pogoda brings a wealth of experience having held portfolios in environmental due diligence and remediation while also being quite familiar with provincial environmental legislation and requirements. Her current position as the director of environment at the CSPA builds on this knowledge and expertise.
Noting that steel production is an energy-intensive industry with electricity being one of the highest input costs after labour, Pogoda understands that managing energy efficiently is key to maintaining the sector’s competitiveness. She adds that CIPEC can help organizations in this sector and others proactively transform energy use. “CIPEC can be particularly useful in enabling industry in cutting costs, improving energy efficiency, and reducing industrial GHG emissions.”
Pogoda sees CIPEC as an essential part of Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy, saying that it provides a collaborative forum for government and industry to work towards effective energy conservation. “I believe that the collective efforts of the organization will continue to drive energy efficiency and improvement throughout the various industry sectors.”
Employee engagement recognized at Farnell Packaging
“Our highly-engaged staff members are key to our environmental success,” states Debby Farnell Rudolph, Executive Vice President of Farnell Packaging Limited. The company, a flexible packaging manufacturer located near Dartmouth in Nova Scotia, recently celebrated its success by receiving the Engagement Award, one of five Efficiency Nova Scotia’s annual Bright Business Awards. This recognition follows the company’s participation in the organisation’s Strategic Energy Management Program.
Farnell Rudolph explains that the company has a long history with Efficiency Nova Scotia, which supported some of its earlier energy efficiency projects. Danny Christensen, the company’s energy manager, notes that the projects, carried out since the early 1990s, include upgrades in the facility’s compressed air system, as well as lighting and water chiller retrofits.
When Efficiency Nova Scotia approached Farnell Packaging to participate in the Strategic Energy Management Program, Farnell Packaging saw it as a great opportunity that aligned well with the company’s vision of sustainability. The company established a cross-departmental energy team, responsible for promoting energy conservation awareness, analyzing energy saving opportunities, and disseminating energy efficiency ideas and information.
David Yaoud, the company’s maintenance technician and energy champion, was instrumental in many of the campaigns to raise energy efficiency awareness. “We are very excited about the level of engagement. Employee training is important; once staff understands energy use, they do their best to reduce it.”
Machine and lighting shut-downs as well as prompt compressed air leak repairs are just some of the low- or no-cost measures implemented as a result of the company’s increased energy awareness. Yaoud adds that energy has been integrated into all company documents and job descriptions. In addition, the company conducts “energy scans” to collect creative and innovative ideas from employees and recognizes good energy conservation ideas with monthly awards.
Moreover, two digital monitors displaying energy updates have been installed in the reception and lunch room areas to promote energy awareness. Over the past year, several energy efficiency workshops have also been held for staff and management.
Farnell Rudolph feels a great sense of achievement about the company’s staff engagement and credits the Strategic Energy Management Program for this and the three percent annual energy savings last year. “Participation in the program has moved the whole company to a new level of energy awareness.”
Watch a video of Engagement Award winner Farnell Packaging highlighting the company’s energy management achievements.
Cruickshank sees ISO 50001 compliance as a distinct competitive advantage
Cruickshank, a road and bridge building company based in Ontario, is on track for ISO 50001 compliance and Jason Makin, Vice President, Materials and Logistics at Cruickshank sees being a CIPEC Leader as an important part of reaching that goal. He notes that “the best practices shared within the CIPEC community can help us gain efficiencies and develop process improvement.”
The company also maintains highways, provides aggregate materials and infrastructure services, and helps to protect fragile shorelines. It operates multiple facilities throughout Ontario including 18 gravel pits and quarries, three asphalt plants and three portable crushing plants.
Makin explains that in the highly competitive world of road construction, ISO 50001 compliance offers an opportunity to reduce energy costs and GHG emissions. The company started on its energy efficiency journey two years ago when it began tracking equipment idling time. Since that time several successful initiatives were implemented and Makin states that, “we have moved from being one of the worst companies in terms of idling to one of the best.”
Makin explains that the company’s heavy equipment supplier, Toromont Cat, provides Cruickshank with a monthly summary of its idling time and ranks it among competitor companies. “In this way, we can see what we have accomplished.” Since tracking began, fuel costs have decreased markedly as has depreciation.
This marked reduction was achieved through a concerted employee awareness and education campaign. “We started rewarding low-idling times with T-shirts and Tim Horton cards.” Operators who achieved minimal idling were featured in the company’s newsletter. In addition, idling time reports were made available to all levels of management.
Cruickshank implemented many other environmental initiatives including an E3 Program (Energy and Environment Every Year) which sets three annual targets in the company’s strategic plan to reduce pollution and energy use while increasing profits. The company has also started a number of green office initiatives including waste diversion programs, a water bottle ban, and environmental office product purchasing.
Regular energy audits have resulted in lighting retrofits, and equipment and insulation upgrades in its offices and manufacturing plants. Insulation upgrades, for example, save the company over 662,000 BTu per hour while manufacturing asphalt. Moreover, a generator at one Cruickshank facility has been replaced with a solar photovoltaic system with other installations being planned.
Heavy equipment has been upgraded for fuel efficiency, routes have been optimized, speed limiting devices have been installed, and maintenance and tracking programs have been implemented.
For its energy efficiency efforts, Cruickshank received the 2013 Conservation Award of Excellence from the Cataraqui Conservation Foundation as well as being named one of The Green 30 for 2012 by Maclean’s Magazine. According to Makin, the company will soon be one of the first civil contractor companies to be ISO 50001 compliant.
“We continue to monitor and make further improvements for different equipment groups. Our continuous improvement process has now become part of our culture and everyone has made it a priority,” says Makin, adding that CIPEC will help the company identify new energy saving opportunities.
Hydro-Québec’s electricity management program helps companies continually improve
Large industrial electricity users in Québec have the opportunity to receive financial incentives when implementing electricity management systems (EMS) in their facilities. Josée Desnoyers, who works with the industrial program’s team for Hydro-Québec’s largest clients, says that the EMS program focuses on creating cultural changes in organizations to enable continuous improvement and productivity optimization. Furthermore, she notes that “We offer a comprehensive suite of programs to address different needs regarding energy efficiency of our industrial clients.”
The EMS program is open to companies with facilities that consume over $750,000 annually in electricity. Companies can submit projects to support continuous measurement of electricity use and to implement an EMS.
Program participants can receive funding of up to 50 percent for equipment acquisition and installation costs to a maximum of $75,000 concurrently with the implementation of an EMS. Similar funding is available to support human resources, with a cumulative maximum of $150,000. Hydro-Québec also provides another 1¢/kWh in eligible annual savings once a company has implemented eligible energy efficiency measures associated with an EMS project.
Twelve companies from diverse industrial sectors are currently in the program with another 10 having expressed interest. Participating companies include Domtar-Windsor and Waterville TG. All of these companies are aiming to implement systematic electricity management practices that generate ongoing electricity savings by means of operational control.
Domtar’s plant in Windsor has implemented the first phase of an EMS and has already seen a two percent reduction in energy consumption per unit produced by simply modifying production processes. As part of the project, Domtar-Windsor developed the plant’s first energy policy and conducted an energy balance study. The company plans to implement the EMS throughout the plant with a goal of reducing the plant’s total energy consumption by three percent per year.
Waterville TG is also impressed with the short-term results. To date, Waterville TG identified an initial target of close to $150,000 in potential recurring annual electricity savings
thanks to the implementation of an EMS. The savings are attributed to the management of downtime by extrusion line operators. The facility already had a culture of energy efficiency with active employee engagement, so the implementation of an EMS was easier. The company is planning to implement an energy management information system (EMIS) for all energy sources for the most important energy users at the plant.
Desnoyers notes that although the program does not require ISO 50001 certification, it follows similar criteria making it easier for companies to eventually pursue certification. As with ISO 50001 certification, Hydro-Québec’s EMS program requires participants to design and implement a work and implementation plan and a supporting structure for an EMS, conduct ongoing measurement, and evaluate performance indicators.
Desnoyers says that companies that have implemented EMS have become aware of the untapped potential for continuous improvement. “When you measure and analyse in a systematic way, there is always potential to improve. EMS provides a systematic way to measure, analyse, present and capitalize energy information,” she concludes.
For more information on the program, visit www.hydroquebec.com/business/energy-efficiency/programs/industrial-systems-program/continuous-measurement/.
Public Opinion Research to measure the importance of energy efficiency in the industrial and buildings sectors
The Office of Energy Efficiency is undertaking Public Opinion Research to measure, through quantitative means, the importance of energy efficiency in the industrial and buildings sectors (including public, commercial and institutional sub-sectors) and of energy efficiency brand recognition (ENERGY STAR, ISO 50001).
Leger The Research Intelligence Group, has been retained by the Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE) at Natural Resources Canada to conduct a short (10 minute) survey. The OEE will send out the survey in January to both industrial and buildings sectors’ energy experts (i.e. those with the authority to make or influence energy efficiency decisions for their organization).
The research will track awareness and attitudes towards energy efficiency and will gauge awareness of available options and benefits to the adoption of energy efficiency practices, including brand recognition such as “ENERGY STAR” for industry, and “ISO 50001” label brand recognition. It will address gaps in energy efficiency information and services provided by the Government of Canada. Most importantly, the research will inform the development of targeted energy efficiency programs and initiatives, monitor program effectiveness and support program evaluation activities.
Research participants will be randomly selected from a list of buildings and industrial sector energy experts. Should you receive the Leger survey, please complete it and submit it within the allowable timeframe.
Call for story ideas
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