Saving energy costs

    LM Wind Power’s energy management project began as a question — is it possible to save on our energy costs worldwide? A June 2014 pre-study revealed an encouraging answer: we can potentially save one million euros!

    Savings on this scale are definitely noteworthy, but the question that motivated this project is a story in itself. Energy management is sustainability in a nutshell — a win-win for our company and our world. The fact that we now examine and continuously improve our current energy practices indicates a transition in the way we work: we can contribute to a more profitable, sustainable business while also reducing our environmental impact.

    As Global Indirect Operations senior manager for the energy management project, Martial Gimenez agrees. Gathering the detailed energy data for this project was a key point and required support from all teams involved with energy management: Plant Directors, Maintenance Managers and Regional Maintenance Managers. “We are part of a culture change around energy in LM Wind Power,” Martial said. What does this energy management culture mean for our company? Now, Martial shares his perspective.

    How did the energy management project begin?
    When visiting all of our plants, I found that one of our highest indirect spending categories is energy and fuel, representing around 10% of indirect production cost. To find out whether saving in this category was possible, a leading energy management consultancy conducted a pre-study free of charge. With the pre-study showing a strong possibility of potential savings, we began a more in-depth global energy demand project in April 2015 — collecting and analyzing detailed energy usage data from all plants in order to identify possible savings and define resulting action plans in each plant, along with local and global initiatives.

    Plants already work on many specific ways to reduce energy usage, such as: internal audits for air leak repair, lighting control, optimization of set temperature control for different systems (i.e., boilers and air conditioning), door sealing, hot water piping insulation and cleaning filters in equipment. With the final report still under development, plants can expect action plans in the coming months.

    Does LM Wind Power have an energy management culture?
    Definitively, yes. All our plants are working to find technical solutions or a new mindset which helps us to optimize and reduce our energy consumption. Energy management is part of their continuous improvement.

    We are now starting a culture change journey to focus on bringing lean thinking to energy. Improvements will arrive bringing all the plants to the same level of maturity on how we use energy in our installations. We will share best practices from our own learnings or from other industries and involve all the internal stakeholders to participate with ideas for continuous improvement.

    How does energy management contribute to a sustainable business?
    Energy management is a strategic pillar for a sustainable business, to create shared value for all stakeholders in the value chain. Energy and raw materials are not a given. In the years ahead, as emerging market growth continues to boost demand for resources and to spur commodity price volatility, more and more companies need new mindsets to eliminate anything that doesn’t add value to the customers. This involves empowering people to do more with less — focusing on profits within the context of responsible and sustainable growth, while nurturing efficiency improvements based on our trusted best practices. This will be a key activity for LM Wind Power going forward.

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