Photo: Green Manufacturer
Far From Running Out of Low-Hanging Fruits
I love green success-stories! This one comes from Cambridge, Ontario, and is about Paul Rak, the owner of VeriForm, a manufacturing company with about 60 employees. In 2006, his life changed after his daughter was born and he saw An Inconvenient Truth. This made him more aware of the environmental footprint of his business, and he decided to do something about it; after making a few simple and relatively inexpensive changes, Mr. Rak reduced VeriForm's energy consumption dramatically, made his products more efficient and competitive, and he saved a bunch of cash.How Did He Do It?
A one-time investment of about $46,000 returned savings of about $89,000 annually. The company's carbon footprint went down by 45%, or about 233 tonnes per year. If all manufacturing companies did this, especially small and mid-sized ones that might not have invested in energy-efficiency the way that big companies like GE or Honda have invested in it, we could make a significant difference in energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and air/soil/water pollution.
And it's not rocket science: VeriForm changed some lights (from HID to T5 fluorescents), put motion detectors on them so empty rooms aren't being lit for no reason, tweaked some of its cutting processes so they were faster (thus using less energy), put timers on garage doors in the delivery area (leaving them open for a long time, especially during the cold Canadian winters, was a huge waste), consolidated many non-programmable thermostats into one programmable model (that way it's not a hassle to adjust it, and people can't forget to turn it down for the evening and weekends), etc.
Action! Action! Action!
These are the kinds of things that all businesses can do pretty easily. It's info that has been out there for a long time, and it might seem too obvious to be writing about. But what matters is actually doing it, not just knowing about it, and sadly too few people are putting all of this in practice. It's really too bad, because in these tough economic times, getting an efficiency edge can really help...
Are you a business owner? Have you looked into these types of improvements? Do you work for a business that could easily save big? Have you talked to your boss about it? We can all do our part.
Via Green Manufacturer, G&M;
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