Three tactics to achieve your organization’s energy reduction goals
John Clark 27000476SU firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  energy-management tririga smarter-buildings environmental-sustainabil... sustainability
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A report titled Crossing the Sustainability Chasm¹ from IBM finds that although the majority of the world’s largest corporations and government agencies have set environmental and energy reduction goals, two–thirds failed to achieve them. IBM evaluated survey data from 130 sustainability–focused executives and professionals from companies and agencies with revenues of more than $1 billion and found that 75 percent or more of organizations that achieved their sustainability goals currently invest in three clear activities to support green initiatives:
91% improve facility energy efficiency,
Energy efficiency improvements within facilities can deliver 50 percent savings
Tackling energy efficiency within facilities provides an opportunity for high–returns and fast payback. One study by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) examined an array of facility operations and capital improvements aimed at a 50 percent reduction in energy over ASHRAE 90.1–2004 design standard in a retail setting and concluded that results organizations can achieve reductions of more than 40% in less than 5 years, across all U.S. climate zones². See figure 1 and 2.
Figure 1: Sample Facility Improvements from DOE study
Figure 2: Energy Savings Pareto Curve by U.S. Climate Zone
Proper maintenance of building systems provides many benefits at a relatively low cost
Facility maintenance processes such as continuous commissioning and preventive maintenance offers compelling reductions in facility operating costs, defers the need for large capital purchases and reduces consumption of energy that amount to a 545 percent return on investment. Furthermore, the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) advises that switching from a reactive maintenance program to a predictive maintenance program can result in savings of 12 to 18 percent over a reactive maintenance program.
Space Management: A critical component of successful sustainability programs
With more than 275 billion square feet of space available within U.S. facilities³, space reduction provides the greatest opportunity for organizations to reduce their environmental impact and account for the largest use of electricity (more than 70 percent). For many organizations the amount of space available greatly exceeds the need for it as many employees now work from home or travel as a routine part of their function. IBM’s report highlights the importance of space reduction as a crucial component of a successful sustainability program. Strategic facility planning and space optimization programs deliver on reduction goals based on the adage that “No space is better than green space” – that is a building that does not exist, does not consume energy. As your organization evaluates its sustainability program, please consider whether you have the right environmental and energy management software to measurably implement these three leading tactics used by those who have delivered measurable reductions in energy and greenhouse gas emissions.
¹ IBM, “Crossing the Sustainability Chasm: Strategies and tactics to achieve sustainability goals”, 2011
² NREL, “Technical Support Document: Development of the Advanced Energy Design Guide for Medium Box Retail–50% Energy Savings”, 2008
³ Architecture 2030, http://www.architecture2030.org