Report highlights measures for large industrial transition

By Cameron Saunders
The report underscores immediate changes, rather than structural shifts, that will help reduce emissions of the world's largest industrial emitters

While sometimes green transition can seem overwhelming and structurally profound, a new report from the industry wizards in electrification and automation, ABB, has highlighted what measures can be taken in a more immediate time frame to reduce emissions. 

The “Energy Efficiency Movement Playbook” – which applies to those industrial companies accounting for 42% of electrical consumption (ABB has worked with such juggernauts as Microsoft and DHL Group) – outlines a 10-point plan allows companies to reduce emissions without affecting productivity. 

The ten points follow: audit operations for energy efficiency; integrate right-size assets and processes; bring connectivity to physical assets; install high-efficiency motors; use variable speed drives; use efficient heat exchangers; electrify industrial fleets; convert gas boilers to heat pumps; use smart-building management systems; and move data operations to the cloud. 

Smaller steps, big results

Speaking on the benefits of energy efficiency as it is summarised in the action plan, Kevin Lane of the International Energy Agency had the following to comment: “Energy efficiency is a win-win for companies and the climate. While industry needs to address climate change on all fronts – such as renewable energy, investing in low-carbon processes and developing circular business models – energy efficiency stands out as the business-focused opportunity with the best near-term prospects for emission reductions. 

“The 10 actions contained in this report are known, cost-effective resources, and can be employed at scale rapidly to help companies convert climate ambition into action.”

The report highlights the role played by the biggest industrial polluters. Among the entities interviewed for the report include Alfa Laval, DHL Group, the International Energy Agency, Microsoft and ETH Zurich. Among the recommendations these actors stood behind were right-sizing industrial mechanisms so that they were more suitable for the job at hand and moving operations from onsite servers to the cloud, a move which they claim could save 90% of energy IT energy consumed. 

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