Our approach to energy consumption
As a manufacturing business, we place high demands on energy. With a total energy consumption equivalent to 120.6KTon of CO2 emissions at constant production for 2019 and renewable energy through solar panels accounting for just 5.05KTon of the total, we have identified this as a major area for improving our environmental impact. Despite showing a marginal improvement over 2018 figures, there is much that needs to be done in this field to make sure we stay on track for our aim of 30% CO2 emissions reduction by 2030 (vs 2018).
We have an energy expert at group level, whilst also setting up energy teams for each Balta production site. As a team they will be responsible for ensuring that we take positive steps to reduce our consumption of electricity and natural gas by monitoring our processes and identifying potential projects to contribute to positive change away from our reliance on non-renewable energy.
We have already put in place a program of steps to ensure that energy teams are effectively managing each plant’s energy requirements with the ultimate aim to deliver a reduction in consumption.
Every energy saving project is managed on the same basis to ensure consistency in results and accurate assessment of impact, or potential impact, on reducing our CO2 emissions. Among other technical and data related information, the following is recorded:
- Estimated energy and CO2 savings
- Estimated investment cost
- Annual exploitation cost
- The project’s internal rate of return (“IRR”)
Balta is part of Belgium’s Voluntary Energy Management Covenant, founded by the Flemish Government in 2013 and we have renewed our commitment to 2022. As well as our own goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 30% in 2030 (vs 2018), the covenant commits us to reduce our carbon footprint through audits and studies on energy consumption and measures investment in projects with an Internal Rate of Return (“IRR”) target of more than 12.5%.
During 2019, audits were carried out and specific projects identified to meet these requirements. Most of the energy saving projects are linked to the use of compressors, boilers and coolers within factories. We invested €361,000 in our Belgian factories to complete the commitments made in previous years. Further projects will be identified and evaluated during 2020.
In the USA, Bentley recorded a 20% reduction in electricity consumption after converting to LED lighting throughout its facility in 2018. Since 2015, production demand has increased by 57%, but for every square yard of carpet produced there was a documented reduction in consumption of 32% for electricity, 33% for water and 32% natural gas (vs 2015).
For 2020, Bentley is researching the possibility of installing additional solar panels to further reduce reliance on non-renewable energy, driven by the State of California’s program to ensure 100% of all electricity supplied across the state comes from renewable sources by 2045.