03 Feb 2020 | 11.15 am
Big Business Cutting Back On Energy Usage
SEAI charts improvements in its annual review
03 Feb 2020 | 11.15 am
Ireland’s largest energy users saved more than €12 million in energy costs in 2018, according to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
The SEAI’s annual review, which was published today, also shows that the reduction in carbon emissions achieved is equivalent to taking over 23,000 petrol or diesel cars off Ireland’s roads.
The review charts the energy performance of the SEAI Large Industry Energy Network in 2018. The large industry energy network comprises 190 companies with annual energy bills of €1m or over, including food and drink companies like Kerry Group and Diageo, pharmachem companies like Pfizer, Astellas Ireland and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), electronic companies like Google and Microsoft, and other large multinational and Irish-owned companies.
Collectively, the companies employ 134,000 people and account for one-fifth of Ireland’s total primary energy use. The members have made a commitment to reducing energy use across their business.
Companies within the pharmachem sector make up over one-fifth of the overall network membership, with members from the traditional bulk active pharmaceutical companies, final product packaging and the newly emerging bio pharma area.
The pharmachem sector recorded a 15% improvement in energy efficiency through 2018 when compared with 2017, at a time of increasing output.
The food and drink sector has the largest number of members in the network at almost 33% of the total membership. On average, over the last 12 years, annual performance improvement is 2.1%, helping to make Ireland’s international food and drinks business more competitive each year.
Network members in the electronics sector are responsible for 9% of the network’s total primary energy requirement. The sector recorded an overall energy efficiency improvement of over 2.7% for 2018, consistent with the average annual improvement of almost 2.7% over the last 12 years.
Over 40% of network members are certified to the international energy management standard ISO 50001. According to the SEAI, network members have achieved average annual energy performance gains of 1.8% over the last five years.
Fergus Sharkey, head of business and public sector with the SEAI, said that the latest review shows that energy efficiency is as much a good business decision as a socially responsible one.
“As large energy users, the members of our network are achieving significant, long-term savings through an enhanced understanding and management of their energy needs,” Sharkey added. “These businesses have an imperative to grow, so is very positive to see a decoupling of productivity and energy consumption in some sectors.”
The annual review, including a breakdown of results by each network member, is available online here.
The SEAI Energy Show, which takes place in the RDS on April 1 and 2, is a free-to-attend event will be of interest to businesses and organisations interested in saving energy or switching to clean energy solutions.