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SmartWatt

7 Step Action Plan for Establishing an Energy Management Program

Posted by Danielle Marquis

July 30, 2015 at 2:00 AM

 

More and more organizations are discovering that to be energy efficient, they need a comprehensive energy management program. That’s easier said that done, however, as it can be overwhelming to start from scratch or to try to codify ad hoc strategies already in place. Using ENERGY STAR®’s Guidelines for Energy Management as a template, we offer you a condensed guide to creating your own customized energy management program.

 

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Topics: Higher Education, CII Division, Healthcare, Food Processing, Refrigerated & Freezer Warehouses, Warehouse/Distribution, Industrial

5 Quick-Payback Ways to Reduce Your Plant's Energy Usage

Posted by Danielle Marquis

July 23, 2015 at 4:00 AM

The Industrial Assessment Centers (IAC) database has compiled a very useful guide to reducing energy usage in industry. We’ve distilled the list to five strategies with the biggest impact—and the shortest payback.

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Topics: CII Division, Food Processing, Industrial

From the Ground Up: Micro-Level Benefits of Energy Efficiency Projects

Posted by Danielle Marquis

July 16, 2015 at 2:00 AM

When looking at the multiple benefits of energy efficiency, it makes sense to divide the advantages into two realms—macro and micro. The macro benefits, which refer to environmental and societal benefits, are discussed here.

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Topics: CII Division, Food Processing, Refrigerated & Freezer Warehouses, Warehouse/Distribution, Industrial

Top 6 Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives

Posted by Danielle Marquis

July 9, 2015 at 2:30 AM

These days, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has gained traction to the point that it has become almost a mandate, especially with international firms. Companies with a current or growing multinational footprint need to understand the mounting pressure to inform consumers of their societal investment strategy and support compliance.

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Topics: Sustainability Branding, CII Division, Food Processing, Industrial

Secrets of 3 of the Most Socially Responsible Companies

Posted by Danielle Marquis

June 25, 2015 at 2:30 AM

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) relates to who a company is, what it believes in and how it’s doing business. These days, it’s central to a company’s reputation and can be used to help establish trust and goodwill amongst stakeholders. Surprisingly, according to a study by the Reputation Institute, a private global consulting firm based in New York, your willingness to buy, recommend, work for and invest in a company is driven 60 percent by your perceptions of the company—or its reputation—and only 40 percent by your perceptions of its products or services. Thus CSR is an emerging tool for companies to use to improve support from stakeholders like consumers, regulators, the financial community and employees. Here are three of the top contenders for best CSR practices.

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Topics: Higher Education, Sustainability Branding, CII Division, Healthcare, Food Processing, Refrigerated & Freezer Warehouses, Industrial

Innovation - LED Fixture for Products Susceptible to Photooxidation

Posted by Danielle Marquis

June 19, 2015 at 7:30 AM

Despite a willingness to adopt more efficient technologies, many food processing plants, dairies and pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities have been hamstrung by the need for light sources that emit longer wavelengths. That’s because short wavelengths cause light-oxidized flavor defects. Photooxidation is a problem at wavelengths of light below 500nm. Certain foods, such as dairy products, beer and chocolate, are most at risk of photooxidation, because exposure to short wavelengths of light changes the products’ flavor and reduces their shelf life. In a study in Pennsylvania, for example, almost half of 449 samples of milk in translucent plastic jugs were reported to have developed pronounced light-induced off-flavors within 36 hours. The same photooxidation process can also reduce the shelf life of many pharmaceuticals. Up until now, facilities producing these kinds of products couldn’t take advantage of ultra-efficient LED lighting technology without risking damage to the products they produced. But innovation is tenacious, especially when born of necessity. 

 

 

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Topics: CII Division, Food Processing, LED Lighting

Outsourcing Energy Performance to Maximize Efficiency

Posted by Danielle Marquis

June 18, 2015 at 2:00 AM

Outsourcing offers a bevy of benefits for industries wanting to achieve optimal energy efficiency. It offers both capital and expertise to oversee and manage common energy functions. An industrial facility that outsources its energy functions to an outside party can reduce costs, improve reliability and, through capital cost amortization, even obtain new equipment. Delegating energy services relieves the industrial host facility of distractions from its core business priorities, allowing the host to become more focused on what it does best.

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Topics: Higher Education, CII Division, Healthcare, Food Processing, Industrial

3 Ways to Position Your Company on the Cutting Edge of CSR

Posted by Danielle Marquis

June 4, 2015 at 2:30 AM

Now that formal adoption of corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies has become widespread, the question becomes whether they are living up to their purpose and promise. Many companies are not fully cognizant of the strategic importance of CSR until they end up getting attention for looking socially irresponsible. The upside of PR snafus is that they often give companies the impetus they need to change their focus. According to an article in Global Finance, “some of the organizations most vilified over the years by human rights and environmental campaigners—companies such as Wal-Mart and Nike—have become enthusiastic cheerleaders for CSR.”

 

 

 

The role of CSR is changing and evolving quickly as sustainability issues are making it to the forefront of the public arena. If the first phase of CSR's development was based heavily on philanthropy and public relations, that is now giving ways to a more interactive, stakeholder-driven model. CSR is becoming an intrinsic part of a company’s core business and values.

 

Sustainability Initiatives

 

Sustainability initiatives can help companies break into new markets. The problem of how to reduce one’s footprint and do less environmental harm can actually become part of the solution. The challenge of sustainability often serves as a catalyst for companies to develop innovative solutions and create significant new markets. For example, if a company wants to identify its core initiative as future protection of forests, it requires not only generous financing, but also a new market in terms of monitoring, assurance, project management, adaptation and communications.

 

Alignment

 

The new paradigm for the generation of CSR programs is to make sure one’s charitable efforts and business goals are in alignment. The serendipitous benefit is that both the businesses and the charities stand to gain from this approach. When companies choose issues that they feel passionate about and can authentically get behind, they get more bang for their buck. Plus they tend to be more involved and engaged for the long term.

 

Metrics and Reporting

 

As the practice of CSR becomes more structured, the next emerging challenge is the lack of standards against which companies’ performance can be measured. Although companies at the cutting edge of CSR create ambitious targets and try to find the resources necessary to reach them, some critics are concerned that because the targets are self-imposed they are often arbitrary and difficult to compare from one company to another. The goal is to develop universal citizenship standards, which will help investors, customers, regulators and the companies themselves assess their performance on an absolute and a relative level.

 

As CSR gets interwoven into the fabric of a company’s core mission, the people on the front lines are recognizing the need for better metrics to measure impact. It’s exciting to watch the CSR discussion move from the periphery to the center of the public’s attention. To keep it front and center, corporate citizenship has to become less part of a vision statement and more part of the nuts and bolts of the business plan.

 

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Topics: Higher Education, Sustainability Branding, CII Division, Healthcare, Food Processing, Warehouse/Distribution, Industrial

How to Build an Effective Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy

Posted by Danielle Marquis

May 28, 2015 at 2:30 AM

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) challenges the purely capitalist based approach to business, which is to maximize profits while minimizing expenses. However, as the importance of CSR grows, an emerging definition of business challenges the purely profit-based model. CSR defines the role of business as one that creates value for its shareholders, but in such a way that it also creates value for society, manifesting itself as a win-win proposition.

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Topics: Higher Education, Sustainability Branding, CII Division, Healthcare, Food Processing, Refrigerated & Freezer Warehouses, Warehouse/Distribution, Industrial

5 Energy Efficiency Habits Successful Businesses Know About

Posted by Danielle Marquis

May 19, 2015 at 2:30 AM

The Better Buildings Program, a cornerstone of the President's Climate Action Plan, has become a dynamic vehicle for consolidating energy efficiency best practices across a range of organizations. Better Buildings Challenge Partners are committed to improving the energy efficiency of their buildings and facilities. Each partner makes the commitment to support the Administration’s goal of doubling American energy productivity by 2030, and the program motivates corporate and public sector leaders across the country to save energy through technical assistance and investments. More than 250 organizations are partnering with the Department of Energy to achieve 20 percent portfolio-wide energy savings and share successful strategies that maximize efficiency over the next decade.

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Topics: CII Division, Food Processing, Warehouse/Distribution, Industrial

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