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Superior Energy Performance: Benefits for Manufacturers

Posted by Danielle Marquis

August 13, 2015 at 2:00 AM

There are many degrees of going the extra mile. For some facilities it’s the Better Plants program, or ENERGY STAR® certification. But for facilities aiming for über-efficiency, there is Superior Energy Performance (SEP™) certification: a new business-based, internationally recognized energy management implementation and certification process.

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Topics: CII Division, Industrial

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

Free E-Book: Guide to Cutting Costs & Increasing Energy Efficiency in the Plastics Industry

Posted by Kelsey Raftery

July 22, 2015 at 5:00 AM

Plastics is the third largest manufacturing industry in the United States and represents a sizable opportunity for rethinking energy using systems. Areas such as electricity, water and waste all offer opportunities for significant savings. Advances in technology mean that manufacturers have countless options for cost, energy and resource savings.


Starting out on the path to implementing energy efficiency upgrades in plastics plants can present many questions about where to start, how to identify inefficiencies, what projects to pursue, how to get staff buy-in and where to look for funding. Because of this, SmartWatt Energy has developed a free e-book, Guide to Cutting Costs & Increasing Energy Efficiency in the Plastics Industry, to help guide plastics plants through the fundamentals of planning and implementing energy efficiency projects.

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Topics: Industrial

3 Strategies to Boost Energy Efficiency in Manufacturing

Posted by Danielle Marquis

July 20, 2015 at 8:00 AM

The United States has the dubious distinction of wasting the most energy among developed nations. EPA data shows industrial energy use is responsible for almost 20 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, which means manufacturing operations are a significant contributor. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the energy used by U.S. manufacturing plants costs the nation an additional $180 billion annually, while energy efficiencies of 20 percent or more are typically available, offering savings of about $45 billion a year.



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Topics: CII Division, 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

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.




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


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