These and other case studies are being released today by the World Resources Institute’s Climate Northeast project as examples of how corporate energy managers can improve both financial and environmental performance. In conjunction, WRI is releasing the Carbon Value Analysis Tool (CVAT), which helps corporate energy managers to assess the value of emissions reductions and make decisions on financing new projects.
Several Fortune 500 companies have already tested the CVAT model, which is a Microsoft Excel-based program that allows energy managers to compare the emissions and financial impacts for a full range of energy-efficient and renewable energy projects. The CVAT is designed to be especially useful for multinational corporations with greenhouse gas reduction targets as well as facilities that operate under carbon-limiting government mandates, such as those throughout Europe.
“The CVAT tool helped us factor carbon-dioxide prices into our financial calculations – something that has never been easy to do in the past,” said Dennis Canavan, director of Worldwide Energy at Johnson & Johnson, which helped WRI analyze the CVAT in the months prior to today’s official release. “The CVAT provides valuable data on emissions and financial performance. It should enable other energy managers to calculate internal rates of return for a wide variety of projects.”
Released in unison with the accounting tool, the series of brief case studies provides innovative and successful project examples for energy managers to study.
“We wanted a way to illustrate the cost-effective projects and activities undertaken to reduce emissions by the companies in our Climate Northeast partnership,” said Andrew Aulisi, a senior associate at WRI and one of the authors of the case studies. “These are real world, full-scale projects that show how this works.”
One of the case studies focuses on energy-efficiency upgrades by Staples. Implementation of an automated energy-management system has drastically reduced energy consumption in its distribution centers. Staples expects upgrades to its conveyor-belt motors – along with installation of motion-sensor controlled conveyor belts and lighting – to bring an 80 percent efficiency gain for these systems with a payback of less than two years per project.
Also highlighted are company actions to develop low-carbon products. General Electric has retrofitted several of its large facilities throughout the world with its own energy-efficient, compact fluorescent bulbs. The replacement bulbs cut energy consumption from lighting in half while providing better quality light for employees. The company also uses its highly efficient facilities to showcase its products to prospective buyers. Another low-carbon product example comes from United Technologies Corporation subsidiary UTC Power, which has developed an on-site cooling, heating, and power system – fueled by natural gas – to meet the increasing demand for distributed generation technologies. The systems are significantly more efficient compared with power use from the electric grid.
The introduction of low-carbon renewable fuels is another activity illustrated in the company case studies. ALZA Pharmaceuticals, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, established a cost-effective renewable fuel supply by pumping in methane gas from decaying waste at a closed neighboring landfill. The project annually saves an estimated 16 million pounds of carbon dioxide, contributes significantly to the company’s greenhouse gas reduction target, and shields the firm from volatile natural-gas prices.
Finally, some of the case studies examine energy management and procurement. Citigroup has increased its procurement of zero-emitting green power in competitive markets to 10 percent of its total consumption. The company keeps its costs low by working closely with its energy services company. Eastman Kodak anticipates annual savings of $1 million through investment-free energy modifications, such as time-of-day lighting controls. The company used an innovative, team-based approach to identify and correct wasteful activities.
These and other case studies of energy projects that the CVAT can evaluate will continue to be added at http://www.climatenortheast.org in the coming months.
The Climate Northeast Project is a partnership between WRI and a dozen Fortune 500 companies. Through the project, participants work to devise winning strategies to allow companies to thrive in a carbon-constrained future. Corporate partners in the project include: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Con Edison, Citigroup, Eastman Kodak, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Northeast Utilities, Pfizer, Staples, and United Technologies Corporation.
The World Resources Institute is an environmental think tank that goes beyond research to create practical ways to protect the earth and improve people's lives.
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