Energy efficiency lives at the intersection of technology, data, and behavior – where operational technology and digitized environmental indicators converge with human habits and behavior to drive energy reduction. Simply put, this is the intersection where Clariant aims to constantly reside – especially while pursuing its ambitious energy and emission goals: reducing energy consumption by 30%, direct carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 30%, and emissions from greenhouse gases (GHG) by 35% per ton of produced goods between 2013 and 2025. Through the development of innovative, ongoing programs that manage energy use, costs, optimization, and training, Clariant pursues energy efficiency in a way that ultimately enhances operational and production equipment, improves the energy-reduction habits of employees, and most importantly, reduces energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.
Through large and small projects, by end of 2016 energy consumption per kilogram of manufactured products has decreased by more than 20% in total compared to the base year 2013. In the same period CO2 emissions have decreased by about 15% and greenhouse gas emissions by approx. 27%. In terms of financial savings, Clariant managed to save CHF 3.4 million in 2016 alone thanks to eWATCH.
eWATCH: Energy management all in one place
Energy efficiency, at its core, is a balancing act. Achieving reduced environmental impacts requires high-level and focused management, a culture of performance, and a look at costs. For Clariant, this certainly is the case: maintaining high performance and quality in operations and throughout the entire product life cycle is vital. However doing so in a way that is energy efficient is equally important from a cost and sustainability perspective. To achieve this balance, Clariant developed a comprehensive energy efficiency program that identifies savings potential through the detailed analysis of energy consumption across Clariant’s entire operations. This program is called eWATCH, and as an innovative and insightful tool, it fulfills the triple task of enhancing employees’ energy awareness, helps achieve business objectives in energy management, and further improves energy efficiency of machinery processes.
eWATCH oversees all forms and usages of energy at Clariant – electricity, heating and cooling, steam, natural gas, nitrogen, and the production of deionized water – by taking into account the design and setup of equipment and processes across Clariant’s facilities. It also records and analyzes Clariant’s energy consumption, including information on energy flows, prices, and usage optimization. It maintains information on total energy usage patterns and requirements and will increasingly consider maintenance activities, changeovers, cleaning, and production planning and scheduling in the future. It also contains information on best practices, optimization of equipment, and situations in which employees should shut down equipment that may not be running at full capacity. In other words, eWATCH is a full package, holistic system that guides both operations and mind-sets, ultimately helping to manage Clariant’s entire spectrum of energy use.
»The employee suggestions are an important success factor in improving energy management.«
JOSE LUIS ARRANZ Head Site Management & Services, BU Industrial and Consumer Specialties (ICS), Suzano, Brazil
Clariant Energy Intelligence Guide and employee engagement
kWh of energy used by Clariant per ton of products produced in 2016 (2015: 782 kWh).
kWh energy savings in total could be realized in 2016 via the eWATCH program.
One aspect of Clariant’s approach to energy management is technology-based – computers log environmental data and operational programming watches trace energy consumption and emissions. However, Clariant’s approach also includes a dynamic, behavioral component in eWATCH: the Clariant Energy Intelligence Guide (CEIG). This guide is a database that combines information, advice, best practices, and successful optimization projects, as well as key figures and tools that support energy efficiency, while enabling users to systematically improve energy efficiency of equipment. By providing every employee specific guidance on intelligent utilization of energy, Clariant captures a complete picture of energy consumption and builds an improvement process that engages employees constantly along the way. CEIG helps personnel perform sufficiently exact and quick calculations about topics like insulation, pressure loss, CO2 footprint, or the efficiency of on-site energy production. CEIG also contains an abundance of useful training material about how to save energy in practice.
To create ongoing engagement and encourage behaviors that promote energy efficiency, Clariant also encourages employees to submit suggestions for improvements in production processes. For example, a team of employees within the Business Unit (BU) Pigments suggested improvements to optimize the production process of pigments. In that specific process, this led to reductions in effluents by 50%, wastewater pollution by 20%, reductions in steam consumption by 40% and electricity and ice by 50% per kilogram of pigment. On top of that, the suggested improvements in the production process nearly doubled the batch quantity. This illustrates how embedding energy and operational efficiency into the habits and behaviors of employees can lead to positive outcomes. Jose Luis Arranz, Head Site Management & Services at the Suzano site in Brazil, is fully aware of this, too: »At our Suzano site, we involve all the people on the ground in trainings and actions aligned to CEIG eWATCH, encouraging employees to contribute suggestions for better ways to improve energy management and efficiency, and spreading awareness on how energy savings lead to cost savings and a reduction in CO2 and GHG emissions.« He elaborates, »It is important to realize that the participation of employees – coupled with operational excellence – creates a strong energy efficiency culture.«
Clariant Operational Excellence
Clariant’s energy efficiency program that identifies savings potential through the detailed analysis of energy consumption across operations.
CHF m of yearly recurring savings on energy costs could be achieved via the eWATCH program since 2013.
CHF m energy costs could be saved with the eWATCH program in 2016.
Another element of Clariant’s efforts to balance and integrate technology, behavior, and environmental data to save energy and reduce emissions is the Clariant Excellence (CLNX) initiative. CLNX encompasses four areas: Operational, Commercial, Innovation, and People Excellence. Operational Excellence, in particular, focuses on efficiency improvement and creating added value for Clariant and its customers, and deals with all steps of product and service creation – including, for example, order receipt, production planning, production itself, transporting products to customers, and the entire sales process and subsequent customer care. As a complement to eWATCH, Operational Excellence also involves comprehensive training to make sure optimization, efficiency, and excellence are implemented and ingrained in the minds of all employees.
Production efficiency and optimization: CPS YEE
Clariant’s Operational Excellence program expands efficiency initiatives even further through the Clariant Production System (CPS), which supports optimal productivity, sustainability, and financial performance production for all BUs. CPS operates in three dimensions – management, employee engagement, and operating systems – in a way that standardizes, simplifies, and modernizes production processes while enhancing performance and sustainability. By addressing all of these moving parts, CPS supports Clariant’s business objectives, nurtures the efficiency mind-set and behavior of Clariant’s employees, and optimizes operating systems.
Clariant addresses production efficiency with a thorough, detail-oriented, and holistic approach. The CPS YEE (Clariant Production System Yield, Energy, Environment) takes into account the fact that costs related to yield (raw materials), energy, and environment usually make up a major part of production expenses. However, this tool directly serves to increase yields and improving energy efficiency and reducing waste streams by analyzing specific production processes or production units to create a comprehensive picture of energy optimization. Through CPS YEE, Clariant identified savings of approximately CHF 51 million between 2013 and 2016.
Capturing the whole efficiency picture
Driven by its environmental targets for 2025, Clariant achieves energy and emissions reduction through the combined use of eWATCH, CLNX, and CPS YEE. In the past, the development and implementation of these programs have enhanced process efficiency and increased employee awareness. Benchmarking environmental indicators, which illustrates progress while promoting greater efficiency, has led Clariant to experience great success. The company will continue to dedicate itself to strategies that incorporate these elements.
All of Clariant’s German locations are certified under ISO 50001, an international standard for establishing efficient energy management systems in companies. Moving forward, Clariant hopes to certify more of its sites with ISO 50001. Clariant also plans on implementing more projects that reduce energy use and emissions, replace operational equipment, and increase employee engagement.