With increasing economic pressures and rising utility and operating costs, many companies are looking beyond short-term measures and more towards long-term efficiency and sustainability through Energy Management practices, programs and services.
Whether motivated by cost savings, strategic goals, or strong commitment to protecting the environment - clients see Energy Management as an essential part of their long-term strategy. So do we. For Phil Rogers, Vice-President, Sodexo NorAm Technical Solution Center, “Reducing energy consumption is the “greenest” way to reduce operating expenses and meet your sustainability objectives.” Given the proven excellence of Sodexo technical maintenance in 54 countries, helping clients meet energy management goals is a seamless extension of our current offers. We believe it is not only possible, but also vital to increase energy awareness, best practices around energy efficiency, and provide sustainable solutions while providing a safe, comfortable environment that facilitates work, education, healing and living.
From audits to innovation – understanding specifics
Effective energy management begins with rigorous measurement. Sodexo Energy Audits measure performance and benchmark utilities while evaluating the availability and reliability of energy supply. Each industry, like each company, comes with a set of specific assets, requirements and culture that all need to be examined during the audit phase.
Many clients, customized solutions
“Once you know how much energy you consume, taking the data and analyzing it, is the first step in finding the right solutions to your specific needs” says Ian Mills Sodexo VP, Worldwide Technical Expertise Platform. In terms of facility management, opportunities to save energy come about in a number of ways, or combinations of efforts including supply procurement or utility management, switching to more energy efficient equipment or even recommissioning a building. At Skidmore College, Sodexo designed and implemented a complete campus lighting retrofit which involved using environmental geothermal heating and cooling. The result? Reducing electrical consumption by 4 percent over the course of the year, while simultaneously providing more comfortable lighting for students and employees.
Innovative technologies for a cleaner future
Whether managing existing buildings, or constructing new ones, Sodexo ensures energy efficiency through project management, monitoring energy use and utilities, implementing energy awareness practices and programs or advising on new energy efficient technologies.
One such simple solution is the implementation of energy saving devices that Sodexo promotes as part of our commitment to reduce energy consumption – and help clients to reduce carbon emissions. They fit over the thermostat probe of a food refrigeration unit, allowing the unit to respond to food and not air temperature, thus saving up to 30% of the energy consumption of fridges and freezers. That means reductions in electricity bills and in CO2 emissions associated with power generation.
Another technological solution comes through Sodexo’s recent acquisition of Roth Bros. a leading technical facilities management company in the U.S. Currently remotely monitoring around 25,000 buildings and facilities, the company employs state-of-the-art remote monitoring systems to enable energy management from a distance, encouraging quick response times for repairs and more effective consumption management. Now we can even turn lights on and off remotely, at the touch of a button.
Corporate culture holds the key to change
But not all solutions are about new technologies. According to Ian Mills, we are too often focused on technological solutions, and fail to see that the energy management process requires changing corporate culture and attitudes. "Engaging employees and consumers can be difficult as it involves a change program that needs to reach out across a whole organization or facility. If we manage this change well and everyone makes a small difference, it can add up to very large savings", he adds.
Big results through small changes
Sodexo’s Energy Awareness and Education Program recognizes and meets the need for individual behavioral change as part of the energy management effort. It involves appointing a volunteer Energy Champion within a community to help lead “green committees” to find engaging ways to identify and reduce energy waste. By educating and empowering employees some facilities have enjoyed reductions of 5 in the first year, with additional saving in following years, thanks to these Energy Champions and the efforts of the community.
In the catering industry, a recent British report by AEA for Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) says that training staff on practical measures to reduce energy consumption could lead to potentially high savings. Simple changes like turning dishwashers off when not in use or using spare oven capacity to perform other cooking operations could lead to energy savings of up to 27 for dishwashing and 43 for cooking. High savings indeed-and all through behavioral change.
Energy management: part of the big picture
Sodexo Energy Management is often a key aspect of our comprehensive corporate services contracts, which is the case with the contract for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) building in Washington, D.C. Sodexo continues to meet sustainability and EHS (Environment, Health & Safety) goals. And most importantly, ensures a healthy indoor space for a building’s occupants.