Why do we focus on energy reduction at work? Our manufacturing processes require significant amounts of energy to make our products — equivalent to the annual electricity use of about 1.3 MM U.S. homes — which is why we are committed to maximizing energy efficiency and the reduction of associated greenhouse gas emissions.
Energy reduction is aligned with our Celanese values, all of which touch stewardship and energy, but it’s probably most closely linked with our values of Improving the World and Being Sustainable. By reducing energy and the associated greenhouse gasses (GHG), we support our mission to operate responsibly to make a positive impact and make the world a better place to live. We believe that our commitment to sustainable energy reduction is something we need to do to be a sustainable company for the long term.
Energy reduction is part of two key initiatives. Energy is a key factor in our environmental stewardship program to reduce CO2 and other GHG. When we use less natural gas or steam in our manufacturing plants, we reduce the greenhouse gasses that result from burning the fuel required to make this energy.
The second initiative is productivity. Small improvements in energy efficiency mean big dollars in savings. In 2015 we implemented more than 150 energy productivity projects which saved about 5% of our total energy expenditures annually. We are on track to do the same in 2016. Energy productivity and reduction is achieved by actions such as: installing energy efficient equipment (replacing a lightbulb with a more energy efficient one); making products with less energy (using waste heat from one process to heat another); or eliminating unnecessary energy use (turning production equipment off when not in use).
Celanese has reduced Energy Intensity (EI), the amount of energy per pound of product produced, across all of its manufacturing sites by 9% from 2010 to 2015, and by more than 29% since 2005. We recently set a new companywide target to further reduce EI by 15% by 2020 (2013 baseline). To help us achieve this goal, Celanese has joined energy partnership programs with corporate peers and government programs. One of our key energy partnerships is with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR program, a globally recognized brand for energy efficiency. You have probably seen the ENERGY STAR logo on your fridge or washer. This year, Celanese was one of only 17 industrial companies to win the prestigious ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award. These partnerships bring knowledge, best practices and sharing from other companies and organizations that are reducing energy usage like Celanese. The Department of Energy, the American Chemistry Council and the Industrial Energy Technology Conference have also recognized us for our energy efficiency programs and projects.
Energy reduction is important in the workplace, but how can we be energy efficient and sustainable at home? One way is to teach our children about energy use and conservation. We can also take what we’ve learned at work and apply it to our homes to make them more energy efficient. As much as half of all household energy use goes towards heating and cooling so sealing and insulating is often the most cost-effective way to improve efficiency. Simple things like keeping your heating and cooling systems running efficiently, replacing lightbulbs with LED and turning off electronics when not in use help make our homes more energy friendly and reduces costs.
Energy efficiency at work and at home is connected. What we learn can be applied in both places. Our partnerships provide us with valuable tools and ideas. Click on the links below for recommendations on how to save energy at home.