For example, according to Efficiency and Innovation in U.S. Manufacturing Energy Use, as industry reels from today’s high energy prices – particularly for natural gas – companies like Procter & Gamble, Caterpillar, and Ingersoll Rand are introducing new products that use less energy. Others, including Kimberly-Clark, Frito-Lay, and DuPont, are taking proactive steps to reduce energy waste and cut production costs. Still others, like Merck & Co., use energy management strategies to expand their production capacity while avoiding unnecessary capital expenditures.
“Being better energy managers is important not only for each company, but is also an essential component in achieving a low-inflation, high-growth economy,” said John Engler, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers. “We encourage manufacturers to make energy efficiency a part of standard operating procedure.”
“While potential energy waste reduction can add about $19 billion to American industry’s collective bottom line, the dollar value of new energy-efficient products and services is unbounded,” observed Alliance director of industrial programs Christopher Russell. “Huge financial rewards await manufacturers who believe that free enterprise and resource efficiency can not only co-exist but also drive new business opportunities,” he added. “One opportunity is to offer new products that actually reduce consumers’ energy bills – for example Procter & Gamble’s Tide Coldwater, the new laundry detergent formulated specifically for cold water use. Another is Caterpillar’s fuel-efficient engines that reduce operating costs.
“A third such opportunity is to reduce energy waste in the manufacturing process itself,” Russell noted. “All manufacturers have an ‘internal competitor’ in the form of wasted energy and other resources as a result of poor energy-consumption management. After all, a dollar of profit lost to waste is equal to a dollar lost to a competing firm, and when efficiency is perceived as a luxury and not a necessity, profits literally go up in smoke.”
The new Alliance/NAM report analyses the forces that shape today’s industrial energy markets and describes industrial energy challenges, opportunities, and strategic approaches to energy management. A copy of the report can be downloaded from www.ase.org/section/topic/industry/corporate.