Blog: Can industrial environmental performance be improved by small-scale investments?

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The inspiring presentations at the recent Nordic Business Forum made me think of how an industrial service company could in a concrete way reduce the negative environmental impact of its clients’ plants.

I believe that we can help industry reach their own energy efficiency targets by jointly improving the operation and maintenance of industrial facilities. Our professionals see how the customer processes function – or do not function.
Small improvements at production lines can provide significant savings in energy consumption and costs. In addition, well-serviced machines consume less spare parts and energy, and produce less waste.

I’ve been in the industry for a long time and seen how environmental awareness has risen to an important role especially in big industrial enterprises. The staff at the plants is familiar with the machinery and equipment and is able to provide us with good and practical proposals for small improvements that require only a minor investment in order to improve the environmental performance of the plant.

Good examples of such improvements are detection and repair of compressed air and heat leaks, optimizing heating in production spaces and utilization of waste heat. With regular lubrication we avoid unnecessary wear of equipment and eventual stoppages due to machine breakage. The same applies to process equipment and parts – regular monitoring and service along with optimal use are the key elements.

It is clear that this type of actions do not suffice to reach the environmental targets, but each one of them is a step closer to the goal. The most important thing is to listen to the personnel at the facility, be open to their proposals and make sure that there is a functioning channel for them to present their ideas.

What have we at Maintpartner done? We are committed to reducing the use of natural resources, like energy and raw materials - both our own and those of our customers. In our own operations this is visible for example as reduced waste and recycling. We also prefer video conferences and minimize the use of cars, and optimize heating.

Also EU with its energy efficiency directives, increasing regulatory requirements, and the emission levels determined by each industry bring obligations to improve environmental performance and speed up the work to make the existing processes and cleaning technologies more efficient.


Laura Kauppinen

laura.kauppinen[at]maintpartner.com

 

The author heads the support functions People and Tools & Materials at Maintpartner Group. HSEQ is part of the People function.