Southwire strongly commits to environmental stewardship, and reducing our energy usage makes good business sense. Many of our customers also consider energy reduction an important priority and look to Southwire both to manage our own energy use and provide thorough and accurate data. We regularly respond to customer inquiries about our energy usage and initiatives toward energy efficiency improvements.
We completed energy audits at three Southwire facilities in 2015. Looking forward, our top 10 plants, which account for approximately 80 percent of Southwire’s energy use, represent the greatest opportunity to address energy consumption. With respect to our product mix, we realigned and consolidated some of our plant production equipment in order to maximize operational efficiency. In addition, as we upgrade or modify equipment, we seek to utilize the most energy-efficient technology when possible.
Southwire manages energy use through:
- Goal setting
- Internal benchmarking
- Accountability and communication
We set a goal of reaching a 10 percent improvement in our energy efficiency over our 2010 baseline by 2020. This goal pushed our employees to look for ways to reduce energy usage, and we achieved our target in 2012. Despite minor setbacks in 2014 due to supply chain adjustments and changes in product mix, Southwire is considering how to strengthen this goal to achieve even higher levels of energy efficiency.
|10%||reduction versus 2010 baseline
Management of our energy use begins with our individual plants, and our environmental director manages our energy performance data. These units report to our divisional leadership, which in turn reports to our executive vice president of international and operational development.
Southwire first issued its EHS Policies and Principles document in 1994. Since then, we updated the document three times, including in 2015, in recognition that new issues arise over time. In this document, we state our commitment to “maximize the energy efficiency of our existing operations and save energy to the greatest feasible extent.”
We are working to further improve our energy management by engaging with outside firms to help identify additional energy-saving opportunities across our top energy-consuming facilities. Presently, each manufacturing plant manages its energy consumption on an individual basis, making it difficult to achieve a standardized approach and quantify the impact of each facility’s separate actions. With our new approach, we review consumption versus production and complete energy audits at select locations to identify potential savings opportunities for energy use, dollars and CO2 emissions.
We internally benchmarked our water usage to determine the performance spectrum at Southwire facilities. This approach helps us to identify best practices as well as detect situations where a location’s water systems may be out of balance. We plan to replicate this approach to encourage plants with relatively higher energy footprints to identify opportunities to reduce energy usage as well.
In the fall of 2015, our top leaders in operations met to draw up a five-year strategic plan to increase capacity and productivity and reduce costs, energy and scrap. From this summit sprang an energy reduction team; though still in early stages, this team includes our environmental director, engineering director and three plant managers. As the company grows, this group aims to improve energy efficiency through a combination of capital investment and updated operational practices.
Accountability and Communication
Divisional leadership attends monthly updates on Southwire’s energy usage; our board receives a quarterly briefing. Company-wide and individual plant energy performance data are summarized and shared with divisional, plant and environmental staff on a monthly basis. We also keep employees up to date by posting monthly infographics on our progress on Southwire News Network.
At Southwire, we track energy consumption as well as energy efficiency. To manage our energy usage performance, our facilities track electricity and gas, both Scope 1 and Scope 2. We restated our 2014 data to reflect post-integration Southwire.
|Energy Consumption (Gigajoules)||2013||2014||2015|
|Total fuel consumption from nonrenewable sources||1,438,300||1,932,500||2,155,500|
|Total fuel consumption from renewable sources||Not quantified||Not quantified||340|
|Total electricity consumption||1,774,700||1,794,200||1,746,100|
|Total Energy Consumption||3,213,000||3,726,700*||3,901,600|
*Increase above 2013 usage due to acquisition of Coleman. Energy intensity actually fell during this period.
Energy Intensity Trend
|Year||Energy Intensity (MMBtu/ton)||% Change (Intensity Basis)|
|2011||9.14||3% reduction from baseline|
|2012||8.46||10% reduction from baseline|
|2013||8.45||10% reduction from baseline|
|2014||8.75||7% reduction from baseline|
|2015||8.69||8% reduction from baseline|
For the underlying technical assumptions associated with our energy data, please review our GRI content index.