Reducing energy intensity and increasing use of alternative and renewable sources


As energy prices become increasingly volatile—and climate change more of a concern—reducing our energy usage makes good business sense. For the long-term health of our business and our communities, responsible stewardship of our energy footprint remains a high priority for our shareholders and other stakeholders.

G4-DMA ▾

Our Approach

Southwire’s commitment to environmental stewardship includes a focus on both energy reduction and the use of alternative sources where feasible. Being responsible energy consumers matters to us and to our customers. We regularly receive customer inquiries about our energy usage, reduction goals and efficiency improvement initiatives. We manage our energy footprint with audits, goals, governance mechanisms, policies, partnerships, internal benchmarking, specialized teams, accountability and communication.

Energy Audits

We completed energy audits at two Southwire facilities in 2016, and we will conduct assessments at an additional five to seven facilities in 2017. From these audits, we intend to build a database of potential energy-savings opportunities that can be deployed throughout the organization. Though still in the evaluation phase, one project identified in 2016 appears to have the potential to provide significant energy and cost savings at a number of locations. In addition, as we upgrade or modify equipment, we seek to utilize the most energy-efficient technology when possible.

Goal Setting

In 2010, we set a 2020 goal to achieve a 10 percent improvement in our energy efficiency over our baseline. This goal pushed our employees to look for ways to reduce energy usage, and we achieved our target in 2012. Despite minor setbacks due to supply chain adjustments and changes in product mix, Southwire set an aggressive new goal in 2016 with a corresponding new energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target. We will begin reporting our progress toward our new goals in our 2017 Sustainability Report.


Achieve top decile DJSI (Dow Jones Sustainability Index) performance in
operational eco-efficiency in the Electrical Components & Equipment sector.
  • Reduce energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity by 15% through conservation and the use of renewable energy by 2021.

Our new energy and GHG reduction targets will build upon the Growing Green efforts we started in 2007. In particular, the new GHG objective moves the company toward a visible and meaningful commitment to addressing climate change.


Management of our energy use begins with our individual plants, and our EHS department manages our energy performance data. These units report to our divisional leadership, who in turn report 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 as needed, 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.”

Partnerships and Internal Benchmarking

We are working to further improve our energy management by engaging with an outside firm 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 planned approach, we will review consumption versus production and complete energy audits at select locations to identify potential savings opportunities for energy use, spend and GHG emissions. Further, we plan to replicate an internal benchmarking approach we used with water usage to identify best practices and encourage plants with relatively higher energy footprints to identify opportunities to reduce energy usage as well.

Energy Reduction Team

In the fall of 2015, our top operations leaders 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 consisting of our environmental director, engineering director and three plant managers. In 2016, this team evaluated several energy consulting firms, including three pilot projects, to identify a potential partner to aid in our energy assessments. Over time, this group aims to improve energy efficiency through a combination of capital investment and updated operational practices.

Accountability and Communication

Our board receives a quarterly update on energy usage. Divisional, plant and environmental staff receive summarized company-wide and individual plant energy performance data on a periodic basis. We also keep employees up to date by posting monthly infographics on our progress on our internal Southwire News Network.

Our Performance

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

G4-EN3 ▾
Metric (GJ) 2013 2014 2015 2016
Total fuel consumption from nonrenewable sources  1,438,300 1,932,500 2,155,500 2,373,204
Total fuel consumption from renewable sources Not quantified Not quantified 340 340
Total electricity consumption 1,774,700 1,794,200 1,746,100 1,910,279
Heating consumption Not quantified Not quantified Not quantified Not quantified
Cooling consumption Not quantified Not quantified Not quantified Not quantified
Steam consumption Not quantified Not quantified Not quantified Not quantified
Electricity sold 0 0 0 0
Heating sold 0 0 0 0
Cooling sold 0 0 0 0
Steam sold 0 0 0 0
Total 3,213,000 3,726,700* 3,901,940 4,283,823
*Increase above 2013 usage due to acquisition of Coleman. Energy intensity actually fell during this period.
G4-EN5 ▾
Metric 2013 2014 2015 2016
Energy Intensity (MMBtu/ton) 8.45 8.75 8.69 8.65
G4-EN6 ▾
Metric 2013 2014 2015 2016 Target
% Change from 2010 Baseline (Intensity Basis) 10%
10% reduction
by 2020