Limited energy resources, global warming and increased social awareness in the wake of nuclear power catastrophes are forcing the Swiss government to adopt stricter measures. In 2012, the Swiss government adopted the new Energy Strategy 2050, which focuses on energy efficiency. As an energy intensive company, we are serious about using energy efficiently and economically.
Energy Efficiency Goals
Energy is an important resource and a major expense. We are always trying to improve our energy efficiency to counteract rising energy costs and strengthen our international competitiveness. We use our energy consumption and utilization to determine our savings potential, and put the best practices in place. By reducing our fossil fuel consumption we are able to constantly lower our CO2 emissions. We can protect the environment and provide sustainable business management and thus secure our long-term position.
Energy Policy and Energy Management System
Our energy policy pursues the following principles:
- We are frugal with energy and strive to reduce specific CO2 emissions.
- We constantly review our energy consumption and improve specific utilization.
- Energy efficiency is a factor in our investment planning.
- Our suppliers and service providers are involved in our energy policy.
We use an Energy Management System (EnMS) certified under ISO 50001 in 2014 to successfully implement our energy policy. Energy assessment and planning are at the heart of our EnMS. Energy management involves extensive record keeping and analysis all energy usage, as well as the determination and implementation of legal requirements. We use these factors to set our strategic and operational energy goals. Energy-related measures are planned, executed and monitored, while also accounting for the required quality of use.
Employee contributions to improving energy efficiency
Improving energy efficiency is everybody’s job. Successful energy management requires active employee participation in determining and implementing energy saving measures. Our employees are aware of their energy use. They recognize the impact of their activities on energy usage and CO2 emissions and contribute to reaching our improvement goals.
Energy efficiency measures
The issues of energy efficiency and CO2 emissions have been getting extra attention thanks to the Swiss government. A large number of energy efficiency improvements and CO2 reductions were implemented to significantly reduce electricity and gas usage.
We now recapture over 11 million kWh of thermal energy every year from the waste heat at our rolling mill. We have reduced our CO2 emissions and natural gas consumption for heating by about 60%.
By installing radiation recuperators 2015 the natural gas consumption on the ladle furnace has been reduced. The radiation recuperators preheat the combusting air. It saves 490 MWh/a.
The optimization of the hydraulics pumps of the billet shear saves 311 MWh/a.
The replacement and the optimization of compressors for the water and compressed air system in the rolling mill reduce the energy consumption by 216 MWh/a.
These and other measures help achieve the energy goals.