Together, New Zealand firms could save the country NZ$1.6 billion (US$1.2 billion) in energy costs every year through technology upgrades and process improvement.
One of New Zealand’s leading manufacturers, Orora, aims to save up to 15% of its energy as part of an ambitious 3-year plan developed with the support of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).
Orora manufactures packaging for a large number of New Zealand’s consumer food and beverage brands.
The initiative, announced in Auckland by Orora Managing Director and CEO Nigel Garrard and EECA Chief Executive Mike Underhill, will target annual energy savings of 11.8GWh – this is the equivalent annual energy consumption of approximately 1,130 households.
Garrard says that the company has already invested heavily in energy efficiency improvements in their Australian operations. He adds that by benchmarking the New Zealand operations against these shows that there is potential to make significant energy savings in New Zealand.
Energy efficiency makes good business sense
Garrard says energy efficiency is a fundamental part of running a sustainable business. The initiative is expected to reduce the New Zealand arm of a global packaging company’s annual CO2 reductions by 1,600 tonnes, comparable to the annual carbon emissions of about 580 typical New Zealand cars.
He adds that their recent experience of implementing energy efficiency programmes in Australia has demonstrated that in addition to saving on energy costs, other benefits such as increasing output, improving working environments and greater engagement with staff can also be realized.
Orora will invest approximately NZ$2 million (US$1.5 million) towards optimizing energy used for compressed air, warehouse lighting, and motorized systems, as well as reducing energy used in process and space heating.
Orora has committed to an investment programme to support energy efficiency projects that will run over the next three years. Its energy efficiency team is conducting energy audits of each New Zealand manufacturing plant to identify energy saving opportunities, both operational and technical.
With over 700 employees spread across six sites across the North and South Islands, the company will introduce a training programme to improve energy efficiency procedures and awareness amongst staff.
The initiative is expected to save 11.8GWh energy (6.7GWh of electricity and 5.1GWh of natural gas) and 1,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.
A more energy efficient New Zealand
EECA Chief Executive Mike Underhill says a group-wide energy management agreement can help organizations to establish a comprehensive energy management plan that makes energy work harder and smarter for their business.
“Orora will be one of a growing number of New Zealand large companies signed up to group-wide energy management agreement with EECA, and are achieving excellent savings across their operations.
“New Zealand companies are realizing that good energy management is part of a smart and sustainable business approach. Many of these savings are easy to achieve, but you have to go after them in a structured way. Businesses are often surprised at opportunities to save money and improve operations that have been sitting under their noses.”