National Energy Conservation Day today puts the focus on energy management in India. December 14, 2001, is when the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) implemented The Energy Conservation Act in our country.
Energy conservation at major Indian companies
Corporations are considered electricity guzzlers. However, in recent decades, responsible businesses like ITC, Godrej and their peers are putting energy conservation at the top of their priority list. The focus on ESG has also made energy management important across the board. Here are the latest energy conservation initiatives by top companies in India.
Over the past decades, ITC has demonstrated environmental stewardship by not only ensuring efficient use of resources but also by augmenting precious natural capital. ITC has pioneered the Green Buildings movement in India. All premium ITC luxury hotels are Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED®) Platinum certified. Several of ITC’s factories and office complexes have also received the Green Building certification from Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), the LEED® certification from USGBC and star ratings from the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE).
ITC also engages with its major supply chain partners for monitoring and improving their energy performance and progressively including them within the sustainability reporting boundary.
To further mitigate value chain impacts, steps are taken for reducing energy consumed in transportation of raw materials, finished goods and waste. ITC has strategically located its Integrated Consumer Goods Manufacturing and Logistics (ICML) facilities for FMCG businesses closer to the market.
In 2019-20, ITC units consumed 23,853 Terra Joules (TJ) of energy. During the year, despite an expanding operational footprint as well as significant rise in production across businesses, total energy consumption went up by only 2.3%.
Moreover, 41.2% of the total energy requirements were met from renewable sources – biomass, wind and solar. This represents an achievement of more than 80% of the target set by ITC Group of meeting 50% of total energy requirement from renewables. Energy conservation measures at ITC units include installation of advanced process controller at the cogeneration plant for higher efficiency, new energy efficient electric boilers, new energy efficient pulper for trim waste, energy efficient baking ovens, automation in tube cleaning systems in Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) chillers resulting in higher efficiency, installation of Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) for ventilation units, blowers, pumps, fans etc.
Pursuing continuous improvement in energy performance, the ITC Group targets to meet 50% of its total energy consumption from renewable sources by 2030. It also aims to achieve a 30% reduction in specific energy consumption over a 2014-15 baseline.
In 2020, Vedanta Group of companies undertook more than 70 energy conservation projects. These include: Improvement of boiler efficiencies at the power plant, load balancing measures dependant on demand for energy, reduction in the use of furnace oil, upgrade of cathodes and process optimization in smelters.
Hindustan Zinc commissioned 12MW solar plant in Debari, 4MW solar plant in Dariba and 22 MW solar plant in Agucha. All the solar power projects have been installed on waste land/ dump yard at Dariba mine, Debari Zinc smelter and Agucha mine, reducing land use. In addition, a 1 MW solar power project has been commissioned at Kayad mine, under the net-metering scheme. Rooftop solar projects were also completed taking the total to 40.6MW for captive use. The green power generated from our solar installations have reduced Vedanta’s carbon footprint by nearly 66,000 TCO2 e per annum. Vedanta is planning to further enhance its solar energy footprint in the coming year. The Debari and Agucha solar power projects has been registered under CDM and Gold Standard.
As part of commercial renewable energy installations, Vedanta Limited has installed 274 MW of wind farms in five states across India. These projects are registered under the CDM programme by United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Verified Carbon Standard programme by VEERA and the Gold Standard. All energy generated is sold to the respective state DISCOMs and does not form part of Vedanta’s energy mix.
HDFC Bank is installing energy efficient systems and leveraging technology to optimise energy consumption across operations. The bank is using technology and innovation as facilitators in areas such as implementing effective monitoring systems, installing capacitor banks and occupation sensors, sharing energy usage patterns and anomalies through an easy-to-use portal with our employees, enabling them to take ownership of efficient energy consumption; deploying Energy Management Systems (EnMS) which use data analytics to help improve energy efficiency, leading to reduction of power consumption by ~12%
across 600 branches.
The bank is replacing traditional fluorescent lights with LED lamps, across several existing as well as new branches and premises. Based on their operational hours, elevators are scheduled; partial operations of elevators were regulated at 18 locations across the country. They have installed sensors in about 600 branches to monitor the HVAC, lights and signage, resulting in a saving of 12% of average energy consumption.
The bank has installed VRF in ACs at back office premises for high performance and energy efficiency in commercial buildings. Almost 30,000 units of electricity have been saved since the launch of these systems. The control system in inverter ACs adjusts the compressor frequency to maintain temperature control without consuming excess power. 3,041 inverter ACs were installed last year across existing and new branches saving about 8.6 Lakh units of electricity.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)
This year, TCS became the first IT services company in India to achieve the ISO 50001:2011 Energy Management System certification for its campus at Pune, Sahyadri Park. The TCS Remote Energy Management Program continues to scale up by extending the program to some of the tech company’s international sites in the US, Ecuador, and China in addition to the 135 sites in India in the program.
Overall energy efficiency was brought about by changing over to energy-efficient luminaires, retrofits, and enhancement to legacy infrastructure. Their IoT (internet of things) platform has been further enhanced to acquire Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) data – indoor CO2 levels, temperature, and relative humidity – to ensure that the IAQ parameters inside our facilities are maintained within acceptable limits for a healthy and conducive work environment.
The Resource Optimization Centre (ROC) in Kochi continues to orchestrate business operations and generate value, thus consistently delivering year-on-year energy reduction, offsetting the growth in employees and new facilities, and ramping up existing facilities.
Initiatives that are further fine-tuning asset operations (HVAC, lighting) with occupancy and weather conditions are generating savings. Asset efficiency analytics are helping to improve the efficiency and maintainability of assets. Furthermore, machine learning-based cognitive algorithms have been developed to help with automated anomaly detection and accurate forecasting for various uses like budgeting, provisioning, and procurement on energy exchanges.
Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL)
GCPL won ‘Efficiency in Energy Usage’ in Chemical sector at the FICCI Chemicals and Petrochemicals Awards 2019. The company has reduced specific energy consumption by 27.7% and increased renewable energy portfolio to 30%.
All GCPL manufacturing units monitor their GHG emissions, and have set short-term targets to reduce emission and achieve carbon neutrality. Energy efficiency initiatives include switching to renewable biomass for boilers, procurement of renewable energy, flue gas heat recovery from boilers and utilisation in the process, and installation of energy-efficient equipment.
In fiscal year 2020, Godrej Consumer Products has undertaken 70 energy efficiency initiatives to reduce energy consumption and dependence on conventional energy sources, on the manufacturing scale.
Malanpur: Installed water-based vacuum system to replace a steam-based vacuum system that helped reduce fuel consumption by 48 metric tonne; replaced the old chiller with a new, efficient one that helped save 1.4 lakh kWh, and installed a new energy efficient compressor that reduced energy consumption by 2.8 lakh kWh.