Debating climate change sceptics and the irrational decision by Donald Trump

Posted by on Jun 2, 2017 in Articles, Blog | 0 comments

I want to share an argument that I have used on many occasions when faced with audiences who are yet to be convinced about climate change. This is summarized by the diagram below.

 

This illustration reflects, in the columns, the positions that folks adopt about climate change. Some think that it is real, others not. Of course, we cannot change these columns, one will be prove to be right and the other will be wrong.

The rows, on the other hand, reflect the choices we make. We have two choices, A or B – either we take effective action on climate change, or not. That choice is under our control.

Clearly, we want to avoid the red box – where life as we know it comes to an end. Thus the only rational choice is “B”, to take action on climate change, despite some uncertainties about the consequences of inaction.

President Trump’s announcement of the US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement made in the Rose Garden of the White House yesterday unambiguously represents Choice A.

The statement Trump made justifying this decision relies on two central arguments, which are understood by reference to the table above.

First is the argument that the Paris Accord is not Choice B (i.e. it will do little for climate change). To quote.

Even if the Paris Agreement were implemented in full, with total compliance from all nations, it is estimated it would only produce a two-tenths of one degree — think of that; this much — Celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100. Tiny, tiny amount.

Indeed, as the PolititFact site clearly elucidates, there is some truth in this statement. Scientists and climate change advocates have also been very clear that the commitments made in Paris were not enough. But they did see Paris as the framework through which countries could tighten their commitments over time. Indeed, Paris was a real milestone in that developing countries, too, agreed to targets for the first time. So saying that the first step is not enough is not an argument for stepping backwards.

The reader will note that there is no downside portrayed in the bottom left box, where dangerous climate change is not real, but we have nevertheless substantially transformed our organizations to reduce emissions and adapt to rising temperatures. While individual businesses, such as the coal industry, may well see a substantial reduction in their value unless they change the core business model, the majority of organizations will gain from resource efficiency to address climate change. That is because using less energy and creating less waste reduces costs. Delivering more efficient products will provide a competitive advantage. The new technology gold rush to mitigate carbon emissions will create countless business opportunities and thousands of jobs. Anticipating rather than reacting to regulation will create greater degrees of freedom for business operations extending, rather than diminishing, their licence to operate and innovate.

The second, essential, strand in the narrative of denial is to dismiss the notion that the lower-left box will lead to a better world even if climate change does not exist. Unless the fact that action is detrimental can be established, the precautionary principle would suggest that Choice B should be taken even if the probability that climate change is real (since the consequence of climate change is so catastrophic). To quote again.

The Paris Agreement would result in “lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories and vastly diminished economic production.

Read More

Why I am giving away six years work – free PDF of Energy/Resource Efficiency Book

Posted by on May 27, 2017 in Blog, My Book, News | 0 comments

I have had some kind feedback about my decision to give away a free PDF of my two-volume book on energy and resource efficiency, which sells for £59.99 (US$79.99) in print. Several people have commented on just how much work must have gone into the book and how useful it is for anyone in the energy and resource efficiency field. It is true that I have invested a lot into this book – over six years of weekends, evenings and holiday time writing the book between my “day job” as a consultant and Sustainability Director. And there are the direct costs in editing, images etc – which are not inconsiderable.

In some cases colleagues have asked me outright why on earth I am giving away such a valuable resource. There is puzzlement because folks who know me, know that I have quite a good “business head”. So I feel that I owe people an explanation.

The reason I am giving away my book is that I passionately believe that my profession – energy and resource efficiency practitioners – are central to solving one of humanity’s biggest challenges – how to do more with less. Over the years, I have observed that fellow practitioners often have great resources and knowledge about the technical or engineering aspects of their craft – but that there is virtually nothing that explains, with honesty, how to deal with the strategic, organisational, managerial, behavioral, financial and communications aspects. In fact, the plethora of self-congratulatory case studies from organisations would lead one to conclude that this efficiency stuff is easy.

I am giving away my book because I want to help my colleagues, because I am concerned about climate change and biodiversity, because the better we are at what we do, the better world we will leave for the next generation.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers in the book, but I do believe that there is much to support colleagues, and to train and enthuse the next generation of practitioners. I have been very lucky – I have worked for some outstanding clients in some remarkable programmes all over the world, alongside some truly amazing colleagues. Its time to give something back!

So how can you help? First of all please do share the PDF and the link to this blog (bit.ly/2qtzKPP) – the more folks that make use of the book the better. Second, if you have suggestions for improvements, additions or if you spot errors please do let me know – I am totally committed to getting the contents right.

Finally if you are old-fashioned, like me, and you absolutely must have a printed copy of the book, please order it through my store rather than elsewhere – I have deliberately priced the printed book at the lowest level possible, which means that when the retailer takes their minimum required 40% commission on the sale price, there is virtually nothing left. That is deliberate – this book is not a money-making project! However, by ordering the book through my store, that 40% contributes towards recovering some of the publication costs and towards future revisions and (possible) future books. There is a free shipping option to most countries and ordering through my site is the most sustainable way of shipping as each book is individually printed on demand and sent directly from the printer to you (there are no additional journeys to warehouses etc).

Above all please do use the book! You can get the free PDF here – simply select the free PDF on the left, add it to your cart, and checkout as normal.

Hopefully, there is something there to help us all do more with less.

All the best,

 

Read More

Free PDF of “Energy and Resource Efficiency without the tears”

Posted by on May 21, 2017 in Blog, My Book, News | 0 comments

I am absolutely delighted to announce that the two volumes of my book on energy and  resource efficiency have now been published as a single book.

As part of SustainSuccess’ contribution to sustainability the book, all 840 pages, is being made available FREE, in the Adobe PDF format.

I have been humbled by the outstanding reviews that leading folks in the efficiency world have give to the book:  

  • …the definitive source or making sense of energy efficiency and all of its attendant benefits.” [Christopher Russell –  Visiting Fellow, Industrial Programs,  American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy,  author of “Managing Energy from the Top Down“];
  • For anyone interested in a practical guide to improving resource and energy efficiency, this is the one and only book you need to own” [Dr Steve Fawkes – Managing Partner, EnergyPro, author of “Energy Efficiency“];
  • A very practical book which covers all the bases for practitioners and students of energy and resource efficiency alike. [Tim Sullivan – Director Energy & Property Compliance, Rolls-Royce.];
  • An authoritative and comprehensive book that will help any organisation justify and implement an effective energy and resource efficiency programme [Ray Gluckman – former President of the Institute of Refrigeration]
  • Niall Enright has produced a remarkably comprehensive manual for energy efficiency, which combines high-level insights and practical tips for developing and implementing projects and programs” [Donald Gilligan – President NAESCO]

You can get the free PDF easily. Simply go to the store, add the book to your basket and check-out. You will not be charged for the book, and on completing the check-out process, will received a download link to the PDF (17 MB).

The combined print version retails for £59.99 in paperback and £79.99 in hardback – including free postage options to most markets. The print versions also include free access to the companion files, for which there is a very modest charge for PDF version readers.

Please do feel free to:

  • Share the link to this post on your own social media pages. The shortened link is: http://bit.ly/2rqzfL7
  • Share the PDF with others (although it is better that folks download the file from the shop as they can be informed about updates to the text or additional materials)

Please don’t hesitate to give me feedback on the book. The beauty of print on demand (and PDF) is not only that this is a resource-efficient method of publication but also that the content can easily be updated regularly. You can also award the book between 1 star and 5 stars in the store, so please do come back and give it a rating!

All the best,

Niall Enright

Read More

Feeback

Posted by on Apr 6, 2017 in My Book | 0 comments

Please feel free to add feedback on my book (positive or negative!) by clicking on the heading “Feedback” and then adding comments in the box below….. Unless otherwise requested, I may quote positive reviews received….. 🙂

Read More

Energy Institute

Posted by on Apr 3, 2017 in Blog, News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Niall Enright’s contribution and achievements in energy efficiency have been recognised with his election as a Fellow of the Energy Institute and the award of Chartered Energy Manager status.

This is Niall’s reaction to the awards: “It is a real honour to receive this recognition from an organisation that is doing so much to promote the profession of energy management, and I want to thank the folks who supported my application.  For my part, I hope that I can encourage others to participate in the work of the Institute and achieve the continuous professional development that is the key to success in this rapidly moving field. I know that some people may be put off by the idea of getting membership – with the need for sponsor recommendations and evidence of competency – but I would urge them to see these as opportunities. The real reward for me is not the letters after my name, but the ability to connect with fellow professionals worldwide and the reminder that investing time and money in my own development is valuable”.

Follow this link for more information about the Energy Institute.

 

Read More

Kind endorsements received

Posted by on Dec 4, 2016 in My Book | 0 comments

For anyone interested in a practical guide to improving resource and energy efficiency, this is the one and only book you need to own.” – Dr Steve Fawkes, Managing Partner, EnergyPro, author of “Energy Efficiency

A very practical book which covers all the bases for practitioners and students of energy and resource efficiency alike.” – Tim Sullivan, Director Energy & Property Compliance, Rolls-Royce.

Niall Enright has produced a remarkably comprehensive manual for energy efficiency, which combines high-level insights and practical tips for developing and implementing projects and programs” – Donald Gilligan, President NAESCO

An authoritative and comprehensive book that will help any organisation justify and implement an effective energy and resource efficiency programme” – Ray Gluckman, former President of the Institute of Refrigeration

“Niall Enright’s ‘Energy and Resource Efficiency: Without the Tears’ may be the definitive resource for making sense of energy efficiency and all of its attendant benefits. Niall resists issuing imperatives or moral ultimatums. Instead, he begins with the practical wants and needs of decision-makers, and shows how energy efficiency satisfies those priorities. Accordingly, the reader is rewarded with discussions of investments instead of costs, solutions instead of projects, and opportunities instead of distractions. A timely alternative to searching through thirty years worth of literature.” Christopher Russell, Visiting Fellow, Industrial Programs,  American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy,  author of “Managing Energy from the Top Down

I am deeply humbled that such experienced practitioners  – people who I greatly admire –  have felt able to give such a positive judgement on this work.

Thank-you!

Read More

Book proofs arrive!

Posted by on Oct 10, 2016 in My Book, News | 0 comments

Very early proofs of the book Niall Enright has been working on for six years have now arrived!

img_2594img_2589

The opinions of colleagues and family have been sought on whether to publish the print edition as one volume or two. The advantage of 1 volume  is:

  • There can be a single index so that all references to a topic are in one place
  • Internal cross-references make better sense as the two volumes are closely linked
  • The cost will be lower than for two separate volumes

 

The disadvantages of the single volume approach are:

  • Only the lightest paper can be used for the paperback version (so there is some “show through”)
  • It is heavy, so no exactly a cover-to-cover read, more of a reference book.

It is now looking very much like the publication date will be in Q2 2017.  The intention is to release a free PDF. The print copy will be published via IngramSpark which is the most resource-efficient method of publication since they print in three continents (so the shipping distance will be minimised) and only the required number of books (1+) are produced so waste or “pulping” of unsold copies will be eliminated.

See the section on My Book for more details.

Read More

ESOS Services now available

Posted by on Oct 5, 2016 in News | 0 comments

SustainSuccess can now offer ESOS lead assessor services. The Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme is the UK implementation of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, which requires large organisations to have a formal energy audit every four years, overseen by a certified assessor.

esoscertificate_small

The rationale behind the regulations is that there are many cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities that are not being implemented simply because organisations are unaware that they exists. By mandating that the audit results are presented to senior management, the hope is that projects will receive support. As with all regulations, some organisations will adopt a “least cost to comply” approach, while others will see this as an opportunity to add value by carrying out audits that uncover value by employing expert auditors capable of identifying cost-effective opportunities. Needless to say SustainSuccess will be offering the latter approach.

It should be noted that there is an alternative approach to compliance by implementing an ISO 50001 certified energy management system, like the one SustainSuccess implemented at Peel Holdings.

Read More

MACCTool launched:

Posted by on Jul 14, 2016 in News | 0 comments

1_mactool_new_172x72SustainSuccess are delighted to announce the launch of the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Programs’ MACCTool. Niall Enright was the lead developer of this innovative and powerful application to draw Marginal Abatement Cost Curves, a key tool for organisations and policy-makers seeking to understand potential paths to decarbonisation.

The lead on the client side was Victor Loksha, a Senior Energy Economist, with input from Martina Bosi, Perre Audinet, Grzegorz Peszko, Adrien Vogt-Schilb and many others. The project was led by ERM’s Peter Rawlings and Braulio Pikman, supported by Sandra Seastream, Wairimu Mwangi and additional Excel development by James Joyce and Calvin Iost. This project was a major redesign building on an earlier version of MAC Tool, developed by Andreas Mastle and led by Christophe de Gouvello at the World Bank.

MACTool is a remarkably powerful MACC creation tool. Unlike MACC Builder Pro, which simply draws MACC Charts, MACCTool provides inputs for multiple cash flows in a project and will calculate the Marginal Abatement Cost and emissions abatement values given these inputs. Features provided by MACTool include:

  • Separate cash flows for a Baseline and Low Carbon Case. These cash flows can be created from “templates” designed for different sectors so that a generation technology, for example, can have a Revenue cash flow from the sale of electricity. The templates can be modified by users and re-used.
  • An intuitive interface that takes away the complexity of the underlying model and allows the user to manage many different projects using a
    pop-up Navigator.
  • The ability to categorise projects by sector/technology, SIC code, or region.
  • MACC charts can be set to show an overview of each category which can then be “drilled down” to show individual projects within the category.
  • Complete flexibility over the discount rates used so that these can apply at the model level, by sector or globally. The option to discount the abatement term, if desired (see the discussion on the previous page), using a separate discount factor.
  • A lot of attention has gone into bringing the key assumptions for all the projects into a single table which allows for rapid validation and error checking. Models can have an “in progress” status which means they are not included in totals until they are marked “complete”.
  • The ability to chart Investment Costs, Investment Intensity and other financial metrics, not just the Marginal Abatement Cost.

As one would expect from a very knowledgeable team of economists at the World Bank, the flexibility and capabilities of MACC Tool are truly staggering with the ability to use multiple currencies and to run cases also built into the system.

One metric that appears as standard in the templates that ship with MACCTool is the Breakeven Carbon Price. This is based on the notion that while there may be an overall market discount rate set which takes into account the cost of capital in an economy, private investors will expect a generally higher rate of return. Thus the Present Value of a project can be worked out using the desired rate of return rate, such as 20%. If the project PV is negative it means that it has made a loss, so MACCTool will then calculate the additional incentive in $/tonne CO2 that is needed to deliver the percent target return needed by the investor. Neat!

Another innovation in MACCTool is the wedge-MACC chart. An example of this chart is shown below.

wedgemacc

The chart above is taken from an analysis of Costa Rica’s emissions abatement opportunities prepared in advance of the Paris UNFCC Summit in 2015 (COP21).

On the left is a normal wedge chart showing the emissions abatement per year from a range of different projects/technologies. Because these are added together the height of the chart is the cumulative total. Well, we know that a MACC chart also shows a cumulative total along its horizontal axis, so if we rotate the MACC vertically, as shown on the right hand side of the image, we can see the MAC for each opportunity in ascending order from best return to worst return with the height matching the total saving at the end of the analysis period. This combined wedge-MACC chart was first described in a paper by Adrien Vogt-Schilb, Stephane Hallegatte and Christophe de Gouvello at the World Bank.

The team at ESMAP and the World Bank have made MACTool freely available at http://esmap.org/MACTool and would welcome feedback from users. There is a handy guide on how to set up your first model, which users are strongly advised to work through prior to leaping into the tool. It is also worth mentioning that I have worked with Pedzi Makumbe from ESMAP and Braulio Pikman on another ERM project to deliver a different Excel based tool called TRACE which looks at the potential for municipalities to reduce energy use by selecting relevant opportunities across numerous sectors.

 

Read More

SustainSuccess team achieve top score

Posted by on Jun 24, 2016 in News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

It is with pleasure that we can report that SustainSuccess Consultants have scored top in an evaluation of energy efficiency services to the Greater Manchester Growth Hub. Our team, Jane Galloway and Bob Bailey, scored top as reported by the bid manager.

scores

The table above is taken from the letter notifying us of our successful bid. The Company Score rates SustainSuccess as an organisation; the Price Score rates our fee rates; “Question 9.1” documents our approach to Environmental Assessments for businesses; and the Individual TS Score rates the capabilities of each team member. 10 individuals were placed on the panel, although many more applied.

Well done folks!

Read More

SustainSuccess Expands!

Posted by on Apr 1, 2016 in News | 0 comments

janegallowayWe are delighted to announce that SustainSuccess has expended. Jane Galloway joined the company on the 1st April 2016, becoming a Director and Shareholder in SustainSuccess Ltd.

Jane Galloway has over 25 years’ experience in energy efficiency and low carbon energy consulting, spanning in-depth audits, technology assessments and solutions development through to operational, strategic and management aspects of energy use. Her strong technical expertise complements the program and organisational skills that the existing Director, Niall Enright has to offer.

She has worked across a wide range of sectors and with many established, as well as emerging, technologies, so she is able to bring to projects practical insights that can add substantial value. Her attention to detail, the rigour with which she approaches projects and the integrity of her advice are greatly appreciated by clients and colleagues.

She has particular expertise in complex industrial process environments, especially in the food and drink sector and food retail establishments in the commercial sector. In terms of technologies, Jane’s experience is wide-ranging: however she is especially strong in all aspects of refrigeration. Work in refrigeration has included energy reduction programs, refrigerant phase out strategy studies, performance specification for new plant, cooling load assessments, modelling and strategy studies.

Complementing this strong engineering competency, is an equal knowledge of the management and organisational aspects of energy use, which are increasingly seen as the key to successful energy efficiency and carbon management programs. This expertise includes an in-depth understanding of Monitoring and Targeting (or M&T, a technique to achieve continuous improvement in energy use), through to the integration of energy efficiency within wider organisational systems such as TPM.

Jane has developed and presented an extensive portfolio of training and workshop materials, covering subjects including refrigeration, audit techniques and M&T.

Please follow the link to Jane’s CV page for more information.

Read More

Dubai Sustainable Cities Summit

Posted by on Dec 20, 2015 in Articles, News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

dscslogo

Niall Enright was honoured to present at a panel at the Dubai Sustainable Cities Summit on the theme of Behaviour. Fellow panellists were: Sam Adams, Director, U.S. Climate Initiative at World Resources Institute; former Mayor of Portland, Oregon; Romilly Madew, CEO GBC Australia; Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of KHDA; Giovanni Schiuma, Deputy Mayor of Matera, European Cultural Capital 2019.

Niall’s introductory comments focused on the need to avoid over-simplification in change programs, emphasized by the “does not equal” symbol “≠”. Below is a complementary paper which places these observations in the context of Dubai’s ambitious energy efficiency programmes:

Thinking of change as a science

In 2004, the Canadian government spent CAN$37m on “The One-ton Challenge” to encourage Canadians to reduce their emissions by one tonne of CO2 each, or 20%. It succeeded in raising awareness of climate issues from around 6% to 51%, but few people changed their behaviour as a result.

Unfortunately, this is just one example of dozens of behaviour change programmes that have disappointed. The landscape of sustainable behaviour change is littered with failure. Contrary to our expectations:

dscs_enright_behaviour

 

So what does this mean for Dubai, which has great aspirations to become a leader in sustainability?

Dubai has set itself the objectives of a 30% reduction in energy use by 2030 and a 40% reduction in water. The eight programmes in the Demand Side Management strategy are clearly carefully considered, focusing primarily on technology upgrades to achieve this demand reduction.

The DSM programme reminds us that cities have three fundamental levers for change: People (their decisions and behaviours), Systems (the norms, incentives, standards, information and feedback that drives behaviour and controls) and Technology (the efficiency of the equipment in delivering the required service).

balance

The illustration above makes two key points. The first we have already touched upon and is shown on the left: changing aspects people’s awareness and motivation alone are not guaranteed to deliver improvement.

The second figure reminds us that technology alone is not a solution. Many technology programmes miss their expected target because people are not properly considered in the project.

It is great to see that the Dubai DSM strategy has public awareness as one of the implementation mechanisms supporting the eight programmes of work. So public engagement, and presumably, behaviour change is built into the strategy. This makes absolute sense. For example, the appliance, labelling scheme and demand-side response DSM programmes depend on people making rational choices.

I note too that over 60% of all building energy use in Dubai is due to cooling. A 2oC increase in the thermostat could achieve 16% reduction in energy consumption. So a good behaviour change programme could deliver a very significant contribution to the overall target, and at comparatively low cost.

Which brings us back to history. As my fellow countryman Winston Churchill, once observed:

“Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.”

The error of history that we need to avoid is a failure to incorporate the lessons from psychology, social sciences and behavioural economics into the design of behaviour programme. The Canadians could have prevented their costly mistake if they had heeded an earlier study that showed that US$200m of expenditure in California had failed to reduce energy use a decade earlier. That study made the recommendation that advertising should not be used alone to drive change.

So what else does the scientific literature tell us?

It tells us that, like information, attitudes have surprisingly little bearing on behaviour, and that advertising simply cannot create new behaviours. Furthermore, there is no “virtuous escalator” of improvement. Asking people to make small changes (such as changing to LED lights) does not lead to bigger changes (such as installing solar PV). If you ask people to do little, you get a programme that achieves little. When people’s motivation to change is financial, then we should not expect to see further environmental behaviours from them.

The literature also tells us what does work. We know that the messages that fail in the mass media can work if delivered through a community context or, better still, face-to-face. If we combine feedback and information we see some effect, and when combined with a goal, even more and when that goal is ambitious there is an even stronger effect and if the goal has been set by the individual it is even more powerful. We know that the effect of feedback increases with frequency and by getting people to measure the improvement for themselves (called “re-materialization” by psychologists).

We know that changing occasional behaviours is easier than changing habitual behaviours. Thus, product labelling is effective because buying a TV or fridge is occasional and so people consider information in making the decision. We have evidence that changing from an A to G rating to an A++ to D rating in the EU rating substantially weakened the desirability of the top rating through psychological effects called “anchoring” and “loss aversion”.

How we frame our request has a much bigger impact that we ever suspected. For example in a large US study, when people were told that their energy consumption was higher than the average they behaved by reducing energy use, but when told that it was lower than average, their response was to increase use. The same study showed that this response could be eliminated by putting a positive message in the form of a simple smiley-face next to the savings information. These effects are due to the way that norms influence choices (the first case is the “descriptive norm” that sets the normal level and the second an “injunctive norm” that reinforces low consumption as socially desirable).

Simply put we need to treat the people aspect of our programme as a science and not an art. Since many aspects of human behaviour are counter-intuitive, the key to success is to design our behaviour change strategies scientifically and test these using the great body of knowledge that exists in the scientific literature.

Read More

Peel achieves UK’s first ISO 50001 for a major property company

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Articles, News | 0 comments

50001-energy-management_newThe energy management system of  Peel Land and Property has recently completed certification to the prestigious ISO 50001 standard. As far as we are aware, it is the first major UK property and development organisation to achieve this accolade. Just to give some scale to the scope, the portfolio of assets certified include 1.2m m2 of property, including prestige offices in Liverpool, Manchester and elsewhere in the UK; the MediaCityUK development in Salford, home to the BBC, ITV and dock10 studios; The Lowry and Gloucester Quays Retail Outlets; EventCity, the second largest exhibition space outside of London; Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield and Durham Tees Valley Airport as well as extensive residential, industrial warehousing and retail park space.

SustainSuccess have been involved throughout in a consulting and mentoring role, writing the system specifications, supporting the implementation of the requirements, undertaking Energy Reviews, establishing the internal audit processes and steering the independent certification by Lucideon to a successful conclusion. The key to success was that the Peel Group already had a very effective energy management process in place, with committed Board level support, dedicated and professional Energy Champions for each business and Verco’s Carbon Desktop as the tool to capture energy data and improvement opportunities. Over the past four years this energy management programme has delivered over £1m of savings per year (against a bill of around £3.5m).

Commenting on the certification Niall Enright says “Despite the scale of the organisation, this has to be one of the leanest ISO 50001 systems around with the entire process is described in just 38 pages of text, albeit two-sided. This keep-it-simple outlook is very much in line with Peel’s efficient style of working and highly empowered and capable staff. Because so much good energy efficiency practice was already in place, the effort to achieve 50001 was one largely focused on documenting this practice and ensuring that all the requirements of 50001 were met. In 4 days on-site auditing there was only one minor recommendation from the certifier – that was that we did not investigate the positive variances in energy use (in other words the green traffic lights) as much as the negative variances (the red traffic lights). To have just one minor recommendation is virtually unheard-of. It really is a first class result, for which the Peel team should be very proud and which SustainSuccess is delighted to have supported.”

This is not Peel’s first accolade. Peel Group had previously been certified twice to the Carbon Trust Standard, and was benchmarked top of 29 property managers and developers by the Trust. The MediaCityUK was a pilot for the BREEAM Communities certification and scored more than the other pilot, the London Olympics site. Since then the Lowry has received a Green Apple award for its environmental efforts, MediaCityUK has received the BIFM award for Sustainability and Environmental Impact and two Premises and Facilities Management awards for Expert Services and the Overall award, largely based on the sustainability and energy efficiency activities.

There are a couple key lessons to be drawn from this: we would recommend that organisations put in place a strong energy management process based on continuous improvement, as Peel did, prior to seeking to achieve ISO 50001 as the certification will be much less painful and deliver much greater value. The awards and certification should be seen as the “cherry on the cake” which help raise the programme to a new level. The next key observation is that we should approach the subject of energy efficiency and sustainability as a continuous improvement process. Over the 6 years SustainSuccess has worked with Peel they have never once rested on their laurels and considered the job complete: they have innovated, extended the best practices and constantly set themselves new challenges. This entirely to do with very committed leadership, a culture of improvement and a highly enthusiastic team.

MCUK

Above: the MediaCityUK campus was included in the scope of the ISO 50001 programme.

 

See also: Peel News Release

Read More

Canaries in the mine: Mega-solar plants and grid parity

Posted by on Nov 6, 2013 in Blog, News | 0 comments

megakagoshima-600x0I was thrilled to see this stunning image of Japan’s largest Solar Photovoltaic plant. This consists of 240,000 Kyocera panels providing a massive 70MWe capacity which should produce 78,800 MWh of electricity. The plant is set in 127 acres on a purpose-built island in the city of Kagoshima on the Southern Japanese island of Kyushu. If you want to see it on a map and appreciate its true scale, click here (although the satellite image is from before the completion of the plant).

Impressive thought this is, it pales by comparison with some of the mega-solar plants in the pipeline. India, for example, has just announced a 4GW scheme in Rajasthan  to be built on a 23,000-acre (9308 ha) site close to Sambhar Lake, about 75 km from Jaipur, the state capital. This will potentially triple current solar PV output for India, although it remains to be seen if the plant goes ahead as planned.  

Read More

Energy Efficiency – Steven Fawkes

Posted by on Oct 16, 2013 in Books | 0 comments

Energy_Efficiency_Fawkes I have been looking forward to reading Steven Fawkes’ “Energy Efficiency – The Definitive Guide to the Cheapest, Cleanest, Fastest Source of Energy“, ever since I heard on his blog that it was about to be published. I have enjoyed reading Steven’s blog for some time now and I regret that I only just missed working with him advising on the new Energy Efficiency Deployment Office here in the UK   a couple of years ago – there were three positions and I was fourth on the list! Cest la vie!

Certainly I find myself in violent agreement with much of Steven’s observations. For example he starts the chapter on Management Techniques thus: “It is about Management, Not Technology.  The process of improving energy productivity is not a technical problem. It is a management process“. This is sweet music to my ears.

Read More