Efficiency and Effectiveness
Resource efficiency is a top priority for a growing number of companies

Resource Efficiency

There is tremendous improvement potential in the way companies use natural resources (energy, water, materials). While most of the potential resides in the design phase, it must be complemented with smart decisions in the production phase, to capture the full benefits.

Energy Efficiency
Most companies have already made efforts to reduce energy consumption to save cost, especially in energy-intensive industries. However, few companies have captured the full potential, despite the fact that significant savings are possible. Typically, reductions of 25-30% are well within reach, through behavioral changes and investments in energy efficient technologies, with a payback time of 3-5 years. With more efforts and investments, savings of up to 50% can be achieved. To capture these benefits, companies need to make energy efficiency a priority, and put in place a company-wide program, with central coordination to explore a broad range of efficiency measures (see the table below for examples), and to maximize the exchange of knowledge and best practices.

Energy efficiency measures

Water Efficiency
Interest in water efficiency is growing, especially in water-intensive industries such as agriculture, food & beverages, high-tech, and clothing. Similar to energy, there is substantial improvement potential through a broad range of measures, including elimination of wastage (leaks), reuse of wastewater, water-efficient equipment, use of non-potable water (e.g. rain harvesting), and switching to waterless processes.

Materials Efficiency
The efficiency of materials use is determined largely by product design, but can be further optimized through intelligent process design and deployment of efficient technologies, to minimize scrap and maximize recycling of materials.

As resources become more scarce and hence more expensive, and concerns about energy-related carbon emissions continue to grow, resource efficiency will become a top priority for a growing number of companies.