GEH Wasserchemie goes treasure hunting
A treasure hunt does not really have anything to do with economic activity. And, yet, every company has its hidden treasures, namely unused potential and opportunities for saving energy and, by association, costs. GEH Wasserchemie looks out for such potential and has done so very successfully so far.
Energy is like a raw material for the chemicals industry; for economic reasons and the benefit of climate protection, it should be used efficiently. GEH Wasserchemie abides by this philosophy in its production of its GEH® adsorbent, which is why it implemented the ISO 50001 energy management system in 2014. Since 2015, GEH Wasserchemie has been certified to ISO 9001 and ISO 50001 standards. Since then, we have lowered our consumption of electrical energy by 34%. Many of the savings were achieved without any major investments; others were realised by replacing machinery and through the performance of maintenance tasks.
The main individual projects over the past few years involved converting our entire lighting to LED and continually replacing our granulation equipment. These two measures combined generated almost half of the savings achieved to date. The other 15% of savings came from optimising our existing machinery and workflows. No investments or further costs were incurred in doing so. These types of savings are the true treasures that we were looking for and found. In the meantime, this treasure hunt has evolved into a task throughout the company in which every employee is involved, because anyone and everyone can become an expert when it comes to saving energy.
Two of our latest projects concern the recovery and reutilisation of waste heat emitted from the production plants. Through this, we will be able to save a sizeable portion of our heat energy for the building. In future, our production halls will only be heated using waste heat from the machines, whilst it is worth noting that the generated heat is being distributed more efficiently through a new ventilation system.
A true milestone is our new photovoltaic system, which has been installed on the production hall roof. This system has an output of 99 kW peak and will supply around 10% of our electrical energy starting this year; eco-friendly, low CO2, and constant costs for 20 years of operation. In this coronavirus era, we were fortunate to welcome Mr Gerdts from the Environment and Climate Protection Department of the city of Osnabrueck to the small group of people attending the ceremonial commissioning.
Through this and other future projects, GEH Wasserchemie is making strides to become a more eco-friendly producer. Our aim is to become entirely climate-neutral in the organisation of our business processes. The progress we have made in terms of our energy management has shown that SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) also possess significant potential to achieve energy savings and can make a vital contribution to the energy transition.