Integrated energy and environmental management provides a powerful, effective and economic framework, both at organizational or project level, for:
• measurement, validation and verification of energy performance improvements and related or non-related emission reductions;
• consistent, transparent and credible quantitative monitoring and reporting on companies' GHG and other emissions;
• identifying and managing emission related liabilities, assets and risks;
• facilitating trade on emission allowances or credits;
• implementation of energy efficiency and environmental improvement projects, and tracking their results.
When people understand and master energy and environmental performance management processes, tools and techniques, data and information will become highly accurate and provide a good basis for sound decision making and knowledge creation.
For energy and environmental management not to be perceived as a topic per se, it has to be linked to other issues (productivity, quality, costs control), focusing on company's multi-functional aspects of competitiveness, and it has to be communicated and promoted as a core element of a broader concept of eco- and cost-efficiency. In addition to that, a higher motivational appeal, such as linking and concept broadening, opens up possibilities for synergies and further cost reductions, which are often hindered by the administrative and functional separation of organizations and the responsibilities within.
Special emphasis should be placed on promoting energy performance as a quality indicator for management and business performance because of the distinctive characteristics of energy in an industrial environment:
• It enters into every aspect of a business operation.
• It can be accurately and comparatively inexpensively measured at the point of use and at any given interval or frequency.
• An energy metering system can be designed to correspond with a production and cost control system, so it can provide accurate inputs for activity based costing.
• Energy consumption depends on production activities and this relationship can be established and monitored.
• Variation in energy use will reflect the varying performance of activities that use the measured amount of energy over a corresponding period, hence it can indicate on productivity in the measured area.
• Quality problems like rejects will also be detected by recording higher energy consumption per unit of good products finished over the corresponding period.
Therefore, energy performance may also be seen as an additional indicator for overall performance, because energy performance can be measured accurately and expressed clearly through standardized performance indicators. This fact is not often appreciated by management. When reported regularly, energy performance indicators will provide reliable information to management about other performance aspects in the same area - such as quality, productivity, maintenance, etc. In fact, an inadequate performance measurement system is often behind the disappointing results of various performance improvement initiatives.
The qualitative approach of EEMS development and operation, which is focused on people, generates important implementation oriented knowledge and expertise on the continuous performance improvement process. The key actors involved in the project are the source of new impulses for proposing new areas for action. They contribute to the internal stabilization of new routines, and communicate results and benefits inside and outside the company. Once continuous performance improvements are achieved, the various performance reports that the company is required to submit can be combined into one in order to reduce the overall workload and ensure consistency in communicating corporate performance to the general public and to the regulatory authorities.
Therefore, EEMS practice should not be seen as isolated from everyday company activities but needs to be integrated into the process-oriented strategy of overall company performance improvement. When EEMS is in full operation, with a performance measurement system working well, management often finds itself surprised by the new insight it achieves into the internal aspects of business operation.
It is only after the results are seen that EEMS starts to be appreciated as a powerful tool for improving overall business performance. That is why it would be good practice to integrate EEMS operation into the existing management system in order to enhance the effectiveness of decision making and performance improvement initiatives.
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