Production Up, Cost and Emissions Down: Here’s How Industrial Clients Can Decarbonize Without Compromise

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In this last of a two-part series, Bill Bach, a Senior Project Manager on Trio’s Energy Optimization team, talks demand-side and supply-side strategies, systems changes, and meaningful client engagement. “We have the most success when the client is engaged,” he says. In case you missed it, click here to read part one.

Part II

Making decarbonization work

With a goal to future-proof their businesses, meet stakeholder demand, and gain a competitive edge, more industrial clients are seeking ways to reduce carbon emissions in their operations in order to meet corporate sustainability targets.

Industry produces one-fifth of global carbon emissions – and nearly a third of emissions in the U.S. – making decarbonization of manufacturing and production critical to tackling the climate crisis.

With a host of manufacturers across the automotive, pharmaceutical, and food and beverage sectors now aiming for net zero by 2030 – or sooner – the pressure is on to implement widespread systems changes across their operations.

Just a few years ago, 2030 may have seemed like plenty of time to measurably reduce CO2 emissions. However, the business community is now realizing that time is running out and that immediate action must be taken.

“Some clients who have public interim goals for 2025 or even 2030 are realizing that if they haven’t made meaningful progress towards those goals, it’s going to be a very uphill battle to actually achieve them in three to eight years,” Bach said. “They’ve committed to this from a corporate and governance perspective, but they might not have the momentum behind it or expertise in-house. That’s where we can help.”

The Trio team looks closely at supply, demand, and operational and organizational metrics, working with clients to develop a comprehensive energy management strategy. This results in a plan of prioritized action steps. As part of this, Trio helps to identify, quantify, and analyze risk inherent in clients’ energy portfolios.

Targeted programs

Trio recently rolled out several programs to help industrial clients lower emissions, including the Accelerate℠ Program, a $300M fund to deliver sustainability and decarbonization projects. In collaboration with RENEW Energy Partners, the new platform brings together Trio’s experience in the design and implementation of decarbonization strategies with RENEW’s capital to execute these strategies without upfront capital from the customer.

The Energy Optimization team develops and implements the carbon reduction strategy through traditional demand-side and supply-side initiatives that aim to ensure optimum facility performance.

The Trio-RENEW partnership has also earmarked an additional $50 million for the Accelerate℠ Auto Program to decarbonize the auto supply chain.

Thousands of projects in, and the Trio team has refined and proved the case for system optimization and energy conservation.

With testing conducted by experienced field engineering subject matter experts – coupled with data acquisition and intelligent analytics – the team provides a level of clarity that allows executive leadership to develop a full understanding of where a corporate energy strategy can be improved – both materially and from a resource and personnel basis.

“Just through our experience working with industrial clients, everyone on our team can walk into any type of industrial facility – chemical, food, medical, auto, anything – and talk to the facilities managers and people that run their major mechanical equipment,” Bach said. “Our team asks the right questions to understand how they use their equipment, where there are opportunities for energy savings, and to understand what their needs are. Our main goal is to help them save energy without them changing how they produce.”

Because maintaining production levels is critical for manufacturers to operate as a business, decarbonization of the industrial sector becomes that much more challenging.

“There’s always a drive for incremental efficiency in the process – hot water, cold water, air movement – where you can’t really look at using less because their business is built around production, so it’s a slightly different mindset,” Bach said. “We have a high level of client intimacy, where we can sit and talk with them and pretty much understand their needs and facility in a couple of hours. Clients feel like we really understand their facilities, and are familiar with how they operate, their processes, understanding their needs and what they want out of the end result,”

Trio’s EO team also hosts a robust program of education initiatives for clients like ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions and training workshops for manufacturers.

“Our goal is to help our clients meet their targets through whatever pathway that is,” Bach said. “We have the most success when the client is engaged, and we can educate them in different technologies and ways to achieve the results that they want. If we can help clients change their processes and setpoints – and it won’t impact their end result but it will save them energy – that gives them the added expertise to really get there.”

But “getting there” doesn’t mean the end of the relationship with Trio, says Bach.

“We want to show that we care and that we want them to be successful,” he said. “We’re not just here to do a study and walk out the door. We want to make sure that after we deliver, if they have follow-up questions – we’re there. We want to help them achieve the savings we identify and whatever else they want to achieve. We want to be an extension of their team.”