United Biscuits’ McVitie’s factory in Glasgow has achieved significant energy reductions and cost savings with the assistance of JRP Solutions, a UK-based energy and facilities specialist, which worked in close collaboration with the Carbon Trust Scotland and industry body Scotland Food & Drink.
An extensive pilot of the innovative methodology Energy Catalyst was funded by the Carbon Trust over a number of months in 2012/13 to assess the current energy performance of individual assets and processes at the McVitie’s Tollcross plant. It also identified, evaluated and prioritised practical improvement measures and projects to significantly reduce the energy used within the conversion processes.
A number of areas for improvement were identified which, once implemented, identified the potential to reduce energy consumption at the site by up to 41%, which equates to approximately 8% of the total operating costs for the site.
Targets and commitments
Energy Catalyst also helps manufacturing businesses to meet the sustainability targets and environmental commitments required of supermarkets such as Marks & Spencer.
Engineering manager Steve Marshall said: “Energy Catalyst was recently deployed at Tollcross and identified numerous practical wide-ranging improvement opportunities that predicted savings, based on analytical findings, that could reduce our energy costs by a staggering 41%.”
No simple tool
JRP Solutions founder and md Jes Rutter said: “We recognised that, while food manufacturers were aware that 80–90% of their energy is used within the conversion process, there was no simple tool that would help reduce energy consumption.
“The work that’s been done at McVitie's clearly illustrates the huge economic and environmental benefits available to manufacturers through Energy Catalyst and we’re already working with a number of other major food businesses to help deliver insights and benefits of a similar magnitude.”