For manufacturers, 'going green' can be good for business and the environment

Washington, DC – Reducing U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will require far-reaching efforts in all sectors of the economy; significant savings generated by “going green” can outweigh the costs over time, says the McKinsey & Company report "Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: How Much at What Cost." It's important for the profession of control engineering because smarter engineering can help create savings, and instrumentation helps measure progress.


Washington, DC – Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United States will require far-reaching efforts spanning all sectors of the economy, but significant savings generated by “going green” can outweigh the costs over time, so says the newly-released McKinsey & Company

Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: How Much at What Cost?

" The report is important for the profession of control engineering because smarter engineering can help create savings, and instrumentation helps measure progress.

Based on information gathered via more than 200 interviews with representatives from government agencies, public and private companies, academic institutions and research foundations, the report provides a comprehensive overview of

According to the report, annual GHG emissions within the United States will increase from 7.3 gigatons of carbon-dioxide equivalents (CO 2 e) to 9.7 gigatons by 2030. (As a frame of reference, all of the light-duty vehicles used in the United States today collectively produce only 1 gigaton.) Congress is currently reviewing legislative options aimed at keeping these levels in-check during that time period, but there is a significant amount of debate surrounding the costs required to do so… particularly for industrial organizations.

The study revealed that the industrial sector alone can reduce emissions by 620– 770 megatons, and that the associated energy savings can outweigh the cost of making the changes necessary to meet these reduction goals. However, the report does acknowledge that it will require a substantial investment in equipment upgrades and process changes which inevitably compete with other capital cost needs within the plant.


, one of the main underwriters of the report, is taking an active role in helping industrial organizations to make those investments more palatable. Harsh Chitale, vice president of strategy and global marketing for Honeywell Process Solutions, spoke with Control Engineering after the results of the McKinsey study were announced and detailed the steps his organization is taking to accelerate the deployment and adoption of green technologies.

“We understand that making the initial investment in energy efficient solutions can be challenging,” stated Chitale.

According to Chitale, Honeywell is helping manufacturers in three key areas:

1) Promoting and facilitating deeper deployment of energy efficient solutions;
Chitale states that there are untapped opportunities to drive deeper deployment of energy efficient technologies within industrial organizations– both within smaller organizations that have not yet invested in ‘green’ solutions, and larger organizations that have only made initial energy conservation investments. By promoting and bundling those technologies in a manner that is easily deployable, as well as sharing best practices for implementation, Honeywell is helping companies to identify and pursue improved energy efficiency at a much deeper level.

2) Establishing the financial justification necessary to invest in energy saving technologies; and...
Many organizations lack the proper in-house resources to effectively quantify and demonstrate the ROI for these investments. Honeywell has bridged that gap by developing a consulting function within the business and helping customers to create the business case necessary to secure approval and move forward with the required investments.

3) Removing the barriers for entry to implement energy-saving technologies.
To make the business case even more digestible, Honeywell has developed programs where some customers can pay for their investments based on the savings they receive.

“In selected industries, we work with Honeywell Global Finance and offer a program where Honeywell actually owns the assets which are installed within a customer site and the customer pays for those investments based on the savings they receive,” said Chitale. “By doing so, we enable these organizations to implement solutions in a cash flow positive, balance sheet neutral way.”

Once the technology is in place, however, many organizations will opt for the more “traditional” purchasing model.

“What we have seen is that some customers will go with this financing approach for the first one or two programs, but will move to purchasing the assets because they have seen the return and want to gain the benefits of having those assets on their balance sheets,” Chitale continued.

Honeywell can take such a bold approach due in part to its experience as a global organization. With over 50% of Honeywell’s revenues coming from outside of North America, the company has experience in implementing solutions in geographies (such as Europe) where the green movement has already taken root. According to Chitale, they have seen first-hand how organizations which take the necessary steps to reduce energy consumption can dramatically reduce associated costs and operate more profitably.

Click here to visit McKinsey & Company online and download a full copy of the report


Also, be sure to check out the upcoming Control Engineering features “Energy as a process variable” in the January 2008 issue and the April 2008 cover story on “Green manufacturing– control and compliance.”

Also see: “

Green manufacturing comes of age


Marc Moschetto , editorial director
Control Engineering News Desk
( Register here and scroll down to select your choice of eNewsletters free .)

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
2015 Top Plant: Phoenix Contact, Middletown, Pa.; 2015 Best Practices: Automation, Electrical Safety, Electrical Systems, Pneumatics, Material Handling, Mechanical Systems
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Migrating industrial networks; Tracking HMI advances; Making the right automation changes
Understanding transfer switch operation; Coordinating protective devices; Analyzing NEC 2014 changes; Cooling data centers
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.