At BUMAX, we have reduced the energy we use for heating and electricity at our Åshammar, Sweden, facility by more than 50 percent since 2011, significantly reducing carbon emissions and further streamlining the production of our high-strength stainless steel fasteners.
This is an impressive feat for a manufacturing company operating in a large facility in the Nordic region. We commenced our sustainability program in 2011 and have seen fantastic results. By using less energy for heating and electricity, we not only reduced our carbon footprint, we also realized financial savings that have increased our competitiveness.
By reducing the need for heating, we also reduced our 12,000-m2 (129,167-ft2) facility’s carbon emissions from heating by 62 percent since 2011. Key investments that helped reduce heating demand included upgrading the roof insulation, fitting energy-efficient, triple-glazed windows and insulated skylights, and the installation of better-insulated large industrial doors. These measures also provide an equalized indoor temperature and a better working environment.
Other measures to reduce heating demand included better controls for the boiler heating system, optimization of the ventilation system, reducing the temperature in the warehouse from 15 to 10°C (59 to 50°F), and installation of a heat recovery ventilation unit that optimizes heating in the offices and canteen.
100 Percent Renewable Electricity
We use 100 percent renewable electrical energy from hydroelectric power plants at our facility. In 2019, BUMAX used approximately 1,249 MWh of renewable electricity.
At the same time, electricity use has been reduced by around 55 percent following investments in low-energy lights and lighting motion sensors. In addition, the facility’s wastewater treatment plant has been closed as it was not economical for the small amounts of wastewater the plant produced. This reduced annual energy use by over 150 MWh.
Energy Efficiency Work Continues
The work with energy efficiency continues in 2020 with the replacement of the facility’s gas heating system with an electric heating system powered by renewable electricity. The switch to renewable electricity is the first phase of a project to replace the facility’s entire heating system with a more sustainable solution.
These continuing measures to reduce energy usage not only decreased the plant’s environmental impact and carbon emissions—they also significantly reduced production costs and are making our production more efficient and cost competitive.
Many of the energy efficiency measures described here were identified following two energy assessments in recent years that highlighted how energy was used at our Åshammar plant. Our company also participated in the Energig project, together with the University of Gävle and Linköping University, both based in Sweden, which helped various companies become more energy efficient. After this success in promoting energy efficiency, our company was highlighted as a good example by the Swedish Energy Agency.