The European Enterprises Climate Cup (EECC) is an EU-funded project that aimed to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in their goal to be front-runners in energy efficiency management. By participating in a Europe-wide competition, they were provided with by cost-free energy advice and good-practice sharing. In addition, their engagement for climate protection in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) became visible all over Europe.
The European Enterprises Climate Cup was based on the successful campaign European Citizens Climate Cup (ECCC), which was organized in 10 countries and also funded by the European Commission. Within this project, almost 10,000 European citizens took part in the energy saving competition for private householders. On average, participants saved 5 percent on average of their heating energy and electricity consumption, while the ECCC winning households achieved savings up to 50 percent.
The idea behind the Climate Cup
Climate change is not just a governmental challenge for individual countries. European targets of 20 percent CO2 and energy reduction and enhanced use of renewable energy until 2020 need to be reached by Europe as a whole, by governments as well as by citizens and companies.
Over the last decades, European companies have been a source of innovation in the field of sustainable ecological and economical management being an important driver for sustainable development and responsibility on global markets. In times of economic crisis, with tight financial and natural resources and political unbalances threatening the energy supply in Europe, especially small and medium sized companies as the predominant business form in Europe have to be aware of energy efficient management in order to stay competitive on a global market.
Benefits of participation in EECC
- Free energy advice. Participating companies profited from free energy advice, including funding opportunities and energy audits for selected companies. They got free access to the iESA energy management system, which made energy saving successes more transparent.
- Support in communication of the competition. The EECC campaign supported companies in their internal and external communication of the competition. The campaign’s aggregated results were not only disseminated to the media, but also among experts on energy efficiency and sustainability platforms. Thanks to the extensive dissemination efforts of the campaign, the companies’ commitment for energy efficiency in their respective country and in Europe have been publicised and been used for their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) targets.
Uponor has won the third prize of the EECC competition. Since 1994 Uponor Latvia provides market for piping systems for all needs - public utilities, gas supply systems, hot and cold water systems and heating systems in buildings. The office of the company is located in Riga (capital city of Latvia), industrial area. Currently there are working 14 employees – only men. The total area of the office is 220 m2. They are using only electricity (147 kWh/m2 2014), and it is used for heating & cooling, lighting, office and kitchen equipment. Before EECC the company already was thinking and doing activities for effective use of resources by implementing the ISO 14001.
The motivation to join the competition. EECC came as a push to improve Uponor Latvia energy efficiency that has to be done long time ago. This was a perfect match, in this case we have a win-win situation, there is a clear target to move forward to reduce our ecological footprint together with reducing costs for energy, we got good advices from auditors what can be improved and made needed steps to achieve our goal, plus competition and desire to be the best is always welcome. The outcome was more than we expected, we reduced energy consumption, improved indoor climate and encouraged people to apply the same approach in their homes.
Main energy saving measures implemented
The first activity was to inform colleagues about the competition and find out way where to save energy at office. Here are the list of main energy saving activities that were implemented during the EECC:
- Installation of timers for electrical heaters that switches off heating during night time and weekends (the highest impact to energy savings).
- A timer for electrical heater installed for employees that are often on business trips, and that can be regulated with smart phone application.
- The doors to the server and storage room now are closed (to reduce the heat from equipment that’s distributing to other office rooms. At the beginning the employees forgot to close the door, but now it’s considered as a normal behaviour.
- The change of employees habits regarding use of lighting. It is used in places where is really necessary. The savings is around 30% of electricity for lighting.
- The change of lighting from T8 (18W) 60x60cm platform to T8, 10W LED solutions.
- The air/air type heat pump is installed instead of electrical heating in the main room.
- The installation of electrical monitoring devices to understand how the energy is distributed and if it is possible to reduce the base load.
- The change of internet router and servers to more energy efficient.
- A workshop for employees to inform about energy savings reached during the competition, and the EECC effect to employees’ behaviour.