For multi-national companies, assessment of cost-effective energy efficiency projects across a global site base is a complex problem involving multiple multi-level variables such as climate, economics, building type, technologies, culture and product mix, to name a few. Much of the facility management (FM) research and practice to date is ’site’ focused with little practical guidance for the global energy manager. 

This research project proposes a novel methodology for assessing capital energy-efficiency projects at a global level.  The project scope will cover the systematic development and implementation of a methodology that supports sustainable decision making within a ’Global Energy Management System’ (GEMS) based on the following four pillars:

  • Site Characterisation: Deploy a standards based energy audit to each site in the network to allow development of an ’energy opportunity matrix’ appropriate for each site and complemented with selection of suitable technological solutions. A pre-requisite to the opportunity matrix will be a detailed sensitivity analysis of the significant energy users to understand the drivers behind the consumption using techniques such as data   normalization and regression analysis. This section will conclude by establishing where in ’the energy journey’ each site is via a novel energy management maturity model compatible with GEMS (building on existing industrial and scientific models);
  • Performance Evaluation: This approach proposes a novel combination of local (e.g. building parameter’s, production requirements) and global (e.g. economics, climate) factors to produce a truly normalised cross-site comparison enabled to convey results to a diverse global network while ensuring relevance at both individual site and multi-site level. This will be complemented with standards-based energy benchmarking, comparing site to site within the network and against industrial norms. Benchmarking sites from both a quantitative KPIs perspective and a qualitative energy management maturity model is in itself novel;
  • Shared Learning / Dissemination: Ensure best methodologies, appropriate technological solutions and opportunities are proliferated across the network via a global communication forum leading to optimum network energy performance.
  • Corporate Policy:  The goal is to develop a novel ’financial’ energy metric that reflects the combined positive impact of operational savings, improved sustainability and a more resilient site infrastructure as part of a multi-criteria decision support system based.  

The implementation will commence with a pilot study in a single Irish site (i.e. BSC Galway) to allow development of the initial methodology, further expanding to a number of facilities in the same region (Cork & Clonmel) to allow analysis of variables such as building type, product mix and management structure. With additional sites across the globe, the variance caused by both climate and economics can next be added as part of a truly global ’Design of Experiments’ (DOE). 

This project represents a unique opportunity and challenge for industrial-academic collaboration to develop tools and methodologies to improve energy efficiency, corporate sustainability and cost competitiveness for a global enterprise. BSC’s presence in Ireland with 3 of its leading manufacturing sites (Galway, Cork & Clonmel) represents a unique opportunity to take the first steps in this challenge, in what will be a comprehensive review of its Global Energy enterprise. 

The expected outcome of the project is primarily the development of the GEMS decision support platform, which can be applied to any organisation with a global site base. It is expected that this decision support framework may be integrated into the Schneider Resource Advisor (RA) platform, leveraging the RA tools capability for cloud-based data collection, analysis, KPI visualisation and project tracking. Finally, it is hoped that this project will lead to a wider Europe-wide Horizon 2020 proposal in the area of resource efficient manufacturing, incorporating the wider BSC network of Irish SME’s in the energy. 

Key information

Start date: July 2015 
End date: December 2016 
Source of funding: SFI-INSIGHT 

IRUSE contacts

Dr. Daniel Coakley - 
Mr. Noel Finnerty - 
Dr. Raymond Sterling -