We believe that the best energy management comes from well trained people who most intimately know the buildings and operations that use the energy. For that reason, in 2009, Merck KGaA, established the EDISON (Energy Efficiency and Climate Protection) Program to empower our internal teams to work toward significant reduction of our GHG emissions and foster cross-divisional sharing of best practices. EDISON brings all of our energy reduction and climate protection activities under one roof and acts as a stage gate for project proposal review and fast tracking project funding.
As an active participant in the EDISON program, Merck’s global energy management network is comprised of facilities and EHS professionals who pinpoint areas of high energy use, identify efficiency projects and propose projects to the EDISON board. Merck’s global energy management team meets monthly to review site specific utility trends and compare the current year to past years to identify an explanation for anomalies. The members are encouraged to share best practices across facilities and learn from each other’s failures and successes. The team is professionally trained in the process of energy auditing, a key attribute to our progress and success in energy management.
We completed energy audits at all of our manufacturing facilities and, based on the results, we are implementing projects to improve our energy efficiency. For example, we reduced electricity consumption at several of our facilities through lighting optimization projects. At our Molsheim, France facility, we reduced building energy usage by 50MWh per year by implementing a system that automatically balances the amount of artificial light based on the amount of daylight. The energy savings from this project is equivalent to the CO2 sequestered by 29 acres of forest.
Other projects include:
Overall, more than 200 unique energy efficiency projects have been implemented at Merck sites globally, resulting in cumulative energy savings of 49,000 MWh and cost savings of over €3.4 million, as of Q2 2013.
As we move forward with our strategy, we will continue to evaluate new technologies available on the market to help achieve our energy efficiency goals. We strive to be on the leading edge of building technology and manufacturing process optimization. This focus has garnered us a number of awards, including Best Customer Driven Energy Projects in 2009 and 2010, and Best Corporate Energy Management Program in 2011, from the Association of Energy Engineers New England Chapter.
2009 marked a breakthrough year for Merck with the installation of two solar photovoltaic systems (in Billerica and Bedford, Massachusetts), each capable of producing 155 kW of power. The systems are comprised of 1383 Sharp photovoltaic panels and four Solectria inverters. At the time of its installation, Merck's photovoltaic system was one of the largest roof mounted systems in the state of Massachusetts with an average annual output of 350 MWh. The solar panels provide 7% of the electricity needs of the Billerica Bioprocess Technology Center and 4% of the electricity usage at our Bedford R&D facility. Merck celebrated the installation with a ribbon cutting ceremony at its Bedford R&D facility. Numerous partners on the project attended, as well as clean energy leaders and top state officials including Governor Deval Patrick who remarked, “Millipore is not only a leading employer in Massachusetts, but also a leader in creating our clean energy future. Millipore is setting an impressive standard for energy efficiency and renewable energy, and showing other companies how to save energy and reduce their emissions through the Governor’s Clean Energy Challenge.”
In addition, in Molsheim, France, solar panels provide 60 MWh of energy per year, enough to meet 15% of the electricity needs of the new 5,000 m3 warehouse. The system, which went online in mid-2009, allows Merck to reduce the impacts and overall carbon footprint of the building. In addition to supplying 15% of the building’s power needs, the electricity generated from the solar panels is sold to the local electricity supplier, generating an annual credit of €38,462.
Throughout 2014, we will be constructing a biomass central heating plant for our Jaffrey, New Hampshire manufacturing facility to replace 14 #2 oil burning boilers. The GHG reduction will amount to 3,481 metric tonnes, producing heat for the plant in a carbon neutral manner. The mass balance of CO2 consumed by the biomass throughout its growth cycle plus the emissions from naturally composting is equal to the CO2e emitted during the combustion process, making the biomass carbon neutral. All biomass will be sourced sustainably, and the plant is expected to be operational by the end of 2014. Further updates will be provided as the project continues.
As part of our worldwide GHG and energy reduction plan, we purchase Green E-Certified Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) as a method to support development of clean energy, one element of our overall climate and energy strategy. As of 2012, we have purchased 16,679 MWh of RECs, year over year, offsetting 100% of the electricity for our U.S. headquarters building in Billerica, Massachusetts, as well as five of our U.S. manufacturing facilities in St. Charles, MO; Temecula, CA; San Diego, CA; Hayward, CA; and Danvers, MA. This offset is equivalent to 7.4% of our total energy use and 14.5% of our electricity consumption worldwide. Our RECs are certified by the Center for Resource Solutions through its Green-e® process.
Beginning in 2009, we joined the EPA GreenPower Partnership® to show our commitment to identifying and buying green power products, including RECs, and annually reporting on our activities. We will continue to both purchase and generate cleaner energy, helping us reduce our environmental footprint, gain independence from fossil fuels, and avoid volatile commodity prices.