Bentley Motors, high end luxury auto maker, renowned for its fine craftsmanship, engineering expertise and cutting edge technology, became the first motor vehicle manufacturer in Europe to receive the International Organization of Standards (ISO) 50001 certification at its main plant in Pyms Lane, Crewe, United Kingdom in late 2011. The first US auto manufacturing facility to receive the ISO 50001 certification was Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.’s Subaru Automobiles of Indiana plant in June 2012. At this time, tens of thousands of companies worldwide, across all industries, are working to obtain ISO 50001 certification to stay competitive.
ISO 50001 is an international energy efficiency standard fully accepted by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and other national regulatory agencies around the world who are bringing manufacturing facilities into compliance with greener energy. As leading companies adopt ISO 50001 a significant step is being taken to bring the world in line with long term emissions targets.
Benefits of effectively implementing ISO 50001 include:
- Reducing operational and overhead costs leading to increased profitability
- Reducing air emissions, such as greenhouse gases
- Increasing efficiency of energy resources
- Increasing assurance of legal, internal compliance
- Indentifying variables affecting energy use and consumption
- Increasing understanding of energy use and consumption via defined methods and processes of data collection and analysis
Over the last decade while Bentley has increased its car production ten-fold, its environmental impact has remained flat meaning that it’s environmental impact or cost per vehicle has significantly decreased.
Bentley conducted a gap analysis to bridge the divide between existing technology and the technology needed to meet the ISO 50001 standard. Bentley improved its energy monitoring system (EnMat) and devised hardware and software to run in real time providing detailed information in the Pyms Lane factory.
Improvements were made to the plant’s heating, lighting and control systems and to its boiler and compressed air systems. Enhanced insulation and new variable speed drives led to improving efficiencies. Bentley’s waste recovery and recycling efforts increased to 77% and water usage was reduced by half. As a result, Bentley lowered energy use by two-thirds for each car produced and by 14% overall for the entire plant, delivering savings of 230 GWh of energy – enough to power 11,500 houses for a year.
Smarter plants, streamlined processes and more efficient use of technology and resources will eventually become the norm. While the “goal posts” will always be moving, this first round of retooling plants according to 21st century green energy principles is a significant step forward.