As we discussed in our recent blog article focused on sustainability-based production, in the 21st century business world, sustainability is gaining serious momentum in markets worldwide and across all major industries. And the two primary forces driving the push are environmental and economical — as some of the same “green” practices that can help preserve the planet can also help businesses boost their bottom lines.
Further, by employing sustainability-based production, enterprises can cut their electricity consumption to both reduce their CO2 emissions and generate substantial cost savings for their business. And for businesses pursuing sustainability-based production, the optimization of their compressed air usage can be a huge contributing factor.
5 ways sustainability-based production and Atlas Copco are supporting brighter tomorrows
Here at Atlas Copco, we’re highly focused on creating a more sustainable future for the planet— and we’re working hard to ensure that the products we produce are part of the solution. Consider these five data points that demonstrate the ways more efficient compressed air operations and Atlas Copco’s efforts to support the planet (and other worthy causes) can help create brighter tomorrows for the environment, business and even the world at large:
Heat is formed when air is compressed — and waste heat can represent as much as 94% of the energy supplied to a compressor. For businesses that use a lot of compressed air, this presents a huge opportunity for energy recovery via hot air or hot water (depending on whether the compressor being used is air-cooled or water-cooled). And the energy recovery can quickly provide a substantial return on investment for companies that capture such heat energy. Further, when energy is recovered via a closed cooling system, it enhances compressor operating conditions, reliability and service life thanks to — among other advantages — an equalized temperature level and high cooling water quality.
A water-cooled, 200-horsepower air compressor could easily use over 7 million gallons of water annually and, with treatment and processes, could cost close to $50,000 per year. In applications where a business can switch to an air-cooled compressor, though, the cooling water used by a water-cooled compressor can be eliminated — as can the cooling tower, water-pumping skids, additional wiring and maintenance for water auxiliaries, scaling of coolers due to water contaminants … and more. And of course, all of these eliminated expenses can lead to substantial savings.
In 2021, Atlas Copco committed itself to, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, employing science-based targets to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The adoption of these science-based targets will step up Atlas Copco’s efforts to, beyond supplying the most energy-efficient products and solutions possible to customers, incorporate earth-friendly practices across its range of operations.
Among the areas of focus:
Buying renewable electricity
Installing solar panels
Switching to bio-fuels in portable compressor testing
Implementing energy conservation measures
Logistics planning improvements, as well as switching to more environmentally friendly transport
Supporting customers aiming to reach their own sustainability ambitions
With the commitment outlined above, Atlas Copco is aiming to reduce the emissions from its direct operations by 46% by 2030, compared to its 2019 baseline. It also aims to reduce its value chain emissions — primarily targeting the carbon impact of its products in use — by 28% by 2030 compared to its 2019 level of emissions.
Further, Atlas Copco’s commitment to making the world a better place for current and future generations extends beyond environmental initiatives. As a company, Atlas Copco wholeheartedly endorses the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which are designed to serve as a road map to global peace and prosperity — both today and moving into the future.
In particular, the company strives to directly contribute to seven of the 17 outlined goals in its operations, including: