ACR Journal

February 2022 | March 2022 BUILDING MANAGEMENT 22 By Paul Walsh, general manager – EMEA at CIM. Using data to drive net zero in hi-tech and life science manufacturing Volume 8 No.2 It goes without saying that, for management teams across the life sciences and hi-tech manufacturing industries, the past 18 months have undoubtedly focussed on damage limitation. Yet, when it comes to defining strategy for the coming months and years, decision makers are now finding themselves at a perceived fork in the road. On the one hand lies competition: how to remain both productive and profitable; while on the other, sustainability looms large. The truth is, both are now intrinsically linked. Going forward, each and every product’s ‘cradle to grave’ carbon emissions will increasingly be put under the microscope, with much greater scrutiny placed on the initial production stage. However, the focus will just not be limited to the energy consumption of production machinery, but all aspects of a site’s energy footprint – from lighting through to HVAC. Put simply, manufacturers will not only have to compete on cost, but also on carbon. Pre-COVID, sustainability was gradually creeping up the boardroom agenda. Now, it’s at the very top. Indeed, 40 manufacturers in the UK and Ireland have committed to ‘net zero’ carbon neutrality by 2050. Many more are looking to make rapid progress before that in line with legislation such as the UK Government’s Sixth Carbon Budget, which mandates cutting current emissions by three quarters before 2035. In order reach these ambitious targets, all site operations will need to be fully optimised to deliver the demand side reductions required. Top priority What is worrying, however, is the apparent disconnect between boardroom ambitions, and the practical realities of meeting such ambitious targets when running energy-intensive, large-scale advanced manufacturing plants. Recent research commissioned by CIM revealed that the carbon emissions of HVAC systems in hi-tech manufacturing and life science facilities are a top priority for just 21per cent of senior management, despite accounting for up to up to 40per cent of a site’s overall energy consumption. Even more surprising was that 81per cent of those surveyed would class their site as

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