Young Professionals on a Mission to Reduce Costs and to Protect the Climate
by Arina Hube, DIHK
The Young Energy Europe project combines climate protection and efficiency. Young employees drive the project by measuring energy consumption in their companies and developing potential ways to save energy.
European companies have enormous scope for improvement when it comes to climate protection. For example, more could be done to prevent energy losses, unused waste heat, high water consumption and inefficient use of resources. Young staff in Bulgaria, Greece, the Czech Republic and Hungary are currently trying to identify such potential in their companies. They are receiving training locally from the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHK) on topics such as climate change, mobility and energy and resource efficiency, which are designed to make them aware of the various ways in which companies can support climate protection. Once they have acquired the necessary expertise and become fully-fledged ‘energy scouts’, they are given a set of measuring equipment and then work on developing a customised energy efficiency project for their company.
In Hungary, a group of young professionals from companies such as Audi Hungaria, B. Braun Medical, Hipp Kft. and Bosch started taking measurements at their workplaces in October after completing the first two training courses. In Bulgaria, employees at Kaufland Bulgaria have already identified potential ways to improve the lighting system. Using a thermal camera, energy scouts at the Bulgarian company Mexon OOD tested the functionality of seals and pipes. By replacing poorly sealed equipment, companies can reduce their consumption of natural gas, minimise heat build-up in the equipment and thus reduce the amount of electricity required for the air conditioning system. Energy scouts at Adient Czech Republic k.s., which produces motor vehicle accessories in the Czech Republic, are working to optimise the company’s own water management system.
Before implementing their ideas, however, the scouts first need to persuade their management team of the benefits. The AHK training courses therefore teach them how to calculate amortisation periods, present their ideas effectively and use internal communication strategies.
At Festo Produktion OOD in Bulgaria, which specialises in automation technology and industrial training programmes, the company’s energy scouts have already marked up their first success in the form of a project that will deliver both financial and environmental benefits. The plan is to reduce the company’s CO2 emissions by setting up an in-house facility to produce nitrogen, so that the lorries that have previously supplied nitrogen will no longer be necessary.
In Greece, energy scout training courses were held in November. Workshops focus on service and tourism companies that make a substantial contribution to gross domestic product and also make a special impact on the general public through their guests and customers.