The Textile Industry Sustainability Platform (TISP) is a guide for Chinese factories, apparel brands and their partners to understand introduce sustainability to their organisations by describing best practice. Sustainability is ensuring human actions do not impact the environmental resources that sustain our social and economic systems.
This version is an introduction to energy efficiency for the textile industry – it is not a technical manual. Its aim is to
This guide is a development of a previous energy efficiency guide by Tristan Edmondson and funded by New Look Ltd, with support from CSR Asia. Seven apparel brands have collaborated to fund TISP and three consultancy companies have provided content.
For many apparel and fabric factories energy is the third largest cost after labour and raw materials. With fuel and electricity prices rising across the world, energy efficiency offers an increasingly attractive source of cost reduction.
Energy efficiency potential in fabric and dyeing is significant
Few apparel and fabric factories have started energy management programmes yet energy audits consistently reveal energy savings potential in the region of 10-20%, often with payback times of two years or less. For smaller facilities this can means aggregate savings of 160,000 to 320,000 RMB per year. For larger facilities savings opportunities of 650,000 to 1,625,000 RMB per year are common.
Much of these savings are from simple measures to improve existing systems such as improved management and control of lighting, cooling and compressed air systems. These ‘low hanging fruit’ require minimal capital investment and typically have payback times of less than 12 months.
Fabric and dyeing mills have a greater level of opportunity due to energy intensive processes and large sites. Vertically integrated sites provide additional opportunities.
The Natural Resource Defense Council’s (NRDC) Responsible Sourcing Initiative worked with Chinese dye mills to find annual savings of between 650,000 – 4,000,000 RMB. Payback periods for energy efficiency measures were often under 12 months.
The following Figure shows the potential net savings for ten of the NRDC mills over a two year period including investment costs associated with energy efficiency projects and equipment. Whilst these figures are based on energy efficiency assessments conducted in the mills and are therefore projections rather than actual savings, the projections are based on simple energy efficiency measures which are highly achievable and likely to be exceeded by a mill that develops an in-depth energy management program.
Inefficient factories are dangerously exposed to rising and volatile energy prices. In 2008 oil hit $150 a barrel and in China coal reached 1,300RMB a tonne. Factories which bought coal and diesel for energy generation suffered large increases in production costs.
In China electricity prices are regulated by government, but electricity generation companies are lobbying hard for market pricing. In 2011 many electricity companies stopped producing electricity because production costs per KWh were higher than the regulated price.
Factories can reduce their reliance on expensive backup generators by becoming more efficient. In some areas, local officials may reward factories who are contributing to energy efficiency targets.
Brands are beginning to set targets for their suppliers:
Manufacturers of garment products that can show energy use and carbon emission reduction will become increasingly sought after by international brands. Supplier scorecards and rating systems are being developed to measure energy performance. For example the Sustainable Apparel Coalition Facilities Index, the Marks and Spencer Eco Factory benchmark, the BSR Mills and Sundries system and the WWF Low Carbon Manufacturing Programme all have a strong energy and carbon component in their ratings structures.
Energy efficiency therefore provides an opportunity for suppliers to demonstrate environmental performance improvements through reduced carbon emissions and secure recognition from brand clients seeking to reduce the environmental impact of their products in a transparent and credible manner.
|Item||Share of total thermal energy use|
|Waste water loss||24.9%|
|Heat released from equipment||12.3%|
*Energy Conservation Center, Japan (ECCJ), 2007a. Energy Saving Measures & Audit of Dyeing & Finishing Processes in Textile Factories.
The Energy Committee should have top and middle management representatives from finance, environmental compliance, production and quality assurance. This committee will be responsible for setting energy reduction goals and developing the energy management policy.
Factories should establish a Technical Committee to collect and discuss relevant technologies, trends, and possible solutions to problems at the facility. This committee should be chaired by the chief engineer or the person with the highest technical capability in the business. The Technical Committee will be working closely with the energy committee to come up with technical ideas to help achieve energy and cost reduction goals.
Energy leaders at production level should be recruited to ensure production staff are engaged in the energy saving process. More detail can be found in the engaging employees section.[link] Lastly, an energy manager should be appointed and given suitable authority and resources to accomplish goals set by the energy team. It should also be ensured that there is no conflict of interest for this person’s role.
B. CONDUCT RESEARCH AND SURVEY ENERGY USERS
In order to identify areas with highest energy saving potential, companies must understand their present situation. Proper research into best practices for your industry and the latest technology available is the first step to knowing the starting point of your factory. In order to get an objective assessment of a facility, it is important to engage and educate all staff who use and manage energy, including carrying out a survey of their views. Included in this guide is information specific to the textile industry to help accelerate this process. See the Best Practices Section for more information on areas in your facility that might yield energy savings.
Factory assessment will provide the energy management team with the proper data to set goals and develop a timeline for implementing energy efficiency projects. This can be done in-house, but often it is better to employ an expert from outside the organisation.
The first step in assessing a factory is to identify the different forms of energy used at a site (electricity, diesel, natural gas, steam from an outside plant, etc) and the costs for each energy type. The second step is to assess the largest energy consuming processes and identify areas of waste. Waste comes in two forms: the physical leaking of energy and inefficiencies from using poor practices and outdated technology.
The largest energy using systems in a textile factory are:
D. SET A BASELINE
Find out how the utility bills are currently being managed in order to collect the data necessary to set a baseline for energy and cost. Collect the utility bills for the last three years, and separate by energy type. Compare the total usage and cost for the three years, and look for trends.
E. PRIORITIZE AND SET A TIMELINE
The energy team should review the assessment results and prioritise projects that require little or no investment which result in quick savings. These savings can be used to fund the energy management budget. Then, focus on projects that have a payback of one year or less and can be funded by the energy management budget. Each project should be given a budget and timeline, and one person should be responsible for its delivery.
The person responsible should perform the energy saving activity as specified in the plan outlined at point 1 above. This could be done with an in-house team or a suitable energy efficiency consultancy. Typically consultants provide expertise for equipment installation, maintenance and upgrading, as well as helping companies to audit, analyse and plan energy efficiency programmes. In house teams are best suited to managing parts of energy efficiency programmes that deal with people, maintenance and operations. In each case the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) procedures should be strictly followed.
For example, a consultancy could help to identify retrofitting a textile factory’s pumping system with variable speed drives as an energy efficiency measure with attractive investment payback. A vendor should then be identified to install the variable speed drives and integrate and optimise them (the vendor may not be the energy efficiency consultancy). But for the development and implementation of a policy for shutting down idle equipment, including the variable speed drive, the in-house team should be responsible.
The best way to collect cost information is from utility bills. A simple spread sheet that collects the key data elements to send to the energy manager will allow further analysis and identify cost saving opportunities.
Production and Weather Data
It is also important to compare production levels with energy consumption to understand the relationship between energy used for manufacturing and energy production.
Weather conditions can be an important factor in energy consumption; this data can identify the relationship, if any, between energy usage and weather conditions.
Energy meters are crucial for managing energy consumption. Modern metering system that automatically measure and record energy consumption at short, regular intervals such as every 15-minutes or half hour make it possible to see patterns of energy waste that would otherwise be missed.
Mechanical meters are insufficient to fulfil the need of monitoring energy, cost and deman; factories should install digital meters that allow for low cost data collection and reporting through energy management software.. Digital meters must be compliant with Chinese national standard for metering GB 17167-2006 or similar.
For electricity, which is the most complicated form of energy to manage, the monitoring system should measure and monitor the following areas in predefined time intervals – preferably every 15 minutes.
Interval data from meters will enable the energy manager to analyse energy consumption behaviour and identify what needs improvement.
Everyone pays energy bills, but almost no one understands them. Bills aren’t important just because you have to pay them to keep your lights on, but also because they will tell you how you can pay less – if you understand them. Everyone who is interested in energy should gain a sound understanding of bills for electricity, diesel, natural gas, and other energy types.
Factories must decide who is responsible for understanding electricity bills, this may be the energy champion, or the facilities manager, but this person must report to the energy committee. The bill will show several components, including:
However, the rate structures can be very complex and confusing, so it’s important to ask questions of the utility company in order to understand how you are being charged for your energy.
Analysing electricity bills can result in quick and easy cost savings. If you are receiving a “power factor adjustment charge” or a charge for “reactive power”, you have a power factor problem. The good thing is that this is usually an easy and inexpensive problem to fix, and it can save you a lot of money. The first step is to figure out if you have a power factor correction panel, and if so, make sure it is working properly (that all capacitors and reactors, if any, are working). If it is working properly, and the factory has a lot of motors, there could be a harmonics problem.
Employees should be involved in setting realistic energy savings targets. Progress towards these targets should then be included in any employee performance review. Targets are best set after putting in place an energy management system. [link to page].
Linking incentives to improvements in energy efficiency can have dramatic results. Interface Flor, an international flooring manufacturer, found incentivized targets based on energy reductions per metre of flooring produced helped improve energy efficiency.
It is very important that employees have the opportunity to suggest energy saving ideas. This harnesses employee knowledge of how energy is used in their day-to-day practices also develops a sense of employee “ownership” of energy saving activities.
To get employees started on sharing energy saving ideas, a structured survey is a good way to start.
Energy Leaders will be key for facilitating the involvement of staff in suggesting and implementing energy saving measure. These leaders could be foremen or supervisors or individuals who are responsible for machinery controls.
Communications serve to raise employee awareness and understanding of energy efficiency. You should also consider whether any specific education or training is required to help employees act on the messages received through communications campaigns.
Many companies designate an individual or group of employees (green teams) who are responsible for promoting employee engagement with a new energy efficiency strategy. These teams can be formed from volunteers or can be selected to ensure a suitable range of employees. Typically, green teams provide both information and encouragement to colleagues, and take responsibility for actions like checking everything has been turned off when the factory is closed.
Three of the four case studies below have been provided by Azure International who carried out energy efficiency audits and recommendations at several factories who took part in the Greening China’s Supply Chain programme run by the Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP). The final case study from Suzhou Wanli Knitting is provided by the Suzhou Energy Conservation Centre.
The following resources are available for factories that wish to embark on an energy efficiency programme or improve their existing programme:
The companies listed below contributed content for this energy efficiency guide, but are not endorsed by the guide’s contributing brands.
This section provides an overview of the major 3rd party programmes and standards that suppliers can use to assist or affirm their energy efficiency programmes. Some are exclusively focused on energy and greenhouse gas emissions whilst others are more generic environmental performance systems which feature energy efficiency as a major theme.
ISO 50001 can be applied internally with 3rd party certification also an option for organisations seeking formal recognition of their achievements. For more information visit http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_50001_energy.pdf
Factories total score across the three performance areas then generate a rating of suppliers into Green-Silver-Gold or Platinum level of performance. WWF manages a certification programme that involves 3rd party verification from an approved verifier before a label is awarded by WWF. For more information visit http://www.wwf.org.hk/en/whatwedo/footprint/climate/corpactions/lcmp/
The scoring system is related to the level of sophistication of the in-house energy management process. So for example, facilities will need to measure and report energy consumption to achieve Level I, set targets to achieve Level II and demonstrate credible efficiency improvements and reduced consumption per unit product to achieve Level III. Verification protocols have not yet been established. For more information visit www.apparelcoalition.org
This energy efficiency guide is the result of content provided by Tristan Edmondson at CSR Asia, Liam Salter at RESET Carbon and Taryn Sullivan at Efficiency Exchange, with content on employee engagement by Jonny Hazel at Inovenergy. Case studies were provided by Azure International. Felix Ockborn at H&M was responsible for catalysing the project through his efforts to mobilise support from members of the Sustainable Fashion Business Consortium and other brands.
CSR Asia facilitated the development of this guide and provided additional support for project management.
This guide is the evolution of a previous energy efficiency guide by Mark Bannister, previously Ethical and Environment manager New Look and Tristan Edmondson during his MSc in Environmental Technology at Imperial College London, with help gratefully received from Taryn Sullivan of Efficiency Exchange and Peggy Liu at JUCCCE.
|Contributing Brand||Sustainability Staff|
|New Look||Mark Bannister, Subathra Vaidhiyanathan, Super Wang|
|H&M||Felix Ockborn, Jonah Wigerhall|
|GAP||Aaron Tam, William Lee|
|Fifth and Pacific||Ava Tam|
|Levi’sc||Bril Lacno, Vivien Wang|
|Pentland||Henry Chow, Helen Ashton-Ford|
|Columbia Sportswear||Raymond Yu, Abel Navarrete|