About two years ago, French electrical equipment company Legrand committed its United States facilities to the Better Buildings Challenge, a US Department of Energy-backed voluntary leadership initiative that asks leaders of organizations to commit to energy efficiency. Legrand was asked to achieve a 25 percent energy reduction by 2020.
So to coordinate such an effort across its 14 US sites, Legrand developed two tools -- an interactive spreadsheet that shows where managers can begin making cuts and an energy management handbook. To date, Legrand is well on its way to meeting this challenge with a 20.2 percent energy reduction after only two years.
Now, Legrand is making these two tools freely available for any organization wanting to improve its own energy performance, the company announced today at GreenBiz’s VERGE conference in San Francisco.
The interactive spreadsheet was developed with a team of Legrand employees from different areas like finance, operations and sustainability. It comes pre-loaded with a number of formulas that make calculations relevant to analyzing energy usage. The spreadsheet could help, say, a building manager prioritize effective energy efficiency projects for an office building. The spreadsheet tool could also be useful for coordinating energy reduction projects across multiple sites, as Legrand has to do.
“It’s really to provide support at the site level to have a uniform approach and have information around a project to be documented and interpreted,” said Susan Rochford, vice president of energy efficiency, sustainability and public policy at Legrand North America, about the spreadsheet.
“When working across multiple sites, there’s a coordination aspect with everything from how you’re tracking energy data to what your methods are for analyzing that data,” continued Rochford. “We developed a way to take a structured approach and create processes. … The people we have driving energy efficiency at the site level, they’re doing energy management but they’ve got other roles. Tools like this make their jobs that much easier.”
Legrand is offering web classes to explain how the software works at www.legrand.us/sustainability.
Meanwhile, the 16-page handbook is based on what Legrand has learned so far in its efforts to reduce energy consumption. The company said that it outlines a systematic approach for organizations to reduce their energy. It includes a four-step process: Making a Commitment, Assessing Your Current State of Energy Use, Creating an Action Plan, and Reporting and Evaluating Progress. It can be downloaded at www.legrand.us/sustainability.
The tools can be used across a number of different kinds of facilities, from warehouses to manufacturing sites to office buildings.
Legrand originally began sharing these tools over the past summer with its suppliers in an effort to strengthen its commitment to energy reduction. But Legrand soon realized the tools could also be useful beyond its suppliers, said Rochford.
“We learned from other organizations when we first started down this path,” said Rochford. “We want to be supportive of that. That’s why we decided to share this information. Like we learned from others, we hope we can make a contribution by sharing our resources and tools we’ve developed.”