Industrial park joins climate actions – metering reduces both costs and emissions

2024-01-17 Saara Haaslahti

Climate change and its impacts are a fact that has finally started to be widely recognised in the various sectors of society. As actions to slow climate change start to become urgent, these actions should be embraced more actively, both on a corporate and individual level. Even though every individual’s actions matter, more visible and faster impacts can be achieved through the actions of companies.

At Seaside Industry Park, we have tackled the climate challenge by developing a metering system based on digital technology that monitors the area’s consumption of energy and other commodities, such as water, compressed air and gases. Seaside Industry Park is a marine industrial park in Rauma, where ships have been built since the beginning of the last century. With an area of 43 hectares, the park has a total of 55,000 square metres of various production, office and storage facilities. There are about 30 companies renting space in the area. Consequently, consumption is high, which creates pressure to reduce it for both climate and economic reasons.

The metering system we developed as part of the Canemure project provides up-to-date information on consumption. Up-to-date information gives our tenant companies in the park the opportunity to monitor and adjust their processes so that savings in both consumption and costs are possible. This means that consumption can be influenced much faster than before.

The system is also necessary because it provides information about leaks in the water and gas pipelines as well as various faults in electricity and district heating. Problems can be detected and located quickly, and the necessary actions can be taken to correct them.

One of the most significant benefits has been that we have also been able to use the system as a maintenance tool for preparing maintenance and repair plans. When it comes to an area in which the oldest buildings date back to the early 1900s, there is plenty of need for repair!

Careful groundwork matters

One of the biggest surprises during the project was how time-consuming the installation and development of the metering system has been. This is explained in part by the scope of the area and its infrastructure-related networks. On the other hand, unpredictable challenges in the operating environment in recent years, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, have also slowed the progress of the project due to the poor availability of both labour and materials.

We also realised that careful groundwork is important. For example, a thorough survey of the networks and their condition should be carried out as extensively as possible before the installation work begins. Despite all advance preparations, it is often impossible to avoid changes to the plans along the way. In our case, development and alteration work in the area, such as the construction of a new multi-purpose hall, has led to changes in the location and number of metering points, among other things.

In addition to measuring, changes are also needed in operations

User experience up until now has shown that considerable savings can be made, especially in terms of district heating and electricity, if the metering system is used effectively. The system provides information that can be used to make very concrete changes to operating methods, such as controlling the indoor temperature or lighting in facilities.

We have observed that, in order to make use of the full potential of the system, a broader review of the organisation's operating models and, if necessary, changes to them are also needed. This requires companies to commit to climate-sustainable work. Sustainability should not just be a temporary tool for polishing your brand; it should be one of the cornerstones of your entire business.

The idea of sustainability must also be held by the company’s employees at all levels. Employees need to be committed to the new operating models and adopt the new practices they refer to in order to be able to reduce consumption and, thus, emissions.

Financial motives also lead to positive results for the climate

It cannot be denied that a financial perspective played an essential part in the development and implementation of the metering system for us at Seaside Industry Park. In the past, energy consumption and associated costs were largely based on estimates. The metering system has produced actual consumption data that differs significantly from the estimated figures in certain areas. Usually, the previous estimate has been too low.

This has opened companies' eyes to the costs of their consumption and awakened a desire to reduce them. In other words, although the primary motive for the metering system has been a financial one, it also has a positive impact from a climate perspective. Reducing costs also reduces consumption, which in turn has a direct effect on reducing emissions.

The project and its measures have been in line with the sustainability measures previously implemented in the park, such as the introduction of our own solar power plant and public charging points for electric cars. Our goal is to develop the park step by step towards more sustainable practices.

The large number of companies in the area presents its own challenges. This number includes operators with very different perspectives on environmental matters. On the other hand, this is also an opportunity. Common guidelines for sustainable operations that apply to all operators in the area can, at best, have a broad impact when sustainable practices are spread to the companies in the region and thus also to their cooperation networks.



Saara Haaslahti
Rauman Meriteollisuuskiinteistöt Oy

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