Press releases

Effective supply chain management pays off

Published: 18/10/2012

Ecofys model enables environmental benefits and cost savings at Enexis

Utrecht, The Netherlands, 18 October 2012 – Ecofys and energy grid operator Enexis have worked together to design a new model for determining the climate impact of the processing of Enexis’ waste. This allows Enexis to find out where in its waste chain the greatest (climate) profit can be achieved. Thanks to this knowledge Enexis saved around one million euros and avoided four kilotons of CO2 per year by recovering valuable materials, thereby making money from waste.

Every year, Enexis disposes of ten million kilos of waste, mainly from transformers, switchgear, cables and piping which often contain metals such as copper. In the past, some of this material may have ended up in an incinerator as mixed waste. But in recent years the grid operator has embraced the principle ‘waste is a resource’ with the result that in 2011, 83 percent of Enexis’ waste was recycled.

The new model developed by Ecofys helps Enexis to accurately map the different waste streams, the materials contained in the waste, and the specific waste treatment for each material. This enables Enexis to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions related to the disposal and treatment of waste in processes that include transportation, processing, disposal and incineration. The model also provides an overview of the emissions avoided through recycling as opposed to using new raw materials. By 2011, these avoided emissions had grown to four million kilograms CO2. The model is flexible enough to continuously adapt to the specific situation at Enexis and respond to changes in the future.

“This shows that with effective supply chain management, environmental benefits and cost savings can go hand in hand. This is exactly what companies are looking for”, says Caspar Noach, Energy and Carbon Management Consultant at Ecofys. Another interesting aspect is the bird’s eye view taken at Enexis. “Companies are increasingly looking at their entire value chain, to see where the real impact is”, Noach continues. Taking into account the recyclability of products is important when purchasing them, the aim being to gradually reduce the generation of waste. This approach fits neatly into the increasingly popular concepts of so-called “Circular Economy” or “Cradle to Cradle” (e.g. design for full reuse of products or their components so that ultimately there is no waste).

For Enexis, the reduction in CO2-emissions through improved waste management and waste prevention will increase in the years to come. With the new model, the company will be able to monitor its progress accurately. The benefits of this approach also fit very well with two of Enexis’ core values: “sustainability” and “affordability”.

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Ecofys – Experts in Energy

Established in 1984 with the mission of achieving “sustainable energy for everyone”, Ecofys has become the leading expert in renewable energy, energy & carbon efficiency, energy systems & markets as well as energy & climate policies. The unique synergy between those areas of expertise is the key to its success. Ecofys creates smart, effective, practical and sustainable solutions for and with public and corporate clients all over the world. With offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, China and the US, Ecofys employs over 250 experts dedicated to solving energy and climate challenges.

For further information, please contact:
Mariëlle Vosbeek
Press Office
Kanaalweg 15-G
3526 KL Utrecht
T: +31 (0)30 662-3402

About Enexis

Enexis is the independent grid operator in the provinces of Groningen, Friesland, Drenthe, Flevoland (Noordoostpolder), Overijssel, North Brabant and Limburg. Enexis is responsible for the development, construction, management and maintenance of energy distribution networks. Thus Enexis is the link between its 2.6 million customers and the energy suppliers. With approximately 4,100 employees, the company is dedicated to a safe, sustainable, reliable and affordable energy supply. It is headquartered in Rosmalen.

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