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CARE+ English
03 Sep 2014

Introduction to CARE+

CARE+ helps small and medium sized enterprises in the chemical industry to improve energy efficiency.
CARE+ aims at:

  • Developing, testing and offering an energy efficiency scheme for SMEs in the European chemical industry
  • Disseminating most recent information about energy efficient technologies and energy management systems to SMEs
  • Offering Training and Auditing to determine energy efficiency reserves and the cost-effectiveness of such measures
  • Improving the chemical sector's energy efficiency performance

CARE+ relies on a strong network of partners from Belgium, Bulgaria, Italy and Poland and is managed by Cefic, the European chemical industry association. Together we provide hands-on experience and solutions in chemical issues and energy efficiency. The project is funded and supported by the European Commission under the framework of "Intelligent Energy Europe"

Energy efficiency makes business sense

careplusflash.jpgIn the context of rising energy prices, global competition and environmental concerns, energy efficiency is a key competitiveness factor for European chemical companies.

Over the past years, the chemical industry has taken many voluntary measures to improve its energy efficiency. Especially the large companies in the sector have increased their output while keeping their energy input constant. As a whole, the EU chemical industry decreased its energy intensity by 4% per year between 1995 and 2008, or by 41% in total.

However, more can be done, particularly in small businesses. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) represent 96% of European chemical companies, accounting for 30% of sales and 20% of energy use in the sector. Even though energy costs can represent up to 25% of their total production costs, many small companies don't see energy efficiency as a priority or are not equipped to set up effective energy management programmes.

Improving energy efficiency makes economic sense for small companies. For example, chemical industry initiatives in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands have shown that energy savings of 15% or more are possible. Investments in energy efficiency also often pay off already in the short term.

To help companies tap into this potential, Cefic initiated CARE+, a European project aimed at supporting chemical SMEs in improving their energy efficiency. The project is funded and supported by the European Commission under the framework of Intelligent Energy Europe.

Save Energy, Improve Your Profit

Chemical SMEs can have energy costs of up to 25% of their total production costs. With a strategic focus on energy efficiency, energy cost can be reduced by 10% to 20%.
Take as an example a chemical company with an annual sales volume of €25 million, an energy bill of €4 million, and a net profit of €2 million. A 10 % reduction in energy costs will improve the bottom line results and the profit margin by 20%.

Bottom line improvement with energy efficiency

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CARE+ helps chemical SMEs to analyse their energy consumption, choose the right measures to save energy and to increase their profit!

CARE+ Offers You The Right Tools For Energy Efficiency Improvements

CARE+ has developed two main instruments to help you saving on your energy bill:

  • the Self Audit Guide
  • the Best Practices

They guide you through a step- by-step approach to determine energy savings and pay-back times.

Energy Efficiency Self Audit Guide

Do you want to know more about your energy consumption and saving potential? Then the Self Audit Guide is for you.
The Self Audit Guide is the tool that leads you through the analysis of your company's energy performance and helps you to determine your strong and weak points. In combination with the Best Practices, the Self Audit Guide will help to determine the measures which could be implemented, what would be the expected energy savings, cost and return on investment. Excel tables to help you analyse your energy performance are available for download.

Energy Efficiency Best Practices

Do you want to know more about what is current best practice in the main energy consuming areas in chemical SMEs? Then the Best Practices are for you.

The Best Practices focus on the areas with most energy saving opportunities for chemical SMEs, such as energy management programmes, steam generation performance or motors and drivers. They indicate you an energy efficiency benchmark for the different areas and show you typical improvement possibilities, differentiating by low or no cost measures and issues where you would need to invest.

What Can You Achieve With CARE+?

The CARE+ approach and material has been tested with several chemical SMEs. See below what they think about CARE+.

"The CARE+ energy efficiency guidance tools provided us with a powerful methodology combined with the right information in order to obtain a further real improvement of our operations' energy performance and, therefore, a great opportunity to reduce our energy bill."
Luca Mussi, Manager Environment, Safety, Health & Quality, Evonik Goldschmidt Italia

"Thanks to the CARE+ Energy Efficiency Self Audit, we found energy savings in our administrative building which will reduce heat consumption by around 27%. This will help us to improve the profitability and energy efficiency of our business."
Rafal Muskus, Member of the Board Silikony Polskie S.A.

Contact details

Cefic, European Chemical Industry Council
Peter Botschek This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

These tools are available in Bulgarian, English, Finnish, Italian and Polish

Energy efficiency tools for SMEs
The tools developed by the CARE+ project help small businesses evaluate their potential energy savings and the expected return on investment. The tools are available for free in four languages: English, Bulgarian, Italian and Polish. (Link to other language home pages)

Energy Efficiency Self Audit Guide
The Self Audit Guide helps chemical SMEs check their energy management performance and energy consumption and determine saving opportunities. It presents a simple step-by-step approach for carrying out an energy audit and evaluating improvement options from a financial perspective.
>> Download the 

 
 

Self Audit Excel Sheets
The Self Audit Excel Sheets provide a template for qualitative and quantitative data gathering for the energy audit. The interlinked sheets help create ratios and graphs that are useful for calculating and analysing the audit results.
>> Download the Self Audit Excel Sheets

Energy Efficiency Best Practice Manual
The Best Practice Manual focuses on eight key areas for energy efficiency in chemical SMEs. It describes "best in class" applications, indicates energy efficiency benchmarks and suggests improvement opportunities in the different areas.
>> Download the

CARE+ helps company get a handle on energy use

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Picture above: Energy monitoring equipment connected to injection moulding machine.

Polish consumer plastics company implements SME programme, reduces energy use while growing business

ŁOWICZ, Poland, May 11, 2011 – One hour west of Warsaw, plastics manufacturer Lamela looks like any small business trying to churn out products destined for local and global customers. But take a closer look behind the facility that employs 270 workers, 150 of whom work the production lines, on the outskirts of Łowicz, and you will find an operation in full control of its energy use.

Formed in 1986, Lamela is one of a handful of companies in the country to undertake an energy efficiency project using CARE+, an assessment programme created by the European chemicals industry.

The company started to use CARE+ in 2010 after receiving word from retailer IKEA that it had to decrease energy use if it was to continue supplying the retailer a variety of products ranging from children's products to kitchen articles and furniture interior organizers. It was also in the process of implementing Lean Manufacturing, which eliminates energy losses in the production process.

Going ahead with CARE+
By getting in contact with the Polish Chamber of the Chemical Industry (PCCI) and Poland and Japan's Energy Efficiency Centre, the company went ahead with CARE+ because it lacked the in-house knowledge and skills in energy efficiency and the ready-made solution already provided by CARE+.

After receiving the CARE+ Handbook of Best Practices of Energy Saving, it went about a comprehensive assessment of its energy use. It was then sent and subsequently completed a Self Audit Guide that shed light on how much energy was used during the manufacturing process.

Lamela Technical Production Manager Michal Modrzejewski said: "The Self Audit Guide helped us to make a full profile of energy usage and summarise the results. We were then able to determine an action plan to find ways to save more energy. The energy audit showed that the costs of energy are around six per cent of operational costs."

lamela-production-manager.jpg

Lamela Technical Production Manager Michal Modrzejewski shows PCCI energy specialist Krzysztof Łokaj energy monitoring equipment connected to one of 10 injection moulding machines.

The audit, which required about two months with three people contributing to the process, produced three key findings:

Ninety per cent of electrical energy consumption was attributed to motors, drives and the cooling system in the injection moulding machines, lighting and electrical equipment;
Most of the energy waste was when the machines were "down", meaning being fitted with moulds or laying idle; and
Outdated machinery and infrastructure to deliver electrical energy, cooling system refrigerants and compressed air led to wasteful energy use.
The company went ahead with a 15-point energy-saving programme, which included installing energy meters on their 10 injection moulding machines, worker training, modernisation of the cooling system, and the purchase of three energy efficient injection moulding machines.

Achieving energy efficient operations
The result was a 15 per cent overall reduction in energy usage per unit of product produced. At the same time, the company increased production by double digits during the same period.

Modrzejewski added: "We strengthened our competitive position by using CARE+ while creating our own way of reducing energy use. The audit gave us a reference point that we never had before, which has allowed us to go forward with better monitoring, better data on energy use for each product, and energy measurement that our customers demand."

About CARE +
Funded and supported by the European Union under Intelligent Energy Europe, CARE+ is a four-step process that empowers Europe's estimated 25,000 SME chemicals producers to receive information on energy efficient technologies and training on how to improve their energy efficiency. CARE + was rolled out last year by national chemicals associations in collaboration with energy efficiency service companies and in each case two pilot small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in three EU countries – Bulgaria, Italy, and Poland.

A range of tools were developed from 2008 to 2010 to help small businesses to evaluate their potential energy savings and the expected return on investment, including the Self-Audit Guide with a spreadsheet audit tool and a Manual on Best Practices. Guidance documents were then tested by SMEs and refined accordingly. Following the successful completion of a rigorous development process, flexible CARE+ tools are today available on the Cefic website for free in English, Bulgarian, Polish and Italian.

Martina Beitke, who leads CARE+ efforts at Cefic, commented: "Lamela has really taken hold of the tools available through CARE+ to improve energy use. It's clear that efficiency management systems like CARE + help the bottom line of SMEs by helping them quickly assess the state of play and make the changes necessary to lower energy use, save money and lower their carbon footprint."

About energy use and chemicals SMEs
According to the CARE + Energy Efficiency Audit Guide, energy accounts for as much as 25 per cent of total production cost for chemicals SMEs. The programme is designed to lower energy costs by as much as 10 to 20 per cent. The vast majority of Europe's 29,000 chemicals companies are SMEs with most having less than 50 employees.

The chemicals industry in Europe has been the subject of much policy debate as it struggles to find new energy savings despite decades of energy-efficiency gains. The European chemical industry has a remarkable track record in energy efficiency, as the sector increased production by 60 per cent from 1990 to 1998, according to Cefic's annual Facts & Figures, while keeping energy use stable and lowering overall greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent. Since 1995, it has reduced its energy intensity by four per cent per year while increasing its production by 3.1 per cent per year.

Only 27 per cent of chemicals SMEs in Europe have energy efficiency measures in place, a considerably lower percentage than large producers, 46 per cent of whom are considered energy-savvy. The chemicals sector in Europe accounts for 40 per cent of all energy use by industrial sectors in Europe, more than any other industry. On the cost side, the EU industrial electricity bill is considerably higher than many developed and developing regions around the world.

Beitke added: "Despite the success of companies CARE+ must continue to press on to reach more SMEs in more countries."

Growing Pains: energy efficiency programme for SMEs ready to expand

CARE+ pilot ready to move beyond initial three countries in 2011

More than 50 experts in energy policy from Europe's chemicals industry convened on 8 February in Brussels to discuss how the CARE+ energy efficiency programme for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can expand beyond three countries to at least five in the coming year ahead.

The Cefic-hosted event, which included 10 presentations that allowed participants to discuss the Care +initiative, provided a forum for EU policy shepherds and industry energy experts to discuss the merits of programme that helps SMEs that produce chemicals learn best how to use energy.

Funded and supported by the European Union under Intelligent Energy Europe, CARE+ is a four-step process that empowers Europe's estimated 25,000 SME chemicals producers to receive information on energy efficient technologies and training on how to improve their energy efficiency. Care + was out last year by national chemicals associations in collaboration with energy efficiency service companies and in each case two pilot SMEs in three EU countries – Bulgaria, Italy, and Poland.

A range of tools were developed from 2008 to 2010 to help small businesses to evaluate their potential energy savings and the expected return on investment, including a Self-Audit Guide with a spreadsheet audit tool and a Manual on Best Practices. Guidance documents were then tested by SMEs and refined accordingly. Following the successful completion of a rigorous development process, flexible CARE+ tools are today available on the Cefic website for free in English, Bulgarian, Polish and Italian.

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Left to right: Cefic's Peter Botschek and William Garcia; Yvonne Finger, EU Commission DG Energy; and Francesco Ferioli, Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI).

William Garcia, executive director for Cefic's Energy, HSE & Logistics Program, commented: "Efficiency is a 'must-do' for our industry and the tools available through CARE+ form a vehicle to improve energy use. Efficiency management systems like CARE + ultimately help the bottom line of SMEs."

EU policy and funding programmes for CARE+

The full-day event kicked off with presentations by EU policy officers, including Yvonne Finger, who serves in the EU Commission DG Energy for the Energy Efficiency Unit. Finger provided key points and main objectives of the Energy Efficiency Plan which will be adopted by the European Commission in early March. She stressed that more actions are needed in the field of energy efficiency as in a business as usual scenario the target of improving Energy Efficiency by 20 per cent is not going to be achieved. She also noted that the Commission will provide support for energy efficient methods and tools to help businesses save more energy.

Energy Efficiency Plan reinforces industrial competitiveness
The Energy Efficiency Plan will particularly focus on reinforcing industrial competitiveness by making industry more efficient through:

  • promotion of energy audits/ energy management systems,
  • a benchmarking tool for SMEs,
  • dedicated support for SMEs in Member States to take advantage of energy audits, and
  • additional ecodesign measures on industrial products.

Adding to Finger's comments was Francesco Ferioli, policy officer for the Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI), who serves as project officer for Care +. He discussed funding areas, including conditions and the deadline for the new IEE call 2011 which focuses this year especially on energy efficiency in industry. He made clear that projects such as Care+ are an essential bottom-up approach completing the top-down policy measures carried out by DG Energy.

On the product side, he noted that the goal of policy was to:

  • increase market share of sustainable and energy efficient products,
  • foster green procurement, and
  • check compliance with existing legislation.

For industry's part of EU policy, Ferioli added that sector specific products lead to several thousand kilowatt hours saved per year.

Merits of CARE+ pilots discussed, expansion eminent

Following the presentations by EU representatives, the following panels brought together representatives from the chemicals sector to discuss how the chemicals industry plays a vital role in energy policy and energy use at the ground level. The panels also discussed the success of CARE+ pilot projects in the three countries and discussed ways in which the initiative can be expanded to more countries in the near future.

Martina Beitke and Peter Botschek of Cefic discussed how the programme is communicated to businesses via four languages. Beitke and Botschek noted that it was clear from workshop discussions that CARE+ should be placed in at least five more countries this year and translated into two more languages. As CARE+ is integrated into Responsible Care, we see this as a proven solution to the growing need by the chemicals industry, policymakers and society to lower energy use.

About energy use and chemicals SMEs

According to the CARE + Energy Efficiency Audit Guide, energy counts for as much as 25 per cent of total production costs for chemicals SMEs. The programme is designed to lower energy costs by as much as 10 to 20 per cent. The vast majority of Europe's 29,000 chemicals companies are SMEs with most having less than 50 employees.

The chemicals industry in Europe has been the subject of much policy debate as it struggles to find new energy savings despite decades of energy-efficiency gains. The European chemical industry has a remarkable track record in energy efficiency, as the sector has increased production by 60 per cent from 1990 to 1998, according to Cefic's annual Facts & Figures, while keeping energy use stable and lowering overall greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent. Since 1995, it has reduced its energy intensity by 4 per cent per year while increasing its production by 3.1 per cent per year.

Only 27 per cent of chemicals SMEs in Europe have energy efficiency measures in place, a considerable lower percentage than large producers, who have a 46 per cent energy savvy penetration rate. The chemicals sector in Europe accounts for 40 per cent of all energy use by industrial sectors in Europe, more than any other industry. On the cost side, the EU industrial electricity bill is already 20 per cent higher than in the United States and 200 per cent higher than in China.

Garcia added: "CARE+ challenges companies to spend a lot of time and resources to make it work, but the benefits of lower energy use help them gain a competitive edge, improving the potential for profit. The workshop reconfirmed to us that, moving forward, smaller firms will continue to present a real challenge for industry as they are often difficult to reach."

>> See the agenda with links to presentations: AGENDA CEFIC Energy Efficiency session final draft (424.41 kB)

Care+ discussed at European Sustainable Energy Week

BRUSSELS, March 25, 2010 - CARE+, an energy efficiency project for small- and medium-sized chemical enterprises (SMEs) run by Cefic, was presented at the European Sustainable Energy Week on March 24 in Brussels. The event was an opportunity to benefit from the experiences of the speakers, all involved in energy efficiency, including CARE+.

Chaired by Cefic energy policy issue manage Peter Botschek, the event was designed to launch the process of internationalisation of CARE+. Four speakers who presented at the meeting were:

Yvonne Finger, from the European Commission, DG Energy;
Guido Lena, European Association of Craft Small and Medium sized Enterprises, UEAPME;
Paolo Manes, Sviluppo Chimica; and
Philippine de T'Serclaes, International Energy Unit.

manes-botschek-finger-lena-tserclaes.jpg

Clockwise from top left: Paolo Manes (Sviluppo Chimica); Peter Botschek (Cefic) and Yvonne Finger (EC); Guido Lena (UEAPME) and Philippine de T'Serclaes (IEA)

Providing effective tools to improve the competitiveness of chemical SMEs through better energy use is of crucial interest to the European Commission, which is funding CARE+. In addition to the EU Commission, stakeholders are interested in the security of supply and reduction of dependence on external resources of energy.

Botschek commented: "There will be similar events with the ICCA, the Responsible Care network and the European Chemical Regions Network to share the experiences that we receive on how SMEs can improve their competitiveness.

"SMEs are at the heart of the whole economy and they need more ways to audit themselves. As SMEs are both customers and suppliers of international big companies, their improvements will be key for having stronger economies.

Some further progress needs to be made - as Yvonne Finger pointed out - despite increased energy efficiency, energy consumption has grown in the European Union.

For Guido Lena, the problem lies in the lack of awareness of SMEs. The CARE+ Self-Audit Guide could definitely help in that matter, provided that - according to Paolo Manes - the management is appropriately involved.

Coming back to basics, Philippine de T'Serclaes noted that the crucial challenge remains the financing of these energy efficiency measures. Better information from banks, different public-private partnerships, and more government incentives would be necessary to understand and ease the possible return on investment. And that will pay off. de T'Serclaes added: "in 2020, two-thirds of the abatement must come from energy efficiency."

Origins of the CARE+ Project

The CARE+ project, initiated by Cefic, is implemented in collaboration with partners in Bulgaria, Italy and Poland. It is funded and supported by the European Commission under the framework of Intelligent Energy Europe.

Project activities
Gap analysis: The partner countries conducted surveys on energy management performance and provided a gap analysis to help to determine the current situation and needs in chemical SMEs.

Tools development: Based on the survey results and existing expertise, the project evaluated best practices and appropriate delivery mechanisms for improving energy efficiency. The results served to draft the Self Audit Guide and the Best Practice Manual.

National test phase and roll-out: The draft tools were tested with two chemical SMEs in each partner country. The "field test" enabled further improvements to match companies' needs and expectations. The finalised tools were then promoted through a roll-out campaign in the partner countries.

Dissemination in Europe and beyond: based on the experience from the pilot countries, the project aims to expand to a broader European and international audience. The international dissemination builds on the project's close links with Responsible Care, the global chemical industry's voluntary initiative to continuously improve its health, safety and environmental performance.

Project partners
Bulgarian Chamber of the Chemical Industry (BBCI)
Certiquality srl
Challoch Energy
Energy Efficient Systems Ltd (EES)
Polish Chamber of Chemical Industry (PCCI)
Polish National Energy Conservation Agency (KAPE)
SC SVILUPPO CHIMICA S.P.A., a subsidiary of FEDERCHIMICA

 

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