Gütersloh, 11/16/2016

Bertelsmann Establishes Energy Efficiency Network

Subject: Environment
Country: Germany
Category: Project

Until next Friday, participants at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh, Morocco will be discussing the next steps in the global containment of greenhouse gases. At the same time, Bertelsmann, too, takes an important step towards climate protection: 18 experts from various divisions have established an Energy Efficiency Network to jointly realize optimization potential in energy consumption and meet legal requirements with less effort and expense. The launch event in Gütersloh in the first week of November was moderated by Dr. Jörg Meyer, a professor of energy management and energy technology at Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences.

The starting point for the Energy Efficiency Network were the energy efficiency audits of the past year, for which many German Bertelsmann companies individually provided evidence of compliance with new regulatory requirements. All in all, evidence for more than 100 companies at 170-odd locations was provided, and their compilation had to be commissioned from external experts (see BENET report). "These audits meant a lot of work for everyone at very short notice," says Ralf Niediek, Managing Director Mohn Media Energy at the launch meeting. "After this experience, we want to jointly tackle the next auditing in 2019 at an early stage and ensure a structured process that will help our companies to minimize the workload and save costs at the same time."

"Establishing a qualified, professional community"

The ten meetings scheduled over the next two years, some with specialist on-site advice by energy experts from Siemens, are designed to empower the energy management officers to carry out more energy audits on their own in future. This involves fields such as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, heating, cooling, energy storage, engines, motors, pumps, compressed air, energy conservation and energy efficiency in buildings. Beyond this, during the first year of the Energy Efficiency Network, participants will determine whether a common energy savings target will be publicly announced and therefore officially included in the German federal government’s carbon footprint.

"However, the benefit of such a network at Bertelsmann goes far beyond simplifications and savings in audit processes," says Michael Gundel, Head of Facility Management at Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland. "Establishing a qualified, professional community will lead to regular exchange across divisional boundaries, enabling colleagues to share the expertise they have each acquired in specific areas." For example, if a Bertelsmann company has installed LED lighting or a cogeneration unit, the experience gained on these projects could be very helpful for other companies – which accelerates and improves processes across the Group. "For this reason, tours and visits are planned at each of the network meetings, which will each be held at a different Bertelsmann site in Germany," adds Mark Fabisch. Fabisch is Director Corporate Responsibility/Environment at Bertelsmann, and at the same time coordinator of the Bertelsmann environmental initiative "be green" and initiator of the energy efficiency network. "This empowers us to better learn and benefit from one another – fully in the spirit of 'be green'," says Fabisch. The next network meeting is scheduled for February.

"This contribution to cross-divisional cooperation at Bertelsmann is an example of the many initiatives we have developed in the past few months," concludes Bertelsmann CHRO Immanuel Hermreck. "With intensified networking and a systematic development of expertise, we are making Bertelsmann fit for the future together."