Skip to main content

Towards a sustainable agro-food INDUstry: Capacity building programmes in Energy efficiency

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - INDUCE (Towards a sustainable agro-food INDUstry: Capacity building programmes in Energy efficiency)

Reporting period: 2018-02-01 to 2019-05-31

Energy audits and the implementation of energy management systems enable companies the identification of energy saving opportunities and thus the improvement of their energy efficiency ratio. However, the effectiveness of these tools relies on board and employee behaviour, which is shaped by organizational, structural and cultural aspects. Since these aspects are not fully considered in current procedures, there is a need to ensure that their recommendations lead to actual implementation of energy efficiency measures. INDUCE answers this need by developing a toolkit for motivating key actors within the company towards a more energy efficient behaviour and culture, which implements a methodology consisting of ad-hoc training and interventions. This methodology has been conceived to be easily adaptable to different companies and sectors, relying on a Human-Centered Design approach and different behavioural and organizational models. However, there is a need to focus on a specific sector to demonstrate the solution, lay the foundation for its implementation, validate the results from companies and replicate in other sectors all over Europe. For this reason, INDUCE methodology will be validated within this project in the F&B sector, which has the highest expected reduction in energy intensity towards 2050. Moreover, most of the demonstration activities will be aimed towards the agro-food subsector, since it is the major energy consumer of the sector, accounting for over 67% of its GHG emissions. INDUCE methodology will be tested in Spain, France, The Netherlands and Germany, accounting for 46% of the sector companies in Europe.
The F&B sector is the largest EU manufacturing sector in terms of turnover, value added and employment. Besides, it is a major consumer of energy, i.e. the amount of energy necessary to cultivate, process, pack and bring the food to European citizens in 2013 represented about 26% of the EU’s final energy consumption. However, while the EU has made important progress in incorporating renewable energy and improving energy efficiency in other sectors, the share of renewables as well as energy efficiency in the food sector remains relatively small. For this reason, this sector has the highest expected reduction in energy intensity ratio towards 2050 (from 0,023 ktoe/M€ in 2015 to 0,007 ktoe/M€ in 2050). At the same time, with a world population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, many challenges will arise, including the need for a global increment in food supplies of 60% and a 45% increase in global energy demand.
In this sense, INDUCE will empower companies to achieve an organizational change and will create a community of trainers (Energy and industrial experts selected to become trainers of INDUCE methodology) to take part in the INDUCE trainings. This together with the multiplier effect of industrial associations and National Agencies involved will ensure a high replication potential and the commercialization of the results after the project’s end.
The agro-food sector is characterized by being conservative to the changes and implementation of new solutions. However, it should be noted as well that, at the end, people are the ones making decisions in companies, so their awareness of sustainability affects directly. Economic feasibility is usually the main influencing factor in decision making. Nevertheless, it should be noticed that civil society plays an important role in resolving the climate change challenge. Individual behaviour is what shapes the economy, and it seems that it will become greener throughout time. Therefore, sustainability awareness is key to keep fostering a global change of mind that will influence the forthcoming scenarios, something that INDUCE will look into.
The INDUCE project will deliver a methodology for the implementation of capacity building programmes in energy efficiency based on an approach, leading to the ad-hoc design of training courses and interventions that align the motivation of involved actors with an energy efficiency culture. Besides, the INDUCE project will develop an open access platform (INDUCE toolkit) where training material, online lessons, guidelines and tools will be available for companies aiming to increase their energy efficiency. The INDUCE methodology will be integrated in the platform with the objective of designing a specific capacity building programme for every company accessing the INDUCE toolkit, resulting in ad-hoc training adapted to the company’s needs and opportunities.
All in all, the overall aims include:
1. To increase knowledge about energy efficiency measures and their benefits for the company and society
2. To improve attitudes about the importance of energy efficiency measures, not only contributing to energy efficiency but also for the sake of the business of the company, thus establishing an environment conducive for change
3. To build and strengthen skills related to efficient energy or environmental management
4. To achieve an energy efficient behaviour
5. To tailor courses to the organizational culture
INDUCE will implement the methodology developed within the project in 15 pilot companies from Spain, France, Netherlands and Germany. Before that, and during the first period of the project, a guide and baseline for organizational behavioural changes have been performed. For this, an inventory of capacity building programmes and related initiatives in energy efficiency, including existing tools, platforms and information channels for promoting energy efficiency, improving employee’s capabilities have been developed and also an assessment of stakeholder expectations. The 15 pilot companies have been detected and involved in the project. In each company, different activities have been carried out: 1) Data collection about energy assessment based on previous energy audits 2) Company scan through surveys and interviews to identify main barriers and drivers to promote energy efficiency in the organization and 3) Culture scan, through surveys, to identify cultural dimensions influencing communication between layers in the organization. In relation to the training, the definition of the capacity building programme is completed, as well as the assessment of the 15 pilot companies of cultural, organizational and behavioural aspects. Before the end of the first period, the design of the monitoring and evaluation plan to monitor the results obtained at the Pilot companies has been defined. About the methodology and the INDUCE toolkit, both results are almost defined by the end of the first period.
INDUCE will replicate the methodology in 300 companies from the F&B and agro-food sector, which will allow a behaviour change in up to 5.355 employees and the implementation of at least 400 effective energy efficiency measures, thus leveraging a potential for energy savings of about 106 GWh/year, 17,4 M€/year of economic savings, 26,5 M€ of investments triggered by INDUCE and over 13 ktCO2/year emissions avoided. These objectives are linked to another of the main objectives of the project with the certification of 60 trainers through their engagement in the INDUCE methodology. Finally, guidelines, best practices and other documents obtained as a result of the project activities will be published and made available in the repository of the INDUCE toolkit, aiming to reach an audience of 15.000 companies and 100.000 stakeholders over the project’s lifetime.