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

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - INDUCE (Towards a sustainable agro-food INDUstry: Capacity building programmes in Energy efficiency)

Reporting period: 2019-06-01 to 2020-07-31

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 methodology and different resources for motivating key actors within the company towards a more energy efficient behaviour and culture through ad-hoc training and interventions. The INDUCE 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, for its development, the INDUCE project focuses on a specific sector to demonstrate the solution, lay the foundation for its implementation, validate the results from companies and replicate in other sectors. For this reason, INDUCE methodology has been validated in the food and beverage sector, which has the highest expected reduction in energy intensity towards 2050. INDUCE methodology has been tested in Spain, France, The Netherlands and Germany, accounting for 46% of the sector companies in Europe.
The food and beverage 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 tries to empower companies to achieve an organizational change and create a community of trainers with the support of the National Associations.
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 has been investigated.
The INDUCE project to support and facilitate the implementation of the methodology has developed an open access platform where training material, online lessons, guidelines, and tools are available for companies and experts aiming to increase their energy efficiency.
All in all, the goals of the project include:
1. To develop an adaptable methodology through Human-Centered design approach to design of capacity building programmes.
2. To identify general needs, requirements and motivations in the food and beverage sector.
3. To define interventions, tools, and guidelines to increase the capabilities in implementing energy efficiency.
4. To unlock the implementation of more than 400 measures on energy efficiency.
5. To establish changes in the mind-set of all actors in the companies for the inclusion of energy efficiency.
6. To create the INDUCE community.
7. To make available capacity building programmes.
8. To influence national programmes and correct existing barriers for the implementation of INDUCE interventions and training for the food and beverage sector.
INDUCE has applied the methodology developed within the project in 14 pilot companies from Spain, France, the Netherlands and Germany. The INDUCE methodology consists of four different phases: inspiration, ideation, implementation, and monitoring. During the first period of the project both inspiration and ideation were designed, and during the second period, the implementation and monitoring were carried out with the pilot companies. The first activity of the implementation phase was the training, conducted by CIRCE in Spain, KWA in the Netherlands, ÖKOTEC in Germany and CRITT in France. After the training, several monitoring activities were carried out over several months to assess the effects of the training in the pilot companies. Once the activities with the pilot companies were completed, the last step of the project was the replication of the INDUCE methodology. In this regard, external trainers were trained in all the four countries to introduce them to the INDUCE methodology and all the experiences collected in the pilot companies to facilitate the implementation of the methodology in new food and beverage companies.
Within the INDUCE project, before its closure, actions had not been replicated in 300 companies in the sector, in addition to the 15 pilot companies involved since the beginning of the project. Therefore, in order to evaluate the project's impacts, a methodology was determined to estimate the energy, environmental and economic impacts. Among the pilot companies that participated in the project, 11 delivered the full set of data needed to estimate the impact of the project. The overall impact of the project was then calculated on the assumption that 315 enterprises would have achieved the same results as observed on average in the pilot enterprises. In this sense, The INDUCE methodology has the potential to unlock a total number of 490 measures on energy efficiency in the pilot and replication companies. This would mean that the INDUCE trainings enabled the companies to unlock 22 % more measures as originally envisaged. The aim of the project was to save 106 GWh/year of primary energy. Assuming 315 companies would tap the same energy savings as observed in the pilot companies, the INDUCE project would achieve 554 GWh/year, which is almost 5,2 times higher than the project goal. In the same way, the savings would be 20 Mio€/year, 15% above the project goal with investments 17% below the target and 95ktCO2/year emissions avoided (7 times above the project goal). In relation to the trainers, 61 external trainers were trained during the project. Finally, regarding the social impacts, 2.500 people were informed about the project with 8.000 visits to the website, 80.000 impressions in Social Media Channels and 21 events were celebrated.