02/20/2007

5 Success Stories in Energy Management:
Merck & Co. Inc.

Contributors: James Earl  
 
  1. If you’re tasking on-site property or facility management professionals with energy reduction, hold them accountable for the goals they set. Consider their abilities to implement energy-saving strategies and conserve resources during annual performance reviews.
  2. In a large corporate portfolio, implement a new energy-management program within one division first. Then, apply lessons learned and best practices to roll the program out on a bigger scale once measurable success is achieved.
  3. Explore the tax incentives and rebates offered by the state and your local utilities.
  4. Create an evaluation tool based on best practices and proven technologies, and distribute to on-site professionals. Ask them to rank their facilities. Areas where efficient technology and strategies are not employed can be addressed once identified.

Merck & Co. Inc. develops, manufactures, and markets vaccines and medicines globally. Because of the very nature of its business, medical breakthroughs are expected. Less publicized (but just as worthy of recognition) are the company’s energy-reduction accomplishments.

As the company underwent unprecedented growth, a significant capital investment to address increased energy requirements seemed inevitable. To avoid this, the Merck Energy Reduction Initiative Team (MERIT) structured a program to ensure that, from 2000 to 2005, a 25-percent reduction in energy was realizable. Rolled out in the company’s manufacturing division, the ambitious goal was accomplished an entire year before its deadline.

Currently, Merck has a 30 million-square-foot portfolio of owned (85 percent) and leased (15 percent) properties in 80 countries. Its commitment to energy management remains as strong today as it was at the program’s inception. A new goal - one that is just as ambitious as the first - has formed. “We set a new target, a very aggressive target, of a 25-percent energy reduction in terms of energy intensity - BTUs per square foot. From the 2004 baseline to the end of 2008, we’re looking to save another 25 percent,” says Robert Colucci, director, global energy and asset management, Merck & Co. Inc., Whitehouse Station, NJ.

Reducing 25 percent of the company’s energy consumption from 2000 to 2004 equaled a 21.3-percent cost savings in energy expenditures and at least 250,000 tons of avoided carbon emissions. The energy team set annual targets and asked plant managers and facility representatives to develop strategies that were aligned with the yearly corporate energy-reduction goal. The individual plans were submitted to Merck’s energy team and included goals and priorities, as well as recommendations for equipment upgrades or necessary capital projects. It was required that each plan address the following four points: 1) a strategic plan, 2) annual reports, 3) best practices, and 4) awareness.

Facilities professionals in manufacturing properties were then held accountable for reducing energy. During the annual review of a plant manager’s performance, his/her ability to achieve the energy goals is considered, a factor which could impact the payout of a yearly bonus. Assistance and information is available when and if needed. For example, the Merck Best Practices Team catalogs ideas, solutions, and procedures complete with checklists on the company’s intranet. “This best-practices evaluation tool is a questionnaire that takes energy/facility managers through 14 different areas of energy technology (heating, lighting, ventilation, air-conditioning, etc.),“ explains Colucci. When gaps in best practices are identified, energy/facility managers can take action.


In 2002, a fuel cell was installed at Merck's Rahway, NJ, facility. Four years later, a solar energy (photovoltaic) system was installed on the same building. PHOTO: Merck & Co. Inc.

Changing employee behavior, recommissioning, and installing systems like energy-efficient lighting and HVAC edged the company closer to its initial goal. The effort didn’t stop there, though. “We know that the best energy purchases are the ones we don’t make,” says Colucci. As part of Merck’s commitment to renewable energy, two solar systems have been installed at the company’s Rahway/Linden facility in New Jersey. The purchase of the equipment was made possible in part by incentives offered from the State of New Jersey. Between the two systems, almost enough electricity is generated to meet the building’s needs.

Communication is essential to the success of Merck’s energy-management program. As part of the Global Energy Team initiative, an all-employee video was produced and launched on the company’s intranet in early 2006. “It was a video of CEO Richard T. Clark and a couple of key executives (Manufacturing Division President Willie Deese and Research Division President Dr. Peter Kim). These gentlemen created a 5-minute video for all employees, expressing their support of the global energy initiative, [conveying] how important energy is to our company, and asking all employees to support the energy and Global Energy Team initiatives,” explains Colucci.

As of press time, Merck is on schedule to meet a new goal of another 25-percent reduction in energy consumption by the end of 2008.

 

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Connectrac wireways offer discrete power and technology connectivity in open interior spaces of all kinds; affordably, quickly and with long-term flexibility.



When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.

Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


Mitsubishi Electric’s H2i R2-Series heat pumps provide 100% heating capacity down to 0° F and simultaneous heating and cooling down to -4° F delivering year-round comfort, regardless of climate zone.

 
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