When it comes to energy-efficient practices in the workplace, looking back can be vital to moving forward! For this reason, once in a while we like to look at and celebrate the steps taken by businesses in their journeys towards creating a more sustainable and energy-efficient workplace. Take a look!

Lipton calls in the cavalry

In the late 1990s, Lipton, part of Unilever, contacted Enbridge Gas Distribution after discovering boiler inefficiencies. The old system used 100% make-up water in the steam plant, but was not equipped with condensate recovery. While Lipton is famous for tea, Lipton’s Rexdale plant produces Imperial and Becel margarines, the production of which demands significant and reliable steam loads. Lipton’s goal was to reduce energy consumption and, as Garry Swayze, Plant Services Manager at the time suggested, find an “efficient way to preheat boiler feed water”.

After performing a steam audit on their boiler plant, Enbridge recommended that Lipton invest in a condensing economizer that could help recover the sensible heat in the flue gases by condensing out their water vapour. The economizer would safely remove acidic condensates without exposing other machinery to harmful corrosion, and waste energy would be available to preheat boiler make-up or process water. Read in detail about the new system here.

Tangible savings in energy costs

The natural gas savings through waste heat recovery following the project were 3.3 MMBtu/hr or 763,123 m3 /year. The projected energy cost savings were a whopping $77,000/year. The installation of the condensing economizer and new standard economizer totalled $200,000, with a payback of 2.6 years.

The project, which allowed for improved operating efficiencies, reduced energy costs and an increase in productivity also qualified for a cash incentive of $26,105 from the Enbridge Gas Distribution Energy Efficiency Program, applicable to textile mills, food processing plants, chemical plants, pulp and paper mills, and processes using boilers, ovens, furnaces, engines, turbines, kilns, washers, dryers.

How the Lipton of yesterday shaped the Lipton of today

According to Partners in Project Green, the same Rexdale plant that once reached out for help to solve inefficient boiler issues, has, over the last 9 years, driven more than $5 million in costs from the bottom line through the implementation of 128 energy-efficiency projects. From one small energy-saving initiative to a sustainable success story. Now that’s, good news.

Questions or comments about Lipton and their energy-efficient past? Leave them below!

 image credit: Computer Science Geek