CARE+ helps small and medium sized enterprises in the chemical industry improve their energy efficiency and reduce energy costs
Energy efficiency makes business sense
In the context of rising energy prices, global competition and environmental concerns, energy efficiency is a key competitiveness factor for European chemical companies.
Over the past years, the chemical industry has taken many voluntary measures to improve its energy efficiency. Especially the large companies in the sector have increased their output while keeping their energy input constant. As a whole, the EU chemical industry decreased its energy intensity by 4% per year between 1995 and 2008, or by 41% in total.
However, more can be done, particularly in small businesses. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) represent 96% of European chemical companies, accounting for 30% of sales and 20% of energy use in the sector. Even though energy costs can represent up to 25% of their total production costs, many small companies don’t see energy efficiency as a priority or are not equipped to set up effective energy management programmes.
Improving energy efficiency makes economic sense for small companies. For example, chemical industry initiatives in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands have shown that energy savings of 15% or more are possible. Investments in energy efficiency also often pay off already in the short term.
To help companies tap into this potential, Cefic initiated CARE+, a European project aimed at supporting chemical SMEs in improving their energy efficiency. The project is funded and supported by the European Commission under the framework of Intelligent Energy Europe.
CARE+ is part of Responsible Care – the global chemical industry’s commitment to sustainability.