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Energy-Efficient Measures Saves Pfizer $2.6M in 2009

Pfizer has saved an average of $1.4 million annually between 2004 and 2009 by installing energy-efficient light fixtures, timers and occupancy sensors at all of its Kalamazoo, Mich., facilities, reports MLive.com. Savings in 2009 alone tallied $2.6 million.

In addition, a thermal oxidizer that serves Pfizer’s Kalamazoo County manufacturing sites has reduced natural gas use by 65 percent over the years and cut carbon-dioxide emissions by 2,570 tons, according to the article. It also saved $350,000 in energy costs.

The pharmaceutical company’s efforts in Kalamazoo County are part of a global initiative to cut greenhouse gas emissions, which helped earn Pfizer a ranking on the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Leadership Index for the fourth straight year, according to the article.

Pfizer has exceeded its goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 35 percent on a relative basis from 2000 to 2007, cutting emissions by 43 percent in 2007 and an additional 20 percent over 2007 to 2008.

The company has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 120,000 metric tons thanks to more than 500 energy conservation projects completed globally by 2009, according to MLive.com.

For other pharmaceutical companies looking for ways to cut their energy costs, the Pharma Energy Star program has been helping companies over the past seven years to develop tools and guidelines for better tracking and benching their energy use, reports PharmPro.

Some of the biggest consumers of energy in pharmaceutical facilities are HVAC equipment as well as R&D and lab spaces, according to Energy Star.

To qualify for the Energy Star, a pharmaceutical site must benchmark its energy efficiency using the Energy Star Energy Performance Indicator (EPI). However, the EPA says its Energy Star program for pharmaceutical facilities is still developing, reports PharmPro. For example, there is no benchmarking tool for lab spaces yet.

Still, the program has helped many pharmaceutical companies include Merck hunt down opportunities to cut energy use.

As an example cited in the article, Merck began by establishing a baseline of its energy use at all of its facilities, and developed a metric for energy intensity based on how many millions of BTUs of energy were being used per square foot of facility space. 

Merck identified HVAC as the largest consumer of energy at its facilities, and followed up the initial study with facility-specific projects to save and reduce energy.

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