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On Monday, South African global integrated chemicals and energy company Sasol and a group of pioneering Indian companies pledged to focus on energy efficiency as part of their business growth strategies by joining EP100.

The Indian firms included UltraTech Cement, Mahindra Vehicle Manufacturers Ltd, Mahindra Heavy Engines Ltd, and Godrej Industries Limited and Associate Companies (GILAC). Read more: India secures ample financing to scale-up energy efficiency programme

EP100 now brings together 20 major businesses from 12 countries and seven sectors, with a combined revenue of over $200 billion, all making smarter use of energy – or ‘doing more with less’.

EP100 is a global collaborative initiative on energy productivity led by The Climate Group in partnership with the Alliance to Save Energy.

Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group, said: “We are excited to see such a significant group of large energy users step up their efforts on energy efficiency. Lowering energy use in sectors like auto-manufacturing, cement, and chemicals production is an ambitious task, but the figures speak for themselves – making smarter use of energy boosts the bottom line and drives down greenhouse gas emissions. These announcements will inspire many more to come on board, accelerating a clean economy.”

Sasol’s game plan

Sasol has committed to installing a smart energy management system (EnMS) within 10 years, targeting a 30% energy productivity improvement.

The firm has already invested in energy efficiency projects amounting to more than 10 million tonnes of carbon emissions saved annually since 2004. Examples include steam trap maintenance and waste heat recovery.

Bernard Klingenberg, Executive Vice President: Operations, Sasol Limited, said: “Sasol has a solid track record in promoting energy efficiency as a key business driver. We strive to continuously improve the energy efficiency of operations globally to support asset integrity. Our commitment to the global EP100 initiative is a testament to our commitment.”

Indian companies leading the charge

UltraTech Cement has committed to doubling its energy productivity by 2035 (2010 baseline year).

K K Maheshwari, managing director, UltraTech Cement Limited, said: “[…] As a responsible organisation, we realise the need for further substantial improvements in energy productivity. Our membership of EP100 we believe will play a catalytic role in helping us accelerate towards doubling our energy productivity, which is a key strategic lever to achieve sustainable business growth.”

Mahindra Vehicle Manufacturers Ltd has committed to doubling its energy productivity by 2039 (2014 baseline); Mahindra Heavy Engines Ltd by 2041 (2016 baseline).

Vijay Kalra, CEO of Mahindra Vehicle Manufacturers Ltd. and chief of manufacturing operations, M&M, auto division, said: “Operating in a country like India which is energy deficient, energy security and energy cost is of vital importance for sustainable business performance. By joining the EP100 programme, we demonstrate our commitment to our employees, society and nation at large. As we take aspirational targets to enhance energy productivity there will be innovation and development of new technologies that will change the way we live and work. It’s all about arriving a win-win situation for all. Be it business, employees and society at large.”

Godrej Industries Limited and Associate Companies (GILAC) has committed three of its four companies to double their energy productivity by 2030 (2011-12 baseline year). They have already reduced their energy consumption by 41.8% (FY2011 baseline year), surpassing its 30% by 2020 target.

N.B. Godrej, managing director Godrej Industries and Chairman and Non-Executive Director of Godrej Agrovet Limited (GAVL), said: “[…] Sustainability is ever evolving and we realise that businesses now have a larger role to play in the communities that they operate in. Low-cost energy will enable us to enter new fields. We have come a long way since we started and have set evermore ambitious plans going forward.”

Reflecting on the rapid growth of EP100 in India, Jarnail Singh, India director, The Climate Group, added: “These unprecedented announcements exemplify India’s corporate leadership on energy productivity – which fuels economic growth while driving down carbon emissions.

"As we optimise our energy use, the business case for renewables becomes even more evident. This paves the way for India’s long-term transition towards a cleaner and prosperous energy future.”