Understanding EDISON: The Strategic Energy and Water Efficiency Program of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Operations on a global scale pose a particular challenge to any company aiming to address the diverse needs of its sites. As part of its sustainability strategy, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from its operations, aiming for a 50% reduction in Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 2030 compared to 2020. To achieve this goal, the company focuses on four areas:
1. New construction sustainability
2. Emissions from industrial processes
3. Renewable energy
4. EDISON: the company’s flagship energy & water efficiency program
The EDISON program focuses on reducing energy consumption within the company’s operations through investment in energy efficiency and onsite renewable energy. In 2022, the program was expanded to focus on both energy and water efficiency, and a central pool of funding was allocated to support these projects. From 2022-2030, the company plans to invest up to €10 million annually to support sites on their energy and water efficiency journey.
Amongst a wide array of projects focused on solving the company’s toughest energy saving and water efficiency challenges is a state-of-the-art Biomass Central Heat plant in New Hampshire, USA. Biomass is an organic, non-fossil fuel that can be used as a heating source. By using locally sourced wood chips, which replace more than 400,000 gallons of oil per year and significantly reduce the plant’s carbon dioxide emissions, the plant single-handedly supports 100% of the site’s heating needs.
At a chiller plant in France, the EDISON program reduced gas consumption by capturing heat that was rejected off chillers to create 55°C hot water. This refrigeration system is used to provide consistent temperature and pressure to industrial processes by removing heat from the system and transferring it elsewhere.
To reduce electricity consumption in the production of compressed air, EDISON helped eliminate compressed air leaks, re-engineered drying systems, installed variable speed compressors with feedback control loops, and improved distribution networks.
Projects are selected based on the impact it will have towards achieving energy, greenhouse gas and water reduction ambitions. For 2023, 40 projects totaling €9.3 million will be funded through EDISON.
Learn more about the sustainable operations efforts of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany by visiting its sustainability and social business innovation webpage.