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Despite the success of the COP21 meeting in Paris, the majority of industry is yet to be convinced by the benefits of acting sustainably by switching to high efficiency motors, explains Sönke Petersen, Business Engineer at #skf Group.
The COP21 meeting, held in Paris end of 2015 , showed that politicians of all nationalities can come to agreement on important issues. They can be congratulated for their diplomatic skills – though much of the hard, practical work of implementing environmental targets will be down to industry.
Rob Jenkinson, SKF’s Director of Corporate Sustainability, says that industry will need to “roll up its sleeves and plot a way forward” to put these commitments into practice. This can be done by investing in lower-carbon technologies right now, rather than waiting for the relevant legislation.
While COP21 has fired up the crowd – and led to a real change in attitude towards sustainability – there is still an overarching sense of pragmatism towards issues such as sustainability and energy efficiency. Many companies still use the lowest-rated motor that they can get away with and will only switch to higher efficiency (and more expensive) motors if forced to by legislation. Many companies adhere to the minimum agreed standard – but go no further.
They argue that going any further than the letter of the law is simply too costly. Many can see no advantage in doing so – and sustainability plays no part in their thinking. Of course, if sustainability is beneficial to the bottom line – such as by lowering energy bills – then it’s worthwhile. Otherwise, it’s an expensive luxury, the argument goes.
That said, these are tough times for industry. If you’re finding it hard to turn a profit, it’s not easy to invest in higher efficiency motors: you may go bust before you can reap the benefits.
Inevitably, new legislation will push standards higher. Those companies that only ever do the legal minimum will find it tough to compete against those that already see – and embrace – the benefits of sustainable behaviour.
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