Phoenix Contact: Energy efficiency as a success factor

Phoenix Contact is a family-run company from East Westphalia, which has established itself as a global market leader for components, systems and solutions in the field of electrical engineering, electronics and automation. The company from Blomberg currently employs more than 16,500 people at locations in Germany and abroad. Phoenix Contact recognised early on that the economical use of energy can be a success factor. The company therefore attaches great importance to using resources efficiently: Phoenix Contact’s next climate target is to reduce its consumption of electricity by eight per cent by the year 2020.

Phoenix Contact offers numerous solutions that promote climate protection, including products for switching off photovoltaic modules using smart technology and for optimising the load of wind turbines, or services in the area of electromobility. Phoenix Contact also offers a service for accurately recording and analysing energy consumption as a basis for energy management. As an expert in products aimed at promoting climate protection, the company also makes use of its own solutions in house: in 1972, it set up the first efficient waste heat recovery system. Since then, the company’s new buildings and facilities have always been designed and constructed with a view to ensuring energy and resource efficiency.

Climate protection objective:

  • To reduce energy consumption by eight per cent by 2020 as compared to 2012 figures

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Photo: Phoenix Contact

Buildings offer great potential for saving energy: to ensure sustainable building management, Phoenix Contact uses an IoT-based ecosystem that was developed in-house, which allows it to monitor and optimise current consumption, amongst other things.

From efficient products to efficient buildings

In Building 36 at the main site in Blomberg, constructed in 2012, the main focus is on smart heat utilisation. The 5,000-square-metre new building was equipped with heat pumps. The heat produced in the factory buildings can be used for heating in the winter months and for cooling in the summer months. The heat is fed into the rooms via a combined heating and cooling system in the ceiling so that there is no need for radiators in the whole of the new building. These measures save 45,000 litres of heating oil per year, equating to 115 tonnes of CO2.

Another new office building at the site in Bad Pyrmont demonstrates in an impressive way the potential that building automation can offer. Many of the installations – ranging from the lighting to the heating control system – are barely noticeable to the employees, but can be monitored precisely on the intranet. The electricity needed is generated on site: the entire roof of the building has been equipped with a photovoltaic system measuring 935 square metres. This facility can generate up to 175,000 kilowatt-hours per year, which equates to the average consumption of 46 single-family homes for 3 persons. The electricity is produced solely for the company’s own use. A storage device has also been installed so that a small amount of energy can be stored temporarily.

Improved company transport, reduced CO2 emissions

What is more, Phoenix Contact reduces CO2 emissions in other areas: electric vehicles have been bought, for example, to provide company transport between the main site and two neighbouring sites, which are each located about 20 kilometres away.

New target for increased climate protection

In order to allow it to assess the small but constant savings made, Phoenix Contact has formulated a clear target. It aims to reduce its overall electricity consumption by eight per cent compared to 2012 figures, which equates to more than five million kilowatt-hours or around 2,650 tonnes of CO2 by 2020. In addition, the company is one of the signatories of the industry code of conduct for corporate social responsibility of the ZVEI Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektronikindustrie e.V. (the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association) and submits reports as part of its membership of the UN Global Compact – the largest global initiative for responsible corporate management. Phoenix Contact has an environmental management system that is certified under ISO 14001, which has been complemented by an energy management system certified under ISO 50001 since 2013.

Foto: Phoenix Contact

“As a result of the energy management system introduced in 2013 and of establishing our strategic energy target, we are currently saving more than 4 million kWh of electricity per year by means of energy efficiency measures that were implemented in the past. Our specific CO2 emissions have fallen by 34 per cent compared to 2008.”

Stefan Gottschalk, Energy Management Representative

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