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Net Zero Future Blog: Issue 2

What is Project Drawdown and why should you care?

Drawdown is the future point in time when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline. This is the point when we begin the process of stopping further climate change and averting potentially catastrophic warming. It is a critical turning point for life on Earth. (Project Drawdown, 2021)

The nonstop talks and discussions about climate change are confusing to many of us, especially if you are not a professional in the field and working every day or associated with one of the environmental topics of the day – water, air, or waste.

From the perspective of many manufacturing sites, this is all excessive hype and in some instances pressures on the manufacturing operations which are stressed by regulatory, policy and environmental demands daily anyways – there is no reason to stress them further. Manufacturing continues to bear a significant burden of the climate change because of its mere footprint globally. According to Project Drawdown, about 21% of the global carbon emissions and contributing sources are believed to be coming from industrial activities. Industries should fully grasp the impact of their operations and how it maybe contributing to climate stresses. This is not just to address them, but also to play help shape the future.

To reach Drawdown, it is recommended that globally we work on all aspects of the climate equation—stopping sources of climate pollution, and supporting sinks, as well as helping society achieve broader transformations.

There are many commercial and viable practices and technologies that can help the world stabilize the climb of greenhouse gases, before it can begin to lower these levels in the atmosphere.

As can be seen in the above chart, industry plays a vital role in climate action by addressing its materials consumption – use and waste. We all know that our processes are designed to be consuming materials that in many cases are wasteful. From plating chemistries used to finish metal parts, to millions of gallons of water used to rinse semiconductor chips and solar panels, production processes remain largely outdated and wasteful. It is important to strive toward Net Zero (see our prior blog posts), but we also see some misconceptions that we will address in future issues.

It is important to understand these inefficiencies and how we can change our impact, by modifying our daily operations and practices. What we do has a consequence for the future. Therefore, it is more important than ever to address the details of our practices and operations, to help us support the planet to irradicate climate change.

What does this all mean for manufacturing site?

Exergy recommends that sites conduct a full review of your material and water use, and fully understand how your practices contribute to generation of waste and wastewater. A review of operating units with water consuming processes, will reveal the practices of needs to be modified or updated. Also, use and waste of material can be thoroughly evaluated, especiallyif it leads to water use and discharge. Exergy's proven strategy for the review of water- intensive manufacturing processes allow for a comprehensive evaluation of the opportunities for water use reduction and wastewater elimination. We have proven repeatedly that this works leads to cost savings in operating costs as well as process quality improvement in every case.

How can we help?

Exergy is here to help support your vision, mission and goals, and to implement the most effective resource efficient operation. If need be, re-engineering and retrofitting manufacturing will allow many new possibilities in terms of operation and cost efficiencies, as well as greatly reducing your resource footprint. In order to forge a fundamental shift, your path forward should be set clearly. Let us help you forge this path as your partner on this journey.

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