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Energy Source Traceability, Viability and Verification

By Gabriela Valdés - Ecolab
Supply Chain Director Latin America North

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Gabriela Valdés By Gabriela Valdés | Supply Chain Director Latin America North - Tue, 09/05/2023 - 10:00

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Companies have pledged to implement ethical and open business practices in the pursuit of a more sustainable future. To assure the sustainability of their goods, services, suppliers, and consumers, it is essential for all businesses to be able to monitor and verify the sources from which they acquire their energy and water.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), renewable energy generation capacity will increase by 2,400GW (gigawatts) by 2027, representing an 85% increase over the previous five years. This would be 30% more than was predicted just a year ago. Although energy generation in Mexico is primarily based on fossil fuels (66.3% versus 33.69% from renewable sources), experts believe that global demand for such fossil fuels for electricity generation has peaked, will stabilize for a few years, and will begin to decline in the second half of this decade.

According to the National Energy Balance, clean energy's participation in the power generation matrix has increased by 18.81% in Mexico, reaching 25.64%. This demonstrates that, despite the pandemic, there has been a surge in demand for energy from sources other than those supplied using fossil fuels. According to the nonprofit organization Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), worldwide energy generation from solar and wind sources is predicted to increase by up to 20% by 2030.

Implementing traceability and verification systems can assist all organizations that share production and supply chains in promoting sustainability, increasing customer trust, and having a positive impact on the environment. Supply chain traceability is critical for a company dedicated to industrial solutions to assure the ethical and sustainable origin of the resources used.

In the context of energy, it is critical to understand the source of the electricity utilized and ensure that it originates from renewable and low-carbon sources. To do this, firms' mindsets and ideologies must first be changed, and models created for specific sectors, activities, and places must be developed. This should then be followed by  close collaboration with trustworthy energy sources that provide clear and transparent traceability.

Another critical part is understanding the origin of manufacturing inputs, such as materials utilized in processes and their recycling and reusability. At Ecolab, we believe in being sustainable and working with suppliers and customers who are either sustainable or on their way to becoming so. The first stage is to guarantee that these inputs meet environmental and safety criteria for the value chain to be sustainable.

Transitioning to cleaner and more sustainable energy sources is a current focus for combating climate change. Companies must choose to use renewable energy sources in their operations. To lower carbon footprints, several supply options, such as installing solar panels, wind turbines, or hydroelectric electricity, can be used. Another option is to incorporate technology that minimizes, recycles, and reuses resources, such as water.

It is critical to remember that changes are slow and that replacing equipment overnight is nearly impossible in major industries. There are  new technologies and solutions that can be implemented into older equipment and machinery to help optimize efficiency while meeting each company's sustainability goals.

However, embracing new energy-saving sources and technologies is not enough. It is critical to verify and authenticate that energy is derived from renewable sources. Certificates of origin and clean energy labels given by recognized agencies and organizations are two instruments that enterprises can use to demonstrate the legitimacy of their energy source and build trust among consumers and the market.

Customers and the public value transparency in business processes in an increasingly environmentally sensitive world. Energy source traceability and verification are critical for showing environmental responsibility and mitigating negative impacts. Companies can acquire the trust of their customers, establish their reputation, and build stable, long-term partnerships by providing clear information about the origin of their resources.

Solutions that analyze data in plants help to achieve optimal operational efficiency by reducing downtime and financial loss due to system failures, preventing equipment repairs, and prolonging system life. As a result, water and energy consumption are reduced, risks associated with water safety and hygiene are reduced, water and energy are saved, operational expenses are reduced, and greenhouse gas emissions are reduced.

Greater emphasis on efficiency, innovation, and technology is critical to the global energy market's progress and transition. To achieve sustainability and reduce environmental effects, regardless of the technique or source of production, the use of resources such as water must be very efficient.

Adopting sustainable practices, establishing traceability, and verifying energy sources in business operations, supply chains, and manufacturing are critical steps toward a more sustainable future. Transparency and ethical resource consumption are characteristics that will allow us to create confidence with customers while also having a positive impact on the environment. Companies that commit to sustainability position themselves as industry leaders and contribute to the well-being of the planet, protecting what is vital for future generations.

Photo by:   Gabriela Valdés

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