In INDUCE, a consortium of energy consultants, Associations and scientists offers companies in the European agro-food sector (the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and France) a unique opportunity to put together a tailor-made energy management and training program for their organization. Large-scale rollout of the resulting INDUCE methodology is part of this 2,5-year project.
When it comes to improving energy-efficiency in companies, many energy-saving projects mainly focus on the technical possibilities. “A good energy audit is an important first step for this. But what makes companies invest time, effort and money in energy efficiency or not? Research shows that this has to do with more than just payback time,” say senior behavioural researcher Suzanne Brunsting and environmental scientist Renee Kooger of ECN part of TNO, a partner within the INDUCE consortium that is focusing on behavioural and cultural change within the organizations in which the INDUCE methodology is being tested.
The behavioural interventions which will be developed within the INDUCE project will first be targeted towards the higher management and in a second step targeted at other levels and relevant roles in the organization. On the demand side, industrial associations are involved to reach as many companies as possible.
Although energy efficiency is one of the highlighted objectives in the European strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, investments for its improvement are often not implemented even in absence of technological and financial barriers. The Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) provides an opportunity for companies in this respect. It is important to note that this implementation does not just encompass capital investment in energy efficient technology, but also automation/optimization and good housekeeping. In this regard, it is important to highlight that approximately 50% of the untapped energy efficiency potential is related to structural and behavioural change.
INDUCE is therefore focusing on developing behaviour interventions that first target the higher management and in a second step target other levels and relevant roles in the organization. On the demand side, industrial associations are involved to reach as many companies as possible for whom the project results. The project is funded within the European Horizon 2020 program, as an initiative at the European level that aims to take these observations into consideration to eventually improve energy management systems of companies in the food and beverage sector. To do this, it used two fundamental tools: the transmission of knowledge through a public platform with training materials, online lessons, guides and various tools, and the promotion of behaviour and organizational change models
Together with 15 pilot companies, ranging from SMEs to multinationals, a range of training courses and workshop formats have been tested to promote an energy-efficient culture within companies in the F&B sector. A team of experienced social scientists, trainers, engineers and members of network organizations in the agro-food sector in Spain (CIRCE, FIAB), Germany (Fraunhofer ISI, Ökotec, FPI and the Netherlands (TNO, KWA, FNLI) developed training materials and tools which will be made available on a dedicated INDUCE web platform.