Sustainability in baking gains momentum
Industry turns attention to an Energy Guide specific to the industry.
BakingBusiness.com, May 15, 2012
by Lucy Sutton
POWER Engineers

After a successful launch of the Energy Star Cookie and Cracker Baking Plant Energy Performance Indicator tool last year, the overall baking industry has its eyes on a similar program. In early April, several representatives of the baking industry attended a conference call with Walt Tunnessen of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Eric Masanet and Peter Therkelsen of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) to kick off the process of creating an Energy Guide for the baking industry.

Mr. Masanet is deputy leader of the International Energy Studies Group at LBNL, where he leads industrial energy analysis research, including the development of energy efficiency guidebooks for various US industries in support of EPA's Energy Star for Industry program. He holds a joint research appointment at the University of California, Berkeley, where he currently serves as program manager for the Engineering and Business for Sustainability Certificate Program. He holds a PhD in mechanical engineering from UC Berkeley, with a specialization in environmentally conscious design and manufacturing. He offered his insight into the program to Baking & Snack's Operations Update readers.

Baking & Snack: What’s the process for creating an Energy Guide for the baking industry? What kind of timeline are we looking at?

Eric Masanet: The Energy Guide will summarize the state-of-the-art in energy efficient technologies for the baking industry, so the development process involves a global review of technical literature, technology reports, efficiency case studies, plant tours and much interaction with the baking industry.

We first do background research to identify the major technologies of interest, which we present to our industry partners for feedback. Based on this feedback, we'll narrow the scope to the technologies and issues of greatest interest to bakers, and proceed with authoring a first draft. The first draft will be reviewed by energy managers within the baking industry, and also by technology experts outside the industry.

After we address review comments, we'll issue a final draft, which will be available for download on the Energy Star for Industry website. Our goal is to send out the first draft for review by mid-summer 2012.

What are the major energy consuming technologies you will be focusing on for the guide?

Our background research and discussions with baking industry energy managers to date suggests we'll have a strong focus on efficient technologies for ovens, dryers, compressed air systems, steam systems, motor systems (e.g., for mixing and conveyance), and refrigeration/freezing systems. However, as in all of our Energy Guides, we'll also include information on other plant systems such as HVAC and lighting, as well as water efficiency measures.

What do you need from baking industry members to complete the draft?

Industry input is critical for producing an Energy Guide that is relevant and useful to the baking industry. Typically, we welcome feedback on the included technologies (are we focusing on the right technologies?), plant and case study data on real world success stories, plant tours so we can better understand process flows, careful reviews of the draft, and, of course, limited support answering questions we might have along the way. Interested parties can contact me at ermasanet@lbl.gov with any input.

How will bakeries benefit long-term from the guide? How will it help them meet their customers’ requests to operate more sustainably and efficiently?

To date, we've authored a dozen Energy Guides for different US industries. Our past experience indicates that companies use the guides as a means of identifying new efficiency opportunities, as a checklist for plant energy audits, for internal and external education on energy issues facing the industry, as a handy compendium of the best global sources of information on energy management and efficient technologies, as a way to publicize their success stories by offering validated case studies, as a handy reference to technical and financial support programs, and as a data-rich platform from which to launch their own technology evaluations.

In short, the Energy Guides help companies reduce information barriers by having the latest and greatest efficiency information in one handy reference, which allows companies to spend their valuable time on implementing solutions rather than on information compilation and technology research.

This story is sponsored by POWER Engineers, which has one of the most comprehensive teams of engineers and specialists serving the baking and snack industry. As an extension of its clients' engineering teams, the company provides program management, integrated solutions and full facility design for the baking and snack industry. Learn more at www.powereng.com/food.