Common EEMs

Figure 4 SGS Antwerp Site

SGS are always looking to expand the range of our energy efficiency projects. We have included examples of some of our current and previous projects below:

Antwerp dock-water cooling project

The current cooling system at the Antwerp site is 16 years old: end of life; 2 out of the 4 compressors are no longer functioning effectively and the 3rd one is running on half power.

The cooling gas used in this system is R22, a powerful greenhouse gas that can no longer be purchased as of 1/1/2015.

The replacement options available to us were:
1 to 1 replacement Sustainable solution: dock water cooling
- Replacement of the current installation by a similar one - Sustainable long lasting solution
- Based on cooling gas - Based on cooling by dock water
- No significant energy savings: only 7% (61 MWh/year, 43 tC02e) - 55 % energy savings (462 MW/h per year, 323 tC02e)
- No subsidies - Subsidies available

Project cost
Extra sustainability cost 464.837 €
One time subsidy from regional government - 41.260 €
One time subsidy from energy supplier - 16.000 €
Corporate tax reduction - 20.220 €
Price can still be negociated -40.000 €
Final anticipated cost increase for sustainable option 347.357 €
Figure 5 Dock Water Cooling cost calculation

ROI after negociation: 347.357/45.117 = 7,7 year

Including 5% yearly increase of energy prices = 6,1 year

SGS approached GDF Suez-Fabricom-Cofely (now trading as Engie) as a contractor for this project. Cofely were prepared to sign an Energy Performance Contract (contactual guarantee) for the calculated savings. As such any underperformance of this solution in comparison to the expected level of savings would be refunded to SGS. This renders the project very low risk, and assisted a great deal in obtaining CFO approval.

Figure 6 SGS French building stock consolidation

Property Portfolio controls

With more than 1650 locations effective management of our extensive property portfolio is one way we are looking to reduce our impact on the environment. In 2015 we undertook analysis of our French building stock. From an economic and from an energy perspective, we will now look to consolidate our occupied sites and make optimal use of the space we occupy; reducing our requirement for heating and air conditioning.

Smart buildings

Our recently acquired company, SGS Search, based in the Benelux region puts sustainability high on their agenda and this is reflected in the construction of their new offices, two of which are energy positive (producing more energy than they use on site).

Our sustainable office buildings were inspired by the world in which we live, with one eye firmly on the future. No detail was neglected with regard to sense of responsibility, choice of materials and the environment.”SGS Search

The SGS Search offices in Amsterdam and Heeswijk are good example of how sustainable buildings work and banish all prejudices such as ‘too expensive’, ‘unrealistic’ and ‘too complicated’. Thinking outside the box, taking risks and having the confidence to put ideas into practice opens the door for all kinds of new initiatives.

Search BV applied the concept to external building materials, opting for FSC-certified wooden building panels that can be assembled and disassembled easily, without the loss of quality and for which no nails are used; the buildings have been designed to be entirely energy self-sufficient through the installation of on-site wind turbines and an energy roof with photovoltaic cells.

Optimum energy efficiency is ensured through the use of triple glazing, wooden fiber insulation, heat recovery and thermal energy storage systems, and, in Amsterdam, the innovative use of wooden panels which fully enclose the building in the evening; the re-use of rainwater in toilets and for cooling our laboratory equipment via a greywater circuit; and the interior building components are made from re-used and re-usable materials. Not only do we have amazingly innovative and healthy buildings for our employees, we are also proud to have two of the most sustainable buildings in the Netherlands.

Behaviour Change

Alongside our sustainability programmes, we encourage employees to save energy and resources through our popular “Do more with Lëss” campaign, resulting in higher than ever awareness levels and real evidence of behaviour change in our offices and laboratories. The campaign features Lëss the polar bear visiting different countries and encouraging simple changes has now reached more than 12,000 employees worldwide.

Do more with Lëss in France:

“In July 2014, SGS France launched the campaign across three pilot sites: Arcueil (our head office housing 350 employees) and our laboratories in Evry (91 employees) and Harfleur (76 employees). The campaign focused on energy reductions and improved waste management with key messages delivered via posters and orange stickers and a specially-branded Lëss the polar bear eco-cup.

Campaign ambassadors were nominated on each of the four floors at our head office, and at our laboratories we had one ambassador on each site. Every month we collectively decide on a theme, which is then honed for the next month with the support of the Sustainable Development team in France. September focused on electricity consumption. With around one-third of our consumption coming from lighting, we looked carefully at where we could make savings. It has been such a simple thing to do and yet we have already achieved savings of 6%, reversing an upward trend in electricity consumption that we were beginning to see earlier in the year.

October was hailed as ‘waste sorting’ month. Our aim was to demystify thoughts on what happens to waste once it has been placed in a bin, and to address widespread convictions that all waste ends up in the same place – a landfill site – irrespective of which bin is used. To help improve attitudes and awareness around recycling, we organised a trip to a local waste and recycling facility.

On our return, having been reassured about the efficient handling of waste, we revised our guidelines for waste sorting and we encouraged people to bring in spent batteries and coffee capsules from home in order to reinforce the message that environmental behaviour applies in the workplace as much as it does at home, and vice versa.”

JEAN-BAPTISTE MOLLET - Director Eco-design, SGS France

As a start of the campaign, orange dots are placed on equipment – light switches, monitors, and printers – to remind colleagues to be mindful of energy consumption and has so far demonstrated energy use reductions of up to 12%. Additionally the SGS 2014 employee survey demonstrated that 75% of SGS staff were aware of how sustainability supports our business growth.

“By the end of 2015, all affiliates in Europe will have run the campaign.”Chairman’s statement from the SGS annual report 2014


Taunusstein project

Our laboratory in Taunusstein, Germany replaced an oil-fired heating system with a gas one and introduced a combined heat and power generator, condensing boilers as well as an energy management system. The installation was completed in 2014 and these measures have delivered a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions, equivalent to one-third of the building’s energy costs.

The Taunusstein programme was undertaken in partnership with Siemens, who assessed the project savings and provided SGS with a guarantee that projections would be met (Energy Performance Contracting); minimizing any risk to SGS.

Energy efficiency measures undertaken in this project include the following:

Figure 7 Taunusstein energy costs Figure 8 Taunusstein project timeline Figure 9 Taunusstein Project Savings Figure 10 Taunusstein energy use monitoring system Figure 11 Taunusstein CHP engine

Figure 12 Data Centre Assessment Classification

Figure 13 New Data Centre Cooling System

Figure 14 Energy use reduction at the Gigaplex Data Centre


Our Green IT policy requires us to procure equipment responsibly, use IT to enable greening of our operations, optimise the energy efficiency of our data centres, and implement responsible disposal practices.

In 2014, we completed an assessment and classification of 97 SGS data centres (representing around 90% of SGS revenues) using a standardised assessment methodology and toolkit, which included Green IT as one of five dimensions. All sites are now aligned with our defined SGS Green IT label, which awards a ranking of between A and F to sites based on their energy efficiency. Sites must meet criteria on five dimensions covering energy monitoring, recycling of IT equipment, cooling optimisation, virtualisation and use of renewable power, with a ‘Green A’ label awarded to sites fulfilling five criteria and ‘Green F’ not fulfilling any criteria.

Virtualisation and centralisation are used to reduce energy demand in our major data centres. Cold aisles are used to contain the temperature-sensitive equipment in one chilled compartment, instead of air conditioning an entire room. Excess heat extracted from the cold aisle in Geneva, Switzerland is used to warm our offices. Where data space is rented, options for energy efficiency include virtualisation and purchasing renewable power; a leased data centre at our Geneva HQ for example uses 100% hydroelectric power.

A number of affiliates across Europe have seen significant improvement in electricity consumption following improved heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Specifically, free cooling of server rooms provides an economical method of using the lower external air temperatures in Europe – particularly in winter – to assist in chilling water, which is then used in air conditioning systems. When outdoor temperatures are lower relative to indoor temperatures, the system utilises the cool outdoor air as a free cooling source. In this manner, the system replaces the chiller in traditional air conditioning systems while achieving the same cooling result. The chilled water can either be used immediately or stored.

Re-use of warm air from IT cooling for space heating in our Geneva offices-

The results of our efforts to improve the energy efficiency of our IT network has been impressive, with a 25% decrease in energy use due to virtualization at the SGS Gigaplex data centre, and significant energy consumption decreases globally.

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