ADM views reducing energy use as a key means of reducing the emissions associated with energy generation, and, therefore, to improving our environmental profile. In 2008, ADM convened a cross-functional, cross-divisional Energy Resource Management Working Group to help standardize the way we measure and report energy metrics companywide. The group was also charged with helping the company reduce its usage on a per-unit of production basis through facility assessments, process improvements and the development of energy plans specific to company divisions.
Based on the group’s work, in 2010, ADM’s Sustainability Steering Committee approved a goal of achieving a 10 percent companywide improvement in energy efficiency by 2015 through targeted efforts in areas such as plant scheduling, equipment selection, process changes, and colleague awareness-building and education related to energy use and conservation. This added efficiency will build on the savings already achieved by ADM’s Corn business unit, which has reduced the energy needed to process a bushel of corn by 38 percent since the year 2000. This business unit is responsible for approximately 60 percent of ADM’s overall energy use.
The efforts of facilities such as ADM’s BioProducts unit in Decatur, Illinois, offer insight into some of the techniques the company will employ to reach its 2015 target. In 2009, the BioProducts group established a Sustainability Task Force to implement energy-efficiency measures throughout the plant’s operations. By developing a PC-based energy metrics “dashboard,” conducting regular energy audits, and holding colleague energy-awareness seminars, the group reduced energy consumption by 4.4 million kilowatt hours during the 2010 fiscal year and is developing strategies to advance these conservation efforts in 2011 and beyond.