Fluor Cuts Energy 10.3m kWh, But Report Short on Data

by | Oct 20, 2011

Fluor, the $20.8 billion engineering, construction, procurement and maintenance company, reduced energy use in its offices by 1.3 kWh per square foot last year, according to its 2010 sustainability report.

The company says this is equal to a reduction of more than 10.3 million kWh, accomplished through projects including lighting retrofits, lighting control procedural changes, kitchen appliance replacements, printing changes and programmable thermostats. Fluor says it also made heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system replacements and enhancements, implemented energy management systems, installed reflective roofing and consolidated office space and data centers.

But the report is light on data, without many of the figures commonly found in sustainability reports, such as annual absolute or relative energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and waste output. Instead, the report presents a few numbers highlighting key reductions, and text on how those cuts were achieved.

It said that with the global business downturn of 2009 and 2010, Fluor reduced its office space, personnel and air travel, and the company’s carbon footprint shrank. It did not say by how much.

The report did say that in 2010, Fluor received no Notices of Violation for environmental issues, for the sixth consecutive year since it began tracking such data in 2004.

It said that Fluor offices recycled almost 3.5 million pounds of assorted bulk materials last year, including 1.8 million pounds of paper, as well as aluminum cans, batteries, cardboard, computers, concrete, electronic waste, filters, plastic and glass bottles, iron, steel, light bulbs, tires, landscape trimmings and toner/ink cartridges. In 2010 the company recycled over 210 tons of iron and steel.

The company said that it saved 900,000 gallons of water last year through low-flush toilets, automatic faucet sensors, low-flow urinals, biodegradable cleanser and reclamation of gray water for irrigation.

The report also highlighted Fluor’s activities to lower its clients’ environmental impact. It is designing a power grid system at a military installation in Kabul, Afghanistan, to reduce generator fuel demand by 25 percent.

Over the past four years, Fluor’s facility management business has worked at multiple IBM sites, documenting energy savings of over $16 million through energy efficiency and conservation. The group also helped Levi’s with site energy assessments that lowered electricity consumption and saved over $44,000 in three months.

Fluor is also working on a carbon capture demonstration plant in Germany, with E.ON Energie. And it is working with an unnamed technology firm to scale up technology for power production from landfill gas destruction

According to the report, Fluor’s energy management initiatives have included employee education, incorporating multi-purpose energy-efficient copiers and sleep mode settings, installing motion occupancy sensors on office lighting, turning off computers at the end of the day, and installing window blinds to reduce solar heating.

Initiatives at its data centers included server and storage area network consolidation, use of more efficient blade servers, implementation of a Verdiem power management tool, reducing printer density and improving air flow and heat removal through re-design of data center layout.

Fluor also replaced emergency generators at the end of their service life with high-efficiency models. And the company says it has also imposed travel restrictions, implemented global video conferencing and enabled telecommuting through virtual local area networks.

Fluor was one of three engineering and design companies named as the most ethical in their sector this year by Ethisphere magazine.

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