We often come across traditional sectors of business activity with significant economic and social relevance and that, due to a range of circumstances, resist the introduction of changes into their productive and/or management processes, either because their productive process does not allow for improvements, or because the implementation of energy efficiency measures means a considerable financial investment. And this is why energy efficiency is a goal that is often the preserve of big businesses or sectors with highly intensive energy consumption.
Almazara de Muela is a clear example of energy efficiency being seen as a path to be followed in the medium- and long-term. Rather than being a one-off action that seeks economic savings, it is seen as a tool to improve competitiveness throughout an ongoing improvement process. Essential for correct decision-making is the availability of proper, quality information (initially based on a detailed energy audit and afterwards via a monitoring system), and of equal importance is the involvement of every member of the organisation through training and communication.
The olive oil mill sector has huge economic, social and environmental importance within the agro-industrial framework of Andalusia. From the structural point of view, the predominant profile is that of micro-businesses (around 80%) and small companies, situated in the urban nuclei of villages and small towns. As regards their legal form, there is a significant predominance of cooperative societies with very few mills constituted as mercantile entities. This administrative configuration combined with a very traditional management format, presents obstacles when implementing changes in their productive and management processes. Read more…
Article published in: FuturENERGY May 2015