Decorated climate-protection network “dekarbN” to be renewed as dekarbN 2 following successful conclusion

The FfE’s climate protection network dekarbN has reached the conclusion of its first three-year network cycle. The final network meeting on 18.10. featured a retrospective recap of the first network cycle, which was honored by two national organizations. Additionally, the status of the network’s energy savings goal was revealed, and the beginning of a second network cycle was announced.

Figure 1: dekarbN participants with their honorary certificates from the IEEKN (Initiative Energieeffizienz und Klimaschutznetzwerke) at the final network meeting in Wackersdorf

Realized energy savings exceed ambitious network goal

The participants of the FfE climate protection network “dekarbN” came together for the final network meeting of the current cycle on October 18th in Wackersdorf, where they were hosted by Altana AG and their subsidiary ECKART GmbH. In addition to a site tour and highlight presentations of the favorite and most successful measures implemented during the network cycle, the status of the network’s energy savings goal was also announced.

After roughly three years of cooperation in the current network cycle, the 11 participating companies have surpassed the network’s energy savings goal. The group originally set a goal of reducing their combined yearly final energy consumption by 18,400 MWh. Despite the ambitious nature of this goal, the dedication of the participants enabled them to surpass it. Based upon the measures implemented, the yearly final energy consumption of the participants will be reduced by 28,200. MWh. Additionally, 3,700 MWh of electricity previously drawn from the grid will be replaced by self-generated electricity from renewable sources.

These energy savings also represent a meaningful contribution to emissions reduction. The more than 100 measures implemented will help avoid approximately 9.400 tons of CO2 each year.

While the construction of new units for renewable electricity generation may be the most noticeable measures for outsiders, but measures were implemented in many other areas as well. Between the use of LEDs and motion-sensors for more efficient lighting, to optimized operation of ventilation, to needs-oriented operating times for production units, every area of the individual companies offered potential savings.

The network participants were also quick to react to the gas crisis following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Integration of waste heat into heating systems, lowered temperatures, and the installation of new heat pumps all contributed to significant reductions in the consumption of natural gas.

Ausgezeichneter Austausch

Das starke Engagement der Teilnehmer:innen für Netzwerkarbeit, Energieeffizienz und Klimaschutz wurde auch mehrfach ausgezeichnet. dekarbN erhielt im November 2022 das Qualitätssiegel der AGEEN (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Energieeffizienz-Netzwerke Deutschland e.V.) für herausragende Netzwerke. Ebenso würdigte die IEEKN (Initiative Energieeffizienz und Klimaschutznetzwerke) im September 2023 die starke Netzwerkarbeit von dekarbN sowie den methodischen Fokus auf Wissenstransfer und Kompetenzaufbau und die beeindruckenden Einsparungen.

Figure 2: Ryan Harper (L, dekarbN Network Manager, FfE) receives the honorary certificates for dekarbN from Christian Maaß (R, Director-General for Energy Policy, Heat, Hydrogen and Efficiency at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action) at the 7th Annual Assembly of the IEEKN. Photo: Initiative Energieeffizienz und Klimaschutz-Netzwerke/pflug-Fotografie

‘Til next time, not goodbye

Beyond the quantifiable successes of dekarbN, the way the network developed into a well-attuned group keen to discuss and debate questions and ideas with one another also represents a clear success for the idea of such networks. This trust, cooperation, and openness was highlighted as extremely helpful and encouraging by the participants themselves multiple times at the final network meeting, and many were quick to push for a second network cycle with the same group.

We at the FfE want to once again thank and congratulate all the network participants for such a successful first network round, and are excited to re-launch the network as dekarbN 2 in early 2024! We’re already looking forward to the another three years as a network with all the familiar faces, and hope to welcome a few new ones too.

For questions about dekarbN or if interested in joining dekarbN 2, please contact Ryan Harper (contact information can be found below).