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Small changes made a big difference for Saab

Optimised ventilation and smart lighting solutions – these sound like minor measures, but coupled with various other initiatives Coor used these to save large amounts of energy as well as millions of kronor for its client, Saab.

Saab, an industrial and defence group with a long and rich heritage, is a major employer in Sweden with over 17,000 employees. Its partnership with Coor is long standing, and today there are just over 200 Coor employees at 13 of Saab’s sites who provide property maintenance, cleaning and other services.

Saab has long had a stated ambition to reduce its energy use, in which Coor has been heavily involved. Working together, Saab and Coor performed an in-depth analysis and then developed various proposals for how to improve energy use at Saab’s production sites. These efforts have now taken concrete form in an action plan for which measures to implement and which areas to prioritise. As part of the action plan, Saab has also started using Smart Energy, Coor’s energy monitoring concept for real-time energy optimisation.

Coor has given us a lot of very valuable input based on their measurements and discoveries.

Christer Ståhlgren, Director South & Regional at Saab Group

 

“Saab’s plant in Huskvarna became something of a pilot in Sweden for trialling Smart Energy. At Huskvarna, we have come up with ideas that can reduce energy use by nearly 10 per cent. We have also seen a major reduction in energy use at Saab’s large plant in Linköping which employs over 5,000 people, but there we used more traditional methods. 10 per cent may not sound like much, but it is a lot in absolute terms,” says Klas Ekelöw, an energy specialist at Coor.

The efforts to reduce energy use have been going on for several years and involve constantly coming up with new ideas and suggestions for how to further cut energy use. The work began in 2016 when new EU requirements made it mandatory for all large companies to conduct energy audits. Coor was entrusted to conduct the audit on behalf of Saab, as Klas Ekelöw recounts:

“Today, our systematic efforts to improve energy efficiency are still ongoing at most of Saab’s sites, where we review energy use on a quarterly basis. Optimising ventilation, heat recovery from pneumatic compressors and smarter lighting solutions are some of our initiatives so far.”

Reduced energy costs

These measures are an important part of Saab’s ambition to reduce energy use by 30 per cent by 2030, but for Saab this is not just about sustainability; it is also about reducing costs. Since 2016, Coor’s efforts and the measures it has suggested are estimated to have reduced Saab’s energy costs by over SEK 20 million.

“We divide energy use into three areas: properties, transport and the operations themselves, and so far we have addressed the properties. One challenge at the outset was to identify where the energy was going. To measure is to know, and with Coor’s help we have now reviewed many of our larger properties,” says Christer Ståhlgren, Director South & Regional at Saab Group.

In the past few years, Saab has further refined the measure- ment structure at Coor’s initiative, partly with the help of Smart Energy. The effectiveness of the tool quickly became evident; areas that needed to be addressed were identified after only a few months. Examples include systems that are incorrectly adjusted or that work against each other, as Christer Ståhlgren explains:

“These activities have improved our efficiency and created savings for us, allowing us to use our money elsewhere where it can be put to better use. Coor has given us a lot of very valuable input based on their measurements and discoveries. That’s really great and is definitely something we encourage!”