“Even the most advanced companies can save up to 70% of water. Here’s how”

entrevista renato gomes
5 minutes to read

We spoke with Renato Gomes, Somengil’s Export Manager for the Americas. His job is to manage efficiency improvement projects in some of the most challenging companies and factories on the planet. He has seen first-hand how much companies can save – and the pitfalls to avoid. Now, he shares practical advice to become more sustainable and reduce water and energy consumption.

The biggest challenge facing companies right now

Energy inefficient processes are one of the biggest problems facing companies right now. According to Energy Star, hotels spend an average of 2,196 USD per available room every year, around 6% of their total operating costs.

For retailers, these figures can be even higher: approximately 4 USD per square meter on around 50 kWh of electricity and 1.5 cubic meters of gas every year. This can translate into an electricity bill of 160,000 USD for even a mid-sized retailer. Even SMEs can end up consuming between 15,000 kWh and 25,000 kWh. It is a huge problem that damages the operational efficiency of the business, affects the environment and, of course, increases production costs.

As Somengil’s Export Manager for the USA, I’ve seen first-hand the effects of energy and water waste, and how smart companies take steps to avoid them.

Unexpected benefits of a sustainability-first mindset

Prioritizing sustainability makes it possible to reduce these negative impacts and mitigate adverse effects on the climate and biodiversity.

In general, this involves actions such as:

  • Adopt risk management practices that consider environmental and social impacts.
  • Diversify energy and raw material sources to reduce dependence on non-renewable resources.
  • Using water- and energy-efficient technologies, especially in processes that require large quantities of these resources.

There are 3 main advantages for companies that proactively adopt this approach. First, these organizations are better prepared to face challenges such as resource scarcity or rising prices.

Second, as governments around the world implement stricter legislation and environmental regulations, companies that fail to adapt to these changes face fines, legal sanctions and business restrictions. Therefore, sustainability becomes not only an ethical choice, but also a necessity to ensure compliance and avoid adverse consequences.

Finally, there is another equally important but much less discussed advantage. The quest for sustainability stimulates innovation and creativity within companies. By developing more resource-efficient products and processes, companies reduce operating costs, increase energy efficiency, and create new business opportunities. Companies that adopt a sustainable approach stand out in the market, attracting consumers who are increasingly concerned about the environment.

Depending on the sector, washing processes can have a huge impact on water and energy consumption. That’s why Somengil developed the MultiWasher, a revolutionary and highly sustainable washing machine. Specifically in the US market, companies can save up to 70% of water and 50% of energy in their washing operations with the MultiWasher.

Going from theory to practice requires a structured approach

There is no magic formula for this level of savings, just as no two clients are the same. Each company has different needs, objectives, processes, and requirements.  Therefore, our first step is always to understand these objectives, and only then find customized solutions. That’s why we always look for a global framework that incorporates both operational and logistical aspects.

Bimbo is a good example. They one of the largest food companies in the world and relied on washing tunnels to clean the plastic boxes used to distribute bread in several plants around the world. However, this traditional washing method resulted in a disproportionately high consumption of water and energy.

We began by carrying out an in-depth analysis of the current washing method, where we identified the specific needs and evaluated the factories’ monthly consumption. Then, we conducted a technical validation phase, demonstrating how to achieve washing and drying results.

From there we moved on to the financial validation phase, comparing the consumption of the MultiWasher with that of the traditional washing tunnels used by Bimbo. It quickly became clear that the savings offered by MultiWasher were substantial, achieving reductions of up to 85% in water consumption and 70% in energy consumption. This encouraged us to gradually expand our presence in more Bimbo factories, thus contributing to significant savings in their washing operations.

Examples like this show the hidden savings potential that exists even in the world’s most advanced companies. But to do so, it’s important to follow a structured process, as we do at Bimbo, Sonae and many other demanding companies.

This is the method we recommend:

  1. Assess the current state. Before making any changes, identify the main points of consumption in the washing processes. Measure the use of water, energy and detergents.
  • Define the technical solution. Next, calculate the payback of efficient and sustainable washing technologies, such as MultiWasher, which significantly reduces water and energy consumption while improving washing quality. Also, implement conservation practices such as water reuse, machine load optimization and the use of eco-friendly detergents.
  • Set goals. You should also have specific, measurable targets for reducing resource consumption in washing processes. Monitor progress towards these targets and adjust strategies as necessary.
  • Training. Finally, involve and educate staff about the importance of sustainability and resource conservation practices. Train them to operate equipment efficiently and conscientiously.

The main advantage for companies that follow this process is the certainty that they will have a sustainable washing solution customized to meet their specific needs. In addition, at Somengil we offer comprehensive support, including consultancy services, training, and technical assistance. Thus, brands that choose to work with us benefit from the advanced washing solutions we offer and from our ongoing commitment to sustainability and washing efficiency. In addition, Somengil is constantly improving its processes to make businesses and industries more sustainable.

About Renato Gomes

Renato Gomes is Somengil’s Export Manager for the Americas. He has always wanted to get to know the world, other cultures, and different perspectives. Today, he maintains a strong focus on developing his professional and personal skills. Over the last 4 years in this company, he has established relationships with Somengil distributors all over the world.

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