The World Environment Day and energy efficiency as a way to sustainability

(Author: Cláudio de Pellegrini, Advanced Engineering Director at Nidec Global Appliance, holder of Embraco brand)

On this June 5th of 2020, World Environment Day, we live a unique moment in humanity’s recent history. The world fights a global epidemic, but at the same time other issues also need our attention, because of their impact on our lives and our future. One of them is the theme chosen by the United Nations (UN) to celebrate the date this year, which is biodiversity, a call to action to combat the accelerating species loss and degradation of the natural world. Around 1 million plants and animal species are at risk of extinction in the world, largely due to human activity, according to the latest report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

Many factors impact biodiversity and one of them is climate change, which has everything to do with energy consumption. That’s because one of the ways to fight global warming is reducing energy consumption through energy efficiency. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goal number 7 (Affordable and clean energy), by the way, has as one of its goals to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency by 2030.

At Nidec Global Appliance, we understand that we have a lot to contribute to preserving the future. Since the first compressors manufactured with the Embraco brand, in the 1970s decade, energy efficiency has been our motivation and obsession. It is one of the main compressor performance level indicators and, in our quest for market leadership, has become the main driver to product development in the company. Besides that, other drivers also contribute to reducing environmental impact, such as manufacturing smaller products, which uses less raw material and reduces costs in production, assembly and logistics.

Nowadays we are among the leaders in energy efficiency in the global market, always preparing to overcome our own achievements and influence the market. Just to give an idea, if we take a single Embraco compressor model, like the EM with natural refrigerant focused on domestic applications, and its evolution throughout the years, we will see that one of its substitute versions today is 40% lighter that the first version and requires around 75% less energy.

Considering the significant energy consumption reduction obtained in one single compressor, we see the amount of positive impact of energy efficiency generated by Nidec Global Appliance, since we have an annual production capacity of 37 million compressors (for household and commercial refrigeration) and 23 million motors for washing machines, dryers and dishwashers.

How do we maintain our leadership in energy efficiency? We set the bar at the highest level possible, that is, we develop products aiming to comply with the world’s most demanding legislations in terms of energy efficiency, and, with that, we are ready to deliver solutions to any part of the market, making a positive influence on the whole chain.  

The same concept goes for motors for washing machines, dryers and dishwashers, produced by 4 of Nidec Global Appliance’s 12 factories. Having as customers some of the main global  manufacturers of household appliances, which answer to the rigorous european and american legislations regarding energy consumption, these units are, as well as the compressors production lines, always ahead when the issue is energy efficiency.

To achieve all that, at the Advanced Technologies area at Nidec Global Appliance, which is part of the Research and Development department, we are looking from a perspective of 5 years ahead, at least, making analyses and estimates about the main market trends, with the support of Universities and research institutes, in a total of more than 150 people, including professors, and masters or doctorate degree students.

On the other hand, we plan on developing solutions that the household and commercial appliances industries haven’t even signaled as a necessity. That is how we are capable of leading innovation in our market. We want to deliver the technology needed when the demand emerges. This mindset allowed us to be pioneers in the manufacturing of the first variable speed compressors in the world at the end of the 1990s decade and, recently, have our compressors among the first ones with natural refrigerant R600a in the American market. Both solutions contribute to energy consumption reduction and helped us reach the leadership position we have today.

That’s how we do our part every day and help build a future that addresses society’s most urgent environmental issues. A cleaner and more sustainable tomorrow is connected to the development of advanced engineering so that energy can be used more intelligently every day, contributing in the fight against climate change and, as a consequence, to the preservation of species and quality of life on our planet.