The Roche Group is committed to reducing energy consumption at all of its operating facilities and sites around the world. Not only does conservation cut energy costs for Roche, on a broader scale it saves fossil fuels, a precarious and precious natural resource, and reduces the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Scientists believe man's use of fossil fuels is one of the largest contributors to global warming. In Nutley, between 2001 and 2006, the company cut electricity use by 55% and fuel consumption by 32%, with a consequent drop in greenhouse gas emissions. A few examples of major initiatives, which reflect our commitment to energy conservation at Roche, are:
Cogeneration: Nutley's cogeneration plant, built in the 1980's, was among the first in New Jersey. In cogeneration, electricity and steam are generated from the same fuel source at the same time (hence the name co-generation) resulting in both reduced costs and emissions. The power of two-megawatt combustion gas turbines (similar to jet plane engines) at Nutley's plant provides about 65% of the site's electricity and more than half of the steam that curls through a network of underground pipes to heat and cool buildings throughout the campus. The reduced emissions are comparable to removing 8700 automobiles from the road each year.
In 2007, Roche Nutley won a global Roche Group award for Excellence in Energy Conservation for its Cogeneration Inlet Air Cooling Project, which improved the efficiency of the engines in Nutley's cogeneration facility in peak summer months, producing an additional one megawatt of power that would otherwise have to be purchased from a utility company.
Monitoring: Roche is in the forefront of a new approach to energy conservation: monitoring. By keeping track of electricity load, demand and rates hour-by-hour, day-by-day, and then adjusting consumption accordingly, the company is helping ease demand on the regional electrical grid during periods of peak load, particularly during the summer months, and keeping energy costs as low as possible. Roche management and site operation teams in Nutley carefully monitor and adjust electric use while maintaining facility operations. When a peak demand day is predicted, critical preparations are made 24 hours before to reduce electricity consumption at the site.
Retro-commissioning: When a building is constructed or renovated, the internal systems are designed for maximum efficiency and energy savings. Over the years, the systems inevitably degrade and energy efficiency decreases. In Nutley, a comprehensive program is underway to retro-commission most site buildings - bringing them back to the high-efficiency standards they had when they were first put into operation.