A Small Step Makes Difference

A Small Step Makes Difference

Taking to OUYANG Chaoqun is always invigorating. Ouyang, Director of Renovation for Kaibang Motor Company, based in Doumen Township, Guangdong Province, has a big dream, and never misses an opportunity to invite others into his vision. "I share with others, and hope that they will pursue it with me." Ouyang said.

His dream is for a greener world, where everyone lives a low-carbon lifestyle every day. "I know it's not easy to bring this dream to life, but I'm making an effort to influence as many people as I can. Small acts count," Ouyang added.

The emergence of this big dream traces back in late 2009, when Ouyang and his colleagues attended an industrial energy efficiency (EE) training organized by the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) for 15 factories in Doumen Township in co government's recommendation. The four-day course introduced Ouyang and the rest of trainees to the fundamental of energy efficiency skills and management knowledge, and above all, the concept of energy management which would bring finance benefits to the factories, and safeguard the environment and health for the public.

"From the training, I learned the importance of improving energy efficiency in our practice at the factory. It's not merely beneficial for our factory; it's good for our whole world. In this context, I feel the connection between ordinary people and the climate issue we've heard so much about, and the urge to take action in doing something to bring changes." Said Ouyang.

After the training, Ouyang convinced his boss, and take the lead in submitting the application to join ISC's Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) project. Thus, Kaibang Motor Company, where Ouyang works, became one of the six pilot factories to start thorough energy projects in their own factory, with assistance from experts and professionals.

Working with ISC's team and experts, Ouyang initially formed a team of more than ten people dedicating to conducting energy efficiency projects in the factory. All the team members are directors and managers from different departments. At the same time, with experts' consultation and assistance, the EE team conducted a thorough energy auditing around the factory, setting up a baseline energy database and identifying the priorities on energy saving. In the following six months, based on the diagnosis on specific findings, Kaibang conducted six projects to reduce energy and resource use within the factory, focusing on lighting, air compressing, boiling and ventilation facilities to save water and electricity use. The water saving efforts see significant and surprising achievement-over 50% of water use reduction in the first two months after renovation. "We didn't expect such significant outcome from this 'small' project, as the investment was close to zero, but the outcome is exciting and encouraging. It's proved that, a tiny step will make a big difference." Ouyang smiled.

From July 2010 to January 2011, Kaibang had successfully reached its original target of reducing 15% of energy use through its EE projects, particularly, 781,465 kwh of electricity had been saved, equivalent to 637.1 tons of CO2 emissions. Moreover, the EE team had been educating the staff on how be save energy in the factory, by conducting trainings, compiling guidebooks and establishing public bulletin boards in public areas. "Besides facility retrofitting, it's equally important for our staff to understand the significance of energy saving and sustainability, and how to do that." Said Ouyang. "If our staff are well informed of this idea and actively integrate it to their work, it will become the internal force to sustain this effort within our factory. Experts come from within the factory, I'm totally for it."

Understanding the true meaning of energy saving and sustainability, Ouyang is integral to sharing the idea and the Kaibang success experience with other individual and enterprises who are interested. "I've been through some rejections. I fully understand that as this idea is new to a lot of people, and not many are as lucky as I am to have the opportunity to learn about this. But I will keep hoping that our world will be greener, and people care more about the environment that we have. I will continue to advocate the idea, and try to reach as many people as I can. Changes will happen." Ouyang voiced his determination in a firm tone.

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