Increasing energy efficiency in the food and beverage industry: A human-centered design approach
Energy efficiency in companies is addressed by established tools or procedures, such as energy audits or the implementation of an energy management system in accordance with the Energy Efficiency Directive. Both options indistinctly provide sufficient information for companies to identify opportunities for improvement and savings in their energy costs. However, the influence of cultural and behavioral aspects on employees and the organizational and structural configuration of companies impacts the effectiveness of these tools. In this regard, within the framework of the INDUCE "Towards a sustainable agro-food Industry: Capacity building programmes in Energy Efficiency" project, which is an H2020 research project focused on the food and beverage industry, an innovative methodology based on the human-centered design approach has been designed to motivate and empower the key actors of companies by creating an energy culture that increases energy efficiency. This methodology, which internalizes the procedures and philosophy of continuous improvement of an energy management system, allows companies to adopt different models adapted to each situation in order to acquire an energy-efficiency culture that enables actions to be carried out in companies more effectively and with long-term impact. This paper describes the methodology and its implementation and validation within 11 pilot companies in France, Germany, Spain, and The Netherlands, providing some representative results.