Supporting carbon reduction endeavours – A key factor for the pumps sector

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Pumps are inextricably linked with energy use. Steve Schofield, Director & CEO at the British Pump Manufacturers’ Association, believes there is an urgent need to focus on the sector to seek significant and sustainable carbon emission reductions.

The crucial issue of securing maximum operational efficiency from our pumps and pumping systems – to help Government’s across the World reduce their energy consumption and meet the designated carbon reduction targets – must remain a key objective for all those involved in the supply, installation and operation of pumps, whatever the application.

Advancements in pump technology will, of course, continue to play a role, as determined by the Eco-design Energy Related Product (ErP) Directive. But far greater savings will come through the adoption of the Extended Product Approach, whereby the energy use of the entire system – pump, motor & control – is fully assessed, rather than just the pump itself. The BPMA, along with counterparts across Europe, has been pushing this approach for many years, including the development of the international standard ISO 14414 – Pump System Energy Assessment. However, for these huge energy savings to be identified, and more importantly, realised, there needs to be a far stronger emphasis on the ‘systems approach’ and a commitment to make this happen from both the pump industry and the final end-users – those who will ultimately benefit from lower energy bills, and in the case of businesses, improved profits.

There is a raft of laudable energy use improvement programs being developed around the world, with the Energy Efficiency Directive and Drinking Water Directive key amongst them within Europe. However, following the UK’s exit from the European Union, we seem to have a ‘watching brief’ in terms of how closely our Government will follow the EU’s legislative regime in relation to environmental issues. Some argue for a strong alignment, whilst others predict a degree of divergence, particularly in relation to water pumps. Either way, the BPMA will continue to play a significant role in lobbying all parties for the best possible outcomes for both its pump manufacturer members and their broad and multi-faceted customer base.
Indeed, the BPMA has recently endorsed the Betterworld Solutions initiative, which calls into question the UK Government’s 10-Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. Detailing clean energy, transport, nature, and innovative ‘new horizon’ technologies, the blueprint is intended to allow the UK to achieve its climate change obligations. However, the contribution of pumps to global warming is not being addressed in this ambitious plan. This is a serious oversight, given the high energy use of pumps and their critical role in maintaining our infrastructure, industrial productivity, and living standards. We, therefore, believe the improved energy efficiency of our pumps and pumping systems should become the 11th point in the Government’s plan and receive the same levels of attention, support and surveillance.

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