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Earning SEP Silver Certification Leads MedImmune to Significant Savings

A recently published case study demonstrates the value that Superior Energy Performance® (SEP™) offers companies in the biopharmaceutical sector. The case study features MedImmune, a global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca. To qualify for SEP, MedImmune set up a robust energy management system at its Gaithersburg, Maryland facility, tracked its energy performance improvement and had the results independently verified. The MedImmune facility earned SEP Silver certification in September 2014 and reduced its energy costs by $420,000 annually.

SEP fosters a results-oriented approach to using the ISO 50001 global energy management system standard, emphasizing measurable savings through a transparent, independent, and highly regarded verification process. To establish a baseline of energy consumption and accurately track annual progress, MedImmune used U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Performance Indicator (EnPI) tool. This tool is aligned with the protocol used to verify the site’s energy performance improvement as part of SEP certification.

Over half of the Gaithersburg facility’s annual energy savings, $247,000, resulted from low- to no-cost operational improvements. MedImmune invested $139,000 to cover staff time, technical assistance, metering equipment, software, and auditing services. The payback period for this investment was only seven months.

SEP’s focus on measurement and evaluation of energy use helped MedImmune discover new savings. For example, the energy team discovered that the facility’s entire boiler system (seven boilers) was operating above capacity, potentially using more natural gas than necessary. The team shut down several boilers to evaluate their necessity and ultimately decommissioned two boilers—freeing up space for other equipment.

SEP also helped MedImmune validate the extra cost of building a LEED-certified building. The SEP process enabled the energy team to quantify and verify the energy savings projected by the lead architect of the building. All new construction projects at MedImmune are now required to earn LEED certification at the Silver level or higher.

MedImmune earned AstraZeneca’s 2014 Global SHE (Safety, Health, and Environment) Excellence Award and received certification as a green business through the Green Business Program of Montgomery County, Maryland. SEP certification was a factor in the facility’s selection for both of these recognition programs.

The MedImmune case study provides more information.

Superior Energy Performance® is a DOE-administered certification program that provides guidance, tools, and protocols for facilities that want to achieve deeper, more sustained savings from ISO 50001. SEP also complements and supports the industrial part of DOE's Better Buildings Initiative by verifying facility-level energy performance improvements and savings achieved by participants in the Better Buildings, Better Plants program. Members of the U.S. Council for Energy Efficient Manufacturing, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board developed SEP as a transparent system for certifying sustained improvements in energy performance and management practices.