Dextran and Enviro-Stewards Inc.: Saving Water & Energy

Dextran Products, a Toronto-based pharmaceutical manufacturer, was looking to slash their water use in order to save money, comply with municipal programs, and become a more socially-responsible company. With the assistance of the Toronto Regional Conservation Area’s Partners in Project Green organization, Dextran selected Enviro-Stewards to conduct an integrated water and energy conservation assessment and then to assist in implementing the measures.

Enviro-Stewards deployed a range of meters to collect a detailed and systematic minute by minute assessment of water and energy consumption. The resulting data was compiled and analyzed to quantify major resource-consuming and waste generating processes.

The team was then able to see where Dextran was meeting its business needs through resource consumption and/or waste generation and develop alternatives designed to fulfill those needs while using substantially less resources and generating less waste.

Enviro-Stewards and Dextran staff then vetted the conservation opportunities to ensure that they were appropriate for implementation. Enviro-Stewards then prepared capital & operating cost estimates, payback analysis and business cases for the selected measures.

Enviro-Stewards takes holistic approach to conservation, carefully examining resource usage and waste generation as a whole rather than narrowly focusing on one area. This allows for maximum efficiency in every area and avoids false efficiencies like replacing an air-cooled air compressor with a water-cooled model to save on electricity only to end up with higher overall costs due to increased water usage. There’s no point in gaining on the environmentally sustainable merry-go-round if it means you lose more on the environmentally sustainable swings.

Enviro-Stewards’ work didn’t stop with research and recommendations. Unlike many consultants who content themselves with pointing out potential efficiencies, then leaving the actual implementation up to their clients, Enviro-Stewards provides support throughout the implementation stage. Indeed Enviro-Stewards not only have enough confidence in their ideas to put them into action, they even based their eventual financial compensation on Dextran’s real savings at the end of the project.

Currently, each year the improvements are saving Dextran $55,300, 17,800 m3 of water and 28,600 m3 of natural gas while reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 56 tons, all with an average payback period of about 110 DAYS. Projected future savings include $109,760 (or 45,450 m3) in water and $10,600 in natural gas costs. Beyond savings, there is the potential to sell $8,800 of fructose each year if it can be filtered from Dextran’s process water. The results speak for themselves, loudly and clearly.