Consulting spotlight

Fuel shortages at wood-based heat and power stations

Steinbeis-Study

According to 2009 renewable energy legislation, wood from rural conservation areas and wood residues from forests are renewable raw materials, i.e., energy sources eligible for bonuses. A study into the sustainable use of these two types of wood carried out by the Steinbeis Consulting Center for Corporate Finance, has pinpointed bottlenecks for power station operators.

The study indicates that not enough is being done to exploit the full potential of materials, especially wood residues. Forestry organizations and other growers point to economic and ecological reasons for this. In some parts of Germany, less wood is gathered from residues and conservation areas per year than is used in local power stations. According to the Steinbeis study, demand is pushing up prices. Growers believe the annual rate of inflation lies between four and nine percent. A key driver of inflation is the cost of transportation: For every extra kilometer materials are shipped, the price as a proportion of all costs rises accordingly. After 100 km, shipping is scarcely viable. As a result, purchasing rates and the availability of fuel need carefully examining before each project, to ensure that power generation equipment pays in terms of capital investment.

Green logistics in everyday business

Carbon footprints

If CO2 emissions are going to be cut systematically, they have to be measurable. This is an issue being looked at by the Steinbeis Consulting Center for Transport and Logistics, which is using a standard procedure to measure carbon footprints – in this case the volume of greenhouse gasses emitted by logistics companies in connection with their services.

As part of a work group initiated by the company Vernetzte Transport Logistik, the Steinbeis experts gathered data on the shipping, loading/reloading, and administration of a general cargo collaboration, throughout a transport network covering an average distance of 150 to 300 km. The aim of the study was to measure the carbon footprint of each activity connected to the transportation network. The investigators measured a CO2 share of 15.6% for incoming freight, 43.6% for the main carriage, 29.9% for the physical delivery, 6.4% for loading/reloading, and 4.4% for administration. This is the equivalent of an average CO2 emission of 36.91 kg per shipment, or 47.33 kg for the whole system. The results indicate that the logistics industry supply chain still has plenty of potential to cut the amount of greenhouse gases being emitted, and this potential could be more fully exploited, especially at the interface between the customer and the logistics company.

Finding consultants

ESF funding programs

The Steinbeis Consulting Center for Business Coaching has authorization from the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Finance and Economy to conduct projects as part of ESF funding programs called “Coaching” and “Training consultations & HR development.”

Steinbeis consultants can provide businesses with support, advice and coaching in the planning and implementation of corporate strategies. Project grants can be applied for from the State of Baden-Württemberg. Grants amount to 50% of expenditure, to a maximum of Euro 400 per working day of eight hours. Coaching grant program Funding for coaching projects in the following areas: - Innovation projects - Collaboration - Reduction of energy use - Demographic change - Business handover Depending on the field, funding may be granted for up to 15 working days. Qualification counselling & HR development grant program Funding will be provided for coaching in the following areas: - Training and continuing professional development (A) - Systematic HR development (B) Grants are limited to one round of funding per company and location for each of the programs above. Type A projects can be sponsored for up to ten days, Type B projects for up to 20 days.

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