Sustainability is a key buying requirement for many companies, including ours.
And more and more companies are asking their suppliers, “Do you have a sustainability program in place?
Because energy storage is critical for operating a business, it’s important to hold a spotlight to suppliers’ sustainability efforts... but it’s easy to get bogged down by greenwashing and marketing
In the next few minutes, you’ll see how battery sourcing can help you hit your sustainability goals, including which sustainability features to look for.
Here are three ways batteries can help you with your sustainability initiatives -- no matter which battery brand you choose:
Reliability, rain or shine
Renewable energy continues to expand in North America and across the world. You already know the benefits, including lower operating costs, reduced emissions, and energy independence.
But how do you power your operations if the sun isn’t shining, the wind isn’t blowing, or the grid isn’t working (or connected)?
For most (but not all) businesses powered by renewable energy, batteries are the logical answer.
That’s because batteries offer a convenient way to store renewable energy for later. They’re a buffer against days with low renewable energy generation. They’re a safety net in case of extended, costly power outages. And for anyone working or living off-grid, they’re a lifeline that keeps the lights and equipment on.
SIDE BENEFIT: Storing energy generated locally can also help your business avoid peak demand electricity -- which results in lower energy bills and greater profits. And because peak electricity often comes from inefficient, higher-polluting peaker plants, “peak shaving” also lowers emissions.
End-of-life Recycling and Closed Loops
It’s simple: If a battery ends up in a landfill after use, it isn’t sustainable.
While every battery chemistry has pros and cons, lead-acid batteries are the leader in recyclability.
They’re more recyclable than an aluminum can -- and they’re ~99% recycled (source: US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)).
The US Department of Energy explains, “A vast recycling supply chain collects, stores, transports, recycles, and re-introduces more than 99% of lead back into the lead-acid battery supply chain.”
In total, 80% of the material for new lead-acid batteries of this chemistry come from previously recycled batteries. Lead-acid batteries are a closed loop — they can be recycled to make more batteries, nearly indefinitely.
By comparison, just 5% of lithium-ion batteries are returned for partial downcycling, and lithium currently comes only from virgin mines.
Sustainability during manufacturing to re-manufacturing (cradle to grave)
Done right, batteries have the opportunity to lower carbon emissions and reduce pollution.
But their carbon footprint (and recycling options) determines their environmental impacts.
That’s why we’ve switched Crown Battery’s manufacturing to 100% renewable energy.
This move will reduce CO2 emissions, protect the environment, and benefit the local economy. We’ve signed a contract with AEP Energy, a subsidiary of American Electric Power to source locally-harvested wind and solar power through AEP’s Integrated Renewable Energy (IRE) solution. (During construction, we’re purchasing 100% National Green-e Renewable Energy Credits (RECs).)
Crown Battery’s focus on closed-loop sustainability also includes:
- Large-scale efficiency investments, from high-efficiency lighting to advanced air compressors and digitally-controlled curing ovens. These will save 3,285,733 kilowatt-hours of electricity – enough to power 300 homes.
- Installing a 69,000-volt substation to reduce consumption and improve plant efficiency
- Longer lifespan: Heavy, gravity cast plates and added recycled lead allow for more chemical reactions.
- An ultra-efficient, German-built battery formation system slashes energy consumption while improving lifespan.
Want to learn more about sustainability for batteries? Dive deep and find out whether your batteries are recyclable.