Creating Opportunity Where It's Needed Most
A A A share

Climate Business

Climate Business > Sectors  > Industrial Efficiency 

IFC helps clients take full advantage of resource efficiency techniques by offering advice to optimize facility and process design, identify retrofit opportunities, and explore alternative energy and other resource efficiencies (e.g. water). 

Industrial Efficiency


The opportunities for improving the efficiency of industrial facilities are substantial, even in markets with mature industries that are relatively open to competition. Industrial energy use globally accounts for 40% of electricity use, 77% of coal and coal products use, and 37% of natural gas use and is a major contributor to CO2 emissions. In developing countries, the  portion of the energy supply (excluding transport) required for industry is frequently in excess of 50% and can create tension between economic development goals and a constrained energy supply. 


Further, developing countries with emerging and expanding industrial infrastructure have a particular opportunity to increase their competitiveness by applying energy efficient best practices from the outset in new industrial facilities, rather than following the slower path to implementation that occurs in existing industrial facilities in more developed countries.


Industrial facilities always seek pathways to more cost-effective and reliable production. Materials utilization, labor costs, production quality and waste reduction are all subject to regular management scrutiny to increase efficiency and streamline practice. The purchase of energy from outside sources at the lowest possible price that preserves reliability of service has also become a central concern in this era of high prices and constrained supply. However, energy efficiency, particularly as it pertains to systems, is typically not a factor in this decision-making equation. But should be as;


  • Improved energy systems’ efficiency can contribute to an industrial facility’s bottom line at the same time improving the reliability and control of these systems.
  • Increased production through better utilization of equipment assets is frequently a collateral benefit.
  • Maintenance costs may decline because better matching of equipment to demand needs results in less cycling of equipment operation, thus reducing wear.
  • Optimizing the efficiency of steam systems may result in excess steam capacity that can be used for cogeneration applications.
  • Payback periods for system optimization projects are typically short—from a few months to three years—and involve commercially available products and accepted engineering practices.


Cleaner Production is the continuous application of an integrated, preventive strategy to processes, products and services to increase efficiency and reduce risks, whereby maximizing profits and minimizing waste and pollution at source. IFC recognizes that cleaner production can be a key instrument for reducing GHG emissions.

IFC experience shows that Cleaner Production assessments and investments can improve production efficiency and profitability. IFC is interested in helping clients take full advantage of Cleaner Production techniques by offering advice to optimize facility and process design, identify retrofit opportunities and explore alternative energy and other resource efficiencies (e.g. water). 


Project examples:


  • IFC's $4 million investment into Assan Demir in Turkey improved energy efficiency of the aluminum plant.  The production improvements minimized heat loss in furnaces, reduced temperature in casting operations, installed efficient lighting systems, and used hot water instead of detergent for degreasing. 
  • IFC invested €2 million in Djurba glass container manufacturer in Bulgaria. The project increased recycling of waste glass through equipment to wash and sort glass by color and remove debris and contamination to yield glass of better quality.
  • Our bakery client in Brazil found $637,000 in annual savings from energy efficiency improvements.


Stay Connected