Relighting 2.0

Encon

7. Affordable and Clean Energy 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities

Overview

Founded in 2002, Encon is a market leader in innovative solutions for energy saving, renewable energy, and sustainability projects for industrial companies in Flanders and throughout Europe. Recently, the company developed a new lighting system named ‘Relighting 2.0.’ With this innovation, it is possible to control heating, ventilation, and humidity while monitoring the occupancy rate of working offices and meeting rooms. This energy optimization tool can help businesses save up to 20% of the total cost to power a workplace. Relighting 2.0 aligns with UN Sustainable Development Goals 7: Affordable and Clean Energy, 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, and 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.

Authors

Nilay Canipek

Nilay Canipek

Kadir Can Yilmaz

Kadir Can Yilmaz

Lotte Dijsselbloem

Lotte Dijsselbloem

Febe Thys

Febe Thys

Seher Baskale

Seher Baskale

School

Universiteit Hasselt

Universiteit Hasselt

Professors

Frank Lambrechts

Frank Lambrechts

Seppe Croonen

Seppe Croonen

Innovation

By using Relighting 2.0, a company can best determine how much energy and space is necessary to carry out its activities. Relighting 2.0 is a more advanced version of Relighting 1.0. This innovation allows for the traditional control of lighting along with other energy-efficient installations, creating a more sustainable network to monitor energy usage. The main innovation of Relighting 2.0 is the information that this systems provides about the occupancy rate of company space. Lighting fixtures are equipped with smart sensors to track and monitor every movement within a company. Using the data from these sensors, a heatmap gives companies more insight into the occupancy rate and usage of their space. Frequently unused spaces can be rented to other companies, increasing the space efficiency for all companies involved.

With Relighting 2.0, companies can save money when building new spaces since they have a better understanding of their space needs. Only building what is needed boosts the sustainability of these companies. Relighting 2.0 will also lead to sustainability for cities, since building more efficient spaces will allow for more natural environments to remain undeveloped. Relighting 2.0 is a radical innovation that deals with problems that the world faces today, and might still be facing in the future. For example, Relighting 2.0 directly and indirectly combats some of the issues related to climate change.

The three sustainable goals mentioned in the overview are achieved with Relighting 2.0.

Relighting 2.0

Inspiration

When most companies want to start building a new workspace, they do not immediately think of the negative environmental impact of creating spaces that might not be used. It is more energy efficient for a company to only build the minimum amount of space required to carry out its activities. Building unnecessarily large workplaces leads to higher raw material usage, higher CO2 emissions, and more financial costs without real benefit. Occupying too much land decreases the amount of space available for natural environments.

In recent years, corporate social responsibility has become increasingly important. Young people want to work at companies that value sustainability, where they can make a positive contribution to society through their work.

Sandra Deraeve, the founder of Encon, is aware that many companies use too much energy, negatively impacting the environment. Sandra is very passionate and motivates her clients to switch to sustainable energy. She encourages mindfulness in her work, which she believes helps to promote focus and better performance at work. Sandra values her connections with her colleagues. Connection is one of Encon's core values. Encon is open-minded and values individual contributions from its employees. Encon's employees form mutual helping relationships with each other as well as with Encon's customers. Trust and balance are important when trying for the most effective energy solutions.

When it comes to energy consumption, lighting is among the most insidious utilities for a business. This motivated Encon to develop energy efficient lighting solutions. Not only does this lighting system reduce costs, but it contributes to a business's overall focus on sustainability. This innovation promotes greater well-being and success for everyone involved, including employees, customers, and community members. This innovation is not only sustainable, but also profitable for Encon.

Overall impact

"Together with our customers, we achieve impact every day," says HR manager Sandra Deraeve.

The joint impact of all of Encon's projects proves the previous motto. Encon has saved a total of 1,500,000 tons of CO2 and 260,000,000 euros for its customers. That is the same CO2 compensation as 125,000 hectares of trees.

In terms of energy consumption, lighting can be the most treacherous utility for a business. Lighting often wastes an unnecessary amount of energy. By switching to Relighting 2.0, Encon estimates that businesses can save up to 70% of their energy costs.

A workplace costs a lot of money for a company. Relighting 2.0 optimizes workplace usage. With this system, companies can better understand how much space they really need. Hopefully, they will need less space and fewer new buildings . "So it is extensive, fewer construction products, less land that is taken up, and that is a huge saving on CO2 emissions," explained Sandra Deraeve.

Encon gives back more than it takes. The Relighting 2.0 innovation creates a net positive impact. Fewer buildings allow for more open spaces. More efficient and sustainable buildings have a positive impact on society and the environment.

Business benefit

This innovation also benefits Encon. With Relighting 2.0, Encon is now active in the retail market, not just in the B2B space. Relighting 2.0 allows retailers to track the most popular aisles in their stores. Shops can better understand where to place items. This innovation also serves a marketing purpose.

Relighting 2.0 detects if people are present in a particular office, which allows unused space to be used more efficiently. This has been helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic because employees are able to check if there are available workplaces. This innovation creates more efficiency within a company. As a result, this innovation is scalable. Other businesses can use Relighting 2.0 to increase their positive impact. If more businesses are convinced of this innovation, it can substantially change the market, making it a radical innovation for society.

Relighting 2.0 has enhanced Encon's reputation. Articles about this innovation have appeared in the press. Encon may become a source of inspiration for others.

Social and environmental benefit

Encon creates benefits for society and the environment with most of its innovations. Relighting 2.0 helps to build a sustainable world in a different way. Encon's Relighting 2.0 benefits society and the environment by promoting efficient lighting and energy installations. Relighting 2.0 also makes use of energy-saving and LED lights to further promote environmental benefit. Energy consumption is further optimized with smart lighting systems. One of the Encon's core values is being committed to environmental sustainability and energy management.

Encon's sustainability mindset promotes more sustainable actions for the future. Relighting 2.0 promotes environmental awareness and a reduction of CO2 emissions. This innovation ensures that buildings are used efficiently in a sustainable way. Encon achieves a net positive impact by increasing economic prosperity while contributing to a healthy environment and improving human well-being. Encon provides environmental and societal benefits through Relighting 2.0.

Interview

Sandra Deraeve, HR Manager

Photo of interviewee

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Encon

Encon

Bilzen, Limburg, BE

Business Website: https://www.encon.be/nl-BE

Year Founded: 2002

Number of Employees: 51 to 200

Encon is a specialized and independent energy consulting firm and a market leader in creative and innovative solutions for energy saving, renewable energy, and sustainability projects for industrial companies. Rising energy prices and higher environmental standards force industrial companies to use energy more efficiently or produce renewable energy.