Diversey: Shedding Light on Operational Improvements and Savings

Diversey, a leading provider of cleaning and hygiene products, is focused on protecting and caring for the environment. It’s just good for business, which the company demonstrated when it upgraded the interior lighting of its LEED Gold 551,806-square-foot warehouse distribution center in Sturtevant, Wisconsin.

The company is under a triple-net lease, meaning the tenant controls and pays for the energy costs. Bruce Maple, a 30-year employee and industrial warehouse manager of Diversey, regularly monitors these energy costs and noticed the monthly lighting fees were steadily increasing. The existing warehouse previously had over 1,100 T5 fluorescent lights incurring high electricity fees as a result of their low luminous efficacy (60LM/W), which have a significantly shorter lifespan than lighting-emitting diodes (LEDs).


Opportunity for Savings

Diversey’s lighting vendor noticed the lighting inefficiencies during a site visit and saw a significant opportunity to reduce energy. By upgrading the site from T5 fluorescent lighting to LED lighting, Diversey could not only reduce monthly operational costs but also implement sustainable lighting features and improve working conditions for the warehouse employees.

To fund this LED lighting upgrade, Diversey took advantage of the tenant improvement (TI) fund that came with their new tenant lease renewal.


Seamless Retrofit

The retrofit, which took place February 2019, was seamless as the lighting contractor coordinated activities to minimize any business disruption to the building’s operations.

A comparison of the utility bills before and after demonstrated a reduction of annual electricity use and cost savings. From the LED installation date of February 2019 – July 2019, the energy costs declined by 36%. The payback period is less than two years.

“Our energy costs decreased so much that the energy company thought our meters were broken,” said Maple. “We saw immediate payback as a result of the retrofit and feel good about having a more sustainable lighting source in our facility.”

Equipped with motion sensors, the new lights turn off in inactive areas of the warehouse. Maple can also directly control the lighting through the sensor configuration tool on his phone. This is beneficial when there are schedule changes or weather-related incidences that impact daily operations.


Fast Payback on LED Lighting

Replacing the traditional fluorescent lighting in warehouses with LED lighting is a strategic move to reduce energy use and provide operational savings. The payback period is fast and beneficial not only to the tenant and facility owner, but more importantly, the environment. Industrial warehouses have long-opportunity hours and with their large size can make a significant difference for a more sustainable footprint.