It could be this way: Hungarian SMEs respond to the energy price explosion with a 4-day work week

By RockedBuzz 6 Min Read

In the panel discussion of the Portfolio – MAGE Automotive Industry 2023 conference Imre Győri, managing director of Magyarmet Finomöntöde Kft reported a quadrupling of its energy costs. Firefighting and the renewal of electricity contracts were just another push in the direction of improvements aimed at energy efficiency. Government assistance was also received, but the fact that, unlike before, electricity had to be paid for in advance did not make it any easier for a domestic SME.

In addition to numerous other transformations, the 4-day working week was introduced, which is unusual among domestic companies, which results in significant cost savings due to the peculiarities of foundry technology.

Imre Győri, managing director of Magyarmet Finomöntöde Kft
Imre Győri, managing director of Magyarmet Finomöntöde Kft

A large company like DANA sees the effects of the energy crisis from a completely different perspective. It is supported by a company specializing in energy procurement at an international level, and can use its global position to achieve significant price discounts for energy suppliers. Of course, costs can only be saved if the company knows exactly how much it consumes, which is why it is essential to carry out a complex energy audit.

We no longer buy equipment that cannot be integrated into an energy management system.

he declared László Tisza-Kiss, factory manager of Dana Hungary Kft.

The mentioned complex energy management systems are beneficial not only because they can save energy, but also produce more with the use of a given amount of energy, he said. Balázs Hajós, sales director of Schneider Electric Zrt. There is no doubt that the shock effect is embedded in the various energy efficiency efforts: while previously – although it was often planned – company managers preferred to postpone energy investments, even though a significant increase in efficiency can be achieved by building complex systems.

vehicle industry

In the long term, the inclusion of locally produced renewable energy (typically solar energy) in the energy mix can only generate 10 percent of consumption on average, so its benefits can only be exploited if integrated into a well-prepared green strategy, he said. Szabolcs Soós, Financial Director of the Solar Markt Group. The company therefore provides a complex service in which, together with E.ON, the green electricity produced by the company is supplemented by energy from traditional energy sources and provided to customers at a fixed price. István Papp, the group’s business development director, in his presentation he emphasized that the

the demand for green electricity will soon be so great that the production side will not be able to satisfy it, it will only be able to serve a third of the demand.

István Papp, business development director of the Solar Markt group
István Papp, business development director of the Solar Markt group

However, in order to achieve ESG goals and real energy savings, you may need a partner who can also obtain green electricity from the international market. The service is called Green Cloud, which provides great support for scaling and meeting the longer-term increase in green electricity demand.

Robotics and virtual reality tools can also save a lot of energy, especially in the field of design and simulation. At Jaguar Land Rover, for example, the use of virtual crash tests results in enormous energy and cost savings, the company said STA manager, Pál Hanó.

Zoltán Lambert is the managing partner of WTS Client after the energy shock, everyone became more aware, and there are many tools available to help companies, such as corporate tax relief and other state support to encourage energy-related investments. There is hope for overcoming such a challenge with creativity, innovation and close cooperation.

Where sustainability is also in the company’s DNA

Many global companies are criticized for not actually making their operations more sustainable with only spectacular actions and “greenwashing” their operations with apparent measures. In contrast to the greenwashing phenomenon, it is not impossible to truly green the operation, although a new approach is needed, which, however, also pays off in an economic sense, especially considering the increasing number of incentives.

László Tóth, sales manager of DS Smith Packaging Hungary
László Tóth, sales manager of DS Smith Packaging Hungary

Packaging technology is an industry that, on the one hand, can change a lot in its own operation, as packaging materials can be made from recycled plastic and paper, and at the same time, it can also mean significant savings for its partners, if the packaging of the products also takes sustainability into account as a key aspect – he answered László Tóth, sales manager of DS Smith Packaging Hungary To Péter András Tóth’s question. For one client, we completely rethought the packaging of their products, looking for solutions that would save space and weight.

In one year, they were able to remove 120 trucks from logistics.

This is a huge number, both in terms of costs and environmental aspects. I believe that our company’s DNA includes sustainability and the approach of circular management.

Cover image and photos: Portfolio – Ákos Stiller

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