There are many arguments in favour of pursuing corporate energy efficiency, including cost savings and environmental benefits. Yet today, such measures are often dismissed as being too challenging to implement or less important than other operational concerns.
The experiences of leading companies that have successfully translated energy-saving goals into positive tangible outcomes, however, can serve as inspiration for businesses large and small alike to take similar action, says Derek Roldan, marketing advisor at Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), the organization that manages Ontario’s power system.
One example is GM’s Oshawa Assembly Plant, where a range of creative initiatives helped the iconic automaker to not only improve its energy efficiency, but also gain a range of unexpected benefits, such as increased employee engagement and satisfaction, says Kevin Wagner, energy conservation engineer at GM’s Oshawa assembly plant.
“Instituting an energy conscious culture is very important,” says Mr. Wagner, who adds that people increasingly care about sustainability and want to see their values reflected not only at home but also at work.
Mr. Wagner came to GM in 2016 as part of IESO’s Save on Energy program, which provided the company with access to a full-time energy manager. His mandate includes helping to develop an energy management strategy, identify and implement energy efficiency projects and facilitate GM’s application for industrial accelerator incentives.
Mr. Roldan believes paying attention to energy efficiency and competitiveness go hand-in-hand. “The companies that are at the forefront of implementing energy efficiency measures are not only reaping significant financial rewards, they are also becoming more competitive in their fields,” he says.