Environmental Decision Makers Share Lessons Learned in 2015 Insider Knowledge Report

by | Sep 18, 2015

cover reducedEnvironmental Leader today released the 2015 edition of its annual Insider Knowledge Report, made possible this year by Ecova and VF Corporation. The report includes lessons-learned, tactics, insights and case studies from experts working in the trenches of corporate environmental, sustainability and energy management.

Executives from ArcelorMittal, Best Buy, Bloomberg, General Motors, Hormel Foods, Time Warner Cable, and more than 100 others contributed to the report and shared what they learned while doing their jobs last year.

Ecova, for example, shows how client Arby’s Restaurant Group was able to uncover more than $5.5 million in potential annual savings by focusing on operational and behavior modifications, lighting/HVAC/water heating systems, restaurant equipment and building shell, and set points and schedule modifications.

Letitia Webster, senior director of global corporate sustainability for VF Corporation, offered six lessons the company learned as it has embedded sustainability across the company. “Sustainability, at the core, is about change management. Change is not linear,” she wrote. “It’s multi-dimensional, iterative, and messy. Embrace the change and the challenges that come with it.”

Hormel Foods shared a success story surrounding the company’s Environmental Sustainability Best of the Best competition, showing how a competitive spirit can bring about positive change within a company. The competition “demonstrates we can get results and make an impact with hard work and a spirit of continuous improvement. It really is a competition that brings our entire company together for an important cause. Through our success with internal initiatives and the support from our employees through the Best of the Best competition, we surpassed our 2020 solid waste goal in 2014, and we’ve made significant strides toward our other 2020 goals to reduce water, energy and greenhouse gas emissions,” wrote Thomas E. Raymond, director of environmental sustainability for Hormel Foods.

Better understanding the links between the environment and the economy is key to leading our society to understand how to view the environment as an economic opportunity rather than a cost, believes Karen Clarke-Whistler, chief environment officer of TD Bank Group. “Natural capital is central to our economy. It provides huge benefits – economic, environmental and social – and considering natural capital in our planning process means better decisions all around,” she wrote.

These, along with more than 100 other executives, shared what they learned in the last year, as well as how successes were achieved, thoughts on what could be handled more effectively, and what comes next in the sustainability and energy management journey.

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