Practical Steps for Energy Managers to Drive a Company’s Sustainability Goals: Advice from General Motors Execs

Rob Threlkeld | General Motors

Often it falls to the energy manager to drive progress towards a company’s sustainability goals. When this happens, an energy manager is placed in a challenge position: energy managers need to learn the language of sustainability and methods in order to make sure their own energy management initiatives are understood within the C-suite, and the reverse, that the energy manager understands and can work within the company’s broader sustainability strategy.

But in spite of the challenges, the most successful companies are those that have energy managers playing a large and important part in designing and implementing a corporate sustainability strategy. Within the sustainability and energy management industry, best practices are being developed and are working for top companies.

Rob Threlkeld, global manager of renewable energy for General Motors, is an expert in aligning sustainability and energy management. He will be sharing his expertise at the Environmental Leader 2017 Conference and Energy Manager Summit June 5-7 in Denver. Attendees will learn best practices and strategies for things like energy procurement, demand-side management, clean energy finance, commissioning, and other tools of the energy management trade.

Another General Motors executive – Todd Williams, senior project engineer for water and wastewater treatment – will also be imparting smart tactics and best practices, in terms of water management, at the conference. He shared one example with Environmental Leader last month. “An example that’s still in implementation is our Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant. That’s where we make the Chevy Volt, Impalas, and other vehicles. We have a stormwater reuse project where we collaborated with the City of Detroit Water and Sewage Department. We were paying large fees for discharging stormwater to the city sewer system. It was based on the acreage of the site. We worked with them to say, if we put in more storage, can we go to a volume discharge fee instead? We could have enough storage to hold a 100-year rain event on site. Then we’d discharge it at a time when they can handle it to help reduce any combined sewer overflows.” More on that during his session New Strategies for Stormwater Management at the conference

There’s still time to register for the event but hotel space is limited so be sure to make your plans soon. For more agenda information and to register, visit the conference website.

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