An Executive Sponsor is Essential for Success
Finding the right executive sponsor should be high on the list of priorities for all Energy Teams that are in their early stages of development. Recruiting an executive sponsor will give your team:
- Authority - An executive sponsor will give your team the authority to implement projects and programs such as establishing an employee incentive program to encourage employee participation in the energy awareness program.
- Communication with employees - Using a respected executive sponsor to convey important energy awareness messages to employees is a technique that is likely to spark employee interest in the energy saving program.
- A link to senior management - An executive sponsor that has the confidence of senior management will greatly reduce the time it takes for certain energy efficiency projects to be mandated.
- Commitment - A buy-in from senior management will show your business' commitment to improving its energy use and will motivate employees to do the same.
The best way to recruit your sponsor
If your team is having trouble recruiting an executive sponsor then you should consider writing and presenting a business case to senior management. Four important steps to help guide you through the process of writing a business case and getting an executive sponsor on your team.
- Know your numbers - You can use your utility bills to get an initial idea of what your overall use is. However, it is recommended that you get an energy audit and install meters to get more detailed information on your facility's energy consumption.
- Benchmark your numbers - Once you have an idea of what your numbers are and how they’re being used in your facility you should do some energy benchmarking to see where your facility stands relative to other facilities. Benchmark your numbers to those of other businesses in your industry and, if the data exists, to the numbers of other facilities in your corporate family. Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency and ENERGYSTAR® have some great benchmarking resources that you may find useful.
- Write your case - After determining how your facility stacks up to similar facilities it is time to summarize your findings and write your case. The goal of this business case is to convey to management the message that saving energy frees money for core services. To increase your case's chance at success, tailor and communicate your findings in terms specific to your industry. For example, if you discover that your facility consumes 25,000 Giga Joules a month of energy more than an identical facility in your organization just to generate the same profit, consider explaining this to management in terms they'll immediately understand. If your facility produces widgets then instead of telling management that your facility is wasting 25,000 GJ/month, explain to them that this is equivalent to producing and selling 400 widgets a month. For your convenience Union Gas offers a guide to writing an effective business case.
- Present your case - All that's left to do now is present your business case to your potential executive sponsor and other senior managers. If it's possible, instead of leaving your case on someone's desk for them to read at their leisure, try to book time in your potential sponsor’s and other senior managers’ schedules to personally present your case to them. This will help ensure that you get your message across as soon as possible - and if any questions should arise pertaining to the case you will be able to answer them on the spot.
For more information about Energy Teams talk to your Union Gas Energy Conservation Advisor today.