CA Technologies, Cummings Properties, energy costs, EnerNOC, NECEC, sustainability

Energy Seminar: Sustainability & the Bottom Line

Sustainability and the Bottom Line

and Energy executives gathered at MassTLC member EnerNOC last Thursday, January
24th to talk about how Energy Management is evolving from a
Facilities task to a CFO tracked budget item. This seminar entitled, Energy and the Bottom Line – Tracking and
managing energy costs to a better business advantage
featured a panel of experts
including: moderator, Paul Sereiko from the NECEC Institute; Ernest Agresti,
Jr., VP Administration, Cummings Properties; Cynthia Curtis, Chief
Sustainability Officer, CA Technologies; Laurie Giandomenico, Vice President of
Marketing and Communications, EnerNOC; John Messervy, Director of Capital and
Facilities Planning for Partners’ Healthcare; Roy Stein, Co-Founder and COO, Zik
Energy Points Inc.
Paul Sereiko
started the conversation talking about the NECEC Institute, whose mission
is to accelerate innovation with the cleantech sector. This is mainly done through
their CleanzoNE initiative.
Paul shared
some data pulled from the internet on Energy consumption in Commercial
buildings which is still a leading contributor to energy consumption in the US.
Lighting and HVAC are the two biggest contributors, but with the ROI of LED
lighting almost 10 years with little return, it can still be a hard sell.
Interestingly, overall energy consumption per dollar GDP is declining and is
projected to continue to decline through 2035. This is due to the decline of
manufacturing in the United States. Manufacturing processes have a very high
energy consumption rate.

 Cynthia Curtis talked about the difference
between the CSO and Facilities Management which work closely together and share
information, but her position also includes employee engagement, reporting and
metrics.  John Messervy concurred that
Sustainability can be very broad and at Partners it includes food, water and
chemicals used in its hospitals. Small items like medical tubing, can make an
impact on health based on the chemicals used in it.
So is this
movement of Sustainability new? We have been hearing the term but what is new
is the scope and impact of it on a company. CEO’s and employees are becoming
engaged in the Sustainability of a company which benefits the overall morale
and culture and plays into talent acquisition.
There is
also a growing trend of CFO’s aligning their reporting with Sustainability
reporting. At Cummings the CFO is asking its employees to take advantage of
incentive programs. Partner’s CFO has challenged their hospitals to look for
ROI’s of 12% in Energy and Sustainability projects.
and the standardization of metrics with tools like that of Energy Points also
gives visibility to Energy savings potential and creates new incentives within
a company to do better. Roy Stein gave the example of a typical IT department
that is not as concerned about Energy conservation as it is about its
downtime.  With normalized reporting, IT
will be incented to take ownership and work with Facilities to conserve Energy.
What about
utility incentives? Laura Giandomenico talked about how these can reduce the
ROI on projects. Ernie Agresti added that most conservation initiatives would
not be possible without the tax and utility incentives. Cummings has even used
these incentives in very creative ways. Since the lessees are responsible for
upgrading their premises, they may not be willing to make a long term
investment on a short term property lease. So when Cummings acted as the
contractor, they were able to implement energy saving initiatives and pass the
saving on to their tenents.
With Energy
Management technologies, reporting software and benchmarking technologies out
there, Sustainability initiatives are gaining traction at the top levels of
management.  This will continue to impact
the way we look at Energy conservation as part of business as usual and
hopefully make a positive impact on our environment along the way.

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