The drive to cut costs, energy use begins with everyone on the job

Image of Teck energy leader, Terry Brace
Energy leader, Terry Brace says all employees can contribute to energy management and incorporate energy-saving practices into daily operations.

Teck gets workforce involved to make energy efficiency a priority

Want to make energy efficiency a priority in your business? Start with your workforce, says Teck's Terry Brace.

"Every employee at Teck can contribute to energy management as part of their daily routine," says the mining giant's Energy Leader.

"It all starts with increasing awareness among employees about the importance of energy reductions and how energy management can be aligned with their day-to-day activities."

Teck identifies greatest savings potential and saves enough to power 5,400 homes in B.C.

Teck brought energy efficiency measures to their British Columbian operations through a partnership with BC Hydro Power Smart. They employed dedicated energy management experts to support their Highland Valley Copper Operation (Craig Haight) and five B.C. steelmaking coal operations (Jeff Sutherland) and organized work placements for students from UBC's Master's in Clean Energy program.

"The energy management experts work with staff to determine how we can save energy and incorporate energy-saving steps into daily operations," Brace says. "We have maximized our results by focusing on initiatives that offer the greatest energy savings."

Projects that the company has undertaken include adding variable speed drive technology onto fan motors which have contributed to a 25 percent energy reduction.

"We've also focused on other areas like lighting and using equipment such as air compressors as efficiently as possible," Brace says. "From turning off the lights to shutting down equipment when it's not being used, our employees see how a series of small changes can lead to big results."

Through these steps, Teck's operations have seen an annual electricity reduction of 60,000,000 kWh per year (equivalent to 5400 homes in BC) and continue to explore further reduction opportunities.

Energy reduction goals put Teck in top rankings for sustainability practices

Energy reduction targets are part of a wider Teck Sustainability Strategy released in 2011. The strategy looks at both short-term goals (reduce energy by 1,000 terajoules for 2015) and long-term goals (reduce energy consumption by 6,000 terajoules for 2030).

In 2013, Teck was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the fourth straight year, ranking Teck's sustainability practices in the top 10% of the world's largest public companies. Teck was also named the top-ranked Canadian company and the top mining company worldwide on the 2013 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations list by Corporate Knights.

"Our work with BC Hydro Power Smart and the programs available to us align with Teck's overall commitment to sustainability," says Brace. "The energy reduction practices of our employees are essential to achieving our sustainability goals."