Stories & Features

Kodak discovers $30,000 in savings through new BC Hydro program

Image of Kodak Canada staff members
From left to right: Miroslava Hospodarova, Jeff Seto (BC Hydro key account manager), Eoin Gaughran, Claudio Desimone, Monet Springmeyer, and Duane Machon.

Kodak among six B.C. businesses to join first Industrial Cohort in early 2016

When Kodak Canada made the decision to participate in BC Hydro's Industrial Cohort program, the company had been on the road to reducing its energy usage and waste production for quite some time.

"We thought, let's do it," says Eoin Gaughran of Kodak Canada. "We'd already tackled a lot of the low-hanging fruit in our facility and hoped that the program could teach us a few new things. To our surprise, real revelations have come out of the experience."

Kodak Canada and five other B.C. businesses joined the first Industrial Cohort in early 2016. The company is now halfway through the two-year-long program and about to implement a handful of operational improvements identified by cohort coach Cascade Energy. Applied, the changes have the potential to save Kodak Canada an additional $30,000 a year.

"Of course, cracking down on energy waste and saving money is a big draw," says Gaughran. "It's why we joined. But there have been other good things too – by-products of participating in the program."

'We had to be more open with managers and employees about energy use'

At the top of Gaughran's list of good things is greater transparency. Before joining the Industrial Cohort program, few people outside of Kodak Canada's accounts payable and facilities departments had insight into monthly energy use at its Burnaby facility. That changed when Gaughran and his Kodak colleagues Martin Bzowski and Mima Hospodarova attended the cohort program's first roundtable.

The roundtable brings together industrial customers who are part of the cohort. The companies work together and share knowledge related to building energy management.

"We left that first workshop with a bunch of ideas, but more importantly a list of actions we wanted to take," says Hospodarova. "First and foremost, we realized that if we wanted to conserve energy, we needed to be much more open with our managers and 320-plus employees about how much energy the company consumes."

"Sharing the right information, at the right time, with the right audience is key," adds Gaughran. "Engaging employees in energy conservation requires education about how energy may be wasted, and what it means to the company in terms of cost savings. Asking people to change deep-seated habits without giving them the tools or knowledge to make the changes simply won't work."

With the support of Kodak Canada's leadership team, Gaughran, Bzowski and Hospodarova now share the company's energy use in a monthly newsletter distributed company wide over email.

Asking people to change deep-seated habits without giving them the tools or knowledge to make the changes simply won't work.

"The newsletter's content varies from month to month, but we always include the previous month's energy use and highlight any fluctuations or patterns that come up, plus a few actions we'd like readers to take in the month ahead," says Hospodarova. "A poster board with the same information is mounted in the cafeteria, and managers are encouraged to go over the company's energy-use data with team members at monthly meetings. It was important to us that the conservation message come from as many different voices as possible.".

The shift in transparency has actually led to some surprising spin-off programs inside the company. For instance, research and development are re-looking at the energy consumed by the production equipment and machinery that the company builds in Burnaby.

"We never expected that kind of transformation to come about so soon," says Gaughran.

By opening up and sharing the right information with the right people inside the company, Kodak Canada is now poised to share benefits of participating in the Industrial Cohort program with its customers around the world.

How the Industrial Cohort program works

Twelve months in, Gaughran and his Kodak Canada colleagues say that they've found the program's curriculum to be enlightening, the cohort atmosphere encouraging, and time commitment just right. "Few companies can dedicate 100% of their time and effort to energy management initiatives, plus engaging employees can take time, so getting together with the people in our cohort every few months has worked out well."

A cohort typically consists of 6-10 industrial customers and the two-year program is fully funded and open to industrial customers that meet the eligibility criteria. To learn more about the program's requirements, contact your key account manager or call the Business Helpdesk. Dial 604 522 4713 from Greater Vancouver or 1 866 522 4713 from elsewhere in the province. New cohorts begin every 6-8 months.