Sinclar Group Forest Products Ltd.

Energy champions at Sinclar mills help double targets

Reducing operating costs is a perpetual goal for B.C. forestry companies because it increases their ability to compete in a tough market.

So when Prince George-based Sinclar Group Forest Products Ltd. began participating in Power Smart's Industrial programs in 2009, company president Greg Stewart hoped that numerous savings opportunities would be identified.

A 30 per cent reduction, so far

Stewart got more than he bargained for. Within two years Sinclar's energy consumption has been reduced by a whopping 30 per cent in its five primary sawmills and three value-added mills in the Central Interior.

Sinclar was the first forestry company to be recognized with the Power Smart Leader Award in 2010. And although it has always been environmentally-conscious (it's a supplier, manufacturer and consumer of bio-energy materials), Stewart points out that Sinclar Group surpassed an initial reduction target of five per cent in 2009.

How did they do it? A combination of  Power Smart's industrial program, the work of energy manager Eldred Rahko, and energy champions at each mill.

"The biggest waste identified by my team was air leaks in our compressors, and they also developed rigorous monitoring, tracking and reporting systems to ensure accountability throughout the organization," he says. "We achieved a 15 per cent savings during our first year and doubled that number the next."

Stewart urges other forestry companies to partner with Power Smart.

"Provided you're committed to the initiatives and have a great energy manager and champions as I do, the cost savings will be substantial," he says. "Plus, not only is it good business practise, it's the right thing to do."