Treasure Hunts for Energy Savings Build Workforce Competitiveness and Cleaner, More Sustainable Companies
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and the 45,000-member IUE-CWA have created an innovative new partnership to build stronger, more sustainable workplaces by tapping the unique expertise of union members to help uncover energy and environmental savings that strengthen the bottom line and improve the competitiveness of participating companies.
This is the first partnership with a union for EDF, which has routinely worked with corporations to promote energy-saving opportunities. For IUE-CWA, the project is a natural outgrowth of its green jobs work and its lean/high performance manufacturing success.
The initiative is designed to showcase mutual opportunities for both union members and their employers to undertake similar collaborations of their own. IUE-CWA and EDF assemble cross-functional employee teams to scour factories in an intensive three-day search for untapped opportunities to save energy and improve both operational and environmental performance.
These energy efficiency Treasure Hunts help strengthen America’s manufacturing base while building valuable new skills and reducing wasteful energy costs.
How it Works
Who knows more about how a factory functions on a day-to-day basis than the men and women who work there? That’s why those workers are in an ideal position to help uncover operational changes that save energy and improve efficiency.
IUE-CWA’s workers are learning leverage their first-hand knowledge and expertise through energy efficiency “Treasure Hunts” under the tutelage of energy expert Bruce Bremer [PDF]—who has over 30 years of energy management experience. Teams composed of members from IUE-CWA (including members from other facilities), EDF, and company management search the plant for energy-saving opportunities, including examining process equipment, lighting, compressed air, heating, as well as operational improvements.
With more than 45,000 highly skilled members working in 300 manufacturing plants nationwide, IUE-CWA sits in an influential position to help make these savings a reality. And at a time when American companies of all sizes are fighting to maintain global competitiveness, these savings have never been more important – to labor and management alike.