Lessons from EEO Cycle 1

12 Jun 2012Archived News Climate Change Matters

There were distinct lessons for participating organisations in the first cycle of EEO.  Some saw very positive results.  Others found that the investment of time and money yielded a low return. 

Energetics has worked with almost half of all EEO program participants.  In this article we discuss the observations and lessons that can be taken into EEO Cycle 2 to ensure that your organisation achieves maximum benefits and profitable outcomes.

 

Key EEO program element

Lessons from EEO Cycle 1

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1.     Leadership

Greatest benefits from a focus on achieving cultural change

EEO should be viewed as more than a technical program.  It combines technical elements with management systems to achieve cultural change. 

Corporations that pursued the requirements of Key Element 1, in a “beyond compliance” approach, significantly benefited from greater visibility and improved overall results.

2.     People

Strong cross functional teams achieve better results

This Element forces participants to create a cross functional team. Companies that carefully considered who should be involved, particularly for opportunity identification workshops, achieved better results for EEO compliance, buy-in and the identification of potential opportunities.

3.     Information, data and analysis

Better metering and a strong process for energy analysis led to improved information

Throughout the first cycle, Energetics observed a maturing of the approach to Key Element 3.   Where better metering was installed and an appropriately-detailed energy analysis process was used, companies had confidence in their data and therefore a stronger basis for decisions.

4.     Opportunity identification and assessment

5.   Decision making

Strong links between teams, robust opportunity screening processes and the integration of EEO requirements with existing systems delivered better business outcomes

In some cases, responsibility for the delivery of the EEO program resided with areas of an organisation traditionally involved with other compliance programs, such as the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme and the National Pollutant Inventory.  Often this was the Environment team. 

Responsibility for the evaluation, delivery and implementation of identified opportunities lay with other parts of the business, typically Business Improvement, Continuous Improvement or Operations/ Projects.

Where strong links were established between these teams a quality result was often obtained. 

However, where distance persisted between departments, problems were experienced in the identification, selection and evaluation of opportunities and subsequent decision making.  Potential outcomes were limited, and in extreme cases, the EEO program had little visibility other than when reporting deadlines approached.

Some assessments resulted in the reporting of a large number of opportunities that, realistically, did not have a potential payback of under 4 years. A significant workload was generated for those completing detailed investigation and whole-of-business evaluation for projects that, in many cases, were of little real improvement value

As the first cycle progressed, participants recognised the value of a robust screening process in the development of improvement ideas, enabling more realistic project lists to be compiled.

As the cycle progressed, evidence grew to support the integration of EEO program requirements with existing business systems. Site management had greater visibility of EEO program investment and outcomes, the management of identified improvement projects and could see that compliance was achieved together with tangible savings.

6. Communicating outcomes

Align EEO with Business
Improvement and ensure sufficient time for the executive team to review report prior to submission

The EEO program requires that the results for energy use and progress on opportunities are reported back to the leadership team. Those companies that aligned EEO processes with Business Improvement functions had both visibility of EEO and a mechanism for this reporting in place.

Another learning extracted from this Key Element was that it takes time to get the appropriate sign off from the leadership team for the public and government reports, particularly around the end of the year. Where reports were left to the second half of December, access to the appropriate sign off could prove difficult and risked late submission.

 

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