Event Gets Employees Energized About Saving Energy

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Global Energy Management

Global Energy Management

Global Energy Management

Event Gets Employees Energized About Saving Energy

Event Gets Employees Energized About Saving Energy

Employee engagement is a huge part of Corning’s Global Energy Management (GEM) program, and one plant took the task to the next level by achieving 100 percent plant participation in coming up with new energy- and water-saving ideas.

“Our GEM team meets every month, and one of our questions this year was ‘How do we get GEM communicated throughout the plant?,’” explained Jeff Foster, site energy manager at Corning’s Specialty Materials plant in Keene, New Hampshire. “We came up with the idea for GEM Day to create a little friendly competition. We established 10 team captains, and divided the plant up at random to form teams. It became very entertaining; there was a lot of trading teams.”

Six members of the GEM team served as captains, with other plant employees filling the remaining four captain slots. The captains were responsible for gathering their teams for meetings to come up with new energy- and water-saving ideas which were then put in a shared Excel file.

“They got really competitive, but it was all good-natured,” said Foster. “The captains were always making sure their teams entered certain ideas before others.”

Foster said by the end of the event, which lasted about six weeks in 2017, all plant employees had participated, submitting a total of 150 ideas.

While his GEM team is still sorting through the submissions, Foster estimates about 50 percent are new or original ideas that could turn into potential projects. Nearly all of the ideas deal with ways to save electricity and water. 

The GEM team will share its findings and identify which energy-saving projects may be adopted at an upcoming plant communications meeting. Some ideas suggested have already been in the works, and Foster said GEM Day has promoted greater understanding and action at the plant to seek and report ways to save energy and water.

“It was our goal to get this [energy and water savings] to be part of the culture at the plant. That’s what GEM is all about,” said Foster. “Sharing ideas, spreading awareness, and GEM teams helping each other find success.”