Recently, Ecova and a group of other industry leaders gathered in Boston for the first ever ENGIE Exchange conference. This three-day event was everything the name promised—a place to leverage our collective insight, exchange information, share successes and find opportunities for collaboration, led by ENGIE North America companies and clients. The dialogue fostered at ENGIE Exchange positions us all to better navigate the shifting energy landscape and face the complex challenges that lie ahead.
ENGIE Exchange provided me with an exciting glimpse into trends I see emerging in 2018 and beyond. While I encountered endless innovative ideas and market-leading expertise throughout ENGIE Exchange, a few overarching themes struck me throughout the conference:
- Continued innovation with data. Our clients have long understood the value of big data, but they are now focusing on how to use it—ensuring its availability and accessibility, valuing accuracy to make the right decisions, and leveraging it to inform corporate goals. But as we seek to deploy new solutions to, we will need to incorporate new types of data and analytical methods into our processes. Moreover, it is important that we develop the expertise to properly interpret that information and weigh it against a variety of energy and sustainability options.
- The value of transparency. As the energy landscape evolves, many of us face the same challenges and seek the same opportunities. I was impressed by our clients’ openness to share their own experience by participating in panels and Q&A sessions—helping us find common ground and create solutions together. Companies across the U.S. are in different stages of their energy journey. Some are just beginning to identify sustainability targets, while others are well on their way toward meeting ambitious goals. Passionate leaders – who are willing to share their insights – will lead the way to successful energy management in the future.
- An unwavering commitment to sustainability. Recent federal announcements about the Paris Climate Accord and the Clean Power Plan have caused some uncertainty in our industry. ENGIE Exchange made it clear that leading companies are more aware than ever that sustainability efforts are good for both the environment and their business. Across the board, the business and utilities who partner with Ecova demonstrated that they were eager, enthusiastic drivers for positive change.
I was impressed hearing the speakers and panelists share their success stories as they touched on these themes. Specifically, PetSmart and their commitment towards sustainability through creative energy projects; Cinemark shared innovative ways they are looking to resolve unique challenges in their energy consumption; and Caesars Entertainment inspired me by truly walking their talk across energy and waste.
“ENGIE Exchange makes it clear that top companies are more committed than ever to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and taking action on climate change and sustainability.”
ENGIE Exchange also offered to digest insights from some of our industry’s best thinkers.
In her thrilling keynote presentation, Consumerism Meets Sustainability, Suzanne Shelton of Shelton Group spoke about the importance of a holistic sustainability strategy that addresses products, energy sustainability programs and employees. And MIT Energy Initiative’s thought-provoking panel discussion, Creating New Energy Options, “One Molecule at a Time” highlighted technologies that could positively impact our world in the next five to 30 years.
As we approach my family’s first Thanksgiving celebration in the U.S., I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ecova’s clients for entrusting us with their partnership and collaboratively aligning our services with their corporate goals. The strength of collaboration and idea-sharing embodied by ENGIE Exchange makes me honored to work with our clients and Ecova’s dedicated employees.