Saving energy lifts career

Taking a lead in the energy management programme at EastPack has been good for the career of the kiwifruit packer’s cool store manager, Nathaniel Street.

Nathaniel, grabbed what he saw as an opportunity to use his passion for energy saving.  Nathaniel had often poked around the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s (EECA) website looking for ideas and he now had a chance to work with EECA.

EastPack CEO, Hamish Simson also needed no nudging on energy efficiency as he has seen the benefits of energy saving on other companies.

When Nathaniel was shoulder-tapped, at a team meeting about adopting an energy efficiency programme, he said, “I took the ball and started running with it.”

“It was a great opportunity to look at where energy was being spent such as in lighting. I think I proved I could step up if I was given another role.”

The Bay of Plenty company, which has a $3.2 million annual energy bill, has saved over $170,000 in energy costs since getting into energy efficiency eighteen months ago.

Nathaniel said the company got good buy-in to the programme from all sections, especially the IT staff. He was also pleased that others such as night shift workers understood that the programme went beyond brighter LED lights and cost savings.

“They noted I wasn’t just improving energy efficiency but improving the work environment. That made a big difference regarding the culture of my teams.”

After getting involved, Nathaniel was sent to the UK to assess controlled atmosphere systems and has been heavily involved in new cool store design work.

“From my point of view, it’s a great thing to have on my CV that I have run the energy committee for EastPack for a year or so and say ‘these are the benefits and cost savings that we’ve achieved’. I’ve proved myself,” Nathaniel said.  

“It’s added another string to my bow and opened other doors. Energy efficiency is relevant to all large businesses.”

“We have looked at all these energy options for our company and we’ve saved this much money, it makes you hungry for other opportunities and if they are available you will take them with both hands.”