OFF ON ON 13 and more—requiring these businesses to implement similar goals to maintain their relationships with the company. To achieve its goals, McDonald’s “will support sustainable agricultural practices and packaging. It also plans to install energy-efficient lighting and kitchen equipment, and to encourage recycling in its restaurants.”5 Assuming current trends continue, additional restaurant chains are likely to follow suit in the coming years. Regardless of the method, food production occurs in a dynamic environment. During most working hours at an average food production facility, foods are being processed and packaged, new employees are being trained, machin- ery is undergoing maintenance and day-to-day business operations are taking place. Who has time to add energy initiatives to such a busy schedule? The prospect of reducing your energy usage may seem daunting. If you’re concerned about remaining compliant as these new regulations and business practices begin to take effect, you’re not alone. It’s time to get creative. AREN’T ENERGY EFFICIENCY INITIATIVES EXPENSIVE? When people think of energy-efficiency initiatives, they often imagine purchasing LED bulbs, replacing older equipment, or installing solar panels on rooftops. These are relatively quick and passive methods of reducing energy consump- tion. However, they can be cost-prohibitive for many busi- nesses and can even disrupt operations if certain areas of the building require temporary closure to accommodate installation. To reduce energy consumption on a larger scale, without straining your budget, start by encouraging your people to 5 Ibid. change their behaviors. That means providing training, education and incentives. Altering the way people operate can have lasting impact on energy costs, and the results are immediate. Still, changing habits—and ensuring that those changes stick—can be a challenge. Without guidance, people may revert to familiar (but outdated) practices. Support from the leadership team is a key component. Managers and executive-level stakeholders can lead by example by demonstrating their adoption of new policies and practices, and by sending periodic reminders to their team members. It’s important to remain vigilant and imple- ment changes that make a lasting impact on people. Cascade Energy can help. STARTING SMALL CAN HAVE A BIG IMPACT Implementing energy savings programs is easier than you think. In fact, we’ve already worked with several food pro- duction businesses throughout California to reduce their energy usage in a cost-effective manner. We recently led an Energy Management cohort for refrigerated facilities in the Salinas Valley. This program was designed to engage participants’ entire facilities, including workers at several levels of the organization, in a commitment to energy Policy Everywhere To reduce energy consumption on a larger scale, without straining your budget, start by encouraging your people to change their behaviors. That means providing training, education and incentives. Altering the way people operate can have lasting impact on energy costs, and the results are immediate. (If You Know Where to Look) By SIVA SETHURAMAN – Director of Utility Engagement, Cascade Energy