Recently, one of the leaders among corporate energy managers of the Energy Department's Better Plants Challenge partners, was recognized at the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) Summer Study on Industry for his leadership and accomplishments in industrial energy efficiency. Don Sturtevant of the J. R. Simplot Company was one of the 4 winners of ACEEE’s Champions of Energy Efficiency award. Don and the other Champions were selected from more than 60 other candidates for this prestigious honor for his tireless efforts to improve energy efficiency, both within his own company, and in within the industrial sector.
Within JR Simplot, Don has been driving continuous improvements in energy efficiency for over a decade. In 2005, Don spearheaded the use of DOE’s Steam System Assessment Tool and the Caldwell, Idaho, plant became the first to successfully use the tool leading to energy savings of 52,000 MMBtu and 526,000 kWh. Under Don’s leadership, J. R. Simplot also became a Better Plants Challenge partner helping JR Simplot toreduce annual energy costs by $120 million since 2009. In addition, Don represented J.R. Simplot on the U.S. Council for Energy Efficient Manufacturing, which helped inform the development of DOE’s Superior Energy Performance program.
Throughout these activities, Don has focused on making a strong business case for energy efficiency and energy cost savings. This has enabled Don to gain senior management support for J.R. Simplot energy efficiency efforts and for integrating strategic energy management into Simplot’s way of doing business. One of Don’s most significant accomplishments was to build a culture of corporate energy efficiency across every level, every business segment and even every facility of the company. He quickly learned and understood that it is the employees who drive the success of a robust corporate energy management system. Don has created a combination of a friendly competitive aspect of the Simplot energy efficiency program along with a superb employee recognition element of the energy efficiency program.
Through participation in Better Plants, Don has been a leader, an early adopter and most importantly an active champion within his peer group by promoting not only Simplot’s successes but promoting the value of industrial energy efficiency to outside stakeholders.