Alison Schwabe joined McKinstry eight years ago and works in our Golden, Colo. office. As powerED program manager for the Mountain region, she works with schools, universities and local governments within the Mountain region to help them save energy and cut waste. She has also been instrumental in building the Mountain Region’s corporate stewardship team including rolling out the office’s composting program.
Q: How do you explain powerED?
A: Our powerED program is all about people and encouraging sustainable behaviors (like this month’s challenge). We drive awareness, action, and impact to help our clients save energy and cut waste through three key components. The first is PEOPLE. We engage building occupants and operators in a campaign to increase awareness and action around energy efficiency. The second is PROCESS, which involves working with our clients to help them identify and implement low- and no-cost energy-saving measures. The third is PERFORMANCE. We’re only as good as our results. We measure impact and demonstrate progress by tracking energy savings, carbon reduction, and other key benchmarks. I’m proud to say that through our powerED program to date, company-wide we’ve helped participating clients save $21.7 million in energy cost and cut carbon by 155,861 metric tons.
Q: How would you describe your job?
A. As the powerED program manager for the Mountain region, I work on a growing team of five diverse and amazingly talented people. We recently developed a team mission statement that states our purpose: we are dedicated to driving positive energy and sustainability behaviors that promote a culture of energy efficiency and awareness, community engagement, relationship building, and demonstrate the value of how small actions can make a big difference. We’re “making sustainability sustainable,” as my colleague Jaymes McMullin says. I am also a part of the powerED Enterprise Team that leads the overall management of the powerED program.
Q: What is a typical day like for you?
A. On a day-to-day basis, my job entails project and client management, brainstorming and reviewing energy-saving and engagement strategies, and collaborating with our team and clients on events and activities, deliverables and communications. And then I go home to my family including two sweet and very energetic toddlers.
Q: What is your biggest energy-waster pet peeve?
A: My colleagues will tell you that it’s when people don’t turn things off before leaving the office. I can’t leave without making sure monitors, projectors and lights are turned off.
Q: What is your top energy tip?
A: I encourage every homeowner to buy a programmable thermostat. We installed one at our home and are realizing the benefits. We’re saving energy and money! It’s also super convenient. You set it and forget it!
October is Energy Action Month! Throughout the month, we’ll be spotlighting employees and powerED clients who are taking energy action every day to drive waste out of the built environment. With each action we take, we’re one step closer to our vision of together, building a thriving planet. Have you taken your pledge?