Part 1: The Business Case - Inform and engage key stakeholders

Key points:

  • Decisions that influence the energy performance of a mining operation are made at many different management levels and across functional areas. Leading practice energy management relies upon effective engagement and alignment across a mining operation.
  • There are compelling business drivers and benefits associated with improved energy management. It is essential that managers and staff understand the business case and how improved energy management can benefit the business, their teams and their individual activities.
  • As projects are implemented, it is important to promote the business benefits achieved. They include productivity and other business outcomes as well as reductions in energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

When you consider the commercial and operational realities of the mining industry, such as fluctuations in commodity prices and the need to focus on production, safety and other business priorities, it is not surprising that managers and staff may be resistant to the introduction of new initiatives. Therefore, it is essential to establish a clear and compelling business case for energy management. The case should outline why energy management is important for the operation, including the problems that it will help to solve and the benefits that will be delivered as outcomes.

Energy management is a collective responsibility across the operation. While accountability can be assigned, it is important to consider how to motivate management and staff to be proactive. This requires the benefits of energy management to be refined so that the reasons for action are clear and tangible to the individuals and functional areas that need to improve their focus on energy management.

Ultimately, the aim is to create a ‘culture’ of energy management that is embedded in the operation Culture can be roughly translated as ‘the way we do things around here’. It is useful to consider the way in which the culture of safety has evolved over time in the mining industry. From an outlying issue, it has today become an essential part of the day-to-day way in which mines are operated. Energy management presents the same challenge of taking a relatively new initiative that may be of low priority and creating a culture of energy management that is embedded into the daily management and operational practices of management and staff.

This section begins with an overview of the strategic and operational business drivers for energy management. It then considers the particular interests of key stakeholders and how key messages about the reasons for and benefits of energy management can be refined. Finally, it presents a range of communication initiatives that can be used to engage with staff and build their support.

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