Ecova brings efficiency expertise to big brands
By Andy Giegerich
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Jon Thomsen, executive vice president for Ecova, leads the Portland office.
While executives nationwide are buying into the notion of operating their businesses sustainably, many of them haven’t a clue how to get there.
Ecova Inc. is filling that void, and then some. Based in Spokane, Wash., but operating from a Portland nexus, Executive Vice President Jon Thomsen’s team is spreading the clean energy gospel to such national outfits as Rite Aid Corp., FedEx Corp., Staples Inc. and Dell Inc.
“They’re trying to manage resources more efficiently across the board,” said Thomsen, who’s based in Portland. “They want to reduce their expenditures and — more and more — their strategies are tied into reducing (use of carbon). As that occurs, the term ‘sustainability’ is starting to become more legitimate in the business world. And, because Portland is the center of sustainability, Portland and Northwest companies are benefitting.”
As that happens, big-time businesses are taking note of Ecova.
The company is increasingly taking its services, primarily data analysis that pinpoints ways to save utility fees, nationwide.
Ecova draws from nearly 1 billion transactions daily generated by hundreds of thousands of businesses and millions of households. The information helps businesses reduce their consumption, costs and carbon footprints.
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The subsidiary of the $1.6 billion Spokane-based Avista Corp., Ecova has made a name for itself as a key partner to big business.
“Ecova is a key strategy energy partner to Staples,” said Bob Valair, the Framingham, Mass.-based retailer’s director of energy and environmental management. “They’ve helped us identify and prioritize energy management initiatives by mining massive amounts of data, including information from more than 55,000 invoices a year, for opportunities to reduce energy use and costs.”
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