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A Winning Approach to Saving Energy

Ehson Ameer, a Save on Energy 2021 Energy Manager of the Year winner, is making a difference when it comes to cultivating an energy-conscious mindset among employees at a Magna division in Guelph, Ontario (Canada).

The award celebrates Ontario, Canada’s most innovative professional energy managers who deliver lasting value to organizations across the province. At the Guelph division, Ameer leads the strategic energy management program where he manages energy audits, creates strategies to save energy and drives organizational change. Ameer’s work contributes to Magna’s goal of becoming carbon neutral across all plants by 2030, noted Save on Energy, an arm of IESO, the Independent Electricity System Operator in Ontario.

For this Magna energy manager, sustainability starts on the shop floor. Ameer’s approach is reflected in some of the division’s latest projects.

With the aid of a $40,000 grant from National Resources of Canada, the Guelph, Ontario division installed 150 energy meters throughout the plant in 2022 to measure electricity and compressed air on 39 injection molding presses, three paint lines and other equipment. The goal is to raise awareness about energy consumption and to provide operators with weekly reports on energy usage, with the aim of a 10% overall energy reduction in the plant in 2023.

“We need to encourage shop-floor operators, not just the energy manager, to think about energy use,” said Ameer. “We have 1,500 people in the plant. As we move toward carbon neutrality, there needs to be more complex ideas for process changes. Continuous improvement is everything.”

Ehson Ameer standing in front of a poster receiving Save on Energy Award
Ehson Ameer with a group of people standing in front of a poster receiving Save on Energy Award
Group of people standing on stairs outside of a manufacturing plant

After a stint as a Magna co-op student under the plant’s previous energy manager, Ameer said he decided “this is the place I want to be.” He completed a bachelor’s degree from McMaster University in Automation Engineering Technology and joined Magna full time three years ago. Ameer’s current duties include engineering support, which enables him to implement the plant’s energy incentives projects.

The native of Lahore, Pakistan, said he relates to two Magna core values: Think big and be collaborative.

“Thinking big means ‘what is the next step?’” he said. “At our division, we’re looking into solar energy. With collaboration, we can tap into the ideas of 345 Magna divisions and get insight into what other people are working on. I recently attended an idea-sharing session with European divisions, and their ideas on becoming carbon neutral.”

Inspiration also comes from childhood trips with his family to the mountainous Kashmir region of the Indian subcontinent.

“There is such a sense of peace and calm there,” Ameer said. “I come from an area where there is so much beauty. This is what we’re trying to protect as we work toward sustainability.”

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