Nolen was honored at the recent AEE International Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.
“I remember the day I was asked to take on leadership of Eastman’s worldwide energy team,” Nolen shared. “At that time, the requirement was to simply lead a monthly team meeting in addition to my regular assignment. As more opportunities were identified and pursued, being Eastman’s energy manager became my full-time job. It’s interesting and challenging work, provides the opportunity to work with people who want to make a difference, and the ability to have a meaningful impact. What’s better than that?”
Nolen is the first woman to win the award.
“I’m proud to be the first woman to receive this award,” Nolen noted. “Things have changed a lot during my career and even during my time as an energy manager. As the mother of a daughter and the mentor to a special young woman, I’m glad their presence is more accepted and their contributions are more valued.”
Under Nolen’s leadership, Eastman is an eight-time ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year, achieving Sustained Excellence since 2014 — ENERGY STAR’s highest honor. With her guidance, Eastman adopted three guiding principles for managing energy efficiency — ensuring the accuracy of information, maximizing existing assets, and incorporating energy efficiency in capital investments. From these guiding principles, Nolen led the effort to establish an energy strategy and program focused on five key components: energy awareness, measurable goals, knowledgeable resources, site wide initiatives, and energy efficiency projects.
Since 2011, the company’s energy program has helped Eastman save tens of millions of dollars company-wide. In fact, Eastman estimates it would have spent more than $40 million more on energy in 2018 alone if energy intensity had remained unchanged since the baseline year at current energy prices and at current production.
“Eastman has been around for nearly 100 years innovating and making the world a better place, and the way we operate our facilities is our license to operate. We must operate responsibly, safely and efficiently in order to innovate the products and solutions that are changing the world,” said Eastman Board Chair and CEO Mark Costa. “This award underscores that energy efficiency and sustainability isn’t a new concept for us. We wouldn’t be an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year eight times if we weren’t continuously improving, and improvement doesn’t happen without strong leadership. That is exactly what Sharon has done for our energy program. To be recognized at the international level is a tremendous honor for Sharon and for the company.”
To learn more about Eastman’s energy management efforts, visit www.eastman.com/ENERGYSTAR.