Control freaks in action

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When the manager of a Wal-Mart thinks his store is a bit too warm, he can't just adjust the thermostat.

According to the Wall Street Journal (pg R4, 8/27), he instead must contact indoor-environment technologists at W-M world headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., and answer a series of questions, "such as the exact spot in the store that feels too warm and whether there are any obvious problems with the ventilation system."

It's telling to compare this method with how other companies are trying to reduce energy consumption, not out of altruism, of course, but to lower the bottom line. Heineken's CEO, for example, followed up new energy-saving policies with a video to all plant managers making clear how important they were.

"Once the message went out, Heineken saw more ideas bubbling up from the plant workers and managers — the people on the ground with the best ideas of how to squeeze energy savings out of processes," said the article, "Business Goes on an Energy Diet."

Additionally, all plants' performance is benchmarked and then compared to other plants', giving incentive to managers to get on board.

Author and wellness innovator Michael Prager helps smart companies
make investments in employee wellbeing that pay off in corporate success.
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