Alignment is key when it comes to any kind of business success, and it’s the cornerstone of ABM’s work. So, when we meet companies like Enerpro Systems whose success is driven by the relationships they make, we are enthused to help create the alignments they need.
Both Enerpro and ABM share a passion for connected collaboration that benefits community. For ABM it’s getting key potential partners in a room to create unique opportunities. For Enerpro, it’s meeting with communities who will benefit most from what they have to offer.
Enerpro is an energy management company that specialises in energy and water sub-metering. Their customers experience lowered customer utility costs, and the ability to generate profit and employment, while fostering ecological stewardship.
They are also on a mission to enable Indigenous communities to take advantage of self-owned utility companies. They are currently working with the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation and the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources to include First Nations under the British Columbia Utilities Commission public utility exemptions. That blanket exemption would expedite the process for First Nations to launch their own utility companies, creating an opportunity to generate own-source revenues while exercising their autonomy from the provincial government. This initiative is being driven by Indigenous communities, with letters of support for the First Nations Utility concept from the Squiala, T’sou-ke and Tzeachten Nations, among others.
CEO Steven Roka remembers the first time he attended ABM West. “It turned out to be very successful, as it was fairly large in scope and there were a number of bands from around BC in attendance. Our ideas resonated well with bands as the message was similar to sentiments felt across the province: a need for own source revenues, exerting independence in their governance and taking control of items that were well within their rights.”
Enerpro has now taken part in numerous ABM shows, in Regina, Edmonton, Penticton, the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. “It has taken time to establish trust and initiate action from meetings we have had,” says Steven, “but the fire grows with each ABM we attend. It has shown us that relationships don’t happen overnight but if your business idea is strong, bands will engage in meaningful business endeavours and partnerships.”
Enerpro is actively engaged in achieving meaningful social, environmental and economic impacts via a collaborative long-term strategy with its clients. Systems Analyst Brendan Mongeon tells us they’re in the incubator stage, and their plans need time to bear fruit. In the meanwhile, Enerpro is focused on building a coalition of groups interested in the self-owned Indigenous utility concept.
Since Enerpro’s team is looking to build awareness in communities about their ideas, making matches at ABM events allows them to communicate their plans effectively. Brendan is excited about the relationship they’ve struck with the Kwantlen nation. “They understand the long-term value of what we’re advocating, and they have become proponents of what we are doing.” After meeting at ABM Lower Mainland in 2017, Kwantlen invited Enerpro to meet with them on their territory. According to Brendan, “this opportunity gave us tremendous insight into their history and their unique needs. It also left us with a better understanding of how our concept would fit with their plans, and how we could be good partners going forward.”
Andrew Davidson, Key Account Manager at Enerpro, has this advice for first-timers to an ABM event: “It’s an intense experience; there are many meetings with potential partners, so it can seem overwhelming.” He emphasizes the value of pre-planning, so you can be more aware of your match’s background. This helps remove concerns about missing information or not taking full advantage of the opportunity. “It’s much more effective than attending a conference where you’re sitting listening to people talk, with limited time for general networking.” For Enerpro, the scheduled face-to-face meetings have been a successful method to get more actionable information in a shorter time frame. “It’s an easy environment to engage openly with others,” says Andrew. “You’ll find it’s a win-win if you show up with an open mind and are willing to listen.”