WEST HAVEN, CONN. — Watson Inc. is bolstering its efforts to reduce energy use and promote sustainability. The company worked with United Illuminating, a subsidiary of Avangrid, through the Energize Connecticut initiative to save approximately $181,840 in annual energy costs.

Watson said employee engagement is crucial for companies looking to enhance their sustainability strategy. As part of the Energize Connecticut initiative, the company worked with consulting firm Leanovations through the Process Reengineering for Increased Manufacturing Efficiency (PRIME) program. Together, they assembled a team of Watson employees who were trained to measure energy usage throughout the company’s two buildings.

The company said this kind of training is often limited to large businesses, but with United Illuminating’s support, the PRIME program made lean training available to manufacturers of varying sizes across Connecticut.

Most of the saving were realized from upgrades made in Watson’s 90,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. To reduce energy waste, the company installed a new air compressor system, larger piping and a new variable frequency drive to help control motor speed and frequency. Its 50,000-square-foot facility in Orange, Conn., participated in a lighting upgrade to LED’s, which reduced the warehouse’s electricity consumption by 40%.

Watson produces nutritional ingredients for the food, supplement, bakery and pet food industries. Executives at the company recently met with other business leaders to share ideas about energy savings and sustainability as part of the Business Sustainability Challenge through the Energize Connecticut initiative.

“We saw an opportunity to reduce our environmental impact a great deal and took this chance to do just that,” said Gavin Watson, vice-president at Watson, Inc. “From a financial point of view, it can make you more competitive. From a human point of view, we all want to be a part of organizations that are doing good things. Reducing energy usage is good for the planet and engages our employees.”