Baulkham Hills-based energy savings solutions specialist, Ilum-a-Lite, has announced that managing director Mark Rutherford has been named a Regional Nominee in the 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year awards.
Rutherford will join his fellow nominees representing NSW and the ACT at the regional awards ceremony on 23 June, 2011, in Sydney, where regional category winners will be announced.
Rutherford, who established Ilum-a-Lite in 1996, is a pioneer in the environmental management industry and began promoting power-saving technologies long before climate change and global warming became serious community and business issues.
He says he overcame the challenges of tapping into an unreceptive market by educating businesses about the financial and environmental advantages of reducing electricity usage.
“Environmental management has since become mainstream, but 15 years ago we were at the forefront of an industry in its infancy, as one of only a handful of companies offering a range of energy-saving products and services for commercial, industrial and public buildings,” Rutherford says.
“We recognised that customers were interested in green solutions that were not only economically viable, but also financially beneficial, so we focused on return on investment and payback period statistics. This gained considerable traction with global brands, including McDonalds UK, Beijing Airport, Peugeot and Citroën.”
Rutherford has led Ilum-a-Lite from a small business in Baulkham Hills to an international success story experiencing exponential growth, with new products like Save it Easy, Motor eControl and Light EcoZone developed and sourced, and installations on seven continents.
To date, Ilum-a-Lite’s innovative products have been responsible for reducing the world’s carbon emissions by the equivalent of three 600 megawatt coal power stations, and it is expected this will have quadrupled by 2015.
This past financial year, Ilum-a-Lite products have saved 10,000 tonnes of CO2 and $1,000,000 in electricity costs for new customers, including government, banks, property investors, hospitals, councils, universities and businesses across the country. The company has also contributed to worldwide energy efficiency with export sales to Asia, Europe, South Africa and New Zealand.
Ilum-a-Lite recently formed a partnership with specialist venture capital investor, Cleantech Ventures, acquired additional staff and moved to larger premises to ensure the company is primed for the market growth it predicts, particularly in the US.
The company is also set for growth on the local front, having recently announced that its NSW customers can receive a cash rebate of up to 50 percent when they invest in Ilum-a- Lite’s Light Eco Plus, Save it Easy and Light Eco Fittings under the NSW Government’s Energy Savings Scheme which offers a financial incentive to reduce energy use.
Rutherford says that in addition to supplying energy saving solutions that can provide reductions in electricity usage of up to 30 percent, Ilum-a-Lite has a longstanding program planting trees in recognition of the carbon savings achieved through clients’ use of their products.
“We have planted many thousands of trees in areas such as Camden’s Bicentennial Park, Baulkham Hills Shire Council grounds, the new Australian Football League (AFL) sports ground at Rouse Hill, and at Mascot Public School.”