A Sustainable Future with Energy Efficiency


As the importance of sustainability continues to grow, energy efficiency is gaining momentum.  Internal and external studies show that improved energy efficiency is the most cost-effective way to contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction.  As Eastman looks forward to more aggressive GHG goals and a sustainable future, the company is leveraging an already successful and nationally recognized energy program.  This presentation will describe how energy efficiency supports GHG goals and key strategies to maximizing the contribution.  After decades of energy efficiency efforts, additional techniques for surfacing energy efficiency ideas are needed.  The importance of focusing on both the supply side and the demand side will be discussed.  Finally, the presentation will illustrate how effective methodology for cost savings initiatives can be applied to energy efficiency projects with the added benefit of contribution to sustainability goals. 


Sharon Nolen, PE, CEM

Program Manager & Fellow, Global Natural Resources


Sharon Nolen is Program Manager & Fellow, Global Natural Resource Management, Eastman.  She represents Eastman in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR® Industrial Partner Program and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Plants Challenge Program.  Under Sharon’s leadership, Eastman received the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award for eight consecutive years.  During her tenure, Eastman’s energy program also received the American Chemistry Council Exceptional Merit Energy Efficiency Award and the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Achievement in Energy.  Sharon leads Eastman’s Worldwide Energy Team and one of Eastman’s three subcouncils aligned to each of the company’s sustainability pillars.

Sharon serves on the Industrial Advisory Board for the National Alliance of Water Innovation, the Board for the Industrial Energy Technology Conference, and as Peer Reviewer for DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office.

Sharon is a frequently invited speaker at national and international energy conferences.  She has been published in Chemical Engineering Progress and Chemical Processing and authored a chapter in the book: Energy Management and Efficiency for the Process Industries.  She was named 2019 International Energy Manager of the Year by the Association of Energy Engineers.  She received the American Institute of Chemical Engineers 2020 Energy and Sustainability Award.

Sharon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University and completed the University of Tennessee’s Executive Development Program.  A registered Professional Engineer in Tennessee and a Certified Energy Manager, she has been employed in a variety of leadership positions by Eastman for 31 years. Sharon is married to Dr. Timothy Nolen and has two adult children, Sam and Abby.