“My education from FES is really important and influential in my job. Understanding Ontario energy policy is critical.”
From a young age, Aaron Savatti loved the great outdoors and grew up guiding canoe trips in Algonquin Park. However, it wasn’t until he took an environmental studies course in high school did he find his pathway to academic and career success as an environmental industry leader. Exploring options for post-secondary studies, Savatti searched for a program that would blend his environmental interests with his interests in policy and management. Once he discovered Bachelor of Environmental Studies (BES) program at York University, he found his perfect fit.
From the beginning of his studies at York U, Savatti was determined to get the most out of his academic and student experience. To do so, he looked for student volunteer opportunities on campus. “I made a point of getting involved. I sat on the Tenure and Promotions Committee and worked on campus at the Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability. I really had a fulfilling university experience.”
Shortly after graduating, Savatti secured a role at an HVAC services company where he was doing energy audits and analyses. Combining creativity and deep mathematical analysis, he was able to see positive outcomes in the reduction of energy consumption based on company upgrades. He accredits the policy courses he took through the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) for directing him into the energy sector, stating “they helped [him] understand issues surrounding energy. Energy policy and energy efficiency are tied to sustainability one way or the other”.
With the same determination he fostered in university, Savatti continued to get involved in his community – this time within his chosen industry. As he developed as an energy professional, he began to turn his attention to his ultimate goal, to one day own his own business. “After a few years of learning and developing my skillset, I took an entrepreneurial approach and launched Insight Energy Group”.
Now, as Director of Insight Energy Group, Savatti’s days are never the same. Savatti’s works on detailed energy audits that, depending on the size of the facility under review, can take from one week to up to three months to develop. “My education from FES is really important and influential in my job. Understanding Ontario energy policy is critical.” Savatti creates a detailed report of electrical systems and provides an analysis with recommendations on how the client can reduce their consumption and save on costs. When clients agree with his recommendations, he assists them with implementing turnkey solutions. “This is particularly important in Ontario with the rising cost of electricity.”
To ensure his company’s efficiency and sustainability, Savatti strives to stay on top of changes within the growing industry. Recently he expanded the company’s services to begin offering energy and water benchmarking services. As sanctioned by the Provincial government, EWRB (Energy & Water Reporting and Benchmarking) program will become mandatory for certain sized buildings in the future – making his company one of this first to offer these new initiatives. In addition, to leading Insight Group into the future world of energy efficiency, he is now the president of the Sustainability Ontario Community Energy Co-op (SOCEC), whose mission it is to increase overall capacity in regards to renewable community energy in Ontario.
Asked what he loves most about his role, Savatti replied, “I love providing solutions and creating relationships. I love to be client-facing, and help solve their problems – maximizing operating costs and productivity by reducing energy consumption, while simultaneously improving a company’s overall sustainability score.”
Savatti recognizes that he is the type of person who has “always wanted to do a million different things”. However, he has always maintained a steadfast focus on his goals. His advice to the next generation of environmental leaders and new post-secondary students: “Be focused and get really good at one thing but make sure, at the same time, you can juggle multiple things simultaneously. People always say ‘do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life’, and while that’s true, what’s even more true is: do what you’re good at and you’ll love it. Get involved as much as possible and make as many connections as possible”.
Written by: Abigael Pamintuan