going green saving green 06.16.10

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Norma Rosowski, Sustainability Consultant with The Beck Group, presented on Going Green, Saving Green at the TEXO Women\'s Forum.

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  • 1.going green saving green Sustainable LivingCreates a Healthier WorldNorma RosowskiLEED AP BD&CThe Beck Group Sustainability Consultantnormarosowski@beckgroup.com Honest sustainability infuses responsibility into every aspect of our lives at work, at home, and at play 1

2. going greensaving green Going Greenwill Save you Green Today we are going to focus on what you can do at home and how you can assist your company to be more eco-friendly and energy efficient everyday. If your company already has a green program you can get involved and assist them in improving it, if you dont have a program in place, be the change-agent that promotes green awareness and start a grass roots effort. I am going to start by sharing with you how my company made changes to be more green. Saving money was the primary motivation from leadership, so all of the strategies we put in place not only benefited the environment but saved money at the same time. These are all things you can put in place either at home, at work, or both. I will also share some tangible things that you can do to start making a difference and save money at the same time.2 3. going greensaving greenWhat Makes the Climate Change?Greenhouse gases Land use changes In the past few years, scientific research is confirming that the current warming of the Earths climate is very likely due to human activities, one of them is burning fossil fuels. This creates greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide N2O Disturbance of the land also causes climate change: deforestation, sprawl, miles and miles of heat trapping highways, and changes in agriculture are changing the global atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, the main heat-trapping gas, and changing the energy balance on the earths surface, like rainfall patterns3 4. going green saving greenNorth Texas Population Growth+ 4 million9.1 million by 2030 Our population is continuing to grow. As of June 13, 2010 the worlds population is estimated to be 6.8 billion people. It is expected that between 2040 and 2050, the worlds population will be 9 billion. In the 10 counties in the Dallas-Ft Worth region alone it expected to grown in population by 4 million by 2030. This will bring increased usage of resources, carbon dioxide and pollution and should give us great concern as to whether we will have enough clean water, clean air, and resources to support it. 4 5. going green saving greenWhy Change? We are continuing to use the Earths resources faster than it can regenerate. And as the worlds population grows, we will increase consumption. We have to do something so that our future generations live in a world that is worth living in5 6. going green saving green Case Study: Corporate Responsibility The Beck Group The way we design buildings and how we construct buildings has a huge impact on our environment. We started to be conscious about those things in terms of projects years ago and make some modifications, but we felt that we could improve the way we operate on a daily basis in the office, so we created a Work-Life committee to establish sustainability goals to further reduce our environmental impact of the daily activities in the office. The committee looked at operational procedures, policies, and activities, focusing on three major areas for improvement:6 7. going greensaving green Areas for Improvement:1.Conservation of Office Consumables 2. Energy Use 3. Becks Carbon Footprint Conservation of office consumables, Energy use, and Becks carbon footprint 7 8. going green saving greenReduce buy less and use lessReuse use products and materials over and over againRecycle make products into new materials These are the three tenets of sustainable living and working. Conservation of office consumables starts with the 3Rs waste hierarchy.8 9. going green saving greenKitchen Eliminated:40,000 water bottles/yrStyrofoam cupsPaper plates Added:Additional dishwasherFiltered water at every sink Saved:Reduced building waste$17,000 cost savings/yr We eliminated Beck water bottles, waste with our name on it. Many times they did not get recycled, and they are petroleum-based and dont break down easily in landfill. We replaced them with reusable drink ware that have a long lifecycle and low embodied energy We also eliminated Styrofoam cups, Styrofoam can take thousands of years to decompose9 10. going green saving greenPaper Used: 2 million sheets letter sized paper/yr 500,000 tabloid-sized paper/yr = 322 trees & $61,000/yr Changes: Paperless processes Double-sided printing defaults Paper supply to FSC or recycled Savings: $32,000/yr These paper facts dont even account for other offices, job site offices or plotting services we use on a daily basis. With these initiatives, we reduced paper usage, paper costs, raw material use, paper waste, impact on forest resources which amounted to a cost savings per year of $32,000 FSC = Forest Stewardship Council, harvesting and production of the forests/manufacturing process responsibly managed We only print when necessary, storing documents electronically rather than paper files, previewing before printing eliminating mistakes and the need to reprint, and printing double sided10 11. going green saving greenBuilding ServicesGreener cleaning practicesRecycling in every room, atevery desk Traditional cleaning products contain chemicals that harm the environment and create an unhealthy indoor air quality that could be damaging to building occupants. Toxic chemicals in cleaning products have been linked to health problems such as asthma, allergies, breast cancer, reproductive problems, and learning and behavioral problems in children. Source: The Chemical Sensitivity Foundation. Our building maintenance/cleaning service offers recycling for no additional cost. No sorting is required. 11 12. going greensaving green Commute 600 Beck employees =4 M pounds of CO2 240,000 gallons of gasoline Average commute 25.3 minutes/day 2 trips per day with 600 employees= 506 hrs/car per day Carpool, biking, walking, DARTOur initial plan was to create a page on our portal devoted to alternative transportation, listing resources and information including a ride-share map to encourage ride sharing and alternative forms of transportation. We included in our proposal adding a shower to our office so those who ride or walk can shower after their commute. We also proposed providing a small office fleet for employees so they could get to and from project meetings if they commute via alternative transportation means. What we ended up providing is vouchers for those who chose DART and a gym membership at the YMCA across the street to those who choose to bike to work so that they could access a shower. We are currently working on the ride share program. When the economy gets stronger, we will look at a small fleet that is available for check out by employees who ride public transportation or walk so that they can attend meetings out of the office. 12 13. going green saving green Work-Life BalanceFlexible hoursWork from home Dallas commuters spend 33-35%of their commute in delayed traffic Working from home is not for everyone, or for every job, but a significant number of employees have tasks that dont require their presence in the office. If they dont drive to work, they dont use gas or emit carbon dioxide. If they do have to come to the office, they are met with traffic, by extending flexible work hours they can reduce their commute times and carbon impact. 13 14. going green saving greenReduce Energy Consumption Computers hibernateReconfigure HVACReplace incandescent with fluorescentOccupancy Sensors Computers and other technology resources use a significant amount of energy in our offices. Much of the power usage by these devices isnt happening during normal working hours. There are simple ways we can reduce the energy usage of our computers and other equipment when they are not being used. We now configure computers to hibernate after 10 minutes of inactivity. Hibernation saves the current windows session to disk and allows the computer to enter a very low power state. Office spaces are typically over-conditioned and poorly balanced. Employees have complained about feeling too hot or too cold. We recommended implementing a minor HVAC reconfiguration by testing and balancing the system, replacing slot diffusers for central air distribution, and replacing our monitoring and control system to make the office more efficient and comfortable. To date, we have completed the test and balance. We also replaced all incandescent lights with fluorescent. We recommended additional occupancy sensors be located in conference rooms. 14 15. going greensaving greenPurchase Renewable Energy Direct & efficient way to reduce environmental footprint Despite our reductions in energy use, we will still continue to use significant amounts of energy in daily business. This energy is typically provided by fossil fuels, but now energy from renewable sources are available on the national energy grid, Locally, you can purchase energy from renewable sources, either from TXU or Green Mountain Energy. Currently renewable energy accounts for less than 5% of the total energy on the grid. By requesting renewable energy from your energy provider, the energy provider has a direct impact on the mix of clean energy going into the grid. There may be a slight premium for renewable energy, but the premium goes toward developing new renewable sources that decrease the role of fossil fuels in our country. If you cant purchase renewable energy directly from your provider, you can off-set your fossil fuel energy use by purchasing RECs (Renewable Energy Credits) They brokered by a third party company and offset the fossil fuel consumption with Renewable credits that supplement the development of renewable energy sources. 15 16. going greensaving greenMarketing Internal & Ext