We are pleased to profile the companies and organizations that lead by example in operating their businesses and organizations. The “Lead by Example” profile series is focused on sharing information to inspire and empower decision makers to take action in their own facilities. The information in profiles like this one have come from research and survey outreach focused on four primary areas of sustainability measures:
#1: Waste Removal – (e.g. Recycling)
#2: Climate Control – (e.g. Programmable Thermostats)
#3: Illumination – (e.g. Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology)
#4: Renewable Power – (e.g. Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panels)
#5: Other Measures: …
The intention of the four primary areas of focus is to start with the easiest and lowest cost initiatives and move towards the higher level of commitment and larger impact energy and CO2 savings measures.
The Earthwatch Institute (http://earthwatch.org/
) is dedicated to working for the betterment of the Earth and to promoting sustainable behavior. With offices located across the globe, Earthwatch conducts projects and research while encouraging education and community involvement in order to overcome environmental problems. The organization contributes to creating sustainable policies and plans but also directly impacts the environment by working to improve ecosystems for wildlife. Efforts are also made to be environmentally friendly and reduce its impact within an office setting.
Lead by Example Initiatives:
#1: Waste Removal – Recycling: YES – Recycling bins separate from waste disposal + composting bin.
#2: Climate Control – Programmable Thermostats: NO – No control over thermostats.
#3: Illumination – Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology: NO – But energy efficient lighting is utilized.
#4: Renewable Power – Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panels: NO
#5: Other Measures – Recycled material was used in carpets and all furniture was recycled. There is an upcoming switch from large desktop computers to laptops with the intention of saving more energy. Biking and taking public transportation to work is encouraged, and carbon offsets are utilized for all travel and volunteer travel.
Please note that for #3: Illumination, organizations are now beginning to review the savings benefits of LED tubes and fixtures over traditional fluorescent tubes and other types of lighting. Challenges to date have included the reliability of imported products, and some U.S. LED manufacturers, such as Independence LED (www.IndependenceLED.com
), have proactively developed educational “LED Boot Camp” programs and provided samples and cost-effective financing programs.
Overall, the “Green” mantra of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle holds true after multiple decades, and new trends towards “Buy Local” are also gaining traction. Domestic and regional purchasing helps reduce the carbon footprint of transportation and also helps create more American jobs. Learn more through the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies - BALLE - (www.bealocalist.org