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NSIDC (National Snow & Ice Data Center) Leads by Example with Sustainable Efforts


GREENandSAVE Staff
Posted on Monday 7th July 2014
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.

Company/Organization Highlights:

The National Snow & Ice Data Center (www.nsidc.org), an organization that is part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder, conducts scientific research and manages data about the frozen regions of the Earth. Working to benefit its research communities, the NSIDC provides information about the planet’s cryosphere, including data about snow, ice, glaciers, frozen ground, and climate interactions. Its mission is to “ensure that past, present, and future science data remain accessible for studying the Earth and its climate.” In addition to this work, the Data Center has initiated a Green Data Center Project. As David Gallaher, the Technical Services Manager for NSIDC, pointed out, “There was a certain irony that here we are working on climate research and our data center was consuming an awful lot of power.” The data center has made incredible strides toward reducing its energy consumption and impact on the Earth.

Lead by Example Initiatives:

#1: Waste Removal – Recycling: YES

#2: Climate Control – Programmable Thermostats: YES – Indirect evaporative cooling technology that takes advantage of the location’s arid climate and uses 90 percent less energy than traditional air conditioning.

#3: Illumination – Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology: PARTIALLY

#4: Renewable Power – Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panels: YES – Rooftop solar array that results in a total energy savings of 70 percent.

#5: The website goes into further detail about the Green Data Center Project: https://nsidc.org/about/green-data-center/

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)

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