Greening Your Business

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1 ENVIRONMENTAL ASSISTANCE OFFICE NEWSLETTER In this Issue How to make your business green Greening Your Business September, 2011 Recycling Office Space upgrades Fleet management Employee Involvement Previous Issues Growing Your Business Green One Step At a Time A Green Business... Improves employee morale & the health of the workplace Holds a marketing edge over the competition Strengthens its bottom line through operating efficiencies Is recognized as an environmental leader August 2011 Summer 2011 April 2011 Partners CMU LUESA Solid Waste LUESA Air Quality UNC Charlotte Contact us Phone: Fax: Our Website -Going Green is a term few small businesses enjoy reading. From recycling an old report to installing more efficient light bulbs, many companies feel that changes made within a workplace cannot affect the world around it. But in actuality, the smallest of change can make a global difference in the environmental world while in the longterm - prove to be a successful business venture. According to the DOE, a typical office space may use as much as 80,000 BTU s, per square foot, per year. This means that an ordinary office building could be using more energy per square foot than a school building, retail office space, and more than double the energy intensity of an average church. When considering how much energy your Did you Know? office space may be using, you may be given the opportunity to maximize efficiency and cut back on excess costs, saving your business the revenue it deserves. -When determining how Green your business is, most companies would first evaluate common ideas such as recycling paper, how long the office lights are on, and maybe using s instead of paper. But, a green business is much more than that. The true definition lies in the ability of your business to become Greenminded or a company whose employees believe in the idea of sustainability These low cost strategies are easy to execute and mostly require little to no outside professional help. Figure 1: Source Our Mission Fast Facts: North Carolinians throw away enough trash to fill 2,555 miles of dumpsters each year, Source The 23 million small business jobs in America account for 54% of all U.S. sales and 66% of all net new jobs since the 1970 s For each Kilowatt-Hour (kwh) of electricity you save, you are reducing the emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides

2 Recycling: The 1st Step We are generally aware of the three R s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and that it is important to recycle to save the Earth, but the National Recycling Coalition has prepared a Top 10 list of reasons we should recycle beyond the basics of what we already know that are of great use to our environment. 10 REASONS TO RECYCLE 1 Good for our Economy 6 Preserves Landfill Space 2 Creates Jobs in Recycling Industry 7 Prevents Global Warming 3 Reduces Wastes 8 Reduces Water Pollution 4 Good for the Environment 9 Protects Wildlife 5 Saves Energy 10 Creates New Demand for more recycled products For a list of common office supplies that can be recycled, visit: h p://epa.gov/wastes/nonhaz/municipal/pubs/bus guid/app e.pdf How to Recycle Waste Reduction Program- -In order to implement waste reduction strategies, the creation of a waste reduction program is essential. By following the steps in creating a reduction program, your business will have successfully obtained employee involvement, The smallest of structured plans for reduction, and fostered change can awareness throughout your workplace. make a global difference and in the longterm, prove to be a successful business venture Waste Assessment kit Steps: 1. Obtain management support and involvement 2. Establish a waste reduction team 3. Set Preliminary goals 4. Get participation of entire workforce 5. Assess waste 6. Select ways to Reduce/Recycle 7. Plan your program/ initiate More information on creating a waste reduction program can be found at CharMeck.org Business recycling -Waste assessments measure three different aspects: what is recyclable, how much materials can actually be recycled from your waste, and puts those recycled materials in available markets. If uncertain about where the recyclable materials from your garbage go, Mecklenburg County offers free waste assessments. For more info. contact Stewart Espey at or call

3 Upgrade Your Office Space Lighting Proper use of lighting from within your workplace is one of the simplest ways to decrease energy use. The most obvious of these solutions is simply turning off lights when they re not needed such as after work hours. Other solutions can include replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL s) which cost nearly 75% less to operate while lasting 10X longer than the average incandescent fixture. Also, the use of sunlight as an alternative for office space lighting is a simple, yet powerful change that can reduce energy consumption. Furthermore, consider using single-plate occupancy sensors which allow lighting fixtures to automatically turn on and off triggered by motion. Heating and Air Conditioning Figure 2: Source Ways in which you can reduce energy can include changes in HVAC and heating units. These strategies can help reduce the energy needed to provide a comfortable work environment including: Regular maintenance checks before each hot and cold season Use fan fixtures as a substitute to adjusting a thermostat. Although fans do not lower the temperature, they can help the air feel 3-5 degrees cooler. According to the EnergyStar guide, each degree higher during warmer months can save nearly 3% on cooling costs. According to studies shown by the EPA, you can decrease your monthly energy bill by up to 10% by storing your HVAC system out of direct sunlight. Fleet Management One of the most environmentally detrimental aspects of doing business in a market such as the US is your business fleet. According to the SBA (Small Business Administration), in the US alone, there are over six million company owned vehicles, accounting for nearly 90 tons of carbon pollution a year. source Making easy changes in your fleet management could save you up to 700$ per vehicle and 2 tons of carbon waste. Here are some strategies to help increase your fleet efficiency: To catch the reader's attention, place an interesting sentence or quote from the story here. Planning an efficient route Regularly checking tire pressure Reducing idling Removing unneeded weight from a trunk or bed For information regarding fuel efficient vehicles for your fleet, refer to this link to the fueleconomy.gov site allowing you to view up-to-date listing on efficient vehicles fitting your business needs.

4 Roofing and Insulation When modifying a roof for a larger building, energy savings can be achieved through purchasing eco-friendly products when possible. Such roofing products are outlined in the EPA manual for Green business known as EnergyStar. Possible upgrade considerations can include: Insulation: applied when modifying or constructing a new roof Radiant Barriers: Re-direct radiant energy from the sun saving energy all months of the year. Cool Roofing: Also re-direct sunlight away from the building, allowing savings in energy. Figure 3: Source Appliances and HVAC Many appliances sold today are increasingly efficient, but many companies still use old appliances which use much more energy. HVAC systems alone typically use about 40% of the electricity in commercial buildings making Heating and Air conditioning one of the largest consumers of energy. Your peak electricity use usually occurs during a time of day when rates are at their highest. If you are charged a demand rate on your electric bill, you pay a fee based on your peak amount of electricity consumption. Lowering your peak rate of usage can save big Figure 4: Source Load Reduction - Reducing your load (how much heating and cooling actually used) can prove to be one of the simplest steps when upgrading your HVAC system. Reducing your load allows systems to operate less frequently, therefore lowering costs. Strategies include setting milder temperatures, using more insulation or even energy-efficient windows. New Appliances Today s appliances can use 30-50% less energy than those made in the early 70 s (EnergyStar guide)although new appliances can be expensive, pay-off from energy cuts will follow shortly after. There are also many opportunities available to reduce the amount of energy used by these appliances: For refrigerators, water coolers, and freezers, keep an air-gap of at least 3 inches between the back of the appliance and the wall

5 Use dishwashers only when full Use timers on coffee-makers to ensure heating pads are not operating in off hours Check appliance doors for seals or cracks More info on how to purchase efficient appliances can be found on the EnergyStar appliances webpage. Employee Involvement Your employees are the backbone of your business and serve as the most important entity when upgrading your business making the support from these employees vital. The best way to increase employee support is to simply engage them in company-wide green initiatives such as recycling programs, waste collection events and sustainability education. Ayres Associates, a company specializing in sustainable design -used a modern method for employee involvement. By organizing a cross-company battery recycling challenge to collect old batteries from employees, employees were involved and actively participated. This event inspired employees and presented the idea of recycling as a fun thing to do. source Myth: My small business is not large enough to be concerned with Going Green. False. According to EnergyStar a small business start-up guide for going green created by the EPA, an estimated 30-50% of all commercial space in the US is owned by small businesses. This means that nearly billion total sq. feet are used just for small business space; nearly 451,388 football fields! With a space this large, it would be difficult to say that there is no impact to the environmental decisions made within your workplace. To catch the reader's attention, place an interesting sentence or quote from the story here. Figure 5: source For information regarding fuel efficient vehicles for your fleet, refer to this link to the fueleconomy.gov site allowing you to view up-to-date listing on efficient vehicles fitting your business needs. -Upgrading your business to becoming more sustainable doesn t need to be difficult. There are many opportunities to save energy just within your office space that are easily obtained and relatively cheap with quick pay-offs. The money saved by reducing energy consumption can be vast, and by following the practices above, your small business can become more efficient, eco-friendly and in the long run a more respectable company.

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