June 25, 2012
Vol. 3, No. 21
Eco-Tip™ welcomes your comments and suggestions. Our goal is to openly discuss environmental issues, to suggest actions that will make our environment safer, and to demonstrate how seemingly unimportant actions can have an immense impact.
(Note: All the blue copy in the text of this Eco-Tip™ is a hyperlink to either a previous tip or the original source material cited/used in compiling an Eco-Tip™.)
Fact: As mentioned two weeks ago when talking about short term household expenses that can lead to long term savings,”preventive sustainability” can improve your business bottom line.
Discussion: Walmart. Sustainability probably isn’t the first word that comes to mind when you think of the retailing giant.
At a 2010 Pew Center conference on energy efficiency, I heard Jim Stanway, Walmart’s Senior Director of Global Supplier Initiatives speak on the company’s commitment to sustainability — and how this commitment leads to literally billions of dollars in savings to his company.
From lower electric and heating/cooling costs — to revenue streams from recycling — to partnering with both Alcoa Aluminum and Coca Cola to make thinner, lighter weight aluminum cans that in turn save on transportation costs.
And what started out as a way to cut costs and improve their bottom line has developed into a corporate culture of greater RoS (return on sustainability) — both within Walmart and with its suppliers as well.
Your company may not save the billions Walmart has, but sustainable investment can improve your bottom line.
Suggestions: “EST/CLT” — expensive in the short-term; cheaper in the long-term . Note: some of these — like the ones to improve the gas mileage for company cars — will be the same for both work and home — while others like Bloom Energy’s Energy Saver or the SBES program are applicable only to businesses.
Either way, this list can lead to some serious “green” savings in the long run — both for your company and our Planet.
- MPG - Just as maintenance both improves mileage and extends the life of your car at home — the same goes for company vehicles
- replace dirty air filters (increases mileage by up to 14%)
- replace dirty spark plugs (increases mileage by two miles per gallon)
- tune up car (increase mileage by 4% and prolong car life)
- check thermostat and sensors (replacing a bad oxygen sensor can increase mileage by 40%)
- this one is really a “cheap and easy” tip — replace loose gas caps. It’s estimated that nation-wide loose caps waste up to 147 million gallons of gas a year
- align tires to decrease “roll resistance” and increase both mileage and tire life
- Lighting –
- use CFL bulbs — they use one-fourth the energy and can last up to five times longer than regular incandescents.
- use R-25 energy efficient florescent tubes
- “Insulate” dock entrances by hanging strips of heavy plastic sheeting to keep in heating in winter and air conditioning in summer
EST/CLT — “two points” for their higher impact on our environment
- Invest in a high efficiency “baler” for for paper and cardboard recycling
- Have a waste management consulting company assess waste handling and recycling programs at your company
EST/CLT — “three points” for their much higher impact on our environment
- Buy LED lights — though much more expensive than conventional lighting, they use a fraction of the energy and last for up to thirty years
- Have an energy audit performed at your company and then make the changes suggested.* (In Chicago area there is a program for business only – SBES — that not only pays for the audit itself , and also pays up to 50% of the capital investment required.)
- If you own the property site, go “off grid” by any of the following:
- Install solar panels
- Install wind generators
- Use fuel cell technology such as Bloom Energy’s Energy Saver
- Build “green” — from thermal windows, to high-efficiency ventilation systems, to green roofs (partial or full). Now only will they save energy dollars — they can improve worker health and lead to greater man-hour production rates
* The SBES program here in the Chicago area is paid for in part by a special charge — EEP (energy efficiency program) –that is added to all business accounts. If your business is in the Chicago area, take advantage of this program that you are already paying for.
If you live outside the Chicago area, check to see if the utilities in your area have a similar program that you can take advantage of also.
Stop. Think. Choose…. think long term — both for your company’s bottom line and for our Planet
Reduce. Re-use. Recycle.
Next Week – Pricey green at the office
All the best,
IEMA Certified Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility Practitioner
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