Published on April 28th, 2014 | by GBE FACTS0
Guest Post: The Trend of Sustainability & Businesses Creating an Impact
I would like to thank Kenny Myers for this guest contribution about the trend toward sustainability. – GM
According to some so-called experts, green building and sustainable technologies are nothing more than a fad and fossil fuels will undoubtedly make a return. However, it’s hard to believe that rhetoric when so many businesses and homeowners are taking part in creating an energy conscious connection. In April of 2014, Marriott International, Inc. announced that it has created its first LEED certified hotel in Kansas City, MO after so many others have developed like-minded practices.
New Internal Technologies – Due to the positives that many see in sustainability, other technologies are developed to maximize the effects. For instance: Hydroelectricity used at Global Relay’s new data center provides an emissions-free energy source while evaporative cooling is used instead of air conditioning units reducing the building’s energy consumption. This is only one example of the different technologies that are implemented by businesses in order to make each kilowatt-hour go further.
Energy Efficiency Everywhere – Today, there are thousands upon thousands of items on the market that are more energy efficient than its counterparts. Everything from compact fluorescent and LED bulbs to hand dryers in the bathroom are designed for improved energy usage during operation. For office spaces that deal with sweltering temperatures during the summer, standard air conditioning units can be replaced with solar units that can produce 16,000 BTUs while using almost 80-percent less power.
Sustainable Impact – Many businesses consume more power than most households per location. Manufacturing plants, data centers, grocery stores and more can use enough power in one location to power more than 30 homes. When a business goes through great measures to decrease its consumption from the grid, the local community benefits. Less power being taken from the grid means more power that is available for neighborhoods reducing the onset of brownouts. Theoretically, this could reduce the electric bills of those in the community as there is more available power. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen as often as it should.
Influencing Prices – Some businesses are in a position to reduce the price of certain goods or services by reducing the energy and water usage of a location. When deciding the cost to consumers of any given product or service, overhead is taken into consideration. The lower the overhead can remain, the less the company needs to charge consumers. Of course this savings will be dependent on the size of the location as well as the kind of consumables that are available. A small office space for a real estate agent powered by solar panels probably wouldn’t affect the cost of homes he or she sells.
In 2013, the top 25 organizations implementing solar arrays have added 445 megawatts of power which is enough to maintain 73,400 homes in the United States. That’s 25 locations across the states providing enough power for a medium sized city. Through the use of solar power and more efficient internal technologies, a more sustainable future is looking realistic. As each existing location turns to sustainable measures, the demand from the grid is greatly reduced. Find ways for your business to become more sustainable and save money on power while giving your organization a great marketing tool for the consumers.
Ken Myers is a father, husband, and entrepreneur. He has combined his passion for helping families find in-home care with his experience to build a business. Learn more about him by visiting @KenneyMyers on Twitter.« USGBC Launches Real-Time LEED Information Site What Are Health Product Declarations? »