October 2 is Energy Efficiency Day! E & E is proud to be an official supporter of this national day this year. Energy Efficiency Day is a collaborative effort of numerous regional and national organizations that promote energy efficiency, including the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Natural Resources Defense Council. And this year, more than 500 government agencies, companies, and other organizations are official supporters.
We’ve taken the #EEDay2019 pledge to promote the message of “Save money. Cut carbon. Breathe easier.” — but taking sustainable action happens more than once a year for us.
Company-wide sustainability initiatives have been at the core of our business since our founding in 1970. Today, we have extensive eco-friendly practices in place at many of our regional offices, including our 64,000 square foot headquarters in Lancaster, N.Y.
E & E hQ’s SUSTAINABLE features:
- Interface™ reusable carpet tiles, which is 100% recyclable and is rated “Green Label Plus” for low emissions
- Solar panels on the roof
- Extensive indoor plants to increase indoor air quality, which are maintained by an in-house landscape ecologist
- Green cleaning practices, including the use of biodegradable trash bags
- Natural air cooling in our atrium on temperate days via convective ventilation
- Dual-flush handles on all toilets, which use only 1.1 – 1.6 gallons per flush
Our HQ building is located on a wildlife reserve, with many bird and animal species calling the 100+ acres of land surrounding it home. The property was designated as a Wildlife Protection Area in 1988, and the operation of our building imposes minimal negative impact on the surrounding environment. It’s also surrounded by two miles of private walking trails for employees and members of the community to enjoy.
In 2015, our HQ building received the EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification. The ENERGY STAR score is an assessment of a building’s energy efficiency, as compared with similar buildings across the U.S., adjusting for climate and business activity. Buildings that earn a 75 or higher on the scale of 1‐100 are performing in the top 25% nationwide. Our building has also been LEED-certified in the past, and at one point was the oldest existing LEED Platinum building. We continue to use the EPA’ s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to track energy and water use and metrics.
other sustainable efforts At E & E:
Our Portland, OR office has been awarded a gold or silver-level certification in the City of Portland’s Sustainability at Work Program numerous times in recent years.
We offer incentives to employees who commute via green alternatives, with approximately a quarter of our workers commuting by public transportation, bike or carpool.
green employee travel
Since many of our employees must travel to project locations for client projects, in recent years, we have prioritized placing our staff in hotels that are involved in environmentally conscious programs. Our HQ also has a hybrid-electric automobile available for employee use, encouraging ride-sharing to reduce miles traveled per person.
Environmentally-friendly office products
We have used recycled paper at our HQ since 1971. No virgin paper is purchased, and all 8.5 x 11 copy paper is FSC-certified. We strive to reduce paper usage by providing double-sided printers and scanners in all of our offices. Additionally, we recycle or donate all computer equipment.
Many of our employees have a high level of commitment to reducing the carbon footprint of their local communities. In recent years, employees from our Chicago office have volunteered to restore areas of Lincoln Park, and Portland employees have participated in river cleanups and volunteer field observations for the local Audubon society.
Last year, we continued our work with the Adopt‐a‐Highway program, and remain committed to maintaining 3.8 miles of road where our HQ is located. In June 2018, 30 HQ employee volunteers collected more than 150 pounds of trash in Lancaster, N.Y.
the importance of energy efficiency
E & E believes that practicing energy efficiency shouldn’t be limited to just one day a year. Besides being good for our planet, energy efficiency can help to reduce air and water pollution caused by certain types of energy generation and can also help relieve stress on power grids, according to the NRDC.
Here are some simple ways you can reduce energy usage in your home or office:
- Check major appliances regularly for age and condition, and replace when needed.
- Only run dishwashers and washer/dryers when they are full.
- Set back the thermostat at night and when you’re away from home. According to the ACEEE, for each degree of setback, you’ll save 1-2% on your heating and cooling bills.
- Maintain a clean filter for your air conditioner.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs, which use a fraction of the energy.
- Use a power strip for your home electronics (like televisions and computers) and flip it off when not in use.
Be sure to check out ACEEE’s SmarterHouse website for more tips on how to make your space energy efficient. And if you’re interested in joining an #EEDay2019 event in your city, click here for a list of planned events.