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Green Tips from Sustainability Pros

April 3, 2013 | 0 comments

Some of the country’s biggest organizations are implementing innovative green strategies to save energy, water, and money. Take some green advice from five companies that have taken their buildings’ sustainability goals to the next level.

Bring Interns on Board

Verizon took advantage of EDF Climate Corps’ sustainability training program.  Each year, EDF trains close to 100 graduate students on energy efficiency, and then places them in summer internships at U.S. organizations. The students help calculate financial and environmental benefits of possible energy-saving investments. The interns also help establish energy management strategies, set savings goals, and research funding opportunities. In 2012, Verizon’s summer intern recommended that the company investigate variable frequency drives, LEDs, data center hot aisle/cold aisle containment, and occupancy sensors in parking garages and stairwells. These projects could save the facility up to $2 million in net operating costs, as well as up to 4 million kWh annually.

Reduce Water Use & Temperature

At a Hilton Hotel in San Francisco, water heating cost savings are achieved through a domestic hot water controller that cools water to 80 degrees F. between midnight and 5am, when guests are least likely to shower. The system can be overridden at any time if necessary. To reduce water spending and use at the Hilton Headquarters in McLean, VA, a 10,000-gallon cistern gathers rainwater and captures air-conditioner condensate for reuse.

Save Energy with VAVs & LEDs

As part of its building modernization projects, Lockheed Martin has made use of on-demand variable air volume technology, which could potentially save the company millions of dollars in annual energy costs by controlling the flow of air vs. the temperature. A Lockheed Martin facility in Orlando, FL, installed a solar LED outdoor lighting system; the system is as much as 40% less expensive to run than conventional electrical lighting.

Cut HVAC Load with Window Film

In Winston-Salem, the Marriott was having problems controlling sunlight streaming in through the windows. Even operating at full capacity, the HVAC system could sometimes only cool the sunniest rooms down to 78 degrees F. The Marriott installed window film to control solar heat gain, and its same mechanical systems can now cool those rooms down to 72 degrees F. Annual heating and cooling costs are expected to drop by up to 5% after window film installation.

Phase Out Old Lighting

FedEx Freight developed a custom-facility lighting solution to reduce facility energy use by up to 93%. As part of this project, 11,000 traditional bulbs were replaced with CFLs as part of ENERGY STAR’s Change a Light program. The company has also installed LED lighting systems to reduce lighting energy use.

Do green success stories from large organizations make you more likely to invest in these solutions at your own organization?

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