Going Green in Cincinnati - One Business at a Time
Sunday, December 14, 2014
In October the Greater Cincinnati Business Council (GCBC) released an Energy Benchmarking Toolkit designed to help small and medium-sized businesses reduce energy expenses and improve environmental performance at their facilities.
Businesses are invited to use the toolkit to gain an understanding of how benchmarking works and as an introduction to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager. The Portfolio Manager is a free, web-based tool that tracks and assesses the energy and water consumption of any facility.
“Benchmarking a building’s energy performance is the first step toward improving its energy efficiency,” said Scott Hassell, Sustainability Program Manager, Fifth Third Bank, an early adopter of the program.
Once the energy performance of a building is identified, an organization can initiate major or minor changes, involve staff in planning a strategy to better utilize high-performing buildings and to create a plan to address under-performing buildings.
In addition, the toolkit provides information about local, state and federal incentives and rebates that offset costs of implanting an energy efficiency project.
One component of the toolkit is assistance in qualifying for ENERGY STAR certification. Cincinnati ranked 13th in the country for its number of ENERGY-STAR certified buildings in 2012.
Some of the powerful but extremely simple ideas in the toolkit include: installing a programmable thermostat, replacing incandescent lights with CFLs and LEDs, and encouraging employees to turn off computers, printers and copiers at the end of the day.
Another change companies can make almost instantly is to form a green team. A green team can take the lead in establishing new protocols for the workplace, such as encouraging administration to embrace using renewable or recycled office supplies, in addition to pursuing larger goals such as building-wide energy efficiency.
Mailender supplies hundreds of companies with eco-friendly products to help their businesses run smoothly and stay green. Have your company’s green team contact us to discuss which products we stock are made with recycled or biodegradable content, how to make more environmental choices in ordering supplies and how to reduce overall supply costs in the process.