Environmental Efficiency – Going Green for Your Business

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Environmentalism, once considered a trend or a cult and derided by many as “tree hugging”, has become part of corporate culture evidenced by sustainability missions identified by leading corporations. Sustainability is a broader concept but the principle is simple: Everything we need to survive depends, directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates the conditions under which humans and nature can co-exist in productive harmony. This assures that future generations will have the water, minerals and resources to protect their health and general well-being.

Incorporating sustainability practices and environmentally-friendly products into our homes and businesses is an important goal for everyone.  Though there is plenty of education available for anyone who looks for it, many people are still unsure of how to best incorporate ‘green’ products, services and practices into their lives.  We’ve asked a few experts in the sustainability business to make a few suggestions.

The Importance of ‘Going Green’

“The benefits of being environmentally conscious are basically two-fold,” explains Jason Lasky with Sadoff Iron & Metal Company.  “Concern for our environment is an ethical as well as an economic issue.  Ethically we all need to be aware of the long term impact that we have in our communities and on our planet. It is really the ‘how will we leave this place for our children’ argument.  It is our responsibility to have care and concern for our environment and to not adopt the attitude that future generations will find ways to deal with the problems that we will be leaving behind today.  Economically speaking, there are substantial short and long term benefits to being environmentally conscious.”

“I feel it is important that everyone do what we can do reduce our carbon footprints,” comments Doug Kreifels with Action Plumbing and Heating. “Recycling should be high priority for businesses. It used to drive me crazy that we were throwing out so much cardboard from material we received, but for a long time there wasn’t much available for smaller businesses like ours. Now we have someone come and pick up our cardboard and paper waste. That is something almost every business could take advantage of. We recycle the furnaces, air conditioners and water heaters that we replace also.”

Ways You Can ‘Go Green’ in Your Business

Install Window Films

“In the morning, one side of your building is too hot and other side is too cold,” explains Keith May with The Tint Shop.  “In the afternoon, it’s just the opposite.  With 3M Films, The Tint Shop can help your building be just right all day.  To help lower energy costs, 3M Scotchtint Films reject up to 79% of the solar heat that may otherwise come through a window.  3M Scotchtint Window Films send the sun’s heat away from your building, saving you up to one ton of air conditioning for every 100 square feet of glass exposed to the sun.  In turn, that is less energy being used by your building’s heating and air system to even out ‘hot and cold spots’, which is part of the reason 3M Scotchtint Films were awarded the Energy Star rating on most of their window films.  Not only that, but because 3M Films block 99% of Ultraviolet rays coming through the glass, they were also recognized with a Seal of Recommendation by The Skin Cancer Society as an effective ultraviolet protectant to reduce the risk of skin cancer.”

Recycling

“One great way to participate in environmental awareness and benefits is through recycling of our waste materials,” says Jason Lasky with Sadoff Iron & Metal Company.  “Through recycling, both consumers and businesses can recoup a portion of the value of the materials they use.  At a larger scale, the amount of raw or virgin materials that are used can be substantially reduced through efforts in recycling.  This can have a large impact in the preservation of our finite resources, land, clean water, and energy, among others.”

“For businesses we provide container services, both in-plant and outside for the capture and recycling of their scrap metal materials.  This provides businesses the value to recapture a portion of their raw materials costs.  We not only reduce the impact of waste from a manufacturing operation we provide the environmentally friendly resources to handle and process those materials, creating economic value as well as the reducing the environmental impact.  This is a significant advantage for not only the businesses but the community as a whole.”

Sadoff Iron & Metal Company has been recycling since 1947.  We have been recycling in Nebraska since 1999 and are conveniently located in the air park.  We provide resources and services for both business and consumer recycling.  Our friendly staff is available to help you maximize your return as well as provide information on the materials that we can and cannot accept.  Our business model of paying our customers for the materials they bring in allows us to be an easy option for fundraising as well as providing a great platform for education.  Sadoff Iron & Metal Company also works directly with the local police in our regions to help identify and put and end to costly scrap theft.  We pride ourselves on being a solution based company so if there are recycling needs that we do not directly handle we attempt to assist our customers the best we can to find recycling solutions that fit their needs.”

Optimizing Energy Usage

Optimizing energy usage is a task that Engineered Controls can help business owners achieve.  ““With the increase in global demand for fossil fuel it is essential that businesses do everything they can to optimize the energy they consume, develop long term strategies for developing alternative forms of energy and educate their employees to the importance of being energy accountable people.  Companies like Engineered Controls have a big party to play in getting new and existing building owners in the green building movement,” says Pat Killeen with Engineered Controls.  “Building control technologies play a big role in assisting buildings in meeting the new (and expanding) energy requirements.  Engineered Controls can assist in total building control with occupancy sensors to control lighting, optimize HVAC system performance, monitor and control energy usage, monitor and control carbon dioxide or CO2 by way of introduction of fresh air into homes and buildings, monitor and control potable water use in a facility and many other ways to help provide a healthier and more energy efficient environment for occupants.”

“We are partnering with Honeywell, a major energy products company, that is spending sizable research and development funds to develop new products that will improve our lives and reduce energy,” continues Pat Killeen.  “Engineered Controls also employs specialists in Energy and Environmental Optimization programs that assist building owners to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings through implementing different Energy Conservation Measures (ECM’s) ranging from lighting control and retrofits to equipment optimization programs to equipment replacement.  These ECMs typically offer a building owner a payback (ROI) ranging from six months to six years.”

Upgrading Heating and Air Conditioning Equipment

Doug Kreifels with Action Plumbing and Heating says, “We offer a wide variety of high efficiency heating and air conditioning products to lower utility costs, including geothermal heat pumps that utilize the earth to heat and cool homes and businesses as well as some plumbing products that can reduce water usage. We are going to continue to see the government mandate high efficiency equipment, so we know it’s not going away. I think everyone should install the most efficient equipment that they can afford. It is an investment that will pay back as utility rates continue to climb.  I would encourage all businesses to look at what they are throwing away and to think about how that is effecting our environment. We can’t continue to be a throw away society and expect not to pay some serious consequences down the road. I would like to see recycling mandatory for everyone.”

“Green practices are a belief and a philosophy,” concludes Jason Lasky with Sadoff Iron & Metal Company. “While most activities that can be labeled ‘green’ do provide an immediate economic benefit, some also can come at an immediate cost with a delayed benefit or payback.  We all benefit from those that are environmentally conscious and participate in helping to ensure our communities and planet are healthy places to be.  We run our business being consciously aware that we have choices every day, sometimes it is easy to make the right choices and sometimes it is more difficult, however right choices are ones that we can feel good about, knowing that what we are doing and the philosophy we operate by is making a difference no matter how small.”