This post highlights how facilities management is an important, if often unsung part of so many businesses… any businesses with facilities, in fact. Sustainable facilities management is an area that can have a profound and near term impact on overall business sustainability. Very large potential energy savings and hence carbon footprint reduction could be realized in facilities management areas such as HVAC or lighting for example; the embodied energy of facilities — their materials and recurring requirements; how runoff is handled and so forth all are areas in which sustainable facilities management can really impact the triple bottom line in a positive way.
Beginning February 1, 2010, an estimated 82,000 construction sites must comply with the EPA’s new regulation governing construction site discharge. The new regulation outlines stricter measures to reduce water pollution and the EPA expects compliance with the rule to reduce the amount of sediment and other pollutants discharged from construction sites by 4 billion pounds per year.
A new report entitled Global Oil & Gas – The Adaptation Challenge has identified top five impacts of climate change to the oil and gas industry. While three quarters of the world’s oil and gas companies surveyed believe climate change could impact their business, only 19 percent are taking action as noted in this report.
Green roofs, green walls, green parking lots, shade trees, the greening of urban spaces in general, the restoration of urban waterways, wetlands and the re-greening of brownfield areas; can all be thought of as different techniques to nurture a green living skin over regions of urban development. While there are many important differences between each of these separate techniques as well as their underlying technologies they all share a common overarching goal of bringing an analog of the natural living green skin that characterizes the natural landscape back into our urban areas. They all promote the restoration and re-integration of these heavily populated areas back into the surrounding natural environment.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) recently announced their list of the greenest cities in the United States and have released their findings on a new web site, called Smarter Cities. The survey includes all cities in the United States with populations larger than 50,000. Smarter Cities is considered to be one of the nation’s most comprehensive and robust database of U.S. urban progress toward sustainability. Seattle ranked number one and San Francisco ranked number 2 among the 67 large cities that were evaluated. Madison, Wisconsin placed firstand Santa Rosa, California came in second among the 176 medium cities that were surveyed. Among the 402 cities that were evaluated, Bellingham, Washington came in first place and Mountain View, California came in second.
This, the fourth article in our series on green (sustainable) buildings focuses on the twin subjects of energy efficiency and water efficiency two fundamental areas of importance for green buildings. These are important not only because they reduce usage of and promote reuse of these precious resources, but because in so doing to minimize the building environmental impact. A well designed green building, can not only reduce its own environmental impact, but can improve a surrounding environment.