Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Sustainability In The News

September 7, 2011

President Obama announces Better Buildings Initiative

WASHINGTON — President Obama recently outlined a plan to incentivize energy efficiency in commercial buildings across the country, according to a press release.

Image courtesy of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Dubbed the "Better Buildings Initiative," it aims to make commercial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade by encouraging private sector investments through a series of incentives, the release stated.

The incentives will apply to offices, stores, schools and other municipal facilities, universities, hospitals and commercial buildings, the release noted.

According to the release, President Obama made the announcement while visiting the Energy Innovation Hub created by the Department of Energy (DOE) at Pennsylvania State University to focus on energy efficient buildings.

In addition to cutting energy use 20 percent by 2020, the new initiatives also aim to moderate domestic energy bills by $40 billion per year, the release added.

Click here to read the complete release.

Washington a LEED-er in green building

WASHINGTON — Washington leads the nation when it comes to so-called green structures, according to the United Press International.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program and says the District of Columbia has more than 25 square feet of LEED-certified space per capita, the article noted.

The capital is followed by the State of Nevada, the council says, with 11 square feet per person: Other states in the top 10 are New Mexico, New Hampshire, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, Illinois, Arkansas, Colorado and Minnesota, the article stated.

According to the article, more than 40,000 projects currently participate in the commercial and institutional LEED ratings, making up more than 7.9 billion square feet.

Click here to read the complete article.

Sustainability webinar archive available

LATHAM, NY — Cleaning & Maintenance Management magazine''s sustainability webinar, which originally took place on Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST), is now available in an archived format.

This free seminar, the third installment of the 2011 Critical Issues Online Seminar Series, was sponsored by Diversey Inc. and Air Cycle Corporation.

The event lasted approximately an hour and there was a 15-minute question and answer session with David Holly of The Ashkin Group near the end of the webinar.

Attendees were provided with information from some of the leading authorities on green cleaning, environmentally preferable purchasing and sustainable business operation.

To retrieve the archive of the event, click here.

CSU study explores new ways to go green

FORT COLLINS, CO — A Colorado State University (CSU) study funded by the Governor''s Energy Office shows existing buildings on the CSU campus can be made more sustainable and eco-friendly with the right resources, according to a press release.

The Department of Facilities Management and the Institute for the Built Environment at Colorado State University received a joint $47,525 grant to assess why universities in Colorado are not pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (EB:OM) certification, the release stated.

The results show that the operations and maintenance staff are dedicated to sustainability and improving building efficiency, and as a result, current CSU practices align with many of the LEED for Existing Buildings requirements, the release noted.

"What is striking about this finding is that the hardest part — cultivating a mentality around sustainability — is already present," said April Wackerman, project manager for the Institute for the Built Environment.

"The challenge for CSU, and most universities, is to implement these policies and practices one building at a time," Wackerman added.

According to the release, the final report identifies the gaps and the opportunities of each of the buildings assessed: The largest issue identified in the report is meeting energy-performance requirements.

Click here to read the complete release.

EPA and Green Earth Technologies enter partnership agreement

WHITE PLAINS, NY — Green Earth Technologies Inc. (GET) has announced a partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency''s (EPA) Design for the Environment (DfE) Program, promoting environmental, technological and efficiency benefits of GET products, according to a press release.

Under the agreement, GET''s line of G-CLEAN ultimately biodegradable, highly effective, yet safer chemistry products have been recognized by DfE for its minimized risk to users and to the environment, the release noted.

"The EPA believes that cleaning product formulators can improve the environmental and health profile by using ingredients that are inherently less toxic, less bioaccumulative and that degrade to substances with similar desirable characteristics," said Jeffrey Loch, president and chief marketing officer (CMO) of Green Earth Technologies.

"The DfE program sets the bar very high with stringent guidelines and testing criteria before they recognize a product and we are proud to have achieved this prestigious designation, joining them in this admirable effort," Loch added.

Click here to read the complete release.