Sustainability In The News
ENERGY STAR leaders quadruple energy savings
WASHINGTON — In 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency''s (EPA) ENERGY STAR Leaders prevented the equivalent of more than 220,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere and saved more than $48 million across their commercial building portfolios, according to a press release.
The energy and money savings realized in 2009 represent a four-fold increase over the previous year — the single greatest year of savings from ENERGY STAR Leaders, the release stated.
ENERGY STAR Leaders must meet one of two energy efficiency improvement milestones: A 10 percent energy reduction across the entire building portfolio or perform in the top 25 percent of similar buildings nationwide, the release noted.
According to the release, the list of 2009 ENERGY STAR Leaders is dominated by 54 school districts, many of which are located in the nation''s Midwest region.
ENERGY STAR Leaders represent more than 5,600 buildings covering nearly 390 million square feet across 32 states and the District of Columbia, the release added.
For a complete list of the 2009 ENERGY STAR Leaders, click here.
The 2010 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations list released
The top rank overall went to the General Electric Company, in part for their effort in cutting total carbon emissions from 10.8 million tons to 6.5 million tons, the release stated.
Among the 24 countries where Global 100 companies are headquartered, the United Kingdom led with 21 corporations, followed by the United States with 12, Canada and Australia both with nine, Switzerland with six, France and Japan with five, Germany with four and Brazil, Denmark, Finland and Sweden with three each, the release noted.
According to the release, half of the companies that made the 2009 Global 100 list were also present in this year''s list.
Matthew Kiernan, chief executive of Inflection Point Capital Management, said: "Given the range and quality of inputs in creating the Global 100, we would expect the Global 100 to become over time the ''international gold standard'' for sustainability indexes. We anticipate that demand from leading institutional investors will be strong."
To view the complete 2010 Global 100 list, click here.
USGBC launches Green Campus Campaign
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently launched the Green Campus Campaign in an effort to promote a more complete sustainability model on college campuses, according to the Mother Nature Network.
The campaign will educate college administrators about the true costs and savings of greening their buildings and help campuses meet goals regarding an increased focus on sustainability, the story stated.
Through the campaign, the USGBC is encouraging administrators to use Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards to develop a sustainable campus and to provide resources on LEED certification information and the paid-from-savings program, the story noted.
The Green Campus Campaign encourages students interested in sustainability to start a USGBC student group at their college to better communicate green standards to school administrators, the story added.
EPA recognizes sustainable hospitals with Trailblazer Award
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently recognized several hospitals for their environmental leadership efforts and their commitment to pollution prevention, according to a press release.
According to the release, the Trailblazer Award recognizes hospitals across the EPA''s region 3 — Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington — that have stepped up their sustainable practices.
The six Trailblazer Award winners from the state of Maryland are: the Atlantic General Hospital; the Franklin Square Hospital Center; LifeBridge Health; the Montgomery General Hospital; the University of Maryland Medical Center; and the Veterans Affairs Maryland Health Care System, the release stated.
Virginia Thompson, sustainable health care sector manager for the mid-Atlantic region of the EPA, said: "These hospitals are successfully demonstrating leadership and innovation in reducing their environmental footprint. They have undertaken a challenging task and have produced measurable results in many cases, demonstrating what can be accomplished when hospitals take advantage both of senior executive support and grounds-up initiative from across the hospitals'' many departments."
Nominations were reviewed by a panel of judges from the EPA and other organizations involved in working to move health care toward sustainable operations; all award decisions were made based solely on the merits of the information provided in the award nomination, the release noted.
College offers sustainability management certificate program
The University of Colorado''s continuing education department now offers courses like "Taking the Right Risks for Sustainability" and "Going Green: Becoming a Sustainability Coordinator," the story stated.
Sustainability Program Director Geoffrey Rubinstein said: "It will be valuable for individuals who want to focus on sustainability in their careers, but also for organizations that recognize the importance of sustainability to the health of the planet and their organizations'' bottom lines.
In addition to 100 hours of class time, students earning the sustainability management certificate will spend 20 hours working one-on-one with an instructor to implement sustainability plans at their organizations, the story noted.
There are now about 200 sustainability majors, minors and certificate programs offered across the United States, roughly half of which emerged in the past year, the story added.