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SmartWatt

7 Step Action Plan for Establishing an Energy Management Program

Posted by Danielle Marquis

July 30, 2015 at 2:00 AM

 

More and more organizations are discovering that to be energy efficient, they need a comprehensive energy management program. That’s easier said that done, however, as it can be overwhelming to start from scratch or to try to codify ad hoc strategies already in place. Using ENERGY STAR®’s Guidelines for Energy Management as a template, we offer you a condensed guide to creating your own customized energy management program.

 

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Topics: Higher Education, CII Division, Healthcare, Food Processing, Refrigerated & Freezer Warehouses, Warehouse/Distribution, Industrial

From the Ground Up: Micro-Level Benefits of Energy Efficiency Projects

Posted by Danielle Marquis

July 16, 2015 at 2:00 AM

When looking at the multiple benefits of energy efficiency, it makes sense to divide the advantages into two realms—macro and micro. The macro benefits, which refer to environmental and societal benefits, are discussed here.

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Topics: CII Division, Food Processing, Refrigerated & Freezer Warehouses, Warehouse/Distribution, Industrial

3 Ways to Position Your Company on the Cutting Edge of CSR

Posted by Danielle Marquis

June 4, 2015 at 2:30 AM

Now that formal adoption of corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies has become widespread, the question becomes whether they are living up to their purpose and promise. Many companies are not fully cognizant of the strategic importance of CSR until they end up getting attention for looking socially irresponsible. The upside of PR snafus is that they often give companies the impetus they need to change their focus. According to an article in Global Finance, “some of the organizations most vilified over the years by human rights and environmental campaigners—companies such as Wal-Mart and Nike—have become enthusiastic cheerleaders for CSR.”

 

 

 

The role of CSR is changing and evolving quickly as sustainability issues are making it to the forefront of the public arena. If the first phase of CSR's development was based heavily on philanthropy and public relations, that is now giving ways to a more interactive, stakeholder-driven model. CSR is becoming an intrinsic part of a company’s core business and values.

 

Sustainability Initiatives

 

Sustainability initiatives can help companies break into new markets. The problem of how to reduce one’s footprint and do less environmental harm can actually become part of the solution. The challenge of sustainability often serves as a catalyst for companies to develop innovative solutions and create significant new markets. For example, if a company wants to identify its core initiative as future protection of forests, it requires not only generous financing, but also a new market in terms of monitoring, assurance, project management, adaptation and communications.

 

Alignment

 

The new paradigm for the generation of CSR programs is to make sure one’s charitable efforts and business goals are in alignment. The serendipitous benefit is that both the businesses and the charities stand to gain from this approach. When companies choose issues that they feel passionate about and can authentically get behind, they get more bang for their buck. Plus they tend to be more involved and engaged for the long term.

 

Metrics and Reporting

 

As the practice of CSR becomes more structured, the next emerging challenge is the lack of standards against which companies’ performance can be measured. Although companies at the cutting edge of CSR create ambitious targets and try to find the resources necessary to reach them, some critics are concerned that because the targets are self-imposed they are often arbitrary and difficult to compare from one company to another. The goal is to develop universal citizenship standards, which will help investors, customers, regulators and the companies themselves assess their performance on an absolute and a relative level.

 

As CSR gets interwoven into the fabric of a company’s core mission, the people on the front lines are recognizing the need for better metrics to measure impact. It’s exciting to watch the CSR discussion move from the periphery to the center of the public’s attention. To keep it front and center, corporate citizenship has to become less part of a vision statement and more part of the nuts and bolts of the business plan.

 

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Topics: Higher Education, Sustainability Branding, CII Division, Healthcare, Food Processing, Warehouse/Distribution, Industrial

How to Build an Effective Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy

Posted by Danielle Marquis

May 28, 2015 at 2:30 AM

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) challenges the purely capitalist based approach to business, which is to maximize profits while minimizing expenses. However, as the importance of CSR grows, an emerging definition of business challenges the purely profit-based model. CSR defines the role of business as one that creates value for its shareholders, but in such a way that it also creates value for society, manifesting itself as a win-win proposition.

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Topics: Higher Education, Sustainability Branding, CII Division, Healthcare, Food Processing, Refrigerated & Freezer Warehouses, Warehouse/Distribution, Industrial

5 Energy Efficiency Habits Successful Businesses Know About

Posted by Danielle Marquis

May 19, 2015 at 2:30 AM

The Better Buildings Program, a cornerstone of the President's Climate Action Plan, has become a dynamic vehicle for consolidating energy efficiency best practices across a range of organizations. Better Buildings Challenge Partners are committed to improving the energy efficiency of their buildings and facilities. Each partner makes the commitment to support the Administration’s goal of doubling American energy productivity by 2030, and the program motivates corporate and public sector leaders across the country to save energy through technical assistance and investments. More than 250 organizations are partnering with the Department of Energy to achieve 20 percent portfolio-wide energy savings and share successful strategies that maximize efficiency over the next decade.

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Topics: CII Division, Food Processing, Warehouse/Distribution, Industrial

Fluorescent to LED High Bay - up to 80% utility incentive! (IA)

Posted by Danielle Marquis

May 18, 2015 at 10:06 AM

MidAmerican Energy customers in Iowa can receive utility rebates of up to 80% for fluorescent to LED high bay lighting replacement projects under the utility's non-residential custom energy efficiency program.This is a great opportunity for cold storage, warehousefood processing, plastics and other manufacturing facilities to upgrade to LEDs, even if your facility already has T-8 or T-5 fluorescent high bay lighting.

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Topics: CII Division, Food Processing, Refrigerated & Freezer Warehouses, Warehouse/Distribution, Utility Rebate Updates, Industrial

Does Your Company Seem Socially Irresponsible?

Posted by Danielle Marquis

May 12, 2015 at 2:30 AM

In the modern business world, it’s not enough to be effective and successful—you also need to be a good citizen. And what’s more, you need to be seen as a good citizen, but without making it seem like your attempts at being social responsible are just for show. While many companies are beginning to implement corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs, not all of them are considering how to pull them off with true integrity.

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Topics: Sustainability Branding, CII Division, Food Processing, Refrigerated & Freezer Warehouses, Warehouse/Distribution, Industrial

Why Do Some Companies Resist Energy Improvement Opportunities?

Posted by Danielle Marquis

May 7, 2015 at 2:00 AM

Most companies put a lot of emphasis on managing operations, finances and other traditional industry functions. But when it comes to energy management—not so much. That’s changing, and energy management is on a rising tide of acceptance, if not commitment. Companies are generally more receptive to energy improvements than they were 15 to 20 years ago. Still, several barriers get in the way of fully embracing energy improvements, especially when it comes to small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Although multifold and complex, the list below enumerates a few of the bigger obstacles in some depth.

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Topics: Higher Education, Utility Programs Division, CII Division, Healthcare, Food Processing, Refrigerated & Freezer Warehouses, Warehouse/Distribution, Frequently Asked Questions, Industrial

SCE Retrocommissioning Program - Implementation & Kicker Incentives!

Posted by Danielle Marquis

May 2, 2015 at 6:41 AM

Retrocomissioning, or RCx, is a process of improving the building energy efficiency and occupant comfort by focusing on low to no cost opportunities that addresses common but subtle operational problems. Under their RCx program, Southern California Edison (SCE) offers two types of incentives to help commercial customers implement RCx measures in a more cost effective way:

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Topics: Higher Education, CII Division, Healthcare, Food Processing, Refrigerated & Freezer Warehouses, Warehouse/Distribution, Utility Rebate Updates, Utility Programs Division, Industrial

Salt River Project (AZ) Retrocommissioning Program - 100% Incentive

Posted by Danielle Marquis

May 1, 2015 at 6:40 AM

Retrocomissioning, or RCx, is a process of improving the building energy efficiency and occupant comfort by focusing on low to no cost opportunities that address common but subtle operational problems. Salt River Project's (SRP’s) Business Solutions Retrocommissioning Program is a “service-rebate” program designed to help commercial and industrial customers plan and implement RCx projects in a cost effective way. SRP covers the 100% cost for a Qualified Service Provider (QSP) to investigate and identify savings opportunities.

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Topics: Higher Education, CII Division, Healthcare, Food Processing, Refrigerated & Freezer Warehouses, Warehouse/Distribution, Utility Rebate Updates, Utility Programs Division, Industrial

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