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June 2011
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When Sustainability is Important
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More and more North American companies are following a trend that was established in Europe several years ago. Today, most, if not all, Fortune 500 companies have Sustainability Initiatives in place which go far beyond just a few paragraphs in the company annual report. And corporate sustainability directors are actively looking for ways to meet their company's goals and objectives.  

Carl Mitchell, Vice-President Sales


When Sustainability is Important


Think "Dynamic" when you hear "Sustainability"


reduce footprint


Since the 1980's, the most widely quoted definition of sustainability, is "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." 

We frequently hear about sustainability in terms of reducing a carbon footprint.  A carbon footprint is the total set of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by an organization, event, product or person.   


Greenhouse gases can be emitted through transport, land clearance, and the production and consumption of food, fuels, manufactured goods, materials, wood, roads, buildings, and services.  For simplicity of reporting, it is often expressed in terms of the amount of carbon dioxide, or CO2, emitted.

It is a widely accepted view that the most effective way to decrease a carbon footprint is to either decrease the amount of energy needed, or to decrease one's dependence on carbon emitting fuels.


The Europeans have been on the forefront of sustainability.  They were the first to adopt a system for carbon credits back in 2005.  Carbon credits refer to the European Union Emissions Trading System, the largest multi-national emissions trading scheme in the world and representing a major pillar of EU climate policy. The EU ETS currently covers more than 10,000 installations with a net heat excess of 20 MW in the energy and industrial sectors which are collectively responsible for close to half of the EU's emissions of CO2 and 40% of its total greenhouse gas emissions.  Under the EU ETS, operators buy carbon credits.  If an operator performs well at reducing its carbon emissions then it has the opportunity to sell its credits and make a profit.  The system allows exchanges without a great deal of government intervention.




Corporate Sustainability


So who is it, at corporations that find sustainability important?  Usually, it is the board of directors.  And the reason is, for publicly traded companies, that sustainability creates long-term shareholder value by embracing opportunities and managing risks derived from economic, environmental and social developments, the three pillars of sustainability.  Because this "long view" strategy is embraced in the boardrooms at the top, you can rest assured that it being implemented at the bottom.

Sustainability is even measured on Wall Street.  
Sustainability performance is an investable concept.  Leading sustainability companies are also recognized as the same companies displaying high levels of competence in many other areas as well.



Amid recent job woes, at least one position seems to be gaining currency: the chief sustainability officer (CSO).  Last month, Coca Cola, the multinational beverage giant, announced that it was appointing its first-ever chief sustainability officer as part of an effort to reduce carbon emissions and save energy.  A number of other companies like UPS, SAP, Sun Microsystems, Google, Georgia Pacific, Duke Energy, and DuPont, already have chief sustainability officers which report directly to the chief executive.  Other companies, like Nestle, Dell, Unico, and Nike have appointed sustainability directors which are also high level positions reporting to the top. These positions are more than just someone serving a role within an organization.  These people are empowered to lead initiatives across other business lines. 


Often, streamlining the energy performance benchmarking process is one of the first hurdles tackled by new sustainability departments.  Property managers and engineers become particularly critical to these efforts.  Engineers become responsible for identifying all the things that can be done to buildings to improve energy efficiency. Sustainability departments also provide a way for property managers and engineers to communicate with each other, sharing goals, experiences, lessons learned, and information about new concepts and technologies. For example, Seattle-based real estate investment and operating company Unico Properties LLC, holds weekly LEED meetings, weekly engineering meetings, quarterly chief engineer meetings in which to review sustainability ideas and goals. 


Examples of Specific Sustainability Goals


Coca Cola Enterprises has published specific goals of reducing carbon emissions from manufacturing to 5% below 2004 levels by 2015, and ultimately recycling the equivalent of 100% of its packaging. DuPont plans to reduce CO2 emissions at least 15% by 2015 from a base year of 2004.  UPS plans to reduce carbon emissions in more than just its airline and vast truck fleet.  For example, in 2009, UPS's multi-year lighting upgrade program replaced or upgraded 22,683 fixtures. The total since 2007 is more than 69,000 fixtures upgraded, with an estimated annual energy savings of 25 million kilowatt hours.


Other leading-edge companies are trying to meet the BOMA 7-Point Challenge, a challenge that BOMA International sent out to the commercial real estate industry several years ago.  These goals are representative of what other corporations are doing to meet sustainability objectives: 


  1. Continue to work towards a goal to decrease energy consumption by 30 percent across company portfolios by 2012 - as measured against an "average building" measuring a 50 on the ENERGY STARŪ benchmarking tool in 2007.
  2. At least once a year, benchmark energy performance and water usage through EPA's ENERGY STAR benchmarking tool;
  3. Provide education to managers, engineers, and others involved in building operations, to ensure that equipment is properly maintained and utilized;
  4. Perform an energy audit and/or retro-commissioning of buildings, and implement low-risk, low-cost and cost effective strategies to improve energy efficiency with high returns;
  5. Extend equipment life by improving the operations and maintenance of building systems and ensure equipment is operating as designed;
  6. Through leadership, positively impact your community and planet by helping to reduce your industry's role in global warming; and
  7. Position yourself and the industry as leaders and solution providers to owners and tenants seeking environmental and operational excellence. 

Some companies see opportunity from these challenges and are pursuing bold projects that take sustainability to an even higher level -- projects like Frito-Lay's planned zero emissions potato chip plant in Arizona; Interface's closed-loop systems for recycling carpets; Zip Car's pay-by-the-hour model for car driving; and Intel making environmental metrics a component of every employee's compensation.



sustainbility 2



What this Means


Companies with CSOs and/or Sustainability Directors are actively looking for solutions exactly like those available from Dynamic Air Quality Solutions.  They have goals and objectives regarding lowering energy consumption.  They may not be aware of the fact that Dynamic Air Cleaners can help reduce their carbon footprint and lower CO2 emissions by reducing fan horsepower.  Or that Dynamic Air Cleaners can reduce ventilation air requirements.  Or that Dynamic V8 Air Cleaners can help earn up to three LEED points.  Although a company might indicate that they are looking for the least expensive options, particularly as it relates to filtration, the presence of a sustainability initiative means they have broader goals.  And the sustainability initiative will likely trump the cost initiative, possibly even shortcutting established capital expenditure processes.


What can I do?

Look for Sustainability Statements.  Companies with sustainability initiatives provide details on their company website, brochures, and/or
annual reports.

2.     Educate.  Filtration, as a means of reducing carbon footprints, may not be on their radar.  Companies that have seen good results after replacing all of their inefficient light fixtures may be looking for the next simple fix. 


3.     Inform.  Make sure the sustainability people know about filtration and its potential for reducing carbon emissions.  Ensure that the key decision-makers are aware of the green product attributes of Dynamic Air Cleaners.  And make sure Dynamic sustainability product attributes are known upstairs. 


Corporate success on sustainability requires comprehensive strategies that extend to all aspects of the business -- from the board room, to employees, to suppliers.  And Dynamic Air Quality Solutions wants to work together with you and your clients to make it a reality.   

For more information about Dynamic Air Cleaners sustainable attributes, visit www.DynamicAQS.com/commercial.  

Dynamic Approved as USGBC Education Provider


"IAQ, Air Cleaning and Energy" is the first approved course


USGBC Ed provider


Dynamic Air Quality Solutions is proud to be recognized as a USGBC Education Provider committed to enhancing the ongoing professional development of the building industry and LEED Professionals through high-quality education programs.  As a USGBC Education Provider, Dynamic Air Quality Solutions has agreed to abide by USGBC established operational and educational criteria, and is subject to annual reviews and audits for quality assurance.


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IAQ , Air Cleaning and Energy
1.5 Units GCBI Hours, 1 Unit AIA/CES (LU)




The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has approved the technical and instructional quality of this course for 1.5 GBCI CE Hours towards the LEED Credential Maintenance Program.

To make arrangements to have this live course presented for your group, contact Carl Mitchell at CMitchell@DynamicAQS.com
About Dynamic Air Quality Solutions
Since 1982, Dynamic Air Quality Solutions' mission to its customers has been to develop and bring to market innovative, technologically advanced and affordable solutions to help clients optimize air quality, energy consumption, and the environment. For more information, visit our website at www.DynamicAQS.com/commercial/.