Sustainable Moments of 2011
As we settle into the new year, here is a look back at the some of the developments, regulations, lessons and news from the last year that made us all a little greener.
2011 was the year of benchmarking. Regulations in cities across the country began to require buildings to be benchmarked while a global sustainability trends report released early in the year pointed to the increasing importance of sustainability reporting and data management. Great Forest entered the twitterverse.
Great Forest launched a free benchmarking helpline to answer questions from building owners and clear misconceptions about new regulations. If you still have questions about benchmarking or other sustainability issues, you can always ask Great Forest's nationwide network of consultants.
Does your recycling rate really reflect your recycling efforts? Great Forest's director of recycling services explained the numbers game behind recycling for readers of Environmental Leader.
Earth Day - a giant cardboard sculpture was constructed in the lobby of a New Jersey office building to make a big statement about recycling. Built over ten hours using hundreds of cafeteria trays that were discarded instead of recycled, the ceiling-high tower generated a lot of talk about waste and recycling. Great Forest stages events like this, as well as small-scale educational sessions, for clients throughout the year.
Great Forest presented data to over 100 industry and local government representatives, haulers and facilities managers in Virginia. The information showed that effective waste and recycling management could dramatically lower waste costs by as much as 50%. See a summary of the case studies here.
How do you increase overall building efficiency? Great Forest's director of sustainability explained that one way is to build sustainability through tenants by conducting individual tenant sustainability reviews.
As part of our ongoing research into sustainability services, facilities and products, Great Forest visited Next Level for Recycling, one of a handful of facilities that specializes in recycling electronics. Look out for more field trip reports and other research results on our Sustainability 101 page.
To take advantage of valuable NYSERDA Existing Building and Flex-Tech funding, New York buildings began planning energy audits and retro-commissioning way ahead of the 2013 deadline. If you have not started, there's still time.
Great Forest struck gold twice in the nation's top LEED city. Refresh your memory and learn why you should use LEED as the starting point for greater sustainability.
The Great Forest team brought back ten simple lessons from Greenbuild in Toronto and shared their unique approach to activating green thinking and behavior in Get The Message With Big Green Statements.
Sustainability 101 was launched to compile Great Forest's sustainability knowledge archive into one easy-to-access resource. America Recycle's Day provided us with more opportunity to get the word out at various events across the country.
$4 billion investment in energy upgrades to public and private buildings was announced. (Read more below)