Sustainable business

Maximize Your Commitment to Green Projects with a Sustainability Expert

By Megan Porter

Your organization has decided to go all out in its effort to become energy efficient in a variety of ways, and that’s great. Now is the time to make sure you’re doing everything you can by bringing in a sustainability expert, whose knowledge and expertise can help your organization make the most of its commitment to sustainability.

Sustainability experts act as consultants who can customize solutions specifically for your work environment, find innovative financing options, identify and prioritize energy efficiency projects, implement programs that offset emissions and cut waste, and help reduce operating costs as well.

Why calling in an expert is smart
Buildings are complex ecosystems made up of interconnected networks that deliver power, light, air, heat, cooling and water. Each network affects the other, and each offers an opportunity to improve efficiency and maximize resources. Sustainability experts have the expertise to evaluate all your systems so they work in concert to minimize your building’s environmental impact.1

A sustainability expert can also fill you in on rebates, incentives or tax exemptions that reduce the cost of upgrades and new installs. And they’ll give you an idea of what procedures you’ll need to follow if you plan to apply for energy efficiency financing.

Pursue sustainability goals without sacrificing staff
In addition, not every building’s management or business staff has the excess human resources to devote to establishing a comprehensive sustainability program. A sustainability expert can function as a point person who can do the time-consuming information-gathering needed on the front end to determine what your building’s environmental impact is now.

And finally, they can recommend procedures and tools to track energy usage, water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. When they have developed the necessary long-term strategies and put them in place, tracking and monitoring duties can be transitioned to in-house staff who can continue the work.2

Where to start
The first step is finding a sustainability expert you can partner with. Look for those who have a proven track record of helping businesses and organizations benchmark energy performance and improve efficiency. At a minimum, ask for multiple current references, request a written estimate for any work they plan to do and verify that they certify their work will conform to state and local regulations and codes.

The ENERGY STAR website provides a list of the most active sustainability experts, or “service and product providers” (SPPs) who have done the most for clients through ENERGY STAR in the past 12 months.3

In addition, self-described sustainability experts aren’t the only avenue for recommendations. Your local utility is able to give you financial or technical assistance. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has developed a significant library of articles, guides and other useful resources to help California business owners complete an energy efficiency project. Regardless of whether a business owner is able to tackle a lighting overhaul, or is in need of a new appliance or system upgrade, experts are available to lend assistance.

Your utility is able to provide recommendations based on real-time data about a business’s energy use as well as industry averages for similar businesses in your region for a more complete look into what your organization can do to have a drastic impact on energy usage.

Make the most of your commitment to sustainability
There are a multitude of ways to boost energy efficiency in a commercial, educational or governmental setting. Building owners and managers can’t be expected to think of them all. Working with an expert helps ensure you’re doing everything you can to reduce your organization’s environmental impact, and makes the process as cost-efficient and trouble-free as possible.

Of course, working with an expert is just one way to make your business more sustainable. If you’re looking for inspiration about how to increase the energy efficiency of your business, check out PG&E’s eBook "Top 20 Sustainable Products".

 

Sources:
  1. Department of Energy
  2. Pacific Gas and Electric: Guide to Financing Energy Efficiency Projects
  3. Department of Energy


20 sustainability products to help businesses save money. Free download.

Maximize Your Commitment to Green Projects with a Sustainability Expert
  • SMB Blog Author
    Megan Porter
    Senior Program Marketing Manager at PG&E, is a recognized leader in solutions marketing for small and medium-sized businesses. Megan uses her proven and practical expertise to bring energy efficiency education to businesses in every industry. In this vital role, she develops and oversees highly successful initiatives that result in the adoption of more efficient long-term energy management behaviors.

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