Day: December 11, 2012

7 steps to effective energy management

For the month of December, Cam Metcalf, Executive Director, Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center, wrote an article for GreenBiz’s P2 Pathways Column on the seven step process for implementing an energy management system in organizations to systematically get to P2 and E2 outcomes.

Here is the link to the P2 Pathways landing page:

Lessons from Wells Fargo’s green team program

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Because employee engagement programs increase employee satisfaction and ultimately drive business value, organizations increasingly see employee engagement as a necessary part of sustainability. But getting everyone on board, with so many competing priorities, presents challenges. Wells Fargo has a comprehensive employee engagement program with sustainability-focused employees organized into “green teams.” This program was highlighted here on GreenBiz in January of 2011.

In a recent conversation with Krista Van Tassel, vice president for team member engagement at Wells Fargo, we discussed some hurdles involved with employee engagement programs, ways to trouble-shoot and overcome these issues, and lessons learned from specific examples of green team successes.

What’s your vampire load costing your business?

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

When businesses are cutting energy use, energy bills don’t give much insight into the costs from individual energy sappers, whether from a bank of computers or printers that are always on.

The new Consumer Electronics Energy Calculator, a tool from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), aims to give a peek at the costs of those typical products.

Illinois Energy Efficiency Potential Study

The Energy Resources Center (ERC) is conducting an Energy Efficiency Potential study for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). ERC is currently seeking partners who have or are able to obtain information on HVAC, lighting, motors, and operations of public sector buildings. The collected information will be used to inform future incentives and ensure they are optimized to meet the needs of the Illinois public sector.

If you have any questions about the study or would like to join as a partner to aid in collecting the necessary information, please contact Andrey Gribovich at or (312)413-4056.

Cincinnati plans to bolster green building incentives

Read the full post at the CincyBizBlog.

The city of Cincinnati will announce proposed amendments to its tax abatement program for buildings built in adherence to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, standards. Sponsors of the changes say the amendments will further incentivize developers to reach for higher LEED certifications.

University of Illinois Sustainability News

I Hotel’s roof goes green
The view out the upper-floor windows at Champaign’s I Hotel got a little greener this fall. About 3,000 square feet of the flat black roof over the adjacent University of Illinois Conference Center is now covered with a colorful mixture of hardy sedum plants, in shades of red, green and yellow.

Urbana-Champaign senate approves sustainable center
The Urbana-Champaign Senate unanimously approved a proposal at its Monday meeting to create a Center for a Sustainable Environment, an umbrella organization that will lead campus environmental groups, academic units and the Office of Sustainability. There was no discussion on the matter. The center will cost the University $450,000 annually, with additional funding coming from an endowment from the Alvin H. Baum Family Fund. It will have an annual budget of $495,000. The goal of the center is to bring together campus units geared toward sustainability to develop related initiatives.

Green schools: Long on promise, short on delivery

Read the full story at USA Today.

The Houston Independent School District took a big step in 2007 toward becoming environmentally friendly by designing two new schools to meet a coveted “green” standard set by a private-builders’ group.

The nation’s seventh-largest school district added features such as automated light sensors and a heat-reflecting roof, in hopes of minimizing energy use.

But the schools are not operating as promised.

Thompson Elementary ranked 205th out of 239 Houston schools in a report last year for the district that showed each school’s energy cost per student. Walnut Bend Elementary ranked 155th. A third “green” school, built in 2010, ranked 46th in the report, which a local utility did for the district to find ways of cutting energy costs.

Poor equipment maintenance plagued the schools built in 2007, a problem that districtwide improvements are now addressing, said Gavin Dillingham, the district’s energy manager until August.

“People have the mistaken impression that once buildings are LEED-certified, they’re always going to run energy-efficiently,” Dillingham said. “They don’t.”

The problems in Houston illustrate the little-discussed uncertainty of “green schools,” which promise huge energy savings and rising student performance, but do not always deliver, despite their extra cost.

10 Awesome Upcycling Projects You Can Do Today

Read the full post at Shareable.

Below are’s top 10 coolest upcycling projects submitted by members (in no particular order). All are made out of household packaging waste. All come with detailed Instructions showing you how to make them yourself and some are even available to buy! is a free web portal that shows you how to creatively reuse / upcycle your household packaging and everyday waste materials to make new desirable objects.

Founded by UK based product designers Jamie Billing and Tracy Cordingley, the organisation provides free tools and services so that users can publish (upload) or obtain (download) instructions on how to make creative products from reuse materials and a whole lot more…