Interesting Article about a project coming to an end in Sioux Falls.
Raven: Efforts make ‘good business sense’
Original Article: http://argusne.ws/1iXtaaC
A downtown office renovation at Raven Industries Inc. is on track to produce one of the city’s highest-profile green office buildings.
The project is part of a top-to-bottom sustainability transformation happening within the company – one that all started with styrofoam cups.
The diversified technology company’s stated mission is to “solve great challenges.” A few years ago, CEO Dan Rykhus decided to put reducing its environmental footprint on that list of challenges.
“When we consume less energy and resources, it allows us to have a positive impact on our community and on the future generations that will live here,” he said. “In addition to it being the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense.”
In 2011, Rykhus convened a green steering team made up of representatives of each of the company’s divisions.
“We just put our heads together as a bunch of people that were interested in the topic and the initiative,” said Jennifer Schmidtbauer, director of organizational development.
For their first project, they wanted something that would grab attention and get others thinking and talking about sustainability within the company. What better way to do that, they thought, than to get between people and their coffee?
The company ordered glasses and ceramic mugs, installed dishwashers in breakroom areas, and took away all the styrofoam cups they once threw away by the hundreds each day.
Employee suggestions then led the company to more low-hanging fruit. A change to electronic record keeping is saving an estimated 60,000 pages of paper per year.
In the company’s manufacturing plants, workers pointed out that they were throwing away a lot of scrap metal. Within weeks they set up a system to sell that material to a recycler, turning it into a new revenue stream.
Raven set a goal of pursuing LEED certification for any new building project. Its downtown headquarters is seeking LEED Gold status. Among the most visible features are the use of natural daylight and a green roof.
The headquarters is consuming 22 percent less electricity today than it did before the renovation. So far, it estimates that efficiency has prevented the release of 790 tons of carbon dioxide.
To learn more:
A free tool called the Energy Star Portfolio Manager (http://portfoliomanager.energystar.gov/), allows building owners and managers to calculate their property’s energy use and compare it to similar buildings using information from their utility bills.