Through a program from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's Smart Energy Design Assistance Center, ELITeXPO was able to have an Energy Audit performed by HarneTech, LLC. This audit allowed for a certified LEED AP to come in and analyze all aspects of our building, our energy and water use and day to day operations. They then were able to establish a plan to provide energy savings and life cycle cost estimates for various Energy Cost Reduction Measures with a high potential for effective implementation.
The audit contained many measures from large scale introduction of solar heating and daylighting options to smaller items like changing light bulbs and adding motion-sensor VendingMizers to vending machines. Each item lists projected costs and the rate of return based on energy cost reduction.
We implemented many projects including changing out all of the operations department task lighting from halogen bulbs to 3-watt LED bulbs. Over 30 bulbs were changed out. We also replaced printers, copiers, scanners and fax machines with four ENERGY STAR rated all-in-one units, as was suggested. More use of scanning and emailing is done now to replace most of the faxing we used to do. We also have added pallet jacks to the warehouse to eliminate as much forklift use as possible.
We have much more to do and we will keep everyone posted as we continue to move forward..
ELITeXPO is Going Green
The environment is something each of us has to take responsibility for. We understand that shipping and the carbon emissions it produces have a tremendous impact on the planet. In order to slow down or reverse the negative effects we have on the environment we all have to do what we can. It is a great undertaking and we are working each day to add components to our Green Program that will make a significant change.
We truly believe that this effort must be made as a company and through educating our staff to make changes at home as well. Heidi Maschmann, VP of Information Systems has been named to head up the ELITeXPO Green Program. Heidi oversees all Corporate aspects of the program and works with all staff to educate them on what can be done at home. She has provided information from where to get rain barrels to suggestions on vertical magnetic wind turbines. Heidi states, "It doesn't matter how big of steps you take at home as every little thing you do will have a global impact. One less napkin each day, changing to energy efficient light bulbs, bread in a single paper bag vs double-wrapped plastic bags...it all has a huge impact if lots of people do it." She has just installed two rain barrels, a solar powered irrigation system and a compost tumbler at her home so she can self-maintain her raised bed vegetable gardens. "It's just some of the steps we will be taking in my home," adds Heidi.
ELITeXPO joined the EPA'sSmartWaySM program (see below article for details), which requires us to reduce our energy consumption, reduce our carbon emissions, and use as many other SmartWay certified carriers as possible. As part of our emissions reduction goal, we instituted a No Idling policy at our warehouse facility.
We funded the planting of nearly 10,000 trees through American Forests, a leader in planting trees for environmental restoration.
We have even used tree seedlings as our trade show giveaways instead of the usual pens, cups, and other logo'd items.
The efforts we have made so far in our corporate office have already lowered our energy consumption by 15% per month. This energy savings was made possible through minor technical equipment replacement, energy-saving modes being used on computers and monitors, as well as switching off power strips when equipment is not in use and turning off lights when not in a room. We have also changed thermostat settings to reduce our use of gas and electricity. We have already installed EnergyStar compliant light fixtures in 39% of our corporate office with plans to replace the remaining 61% in 2009. Several of our managers have even moved to using floor and desk lamps with CFL bulbs vs. using overhead lighting.
In June 2012, we consolidated 5 servers into 2 and were able to take 3 servers, 3 switches, and 2 battery back-up units out of service. This will cut down on energy use from the devices as well as cut the cooling system use within the server cabinet itself. We also replaced all of the computers in the corporate office with new energy-efficient models. All old PCs were either given away for re-use or recycled.
We have a recycling program in place for paper and cardboard as well as for aluminum cans. We also recycle all used computer equipment. We are using recycled cartridges as well wherever possible.
We've moved to using technology to reduce our paper consumption. We are using shared file storage instead of printing out all of our documents. We have been switching from fax machines to eFaxing for additional reductions in paper as well as toner cartridges.
We now have 45% of our staff working from home. We also have several others that car pool to work each day.
We are moving forward every day. We will keep you informed via this page as well as through email updates as progress is made
SmartWaySM Transport Partner
We're proud to announce that we have been extended another year of SmartWaySM Transport Partnership from the EPA. The SmartWaySM Partnership is a voluntary collaboration between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the freight industry designed to increase energy efficiency while significantly reducing adverse environmental impacts. By 2012, SmartWaySM partners helped to save between 3.3 and 6.6 billion gallons of fuel per year (equivalent to 150 million barrels of oil or 12 million cars off the road).
As a logistics member of the SmartWaySM Partnership, we agree to measure our environmental performance using the EPA’s Shipper / Logistics Performance Model, develop a three-year Action Plan to improve environmental metrics, and provide an annual report on Action Plan progress. Partners must benchmark their current freight operations, identify technologies and strategies to reduce our carbon emissions, track our emissions reductions and project future improvement.
By participating in the SmartWaySM Transport Partnership, ELITeXPO will have an opportunity to make important contributions to our nation’s efforts to secure greater energy independence, protect public health, and safeguard the environment for future generations. Heidi Maschmann, Vice President of Information Systems is heading up ELITeXPO’s new environmental program. She stated, “We must take responsibility for the impact our business has on the environment. As members of both the shipping community and the trade show community our efforts must be twice as diligent to counter the effects both industries have had on the planet for so long. We’re very committed to doing everything we can as a corporation and as individuals.”
Visit www.epa.gov/smartway for more information about the SmartWaySMTransport Partnership. For specific information on becoming a SmartWaySMShipper go to www.epa.gov/smartway/transport/become-partner/shippers.htm.
Visit http://www.epa.gov/smartway/ to verify ELITeXPO's current program status at any time.