The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been focussing on long-term American sustainability planning, emphasizing the importance of not just meeting environmental compliance requirements, but reducing total energy consumption.
Currently, one of the most common methods of reducing your environmental impact and minimizing your energy consumption is to switch to Energy Star certified appliances and buildings.
They are proven to require less energy than their counterparts while meeting the same performance standards. Of course, there are always other types of environmental certifications that can have a positive impact (ISO 14001 for example), but Energy Star is one of the most recognized by the public, the government, and business owners.
20 years ago, the EPA launched the Energy Star program and has been tracking which cities have the highest number of Energy Star certified buildings. Recently they just released the top 25 list to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Energy Star:
...The list of 25 cities is headed by Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Houston, Dallas, Riverside, Calif. and Boston. By the end of 2011, the nearly 16,500 Energy Star certified buildings across America have helped save nearly $2.3 billion in annual utility bills and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equal to emissions from the annual energy use of more than 1.5 million homes.
"More and more organizations are discovering the value of Energy Star as they work to cut costs and reduce their energy use," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "This year marked the twentieth anniversary of the Energy Star program, and today Energy Star certified buildings in cities across America are helping to strengthen local economies and protect the planet for decades to come."
Read the full article here.
Corporate sustainability planning is quickly becoming one of the most sought ought corpoate values, both by the consumer market and by business operators themselves.
Depending on what sector you work in, getting sustainable might require more than switching to Energy Star certified appliances - but it's certainly an easy (and comparitively inexpensive) place to start.
After all, some of the companies with the most successful sustainablity plans have implemented sustainablity initiatives all the way down to the level of the staff lunchroom.
Image from: www.energystar.gov