Energy saving

You'll be Green with Savings & Sustainability

« Blog | Written by ezfacility | | (0) Comments

Ah, summer. I love winter’s snow, I’m a sucker for the gardens of spring, and fall contains what will always be my favorite holiday (Halloween, of course), but for me summer is hands-down the best season of all. I love the salad-eating, outdoor-exercising, blazing hot energy of it all—the swimming, the relaxation, the air-conditioning.
I know that last item is problematic, and it’s part of a much larger issue. Air-conditioning creates a huge carbon footprint, and if employed without regard to sustainability and energy conservation, it can contribute devastatingly to environmental destruction. However, from a fitness or sports facility perspective, it’s indispensable. Yet, it’s not just summertime air-conditioning that creates challenges. Lighting, energy consumption, heating, material waste—all of these issues affect how you run your facility year-round, how much money you save or spend, and your impact on the environment.
One way to tackle all of these issues at once is to push your facility to achieve LEED certification. Being LEED—or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design—certified means meeting certain standards in energy savings, water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and CO2 emissions reduction. The cost of designing and constructing a building that meets such standards is high, as is the cost of improving existing buildings. Maintaining LEED-certified facilities also carries costs. But in the end, the savings associated with LEED-certification, financial and otherwise, make it more than worthwhile. So how do you go about achieving it?
First, adopt a “going green” mindset. Demonstrate your facility’s commitment to creating an environmentally sound space by getting all employees on-board with the notion. It’s crucial that your management team understands the specific goals and considers LEED-related issues in all decision-making processes; if you have a stated company mission and can make LEED-compliance part of it, all the better. Equally important is that your sales team recognizes the power of LEED as a lever for selling your brand. Potential members and customers will appreciate the knowledge that joining your club or attending your practice facility or venue helps minimize environmental impact, and in a competitive market, such a factor can be a crucial selling-point.
Next, to cover the considerable costs of building a new LEED building or bringing an existing one up to speed, consider gaining sponsorship or embarking on a partnership. Local waste companies looking to promote their recycling programs, cleaning companies that market green products, municipal agencies launching new fitness agendas, and businesses with specific, health-related objectives—these are just a few categories from which to seek out sponsors or partners. To find one that’s right for you, you’ll need to do some research, identify the needs and wants of potential partners, and design proposals that meet those needs and wants. Any proposal you come up with should detail how the image, mission, values, and/or green initiatives of the sponsor or partner align with those of your organization and highlight the value of the alignment.
Finally, think both big and small. Reconfiguring your facility to meet LEED standards is thinking big, and it’s a crucial step that involves a good deal of research, commitment, and investment. You also want to make simple changes that might be tiny in and of themselves, yet, add up to a big change, contributing to an environmentally sound approach to running your facility. Install recycling containers next to trash cans. Replace old drinking fountains with newer ones that allow for bottle refills. Consider ways you might be able to buy locally, stocking your juice bar with fruit from nearby farms and getting supplies from companies in your city or neighborhood. Offer discounts at your café for customers who bring their own drinking containers. Tie messages about personal health into ones about the health of the planet. Every little effort makes a difference, and will help make your facility a leader—year-round—in the sustainability movement.

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