Sustainability Resources for Small to Medium Sized Businesses in Denver/Boulder Colorado

Denver is leading the way for the denvernation in striving to become the “greenest” city in the country.  Greenprint, CORE, Alliance for Sustainable Colorado and many more sustainability groups have played a vital role in Denver being named recently as 5th Greenest City Overall by Siemens.

Each of these organizations offer a wealth of resources to support small and medium sized businesses in the Denver/ Boulder area including:

Certifiably Green Denver: An Environmental Business Assistance Program with Greenprint that assists Denver businesses in identify opportunities to reduce waste, energy, air pollution and water.

CORE Catalyst: A program sponsored by CORE that matches talented graduate students from our leading Colorado Universities to do sustainability assessment and recommendation plans.

Sustainability Calendar: Managed by the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, this calendar keeps track of all the Colorado sustainability events and activities.

Here are also some other ideas and initiatives to investigate in becoming a green business:

  • The Denver Energy Challenge will encourage energy efficiency investment in our state and help advance our energy independence through large scale upgrades.  They hope to have 1,200 businesses participating by May 2013.
  • A carbon calculator is a great way to find out how you can help lower the release of carbon dioxide into our air.  This tool will help you find ways that your business can save energy and money.
  • They challenge you to join the Energy Star® Change a Light Pledge by changing at least one regular light bulb to a compact fluorescent bulb.
  • You can also find links to LEED®-certified builders or Energy Star® builders who can help you with your design plans for your business or with additions to existing structures.
  • Of course, one of the simplest ways to make a real change with very little investment is to plant a tree!

At Officiency our mission is to support organizations and consumers in developing and implementing eco-friendly initiatives to reduce environmental impact, resource consumption and waste while maximizing efficiency within business and home environments.  We hope and strive to have Denver become the number one greenest city in North America!

Contact us and we can help you take small steps that will make a big impact.

Reduce Energy, Get Points: Sign up with Earth Aid

Earth Aid, is a software company that is helping consumers reduce their utility bills. The company recently named one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in energy by Fast Company magazine, provides an incentive to members when they reduce energy to also accrue points. Customers establish an account on Earth Aid which is connected to a user’s utility information including power, water and gas companies. Available to U.S. customers in all 50 states, it is a great way for consumers to be mindful of resource conservation and get some free products from Starbucks and other local businesses.

For more information and articles about Earth Aid:

E-Magazine , “Follow the Bills”

New York Times,  “Devises That Help Plug Electrical Leaks”

Fast Company, “The 10 Most Innovative Companies in Energy”

How much water does a single Google search use?

Who knew that a simple Google search related to water usage? Well the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) examined the relationship between water and energy and showed just how much a Google search requires.

In their report, “Where Water Meets Watts”, they cite that a single Google search requires a half a milliliter of water in energy. With over 300 million searches worldwide that adds up to over 150,000 liters of water per day to produce enough electrical power.

The IEEE also developed an interactive map that shows the relationship between energy and water and how it relates to each communities supply. The map shows population access to clean water and electricity along with the prognosis provided by IEEE. It hopes the map will encourage global awareness of the situation of water and energy use.

To calculate and learn more about your water consumption habits visit Water Footprint.

Calculate Your Impact and Footprint

There are a host of calculators out there to help you or your office determine your impact. Once your impact is known then create a goal of how you would like to reduce it. Here are a few of my favorites to get you started:

Global Footprint Network: A good overall calculator on general green footprint

Household Savings Calculator: Developed by the NRDC to track home energy savings

Water Calculator: Developed by H2O Conserve this measures water consumption.

Xerox Sustainability Calculator: A great calculator that measures the overall  impact a company’s printers and copiers have on the environment.

United Airlines Offers Carbon Calculator to offset Travel Footprint

United has jumped on the carbon offset bandwagon and worked with Sustainable Travel International to develop a carbon calculator that is customized to traveler’s itinerary. The calculator takes into account the carbon footprint that results from each flight also taking into account load factors and fuel usage. The calculator will suggest a tax deductible carbon offset donation that United will process.