9/11/2015 | Posted at 12:23 am
Environmental Action Plan
In accordance with our core values, GGLO has developed an Environmental Action Plan (EAP) to guide progress toward reducing the environmental impact of its business operations. Launched in 2007, the EAP is a living document that establishes a commitment and procedures to measure and decrease the firm’s environmental impact in key areas, including consumables, indoor environmental quality, energy use, water use, transportation, renovations, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Download a PDF copy of the EAP document here.
- Identify, measure, and manage the effects of GGLO’s office operations and project activities.
- Target specific areas of improvement, with higher priority placed on areas where significant impact is possible.
- Provide information to staff to support the application of these principles to our work and internal practices.
The EAP calls for an annual inventory of paper use, waste generation, office energy use, commuting, and business travel. Auditing waste involves collecting, sorting, and weighing the office’s daily waste stream. Office energy use is derived from electrical utility bills. Commuting and business travel information is gathered through a company-wide survey administered through the firm’s intranet. The firm’s total carbon footprint is estimated by summing the contributions of each component of the inventory using the CO2 emission factors from the City of Seattle’s Seattle Climate Partnership tool.
Results and Actions:
- Office electricity use accounts for nearly two thirds of GGLO’s carbon footprint (in 2008). GGLO has instituted an overnight computer shutdown policy that is estimated to save up to 20% of the total office energy demand, and fitted all task lights with compact fluorescent bulbs that reduce total electricity use by an estimated one percent. Automated lighting controls have been installed as areas are renovated.
- Transportation produces about one third of GGLO’s CO2 emissions. Only about one quarter of GGLO’s employees commute by car, less than half the average of Seattle downtown commuters. Air travel comprises the majority of GGLO’s business travel miles, and thus is the largest single source of GGLO’s transportation -related CO2 emissions. In response, the firm has set up convenient teleconferencing tools and encourages their use.
- Waste audits have revealed opportunities to reduce landfill-bound waste by composting and recycling. GGLO recycles more than half its waste, and has instituted a composting program that captured 13% of the waste stream.
- GGLO’s annual paper consumption is equivalent to a 675-foot stack of 8.5×11 sheets, or 161 trees. The firm maximizes its use of recycled paper, and has a duplex printing policy.
The EAP was prepared by GGLO’s Sustainable Design Group (SDG). The SDG’s mission is to promote sustainable design in GGLO’s projects and internal operations by sharing of expertise, knowledge and resources, and by actively engaging the sustainable design community.
Contributing members currently include:
Alicia Daniels Uhlig, Amanda Reed, Amy Hartwell, David Winans, Don Caffrey, Jessie Templeton, John Baldauf, Jon Hall.
Seattle Climate Partnership
BizCycle Certified Workplace – Gold
In 2013, GGLO became an official BizCycle Certified Workplace through the Cascade Bicycle Club. GGLO integrated an expanded “Transportation and Bicycle Plan” (PDF) in the 2013 update to the Environmental Action Plan in order to formalize and enhance our bike-friendly office policy.
Seattle Climate Partnership Carbon Calculator
Related Publications and Presentations:
“Operation Green: Build Sustainability into your Business Operations” (program) – GoGreen ’10 Seattle (video), April 2010
Northwest Construction, February 2009
Daily Journal of Commerce, February 14, 2008
Cool Companies, Sierra Club, Presentation July 2008
Associated Builders and Contractors Green Building Council, Panel Discussion April 2008
Download a PDF copy of the EAP document.
Download a PDF copy of the Transportation and Bicycle Plan.