Engaging the business sector is an important element of any successful community sustainability plan. According to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Inventory (2008), commercial and industrial energy use constitutes 39% of the greenhouse gas emissions in Tucson, compared to 24% contributed by residential users. In addition, commercial and industrial water use accounts for 35% of the water distributed in Tucson.

From 2010 to 2013, the grant-funded Green Business Certification Program worked with local businesses to help them find ways to operate more sustainably. Nearly 60 businesses opted to participate in our program, to reduce their resource use, and demonstrate their commitment to making Tucson a more livable and sustainable community. To see the business that participated, click on the Green Businesses Directory link.

If you too would like to reduce your business' resource consumption and save money on utility bill, the GBC Checklists offer a great place to start for simple ways to make your operations more efficient. Check back over time as additional resources or incentives will be posted as they become available. For more money saving ideas, you can check us out on Facebook or contact us directly at (520) 791-4675.

The impact of changing how you do business can have a real impact on you bottom line. Check out the information below on one of our first certified green businesses.

 

Pilot Program Case Study:

 

 

 

 

Goodmans Interior Structures piloted the Green Business Certification Program in 2009-2010. Through the energy, water, waste, and pollution prevention audits we learned that Goodmans has a long history of incorporating sustainability into their business operations, but there was still more work to do.

Goodmans occupies a 33,000 sq. ft. facility built in 1999 comprised of a 2-story office/retail showroom and an adjoining warehouse. They operate during normal business hours from 8-5 p.m. Monday-Friday with 16 employees.

Energy Use

The energy evaluation illustrated how small changes can make a real difference. Goodmans was able to achieve a 13% reduction in their electricity use through behavioral and no-cost changes such as turning off bathroom lights when not in use, turning off vending machine lights (a $200 a year savings!), and consolidating office space onto one floor. Lighting is a big challenge for Goodmans because of their showroom and design needs. Recommendations were provided for energy efficient upgrades to existing lighting that will save an additional $2,000 a year.

Water Use

The water evaluation showed that low-flow toilets were already installed, however, water-saving opportunities suggested include installing .5 gal aerators on bathroom/kitchen faucets and shutting off water to unused areas. A broken irrigation system that remained turned off resulted in a 39% reduction in water use. Drought tolerant landscaping remains without irrigation.

 

Waste Reduction and Recycling

Through the waste evaluation at Goodmans, we learned that 58% of the waste they generate is recyclable. Commercial recycling is cheaper than commercial waste service with the City of Tucson. By adding 2 recycling collections per month and reducing waste collection to twice a month (instead of weekly), $1,300 can be saved on waste disposal fees each year. Each business is unique in terms of the waste it generates. We also learned that Goodmans disposes of 83 gallons of shrink wrap each week. By partnering with a local grocer to recycle the wrap along with their plastic bags, over 4,000 gallons of shrink wrap can be kept out of the waste stream each year.

Pollution Prevention

The pollution prevention evaluation showed that Goodmans properly stores all chemicals and hazardous substances in a secure location. Additional steps to use less toxic substances where feasible were recommended.