Smart Sustainability: Conscious Resource Consumption
January 17, 2018 / Learn
Here at pictureframes.com we’re always working toward improving our resource consumption. Especially as we continue to grow. Our most recent growth is the expansion of our campus. And we’re proud to say it’s actually a microcosm of our green commitment.
Our campus expansion meant rebuilding, and doing so meant a lot of demolition and replacement. All demolition materials during this process were recycled: 7000+ lbs of unnecessary overhead wiring, old plumbing fixtures (donated to the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore), and more!
We also installed energy-efficient windows, and plan to install solar tubes for natural lighting. The new flooring is made from 50% post-consumer content, and bathroom fixtures are environmentally engineered (thank you, waterless urinals!). LEDs have been installed for outdoor lighting. In fact, every decision for the new campus was filtered through the prism of our committment to being easy on the planet. That’s what I call green growth!
Waste Not, Want Not
As you can imagine, a company like pictureframes.com does a lot of purchasing. So, in an effort to reduce energy waste and pollution, we’ve increased volume purchasing and improved scheduling so that fewer shipments are required. Fewer shipments translates into reduced carbon emissions.
Plus, with so many warm months in this neck of the woods, we replaced our HVAC units with the most energy-efficient ones available anywhere. A new, heat-reflective, eco-friendly, white roof was also installed. It allows us to use less air conditioning and it’s solar ready for a coming project we have to install solar power on our roof!
We then turned to our Technology Team to see how we might save on computer power consumption. Together, we implemented a power-saving plan. According to last estimates, our computers are using half as much electricity as the previous year.
To decrease water consumption, we replaced our toilets with high-efficiency, low-water-use units. And, we’ve installed a water conservation system filter. These filters reuse the water needed for the presses printing our catalog (let’s hear it for “gray water!”). Additionally, state-of-the-art pollution control equipment used during the printing process actually helps clean the air, rather than pollute it!
Speaking of Energy
Lighting takes up a lot of energy, but we can’t work without it! So to help reduce consumption here, we decided to switch to something called T8 lighting, a more efficient type of fluorescent. We’ve also replaced all incandescent lightbulbs with high-efficiency bulbs (LED or CFL). New skylights added in over our break area further increase natural light.
But one of the simplest and most effective ways we’ve decreased our footprint was installing motion sensor switches in common areas to automatically turn lights off in unoccupied rooms. A genius invention, I must say. In a recent efficiency assessment, we did of our warehouse and secondary storage locations, we discovered these changes save us almost 64,000 watts a year!
Who Needs Paychecks?
Don’t get me wrong – we’re still getting paid. We’ve just transitioned into a paperless payroll system. By not printing paychecks, we save about 472 lbs of landfill space, 10.7 metric tons of gasoline carbon emissions, 395 lbs of paper carbon emissions, 17,000 gallons of water, 95 reams of paper, and 5 trees, per year.* And that’s just for one year!
Being conscious about resource consumption is an evolving process, much like the planet itself. We’re constantly thinking of new ways to help the earth. After all, it's our home.
For more information, facts, figures and the latest on how we're helping Mother Nature stay in good health, visit our Sustainability page.
*Based on 165 employees (Which can vary with seasonal or project surges). Calculated through the "Green Payroll Calculator."