Planting the seeds of Change
How some of our sponsors are altering the landscape of green business.
Crescent Real Estate
North Texans don’t need to look far to find a best-in-class example of practicing green business. Crescent Real Estate (owner of three major office properties in Dallas including Trammell Crow Center) was recently named an ENERGY STAR Top Performer by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They are one of only six commercial real estate companies in the U.S. and one of only two in Texas to be recognized by the EPA for improving energy efficiency by more than 10 percent.
Additionally, every property in its portfolio (more than 17 million SF) is either registered for or already certified for LEED EB.
“Our customers and partners want LEED-certified buildings,” says John Zogg, managing director of leasing for Crescent’s Dallas portfolio. “To them, it means we care about their experience, the communities that surround us, and ultimately the cost savings we that can achieve and pass on to them. It’s good for everyone.”
Chevrolet: Ride and Drive
This Earth Day, Change Everything. Ride and Drive April 22-23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Presented by Chevy Volt*.
Chevy Volt plugs in anywhere and goes everywhere. Thoughtful efficiency: It’s a concept we can all get behind, and a great way to describe what Chevy Volt offers. In moderate conditions, Volt provides 25 to 50 miles of gas-free and tailpipe-emissions-free drivin**. But if life takes you a little further, as it tends to do sometimes, the gas-powered onboard generator can take you wherever you need to go. So you can just sit back and drive. Isn’t that what cars are for? Remarkably, the electricity cost of driving Volt for most work commutes will average about $1.50 a day. Volt plugs into any socket, allowing you to charge at home. Plus, Volt offers instant torque that makes it a thrill to drive as well as a quiet ride. Visit chevy.com/volt for details.
*Must be 21 years of age and show a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance. **Based on GM testing. EPA estimates are not yet available. Your results will vary depending on temperature, terrain, driving technique and battery age.
Half Price Books
“Half Price Books has always considered itself a green business, because preserving and recycling resources are part of our company’s philosophy,” says Kathy Doyle Thomas, executive vice president of Half Price Books.
Preserving and recycling resources truly is part of Half Price Books’s trade. The Dallas-based bookstore chain lives by a “preserving the environment” philosophy each day. Half Price Books has purchased 100 percent Texas wind power from Green Mountain Energy, Texas’ only electricity provider dedicated to cleaner energy. By
purchasing 11.3 kWh of wind power, Half Price Books offsets an estimated 15 million pounds of carbon dioxide, which is the equivalent of planting 901,000 trees or recycling six million pounds of newspaper. Last year, Half Price Books was even named a Top 20 Retailer within the Green Power Partnership by the Environmental Protection Agency. Because the company was founded in Dallas and continues to house its corporate headquarters here, Half Price Books couldn’t be more proud to be part of Earth Day Dallas.
The Nature Conservancy
In San Antonio, The Nature Conservancy came up with a novel way to green its office space. Not only is the building LEED-certified, but the group also leases its empty offices to the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. This arrangement not only cuts down on energy by housing two organizations under one roof, but also lends itself to greater collaboration among the two groups.
Bank of America
Bank of America actively engages its employees through its associate education and engagement program. Sixty-three associates serve as “My Environment” ambassadors that will be leading four environmental education programs in Dallas in 2011 for other associates.
In 2010, Bank of America recycled 4.4 million pounds of workplace waste in its U.S. offices. So far, 3,700 associates have participated in Bank of America’s Hybrid Vehicle Reimbursement program.
American Institute of Architects:
The American Institute of Architects’ Dallas Committee on the Environment (COTE) plans to host a nontraditional booth at Earth Day Dallas.
Dallas COTE co-chair Alli Dryer, along with Nicholas McWhirter and Todd Burtis, all of Good Fulton & Farrell Architects, are designing the structure for Earth Day Dallas, which they’ve named “H2O Hive.” H2O Hive takes formal cues and inspiration from the organization of water molecules in ice and from honeycombs. The modular, hexagon-shaped cells that form the structure of the H2O Hive will be made of wood that can be recycled.
Because Icelandic water bottles, which are made from 100 percent recycled plastic, will be available at the event, members of Dallas COTE will encourage festival attendees to continue recycling by contributing bottles that might otherwise be thrown away. As cells fill with Icelandic water bottles, Dallas COTE volunteer “worker bees” will empty the structure and recycle the bottles. Their hope is that the H2O Hive’s distinctive appearance will encourage interaction and that attendees will resonate with the idea that plastic bottles do not belong in landfills and are a usable resource.