Staples introduces eco challenge
Framingham, Mass. Staples said Tuesday it has launched what it calls the Staples Global EcoEasy Challenge, a competition among leading global technology educational institutions to create an innovative environmentally preferable office product.
In conjunction with Rochester Institute of Technology’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability, Staples said it created the global competition to task the world’s leading engineering students with developing concepts for an environmentally preferable business or home-office product.
As part of the challenge, individuals or teams of up to five students from each participating school will submit an idea for a new design of an existing product that represents greater environmental responsibility or sustainability; a product that uses an eco-innovative material; or a completely new product that promotes sustainability.
A panel of judges will select the top finalists to receive a trip to New York City the week of Earth Day to present their concept during the finals on April 20. One grand-prize winning team will receive $25,000 and first- and second-place teams will receive $5,000 each.
Verizon Store awarded EPA’s Energy Star
Laurel, Md. The Verizon Wireless Communications Store in Columbia, Md., has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star designation, the national symbol for superior energy efficiency and environmental. The Columbia store is one of more than 47 Verizon Wireless retail stores nationwide to receive the Energy Star label.
“The changes we have implemented in our stores are significant because they impact our business, the environment and our ability to provide customers with an industry-leading experience,” said Mike Maiorana, regional president for Verizon Wireless in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. “By being more energy efficient, we can keep operating costs down and redirect those resources to improve the customer experience.”
The store replaced incandescent lamps with compact fluorescent lamps and installed light-emitting diode (LED) exit signs and motion sensors to activate lighting in portions of the store that are not in constant use, such as the storage room and back offices.
In addition, its lighting and display systems are controlled by a digital timer system to ensure that lights turn off when the store is closed to avoid energy waste.
Additional energy-saving initiatives included insulating the water heater and piping and replacing the service bay doors with energy efficient glass to reduce the loss of heated or cooled air.
Commercial buildings that earn the Energy Star use an average of 40% less energy than typical buildings and also release 35% less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
GE Lighting establishes ESCO energy services program
Cleveland GE Lighting has established an ESCO Energy Services Program and alliances with selected energy services companies (ESCOs). Through the program, GE aims to help customers explore energy strategies that take into account such factors as cost-of-light payback, return on investment, rebates, financing and government incentives that can reduce investment costs.
“The ESCOs involved meet high customer service, integrity and credibility standards,” said Lou Mane, ESCO sales development manager with GE Lighting, a unit of GE — Appliances & Lighting. “By working together, we‘re better able to develop comprehensive strategies for customers’ lighting and electrical controls, motors, drives and overall building management. These alliances enhance our ability to help customers develop all-encompassing plans for energy savings.”
The primary focus of this approach is to analyze, design and implement solutions that work together to conserve energy for customers over the long term. Throughout the process, including planning and installation, GE’s specification team will work closely with customers and ESCOs to create customized plans that ensure optimal energy-saving results and seamless transitions.
Mane said the ESCO relationships enable GE to go far beyond the circuit breaker, switch and lamp.
“We want to help customers meet and exceed their energy goals, specifically in commercial, property management, government, institutional, retail, healthcare, and industrial settings where energy savings can provide a strategic advantage,” he said.