The economic, social and environmental challenges that businesses face today are unlike any that organizations have faced in the past. With increased pressure from investors, customers and other stakeholders, organizations are looking for more cost-effective and sustainable ways to conduct business. In an effort to become more environmentally sustainable, companies have begun implementing Sustainability Management Systems (SMS). An SMS is a set of management processes and procedures that enable an organization to continuously improve its environmental, economic and social sustainability performance.
In 2011, a leading real estate services company began the process of developing a corporate-wide SMS, to improve their public standing as a corporation committed to environmental stewardship. In order to quickly and efficiently achieve this, the firm needed the help of a trusted and experienced team, so they chose FirstCarbon Solutions, now known as ADEC Innovations.
The SMS, by design, includes management of environmental, social and economic issues associated with sustainability - from energy and carbon management, to education and communication with shareholders and stakeholders. ADEC’s team of experts worked with the client to drive implementation of processes and procedures for the firm’s sustainable management initiatives.
ADEC analyzed natural gas, electricity, water and waste, and calculated carbon emissions for the company’s 60 different locations across the United States. Although each site had different emissions factors, we correctly calculated each one.
In addition to analyzing data for the client’s 60 different locations, ADEC helped establish a greenhouse gas inventory information system. This included developing a data map and management plan for energy, water and waste for the firm’s headquarters, and then at its other properties nationwide. In addition, we conducted a gap analysis between available data and needed data - an inventory of energy, water and waste at headquarters, and an inventory of energy and water at regional and national locations. The insights from these efforts will assist the firm’s management in making smart decisions about energy use and will uncover opportunities to enhance efficiencies.
With ADEC’s help, the client implemented a materials recycling program for glass, aluminum and plastics. From our analysis, we also recognized that the use of solar power had the potential to significantly reduce energy costs. Consequently, the client moved forward with ADEC’s recommendations and has obtained proposals from three providers to consider solar energy installations at two key locations.
Our expertise in sustainable management, large scale data management, sustainable metrics software, and energy and carbon reporting allowed the client to quickly set up and implement a countrywide system in just one year. The project culminated in a working SMS that covers a variety of the client’s systems regionally and nationally, and will continue to offer the benefits of sustainability insights, cost reductions and enhanced public perception.
Implementing solar power based on ADEC’s recommendation reduced overall utilities by $34,500 annually. Other recommendations and changes made by the ADEC team, such as the installation of an avsmart irrigation system, automatic paper towel and soap dispensers, and switching from plastic bags to paper, saved the client an estimated annual total cost of $71,000.
The ADEC Innovations Advantage
Sustainability is moving way beyond environmental compliance. It can now create new opportunities to enable businesses to gain competitive advantages while also driving cost reductions. The starting point is to clearly establish how sustainable you are today; this will help you understand how to plan and implement a more effective and cost-efficient transformation program to become truly sustainable.
The ADEC team includes some of the most experienced and knowledgeable sustainability consultants to help you make the most effective decisions. Both our services and systems integrate with your existing energy and sustainability solutions to enhance and streamline the energy and environmental management of your organization. Only ADEC fully integrates its consulting services with software, program management and unmatched expertise in back office data processing to put you on the path to sustainable profitability.
Deliverables and Results
- Identified and facilitated over $100,000 in cost savings through energy efficiency and other sustainability programs
- Enhanced corporate public standing by implementing a Sustainability Management System
- Provided management with visibility into corporate-wide sustainability performance