EnviroGuard Resource Guide

Ideas and initiatives to improve the sustainability of your business

 

Materials & Resource (Waste/Recycling) Management:  

Rewards actions that result in the management of products, materials and processes that lower the environmental impact of a business.

  • Measurement 
    • Track solid waste/recycling data
    • Report results and compare before/after implementing recycling/reuse initiatives
  • Prevention
    • Set all copiers/printers defaults to double-sided
    • Notify junk mailers to remove business from mailing list
    • Use electronic hand dryers in restrooms or use/require use of recycled restroom paper products
    • Substitute products and/or chemicals for less toxic equivalents
  • Reuse
    • Encourage reuse of office supplies/packaging
    • Collect/donate reusable products to charities
    • Encourage use of reusable coffee mugs (in/out of office)
    • Provide reusable plates/silverware/glasses in employee break rooms
    • Contract with vendors that reuse packing supplies in service deliveries
  • Recycle
    • Recycle all materials accepted in commercial recycling program
    • Communicate recycling goals with key partners (i.e., janitorial staff)
    • Recycle rechargeable batteries
    • Recycle/return printer cartridges/toner bottles for reuse
    • Recycle all appropriate electronics (i.e., phones, computers, printers)
    • Properly manage hazardous waste including fluorescent lights/ballasts
  • Environmental purchasing
    • Responsible sourcing of raw materials
    • Use printer/copier paper made of 30% or higher recycled content
    • Use other paper products made of recycled content
    • State on correspondence/advertising percent of post-consumer recycled content
    • Use green-certified cleaning products and/or service-providers that do

Energy:

Natural gas and electricity are the primary energy sources for the Boise area. Around 41% of the electricity provided by Idaho Power is generated from coal-fired power plants (source: Idaho Power Company). Businesses can reduce their environmental footprint through conservation, increasing their facility’s energy efficiency, and supporting/using renewable energy sources (i.e. wind/solar).

  • Conservation
    • Appliances (i.e., water heaters set between 125-130 degrees F) are operated at manufacturer recommended/optimal energy efficiency setting
    • Vending machines are Energy-Star rated and/or equipped with power-down sensors (i.e., Vendingmiser) for lights and compressor when not in use
    • Employees are required to turn computers off each evening or automate shutdown through IT department
    • Use Energy-Star rated equipment where feasible
    • Use occupancy-sensing power strips to automatically power down plug loads
    • Use power management settings that power down idle monitors and/or printers after 20 minutes or less of inactivity
    • Use standby or hibernate function for computers and monitors to further reduce power usage
    • Replace residential style appliances 15 yrs or older with Energy-Star rated units
    • All heating and cooling units are on a regular maintenance schedule
    • Programmable thermostats are used and programmed to reduce heating temps and increase cooling temps after-hours and on weekends
  • Lighting
    • Shut off all non-emergency lighting at night
    • Replace all non-dimming incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs
    • Outdoor lighting is on a timer that is on a regular cleaning schedule
    • Outdoor lighting is on a motion detector that is on a regular cleaning schedule
    • Exit signs use LED lighting technology or similar low-wattage bulbs
    • Use task lighting along with low ambient lighting
    • Retrofit lighting fixtures to accommodate T5 fluorescent bulbs

Water: 

In the high desert environment that is home to Boise, water is a resource that we can’t afford to waste. Implementing water conservation measures inside and out not only protects this natural resource but also saves on energy costs.  

  • Conservation - Interior
    • Identify and rank water use within your facility and develop a plan to reduce usage
    • Fix leaky toilets, faucets, and hoses and develop a maintenance schedule to check every 6 months
    • Faucets used for kitchen activities have a 1.5 gallons per minute (GPM) or lower aerators
    • Hand-washing faucets have a .5 GPM or lower aerators
    • Faucets have automated demand-based sensor shut-offs, not timed
    • New toilets use no more than 1.28-1.6 gallons of water per flush. Toilets using greater than 1.6 gallons per flush are retrofitted.
    • Commercial toilets are dual-flush in
    • Urinals use 0.5 gallons per flush or less
    • Eliminate use of plastic water bottles and jug dispensers
    • Purchase Water-Sense fixtures and Energy-Star appliances
  • Conservation – Outside
    • Outside hoses have automatic shut-off nozzles
    • Sprinklers have been adjusted to minimize run-off onto pavement and no watering takes place during a rain event or mid-day
    • Plant watering systems use low-water use practices such as low-drip and hand watering
    • Install rain sensors that detect rain event and automatically shut-off irrigation system
    • Irrigation systems are routinely inspected and maintained to reduce waste
    • Irrigation systems are adjusted seasonally to meet plant needs
  • Pollution Prevention
    • Landscaping maintenance includes an Integrated Pest Management Plan
    • Post signs and/or train staff to sweep hardscape areas with a broom and eliminate hosing off of any vehicles etc. where run-off could reach storm drains
    • Add or replace landscaping with native and/or drought-tolerant plants
    • Reduce or eliminate impervious areas at facility
    • Install pollution prevention source control mechanisms near trash/recycling containers, loading docks, and outside storage areas

Transportation: 

Your business can help significantly reduce vehicle miles traveled by supporting active forms of transportation in the Boise area – walking, bicycling, participating in Commuteride, and taking public transit. Increasing participation in these alternative forms of travel not only improves our air quality but produces both employee health and economic benefits.

  • Carpooling is encouraged (i.e., incentives)
  • In event of family emergency or personal sickness, provide emergency ride home for employees that car pool or use public transit
  • Ample bike parking is available
  • Provide changing, shower, and locker facilities for employees that bike/walk to work
  • Install No Idling signs in front of building, parking areas and loading zone areas
  • Provide a bike, lock, and helmet for employees to use for short work-related travel during the work day and/or encourage the use of public transit
  • Develop a plan to reduce vehicle miles traveled in company vehicles
  • Use recycled and recyclable materials/products for maintenance
  • Ensure company vehicles are properly maintained to reduce leaks or wasting fuel/oil
  • Maintain tire pressure and use quality tires which improves mpg
  • Purchase fuel efficient and low emissions vehicles
  • Train employees on driving practices that improve gas mileage