|ELITeXPO Is Going Green
The environment is something each of us has to take responsibility for. We understand that shipping and the carbon emissions it produces have a tremendous impact on the planet. In order to slow down or reverse the negative effects we have on the environment we all have to do what we can. It is a great undertaking and we are working each day to add components to our Green Program that will make a significant change.
We truly believe that this effort must be made as a company and through educating our staff to make changes at home as well. Heidi Maschmann, VP of Information Systems has been named to head up the ELITeXPO Green Program. Heidi oversees all Corporate aspects of the program and works with all staff to educate them on what can be done at home. She has provided information from where to get rain barrels to suggestions on vertical magnetic wind turbines. Heidi states, "It doesn't matter how big of steps you take at home as every little thing you do will have a global impact. One less napkin each day, changing to energy efficient light bulbs, bread in a single paper bag vs double-wrapped plastic bags...it all has a huge impact if lots of people do it." She has installed two rain barrels, a solar powered irrigation system, and a compost tumbler at her home so she can self-maintain her raised bed vegetable gardens. "It's just the a few of the many steps we will be taking in my home," adds Heidi.
ELITeXPO joined the EPA'sSmartWaySM program (see below article for details), which requires us to reduce our energy consumption, reduce our carbon emissions, and use as many other SmartWay certified carriers as possible. As part of our emissions reduction goal, we instituted a No Idling policy at our warehouse facility.
We have also worked with AmericanForests.org to establish a carbon offsets program for us. So far, we have funded the planting of nearly 10,000 trees! American Forests is a world leader in planting trees for environmental restoration, a pioneer in the science and practice of urban forestry, and a primary communicator of the benefits of trees and forests. American Forests (americanforests.org) is the nation’s oldest nonprofit citizens’ conservation organization. Citizens concerned about the waste and abuse of the nation’s forests founded American Forests in 1875. The organization is proud of its historic roots in the development of America’s conservation movement and proud of the new approaches the organization has developed to help people improve the environment in the 21st Century. American Forests earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator as well as receiving approval from the BBB Wise Giving Alliance.
We have even used tree seedlings as our trade show giveaways instead of the usual pens, cups, and other logo'd items.
The efforts we have made so far in our corporate office have already lowered our energy consumption by 15% per month. This energy savings was made possible through minor technical equipment replacement, energy-saving modes being used on computers and monitors, as well as switching off power strips when equipment is not in use and turning off lights when not in a room. We have also changed thermostat settings to reduce our use of gas and electricity. We have already installed EnergyStar compliant light fixtures in 39% of our corporate office with plans to replace the remaining 61%. Several of our managers have even moved to using floor and desk lamps with CFL bulbs vs. using overhead lighting.
In June of 2012, we consolidated 5 servers into two and were able to take three servers and two battery back-up units out of service. This will cut down on energy use from the devices as well as cut the cooling system use within the server cabinet itself. We also removed three switches which added to our server cabinet power reduction. We also replaced all computers in the corporate office and replaced them with energy-efficient models. All old PCs were given away for re-use or recycled.
We have a recycling program in place for paper and cardboard as well as for aluminum cans. We have also begun recycling all used computer equipment. We are using recycled cartridges as well wherever possible.
We've moved to using technology to reduce our paper consumption. We are using shared file storage instead of printing out all of our documents. We have been switching from fax machines to eFaxing for additional reductions in paper as well as toner cartridges.
We now have 45% of our staff working from home. We also have several others that car pool to work each day.
We are moving forward every day. We will keep you informed via this page as well as through email updates as progress is made.