Archive for January, 2010

Paydirt 2010 Sustainability Forecasts Featured on GreenBiz.com

January 25, 2010

Eliza Clark reflects on life as a sustainability consultant and offers Paydirt’s predictions for developments in the green business world in 2010. Read the full post here.

Paydirt featured in Upsize Magazine!

January 12, 2010

Eliza Clark provides an overview of sustainability considerations for small businesses in the January 2010 issue of Upsize. Read the full article here.

Planning for a Sustainable Competitive Advantage in 2010

January 4, 2010

While most people understand the connection between environmental sustainability and resource conservation, many fail to see that sustainability can also open up new markets and business opportunities.

As your company develops its strategic plan for 2010, consider reaching out to environmentally minded customers by either changing the way you do business, or developing new “green” products or services. Specific questions to ask include:

  1. Are there ways to reduce the environmental impact of our products and services? Can you reduce natural resource consumption by improving the efficiency of your manufacturing or distribution processes? Can you purchase materials from local sources to reduce your overall carbon footprint? Or, if you are a professional services firm, can you change the way you deliver your services by limiting paper use, or conducting meetings using videoconferencing or Skype?
  2. Are there environmental problems that our company can help to solve? Can you retool or reframe your existing offerings to help people solve environmental challenges? For example, if your company is a law firm, can you help expand the availability and use of renewable energy by counseling energy developers about government regulations, intellectual property or land use?
  3. Are we adequately communicating the environmental benefits of our existing business? If you have already taken steps to make your products or services more “green,” have you also taken the time to quantify and market those benefits in a compelling way?
  4. Can our company develop green products or services to reach out to new customer prospects? As you brainstorm new offerings, don’t forget to consider environmentally friendly opportunities, too! As an added bonus, green programs are also a great way to engage and inspire your employees.

Zapping Phantom Energy Loads

January 4, 2010

Did you know that many of the electronic devices in your home and office remain “on” even when they appear to be “off?” Unfortunately, appliances in standby mode still draw electrical power – in some cases, a lot of power! Many call those energy drains “phantom energy loads” or “energy vampires.”

The typical home has 20 energy vampires, including televisions, computer monitors, DVD players, video game consoles, and kitchen appliances. Overall, phantom energy drains account for about 5 percent of home electricity use. And according to Cornell University, energy vampires can add about $200 to your annual energy bill.

Save energy – and money – by taking the following steps in your home and office:

  1. Identify your biggest energy drains: An appliance watt meter can be used to find out how much electricity an appliance is drawing in standby mode. Watt meters can often be borrowed from the local power authorities or a public library. Measure devices in your home and office while “on” and in “standby” mode to determine where you are wasting the most energy. 
  2. Where feasible, unplug electronic devices while not in use – Unplug easily accessible appliances whenever possible, especially before you leave on vacation. Where unplugging individual devices isn’t feasible or realistic, plug a couple devices into one surge protector that can easily be switched on and off. 
  3. When purchasing new electronic devices, select energy-efficient or ENERGY STAR products: When shopping for new products, reference the Federal Energy Management Program’s online database of products rated by their standby energy use: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/technologies/standby_power.html.  You can also look for ENERGY STAR-labeled products, which use about half the electricity of standard appliances on average– both on and off!