Siemens Building Technologies Inc. says over the past two years it has identified and implemented a variety of measures that focus on sustainability efforts. This was achieved by committing to sustainability and environmental responsibility across every aspect of its business and by applying the energy efficiency and green building sustainability practices that it offers its customers to its own business operations.
For example, a recent project with the Metropolitan Board of Public Education for the City of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee, in the initial phase improvements to more than 135 facilities, is delivering nearly $3 million in annual energy savings along with a significant reduction in greenhouse gases.
In the summer of 2007, Siemens created the Internal Sustainability Committee to make sustainability part of the strategic mission of its entire organization. The committee developed the “four pillars of success” that define the initiative’s approach.
- Pillar One — Products: Reduce the negative environmental impacts of its products, specifically in manufacturing, packaging and labeling.
- Pillar Two — Operations: Minimize the environmental footprint of it business operations. The company set 2012 reduction targets (using 2007 baselines) for a range of consumables including fleet gallons of fuel purchased, emissions growth, average increase in fleet fuel efficiency, energy use, and air miles traveled by employees.
- Pillar Three – Solutions: Develop solutions that generate a positive impact on the environment for its customers. The company’s target is to increase the efficiency and reduce the energy and resource demands of both new and existing buildings.
- Pillar Four – Transparency: In 2008, the company publicly announced the Sustainability Committee to employees and published “Sustainability Initiatives,” outlining the key aspects of the program to select customers.
A few actions already taken by Siemens include the adoption of the Siemens standard, SN36350 Environmentally Compatible Products and Systems, that provides guidelines for designing environmentally compatible products and systems and integrating environmental benefits into planning, development or installation processes. In addition, all new products are now designed for easy disassembly at the end of product life for recycling.
Siemens has also changed its package shipping policies, which has resulted in a one-third reduction in associated CO2 emissions. Employees have also reduced its air travel by 15 percent from FY 2005 to FY 2007, cutting CO2 emissions by more than 3 million pounds.
The company has also reduced its electricity consumption at the Buffalo Grove headquarters and manufacturing facilities on average of 3 percent per year from FY 2003 to FY 2007, reducing CO2 emissions by more than 9 million pounds, and recycled 3.6 million pounds of material compared to sending 2.7 million pounds of material to landfills.
In June 2009, Siemens will release its first Sustainability Report that will outline the company’s programs and publish results as measured against the initiative’s four pillars of success.