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Businesses Can Impact Our Environment

Many people think of only large scale home run mechanical changes as the only option to positively impact the environment – like solar panels, wind turbines, new HVAC equipment, etc. They don’t need to be only thinking that way. What is needed is consistent behavioral changes across as many businesses as possible to achieve cumulative and meaningful impacts. The behavioral changes continue day in and day out at CI Works. Each change represents both a product improvement / enhancement that represents a revenue increase and an environmental savings. Imagine if all businesses – big and small were to innovate, improve, and create less waste. It is positive for an individual business to make changes to their processes and even better for larger numbers to subscribe. At CI Works, we encourage the behavioral changes across all tenants’ businesses and that businesses interact and share.

One company alone reuses waste wood obtained from other businesses, collects all waste wooden pallets received with shipments by others and transforms them into new products vs. disposal as trash or as firewood. She has recently begun sourcing waste wood from lumber yards. Lumber yards generate extensive amounts of wood waste. A good example of one man’s (or woman’s) waste is another’s gold. It puts a whole new positive spin on the term ‘dumpster diving’. But it also exemplifies creativity, ingenuity, and also persistence. Think about it – how easy is it for someone to make a compelling argument to collect another business’s waste? But also think about how much more positive environmental impact is achieved by reusing waste without cutting down more trees.

Another company continually sources old barn wood throughout New England as barns and other buildings are torn down, and creates decorative doors instead of firewood or trash. This allows for custom orders to be fulfilled in real time and allows for customers being able to select specific types of wood and ages, and then pick a pattern that they prefer. This requires no additional cutting down of new trees. North Shore Barn Doors has even found uses for their remnant pieces as interesting patters with decorative colors added by Holly B Designs. See the picture of the door below as an example:

The door makes an interesting entryway for a photography studio.

Other companies are actively engaged in solar power generation, mechanical renewable energy generation in trucks, solar PV and thermal energy generation from home roofs, creating energy savings through building energy efficiency and insulation. Numerous companies have created businesses related to energy savings and generation, and others are behaving responsibly through the reuse of materials and minimizing the amount of waste generated by their processes.

With the building that houses these companies, we have upgraded every light bulb and fixture in the building to LED's saving 30% on our electric bill, have installed new and more efficient thermostats throughout, will be upgrading HVAC systems to more efficient units, have installed Electric Vehicle charging stations (10) around the exterior of the building as free benefits to tenants' employees. We are also continuing the pursuit of solar PV electricity generation from the roof of the building. The potential exists to generate as much energy annually as is used by the building. Solar PV remains a very heavy lift to install in Massachusetts due to the dyslexia of state government.

But, we can all work together to create the greatest positive impacts to benefit the future of our environment.

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