ABM Installing 2 MW Solar Plant at Cornell University

April 15, 2014

solar at cornellABM’s energy business started construction on a 2 MW solar array to be implemented on Cornell University’s campus in Ithaca, NY, representing the Ivy League university’s first large solar endeavor. The solar array is expected to save more than 730 metric tons of CO2 annually.

ABM will provide Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) and Operations & Maintenance (O&M) services. ABM joint venture partner Building Energy will finance and own the solar power plant in partnership with Distributed Sun, LLC, who developed the project for Cornell.

The 6,500+ panel ‘Lansing’ solar array will provide Cornell University with fixed, low-cost energy rates over the life of the 30-year agreement, allowing Cornell to save money as utility costs are expected to rise in the coming years.

“We are pleased to partner with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Distributed Sun, LLC, and ABM to launch Cornell’s first large solar project,” said Cornell Vice President for Facilities Services Kyujung Whang. “This facility represents a significant step to advance Cornell’s clean energy portfolio. The Lansing solar facility aligns with carbon reduction goals of Cornell, Tompkins County and New York State.”

To see more about how ABM is helping Cornell University, read the complete press release.

Understanding Green Cleaning Chemicals

April 11, 2014

green cleaningWith Earth Day around the corner, it’s a good time to think about how you can do your part to minimize the impact of harsh chemicals while cleaning. Environmentally friendly cleaning products improve air quality indoors, and reduce the risk of health problems that can be caused by traditional cleaning products.

We all want to do our part to go “green” but it’s important to beware of the “green buzz” that’s become a popular, though often misleading term used in marketing products.  “Natural,” “Organic,” “Environmentally Safe,” “Non-Toxic,” etc. have no regulation or meaning unless defined, so dig a little deeper when you see these terms in use.

One way to know that you’re making the right purchasing decision for your home or business is to check for the Green Seal. Green Seal is an independent non-profit organization that certifies green products to a specific scientific sustainability standard. To learn more about how products are certified, the Green Seal website has product lists and clear information to help you make an informed purchase on its website.

As part of ABM’s GreenCare® program to improve indoor air-quality, we use products from Green Seal’s GS-37 category for general purpose, washroom, glass and carpet cleaning. We have found that hydrogen-peroxide based products and other multi-surface cleaners can take the place of separate products for each task, which simplifies the cleaning process, training and chemical storage. Remember, the key is to use the least harmful technology that properly accomplishes the cleaning task at hand.

USGBC Launches National Action Plan for Educating for Sustainability

April 9, 2014

The US Green Building Council (USGBC) does it again! They’ve just launched the National Action Plan for Educating for Sustainability that will promote sustainability and teach students to make decisions that balance the need to preserve healthy ecosystems with the need to promote vibrant economies and equitable social systems.

According to an article insustainable education SustainableBusiness.com News, the goal of the new program is to educate all students for a sustainable future by 2040 through the integration of environment, economy and equity, with the ability to apply systems thinking to problem solving and decision making.

In partnership with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the USGBC action plan outlines a strategy for all 50 states to adopt a comprehensive green schools policy that includes a graduation requirement around sustainability literacy by 2040.

“When the U.S. Department of Education published its Green Ribbon Schools award that called for all K-12 graduates to be environmentally literate, we received that as a directive for the community to band together and figure out how we will ensure that happens,” says Rachel Gutter, director of the Center for Green Schools at USGBC.

For more details on the National Action Plan for Educating for Sustainability check out the complete article.

ABM to Save BrandsMart USA $1.6M in Energy Costs

April 3, 2014

ABM and Ygrene EBrandsmart1nergy Fund, a leading developer and administrator of clean energy financing programs, have partnered to complete a facility-wide energy conservation project that is expected to save BrandsMart USA’s South Dade County, FL location 35% on its annual utility costs.

The customized solution includes major enhancements to the facility’s heating and cooling equipment, replacing lighting fixtures with cost effective LED lighting, and modifying its existing energy control system. In all, the BrandsMart USA location is set to save $135,000 in annual costs and more than $1.6 million over the life of the contract.

BrandsMart USA’s energy improvements constitute the largest project to date in Florida leveraging PACE and falls within South Florida’s Clean Energy Green Corridor PACE District. The deal taps into the Clean Energy Corridor’s $230 million bond issuance financed through private capital.

“We selected ABM to make these critical infrastructure upgrades because of their proven track record as an industry leader in the energy services business,” said Lary Sinewitz, Executive Vice President, BrandsMart USA. “Further, they have been able to assist us through the financing aspect of the Ygrene program. This is a win-win for BrandsMart USA and for our valued customers. We look forward to a tremendous partnership with ABM for years to come.”

Read the complete press release for more details.

New Tenant Star Program Unlocks Market Potential

March 27, 2014

Tenant StarAt a time when real estate transactions are on the rise and driving demand for energy efficiency return on investment, the U.S. House recently passed a bill that includes a groundbreaking Tenant Star program. Designed to accelerate energy efficiency in leased commercial spaces, the bipartisan “Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2014” (HR 2126) could cut utility bills for landlords and tenants by an estimated $2 billion by 2030 and reduce carbon emissions by nearly 12 million metric tons.

Introduced by Representatives David McKinley (R-W.V.) and Peter Welch (D-Vt.), the bill unanimously passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee in January and now heads to the Senate. Meanwhile, on the Senate side, Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) last week reintroduced their Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S 2024) with the Tenant Star provisions.

According to a recent article in greenbiz.com, Tenant leased spaces typically represent 50 percent or more of a building’s overall energy use, presenting often overlooked energy savings opportunities. To unlock the market potential and reduce the estimated $20 billion spent annually on commercial office buildings’ energy use, a comprehensive building efficiency program is essential.

The Tenant Star program would establish a voluntary, cost-free certification and recognition program to promote energy efficiency during design and occupancy of leased space. It would complement the widely recognized whole building ENERGY STAR label and address often overlooked energy savings in leased spaces through cooperation between commercial building landlords and tenants.

Read the complete greenbiz.com article for more information on the new Tenant Star program.