Author Archives: Shelby Hill

Shelby Hill

About Shelby Hill

Shelby Hill writes business and lifestyle articles for AZNow.Biz and Arizona Business Magazine. She recently graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor of arts in English and journalism. Shelby is pursuing a career in journalism.

Google Buys Wind Power

Oil Spill, Google Wind Power & More

From global new to local business this week we’ve gathered stories about how hair can help the oil spill, what Belgium wants to do with the deceased, Google buying wind power and more. Plus, we’ve got an additional story on what one Valley business is doing to help the environment.

Please feel free to send along any interesting stories you’d like to see featured in the roundup by e-mailing Shelby Hill.

Also visit AZ Green Scene for informative articles on sustainability endeavors in the Valley and state. Read the latest article here.

Local
Cut Your Hair and Help the Oil Spill
Matter of Trust wants you to mail your hair, your dog’s hair and your kids’ hair to them to help soak up the oil in the Gulf.  Send hair to 99 Saint Germain Ave., San Francisco, CA 94114, and visit http://www.matteroftrust.org/ to see images of the hair in action.

Learn about the “Energize Phoenix Project”
The “Energize Phoenix Project” will provide energy-efficient improvements to neighborhoods along the 10-mile stretch of Phoenix’s light rail corridor.  It’s expected that this project will create up to 8,000 new jobs over the next six years.  To learn more about this project, attend the Phoenix Green Chamber of Commerce’s education forum on Monday, July 26.

National
Google Buys 20 Years of Wind Power from Iowa Farm
Google Energy, a subsidiary of Google, signed a 20-year deal with Story II Wind Energy Center in Iowa to buy wind power.  This is another step in achieving Google’s goal of becoming a carbon-neutral company.

In California, Kaiser Gives $1 Million to Build Green Health Clinic
La Maestra Community Health Center in San Diego would not only be green, but also help promote green building and living to the surrounding community.  La Maestra could be the first of its kind to earn LEED certification.  This clinic’s impact wouldn’t be small either, the clinic, expected to be 36,400 square feet, is projected to see 180,000 patient and client visits annually.

International
An Eco-Friendly Burial Isn’t a Burial at All
Belgium authorities hatched a plan to dissolve the dead in caustic solutions and flush them into the sewer system as a way to replace cremating and burial in a cemetery, which are both not environmentally friendly. Six states, including Colorado and Oregon, recently passed legislation to allow this process to occur in the United States.

Iceland Volcano Causes Decrease in CO2 Emissions
Think back to April when the hard-to-pronounce volcano Eyjafjallajökull had European planes grounded for six days.  Those six days without most of the European air traffic decreased our carbon emissions dramatically.  The volcano did release CO2, but at a much lower rate than humans produce.  Is nature sending us a message?

Oil Rigs supply our addiction to oil

Eating Organic, Kicking Our Oil Addiction, Solar Forestation And More

With so much going on in the green industry it’s hard to focus on just one topic. I’ve gathered stories about eating organic, kicking our oil addiction, solar forestation and more.

Cross-country road trip to conserve water
In an effort to educate the public about water conservancy, the Environmental Protection Agency is launching an educational cross-country road trip called “We’re for Water”.  The trip kicked off Wednesday, July 14, in Los Angeles and will end in New York on August 3.  National monuments including the world’s largest toilet are on the itinerary and contestants will be Tweeting and posting on Facebook their experiences along the way.

Is “solar forestation” the new trend in green living?
Mounting solar panels to the roofs of parking lot stalls in order to take advantage of the sun seems like an easy and productive idea.  However, much more planning goes into the carrying out of this idea than most people think.  One idea is to have solar panels that rotate to capture the sun’s rays or panels that are angled a certain direction.  An architect calls this “solar forestation”.

Kick your oil addiction
This blog, which comes in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, details several ways the average person can kick their oil addiction.  But it’s not as easy as the patch or the gum.  Our oil addiction is engrained into our everyday lives in a way that’s going to be tough to kick.  Some of the solutions are no-brainers like walk and bike more, another solution is buying local.  Either way, if we want to kick our addiction to oil, it starts with us.

Easy way to eat organic, join an organic food club
This article is one piece in a 52-part series about ways for Arizonans to go green.  The list of organic food clubs is a little lacking but the idea is good.  Here’s another resource for finding organic food near you. www.organicstorelocator.com/all-arizona

The new superhero – No Impact Man
In a United States where oil seems to be on everyone’s mind, Colin Beavan – who usually goes by his alias No Impact Man – blogs about his choice to live greener and in an op-ed piece for the New York Daily News explains why all Americans are part of the problem.  However, Beavan has a tiny problem with the way the Daily News portrayed his opinions.  This post and the Daily News article will show you why Beavan thinks we’re all in this together.

green-house

Bringing Energy-Efficient Mortgages To Valley Homeowners

Mortgage and auditing firms are teaming up to help green homeowners cut costs

Buying a home can come with many unexpected and obstructive costs. REEIS is partnering with mortgage companies to help homebuyers curtail costs and go green.

By teaming up with W.J. Bradley and Wells Fargo, REEIS, an energy efficiency auditing firm, offers free energy audits to homebuyers who are interested in energy-efficient mortgages.

What does an EEM do for a homebuyer?

    An energy-efficient mortgage (EEM) allows homebuyers to:

  • Qualify for a higher loan by taking into account the savings of an energy-efficient home
  • Receive up to $8,000 to put toward energy-efficient improvements after the close of escrow
  • Combine the total amount of energy-efficient upgrades with the loan to create one payment

Previously, homebuyers would be forced to shell out around $500 for an energy efficiency audit before they would qualify for an energy-efficient mortgage (EEM). This up-front cost “stops the process right there,” says Todd Russo, president of REEIS.

Lenders found it difficult to ask their clients to spend more money without the guarantee of an EEM, Russo says. Now W.J. Bradley and Wells Fargo clients can receive an energy efficiency audit for free.

REEIS’ audit produces two options for the homebuyer to choose from. The two options feature improvements that can be done to the house, each at a different price point.

“Ninety-five percent of people move forward with one of the two packages,” Russo says.

Not only will an EEM create a greener home by making it energy efficient from the start, it will also help the already strapped-for-cash homebuyer save money.

“When factoring all the costs of home ownership, the customer will pay less every month from the day one, in most cases,” Russo says.

REEIS also facilitates tax credits and utility rebates for the average homebuyer that total between $1,250 and $3,000 within two to three months of close.

Although REEIS’ service is only a few months old, Russo says it is going well. In one week, REEIS completed four energy audits with Wells Fargo, which has initiated a nationwide push to offer more EEMs to clients.

In addition to providing this service, REEIS and Russo want to spread the word about EEMs. Russo says everyone who knows about EEMs wants to offer them, which is why REEIS and Russo are trying to “educate the industry – realtors, lenders and homebuyers – that the conventional way of doing things is not the only option,” Russo says.

REEIS’ commitment to EEMs is the main reason why W.J. Bradley teamed up with the company, says Mike Tompkins, team manager and mortgage banker with W.J. Bradley.

Tompkins and Russo met at a mixer and decided that their shared excitement about EEMs would create a solid partnership.

“It amazes me that [the EEM program is] so under-utilized,” Tompkins says. “We need a vehicle, it seems like, to help us get it out to the public.”

This urge for awareness is the foundation of REEIS and W.J. Bradley’s team.

“I see [REEIS’] commitment in wanting to get the word out,” which is why the companies will be partners for some time to come, Tompkins says.

Along with its partnership with REEIS, W.J. Bradley has created flyers, hosts seminars and speaks with real estate agents daily about EEMs.

The service REEIS, W.J. Bradley and Wells Fargo provide is a “turn-key solution” to the lack of information and knowledge about EEMs, Russo says.

AZ Green SceneHomebuyer should “ask questions. Look into it a little deeper,” Russo says. It would be a “shame” for homebuyers to not take advantage of an EEM because they didn’t know it existed, he adds.

Corporate Green Programs & Practices - city-of-peoria - AZ Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

BIG Green Awards: Corporate Green Programs & Practices

Twelve categories, hundreds of nominations — but only one will take home the green. It’s the first annual Southwest Build-it-Green Awards, where BIG teamed up with the USGBC to bring you the leanest sustainable leaders and projects in Arizona.

Recipient: City of Peoria

Green initiatives have gone from paper and thoughts to parks and neighborhoods in the city of Peoria. City employees at every level, from the mayor to the custodial staff, have supported Peoria’s push for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly community.

City leaders added a sustainability policy to Peoria’s general plan, and a Sustainability Action Plan sets goals and measures progress in eight green areas. The Sustainability Action Plan includes goals in the areas of rethinking energy use, managing water resources, and promoting sustainable development and green-collar jobs. The city also created the “Sustain & Gain” motto as a central message to help promote these goals.

In addition, the city created a sustainability matrix to maintain goals and action plans for cost-effective green practices. As a living document, the matrix sets timelines for the completion of goals, keeps an inventory of accomplished goals and designates project leaders.

Along with setting goals and creating plans, Peoria also ceased distributing paper pay stubs to employees who are paid electronically, and the city only posts job openings online. City employees are encouraged to use green forms of transportation, be environmentally aware, present major progress made in areas of the Sustainability Action Plan at forums, and participate in green programs. For the public, Peoria’s Building Community Speakers Series hosts presentations by experts in fields related to sustainability at city council meetings.

www.peoriaaz.gov


Adolfson & Peterson Construction’s “Green Fists of Fury”
www.a-p.com

Adolfson & Peterson Construction rules not with iron, but green fists.  The company’s green fists of fury, or Hulk hands, signify the company’s commitment to green practices.  Adolfson & Peterson encourages and pays for employees to become Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certified.  Once LEED certified, employees receive their own green fist to display with pride in their office.

The company also integrated a hybrid fleet of cars, recycling and carpooling or telecommuting programs into its daily operations.  Adolfson & Peterson established satellite offices in Buckeye and Tucson, Ariz., to cut down on employee commuting.  The company’s hybrid fleet of cars even boasts a Smart Car for employee use.  Through its recycling program, Adolfson & Peterson recycled more than 1,000 tons of construction waste in Arizona in 2009.

Adolfson & Peterson strives to reduce its own carbon footprint and the footprint of its clients.  The company built the first LEED Silver Certified high school in Arizona, currently has more than 30 LEED-certified or pending projects and has helped Arizona State University and Carl Hayden High School start green programs.

Arizona Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

Bonnie Richardson - Green Advocate - AZ Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

BIG Green Awards: Green Advocate

Twelve categories, hundreds of nominations — but only one will take home the green. It’s the first annual Southwest Build-it-Green Awards, where BIG teamed up with the USGBC to bring you the leanest sustainable leaders and projects in Arizona.

Recipient: Bonnie Richardson, LEED AP, Architect & Principal Planner· City of Tempe

A passion for sustainable design and an enthusiasm for sharing her knowledge with others are not the only attributes Bonnie Richardson brings to the table.

After graduating from Arizona State University’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design in 1983, Richardson established her own architectural firm and became a visiting professor of architecture at her alma mater. Since then, Richardson has continued to share her knowledge of design, not only with the ASU community, but also with the Phoenix-metro area.

As an architect and principal planner for Tempe’s transportation department, Richardson has put her mark on many of the city’s green building endeavors, including Phoenix’s METRO light rail system and the Tempe Transportation Center.

Richardson is a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) professional, and an advocate for environmentally friendly development. She is committed to creating facilities and buildings that area residents will find aesthetically pleasing, and prove to be a valuable investment of their tax dollars.

She is a member of the American Institute of Architects, Valley Forward and the Arizona Technology Council, and has served with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Arizona Chapter.

Her commitment to the future of Tempe and Arizona is manifested in her desire to encourage and promote sustainable designing and building in her community.

www.tempe.gov


Finalist: Lori Singleton, Manager, Sustainability Initiatives & Technologies
SRP
www.srpnet.com

Although Lori Singleton is Salt River Project’s manager of sustainability initiatives and technology, she also uses her knowledge of environmentally friendly and sustainable practices to help others in her private life.  Singleton’s passion for sustainability has been demonstrated through her association with the Arizona chapter of the Audubon Society and Valley Forward.

Both Singleton’s personal and professional lives are dedicated to improving the quality of life in Arizona, advocating for sustainable practices and bringing attention to new, more efficient conservation techniques.  Her personal and professional philosophy — “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” — exemplifies her enthusiasm for sustainability.

Singleton had a regular column in The Arizona Republic, which she used to educate readers on daily ways to help preserve the environment.  She also aided the Audubon Society in its early stages by leading Audubon Arizona’s Business Advisory Committee.  Her involvement with Audubon gave the society the resources to spread its Healthy Planet/Healthy Home message to its 10,000 statewide members.


Finalist: Mara DeFilippis, Founder & CEO
Phoenix Green Chamber of Commerce
www.arizonagreenchamber.org

Striving to fill Phoenix’s need for green information and resources, Mara DeFilippis established the Phoenix Green Chamber of Commerce in 2008.

DeFilippis once asked, “If we were to have a lifespan of 500 years, how would we be living differently?”  This sentiment reflects DeFilippis’ passion for environmentally responsible practices.  It also demonstrates the Green Chamber’s mission to promote businesses committed to environmental and social responsibility.

The Green Chamber serves more than 140 businesses, holds monthly educational forums and distributes a monthly newsletter, which reaches more than 5,500 Phoenix businesses, agencies and people.  It is also compiling an “Eco-Standards” handbook, estimated for a mid-2010 release, which features a tiered system to rate members’ sustainable business practices.  These ratings will be visible online through the Green Chamber’s directory.

DeFilippis and the Green Chamber strive to provide clear education on which green ideas and businesses are most effective for the environment and the bottom line.

Arizona Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

General Dynamics Green Processes - AZ Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

BIG Green Awards: Green Processes

Twelve categories, hundreds of nominations — but only one will take home the green. It’s the first annual Southwest Build-it-Green Awards, where BIG teamed up with the USGBC to bring you the leanest sustainable leaders and projects in Arizona.

Recipient: General Dynamics C4 Systems

Scottsdale-based General Dynamics C4 Systems is cutting costs and its environmental impact at the same time. The company has applied various sustainable practices to its Scottsdale facility and achieved almost $750,000 in cost savings annually.

General Dynamics C4 Systems develops and integrates secure communication and information systems and technology for businesses and governments. Although the company does not directly focus on green products, it is committed to becoming environmentally friendly. The company’s Environment, Health and Safety Policy states that it strives to reduce its impact on the environment and continues to pursue improvement.

General Dynamics C4 Systems certainly found a way to shrink its environmental impact at its research-focused, 1.5 million square foot Scottsdale campus, which houses more than 5,000 employees, visitors and contractors.
The site utilized sustainable ideas and practices on the road to becoming a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certified facility. Through the certification process, General Dynamics C4 Systems replaced or reconditioned the existing structures to lessen the site’s environmental impact. Also, the Scottsdale campus has saved more than 1.4 megawatts of power simply by turning off thousands of devices when they are not in use.

General Dynamics C4 Systems also integrated green cleaning and maintenance practices into its operations. The company utilizes reusable cleaning materials and cleaning chemicals that are non-obtrusive. It also extensively re-uses construction materials, equipment and components. Plus, the campus has upgraded the lighting system at its LEED-certified site and converted completely to locally manufactured recycled paper products.

The company also integrated its Computerized Aided Facilities Management system into its construction and maintenance processes. This system tracks sustainable data such as materials, infrastructure capacity, energy impacts and indoor air quality at its Scottsdale campus.

Additionally, General Dynamics C4 Systems produces the maximum energy savings and extends the life of equipment by integrating building operations procedures with systems commissioning.

Not only is General Dynamics C4 Systems’ own site lessening its impact on the environment, the company strives to meet environmental and safety requirements as it designs and manufactures products and services for its customers.

www.gdc4s.com

Arizona Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

Alternative Energy Leaders Award - AZ Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

BIG Green Awards: Alternative Energy Leaders Award

Twelve categories, hundreds of nominations — but only one will take home the green. It’s the first annual Southwest Build-it-Green Awards, where BIG teamed up with the USGBC to bring you the leanest sustainable leaders and projects in Arizona.

Recipient: CarbonFree Technology

CarbonFree Technology campaigns for the use of green energy solutions throughout the United States and North America. The company, which was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Ontario, Canada, is a solar power project developer. It helps businesses and institutional customers develop solar power solutions for their energy needs.

CarbonFree Technology’s 2009 merger with SolEquity allowed it to increase its potential. The company negotiated the first successful implementation of a solar power purchase agreement in Arizona. This deal allowed Arizona State University to create a leadership position in its sustainability programs through the financing of two solar rooftop top installation and one rooftop. These installations create more than 1.5 megawatts of solar power. The ASU solar installations also are a visual reminder of the power of creativity and environmental responsibility that CarbonFree Technology champions.

CarbonFree Technology recommends appropriate solar solutions and securs available government incentives based upon each individual project. The company’s other duties include managing project construction, arranging financing, finding contractors to build the system and arranging monitoring and maintenance for the life of the system.

CarbonFree Technology’s work has a beneficial impact on the environment and the economies of the communities in which it works. In addition to creating solar power, CarbonFree Technology also creates jobs with each solar power installation. Every installation requires workers for everything from installation and arranging permits to painting and maintenance.

www.carbonfreetechnology.com


Finalist: Green Fuel Technologies
www.greenfuelsolar.com

Green Fuel Technologies combined its original vision and market-savvy timing to become a leader in technology development and implementation.

At its inception in 1999, Green Fuel Technologies’ goal was to provide economically and environmentally conscious alternative energy sources to Arizonans.  In 2006, CEO John Casey and president Dustin Hamby decided to explore the green building industry.
Now, not only does the company consult on developing technologies like bio fuel, wind and solar thermal, but it also develops unique green power systems for its clients. Green Fuel Technologies works with existing structures as well as conceptual designs to integrate alternative energy sources.

The company is currently partnering with Coulomb Technologies to create a network of 4,000 electric vehicle charging stations throughout the Southwestern United States by the end of 2010.  This partnership exemplifies Green Fuel Technologies’ key to long-term growth — bringing new energy technologies to the marketplace.


Finalist: Republic Services, Inc.
www.republicservices.com


Republic Services not only provides trash collection services, it also derives useable energy from its landfills. Headquartered in Phoenix with 34,000 employees in 40 states and Puerto Rico, Republic Services has continually striven to be an industry leader since its founding in 1998.

The company has 74 landfill gas-to-energy projects nationwide, in more than one-third of its landfills.  Landfill gas is methane produced by organic materials as it decomposes in landfills.  After it is captured, the gas can be converted to an alternative fuel source for cars or to generate heat, steam, and electricity, among other things.  These landfill gas-to-energy projects combine to produce the equivalent of removing four million cars from the road.

Landfill gas-to-energy projects have economic impacts as well as beneficial environmental impacts.  These projects create jobs for professionals from engineers to equipment vendors.  Along with the landfill gas conversion, the company continues to research, develop and implement environmentally friendly technologies.

Arizona Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010