November 1, 2012

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Taking the Leadership Reins

Let’s face it—when you create a concept, work to perfect it, f...Read More

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Article

Sustainable Business Awards

Organizations Committed to a Greener Utah

Sarah Cutler, Di Lewis, Heather Stewart

November 1, 2012

“Adobe’s products help people work digitally, reducing much of the need for printed documents and travel,” says Jonathan Francom, director of global workplace strategy and programs for Adobe Systems. “The extent to which Adobe’s products facilitate sustainability and the extent to which Adobe operates sustainably are integral to Adobe’s culture.”

Conservice Utility Management & Billing
One of the primary business objectives of Conservice is to improve conservation efforts for its clients, so when the company needed to build a new facility for its growing workforce, it created one of the most sustainable buildings in Cache Valley.

“We’ve been in the utility-management business for over a decade and feel it’s important for us to demonstrate through our actions the importance of conservation. With this building, we’re showing our clients, partners and the community the value of investing in sustainable building practices,” says David Jenkins, president and CEO of Conservice.

Set at a perfect angle to minimize heating from the sun, the Conservice building relies on an underground cold water supply for cooling during the summer. Solar panels collect heat for warming the building and heating culinary water. Insulated, shaded and tinted windows help manage the indoor temperature.

Strategies like lighting controls and computer managed run-time limits further reduce energy use. The company estimates that it will use only 15 percent of the energy that it used in its original building.

Conservice employees are also involved in its conservation efforts. Employee teams have participated in highway cleanups, tree plantings and educational events, among many other activities.

Company Initiatives
O.C. Tanner Company

“Getting everyone involved from the factory floor to the boardroom is key to our success,” says O.C. Tanner CEO and President Dave Petersen of the company’s sustainable initiatives.

Petersen says the company has a “feisty” environmental management program that has driven impressive results: a 92.5 percent reduction in toxic trash, a 90 percent reduction in volatile organic compound emissions, 100 percent elimination of extremely hazardous chemicals and 88 percent less waste water.

O.C. Tanner recycles everything it can, from paper and metals to kitchen grease. It donates unused lacquers, wax and enamels, as well as used computers and furniture. The company has improved its ability to refine precious metals and re-fabricate precious metal alloys, reducing its dependency on natural resources.

Employees participate in monthly “green days” and share ideas for improvement. O.C. Tanner boasts award-winning employee participation in the Utah Clear the Air Challenge. “Additionally, we have a green series of buttons that are available for employees to recognize green efforts and innovation on a peer-to-peer basis,” says Petersen. “Recognizing great green work and efforts (from recycling to carpooling) encourages more great ideas.”

Uinta Brewing Company
Will Hamill says Uinta Brewing Company always wanted to be a leader in sustainable business practices. “Living and recreating in Utah’s mountains and deserts helped to instill a sense of conservation and responsibility to protect the environment from the very beginning,” says Hamill, president of the company.

Almost from the beginning, Hamill realized sending the spent grain from brewing to a landfill was a waste. Instead, the company partnered with local ranchers to donate the grain for feed. “We have been told that the feed was especially important during the recent financial challenges,” he says.

In 2001, Uinta became the state’s first 100 percent wind-powered company. Last year, it followed up with a 30kw solar system on the brewery’s roof. Paired with new lower-energy-use lights, Uinta Brewing has significantly reduced its energy demand.

“There are many smaller but important practices that we have implemented over the years, as we believe it all counts,” says Hamill. The company has a brown glass recycling center, collects corks for recycling, and recycles all aluminum, cardboard, plastic wrap and office paper. It also does not serve plastic water bottles in the Brewhouse Pub. Uinta is excited to incorporate sustainable practices into its new building, which is on schedule to open in spring 2013.

Energy
Xi3 Corporation

Xi3 Corporation is sparking a computer revolution with its Xi3 Modular Computer, a design that allows customers to easily replace parts, use less energy and reduce environmental impact. President and CEO Jason Sullivan says the modular computer is designed so the three internal boards can be easily replaced with upgraded components when needed.

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