At OUC, we want you to know we’re not just talking the talk when it comes to conservation and sustainability, we’re walking the walk. From our Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified administration and customer service center in downtown Orlando to the environmentally sound power generation equipment at the Stanton Energy Center, we’re working hard to protect the environment and our community.
For more than 86 years, we’ve been committed to reliability, affordability and environmental stewardship. Now we’re taking it a step further, closely examining every aspect of our operation in order to find ways to improve our efficiency, performance and service while minimizing our impact on the environment. This winter we will publish our initial Sustainability Report. It will include our findings and benchmarks as well as detail our goals going forward. Look for this report each year to see how OUC is performing as we strive to meet these goals and deliver on our promise to serve our customers and our community.
We conducted a greenhouse gas inventory that detailed the various emissions resulting from our operations and recommended ways to lessen or eliminate these gasses. The inventory – which also helped us establish a baseline for determining our overall carbon footprint – found that 98 percent of OUC’s CO2 emissions come from the coal-burning units at Stanton Energy Center.
Our recently completed Electric Integrated Resource Plan covered every facet of our organization. This benchmark study – along with the upcoming Sustainability Report – will provide the framework for future renewable energy and demand-side management (DSM) planning to establish carbon reduction goals and metrics.
Integrated Water Resources Plan
OUC also developed an Integrated Water Resources Plan, a comprehensive, overarching approach to study conservation options, pursue alternative water supplies and evaluate partnerships with local governments.
We’re always suggesting that our customers conduct an energy and water audit in their own homes and businesses to learn about their consumption, how they can reduce their usage and, in turn, their utility bills. Well, we’re heeding our own advice.
We recently enlisted Siemens, our energy services partner,to conduct a no-cost, preliminary Energy and Water Audit to determine the efficiency of energy consumption in all our facilities – including power and water plants, chilled water facilities, fleet, warehouses, offices and operations buildings.
With the philosophy that changing an organization’s culture requires both corporate and individual accountability, OUC has established the Green Team – a dedicated group of employee volunteers who are working to implement practical, sustainable operations in their respective work areas.
In addition to setting benchmarks and establishing metrics, the Green Team identifies ways to improve energy and water efficiency in OUC buildings, reduce waste, use product inventories more efficiently, lower emissions from operations, and create a healthier, happier environment for employees and customers.
Going forward, OUC is planning a number of new green initiatives. In conjunction with the City of Orlando, we are moving toward Single Stream Recycling (all recyclables in one bin) and developing internal policies such as electronic document storage, online document review, double-sided printing and using recycled paper and office products.
In 2010, OUC recycled thousands of pounds and thousands of gallons of hazardous materials in an environmentally responsible way, but we also recycled these materials listed below:
Many of the above items could have ended up in a landfill, but our OUC employees have made a commitment “to do the right thing”, and bring these items to our centralized sorting areas to be measured and processed.
Going forward, OUC is planning a number of green initiatives. In November 2010, OUC introduced company wide paper product recycling, Single Stream recycling (all bottles and cans in one bin) and continue to develop internal policies such as electronic document storage, online document review, double-sided printing and using recycled paper and office products.