We’re making big strides in our ongoing efforts to help make our communities cleaner and healthier places to live. Through initiatives surrounding energy consumption, emissions reduction, recycling and conservation, First Niagara is committed to making an impact.
Currently, First Niagara is running two projects for Leadership in Energy & Environment Design (LEED). Our Larkin 7th Floor Expansion will help us achieve a Silver Level Rating for Administration Building and our Administrative Center building reconstruction in Lockport, NY will help us achieve a Certified Level Rating LEED Certification for Commercial Interiors. LEED for Commercial Interiors provides third-party verification of green buildings.
This year First Niagara also entered into Herman Miller Furniture’s rePurpose program. The rePurpose program is dedicated to recycling items an organization no longer needs – like furniture, office supplies and office equipment – to maximize value to the community and environment.
Our partnership with the rePurpose program demonstrates our stewardship of resources by diverting unwanted assets from landfills and helping nonprofits in our community benefit from recycled items.
In 2010, First Niagara signed a national sales contract with Shaw Contract Group for our company’s standard carpet for both our corporate offices and retail branches. One of our main criteria during the carpet selection process was minimal environmental impact.
The product selected was Shaw’s EcoWorx Tile:
The carpet manufacturer calculated that the amount of carpet First Niagara purchased over the past three years equates to 16,243 gallons of gasoline saved and 219,563 pounds of CO2 eliminated. Carpet made with EcoWorx Backing is completely recyclable, which helps prevent approximately 297,266 pounds of carpet from going to the landfill.
Energy Sourcing – We’re currently evaluating consultants with the intent of purchasing electricity and natural gas from either the retail or wholesale market in the near future. This initiative is only applicable to locations where First Niagara is responsible for paying its own utility bills. Once a consultant is engaged, we will strategically purchase energy based on criteria that will better position us to manage demand and consumption. This initiative is expected to yield a savings between 5%-20% on the portion of utilities First Niagara controls.
Lighting Retrofit – We are researching opportunities to retrofit exterior and interior lighting at many of our branches with energy-efficient LED lighting. LED lighting technology has improved over the past couple of years to make this a viable option in our effort to control electrical consumption and demand, as well as reduce ongoing maintenance and material costs due to LED’s long life of between 70,000 – 100,000 hours. We are in the preliminary stages of our research, so savings projections are premature; however, similar projects have resulted in savings upwards of 70%.
BioPCM (Phase Change Material) – We are considering a beta test of BioPCM, a product that absorbs heat in the daytime and releases stored heat in the night to reduce cooling and heating loads. Management of heat loads during occupied hours will result in reduced overall energy consumption. The BioPCM system’s ease of installation and low-cost materials make this a cost-effective method of managing our energy consumption and expense.
Fluorescent Lamp Recycling Program – A fluorescent lamp replacement program was implemented recently wherein all spent lamps are recycled in an effort to keep harmful mercury out of the environment. So far in 2013 over 5,000 lamps have been recycled.
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