Non-Profit Energy Alliance: Sustainability Webinar
Strategies for Saving Money by Greening your NonProfit Eric R. Coffman and Doug Weisburger Montgomery County, Department of Environmental Protection
“Greening” for Non Profits• Enhances the “triple bottom line” by generating “cash” savings that can be dedicated toward core mission while protecting the environment, enhancing community well being, and image.• Provides talking points for funders to emphasize fiscal and social/environmental responsibility.• Helps retain and attract motivated and talented employees and volunteers.• “Greening” can be easy - not every organization can put solar panels on their building - but every organization can do something.
Creating a “Green Team” and “Green Plan”• Every effort needs a starting point and for most organizations this is a green team and plan.• “Many Hands Make Light Work”, employees are often willing to work together and donate time to help organize green activities.• To create the plan, consider asking staff to fill out a simple survey to get their ideas and buy-in.• Green plans do not need to be exhaustive (or exhausting!); sometimes it is best to start simple.• Identify areas of greatest impact and which you can control.• Identify the actions you plan to take, who is responsible, how you will measure progress.
Getting Started – Purchase CleanEnergyFor most of you congratulations!
Getting Started – Get off the Bottle:• Eliminate bottled water at events by providing tap water,• Provide tap water it is safe and uses much less energy than bottled water,• Use water filters (e.g., Brita) where appropriate“Eliminating 500 bottles of water can save $250 or more”
Getting Started – Let the PrinterSleep• Examine publications? Are they really needed?• Consider digital alternatives.• Set printer default to double sides.• Where you must publish, examine paper for recycled content and consider soy based inks.“A Non-Profit organization saved $50,000 by reducing size of event program books.”
Getting Started – Be EnergyConscious• Turn-out lights when not needed• Set-back thermostats in the winter, set them forward in the summer• Turn-off or eliminate excess office equipment• Talk to employees about comfort and alternatives to expensive space heaters. Ensure maintenance staff are included in conversations.“A large office building saved $100,000 by shifting to daylight cleaning, allowing them to keep their lights off for a longer period”
Getting Started – Pay it Forward• Encourage employees, volunteers, recipients of services and partners to green their lives.• Encourage spreading of simple green messages through organization newsletters, communications, and annual events.• Direct people to community resources for information, incentives, and educational resources (www.mygreenmontgomery.org)
Get Recognized!• Include your green achievements in annual reports and messages to program participants, employees and volunteers.• Tell your story publically through community “green” portals (www.mygreemontgomery.org)• Consider seeking formal recognition from programs such as the Montgomery County Green Business Certification (http://mcgreenbiz.org/ )
Program Overview• Based on day to day operations, policies and behavior.• Partnership with the County’s Chamber of Commerce and Montgomery College (training).• Two year anniversary; 35 Certified Green Businesses. Including six Non Profits and a diversity of businesses.• Voluntary; $100 for small and $250 for large• On site verification using 3rd party consultant• Application has 260 actions in seven different categories, including “other” option. Most actions are cost-neutral; many save money.• To get certified, businesses must implement between 70 and 120 actions depending upon their size and type.
Green Business Profile – Congregation Beth ElCongregation Beth El became the first certified green religiousorganization , doing so with flying colors and great fun. Just ahandful of the over 100 actions they are taking include:• sponsored “dumpster dives” to analyze the content and volume of their waste and devise strategies for reduction.• Composting kitchen waste,• Training staff and volunteers on the use of reusable kitchenware,• Extensive signage and outreach on energy efficiency.• Hosted an environmental speaker series,• Hosts community supported agriculture through weekly deliveries of local in season fruits and vegetables.• Runs a “Reduce Fuel to Shul” contest to promote walking, biking, and carpools in exchange for eco-friendly prizes.
Resources and Training Opportunities• Resource guide including links to key resources.• Newsletter with examples of other organization’s actions.• Crash “web” courses on greening your organizations.• In person trainings for groups of 20 to 30
Questions and AnswersMontgomery County Department of Environmental ProtectionEric R. Coffman,email@example.comDoug Weisburgerdoug.firstname.lastname@example.orgP.S. please let us know if this short webinar was helpful and if there are other “green topics” you are interested in.