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"GREEN: GSA: Rock Solid Sustainability"
Stewardship at HQ
GSA embraces sustainable systems at work
GSA's mission and vision talks about contributing to the stewardship of Earth and we take that very seriously here at GSA headquarters. It doesn't happen all at once, but we're working hard to stay on the right path.
Solar panels on GSA's roof.
Photo courtesy of Tim Ray, Vantage Point Imagery.
[ click here to view larger photos ]
GSA Past President Jean Bahr flips the switch to solar power.
GSA Executive Director Jack Hess toasts with members of the Boulder community.
A 66 kilowatt solar-panel system was installed on the roof at GSA headquarters during the month of October. A total of 298 high efficiency panels have been installed and the system output (90,000 kWh) is approximately 35% of GSA's yearly electric usage. The cost of the 66 kW system is being partially offset by a $132,000 rebate from Xcel Energy and a $30,000 grant that GSA received from the City of Boulder Climate Smart program.
GSA and the Boulder community celebrated with a "flipping the switch" ceremony on Thursday, 28 October 2010.
[ view program ]
GSA was featured as “Project of the month” on the Bella Energy News.
Sponsor a Panel
Visit the GSA Foundation website, click on make a donation, and select "Energy & Conservation Fund" from the Funds list.
GSA is a member of 10-For-Change, a City of Boulder organization where each company's goal is to reduce consumption by 10%. GSA at 17%, has exceeded this goal already and we are on the road to LEEDS certification.
[ watch the YouTube video ]
Core business standards
For many years we've been printing our books and journals on SFI-certified recycled paper with soy inks.
- Greener meetings
We select "green" cities for our conferences and offer attendees the opportunity to offset their carbon footprint. For the 2011 Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, 70 attendees donated a total of $1,750 to the GSA Foundationís Energy Fund in support of sustainability at GSA Headquarters. This offsets 87 metric tons of CO2e (MtCO2e), which is the same as 191,802 pounds of MtCO2e.
In more tangible terms that's the same as:
- The CO2 emissions resulting from the use of 9,786 gallons of gas
- Carbon sequestered from 2,230 tree seedlings grown for ten years
- Carbon sequestered annually by 18.6 acres of pine forest
- Greenhouse gas emissions avoided by recyc ling 58,560 pounds of waste instead of sending it to the landfill
GSA's green team (a group of employees) develop and implement conservation programs at HQ.
Some examples are:
- Zero waste events
No more paper plates, cups, or water bottles at GSA functions (Council meetings, all-staff lunches, etc.). Everyone helps out — and it's a lot classier, too!
- Expanded recycling program
Team members provide education through better signage on what's OK and what's not; a bulletin board with news and tips; and presentations at staff meetings.
All food scraps and paper towels go into the GSA community garden (see below).
- Good buying habits
GSA has become even more environmentally and socially conscious when purchasing products such as paper, supplies, and cleaning products.
GSA Community Garden
In 2009, a group of GSA employees started up a community garden which has been hugely successful and bountiful.
See photos on our Facebook page.