Good for the Planet, Good for Business
Going green really does make a financial impact
In Westchester today, adopting green business practices is all but mandatory. From installing solar panels and LED lighting to implementing employee rideshare programs, more and more local companies are working to lessen their impact on the environment. But the frugal-minded business owner can’t help but ask: Will going green make a difference financially, too? Clean air and renewable energy are important—but so is the bottom line.
We asked Dani Glaser of the Westchester Green Business Challenge, a program that helps local companies go green and save money along the way, for some specific recent examples, which clearly illustrate that going green can actually save you green.
Who: Manhattanville College, Purchase
hat: A vast solar-power array spanning the campus, with 3,600 panels in total
Why: An ambitious effort to draw 20 percent of its electricity needs from renewable sources
What they’ve saved: Once the panels are installed and drinking in sunlight—which will happen in late 2016—the school expects to save more than $3 million over the next 25 years.
Who: Congregation Kol Ami, White Plains
What: After conducting a thorough energy audit, they installed updated HVAC systems and LED lighting across three buildings.
Why: Dated HVAC equipment was sapping both the congregation’s budget and Con Ed’s power grid.
What they will save: $81,000 annually on energy costs, plus a one-time $85,000 grant from Con Ed
Who: Greenburgh Nature Center, Greenburgh
What: An extensive recycling program that composts all organics (think: leaves, food, wood, and animal waste) and rehomes refuse, like old office furniture, instead of adding it to the waste stream
Why: In 2014, the center set an ambitious goal: zero waste. They mean it: Even birthday parties hosted on-premises can be green (no disposable plates, please).
What they’ve saved: Big money for the Town of Greenburgh. The town pays a fee, per ton, whenever waste is hauled to Peekskill for incineration. But, when items are composted or recycled on-site, there is no fee. In 2015 alone, the center saved the town fees on nearly six tons of waste.
Who: NewYork-Presbyterian/Westchester Division, White Plains
What: A transportation program that each week shuttles up to 600 people—staff, patients, and visitors—between the organization’s various campuses and the White Plains train station. Included in the fleet are four electric GEMs (Global Electric
Why: To reduce emissions and pollution, and set an example
What they’ve saved: Savings are passed on to employees, who recoup time and resources using the handy shuttles.