What is Sustainability?
Simply put, Sustainability means that a resource can be maintained indefinitely. It is naturally replenished as fast, or faster, than it is used.
The Earth provides valuable natural resources (like oil, water, forestry) that humanity uses for its fuel, food, shelter - all aspects of its existence. For a resource to be sustainable, it cannot be used a rate that exceeds the Earth's natural ability to replenish it. If a resource is used more rapidly than it can be replaced, it is not sustainable, and will, at some point in the future, be gone.
The Circle of Sustainability
Sustainability both affects and is affected by many facets of human existence: political, economical, societal, moral. The most effective means to control the impact of sustainability issues on an organization is for the organization to control its impact on sustainability.
"Sustainable Development" is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
In practical terms, sustainable development is a deliberate effort to conduct business operations with consideration to managing environmental impact. It means identifying and changing practices and mores that waste resources or use energy inefficiently. It means fostering work environments that promote and reward energy conservation and recycling initiatives. It means building space that conforms to USGBC LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) guidelines. It means adopting a level of corporate citizenship that will serve as an organization-wide guide for addressing energy and conservation issues today and in the future.
The Rewards of Sustainable Development
The benefits to organizations that implement effective sustainability initiatives and strategies reach well beyond environmental conservation:
- Significant tax credits, incentives and rebates available for LEED and Energy Star compliance
- Reduced energy and overall operational costs with renewable, energy efficient resources
- Increased building valuation with greater market appeal
- Lowered healthcare costs through healthier working environments
Sustainability, Energy Conservation and LEED Consulting
DeFeo Associates specializes in the development of sustainable solutions for commercial, institutional and residential buildings, from environmentally-friendly purchasing to LEED green building practices. Our energy and sustainability consultants work with organizations to assess environmental impacts and develop cost- and energy- saving designs, guidelines and practices.
Energy Modeling, Energy Efficient Design and Engineering
Energy consumption is complicated. To accurately assess potential usage and implement optimized energy strategies requires mechanical and electrical engineering expertise, technical capabilities and experience. DeFeo Associates leverages its strategic alliance with the licensed LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED AP) of M& E Engineers, Inc. to provide HVAC and energy design consultation, energy modeling and LEED certification support, including:
- Evaluating environmental considerations, building materials, energy sources and usage projections
- Modeling energy consumption by fuel type, task (heating, cooling, lighting, ventilation, hot water) and building
- Optimizing interactions between energy tasks (e.g., lighting vs. cooling)
- Identifying high potentials for energy saving strategies in new or existing facilities
- Meeting requirements for optimizing energy performance under LEED Atmosphere & Energy Credit
- Sizing HVAC systems and implementing efficient lighting and climate systems and controls
Commercial Sustainability and Energy Audits
DeFeo Associates reviews an organization's total system - facility, practices, attitudes - for its environmental impacts, including:
- Solid Waste Collection and Disposal
- Energy Efficiency and Consumption
- Building Operations
- Fleet Operations
- HVAC and Air Systems
Our energy auditors prepare objective, comprehensive reports that identify energy waste and potential savings opportunities and outline specific sustainability and conservation objectives and strategies to address them.
Sustainability and Energy Recommendations
DeFeo Associates' clients don't waste valuable dollars on unnecessary heating, cooling, lighting and other operational costs. Our experts draw on decades of experience to make realistic, attainable recommendations for sustainability planning and management, including:
- Identify energy improvements, their costs and cost savings
- Devise efficient recycling and waste management programs compliant with local, state and federal laws
- Propose guidelines for environmentally-preferable purchasing practices
- Source vendors and guide bidding processes
- Suggest operational and procedural changes across the enterprise to reduce energy, fuel and materials usage
DeFeo Associates helps achieve U.S. Green Building Council's LEED certification - Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum - for new and existing buildings. This stringent certification system for green building requires a rigorous inspection to verify performance in sustainability, sustainability and energy efficiency, water conservation, non-toxic materials, recycling and operational practices. Reach LEED Platinum today!
Sustainability & Energy Conservation
LEED-Certified Structures & Hurricane Sandy »
Somerset County Business Partnership:
Energy Audit Report Evaluates Energy Consumption and Identifies Cost-Effective Energy Conservation Measures »
Sustainability — Saving Dollars and Resources »
Communicating the Message of Sustainability »
Lighting consumes up to 34% of electricity in the United States.