November 5, 2013

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Sustainable Business Awards

From constructing buildings that are as energy efficient as they are beaut...Read More

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Sustainable Business Awards

By Rachel Madison, Heather Stewart, Sarah Ryther Francom

November 5, 2013


From constructing buildings that are as energy efficient as they are beautiful to creating innovative processes that reduce waste tenfold, many Utah businesses are working daily to protect and improve the environment. These organizations understand that by advancing green business practices throughout their companies, they are making strides toward a more sustainable community, state and world.

This year, Utah Business celebrates 17 compassionate and revolutionary Utah companies with our 2013 Sustainable Business Awards program. Join us in applauding the organizations that have made “going green” one of their top company goals.

eBay Inc.

eBay has had a long-standing commitment to enabling green commerce, which is why the company’s newest office building in Draper is considered a monumental success.

The 241,095-square-foot facility is eBay’s third LEED Gold-certified building. It features integrated sustainable design elements such as specialized lighting systems supplemented by natural light, a subfloor ventilation system and a two-stage evaporative cooling system.

The facility also uses 30 percent less electricity than a conventional building of its same size—enough energy to power approximately 600 homes for a year—and makes efficient use of water, reducing its burden on the municipal water supply by 35 percent.

The Draper facility isn’t the only sustainable building eBay operates. In September, eBay celebrated the completion of the second phase of its South Jordan data center, which is the first in the world to use bloom fuel cells as primary, on-site power. These fuel cells will emit approximately 49 percent less carbon dioxide than eBay’s first-phase data center.

“We’re deeply committed to enabling greener commerce and have set a number of three-year goals to realize this vision, ranging from sourcing cleaner energy to power our business to expanding our community of users who engage with our greener commerce programs,” says Scott Murray, vice president of global customer experience.

Nu Skin Enterprises

Nu Skin Enterprises recently completed its $100 million expansion project at its global headquarters in Provo. The expansion was carefully undertaken with eco-friendly practices in mind.

The Nu Skin Innovation Center is LEED Certified for its environmental design and includes several unique “green” features. The center has a chilled-beam cooling system where water circulates throughout the beams in the building with low-speed fans blowing air across them.

“This is much more efficient than pushing forced air throughout the entire building and uses about 10 to 20 percent less energy to maintain a comfortable temperature,” says Matt Burke, director of facilities.

Heat produced by the servers is captured and recycled to help heat the building in the winter, and the Global Network Operations Center floor is elevated with floor vents to circulate air throughout the GNOC and maintain optimal temperature and humidity levels.

In addition, biofiltration beds naturally extract unwanted chemicals from drain water before it goes into the storm drain, radiant heating and cooling is used in the large atrium area, and the “airfoil on top of the building is a unique signature piece that hides the mechanical equipment and provides some symmetry with the curves on the high rise,” Burke says.

Mary Ann Maycock

Mary Ann Maycock and her husband, Stephen, own dozens of Subway franchises in Utah and Idaho. As the couple’s franchise business grew, Maycock began searching for ways to make the stores more energy efficient. A long-time proponent of solar energy, she particularly wanted to incorporate solar technologies into the stores.

Maycock began working with energy company Johnson Powers in 2011 to install solar panels and energy efficient lighting and other features in her Subway stores—one location at a time. So far, seven of the Subway stores, her business offices and her home are now solar equipped. In total, she has installed 229 kilowatts of solar panels, which generate 318 megawatts of electricity each year.

In order to maximize efficiency, Maycock has begun adding remote energy control systems into her stores. This enables her to control store lighting, ambient temperature, appliances and signs from a dashboard in her office—all with an eye to minimizing energy consumption.

A key component of the project for Maycock is the opportunity to educate customers and communities about energy conservation. “We felt it was important as business owners to let people know what we were doing and why we were doing it,” she says.

Vivint Solar

Launched less than two years ago, Vivint Solar has already installed more than 10,000 residential solar systems and continues to install about 1,100 a month, says Brendon Merkley, COO of Vivint Solar. Combined, these systems produce 5.5 megawatts of energy each month.

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