It’s going to be a long-term process that requires a great deal of collaboration, but slowly, the U.S. is working toward becoming a more eco-friendly, sustainable nation. Government agencies, corporations and individual citizens will all need to be on board with this effort. Together, we can all monitor our energy and water use and progress toward a point where we’re producing more resources than we squander each day.
That may take a while, though. Reaching sustainability goals is not easy, and it requires bold leadership. The public sector will need to take a stand, and the business world will need to follow up with a strong sense of corporate social responsibility.
Municipal governments are taking the lead
Perhaps the toughest question about the U.S.’ large-scale movement toward greater sustainability is where leadership will come from initially. According to The Wall Street Journal, we’re now beginning to see an answer, and it involves the nation’s big cities. Margaret Walls, research director at Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Resources for the Future, told the newspaper that municipal governments from coast to coast are now beginning to promote green building.
“Reaching sustainability goals is not easy, and it requires bold leadership.”
“[The cities’] benchmarking and disclosure laws may be having the greatest impact,” Walls argued. “They require commercial, and in some cities, multi-family residential property owners to report annual energy use and use the Energy Star software program to benchmark that energy use relative to other buildings.”
Washington, D.C., Austin, New York City, Portland, Oregon, Atlanta and Kansas City, Missouri are among the cities that have led the way by passing progressive energy policies designed to reduce waste and maximize energy efficiency. The hope is that if these cities blaze a trail, businesses and residents therein will follow suit, and a movement will begin to form.
Better data helps drive results
In the effort to improve sustainability practices, one thing everyone involved needs is clear data. With every investment you make, you want to know what you’re getting back. Calculating your ROI helps you improve future decision-making.
Indeed, Walls told the WSJ that better analytics have been a driving force behind the sustainability movement.
“Most of the early advances have come from use of ‘big data,'” she said. “New companies have sprung up to provide real-time, energy-use data – often at 15-minute intervals – to building owners to help them better understand daily patterns of energy use, identify anomalies when and where they occur and optimize operational improvements.”
Looking at the data and adjusting accordingly is a key strategy. Every time a company makes a new investment – for instance, installing a high-efficiency water heater – it needs to know whether the move is paying off.
Efficient water heaters play a pivotal part
If your organization is looking for infrastructure upgrades that can provide a clear, measurable positive impact on sustainability, then look no further than purchasing a commercial tankless water heater.
Research from the U.S. Department of Energy indicates that tankless heaters are between 8 percent and 34 percent more energy-efficient than a storage water heater. This is a tangible improvement which you can use you free up resources to invest in other parts of your business. Soon, you’ll realize what all of America is figuring out – that greater eco-friendliness and a healthier financial bottom line go hand in hand.