With the belief that “what gets measured gets done,” C&S has embarked on a program to perform sustainability analyses of all our buildings and will begin utilizing the EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® in 2016 to benchmark our facilities. This effort will provide the energy consumption baseline that our energy conservation efforts will be measured against moving forward.
Benchmark data is being collected and tracked for electricity, propane, natural gas, and water. Careful monitoring of those facilities helps recognize when usage is higher than expected and allows our Energy Management team to quickly identify and help address the situation with the site specific personnel.
Additionally, we’ve also implemented electrical sub-metering at two (2) pilot facilities so that we can better understand the major drivers of our electrical use and where we can prioritize further investments in efficiency projects. The major components that we’ve sub-metered include: Refrigeration, Lighting, and Battery Charging.
Our next step in reducing our environmental footprint will be developing a comprehensive plan to improve energy conservation and to reduce consumption at our sites.
Minimizing Our Environmental Footprint
We have implemented energy efficiency LED lighting systems at 15 of our distribution center campuses with several other facilities in the planning stages. The LED lighting systems utilize intelligent controls that automatically shut off or dim lights when no occupants are in an aisle or on the dock. These projects have and will continue to save millions of kilowatt hours per year for the organization. We have also taken steps to install energy efficient variable frequency drive (VFD) motors on select pieces of refrigeration equipment to reduce the overall energy consumption of the refrigeration systems, which are the largest consumer of electricity at C&S. We have also revised our dock door and interior door specifications to require higher R-values and U-Factors which improve the thermal performance of our distribution centers.
Lastly, we are studying the feasibility of buying green power, particularly solar, for several locations to reduce the environmental impact of our electricity use and to support renewable energy generation nationwide.