As the effects of global climate change become more apparent, it’s becoming more important for organizations to utilize sustainable purchasing strategies. While some eco-friendly alternatives may have a higher cost up front, they could actually cost less than incumbent products over their product life cycle.
At Aexcel, we understand the types of questions commonly associated with sustainable or environmentally friendly products. Consumers are understandably apprehensive that an eco-friendly product might not perform as well as the traditional alternatives.
Some signs that a parking lot requires attention are quite obvious, like when pavement has eroded beyond the point where it can be fixed by simple patching. When a property owner allows the striping to fade to the point where parking spaces are indiscernible, that’s another indication parking lot maintenance may be lacking.
Let’s face it: the sustainability movement is here to stay. Over the past few decades, we’ve seen sustainable alternatives to traditional products emerge across nearly every industry, from transportation to cleaning products, and just about everything in between.
Parking lots do not seem to change much to most people. A familiar lot may have been in place twenty years ago and will likely be there for twenty more. Who notices the condition of a parking lot as long there is a parking space available?
Many of the breakthroughs in sustainability have originated on college campuses. As a microcosm of the larger community, students and faculty have initiated programs, conducted experiments and set high objectives for improving water, energy and soil conservation while instituting aggressive recycling and composting programs. Private companies have funded many of these scholarly initiatives to gather data to support sustainability programs on a commercial or broader level.
In recent years, facility managers have become focused on constructing and maintaining buildings and complexes that are energy efficient, sustainable and produced from ecologically positive materials.
Of the many possible definitions of sustainability, this one seems the best: “A state in which the demands placed on the environment are met without reducing its capacity to allow all people to live well, now and in the future.”
Utilizing renewable resources should be a top priority for businesses and organizations focused on sustainability. Renewable resources such as oxygen, water, wind, and biomass (a byproduct of other renewable resources) replenish themselves naturally over time and represent natural alternatives to nonrenewable resources such as coal and petroleum in many products. Thus, businesses that emphasize renewable resources in their processes and procurement decisions minimize their environmental impact and, when employed correctly, maximize their bottom lines.
The impact of the sustainability advantages derived from building with recycled materials and installing energy-reducing systems are lost when the facility is maintained with ecologically damaging processes and chemicals. Sustainability in a LEED-certified, or any facility, is an ongoing process and maintenance plans should be devised to retain this discipline in such a high-performance building.