Over the years as our country and all others around the world have developed, it has become very apparent that economic growth and industrialization are directly associated with damaging our environment. To break it down, every decision made by every single person on our planet affects our environment every day.  Each decision carries a lot of weight, and this is especially true on a larger scale for businesses whose daily operations impact the environment.  There are many businesses in the Omaha community that are very aware of how they affect our environment, and work very hard to ensure they become more efficient and leave less of a footprint—or effectively “GO GREEN.” Combining ecological and economic efficiency is the key to finding success in these endeavors, and we have compiled some local businesses that are doing just that as well as those who are helping others achieve these types of goals.

Jason-Lasky-Sadoff-Iron- &- MetalEnvironmental Efficiency is at the core of the scrap metal recycling of services offered by Sadoff Iron & Metal. Jason Lasky, Senior Vice President of Corporate Services at Sadoff Iron & Metal, says, “Beyond ‘green’ thinking, we believe in action. Simply put, we purchase non-ferrous metals and ferrous scrap, auto salvage, electronics, and more and recycle these materials in order to provide premium specialty scrap metal to steel mills, foundries, smelters, and many others.  Sadoff Iron & Metal offers numerous sustainable initiatives that improve our clients’ ability to truly help the environment. We back our products with solid chemistry, package integrity, 9001-2008 ISO certification, and professional service. Every day, with every interaction, we’re dedicated to scrap metal recycling, our customers, and the planet. Our recycling opportunities meet the needs of businesses of every size and experience level. From industrial and manufacturing customers requiring regular scheduled pickups to small independent recyclers that appreciate quick in-and-out service, we believe recycling should be efficient and positively affect our customers’ bottom-lines.  We call our unique approach ‘Down To Earth’ recycling. It means we combine our environmental responsibility with easy-going, customer-focused attention that we call our ‘handshake’ mentality. In addition to recycling scrap metal, we’re proud to offer management programs that educate customers and improve efficiency. In today’s business world, it’s vital to streamline every process as much as possible, including scrap metal recycling. That’s why Sadoff Iron & Metal developed a cohesive, comprehensive program, the [CO]+Efficient Program, to help organizations fine-tune their scrap metal recycling processes. Sadoff Iron & Metal also helps customers stay protected from litigation under the Superfund Recycling Equity Act. Every step is taken to help ensure companies are in full compliance with environmental standards and emissions requirements created by the DNR and EPA.”  He adds, “The importance of proper equipment, processes, and practices cannot be overstated. Without reliable processes and people, effort is wasted and environmental efficiency is lost. In addition to regular pickups and maximizing processes, Sadoff Iron & Metal also provides the right equipment for various recycling needs, from in-plant container service to sealed lugger and roll-off containers to compactors and specialized equipment.  Sadoff Iron & Metal also consults with organizations to streamline recycling procedures and maximize efficiency. At the same time, people are enlightened to new and better ways to recycle. This is knowledge that can be shared to steadily grow environmental responsibility locally, regionally, and globally.”

Scott-Warren-Absolute-CustomsAbsolute Customs builds homes specifically for their clients; creating a completely custom home that fits the specific needs of your family is part of the dream building experience they bring to each and ever project.  In addition to their exterior and interior value added design service, they also build custom homes that are the most energy efficient on the market.  In fact, all of their custom homes are at the lower end of the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index, the industry standard by which a home’s energy efficiency is measured.  Scott Warren, President of Absolute Customs, states, “Just pulling our records, and glancing at our last several homes built, we have achieved for the owners of these custom homes an Energy Efficiency HERS rating of 45 or under!  This is 55% more efficient than a standard built home (or if you’re paying $200 on utilities a month, now you would only be paying $90 a month); as the HERS index starts at 100, and similar to golf, the lower your score the more energy efficient your home is.  Creating a highly energy efficient ‘building envelope’ is a science all unto itself.  We have strived to perfect that science at Absolute Customs, knowing that efficiency is the way of the future; both for the conscience-minded customer as well as for the environment.

Angie-Timm-Complete-Comfort-Heating-and-CoolingComplete Comfort Heating & Cooling provides environmentally-friendly efficiency solutions, which include promoting geothermal heat pumps that are the most efficient machines made to heat and cool homes.  Angie Timm of Complete Comfort explains, “Since geothermal heat pumps are able to absorb and reflect heat from and into the earth, they use the least amount of energy which makes them the friendliest systems to the environment.  The more efficient a system is, the higher the cost savings. That money can then go to a company’s bottom line in order to improve other areas of their business.  Not to mention the added public perception of being environmentally friendly is always a plus.”  She adds, “On a personal and business level, it’s all about saving money.  However, fostering this type of awareness will also pay dividends for generations to come.  By promoting energy efficiency as well as environmentally-friendly products businesses will be able to lessen their energy impact from essential utilities in order to help minimize the need for future power plants.  On a global level it’s about lessening your carbon footprint, which saves rainforests and countless endangered species, as well as providing a clean and beautiful world for future generations to enjoy.  It is important that as we remember on a personal and professional level that everyone makes a difference and even a little change in daily habits or systems can have a big impact when compounded by an entire population.”

Pat-Killeen-Engineered-ControlsPat Killeen of Engineered Controls (ECI) adds that it is very important for building managers to be aware of the technology available to them regarding improving their efficiency.  He says, “Today’s building managers need to understand the importance of having a Building Energy Manager who is responsible for the optimization of the building technologies. They also need to know how companies like Engineered Controls can assist with their long-term goals of minimizing energy usage and still maintain comfortable building environments. Far too many building owners or managers know that they have an energy problem, but do not know what direction to turn to help solve their problems.  Engineered Controls can provide building control technology that plays a big role in assisting commercial buildings (and homes) in monitoring, measuring and controlling energy costs, while still maintaining comfortable building environments. Taking into account that lighting and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) account for nearly 80% of a home or building’s energy usage, you want to make sure you are maximizing the energy options available. Engineered Controls can providing lighting control systems that automatically adjust the electrical output to lighting fixtures based on the amount of natural daylight a building might have. ECI can monitor and control energy usage of heating and cooling (both air and water distribution) loads in order to maintain a desired level of energy usage and still maintain a comfortable building environment. These are just a few examples of how Engineered Controls can help provide a healthier and more energy efficient environment for occupants.”

Kelly-Jensen-LincTrack-GPS-SolutionsBeing environmentally efficient encompasses many facets of business.  For companies that rely heavily on their fleet vehicles, being more ‘green’ can be as easy as incorporating a GPS tracking system.  Kelly Jensen with LincTrack GPS Solutions states, “GPS tracking not only helps business owners keep track of their drivers and vehicles, but it can also help them optimize routing and dispatching for more efficient fuel consumption.  The shorter the route, the less time it takes to travel that distance which will improve performance and save companies money in fuel costs.  Every extra mile traveled by each vehicle costs the company money, so reducing those miles not only saves money but also cuts back on greenhouse gas pollution.”  For those businesses that choose to add Garmin integration to their fleet-tracking systems, there are even more ‘green’ benefits.  Kelly says, “Garmins help streamline dispatching and communications, which of course optimizes productivity but also decreases distances traveled between jobs.  This increases response time and further reduces fuel costs and emissions.” When you consider how little it costs to incorporate a GPS fleet-tracking system into your business (around $1 a day per vehicle), it just makes sense for the business owner who wants to save money and be environmentally friendly.

Sustainability is based on the concept that creating more goods and services while using fewer resources and creating less waste and pollution leads to greater eco-efficiency.  The reduction in negative ecological impacts combined with adopting green products, services, procedures and training translates into an increase in resource productivity, which in turn can create a competitive advantage and is a win-win for everyone involved.