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Local Green Business Leadership Examples

Recent News

How to save 20 million gallons of water in one year: Service Linen Supply’s new washing machine. Click here … 
IKEA’s plug-in electric vehicle charging stations in Renton: Click here … 
Solar panels and energy generation at Hazen High School: Click here … 
Waste Management trucks reducing carbon output: Click here …
Taco Time NW marks anniversary with green initiatives: Click here ...

Business Leadership

From the City Council adopted strategy Creating a Clean Economy in Renton, the following businesses and institutions were surveyed for their advances in sustainable business practices and reductions in waste, non-renewable energy, purchasing, and other conservation efforts.

Boeing is conducting research and testing on alternative bio-based jet fuels made from algae and other feedstock. Over the last three years, Boeing has reduced its solid waste by 30 percent. The company is now looking to reduce waste upstream from its suppliers, increase recycling, and compost to achieve a 75 percent recycling and reduction target by 2012. Boeing also has saved energy through its lighting management system and invested in cleaner vehicles.

PACCAR offers a number of hybrid engines for its trucks. The company has installed rain sensors to decrease water use for irrigation in the summer and has implemented changes in chemicals to reduce rinse requirements. PACCAR recently incorporated non-heat cure paints, motion-control lighting in offices, and energy metering. The company has been composting and recycling extensively in the process of implementing a Zero Waste to Landfill program.

Wizards of the Coast is leading a study on energy efficiency improvements in information technology. The company is assessing the lifecycle and sustainability of its products. Wizards recently decided to abolish all wire ties and is striving to integrate environmentally friendly and recyclable content in its product lines. Before moving into its current building, Wizards worked with its property manager to upgrade building energy efficiency.

IKEA gave every U.S. employee a bicycle as a holiday bonus in 2010 to encourage bike commuting, and the Renton store is considering measures to encourage alternative commutes based on a recent employee survey. The Renton IKEA invested in a lighting control system and upgraded 78% of its lighted area to energy-efficient lights. The Renton IKEA finished in the top five for environment and recovery in IKEA’s nationwide “Natural Step” process. The store’s recovery department achieves a 70 percent recovery rate.

GreenSource is a green leader in the clothing apparel industry, using sustainable fabrics certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard, which prohibits toxic chemicals during the processing phases. The company has worked with textile mills to build schools and healthcare clinics for workers and their families in Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

Walmart has established three overarching sustainability goals: 1) utilizing 100 percent renewable energy, 2) creating zero waste, and 3) selling products that sustain people and resources. Between February 2008 and January 2009, U.S. Walmart stores diverted more than 57 percent of the waste generated by stores and facilities. Commitments to renewable energy and sustainable products are reflected in such actions as the addition of solar panels to store rooftops in the U.S. and the recent decision to source local produce. At the Renton Walmart, great strides have been made with the reuse of freight boxes and the recycling of all in-store lighting.

Educational Leadership

Renton School District is building an “alternative learning center” that will include water cisterns for toilet flushing and landscape watering, a public LED display with building performance metrics, and renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic and geothermal. The District recently received $2.4 million in state funds to pay for improved HVAC, water conservation measures, inefficient lighting, new boilers, and other building improvements.

Renton Technical College is working on a regional community college collaborative, the Sound Energy Efficiency Development (SEED) Program, to develop training and certifications for energy efficiency and weatherization audits. The college has implemented energy upgrades throughout its campus, saving energy and allowing the college to monitor energy costs. The college is interested in offering hybrid vehicle training in its automotive classes but needs hybrid vehicle donations. Renton Technical College has the skills and interest to work with property managers on energy efficiency and could be a valuable partner with the City on commercial energy initiatives.

Institutional Leadership

Valley Medical Center has overhauled a central utility plant to be more energy efficient, including installing more efficient boilers and chillers. The medical center partnered with a local car dealer to help employees purchase hybrid vehicles, resulting in an estimated doubling of hybrid cars in the employee lot, and it plans to install 16 electric vehicle charging stations. Valley Medical Center has also made significant efforts to support local businesses, such as purchasing patient furniture manufactured in Kent.

Green Business Opportunities

Eastside Green Business Challenge

The city is participating in this exciting program with six neighboring cities to provide a fun, effective and engaging green program for Renton businesses and to further the environmental health of the entire community.  Click here for more details. 

Eastside Sustainable Business Alliance

ESBA works to support the adoption of sustainable business practices among local businesses in Renton and neighboring jurisdictions by offering training, resources and networking opportunities in order to increase environmental, economic, and social prosperity on the Eastside.  Click here for more details.