By Vuk Vujovic, LEED AP and Douglas J. Ogurek Published in the March 2006 issue of Today’s Facility Manager
What do the “green” Olympic Games, the Kyoto Protocol, and hybrid cars have in common? They all point to an increasing global awareness of the human impact on the natural environment and the effects it has on current and future societies around the world.
At the beginning of the 21st century, mounting scientific evidence and hard to ignore natural phenomena (e.g., melting ice caps, escalating hurricane seasons) have contributed to the speedy development of various sustainable concepts, lifestyles, and technologies. The movement has already influenced many aspects of society from manufacturing and advertising to economies and politics.
Recently, China dubbed its 2008 summer Olympics the “Green Olympics,” while London plans to make 2012 “the greenest Olympics ever.” Members of the corporate media around the globe increasingly use “green appeal” to promote an environmental agenda and achieve favorable recognition.
In 1997, the UN adopted the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement aimed at curbing global greenhouse gas emissions. One hundred and twenty two countries support the agreement. Many of these nations have already voluntarily adopted potentially costly measures designed to slow down the global warming phenomenon and have introduced sustainability into their national agendas.
Meanwhile, on a bottom line consumer level, fuel efficient hybrid cars keep gaining on SUVs and pickups, even in the United States. Americans are starting to fall out of love with fossil fuels and big cars as they come to understand the impact of the rising costs of energy on their personal and corporate budgets. It seems that U.S. consumers are finally getting tired of putting more money into the gas pump and are looking for alternatives.
In the U.S., interest in energy efficiency, high-performance design, building occupant health, and recycling has mushroomed from academic discussions in lecture halls and scientific journals to the 10 o’clock news, radio talk shows, and even political campaigns. A cursory review of recent advertising reveals that multibillion dollar corporations like Ford, GE, Chevron, and BP Global are starting to spend considerable amounts to promote their newly found environmentally sensitive images.
The initially subtle shift in public awareness of environmental issues has gradually evolved into a strong demand for energy conservation and environmental resourcefulness. Corporate pioneers who staked an early claim in this newly created sustainable frontier are already profiting by saving costs and responding to a change in the global consumer mindset.
Today's Facility Manager is your one-stop source for information on quality operation, design and maintenance of facilities. TFM offers a shared community of facility management experts who explore and analyze issues that affect your facility and its environment.
Today's Facility Manager is a specialized trade publication written and edited for corporate facility executives in all industry and service sectors whose responsibilities include purchasing, planning and approving products, services and materials for facility operations.
EDITORIAL AND ADVERTISING OFFICES
44 Apple Street, Suite 3 | Tinton Falls, NJ 07724 | P: 732.842.7433 or 800.524.0337 | F: 732.758.6634
Contamination of just a single doorknob or table top results in the spread of viruses throughout office buildings, hotels, and health care facilities. Within two to four hours, the virus could be detected on 40% to 60% of workers and visitors in the facilities and among commonly touched objects.
In addition to the new reporting requirements, OSHA has also updated the list of industries that, due to lower occupational injury and illness rates, are exempt from the requirement to routinely keep injury and illness records.