ROYERSFORD, Pa. — In an effort to educate businesses and homeowners on the negative effects of rising carbon, Tad Radzinski, LEED AP, president and co-founder of Sustainable Solutions Corporation, described five strategies on how to reduce an organization or building’s carbon footprint.
Radzinski presented these carbon-reducing practices in his webinar entitled Recognizing Risks, Identifying Opportunities — Succeeding in the Green Marketplace. A steady increase in carbon dioxide levels since the industrial revolution has taken its toll on the planet, Radzinski said, creating a global challenge. Radzinski believes that understanding an individual building’s consumption of energy is the first step in combatting this international issue.
“Once you know how much energy you’re using and what you’re responsible for both in electricity and fuels, then you can start really digging in and asking what you can do to start reducing these impacts,” he said.
Radzinski recommended that building owners calculate their carbon footprint through sustainability assessments. Assessments will help building occupants not only understand how much carbon is being used but also where it’s being used. This holistic picture of energy consumption will identify how best a building can reduce its carbon footprint. For smaller companies and buildings, carbon footprints can also be calculated using spreadsheets or an online calculator, he said.
Next, Radzinski proposed that buildings practice aggressive conservation and energy efficiency. While research will continue to develop long-term solutions in rising carbon levels, building occupants should practice proven energy conservation techniques now, he said.
“It’s going to take some radical change and that’s not going to happen quickly,” Radzinski said. “So, my philosophy is we need to make change on things we can do right away.”
Energy conservation can be achieved through an understanding of a building’s consumption of energy via lighting, appliances and equipment, waste heat recovery and cooling systems and building envelope and weatherization.
A greater understanding of products and operations can also help reduce a building’s carbon footprint. A lifecycle assessment of products used within a building was strongly recommended by Radzinski.
“Lifecycle assessment basically looks at impacts of a product service or operation from cradle-to-grave or, better yet, cradle-to-cradle as we go to a closed loop economy,” he said.
Finally, Radzinski promoted the use of renewable sources, such as wind or geothermal energy, to power buildings and homes.