Sustainability at AWEA
AWEA works every day to grow wind energy, powering a cleaner, stronger America. But our commitment to sustainability doesn’t stop at our job descriptions, it’s a core value.
We Wind Energy because it supplies affordable, reliable electricity while also contributing to a cleaner and safer environment. Wind energy is a cost-effective solution for cutting carbon pollution, avoiding 189 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2)—around 11% of total electric sector emissions or the equivalent emissions of 40 million cars.
But that doesn’t mean AWEA can neglect its own environmental footprint. AWEA’s Green Team leads office sustainability initiatives, through which it reduces AWEA’s operational impact on the environment and encourages staff to use best practices in their personal lives.
AWEA’s efforts were recognized through the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Green Seal program as a Green Office Partner and the Conference Team's ahead-of-the-curve sustainability practices were highlighted in conference trade publications.
AWEA's Washington, D.C. office space is certified LEED Gold for Commercial Interiors and is located in an office building that is certified LEED Gold for Existing Buildings. Some key highlights of AWEA’s office space include low flow fixtures that reduce water use by 30%, the project diverted 88% of waste created during construction from the landfill, and 99.29 % of new equipment and appliances are ENERGY STAR rated. The video below highlights the sustainable aspects of the AWEA office space:
Here are some of our top accomplishments:
Powered by Wind
- Our Washington, D.C. office is powered by wind; renewable energy credits (REC) offset 100% of electricity use and we highly appreciate our 2018 REC sponsorship by Pattern Energy.
Greening our Office
- LEED Gold for Commercial Interiors certified office space
- 2014 ASAE / Green Seal Green Office Partner
- Composting option in staff kitchen and paper towels in the bathroom
- Elimination of disposable K-Cups in staff kitchen with a transition to brewed coffee with a fair trade, organic option; coffee waste is composted
- Elimination of disposable kitchenware
- Host staff gatherings that are meatless or mostly meatless
- Annual staff paperless challenges and green printing policies
- Sustainability language included in official AWEA procurement policy
- Offsets secured for staff travel
- Green catering list developed and actively used for all office catering; special emphasis placed on wind powered caterers
- E-waste recycling program
- All AWEA events 100% wind-powered, with energy consumption offset by wind RECs
- Event sustainability policy in place requiring the purchase of wind RECs to be included in contracts for future AWEA event venues
- Phasing out printed programs. Dramatically reduced pages printed and use a carbon-neutral printer to produce programs made with 100% recycled content paper and vegetable inks
- Green procurement policy for all promotional products
- Long term plan to reduce impact year over year of annual WINDPOWER Conference
- WINDPOWER Green Team Exhibitor Program
- WINDPOWER Sustainability Leader Exhibitor Award
- Green Team Lunch and Learns promote sustainable behaviors in employees. Past presentations include:
- Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) to encourage increased bicycle use
- Groundswell to encourage staff to purchase wind energy at home
- Hosted a clothing exchange with staff called "Swap Don't Shop" to bring awareness to the environmental impacts of the clothes
- Staff presentations on net zero energy homes, green roofs, and rainwater capturing systems
- Green Seal to present staff the findings of our office green audit
- City Blossoms to encourage community and urban gardening
- Green Team film showings provide education on sustainability themes. Past films include:
- From the Ashes
- Two AWEA volunteer work days with City Blossoms at DC community gardens
- Annual “Bring your child to work day” to educate children on wind energy