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North Texas Companies for Clean Air

North Texas companies are doing their part to improve air quality and our environment. From big efforts to small, every idea and every choice makes a difference. All of these companies show both innovation and simplicity. Perhaps their actions will inspire an idea that you can apply to your workplace, or even your home.

DFW Airport

DFW Airport knows that air quality is an important environmental issue.

They strive to reduce emissions by reducing mobile and stationary sources of emissions, using renewable sources of energy and increasing energy efficiency.

Photo: DFW Airport Terminal D

In 2008, TCEQ recognized DFW Airport by accepting them into the Clean Texas Program – Platinum Level. They were the first Texas airport to receive this recognition, and one of 12 organizations to have achieved TCEQ’s highest award since the program’s inception in 1992.

The success of DFW Airport’s initiatives is largely due to their Environmental Management System, which serves as a platform to integrate environmental considerations into day-to-day business decisions. DFW’s EMS focuses on regulatory compliance and sustaining environmental excellence throughout the airport.

DFW Airport has reduced criteria air pollutant emissions by 87 percent since 1996. The following are just a few of the sustainable measures the airport follows or has implemented:

  • Maintains a fleet of clean vehicles
  • Has centralized bus operations which reduce the number of vehicles at the airport
  • Improves Parking Control Plazas which reduces delays and vehicle idling
  • Retrofits old or energy inefficient facilities
  • Incorporates energy efficient techniques into new construction
  • Sorts material from waste streams that can be recycled or reused
  • Reuses excavated soil, concrete debris and roof insulation in major construction projects

Learn more about DFW Airport’s initiatives here.

Frito-Lay, Plano

Frito-Lay strives to maintain the “most fuel-efficient fleet in the country,” according to Mike O’Donnell, director of fleet capacity. Frito-Lay considers both fuel sources and vehicle design when it comes to their fleet.

They have a newly designed truck, the Sprinter, on the road today.

Photo: Frito-Lay electric truck

The Sprinter has an efficient engine, aerodynamic design, and lightweight materials, which means Frito-Lay drivers are getting 50 percent more miles per gallon than they were with previous trucks.

Additionally, Frito-Lay’s fleet of 650 sales cars has been converted to hybrid vehicles, allowing even less fuel consumption. Due to Frito-Lay’s fleet initiatives, the Department of Energy recognized Frito-Lay as a National Clean Fleet Partner, and they were awarded the 2011 Propane Hero Award by the Propane Education & Research Council.

Frito-Lay also implements driver training, which can have up to a 30 percent impact on miles per gallon, according to Steve Hanson, fleet sustainability engineer. One way they accomplish this is by planning routes to minimize idling.

Furthermore, Frito-Lay is a member of the EPA’s SmartWay program, which identifies products and services that reduce transportation-related emissions. Frito-Lay incorporates SmartWay recognized technologies and best practices, and has saved more than 15 million gallons of fuel since joining the program in 2005.

More information about Frito-Lay’s commitment to sustainability can be found here.

JCPenney, Plano

In 2010, Newsweek ranked JCPenney as number 63 out of 500 companies on its second annual list of “The Greenest Big Companies in America.” At the Plano headquarters, associates work in an environmentally friendly facility and participate in the company’s efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle. A RideShare, or carpooling/alternative commute program has been in place since 1993, and prime parking spots are reserved for participants.

JCPenney exemplifies innovation when it comes to energy conservation. According to Jim Thomas, vice president of corporate social responsibility, JCPenney was the first department store retailer to be recognized for energy management by Energy Star. The home office has a computer system that tracks light-sensitive photo cells within window shades and automatically raises or lowers the control heating and cooling. A thermal-storage system makes ice during off-peak hours to cool the building during peak hours.

In stores, JCPenney is installing or improving existing heating, ventilation, air conditioning equipment and lighting control systems. The improvements are projected to reduce energy consumption by more than 10 percent.

Recycling, something JCPenney has been doing since the 1960s, is also a big part of their sustainable efforts. JCPenney stores recycle about 75 percent of their waste, while support facilities recycle about 85 percent.

Visit here to learn more about JCPenney’s recycling, packaging, paper reduction and waste management efforts.

Photo: jcpenney store

Sabre Holdings, Southlake

Sabre Holdings is committed to minimizing the environmental impact of its global business operations and to promoting sustainable business practices in travel and tourism. One of the many sustainability programs available to Sabre employees at the Southlake, Texas, headquarters campus is the Rideshare Program, or alternative commute program. Through this program employees can enjoy specially reserved parking spots, quarterly prizes and Health and Wellness credits – all while saving money and helping to reduce traffic and air pollution in support of the North Texas clean air initiatives.

Since 2002, Sabre has recycled more than 600 tons of paper, glass, metal and plastic at corporate headquarters, and in 2008 began on-site composting. Furthermore, all to-go containers and utensils at the corporate café are compostable, though reusable plates, cups and utensils are encouraged through an incentive program.

Photo: Green Luggage

Sabre also helps its customers adopt sustainable practice by offering products and services that promote sustainable travel and tourism. One example is Travelocity’s Green Travel Directory which helps customers determine green from “green-washed.” The directory highlights properties and destinations that offer sustainability initiatives.

To learn more about Sabre’s sustainable employee and customer efforts, visit here.

Burlington North Santa Fe Railway, Fort Worth

While rail in general already produces fewer emissions than trucks, BNSF Railway implements several practices to further reduce their emissions.

Idle control mechanisms equip more than 70 percent of BNSF’s 6,600 locomotives, and all new locomotives purchased are equipped with this technology. The idle controls reduce emissions and fuel consumption by automatically shutting down locomotives that are not being used.

Photo: BNSF Intermodal

BNSF operates 74 GenSet locomotives, which are ultra-low emissions, EPA-certified diesel switch locomotives. The locomotives have three low-horsepower engines that only operate when needed instead of one large engine that always operates.

Additionally BNSF’s operating and maintenance practices are designed to increase fuel efficiency, and the company is always testing and developing new technologies, such as low-emissions liquefied natural gas switch locomotives. The company is also partnering with the U.S. Department of Defense to develop an experimental hydrogen fuel cell switch locomotive, which is not dependent on oil for fuel.

Visit here to learn more about BNSF’s innovative ideas and practices.

Texas Instruments, Dallas

Texas Instruments is a worldwide company with a mission to improve air quality. They are especially adamant at their headquarters in Dallas, where they strive to eliminate the use of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by replacing them with more gentle but effective substances. They also use thermal oxidizers, which destroy VOCs in industrial airstreams, to remove pollutants from exhaust produced during manufacturing processes.

In addition to controlling VOCs, TI reduces energy consumption and upstream power plant emissions by improving the efficiency of facility systems and manufacturing equipment. They upgrade burners in boilers and other natural-gas combustion devices, use ultra-low nitrogen oxide burners and low-sulfur fuels in combustion devices, and limit the testing of emergency generators and lawnmowers during ozone action days.

TI employees do their part by participating in a Commute Solutions program.

Although familiar because TI’s program offers employees reasonable alternatives to driving to work alone, their program is unique in that it provides alternative commute options in other countries. For example, TI provides buses and jeeps to drive employees to and from work in the Philippines, China, and Mexico.

To learn more about Texas Instruments, visit here.

AT&T, Dallas

AT&T has taken steps to reduce their “energy intensity” – the amount of energy they use based on the data they carry on their network.

Since 2008, they have had a 23.8 percent decrease. In order to achieve this, AT&T appointed an energy director and developed an Energy Scorecard to benchmark energy performance at their 500 largest energy-consuming facilities.

In 2009, AT&T announced that they will deploy more than 15,000 additional alternative-fuel vehicles through 2018. The Center for Automotive Research estimates that the vehicles will save 49 million gallons of traditional gasoline and reduce carbon emissions by 211,000 metric tons – the equivalent of removing the emissions from more than 38,600 traditional passenger vehicles for a year.

AT&T utilizes wind and solar power at several of its facilities and encourages consumers to recycle their cell phones through one of their many programs, including Cell Phones for Soldiers. Learn more about their initiatives here.

Southwest Airlines, Dallas

Southwest Airlines helps the environment whether they’re in the sky or on land.

Southwest’s fleet is already efficient, as it is comprised of Next Generation Boeing (737-700) aircraft and the Boeing Classic Fleet (737-300 and -500), the majority of which are equipped with winglets that save on fuel consumption by an estimated 2.5 percent.

Still, they are in the midst of a six-year initiative to retrofit their fleet with advanced avionics that will conserve fuel, improve safety, and reduce carbon emissions, an effort in support of Required Navigational Performance (RNP), the cornerstone of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Next Generation Air Traffic Control System.

Southwest uses Pratt & Whitney’s EcoPower engine wash service, a system that captures and purifies wash water so that it can be recycled and used for another wash. Engine washing itself increases engine efficiency, saves fuel, and reduces carbon emissions. Also on the ground, Southwest converts ground support equipment to cleaner-burning technologies including electric, compressed natural gas, propane, and engine retrofits for diesel.

This is just a snapshot of what Southwest does for the environment. Learn more about their initiatives here.

Bank of America, Plano

Since Bank of America is a financial institution, it would be easy for them to claim that, compared to other large corporations, their operations do not have much of an impact on the environment. However, Bank of America realizes the difference that they can make, and they have taken great action to reduce their carbon footprint.

Bank of America addresses their operations, their associates, and their supply chain in order to reduce their carbon footprint. Here are just a few examples of their initiatives:

  • Operations: They have invested in energy-efficient lighting and HVAC systems for their facilities and are committed to building all new banking centers to meet LEED standards.  
  • Associates: In 2007, they launched a hybrid vehicle reimbursement program that reimburses associates $3,000 when they purchase a new hybrid vehicle. More than 3,000 associates have taken advantage of the program since it launched.
  • Supply Chain: In June 2010, Bank of America held its Global Supply Chain Conference where they encouraged representatives to increase their focus on climate change.

In addition to their internal efforts, Bank of America is adamant about financing a “low-carbon economy.” They provide financing for construction projects and facility improvements that enhance the energy efficiency of commercial buildings, federal, state, and local government buildings, hospitals and schools.

Bank of America also invests in and finances the development and use of cleaner renewable energies.

To learn more about Bank of America’s sustainable initiatives, including their community involvement, visit here.

imc², Dallas

When talking about the environment, some businesses talk about sustainability, responsibility or citizenship. At Dallas-based marketing agency, imc², they call it “positive impact.” With their clients, employees, partners and community, the agency’s approach is to create synergies that benefit all of their stakeholders. As they uncover the choices and relationships that define their environmental footprint, they find new ways of engaging with partners and vendors, exploring their communities and finding efficiencies.

One innovative example is imc²’s Commuter Challenge. Launched Earth Day 2009, the program encourages and incents employees to take at least one alternative commute (telecommute, carpool, public transit, bike or walk) per week.

Recognized for having the highest regional participation rate on www.tryparkingit.com, imc²  employees have prevented 145,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions and 175,000 road miles, all while realizing approximately $90,000 in personal savings. And, because it is tied to philanthropic giving, the program directed $1,000 to nonprofits last year.

Visit here to to learn more about positive impact at imc²

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