In 2016 we launched the EP CARES initiative, focusing on outreach to local communities and schools to educate children and adults about the importance of energy usage and sustainability. 2017 will be no different as EP CARES continues to grow and is currently developing a campaign to merge with other design firms and leverage the power of the sustainability movement.
Our employees participate in other programs and events with organizations such as Engineers Without Borders and Sane Energy Project.
Learn more about our EP CARES initiative and how we have committed to the EP THREE 3s Pledge.
Our office was built with many sustainable features such as:
- FSC certified furniture
- Reclaimed natural wood flooring
- Office layout utilizes optimum daylight strategies, maximizing the abundance of sunlight the office receives being on a high floor
- All workstation power, computers, copiers and printers automatically shut down each night by program
- Creatively reusing furniture from our old office
- Low flow plumbing fixtures
- Filtered water machine and reusable/washable cups – no water bottles, plastic water jugs, etc.
All PURCHASING at EP meets strict LEED standards
FOOD: LEED calls for 25% minimum of food purchases to be sustainable, 50% is considered exemplary performance * We exceed the LEED exemplary performance with 58% of all food purchases being sustainable
CONSUMABLES: LEED calls for 60% minimum, 95% is exemplary for sustainable consumables purchasing ** We exceed LEED minimum with 90% of office supply purchases being sustainable
DURABLE GOODS – Furniture: EED calls for 40% minimum of durable goods to be sustainable, 80% exemplary*** We exceed LEED exemplary performance, 91% of furniture we purchase is sustainable (either recycled, or rapidly renewable, or local within 500mi or FSC)
DURABLE GOODS – Electric Powered Equipment (i.e. PCs) LEED calls for 40% minimum, 80% exemplary on sustainable purchasing of electric powered equipment **** 100% of PC and electronics purchases are Energy Star Rates (either Energy Star or Epeat qualify as sustainable purchase)
*All figures are based on spending within last 3-month period. **Sustainable food purchases are those either certified organic, harvested locally within 100-miles or rainforest certified, amongst others)
*** Sustainable consumables purchases are those either recycled 10% post-consumer or 20% post-industrial, manufactured locally within 500-miles or using rapidly renewable materials)
**** Sustainable Durable goods purchases are those either recycled 10% post-consumer or 20% post-industrial, manufactured locally within 500-miles or using rapidly renewable materials)
All WASTE at EP meets strict LEED standards
Another way to help the environment with regards to resources is repurposing used goods and diverting waste from landfills. The following are our office recycling policies:
- We recycle 100% of paper, plastics, glass and metal. We hire a 3rd party vendor who offers stricter recycling standards than NYC public
sanitation. They also accept all versions of plastics (NYC only accepts limited types of plastics).
- All food able to be composted is brought to the composting farm outpost at Battery Park.
- Batteries are sent to a recycling vendor.
- Large electronics and furniture is all either donated or recycled.
Friday and Tuesday GROUP LUNCHES have a large environmental impact
We started the office subsidized group lunches to provide a great benefit for our staff but also to preserve energy and resources. We realized how much waste is involved with eating out – the elevator trips by each person to get the food, the plastic utensils that are given to us, plastic bags, etc. To cut this down, we started to offer group ordered lunches.
By ordering from one vendor and demanding the vendor not supply any plastic utensils or plastic bags, we can reduce energy and plastic consumption as follows:
- # of elevator trips saved is estimated to be about 15-per week. Since we are on the 32nd floor, this amounts to about 7,000 kilowatt-hours saved per year, which is the equivalent of leaving (15) 40-watt lightbulbs on all year long.
- # of plastic forks/spoons/knives saved is estimated to be about 30-total per week or around 11,000 plastic utensils annually.
- # of plastic bags saved is estimated to be about 10-total per week or 520-plastic bags per year!
OTHER SUSTAINABLE OFFICE POLICIES (yes there’s more!)
Double Sided Paper All printing (11×17 and smaller) is conducted using 2-sided duplex mode. The result is about a 30% reduction in paper use and waste.
Two Screens, Less Paper All engineers utilize 2 large monitors which allows us to review most of our work on screen thus drastically reducing on our paper consumption.
Rechargeable Batteries The office is supplied with only rechargeable batteries. This is has reduced our new battery consumption by 90%.
ReUsable Pens Instead of wasting a perfectly good pen case every time it runs out of ink, EP purchases pens that use recycled inserts. When the ink runs out, the only part that gets thrown away and replaced is the insert.
Shutting off Mechanical Systems Each day at 6pm, all mechanical fans on the perimeter are turned off. Previously the fans were left to run 24/7. This practice has resulted in a reduction in usage by over 50% and a savings of about $1,600 annually)
Shutting off PCs The server at EP Engineering runs a special program that hibernates any PC that has been inactive for 1-hour.
Shutting off Electronic Appliances Coffee machines, cell phone chargers, copy machines…… they all use power even when not in use, simply from being plugged in. At EP, all such appliances are connected to timers which only allow them to power during normal business hours.
Plant Based Paper Goods We have made the switch from traditional paper products to plant based products, specifically Bagasse. Bagasse products do not require a heavy investment of new resources to produce, and are a way to make use of material that would otherwise be discarded, making it a very sustainable product.
Terra Cycle All other plastics not accepted through sanitation are collected and sent to Terra Cycle, who reuses, upcycles and recycles waste instead of incinerating or landfilling it.
Plastic Bags We collect plastic bags in our office to be reused. Those that are not reused are brought to a location for recycling.
Toner We recycle all printer and plotter toner cartridges used within our office.
Batteries & Electronics Recycling EP uses rechargeable batteries for most of our office needs. Any other batteries are recycled via The Big Green Box. The Big Green Box can be used for disposable batteries and small hand held electronic recycling. Once shipped, contents are recovered and treated in the most efficient and environmentally-sound way possible.
Cork EP even began collecting cork to be recycled and reused. Employees corks will be used to replace petroleum based materials in consumer product and extend the useful life of your wine works. By supporting this program we are giving new life to perfectly good natural cork.
K Cup Recycling Thanks to Ground to Grow on, K cups are collected and sent to a recycling facility which converts the brewed packs into useable alternatives.
Office Cleaning Products We aim to use products that are not only safe for the environment, but safe for employees as well. The products used in our office have been researched and all have received a favorable EWG rating.