Green Cleaning at GT

"In 2003, we shifted our goals to improving employee and occupant safety along with environmental sustainability," says Little, a 16-year veteran of the cleaning industry. "We accomplished this by implementing a green cleaning program, which started with removing toxic chemical cleaners and replacing them with more environmentally-friendly products.  Then in July 2009, we were introduced to some innovative handheld sprayers that utilized built-in water electrolysis technology. We immediately embraced the concept after seeing the demonstration from our distributor. Not only was it a perfect enhancement to our green cleaning efforts, it is making our program simpler and saving us valuable budget funds."

Actions by Georgia Tech Building Services:

  • Established a pilot program with 25 custodians
  • Assigned handheld sprayers tracking them with a sign-in/sign-out procedure
  • Reduced number of cleaners used, simplifying the green cleaning program with a cost-effective option
  • Decided to expand program to 160 tier-one custodians 

Activated Water Attributes:

  • No offensive odor
  • No residue
  • Kill germs in 6 seconds
  • Water ionized on-demand
  • Rechargeable battery maintains its charge for a minimum of 2-5 days

 

Wind Energy

Photo by Sebastiano Pitruzzello

Georgia Tech Facilities is pleased to announce its commitment to purchase products made with Green, E-certified renewable wind power from Community Energy.  On June 1, 2008 our paper towel and tissue products supplier switched their manufacturing to  100% wind energy.

By committing to use products made with wind energy, Georgia Tech Facilities is making a difference by supporting cleaner air and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Frequently Asked Questions

     Wind Energy Basics

  1. What is wind energy?
  2. Why choose wind energy?
  3. What are the environmental benefits of wind energy?
  4. What are other advantages of wind energy?
  5. Why does wind energy cost more?
  6. Do wind farms have a negative impact on birds?

1.  What is wind energy?

Wind energy is an emission-free, clean, renewable, and endless source of electricity.  State-of-the-art wind turbines convert the kinetic energy of the wind to electric energy, which is harnessed by turning a rotor like a pinwheel, and delivered directly to the power grid.

2.  Why choose wind energy?

Power plants are the nation’s largest source of air pollution.   When fossil fuels like coal, gas or oil are burned to generate energy they emit carbon dioxide (CO₂), one of the leading contributors to global warming, along with other harmful pollutants such as nitrous oxide (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO₂) and mercury (Hg).  Purchasing emission-free wind energy allows wind farms to operate cost-effectively and adds more clean energy to the power grid, therefore displacing the need to conventional energy sources.

3.  What are the environmental benefits of wind energy?

Wind energy is entirely fuel free.  According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, an average househould uses 750 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity each month.  Offsetting this with a wind energy purchase prevents the release of over six tons of CO₂ each year*.

*Emissions factors are weighted averages for CEI’s national wind supply purchases in 2004 and 2005 and compared to the US EPA EGRID data for the NERC region averages of the wind farms under contract with CEI.

4.  What are other advantages of wind energy?

Purchasing wind energy directly supports the development of future wind farm projects along with the environmental and economic benefits they facilitate.  Wind farms create jobs and boost local economies in the form of lease payments to landowners for hosting turbines on their property, and in the form of tax revenues to the local government.  These dollars support the development of schools, police and fire stations, and are used for repairs to infrastructure and general municipal needs.  Because wind is an inexhaustible energy source, wind farms play an important role in strengthening our energy security and promoting energy our nation’s energy independence.

5.  Why does wind energy cost more?

Currently, the cost of generating wind power is more expensive than fossil fuel power plants.  The cost and installation of the technologies required to harness wind power necessitate a higher price per kilowatt hour (kWh).  However, wind energy is becoming more competitively priced as more wind farms are developed.  Costs have fallen from 40 cents/kWh in the 1980’s to under 10?kWh today for national RECs.

6.  Do wind farms have a negative impact on birds?

Wind farms account for a remarkably low percentage of the total avian mortalities attributed to human behavior.  Nationwide, studies show that properly-sited wind farms will cause 1-2 bird deaths per year per turbine.  Statistically speaking, wind turbines account for only one out of every ten thousand bird deaths caused by human actions (vehicles, pesticides, buildings, and housecats are all responsible for far greater numbers).  Before a site is approved for wind farm construction, scientists monitor bird migratory, nesting, mating and feeding patterns to ensure the project will not interfere with local avian populations.  In addition, modern wind turbines are designed to minimize the likelihood of birds or bats colliding with the blades.