The Whidbey Green Seal – a certificate program

The Whidbey Green Seal is a certificate program that publicly recognizes organizations (business, non-profit and tax-supported entities) that actively implement resource conservation measures, demonstrate a culture of environmental awareness in their operational activities, and practice social responsibility in their community.

Did You Know?

85% of people in Whatcom County expressed a preference for doing business with companies that are working to save energy and 51% expressed a strong preference. – Data based on a scientific survey completed through Sustainable Connections in Bellingham

There is an average 10-15% savings potential in utility costs (electricity, natural gas, propane, water, sewer, and waste) over several years, through a focus on improvements in operation and maintenance practices.
Data from PSE Resource Conservation Management program:

80% of CEOs say the financial downturn has raised the importance of sustainability and is being recognized as a source of cost efficiencies and revenue growth and a way of driving growth in new markets. – UN Global Compact and Accenture study, “A New Era of Sustainability”

96% of CEOs stated sustainability should be fully embedded into their company strategy and operations (up from 72% in 2008). – UN Global Compact and Accenture study, “A New Era of Sustainability”

88% of CEOs stated sustainability should be embedded throughout the global supply chain.    Survey of 766 worldwide CEOs, including 50 in-depth interviews. – UN Global Compact and Accenture study, “A New Era of Sustainability”

83% of Americans want MORE of the products, services, and retailers they use to support causes. The 2015 Cone Cause Evolution Study is the nation’s longest Cause Branding benchmark, the study explores consumer attitudes and expectations of company support for social and environmental issues. – 2015 Cone Cause Evolution Study

WGS Member Comments

“The simple, visual presence of the Whidbey Green Seal hopefully will open dialog not only among staff, but customers as well. Although I have seen various benefits over the many years in business from our efforts to save energy, none has been as immediate and obvious as the recent conversion from halogen spotlight bulbs to LED spotlights. We have seen nearly a 20% decrease in our overall power consumption, which in our case represents between $500 and $600 per month. At this rate, the full payback could be as soon as 2-3 years.” (Gene Felton, Owner The Star Store)
“The WGS can increase awareness and mindfulness around what it means to act responsibly…both as an organization and as individuals.” (Walt Blackford, PSE Community Service Supervisor)
“I found the Whidbey Green Seal application a good benchmark and motivator for us here at WGH…personal and environmental health are inextricably connected. We take care of our community by taking care of our environment.” (Lori Taylor, Clinical Dietitian and lead facilitator of the Green Team at Whidbey General Hospital)
Check also information on the 2017 Whidbey Island Marathon 

Island County’s Energy Conservation Milestones

Island County’s Energy Conservation Milestones:

1994 – began spreadsheet tracking of utility cost & consumption.

1996 – installation of low flow water saving devices on fixtures.

2009 – Using existing staff, our Maintenance Technicians implement the following low-cost, no-cost measures:

  • ·        T-stats set points maintained and locked out – heating comes on at 68 and cooling comes come on at 76.
  • ·        Operating run times for HVAC systems set to shut-down for holiday, weekend and after-hours
  • ·        Closed two buildings to ALL meetings after hours in order to turn off HVAC units at the close of the business day, occupied mode set to turn off at 6:00 p.m.
  • ·        Reduced vampire energy
  • ·        Lighting upgrades: energy efficient bulbs and automatic controls/sensors
  • ·        Upgrades to HVAC equipment in the JDC
  • ·        Boilers operate on outside air lock out and a water reset schedule.
  • ·        Compressors locked out
  • ·        Added time clocks and t-stats to all hot water re-circulating pumps
  • ·        Continual preventative maintenance program for HVAC equipment in all locations

NOTE – The above low cost/no cost energy saving measures resulted in annual savings of approximately 412,000 kilowatts, 17,000 gallons of heating fuel and $80,000 in associated costs.

2011 – Receive grant from Northwest Clean Air Agency to conduct Greenhouse Gas (carbon) Emissions inventory.

2012  Contracted with Cathy d’Almeida for carbon emissions inventory & climate protection plan. Contract completion March 2012.

Whidbey Green Seal awarded, October 2011

2012 – Board of Island County Commissioner’s adopt Sustainability Resolution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 1% per year in our government operations.

July 2014 – Using existing staff, Maintenance Technicians install Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) in our Jail.  To date, the installation of two VFDs has resulted in noticeable energy savings. The two VFDs have reduced our consumption by 5,000 – 20,000 kilowatts each month.

2014  to present – re-lamping with LED lights when possible.

Future Goals:

  • ·        Additional VFDs installed as time and funds allow.
  • ·        Updating the Jail HVAC systems (Public Works)
  • ·        Lighting retrofits
  • ·        Green Team