With energy costs soaring and electric companies near bankruptcy, authorities and businesses in California are scrambling for answers. Utilizing endeavors that can serve as a guide for other California businesses, one Bay Area company's creative thinking about the environment and energy conservation has received statewide recognition and acclaim rather than heftier electricity bills.
In a luncheon event scheduled for May 30th at the Sterling Hotel in Sacramento, the California Council for Environmental & Economic Balance (CCEEB) will honor health and wellness company Shaklee Corporation by presenting it with the Edmund G. "Pat" Brown Award for its cutting edge
climate change initiative designed to create genuine environmental improvements. Working with the Climate Neutral Network and four leading U.S. environmental organizations, Shaklee became the first Climate Neutral
Certified enterprise by completely offsetting its greenhouse gas emissions, meaning that the company has achieved a net zero impact on global warming.
The award, named after the late California Governor Edmund G. Pat Brown, is the highest honor bestowed by the CCEEB.
Energy Costs Down by 1/3 at new headquarters
The new world headquarters for Shaklee located in Pleasanton, California boasts numerous cutting edge energy-saving features and was constructed using sustainable materials. The company's move from a San Francisco skyscraper and converted warehouses in Hayward to a freshly built, environmentally and energy sensitive building in November 1999 reduced Shaklee's energy consumption by more than 900,000 kilowatts of electricity during the last calendar year resulting in approximately a 30% reduction in
energy costs. Just a few of the buildings innovative features include:
- Under-floor air system uses gravity and the natural cooling provided by the concrete subfloor to provide a more effective way to heat and cool the building.
- High performance glazing on the windows that limits the absorption of solar heat and maximizes daylight as well as shades that are raised or lowered automatically based upon the solar load.
- "Lightshelves" that bring daylight deep into the building's interior and also work to shade the building during the hottest parts of the day, reducing the amount of energy needed for heating and cooling.
- Timers that control exterior and interior lights and motion sensors that turn on lights and equipment, and dimmers that reduce light when natural light is sufficient.
Hybrid Gas-Electric Car Added to Shaklee Fleet
In a further environmental/conservation effort, Shaklee CEO Bob Schults recently traded in his company SUV for a Prius. The car is the world's first mass-produced hybrid vehicle that combines a highly efficient gasoline engine with an electric motor. Its energy-efficient and environmentally
friendly features include an average 52 miles per gallon in the city and an emission rate of 50 percent less carbon dioxide than most other cars.
Schults was so pleased with his Prius that he added it as an option to Shaklee's Bonus Car Program, one of the top 25 company-owned commercial fleets in the country. "It's only appropriate that we made this car a part of Shaklee's automotive fleet to encourage everyone to become more
eco-friendly," Schults said. "The U.S., not to mention the world at large, needs it now more than ever before."
The CCEEB is not alone in recognizing Shaklee's environmental efforts. In 2000 Shaklee has also received the Earth Day New York Environmental Business Leadership Award, the Business Environmental Network Award from Bay Area Action and the Peninsula Conservation Center Foundation, and the City of Pleasanton Mayor's Commendable Commute Awards for the highest rate of employee use of mass transit and telecommuting.
CCEEB is a coalition of California business, labor and public leaders who work together to advance collaborative strategies for a sound economy and a healthy environment. CCEEB was founded almost 30 years ago by the late
Governor Pat Brown because he and other key leaders believed that new thinking was needed to effectively address challenges facing California. As the only statewide private, nonprofit, nonpartisan association to represent
the interests of both industry and labor, CCEEB takes pride in its ability to achieve results by bringing creative and effective solutions to the forefront of policy debate.
Founded in 1956, Shaklee is a global consumer products company, recognized as an industry pioneer with a trusted name in health and wellness. For more information, visit www.shaklee.com.