Siemens Industry Inc.'s Building Technologies Division is purchasing green power, a sustainability practice recognized and supported through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Green Power Partnership. To reduce its overall carbon footprint, the company has been buying renewable energy certificates (RECs) from Texas utility Reliant Energy since 2008. In the most recent fiscal year, the Building Technologies Division has purchased more than 2.5 million kwh of green power consumed by its Buffalo Grove, Ill., corporate campus, which includes its manufacturing facility and suburban Chicago branch office. These purchases account for nearly 8 percent of the entire electricity consumption of all Building Technologies Division facilities nationwide.
The Green Power Partnership works with a variety of organizations, from Fortune 500 companies to local, state, and federal governments, as well as colleges and universities. According to the EPA, the these organizations' green-power purchases help reduce the environmental impacts of electricity use and support the development of new renewable-generation capacity nationwide.
Green power is derived from electricity generated from an environmentally preferable renewable source, such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass, and low-impact hydro. These sources generate electricity with a net-zero increase in carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions, while offering a more suitable environmental profile compared with traditional power generation sources.
The Building Technologies Division's green-power purchase saves more than 5 million lb of CO2 per year, which is equivalent to CO2 emissions from more than 325 average U.S. homes annually.