The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), the Alexandria, Va.-based organization dedicated to the academic and professional success of African-American engineering students and professionals, and Johnson Controls, the Milwaukee-based provider of solutions to increase energy efficiency in buildings, recently announced a partnership that will advance the environmental goals of both organizations and support future employment opportunities for diverse engineering talent.

Johnson Controls will oversee the implementation of energy-efficient technologies at the NSBE's headquarters, which will result in an anticipated 28-percent energy savings. The alliance also will create a source of strong engineering candidates for recruitment by Johnson Controls.

"Energy efficiency has always been a key priority for NSBE, and this partnership provides a solid platform to expand on our environmental goals while furthering our mission to support African-American students and professionals," Carl B. Mack, executive director, NSBE, said. "We are looking forward to further reducing our carbon footprint and are excited to highlight career opportunities with Johnson Controls."

Seventy-two percent of Johnson Controls' 162,000 employees live and work outside of the United States and Canada. In the past year, female executive representation grew to 13.7 percent, and minority executive representation increased to 13.8 percent in the United States.

"At Johnson Controls, we value a highly exceptional and diverse workforce as essential to providing our customers with comfortable, safe, and sustainable environments," Bruno Biasiotta, vice president and general manager, Energy Solutions Americas, Johnson Controls, said. "The opportunity to align our businesses on two levels—employment and energy efficiency—demonstrates how non-profit and private organizations can work together to make a positive impact on the environment and economy."

Facility enhancements at the NSBE headquarters will include the installation of a Johnson Controls building automation system to reduce operating and energy expenses. Additionally, the NSBE headquarters will host a solar photovoltaic rooftop array donated by SolarWorld Americas. The solar array is expected to meet 12 percent of the headquarters's total energy needs.

"NSBE's members represent the renewable-energy industry's next generation of leaders and innovators," Kevin Kilkelly, president, SolarWorld Americas, said. "What better place to demonstrate the benefits of solar technology?"

The energy program is expected to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 81.2 tons per year. Additionally, Johnson Controls' service offerings will assist the NSBE in applying for U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.