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Cool Choices' October 2011 newsletter, Outcomes, is now available! 
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 The Facts

The Miron Construction Pilot Project launched on April 22, 2011 - Earth Day - with 75% of Miron’s 300+ employees signing-up to participate and take action.  Since May 1, Miron employees have reported the following:  almost 9,000 actions - up from 1,000 as reported in our July 2011 issue of Outcomes - resulting in an estimated annual savings of more than $120,000.  More than 110 employees are on track to see annual savings of more than $500 as a result of their participation. 

The $120,000 of savings represents more than 600,000 gallons of water, more than 17,000 gallons of gasoline, and over 450 Mwh hours of electricity saved.  From an environmental perspective, these savings represent more than 1.2 million pounds of avoided CO2 emissions (up from 1 million).  That’s the equivalent of taking almost 115 cars off the road.  Pretty cool! 

 Estimated Annual Savings from May - August Actions
9,000 actions
600k gallons water
17k gallons gasoline
450 Mwh electricity
$120,000 based on actions
1.2 million lbs CO2 avoided

 

Environmental Sustainability, The Miron Way
By Raj Shukla, Program Manager
 

Miron Construction is accustomed to doing big things.  They build hospitals and schools and stadiums (GO PACKERS!) - projects that shape communities.  It is one of the reasons why Cool Choices approached the company to pilot an employee sustainability program.  We were looking for a partner committed to sustainability, of course, but one that was also making a real impact on a very complicated issue.  We got that, and more.  

Cool Choices assembled a team of opinion leaders from across the organization—Project Managers, Estimators, Site Supervisors and executives—to set goals and map-out an implementation strategy.  Everyone had veto power so that each partner could ensure that the program stayed true to its mission and values.  
Read on


   


 


Outcomes
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Update                         
Kathy Kuntz, Executive Director

As the weather gets cooler activities here at Cool Choices are heating up!
 
In October, Cool Choices will be launching an employee initiative at Gundersen Lutheran Health Care System and its multiple locations.  We are really excited about our partnership with Gundersen; they have been a leader in green health care and are on track to be energy independent—across four hospitals and nineteen regional clinics—by 2014.  We are honored that they are working with us to expand and enhance the ways they engage employees in their environmental sustainability efforts.  And we look forward to sharing more about this effort in coming months.
 
On a more bittersweet note,
our pilot with Miron Construction will end in October.  For the last six months we have been dazzled by the myriad of ways Miron’s employees have embraced opportunities to be more sustainable.  More than 60% of Miron’s three hundred office and operations staff have logged more than 12,000 actions as part of the program—yielding projected annual savings of more than $120,000.  And, in the process, we have helped to create new norms around sustainability at Miron.  As the program ends, we look forward to sharing more data on overall outcomes, including changes in employee perceptions about sustainability.
 
In late November, staff will be at the Behavior, Energy and Climate Change (
BECC) conference in Washington, DC, to discuss our work and learn more about the work of like-missioned efforts around the world.  BECC draws about 700 attendees so it is a great forum to talk about what it takes to prompt persistent, meaningful behavior changes that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
 
And by December we will be actively recruiting our next round of corporate partners.  We hope to launch 3-4 additional engagement programs in 2012.  We are seeking Wisconsin-based companies with a strong corporate commitment to sustainability coupled with a genuine interest to work with employees to embed sustainability into the corporate culture.  If you know of a good candidate, please feel free to contact me! 

Environmental Sustainability & You

I used to have three TVs in my house.  Now I have two.  I also used to leave them on in multiple rooms at the same time. Since the audio was not synchronized, it was not even enjoyable. Now I only turn the TV on when there is something I really want to watch and make sure to turn it off when I leave the room.  It's much more quiet and peaceful in the house now.

-- Miron Construction employee


COOL CHOICES & MIRON CONSTRUCTION VIDEO
We have created a compilation video from a few of the clips provided by Miron employees that demonstrates, in their own words, their experiences as they participate in our corporate project. View the video and see how Cool Choices is changing employees' perceptions of individual environmental sustainability.  

WORKSHOP: GOING SUSTAINABLE AT WORK
A Badger Bioneers pre-conference interactive workshop with Cool Choices & Sustain Dane
Cool Choices Executive Director, Kathy Kuntz, will be the featured speaker at this workshop focusing on how to make green behavior change at work easier. Nov 10, 4-6pm - Registration Required, space is limited.  Click here for details.
Cool Choices is working with the K-12 Energy Education Program (KEEP) to improve teacher access to accurate and useful information on sustainable transportation and climate change.  Later this fall, KEEP staff will launch an online conceptual framework and digital resource library for teachers on these topics, supplementing existing KEEP resources.

Rather than creating new materials, this effort will improve teacher access to existing, but often hard-to-find, resources.  KEEP staff met with a group of teachers to review the identified resources and receive additional teacher input.  Teachers were especially enthusiastic about the
Educational Graphics on Global Climate Change and the Greenhouse Effect, a National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) site that features more than 50 free graphs, cartoons, and visual aids that help teachers explain specific concepts like the carbon cycle.  Teachers also appreciated well developed curriculum resources like Getting Around Clean and Green, an interdisciplinary science/social studies curriculum from the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association that enables grade 6 - 9 students to explore transportation and environmental issues in their own lives. 

Cool Choices will share a link to the online resources via our website as soon as they are published.

 
 
 
Our Mission

Cool Choices’ mission is to inspire and assist individuals, communities, and businesses
to achieve meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions 
through voluntary action
 
Cool Choices
222 N Midvale Blvd, Suite 29
Madison, WI 53705
Phone 608.443.4270
Fax 608.443.4278
www.coolchoicesnetwork.org
  info@coolchoicesnetwork.org