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Issue 20, May 5, 2014

 

Partner Spotlight: TD Bank

Photo of photovoltaics atop roof of Cypress Creek location
Photo of photovoltaics atop roof of Cypress Creek location

TD Bank is one of the 10 largest banks in the United States, with approximately 27,000 employees. A Green Power Partner since May 2010, TD Bank's green power and environmental initiatives are driven by the company's goal to be as green as its logo.

Q. Why did your organization decide to use green power? What do you see as the benefits of using green power?

A. A cornerstone of TD Bank's ongoing commitment to the environment is our investment in green power. TD's entire U.S. operations, including our ATM network and approximately 1,300 stores, are powered exclusively by green energy through the purchase of high-quality Green-e® certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from U.S.-based renewable energy projects.

By focusing on green power, we have been able to effectively minimize the impact of TD's operations, allowing us to focus on day-to-day business needs. By being serious about sustainability measures—whether through our commitment to carbon neutrality, paper reduction or green power—we enhance our business operations through reduced operating costs and improved customer experiences, employee engagement, brand equity and more.

What's more, reducing our environmental impact is important because our customers and employees have asked for it. Providing customers with the greenest banks is good for our communities and it makes good business sense.

Q. Is your organization currently striving to achieve a green power goal? What steps are being taken to reach it?

A. In 2010, TD Bank Group became the first North American-based financial institution to become carbon-neutral. At the same time, TD made the decision to invest in 100 percent green power. In addition to our stores operating on 100 percent green power, TD neutralized the impact of business travel through carbon offsets. We are also increasing our use of on-site solar power and currently have more than 100 solar installations.

Moving forward, our primary goal is energy conservation. While we're extremely proud to have achieved 100 percent green power, we must continue to use energy wisely. TD will reduce energy use through the operation of energy efficient buildings staffed with energy-conscious and engaged employees.

Q. Describe any innovative green power strategies your organization has implemented or is planning.

A. In Canada, TD recently opened its first Sustainable Energy Efficient Design (SEED) bank location, which incorporates solar cells into the bank's glass canopy and exterior elements. Through the use of building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) technology, TD has taken solar generation from an extension of the building to become part of the very building itself. The building is a new approach to renewable energy that helps to reduce a building's demand for grid electricity consumption.

Q. What are two or three lessons you've learned in making the switch to green power or in increasing your green power use?

A. For companies that have not yet reached 100 percent green energy, it is important to take the next step to achieve this goal. Set a green energy target and make achieving it part of your daily accountabilities – at all levels of the company. Calculating what percentage of green power you achieve is not a year-end exercise. Rather, it must become a conscious part of daily business decisions and conversations.

At TD, staying on top of all of our energy spends is part of the bank's day-to-day business operations. We continuously project our energy requirements to make certain enough RECs are purchased and maintained, guaranteeing our operations are powered by 100% clean, green energy. This has been a critical lesson in increasing our green power use.

Read more about TD Bank's environmental initiatives here.

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GPP in the News

Our Partners are talking about their commitments to green power in recent press releases:

REI, Partner since 2006 and No. 11 on the Top 30 Retail Partner List, on recently shifting to 100 percent green power:
"With 26 solar electric systems generating energy and a strong program to invest in energy efficiency, REI now buys certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) as part of its strategy to green the energy that powers more than 130 stores, two distribution centers and its headquarters...REI's annual RECs purchase has the same greenhouse gas reduction benefits of removing nearly 8,000 cars from the road or switching more than 990,000 incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescents." (April 8 full release)

Steelcase, Partner since 2001 and No. 46 on the National Top 100 List, on its long-term commitment to green power:
"Steelcase Inc., the global leader in the office furniture industry, has announced the company's renewable energy investment is equivalent to 100% of its global electricity consumption. This long-term commitment makes Steelcase the 15th largest 100% renewable energy purchaser in the United States according to the U.S. EPA's Green Power Partnership. It reflects the company's larger energy strategy which has, to date, resulted in a 60% reduction in energy use since the company began tracking its consumption in 2001." (March 13 full release)

Recent Press Releases:
April 23, EPA Announces List of Top 100 U.S. Organizations Using Renewable Energy / Tech Sector Leads the Way
April 23, Quinnipiac University Recognized by EPA as Top Green Power User In the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
April 24, EPA Recognizes Union College as Top Green Power User Among Colleges and Universities

Recent Articles and Blog Posts:
April 16, Justmeans.com, REI Commits to Sustainable, Renewable Energy
April 24, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Kohl's Leads Retailers, Ranks Second Overall in Green Power Use
April 24, Sustainable Business Oregon, Intel Remains No. 1 Renewable Energy User
April 28, Tennessee Today, EPA Names UT SEC Champs, Top Thirty Green Power User

For more news on the Partnership, please visit the GPP Newsroom.

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Onsite Goal MeterNew GPP On-site Renewables Challenge

In support of President Obama's Climate Action Plan (PDF) (21 pp, 311K), the Green Power Partnership has launched the On-site Renewables Challenge, with a goal to double the use of on-site green power by Green Power Partners by the end of the decade. The Partnership will track all Partners' annual combined on-site renewable energy use, which will be updated quarterly. As part of the Challenge, EPA invites Partners to increase the amount of energy they produce and use from on-site renewables by the end of the decade.

The On-site Renewables Challenge was featured during the White House's Solar Summit that took place on April 17. The event honored cross-sector leadership on solar and announced new steps to expand the use of solar across the country. The White House also called for new commitments from the private sector and non-profits to support solar deployment and jobs.

Learn more about the White House's Solar Summit here.

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Green Power Equivalency Calculator Updated

GPP has updated its Green Power Equivalency Calculator. We have updated several of the equivalency conversion factors with newer or revised values, and we've added several new equivalency statements for describing your green power use, including:

  • Avoided GHG emissions from X miles driven by an average passenger vehicle
  • CO2 emissions avoided by the annual production of X wind turbines
  • Annual GHG emissions avoided by X garbage trucks of waste being recycled instead of landfilled

Take a look at the updated calculator and learn what your green power use is equivalent to!

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Did You Know?

Photo courtesy of NREL
Photo courtesy of NREL

Annually, GPP's Partners are using more than 28 billion kilowatt-hours of green power. This is equivalent to the CO2 emissions avoided by the annual production of 5,454 wind turbines. Check out GPP's updated Equivalency Calculator for this and other equivalency factors relating to your green power use.

On Twitter? Post this fact: Each year #EPAGreenPower Partners use enough green power to match the CO2 emissions reduction of 5,454 wind turbines!

#EPAGreenPower Partners use enough GP each year to match CO2 emissions reduction of 5,454 wind turbines! More @ http://1.usa.gov/PYrFQH

As an #EPAGreenPower Partner we're reducing CO2 emissions! Learn how much your green power use cuts emissions @ http://1.usa.gov/PYrFQH

How much could using green power reduce your CO2 emissions? Find out w/ #EPAGreenPower Equivalency Calculator: http://1.usa.gov/PYrFQH

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Updated State and Local Energy Strategy Guides Available

EPA's State and Local Climate & Energy Program has released a series of new and updated climate and energy strategy guides for local governments focusing on green power procurement, on-site renewable energy generation, and landfill gas energy. Each guide provides comprehensive information for local government staff and policy makers, and is designed to help policy makers and program staff plan, implement and evaluate cost-effective climate and energy projects that generate environmental, economic, social and human health benefits. To access these and other guides in the series, please visit the Local Government Climate and Energy Strategy Series page.

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EPA Solicits Public Comments on Action Plan for RE-Powering America's Land

EPA's RE-Powering America's Land Initiative has released a draft action plan for public input. The plan articulates the goals and objectives of the Initiative and details specific actions over the next two years to support the development of renewable energy projects on contaminated lands.

The Agency is interested to hear from its stakeholders whether the identified actions will, from their perspectives, impact the consideration and pace of renewable energy on contaminated lands and what actions might be missing, what actions might be overemphasized and how such actions might complement other ongoing activities.

The Agency posted the draft action plan on RE-Powering America's Land website (Action Plan 2.0) and is asking for comments to be submitted via email by May 30, 2014.

For more information, please see the program's website.

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Reminder: Solar Procurement Tools and Templates for Higher Education Available

On Wednesday, April 16, 2014, GPP hosted a webinar on solar procurement templates and tools for higher education institutions. The webinar provided specific strategic and tactical guidance for higher education institutions interested in pursuing options for solar power on their facilities, and offered a host of resources that schools can use to shape and manage the solar procurement process to a successful outcome. The webinar also covered tools for schools interested in solar hot water systems.

Resources discussed on the webinar included an RFP guide, a cost proposal form, and a levelized cost of energy (LCOE) calculator, among other tools. You can find a list of all the tools and resources covered on the webinar on the GPP website, and we welcome your feedback on how to improve them.

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Hats Off to the 2013-14 College & University Challenge Participants

College and University Green Power ChallengeThe results are in! At nearly 310 million kilowatt-hours, the Big 10 is this year's winning conference of the 2013-14 College & University Green Power Challenge. Topping the Big 10's green power use is Ohio State University at more than 133 million kWh, followed by Northwestern University, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Iowa (Main Campus/Buildings). The school using more green power than any other Challenge participant is the University of Pennsylvania (Ivy League) at more than 200 million kWh.

Congratulations to this year's College & University Challenge Winners! For more information and to review the full list, visit www.epa.gov/greenpower/initiatives/cu_challenge.htm.

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Save the Date: Renewable Energy Markets Conference 2014

Renewable Energy Markets (REM) 2014, which is organized by the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) and co-sponsored by EPA, will take place in Sacramento, California, December 2 through 4, 2014. REM is one of the renewable energy industry's premier gatherings, bringing together industry leaders and stakeholders. As part of REM, EPA and CRS will present the Green Power Leadership Awards on December 3. In addition, the REM Call for Abstracts is now open. Abstracts are due no later than Monday, June 30, 2014 at 5:00 pm PT. Visit the REM website for more information.

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Join GPP's LinkedIn Group now!

Not yet using green power but ready to start? Ready to join the Green Power Partnership? GPP logo

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Past Issues

GPP Program Update, Issue 19, April 7, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 18, March 10, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 17, February 10, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 16, January 13, 2014
GPP Program Update, Issue 15, December 19, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 14, November 28, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 13, October 28, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 12, September 9, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 11, August 12, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 10, July 15, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 9, June 17, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 8, May 13, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 7, April 8, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 6, March 11, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 5, February 20, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 4, January 14, 2013
GPP Program Update, Issue 3, December 17, 2012
GPP Program Update, Issue 2, November 26, 2012
GPP Program Update, Issue 1, October 22, 2012

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