SEIA values sustainability.
In all that we do, SEIA strives to strike a balance between environmental, human, and economic development needs in order to create a more resilient organization that supports a strong solar industry. We achieve this by encouraging our staff to consciously choose viable, more sustainable alternatives at work and at home. SEIA promotes sustainability through its organizational policies and initiatives that focus on responsible sourcing, resource efficiencies, health and wellness, and eco-friendly consumption and disposal practices.
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As we work every day to support the low-carbon technology of solar, SEIA is also dedicated to reducing the carbon and environmental footprint of our everyday office operations. SEIA is committed to adopting sustainable office practices and finding innovative ways to reduce consumption. Though our projects, we aim to engage many aspects of sustainability, engage remote employees, and look for ways to measure changes and determine the impact of our actions.
- Communicating with our building’s recycling hauler to determine exactly which items can be recycled and the best way to collect and sort these items
- Reviewing our printing and copying infrastructure to identify improvements that can be made to reduce paper and ink usage while saving costs.
- Reducing paper towel usage in our staff kitchen by offering reusable towels that can be washed in the dishwasher.
- Conducting a procurement assessment to understand the organization’s purchasing habits, then use this information to find more sustainable options that are both cost-effective and popular with staff.
- Transitioned the office coffee system from single serve plastic pods to a drip coffee carafe system, which eliminates waste from plastic pods and allows us to compost our coffee grinds and paper filter.
- SEIA staff is diverting food scraps and other organic matter from reaching landfills by hiring Veteran Compost to compost these items.
- In Q2 2017 (for 2nd year in a row), held an E-Waste Day, filling a large bin with electronic waste to be recycled or properly disposed of. Electronic waste contains toxic materials that are dangerous to dispose of in a traditional landfill.
Whether our team is at the office, working from home, or simply enjoying life, we are dedicated to practicing sustainable and healthy practices. Through friendly competitions and team-building activities, SEIA is building on our existing human resources by providing opportunities to learn new approaches to sustainable living and serve local communities.
- Q3 2017, SEIA and AWEA are organizing a friendly week long competition to decide which organization’s staff lives a more sustainable lifestyle! Staff members will learn about sustainable actions they can take and will record their daily actions via a mobile app
- Q4 2017, a team of staff will spend a day volunteering at Acadia Farm, a center for small-scale sustainable agriculture
- In Q2 2017, a team of staff members spent a morning volunteering with Bread for the City at the Free Farmers Market
- In Q2 2017, 2 staff members ran in the Clean Energy 5K to benefit the Clean Energy Leadership Institute
- In Q2 2017, SEIA sponsored We Build, an all women solar installation run by Grid Alternatives Mid-Atlantic. 4 staff members volunteered their time to install this 2.85 kW PV system that will allow a local resident to save on their electric bills.
- In Q3 2017, a staff member volunteered with POWERpnw at a Girls Build camp in Portland, OR. POWERpnw volunteers ran interactive workshops on solar roof installation and wind power in order to introduce girls to career opportunities in solar and wind.
- In Q3, a SEIA staff member is biking for 3 days through Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains to DC and raise money for Climate Ride.
From SEIA’s working groups and committees to our research publications or other efforts, the work we do is a critical part of our sustainability practice. As a trade association representing an industry that reduces CO2 pollution by more than 52.3 million metric tons, we are dedicated to carry on this important work by implementing sustainable practices throughout our programs. Whether we are planning a small board meeting or working with our partners to plan the industry’s largest trade show, SEIA is committed to reducing our carbon and environmental footprint at our meetings and events.
- SEIA’s National PV Recycling Program is working with recycling service providers nation-wide to help them understand PV technology, address current and pending regulations, and establish appropriate methods for responsibly recycling PV modules
- Working with our trade show partner, Solar Energy Trade Shows, to implement sustainability initiatives at Solar Power International and regional Solar Power Events
- Purchasing Renewable Energy Credits to help mitigate electricity usage at SEIA events
- Purchasing carbon credits to mitigate emissions from staff to flying to SEIA events
- One national provider has completed SEIA’s National PV Recycling Program and two additional providers are in the process.
- Created Meeting & Events Sustainability Guidelines document to addressing venue energy use, event waste, food and beverage, signage, printing, and more. We send these guidelines to our potential vendors.
- Reduced waste from events by adding composting services at 3 events and donating leftover food at 2 events