RTI International's commitment to environmental leadership and sustainability was recently recognized with a 'Green Award' from the Triangle Business Journal.
The awards recognize organizations and individuals who embrace sustainability efforts and successfully incorporate them into their business practices and communities.
"This award reflects a team effort and team commitment to making a difference in our community and the world," said RTI President and CEO Victoria Haynes. "Environmental leadership starts at home, and I am proud to be associated with people who model sustainability practices in the workplace and in our community."
"These winners are striving to make protection of the environment a standard practice and are helping Triangle leaders recognize the benefits that improve the bottom line," said Triangle Business Journal Publisher Bryan Hamilton. "They are leading the charge in sustainable success."
Among the efforts that earned RTI this year's award was the effort to reduce, reuse and recycle office supplies, materials and equipment associated with the move of staff members from the 800 Park office to Building O9 on RTI's main campus. The effort, known as the "Spread the Love Campaign," diverted more than 42 tons of materials from landfills and – more importantly – allowed more than 8 tons of these materials to be reused by local schools, nonprofit organizations and United Way agencies. As part of the campaign, unused building furniture was sold to a company that will refurbish and resell it.
RTI also significantly reduced its paper waste by purchasing documents electronically, discontinuing use of paper catalogs, and purchasing 30 percent post-consumer recycled paper. Beyond the recycling of paper-based products and materials, RTI has promoted and encouraged recycling of electronics, batteries, toner cartridges and cell phones.
Other major facilities initiatives completed or started in 2011 include the following:
- Completion and occupancy of a second, large $20 million office building on its main Research Triangle Park campus that was built to LEED certification standards. The first LEED building was occupied in 2009 and earned LEED Gold certification. Together, these modern, energy-efficient facilities represent a major investment in RTI's commitment to sustainability.
- Installation of a campus electricity sub-metering system that tracks electrical usage in all 22 buildings on main campus. All data has been made available to RTI staff members via RTI's utility dashboard, providing both real time and historical consumption.
- Development of a retro-commissioning program for the campus facilities to identify and implement low-cost operational and maintenance improvements in existing buildings that reduce energy consumption. Also, development of a campus energy program that outlines energy usage guidelines for staff members.
- The purchase, with financial assistance from the State Energy Office, of three neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) that were added to RTI's maintenance vehicle fleet that serves its main campus.
- Launch of a comprehensive greenhouse gas emissions inventory.