It’s Easy Being Green

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In honor of St. Patrick’s Day 2014, the OZ Sustainability Committee hosted an in-house event, “It’s easy being Green,” with green beer, green veggies, green salsa, and an overview of all the “green” initiatives the committee has been working on in 2013 and the forecast for upcoming 2014 events.  They also gathered input and ideas from the staff on sustainability priorities for 2015.

The OZ Sustainability Committee (OZSC) was formed in 2000 to promote sustainability through the OZ Culture and projects by bringing resources in-house to support the OZ Staff and the overall sustainability mission. The initiatives are focused in three key areas:
·    Green Office Practices
·    Sustainability Project Services and Staff Support
·    Education and Outreach

Green Office Practices
The OZSC was busy in 2013 with many projects to promote in-house initiatives on awareness of sustainability practices.  They sponsored the OZ annual Bike to Work day with an emphasis on using alternative transportation to commute.  They also supported National Bike Month (May) and Colorado Bike Month (June) with basic bike maintenance classes and breakfast for riders.   Every employee at OZ is given an eco-pass for the bus system which also promotes alternative modes of transportation.

Sustainability Project Services and Staff Support
In October of 2013, OZ welcomed Chad Coleman to the OZ staff to provide support for the growing workload.  The OZSC also began to create an in house resource site for the staff to consult when working on various projects.  They identified the major user groups for the site and the content that needed to be available.

The team continues to provide high level of sustainability services for all OZ projects with an aspect of sustainability, whether it be LEED certification or just a want to reduce energy usage.  This included 22 projects and 7 LEED Certifications of various levels in 2013.  The OZSC also signed up to be considered for USGBC’s Proven Provider Program –which streamlines the process for companies that provide a high level of service and reliability.

Education and Outreach
In 2013, OZ also upgraded to add a USGBC Webinar Subscription and hosted 6 in-house webinars to elevate the knowledge of the staff.  The team provides continuous support to the LEED AP architects and staff by answering questions, assisting with CE opportunity, and the online accreditation process.

Approved in 2013, and scheduled for April of 2014, the OZ project, Highland Park Apartments, will be part of the Rocky Mountain Green Conference, and a walking tour will be led by the OZSC.

Overall, the 2013 goals and initiatives were met by the OZ Sustainability Committee, and more activities and learning opportunities are on the books for 2014.