Thank you for completing the Hazon Seal Energy and Water Management Assessment!
The suggestions below are based on your responses to the assessment, and are designed to get you thinking about what sort of projects your organization should consider to reduce its usage of energy and water, two of our most precious resources. You are not required to take on all or even any of the suggestions offered.
Recommendations based on assessment taken July 7, 2022
A great place to implement energy conservation is to transition all lighting to LEDs. LEDs have a lower lifetime cost than incandescent bulbs and use as little as 10% of the energy. They are available in just about every form factor and light level that incandescent bulbs are. If eliminating them all at once is impractical, purchase LEDs to replace incandescent and fluorescent bulbs as they go bad.
We recommend creating a formal energy conservation policy to keep climate and environmental concerns at the forefront of organizational decision making. This also demonstrates your leadership and commitment to other organizations and individuals.
We recommend assigning and empowering someone to ensure the environmental policy is being implemented as intended. This adds a layer of accountability that is not present when the policy is left up to each member of the organization to interpret and carry out.
Calculating your organizational carbon footprint is a valuable first step toward substantive change. We encourage all Seal Sites to identify and utilize a carbon accounting tool that will help identify the highest impact ways of reducing carbon. The type of tool you choose to use for calculating carbon for your organization depends on a variety of factors. Please contact the Hazon Seal team at Seal@Hazon.org to discuss your options.
Energy audits, whether self-administered using tools such as Energy Star Portfolio Manager or conducted by a qualified 3rd party, can be very helpful in determining the best focus areas for reducing energy use and therefore cost and carbon footprint. Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more help and guidance.
We applaud and encourage organizations and individuals to install renewable energy generation on their property. At this time, the barriers for investing in the renewable energy marketplace are lower than ever. Some utility companies offer programs that can offset electricity use by funding renewable energy developments through a small rider on their bill. For another option, check out this toolkit for information on community solar projects.
Coating a dark-colored roof in white or some other light color can reduce heating costs and reduce the urban heat island effect, which is defined as an area of higher temperature brought about by the concentration of manmade materials, particularly dark colored roofs and buildings.
Replacing windows is a major undertaking that will typically show commensurately large returns. No matter how well insulated and sealed a building is, outdated windows will allow air and energy flow to bypass those defenses, significantly reducing efficiency. Different climates present different challenges, so we recommend discussing your building’s needs with a local contractor, using the EPA’s Energy Star standards as guidelines to be met or exceeded.
It is good practice to articulate a water conservation policy as an organization. It may be part of a larger conservation policy, but by recording it you take a step from hypothetical to actual, and can use it to guide decisions in the future.
We recommend assigning and empowering someone to ensure the water conservation policy is being implemented as intended. This adds a layer of accountability that is not present when the policy is left up to each member of the organization to interpret and carry out.
Taking the time to educate others about energy and sustainability helps build support for new initiatives and a stronger sense of care and community. For organizations operating on a tight budget, sustainability may be misinterpreted to imply more expenses. Share that energy usage represents the largest negative environmental impact and the second highest fixed cost for religious institutions. As energy costs continue to increase, energy conservation practices offer an opportunity to make wise environmental decisions that are also good for your budget.