Waco, TX Businesses Go Green, Grow More Sustainable
The city of Waco is becoming known as a haven for sustainability.
The Waco Chamber of Commerce is intent on carrying the mantle for sustainability to help area businesses make the most of their resources.
"We’re presenting (sustainability) as a business opportunity," says Scott Connell, senior vice president of strategic development for the Waco Chamber of Commerce. "At the end of the day, it’s about being more efficient and running your company better."
First Green Chamber Building
The Waco chamber built the nation’s first green chamber of commerce building to showcase its business-education efforts on sustainability. The organization promotes sustainability efforts among local businesses through its Green Business Network. At its Learning Green Luncheon every other month, companies come away with fresh ideas on how to leverage sustainability principles, Connell says.
Organizations in the network include Mars-Snackfood US, which earned national recognition for using landfill gas to replace some of the energy needed to power its operation, and McLennan Community College, which has incorporated environmentally friendly features into its new buildings.
Today many local companies see a sustainability program as a business imperative, says Jack Stiffler, president of MarathonNorco Aerospace Inc., which received the prestigious ISO 14001 environmental certification at its 215,000-square-foot plant in Waco.
Company Cuts Electric Consumption
MarathonNorco Aerospace, which provides aircraft battery and power solutions, looks for sustainability opportunities in product design, energy usage and internal manufacturing processes. Its sustainability approach has led to reduced electric consumption at the plant by about a third in last three years and reduced water usage from more than 10 million gallons annually to 4 million gallons.
"We try to run our business around the concept that everything we do we should use as little as we can and get the most out of it that we can possible gain," Stiffler says.