How DMD Protects the Environment (and You!)
We believe that sustaining a business and protecting the planet are not conflicting goals. In fact, it would benefit businesses to understand how much they can save in the long run if they take the steps to change their habits, product choices, and building elements to reduce their carbon footprint.
Of course, sustainability isn’t all about saving money or promotional gimmickry. DMD is dedicated to creating and maintaining an ever-evolving philosophy of sustainability. As members of the US Green Building Council and the Arizona Businesses Advancing Sustainability, we take measures to reduce our carbon footprint in several ways.
Instead of using fiberglass or mineral wool, our building insulation is made out of recycled denim. This eliminates a sizeable amount of fabric waste that would otherwise have been destined for a landfill. Denim insulation is also high efficiency, resulting in less energy use, and is manufactured using a zero-waste process. Denim insulation is not harmful to install; it’s non-carcinogenic and treated to be fire-resistant. It also reduces the possible ill effects that traditional insulation methods have with its air purifying qualities – there is no formaldehyde pollution entering the air and it’s treated to prevent mold, mildew, and pests. It also comes with the added bonus of better indoor acoustics, so our company sing-a-longs sound even better.
Packing material can be a serious waste of resources. Styrofoam material, such as packing peanuts, is made using petroleum, which is a non-sustainable resource that also uses significant energy output to produce. When this material is broken down, it releases chemicals into the atmosphere, polluting the air and leading to an incredible amount of waste with its disposal. DMD uses recycled cardboard for packing material, which has no harmful chemical by-products and reduces unnecessary waste.
Much of the office furniture in our building was built using repurposed pallet wood that would have otherwise been wasted. Not only is our pallet wood furniture environmentally friendly, it looks super cool, too!
To save water we have installed waterless urinals, saving approximately 237,000 gallons (or about 900,000 liters) of water each year. Our landscaping uses exclusively native desert plants that do not require a sprinkling system. We also save energy using an eco-efficient lighting system for both office and warehouse space.
Another way we reduce our environmental footprint is by encouraging employees to ride their bikes to work, thus eliminating the waste produced by gas emissions. We offer them indoor bicycle parking for employees who bike to work.
But our biggest initiative is our latest addition of a 28kW (kilowatt) solar system to cover the back parking lot of our building. Along with providing shade for our employees, this initiative has allowed us to achieve net zero status for energy use – which means our building produces as much energy as it uses and doesn’t release harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Here are some fun facts about our new system:
- In the month of May, our structure produced 4.75 megawatt-hours of energy
- Our carbon offset was 3.28 tons. That’s 3.28 tons of greenhouse gases that aren’t adding to the destruction of the atmosphere!
- This offset is the equivalent of the work of 93 trees absorbing CO2 for a month.
- On a partly cloudy day at 12:30, the energy our system produces in a 15 minute period is 5,181 watt-hours – the equivalent of powering a light bulb for 39 nights!
- In an entire sunny day, 190 kilowatt-hours of energy is produced, which is enough to run a refrigerator for 42 days.
- Even on a rainy day with periods of cloud-covered or indirect sunlight, our system can produce 127 kilowatt-hours of energy, which is enough energy to run a cell phone for almost 4 years!
At DMD, we encourage all of our employees to further our sustainability efforts by offering an incentive to those who come up with innovative ways to save energy and materials. Our culture of conservation runs deep through our company and we’re always finding new ways to incorporate environmentally friendly products, appliances, and actions into our business practices. We’ve only got one planet with finite resources. Protecting those resources protects everyone. You’re welcome, Earthlings!