Not Ready for Solar Panels? Try shutting off the lights!
That’s what Ken Kurtzig, will tell you. And as the founder and CEO of iReuse, he should know. iReUse, is an organization in Marin County, CA that helps companies maximize their efficiency in order to maximize their profit.
Clients like Schwab, PG&E, Kaiser, and The American Cancer Society are listening to what Ken has to say, and he’s saving the money and energy, and even finding ways to reuse materials that were going to be taking up space in the landfill. When Birkenstock was moving it’s headquarters they had 126 tons of materials, furniture and equipment that would have been taken to the landfill, but Ken Kurtzig and iReUse found other organizations that were able to use it. Not only was it good for the environment, but also Birkenstock was able to save the money it would have had to use to pay for disposal.
“ A CEO wants to get solar panels and asks me for my advice. He may not see the cost and energy benefits from solar panels for eight to ten years, If he changes the lights to ones that are energy efficient, that CEO will see a difference in six months to three years.” he told me.
Ken is extremely passionate about what he does. He was recently in a coffee shop, and before Ken left he told the owner that he could save money and conserve energy by just shutting off the fan.
His software and consulting company, IReuse helps other organizations measure the impact of their operations such as the amount and cost of energy they are using at any time. IReuse then helps them develop and implement a strategy to decrease waste, and use less energy.
“Most companies have no way of knowing or centrally tracking the amount of energy, water and waste they use and the excess waste they are responsible for at their various facilities. We’ve created a breakthrough tracking system using special reporting software. Employees love this because they can see tangible results from their energy efficiency efforts as well as quickly identify the greatest opportunities for improvement” he said with a lot of enthusiasm. “Our clients are getting the kind of results that they can market to employees, and to the public, who continue to be more concerned about sustainability, eliminating waste and taking care of the planet and want to patronize businesses that have the same concerns.”
“So many companies we work with have had efficiency saving goals, but no plan for achieving those goals. They recycle, use paper instead of plastic, but have no idea if they’re using more resources and energy, then the competition; Transparency is key to maximize an organizations financial and environmental impact, which is one reason why our program has been so successful.
Kurtzig let me know that organizations need to stop doing “a bunch of stuff,” and start using the iReUse tracking and recording tool. “Operational efficiency or sustainability should be like any other part of business where you expect and get a great return on investment.”
It was a like a breath of clean air to meet Ken, and hear his sensible, sane and practical ideas on sustainability, and efficiency, and hear him make the connection between profits, reducing energy and caring about the environment.
Here in Berkeley, where I live, I’m around people who bring their china and silverware to events where paper plates are being used, and who want to inspect garbage cans, and turn their neighbors in to the authorities for not composting that two-year-old moldy doughnut. I was so inspired by Ken Kurtzig that I went home and changed the last non-energy efficient light bulb in my laundry room.