Acuity Brands, a leader in the commercial lighting industry, has embarked on a new sustainability journey. After many years of bringing to market innovative products and services designed to optimize energy use, Acuity Brands turned the lens on itself. “How green are we, and what can we do to push ourselves further?” asked Adam Handler, Director - Corporate Sustainability, Acuity Brands Lighting.
To kick off its sustainability initiative, the Company set out to first understand how its various facilities used energy. In 2019, Acuity Brands deployed the Company’s own Building Insights energy management information solution in 40 of its facilities worldwide. The objective was to collect energy usage data from each building and roll it into one centralized software program. This way, Handler and his team could easily view and analyze the collective data to determine consumption patterns, and from there prioritize investments to reduce energy usage by location and continue to track progress. With the insights Building Insights provided, the Company was able to set a 2020 energy reduction goal of 15% (16.9 GWh) with a goal of 25% reduction by 2022.
Handler provided each location management team with data collected by Building Insights specific to their facility’s consumption and the resources to help them create and measure their reduction projects. From there, each location was responsible for selecting energy or carbon reducing initiatives that made the most sense for their unique space and needs. Currently, 10 locations have projects underway to reduce their energy use. The Oakland, California office of Acuity Brands is the first site running on 100% renewable, 100% carbon-free energy. “We are excited about our role to test renewable energy programs at the organization,” said Hannah Greinetz, Customer Success Manager with the Building Insights product group.
“Reducing energy consumption is essential to reducing our carbon footprint,” said Handler. “Our goal at the Company is to see how we can further implement renewable energy sources into our business and facilities.”