MarBorg Industries was presented last week with the country’s top green building award — a Platinum Certification — through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, an internationally recognized initiative developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
The event was held Tuesday morning with a plaque presentation by Kenneth Simpson of USGBC’s national office, followed by recognition from Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, and closing remarks from Kathy Borgatello Koeper. MarBorg personnel then gave attendees an “eco tour” of their Santa Barbara Headquarters and Construction and Demolition facility, demonstrating the various methods they have undertaken throughout the past two years to implement programs and technologies that have achieved efficiency in multiple waste management capacities. Among these improvements in efficiency — all of which were done without major construction or considerable financial expenditures — are improving the building’s air quality, reducing the lighting load by installing skylights and turning off lights in areas not frequently occupied, putting in a filtration system to improve air quality, and, among other enhancements, using Integrated Pest Management (IMP) policies. MarBorg’s IMP policy employs a falcon to ward off seagulls from rummaging through trash, which stands as a health hazard since the seagulls seeking the trash as food discard it in residential and non-residential areas when they realize the trash isn’t edible.
The city of Santa Barbara and MarBorg have joined forces to enact various sustainability programs and services. One such service that has garnered much attention converts FOG (Fats, Oils, and Grease) waste from restaurants into methane gas, which is then converted into electricity — renewable energy that both yields up to 4,500 kWh of electricity every day and reduces a sizable amount of carbon dioxide emissions.
Mayor Schneider noted MarBorg’s proficiency in extending its philosophy on conservation and sustainability to increase efficiency within its own 5,000 square foot building. “It really is a regional effort to make sure we can be as sustainable as possible when it comes to our solid waste, and to have an organization like MarBorg . . . take the extra step to make sure their own buildings are as sustainable as possible is really quite remarkable.”
The company’s efforts in fostering sustainability within the Santa Barbara community are especially evident at UCSB. “MarBorg has been instrumental in helping UCSB keep all of our waste management programs,” said UCSB Sustainability intern Matthew O’Carroll. Among the various cutting-edge programs in waste management that MarBorg has helped introduce to UCSB include a pre- and post-consumer scraps and compost program, which ranked 14th in the country in a nationwide competition that looked at college recycling, and waste cart donations for zero-waste events at the campus.
Within the time MarBorg worked to improve the green standards of their facility, which earned them their Platinum distinction, they implemented a variety of programs and technologies to attain:
– 40% decrease in water usage
– Energy Star score of 82 out of 100
– Applied integrated pest management policies
– Policies that resulted in 90% of sustainable purchased products and foods
– Exclusive use of Green Seal certified cleaning chemicals and paper products
– 100% diversion rates for landscaping waste
– 86% diversion for landfill waste
– 23% reduction in vehicle emissions with the use of CNG (compressed national gas) trucks
“As a definitive leader in waste management, MarBorg Industries has established a tremendous reputation for their services and a focus on sustainability,” said LEED Consultant with Innovative Workshop Perrin Pellegrin. “This team was committed to using their own headquarters as a model of green efficiency and a symbol of the standards they apply in their daily operations.”