Lexington County businesses reduce environmental footprint, lower costs with eco-friendly changes
Businesses large and small are going green every day in Lexington County, and the benefits are being reaped by customers and the companies’ bottom line.
Business owners can do a number of things to be recognized as an eco-friendly company in Lexington County. They can become a Certified Green Business or a Green Business Member, depending on the level of participation, through the county’s Green Business Certification Program.
Companies are asked to “go green” in the areas of waste reduction/recycling, air quality, water quality/water usage, energy efficiency or a combination of those aspects. Recycling Coordinator Amanda Edwards said businesses are recognized for making positive changes nearly once per quarter.
Some of the latest businesses to be added to the eco-friendly roster are Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Titan Pro Wash and AAA Accurate Back Flow Testing and Repair. One of area’s newest businesses, Fred Anderson Toyota, has gone a few steps further in an effort to leave a smaller environmental footprint.
The car dealership on Sunset Boulevard received a Quarterly Appearance Award from the West Columbia Beautification Foundation for enhancing the city with greenery, shrubs and trees. The property features unique landscaping including a “living wall” of ivy and bio-swales, which are mulched areas around the facility that channel and filter rain and irrigation runoff. Reclaimed wood also was used in items like the tire rack in the service area and the service entrance into the showroom.
Reducing the business’ energy usage are solar panels that power the service department, skylights in the showroom and LED lighting throughout the facility and parking lot.
General Manager Bob Close said the Andersons “wanted a state-of-the-art facility that not only was beautiful and pleasant for our customers to do business in, but that also had a minimal impact on the ecology surrounding the dealership.”
Local companies can make a difference and save themselves and their customers money with eco-friendly changes. Edwards said going green can be accomplished by using programmable thermostats, plugging equipment not used during off hours into timed switches and posting signs to remind people to switch off lights when rooms are not in use.
“You are not only helping the environment … but it should help your power bill,” she said.
Edwards urged companies of all sizes to look at their environmental footprint since it does tie into their financial plan.
“It doesn’t always cost more to go green,” she said. “If there is a higher cost to making a change, in the long run it should save you money.”
Eco-friendliness can pay off for customers, too, as their costs are kept lower. Edwards said Titan Pro Wash has received positive feedback for using organic cleaning solutions, which are cheaper for the company to purchase.
“They were asked to use ‘green’ cleaners,” she said. “Customers do look for eco-friendly businesses when making decisions.”
Even schools are getting in on the act. Lexington School District Two Director of Operations Tommy King said LED lights recently were installed at Airport High School and should save the district $1,000 annually. Energy-efficient lights also will be used at the two new campuses being built with bond referendum funds.
Lexington County’s eco-friendly businesses range from small law firms to large corporations to agribusinesses. Edwards said new members are always wanted and that plans are in the works to enhance the benefits of being a member through potential discounts or other recognition.
More information on how company’s can reduce their footprint and become a certified member of the program can be found on the county’s Green Business page.