Energy Efficiency Improvements: Lighting

GBA recently undertook a general fluorescent lighting efficiency upgrade in our corporate office:

  • Each of our original fixtures used four 34-watt, T12 lamps with magnetic ballasts
  • The retrofit included specular reflectors and two 32-watt, T8 lamps with electronic ballasts
  • We achieved a 67% wattage reduction (from 188 watts to 62 watts per fixture)
  • Annual savings: approximately 120,000 kWh/yr

GBA’s corporate offices have a multi-story atrium. We made changes in 2012 to improved our atrium lighting efficiency and control. Mercury vapor light fixtures were replaced with Biax compact fluorescent lamps. Skylights enable daylighting control with photocells for three light-output levels:

  • Low output when sunny
  • Medium output when cloudy
  • High output when dark

GBA has installed occupancy sensors for lighting control:

  • Private offices, break room and miscellaneous rooms use wall switch replacements
  • Restrooms use ceiling sensors with wireless connections to wall switches

GBA has installed lighting with solid state/LED technologies

  • LED exit signs
  • Experimental tubular LED replacements of 4-foot fluorescent lamps in general lighting fixtures
  • Tubular LED retrofit with integral occupancy sensing for bi-level light


Energy Efficiency Improvements: Appliances

G/BA strives to maximize energy efficiency in office equipment:

  • ENERGY STAR office equipment used whenever possible
  • Remote wake and login technology provided to reduce employees' temptation to leave computers running 24/7


Energy Efficiency Improvements: Transportation

  • GBA’s Evanston office is located less than 100 yards from a public transportation hub, with services including PACE, Metra, and CTA buses and trains
  • GBA staff carpool to meetings and presentations, or take public transportation if available
  • Some G/BA staff bike and walk to work; secure bike storage is available
  • G/BA regularly partcipates in the Active Transportation Alliance's Bike to Work Challenge. 
  • Company vehicles are hybrid and/or high-MPG models
  • The company was named a Bicycle Friendly Business (Silver Level) by the League of American Bicyclists as of 2017.


Water Efficiency Improvements

GBA has installed various state-of-the-art water efficient plumbing fixtures and appliances, including:

  • Automatic faucets
  • Dual-flush toilet flush valves
  • Automatic urinal flush valves
  • Water-efficient dishwashers
  • Automatic hand dryers installed in restrooms


Waste Stream Reductions

GBA strives to reduce, reuse and recycle in our corporate environment:

  • Filtered tap water, available from two automated dispensers, reduces plastic water bottle purchases. Employees receive a free company water bottle to encourage refilling.
  • Office paper recycling bins are available at every desk and in all copy rooms
  • Food and beverage container recycling (metal, glass, plastic, cardboard) in all break rooms. We specify that food for catered training events be packaged in large containers (not individual containers). G/BA provides dishware and flatware rather than paper plates and plastic flatware.
  • In 2017, the firm began partnering with Collective Resource, a composting service, to reduce the amount of food scraps and other compostable materials going into the trash. The company now offers small and large bins and regular pickups to make it easy for employees to maximize their use of composting. Bathroom paper towels are composted instead of going to the waste stream.

GBA installed new carpet in 2013.  We specified carpet to meet our sustainability goals:

  • Carpet tiles allow flexibility for selective replacement in the future
  • Fibers are 25% post-consumer and 75% post-industrial content
  • Low-VOC carpet adhesives were used

Part of GBA’s recycling program is designed to keep toxins out of landfills. We have set up collection locations in our corporate offices, then the collected items are delivered to city collection locations. G/BA staff is encouraged to bring in their recyclable items from home:

  • Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs)
  • Mercury-type thermometers
  • Used batteries (recyclable-type; authorities advise putting conventional batteries with the regular trash)
  • Small electronics

G/BA has sponsored charity coat drives in beginning in 2014, benefiting Evanston's Connections for the Homeless. Dozens of bags of gently used coats, jackets, vests, hats, gloves, scarves, and socks have been shared with our neighbors, helping them stay warmer while keeping usable items out of the waste stream.


Renewable Energy Certificates are purchased by the firm to cover the electric energy consumption attributable to its office activities in its rented space, including HVAC, lighting, computer use, appliances, domestic water heating, office equipment, miscellaneous occupant power receptacles, and an allocated share of energy for core services such as elevators, exterior lighting, temperature control air compressor, unleased receptacles, and so on.


GBA Sustainable Policies

In 2013, GBA first published our sustainable policies, including sustainable purchasing. These policies are reviewed and revised annually.


Our Corporate Sustainability Report is published annually.