For Immediate Release
Release Date: 12/14/2011
City-Parish Launches ConserveBR Energy Efficiency Outreach Program
Mayor Holden Challenges Citizens and Businesses to Start It, Save It, Own It
Baton Rouge, LA — Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden officially kicked off the ConserveBR energy efficiency outreach program at a press conference held today at the Baton Rouge Coca-Cola Bottling Company plant located at 9696 Plank Road, Baton Rouge, LA. The Coca-Cola production and distribution facility, constructed largely with recycled materials and designed to incorporate energy conservation measures in its daily operations, opened in April 2009 and became the first Coca-Cola bottling plant in the United States to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
At the press conference, Holden announced plans for widespread energy efficiency outreach to be conducted through in-person meetings, website tools and resources, citizen dialogues via social media, and by challenging citizens to become a part of the initiative through the ConserveBR Energy Ambassador Program.
“Today is an important day for us all as citizens of Baton Rouge, and for this great place that we all call home,” said Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden. “ConserveBR is about taking a stand, and it’s about making a change. Without each of our citizens working together to conserve our precious natural resources, save energy, and utilize more efficient technologies, we cannot positively affect the future our children and grandchildren deserve. This is about taking tomorrow’s future and putting it in our hands today.”
“We designed our new plant with environmental sustainability in mind, and it is a corporate responsibility that we take very seriously. We congratulate the Mayor on his administration's commitment to the environment through ConserveBR and we encourage Baton Rouge citizens and corporations to get involved,” said Baton Rouge Coca-Cola President, Darian Chustz.
The ConserveBR program, targeted toward both City-Parish employees and Baton Rouge citizens, is designed to emphasize the immediate need to have all citizens, businesses, and City-Parish employees do their small part to help ensure a sustainable Baton Rouge for the present and future.
As part of the effort, the City-Parish has launched a new website (www.ConserveBR.com) to serve as a resource for citizens interested in learning how to conserve or be more efficient with energy, and to engage those same citizens in an ongoing dialogue of commitments to conservation and environmental sustainability throughout Baton Rouge.
“Whether it’s installing a programmable thermostat in your house, which can save both money and precious resources, or it’s turning off lights and copiers when you leave your office each day, these are easy things each of us can do to make a real impact in terms of both saving money and preserving our local environment,” continued Holden. “In fact, many of these techniques or different ways of doing things are too easy not to do – and it’s incumbent upon each of us to change our behavior, and to make it happen. I challenge all of our citizens to join this effort and become a part of our ConserveBR Energy Ambassador team.”
The ConserveBR Energy Ambassador program, defined by the ConserveBR slogan (“Start It. Save It. Own It.”), involves citizens signing up to be a “Starter,” a “Saver,” or an “Owner” through an electronic form located at the ConserveBR website or via enrollment cards printed on 100 percent recycled paper as they each make a commitment to “Start”, “Save”, or “Own”.
Commitments to join the program may range from basic energy savings measures (“Starters”), to more comprehensive approaches typically implemented by an office manager or business owner (“Savers”), to energy efficiency advocates, or other partners who will spread the message of the ConserveBR program to others (“Owners”). Additional information on the ConserveBR Energy Ambassador program, including ways to “Start”, “Save”, and “Own”, is accessible on the ConserveBR website.
Mayor Holden also announced plans to develop a comprehensive and interactive web-based conversation about energy efficiency and conservation in the Baton Rouge area via popular social media platforms Facebook (www.facebook.com/conservebr) and Twitter (@ConserveBR).
“Our team is committed to providing the people of Baton Rouge with the information they require and the motivation they need to make a change and to be more efficient with their energy usage,” said Holden. “For anyone in need of additional information on how to start saving, or for those interested in learning more about what the City-Parish and our partners are doing to conserve Baton Rouge, I urge you to join the conversation today by finding us on Facebook and following us on Twitter.”
ConserveBR, an outreach program fully funded by an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) awarded to the City-Parish by the United States Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), is part of a larger energy efficiency and conservation effort led by the City-Parish to implement various projects and initiatives. Each of these efforts are designed to maximize sustainable development and promote both energy efficiency and conservation as East Baton Rouge Parish continues to show positive population growth at a rate six-times that of the rest of the state of Louisiana.
Other ongoing programs, funded by the same U.S. Department of Energy grant, include the following:
• The installation of LED lighting in governmental facilities, including the governmental building (City Hall), to replace light fixtures dating back to 1975 and provide increased lighting efficiency, resulting in approximately 90 percent savings over standard bulbs and fixtures in a twelve-story building with over 205,000 square feet of occupied tenant base;
• The remodeling of the old Baton Rouge Junior High complex, which will serve as a new governmental facility for City-Parish employees and includes designs and retrofits to reduce energy usage and costs, enhance indoor environmental quality, provide an Energy Management System (EMS) to support sustainable and effective operations, and serve as a model of historic preservation and building rehabilitation for other community sectors; and
• The development of a Sustainability Master Plan, which will specifically address a vision for energy efficiency and conservation and detail the activities, along with specific goals and outcomes, needed to provide multi-sector leadership at the City-Parish level for addressing and maximizing environmental sustainability.
“We understand that true change happens when we lead by example,” said William Daniel, Acting Director of the Department of Public Works. “As Mayor Holden asks all of us as citizens to do better with our collective energy usage, we’re committed to working internally at the City-Parish through infrastructure improvements and workforce training as we lay the groundwork for a more effective, efficient, and empowered local government while we work to create a sustainable Baton Rouge for current and future generations.”
Through the ConserveBR program, the City-Parish is committed to working with the citizens of Baton Rouge to develop a sustainable place that our children and grandchildren can forever call home. To do this, we must change the way we consume our precious resources and start acting more efficiently with our energy usage, save the Baton Rouge environment for the present and future, and own any action (large or small) that can help accomplish these goals. It’s our Baton Rouge, and now is the time – together, we must ConserveBR.
Start It. Save It. Own It.
For more information on the ConserveBR program, please visit our website at www.ConserveBR.com, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ConserveBR, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ConserveBR.