“Our work with the Omaha Public Schools has proven to be an excellent marriage of operational efficiencies coupled with organizational engagement. It's been an absolute treat to work with Omaha's youth.”
Principal and Project Manager
Our work with the state of Nebraska’s largest school district (47,000+ students and 7,300+ staff) began in late 2009 when we completed an Energy Action Plan. The plan’s foundation was an Energy Star rating for every school, upon which several energy and resource conservation strategies were built. We identified opportunities for increased efficiency in several areas, and the plan specified strategies to save money and improve the district’s environmental footprint.
Once the plan was completed, the school district asked us to take the lead in implementing many of the strategies contained therein. We have been assisting the district with implementation since July 2010 and established its Green Schools Initiative. The district later created a part-time position responsible for implementing the Green Schools Initiative, and together we are working to coordinate and implement sustainability strategies. It’s a long-term endeavor that engages not only internal staff and administrators, but also includes students, parents, and other community members.
We are currently very focused on tracking and analysis of the district’s sustainability data – namely, emissions, building energy consumption using Energy Star, water consumption, and waste & materials management. There is naturally a great amount of information to be collected, analyzed, summarized and used to make decisions on a monthly basis, and our work helps OPS stay focused on its metrics and the strategies for achieving greater sustainability.
Since we started working with the district, the results have been excellent. Here’s a brief sampling of some of the achievements:
- Cumulative energy savings of approximately $8 million
- 75,000+ metric tons of CO2 reduction
- Cumulative waste management costs avoided of $81,000
- Recycling rate more than doubled
- The District earned the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Award in 2014
- Multiple schools have earned Energy Star Awards and/or their own Green Ribbon Awards
- OPPD’s J.M. Harding Award of Excellence for Efficient & Innovative use of Energy