Tag Archive for sustainability

June 8th, 2016

Join IREM and USGBC Illinois for an Energy Data Workshop


Join the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), Chicago Chapter, and U.S Green Building Council (USGBC), Illinois Chapter, for a free workshop about utilizing energy data more effectively.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

8:30am – 2:30pm (lunch is provided)

Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL



  • Why access to energy data is important
  • How to obtain whole-building energy data to benchmark energy use
  • How to access interval data from a property’s utility meter
  • Private metering options, and how to choose an energy monitoring system
  • Basic and advanced energy analysis methods—from simple tracking to anomaly detection


  • Property managers of all experience levels and property types
  • Maintenance staff and building engineers
  • Facility managers and their teams
  • Energy and building technology consultants
  • Other solutions providers working in energy efficiency

Registration and additional information can be found on the IREM website: www.iremchicago.org/energydata

March 15th, 2016

It’s “Fix A Leak Week”

The Facts on Leaks Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide, so each year EPA urges homeowners and businesses to hunt down the drips during Fix a Leak Week (March 14-20, 2016).

The Facts on Leaks:

  • The average household’s leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year, or the amount of water needed to wash 270 loads of laundry.
  • Household leaks can waste more than 1 trillion gallons annually nationwide. That’s equal to the annual household water use of more than 11 million homes.
  • Ten percent of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day.
  • Common types of leaks found in the home include worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and other leaking valves. All are easily correctable.
  • Fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills.
  • Keep your home leak-free by repairing dripping faucets, toilet flappers, and showerheads. In most cases, fixture replacement parts don’t require a major investment.
  • Most common leaks can be eliminated after retrofitting a household with new WaterSense labeled fixtures and other high-efficiency appliances.


Learn more at the EPA’s Fix A Leak Week website.

January 6th, 2016

City releases “2012-2015 Sustainable Chicago Highlights & Look Ahead”

sustainable chicago

In recognition of the accomplishments of their sustainability action plan, the City of Chicago has released “2012-2015 Sustainable Chicago Highlights & Look Ahead.

Highlights include:

  • Greencorps Chicago Youth Program, which launched in 2013, has provided paid, sustainability-focused summer jobs for over 2,000 youth over three years
  • Energy Benchmarking ordinance passed with strong early implementation including 1,800+ buildings benchmarking in the second year, covering 20% of citywide building energy use
  • Chicago has risen to #2 in bike friendly cities supported by the creation of 100 miles of better bike lanes and the launch and expansion of the Divvy bike share program to 4,760 bikes parked across the City in solar powered stations
  • Closed the last two coal plants in urban America which operated in Pilsen and Little Village

Look ahead plans include:

  • Conduct citywide greenhouse gas emissions inventory based on 2015 data in partnership with CMAP
  • Expand implementation of the Energy Benchmarking Ordinance to include all municipal, commercial, and residential buildings larger than 50,000 sq. ft.
  • Continue construction of three additional blocks of the Chicago Riverwalk from LaSalle to Lake Street


Chicago Sustainability website: www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/progs/env/sustainable_chicago2015

November 11th, 2015

Mirror, mirror on the wall…


rebuilding exchange

Chicago’s Rebuilding Exchange is offering a variety of workshops, including one this Saturday, November 14th, 2015 to build a mirror from reclaimed wood and mirrors at their exchange.

The Mirror Make It Take It workshop allows participants to choose a salvaged mirror and then build their own frame from pre-selected reclaimed wood to fit the mirror.

If your house already has enough mirrors, they are also offering workshops for coat racks, cutting boards, side tables, or holiday wreaths.  Tickets are limited and workshops do sell out, so be sure to reserve your spot in advance.

A complete list of upcoming workshops can be found on the Rebuilding Exchange’s event website.

Rebuilding Exchange is a non-profit social enterprise with a mission to create a market for reclaimed building materials. Since their inception in 2009, Rebuilding Exchange has diverted 9444.64 tons of building materials from the landfill, and has simultaneously created over $2 million worth of quality reuse materials available to the public.  Find out more at rebuildingexchange.org

October 14th, 2015

Northerly Island transformed from airport to urban oasis

Twelve years after Mayor Daley shut down Meigs Field in the middle of the night, Northerly Island has been restored to its original purpose: a park-island.  Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan of Chicago had originally proposed five such park-islands between Jackson Park and Grant Park, but only Northerly Island was every constructed.  First built in 1920, the Island was part of the Century of Progress Exposition in 1933-34.  The city transformed it into an airport in 1947, which it remained until it suddenly closed in 2003.


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Chicago Park District collaborated to transform the southern part of Northerly Island into an ecological escape for Chicagoans.  This 43-acre park now includes wetlands, hills, camping grounds, and walking paths allowing the public access to landscape and wildlife.  More than 150 types of native plants will be installed, designed to attract migratory birds and local insect populations.


The total project cost, including feasibility and design phases, construction and construction oversight, is estimated to be $9.5 million, including a federal share of about $6.2 million secured by the Army Corps Great Lakes Fisheries and Environmental Restoration (GLFER) project. The non-federal share of Park District funding is about $3.3 million, consisting entirely of revenue from FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island.

Press Release: “Mayor Emanuel, Senator Durbin, Chicago Park District Celebrate Grand Opening of Northerly Island Restoration Project,” September 4, 2015.

Chicago Tribune: “Northerly Island Park opens Friday on Chicago Lakefront,” September 2, 2015.

July 21st, 2015

Incentives available to reduce energy costs

Chicago Metro Metal Consortium, the Alliance for Illinois Manufacturing, and S&C Electric invite you to join them on July 30th, 2015 (8:00am – 10:00am) to learn about energy incentives available for manufacturers.

This free program will feature:

  • An overview of S&C Electric’s energy conservation and efficiency efforts
  • Presentation by Hill Mechanical, a contractor that performs the construction work for these initiatives, on solutions — and cost offsets — for building systems retrofits.
  • Information on utility programs & rebates available from ComEd and People’s / North Shore Gas

The event will conclude with a tour and demonstration of S&C’s smart grid and an opportunity for networking with energy and innovation experts. A complimentary continental breakfast will be served.

For more information, contact:

Jennifer Ptak
Cook County Bureau of Economic Development

Register online at the Energy Incentives for Manufacturers website.

June 29th, 2015

Summer Institute on Sustainability & Energy – Applications due July 1st

SISE logoUniversity of Illinois at Chicago is hosting the 5th Annual Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy from August 6th through August 18th.  Applications are due July 1st, 2015.

The SISE Program

The Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy (SISE) is a two-week intensive workshop and lecture series for students and professionals.  From August 6-18, a diverse body of participants will engage a broad spectrum of energy and sustainability-related topics through daily presentations, collaborative projects, mentoring activities, site visits, and networking opportunities with leading research institutions and companies in the digital technology and energy sectors. The issues presented will be of interest to scientists, economists, political scientists, urban planners, engineers, architects, and entrepreneurs.

2015 Theme: Digital Rebirth

SISE will 1) explore the crossroads of digital manufacturing, smart cities, and energy; 2) dive deep into specific applications such as smart grid and the connected vehicle; and 3) theorize how these innovations can usher in a more sustainable future. Topics will revolve around integration; sourcing and use of supply; reduction of waste; energy and resource demands; big data collection and use; anticipation, reaction, and adaptation to the unexpected; and sensors, connectivity, and cybersecurity.

Applications and more information on the program can be found at: sise.uic.edu

January 29th, 2015

No Water No Beer

No Water No Beer event 1.15d

Gabriel was a proud sponsor of the “No Water No Beer” event hosted by the Illinois Section of the American Water Works Association (ISAWWA) and Haymarket Pub & Brewery earlier this week.

          “90% of beer is water.  Without clean water, you can’t make great beer.”

This networking event kicked off ISAWWA’s new “No Water No Beer” initiative to bring together more than 75 people from the brewing industry, sustainability leaders, and water & wastewater engineering/consulting firms.  The evening offered an opportunity for representatives of these fields to discuss ideas to bring about better usage of water in the brewing industry.

Ian Hughes (Goose Island Beer Co.), Pete Koszulinksi (Gabriel) and Antonio Tabacchi (Gabriel)

Ian Hughes (Goose Island Beer Co.), Pete Koszulinksi (Gabriel) and Antonio Tabacchi (Gabriel)


October 28th, 2014

Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award Winner

Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award 2014 web

Gabriel is proud to announce that we have been awarded a 2014 Governor’s Sustainability Award for the continuous improvements we have made at our Chicago headquarters.

Since 1987, the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) has presented Governor’s Awards to organizations in Illinois that have demonstrated a commitment to environmental excellence through outstanding and innovative sustainability practices.

At a luncheon last week, Gabriel was recognized with several other Illinois companies and communities for our achievements in protecting the environment, helping sustain the future, and improving the economy.

“Investing in sustainability creates jobs, boosts our economy and is an investment in our future,” Governor Quinn said. “These awards foster innovation and encourage our universities and businesses to help us build a stronger, greener Illinois.”

Since earning our initial Governor’s Award in 2011, Gabriel has undertaken several additional sustainability initiatives:

  • Installation of 126 additional solar photovoltaic panels (total number of panels is now 162, with a capacity of 42,000 watts)
  • Purchase of three electric vehicles (Nissan Leaf – 100% electric; Chevy Volt and Ford C-Max Energi – plug-in electric/gas hybrids)
  • Installation of three Level 2 electric vehicle charging stations
  • Installation of experimental geothermal system for our walk-in cooler

These efforts have resulted in an overall 282% increase in solar energy generated and a decrease of 25,870 lbs (11.7 metric tons) of CO2 emissions (compared to traditional energy sources).

Additionally, we’ve seen a 70% annualized reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the three vehicles replaced with the electric vehicles.  In 2013, our annualized GHG emissions were reduced by 18.12 MTCO2e.

For more information about Gabriel’s sustainability efforts, visit our Environmental Commitment webpage.

For more information about the Governor’s Sustainability Awards, visit ISTC’s Award webpage.



October 14th, 2014

Free E3 (Economy, Energy and Environment) Assistance Available

E3 logo horz

Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), Illinois Manufacturing Extension Center (IMEC), ComEd, Cook County, Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation, and Calumet Area Industrial Commission have partnered to provide free E3 technical assistance to South Cook County Industrial facilities.

Economy, Energy, and Environment (E3) ensures that a company’s environmental resources and 3M resources – Manpower, Machine, and Money – are utilized as effectively as possible, with minimal impact on the earth’s ecology.

E3 joins forces with local communities to connect small and medium-sized manufacturers with experts from federal agencies, states, and regions. In each E3 community, teams conduct customized technical assessments and offer practical, sustainable approaches that manufacturers can incorporate into their operations.

Learn more at the South Cook County E3 Kick-off Meeting on Thursday, October 30th, 2014 (9am – 11:30am), at Prairie State College Conference Center (202 S. Halsted St, Chicago Heights).  RSVP to Vinod Patel by October 24th to vapatel@illinois.edu.

Attendees will learn about the E3 program, including free on-site services and technical assistance.  E3 performance focus areas include:

  • Energy Conservation
  • Cooling Water Tower & Energy Management
  • Water Footprinting
  • Waste Reduction at Source
  • Lean & Green Manufacturing Practices
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction

This program is intended for the manufacturing and industrial sectors in south Cook County.  Learn more about this E3 partnership with their brochure.