By Chris Gillespie
BAE Systems is a company known for being on the cutting edge of military and surveillance technology, and they are also making strides to be on the cutting edge of companies which implement large-scale sustainability practices. The company has sites across the country; however, the BAE Systems Electronic Systems site in South Nashua, New Hampshire offers a glimpse at what all of the company’s parking lots could look like in the future.
Following the success of an initial electric vehicle charging station at BAE Systems Electronic Systems’ San Jose, California location, the company selected their branch in South Nashua, New Hampshire to receive an electric vehicle charging station and installed it in August 2016. South Nashua was selected after BAE Systems surveyed their locations across the country and found that South Nashua had a tremendous amount of employee interest in the electric vehicle charging station.
Harrison Williams of the South Nashua staff, for instance, charges his Chevrolet Volt in the parking lot while he works in the office. Williams commutes a total of a hundred miles every day for work and is able to drive nearly fifty miles of it using only battery power.
In the last six months, BAE Systems employees with electric cars have plugged in more than 900 times, reducing fuel consumption by 1,200 gallons. By doing this, they’ve also eliminated more than four tons of scope III greenhouse gas emissions—roughly the same amount of air pollutants that the average home releases over the course of a year. BAE Systems is anticipating the number of employees who utilize the electric charging stations to continue to grow.
The electric vehicle charging stations in South Nashua are only a small part of BAE Systems’ nationwide Business Sustainability initiative. Started in 2010, the Business Sustainability initiative has functioned with the mission of actively reducing the company’s carbon footprint while simultaneously lowering the sector’s operating expenses. As of 2017, BAE Systems has completed nearly thirty sustainability projects, ranging from energy and water conservation to waste and site impact minimization. In 2016 alone, they conserved 2.7 million kilowatt-hours of energy, 3.5 million gallons of water and diverted 98 tons of waste from landfills. Since the start of Business Sustainability in 2010, BAE Systems has conserved 40 million kilowatt-hours of energy and reduced its water consumption by 60 percent.
BAE Systems has found success with conserving energy by making a number of improvements to the way their buildings use energy, such as installing and using an advanced cloud-based Building Automation System, upgrading HVAC units and their controls, utilizing high-efficiency motors and frequency drives as well as retrofitting lighting fixtures with LEDs. In order to conserve water, they have improved their sites’ irrigation control in addition to installing low/no flow bathroom fixtures and HVAC condensate recovery systems.
Not all of BAE Systems’ sustainability programs depend on the installation of new green technologies, however. One of their most successful sustainability projects is an employee garden at their Greenlawn, NY location. Established in 2015, the garden covers 150 raised beds and has more than eighty employees who actively use it each season, growing everything from vegetables to flowers. Besides giving employees a stress-free outdoor environment to socialize and bond, the garden also allows Greenlawn employees a place to responsibly compost food waste from their onsite cafeteria.
Moving forward, BAE Systems Electronic Systems has plans to roll out more environmental projects and expand many of their current successful programs. As a company, BAE Systems is constantly evaluating and incorporating new technologies as they progress their mission to reduce resource consumption and lower operating expenses. They are also actively pursuing studies of many of their facilities to see which might be most suited for a large-scale renewable energy project, such as an array of solar panels.
In addition to their mission of finding new technologies to defend and protect our country, BAE Systems is also committed to reaching their long-term sustainability goals because they understand how important and multifaceted the benefits of going green are. Said one facilities planner specialist for BAE Systems Electronic Systems, “We are committed to being socially responsible, not just because it lowers costs, but because it’s good for our employees.”
Chris Gillespie is a contributing writer for Green Energy Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.