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Green Plan
Link to PDF: Green Plan and Environmental Management & Tracking System "Green Plan"

GANDA "Green Plan" Report - Status Update through June 2016

Garcia and Associates (GANDA) recognizes the need to do its part in reducing its carbon footprint throughout the company's operations. As such, GANDA initiated a formal program in 2011 to identify and work toward reducing its direct environmental impacts. Prior to that, GANDA had implemented a number of measures that have contributed to minimizing our carbon footprint (including telecommuting, establishing offices near key groups of employees to reduce commutes), and associated energy consumption and emissions.
In early 2012, GANDA staff prepared a draft Green Plan which it later revised and formalized in the latter half of 2012. GANDA's Green Plan lays out GANDA's Environmental Green Stewardship policy statement, implementation, and methods for tracking and monitoring success against identified action items. The Plan has two elements: Management Actions Items which, once implemented, will reduce environmental impacts; and implementation of an Environmental Management and Tracking System (EMTS) under which energy and water usage, and direct/indirect impacts are tracked against established goals.
As part of its Green Plan, we established an initial two-year assessment period which set July 2010 to June 2011 as its base year (Base Year 1) and ran from July 2011 through June 2013 (Plan Year 1, 2). GANDA management revised the Green Plan in October 2014 and has implemented and completed a three-year assessment period, using the final year of the last assessment period as the base year (Base Year 2) and running from July 2013 through June 2016 (Plan Years 3, 4, 5).

WITH THE ADDITION OF THE SAN RAFAEL OFFICE IN MID-LATE 2016, GANDA HAS DETERMINED THAT THE ASSESSMENT YEAR JULY 2016 TO JUNE 2017 WILL BE THE NEW BASE YEAR (BASE YEAR 3). This will allow GANDA to effectively report trends with this new setup as a basis, rather than reporting dramatic performance shifts in the middle of the assessment period, as seen in this past assessment period with the expansion of the Oakland office. For reporting purposes, we will observe performance improvements between Plan Year 5 and Base Year 3 for the prior-established San Anselmo, Auburn and Oakland Offices, in the next annual Status Update [through June 2017].

Green Plan Management Action Items

For the management actions aspect of the plan (Action Items), GANDA's initial Green Plan established three planning horizons (short, medium and long term) for implementing identified actions such as conducting energy audits at our offices, installing solar PV systems, etc. that would result in positive steps toward reducing our company's carbon footprint.

During the initial two-year assessment period, GANDA implemented all but one of the short- and medium-term action items identified in the Green Plan. As a result, GANDA re-evaluated potential new management action plans and the timetable for implementation in its 2014 Green Plan update. Additional action items were identified and executed for the second completed assessment period.

Action items accomplished during both completed assessment periods include:

Jump to: Identification of Management Action Items, with Planning Horizons

Environmental Management and Tracking System

In addition to identifying and implementing management action items, we set up an Environmental Management and Tracking System (EMTS) in which we calculated baseline usage in five impact areas, set reduction goals for the initial two-year assessment period covering July 2011 through June 2013, and then evaluated our performance for this three-year period against the base year of July 2010 to June 2011.

GANDA is pleased to report that the initial assessment has well surpassed initial internal goals for reducing GHG emissions, energy usage, water usage and regulatory and legal compliance. GANDA has recommitted to achieving the same reduction goals in these four areas for the current three-year tracking period (July 2013 through June 2016). In addition, as part of the Plan update which occurred in fourth quarter 2013, it developed a target for waste reduction and broadened its assessment area to include its office building in Oakland (acquired in August 2013). GANDA's EMTS now covers three GANDA-owned facilities in northern California: San Anselmo, Auburn and Oakland. The upcoming Plan Year 6 / Base Year 3 will include the new San Rafael office.

Jump to: Environmental Management and Tracking System - Goals and Tracking

Jump to: Progress toward Three-Year Performance Goals under GANDA's EMTS

Identification of Management Action Items, with Planning Horizons

As indicated above, GANDA initiated efforts in mid-2011 to identify and reduce its carbon footprint. The approach taken was to identify those efforts that could be reasonably undertaken and cost-effective.

Key elements of this assessment were as follows:

Additional determinations of this assessment included:

1Direct GHG emissions, i.e., emissions from sources owned or operated by GANDA (vehicles).
2GHG emissions derived from the generation of electricity purchased by GANDA.

For the upcoming third assessment period, the following goals are proposed for the Short, Medium and Long Term:

Short term (<6 months, starting July 1, 2016):

Medium term (< 2 years, starting July 1, 2016):

Long term (< 5 years, starting July 1, 2013):

Identification of short, medium and long-term action items is ongoing and will be informed by advances in technology, reductions in costs (LEDs are still prohibitive, for instance), and negotiations with landlords for facilities leased by GANDA.

Environmental Management and Tracking System - Goals and Tracking

Jump to: Progress toward Three-Year Performance Goals under GANDA's EMTS

Following is a description of each of the five impact areas, target goals and tracking results from Plan Years 3, 4 and the most recent reporting period, Plan Year 5, against the second Base Year, BY2.

GANDA committed to reducing its company fleet's vehicle emissions by 2 percent during the initial assessment period and has re-committed to achieving an additional 2 percent reduction during the new three-year assessment period (commencing July 2013, and ending June 2016). The reduction achieved is being determined by calculating the total emissions from GANDA-owned vehicles during the Base Year 2, and trending against a comparable reporting period during the assessment period. GANDA has used the EPA website to calculate the anticipated GHG emissions by each vehicle's make, model and year.

The following table illustrates annual progress toward our internal goal of 2 percent:

Table 1. Status of Reduction in Scope 1 GHG Emissions

Period of Review

Size of Fleet
(# of trucks)

Vehicle Days

Vehicle Miles

Metric tons of CO2

% Change in CO2 From BY2

Base Year 2 (7/12-6/13)

37

5,937

564,152

305

 

Plan Year 3 (7/13-6/14)

39

5,515

496,761

269

-12.8% (Reduction)

Plan Year 4 (7/14-6/15) 43 6,999 572,095 288 -5.36% (Reduction)
Plan Year 5 (7/15-6/16) 43 5,862 548,512 277 -9.26% (Reduction)

Progress toward achieving GANDA’s internal goal of 2 percent reduction: GANDA management has been quite pleased with the actual reductions in GHG emissions from its company fleet over this assessment period. This is particularly noteworthy for us, as an organization, given that field work makes up a large part of our business, and the location, duration and associated field conditions are directed by our clients. For PY5 we observed a reduction in annual GHG emissions despite a net increase in vehicles by six. Because vehicles can rotate between Northern and Southern California offices, and sometimes transfer to other states, this assessment has been done for the entire fleet, rather than just for vehicles currently serving the Oakland, San Anselmo and Auburn offices. Therefore, the real Scope 1 impact for the Northern California offices is less than the reported figure.

We have previously implemented measures to improve efficiency and reduce emissions including telecommuting, multiple local offices, use of passenger vehicles where feasible, selection of efficient boats (such as the Farallon, which is diesel), location of offices near client centers and having regional offices reducing related GHG emissions.

Our Green Plan also contains goals for reducing Scope 2 GHG emissions (indirect GHG emissions based on the generation mix of the electricity we purchase) and energy usage. GANDA had a 5 percent reduction goal for the initial assessment period, covering its San Anselmo and Auburn offices. For this recently completed assessment period, GANDA committed to an additional 5 percent reduction, and included its Oakland office in the calculations.

Scope 2 GHG emissions for the three offices are being calculated on a monthly basis by converting kilowatt-hours (kWh) provided on the utility bills to a carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). This is achieved by multiplying total kWh per office by the most recent electricity emissions factor provided by PG&E3. The resulting calculations are being compared against Base Year 2 to enable us to better understand our Scope 2 GHG emissions and make appropriate changes.

In order to track energy usage, we monitor and evaluate utility bills on a bi-monthly basis for the three offices, including analyzing electricity produced by the rooftop solar panels on the San Anselmo building. Natural gas usage is fairly nominal in our operations (mostly for heating); nevertheless, we're monitoring our usage in order to see if we can identify means for reducing natural gas usage as well.

The following tables illustrate progress toward our internal goal of 5 percent reduction for Scope 2 GHG Emissions, Gas and Electricity usage, and total emissions during this assessment period:

Table 2.  Status of Reduction in Scope 2 GHG Emissions

Review Period & Office

kWh/day

Lbs CO2/day

Lbs CO2 Electricity Emissions Total

% Change CO2/day from BY2

San Anselmo, CA (less solar generation)

Base Year 2
(7/12-6/13)

52.94

23.56

8598.71

 

Plan Year 3 
(7/13- 6/14)

43.16

19.21

7067.94

-18.47% (Reduction)

Plan Year 4
(7/14-6/15)

43.06 19.16 6994.51 -18.66% (Reduction)

Plan Year 5
(7/15-6/16)

37.91 16.87 6157.47 -28.19% (Reduction)

Auburn, CA

Base Year 2 
(7/12-6/13)

35.27

15.70

5728.78

 

Plan Year 3 
(7/13-6/14)

34.04 15.15 5529.42 -3.48% (Reduction)

Plan Year 4
(7/14-6/15)

37.23

16.57

6046.95

+5.55% (Increase)

Plan Year 5
(7/15-6/16)

30.74

13.68

4978.83

-12.85% (Reduction)

Oakland, CA

Base Year 2 
(7/1/12-6/30/13)

19.93 8.87 3236.81  

Plan Year 3 
(7/13-6/14)

28.17

12.54

4465.28

+41.37% (Increase)

Plan Year 4
(7/14-6/15)

28.55 12.70 4662.24 +43.25% (Increase)

Plan Year 5
(7/15-6/16)

33.28 14.81 5406.16 +67.48% (Increase)
Composite for All Offices
Base Year 2 (7/12-6/13) 108.14 48.12 17564.30  
Plan Year 3
(7/13-6/14)
105.38 46.89 17062.63 -2.55% (Reduction)
Plan Year 4
(7/14-6/15)
108.84 48.43 17703.70 +0.65% (Increase)
Plan Year 5
(7/15-6/16)
101.93 45.36 16542.45 -5.56% (Reduction)

3The most recent electricity emissions factor provided by PG&E is 445 lbs CO2/MWh. This value is for 2012, and as it is the most recently available, has been used for Base Year 2, Plan Year 3, 4 and 5.

Table 3.  Status of Reduction in Energy Usage

Period of Review

kWh/Day
% Change

Therms/Day
% Change

Electric and Gas Emissions % Change from BY2

San Anselmo, CA (4,020 ft2, 20 employees)

Base Year 2
(7/12-6/13)

52.94

1.18

37.31

Plan Year 3
(7/13-6/14)

43.16
-18.47% (Reduction)

1.19
+1.50% (Increase)

33.16 lbs CO2/day
-11.11% (Reduction)

Plan Year 4
(7/14-6/15)

43.06
-18.66% (Reduction)

0.90
-23.78% (Reduction)

29.64 lbs CO2/day
-20.54% (Reduction)

Plan Year 5
(7/15-6/16)

37.91
-28.39% (Reduction)

1.44
+22.84% (Increase)

33.76 lbs CO2/day
-9.51% (Reduction)

Auburn, CA (2,250 ft2, 10 employees)

Base Year 2
(7/12-6/13)

35.27

1.65

34.98

Plan Year 3 
(7/13-6/14)

34.04
-3.48% (Reduction)
1.30
-21.05% (Reduction)
30.38 lbs CO2/day
-13.17% (Reduction)

Plan Year 4
(7/14-6/15)

37.23
+5.55% (Increase)

1.50
-8.92% (Reduction)

34.13 lbs CO2/day
-2.42% (Reduction)

Plan Year 5
(7/15-6/15)

30.74
-12.85% (Reduction)

1.51
-8.17% (Reduction)

31.39 lbs CO2/day
-10.27% (Reduction)

Oakland, CA (2,700 ft2, 15 employees, expanded mid Plan Year 3, 4,200 ft2, 20 employees)

Base Year 2
(7/12-6/13)

19.93 0.00 8.87

Plan Year 3 
(7/13-6/14)

28.17
+37.95% (Increase)

0.46
N/A Not Complete Year

17.88 lbs CO2/day
+101.60% (Increase)

Plan Year 4
(7/14-6/15)

28.55
+43.25% (Increase)

0.82
First Complete Year

22.30 lbs CO2/day
+151.46% (Increase)

Plan Year 5
(7/15-6/16)

33.28
+67.02% (Increase)

0.82
From PY3: +15.85% (Increase)

25.90 lbs CO2/day
+192.09% (Increase)
Per Sqft: +87.77%

Composite for All Offices
Base Year 2
(7/12-6/13)
108.14 2.82 81.16
Plan Year 3 
(7/13-6/14)
105.38
-2.55% (Reduction)
2.95
+4.50% (Increase)
81.42 lbs CO2/day
+0.32% (Increase)

Plan Year 4
(7/14-6/15)

108.84
+0.65% (Increase)

3.22
+13.94% (Increase)

86.08 lbs CO2/day
+6.06% (Increase)

Plan Year 5
(7/15-6/16)

101.93
-5.74% (Reduction)

3.91
+38.31% (Increase)

91.05 lbs CO2/day
+12.19% (Increase)
Per Sqft: -0.53% (Reduction)

Progress toward achieving GANDA’s internal goal of 5 percent: For Plan Year 5, GANDA's Northern California Division saw a net increase in total emissions from offices. This is largely due to the expansion of the Oakland office to the third floor of its building in January 2014, which increased the office size from 2,700 square feet to almost 4,200 square feet, as well as introducing gas heating to the office. More than that, Plan Year 3 was not a complete performance year for the Oakland expansion. On a per square foot basis, and daily total emissions (electric + gas) actually decreased by 0.53% per square foot.

Reductions in total indirect GHG emissions and energy usage can be achieved by decreased electricity usage in our office buildings in the form of upgrading HVAC and lighting systems and/or installing renewable energy systems. GANDA installed a rooftop PV solar system in December 2011 on its San Anselmo office building, and made major lighting upgrades in early 2012 in the San Anselmo building. We also installed energy-efficient, double-paned windows in the Oakland office in late 2013.

GANDA has adopted the same goal of achieving a 3 percent reduction in water usage as was committed during the initial assessment period. The goal will cover all three offices. However, there is no information available for the Oakland office's water use in the Base Year – This will make the reduction goal even more challenging, since the composite values for the Base Year will only include the San Anselmo and Auburn offices, while composites for subsequent plan years will include all three offices. The reduction achieved will be determined by calculating the total water usage for these three GANDA-owned buildings from the revised baseline period of July 2012 to June 2013 (Base Year 2) and trending against a comparable reporting period during the assessment period. It should be noted also that we have a tenant in our Oakland building (a dentist); given that this tenant's water demands are a lot higher than ours, we have been working with the tenant to see if we can affect means of reducing water usage in their day-to-day operations without affecting their ability to safely deliver their services. Their water use is recorded on the same meter as GANDA's in Oakland.

Table 4.  Status of Reduction in Water Usage

Period of Review

CCFs/day

Total CCFs

% Change from BY2

San Anselmo, CA (0.126 acre lot)

Base Year 2
(7/12-6/13)

0.120

44

 

Plan Year 3
(7/13-6/14)

0.21

75

+70.45% (Increase)

Plan Year 4
(7/14-6/15)

0.14 51 +15.91% (Increase)

Plan Year 5
(7/15-6/16)

0.11 39 -11.61% (Reduction)

Auburn, CA (0.279 ac lot)

Base Year 2
(7/12-6/13)

1.85

674

 

Plan Year 3
(7/13-6/14)

2.76 977 +44.96% (Increase)

Plan Year 4
(7/14-6/15)

1.52

554

-17.80% (Reduction)

Plan Year 5
(7/15-6/16)

.38

141

-79.18% (Reduction)

Oakland, CA (0.087 ac lot)

Base Year 2
(7/12-6/13)

N/A    

Plan Year 3 
(7/13-6/14)

0.26

88

N/A (no BY2 data)

Plan Year 4
(7/14-6/15)

0.27

99

Against PY3: +12.50% (Increase)

Plan Year 5
(7/15-6/16)

0.30

110

Against PY3: +25.00% (Increase)

Composite for all three buildings
Base Year 2
(7/12-6/13)
1.97 718  
Plan Year 3 
(7/13-6/14)
3.23 1140 +58.77% (Increase)

Plan Year 4
(7/14-6/15)

1.94 704

-1.95% (Reduction)

With Oakland PY3 as base: -12.66% (Reduction)

Plan Year 5
(7/15-6/16)

0.79 290

-59.72% (Reduction)

With Oakland PY3 as base: -64.47% (Reduction)

Progress toward achieving GANDA’s internal goal of 3 percent: Initially, when setting our internal goals, GANDA assumed that we were already doing a fair amount to reduce water usage. However, we quickly determined once we started tracking usage that additional fine-tuning could be made at the San Anselmo facility (mostly by monitoring irrigation more carefully). More importantly, we learned that we had an underground leak at our Auburn location. Even so, our daily CCF use for the Auburn office is expected to be relatively high, because the lot size is more than twice that of the San Anselmo location and is largely irrigated lawn. In all, the three offices together have seen about a 60% reduction in reported water use. If we use PY3 as a "base year" for the Oakland office, alongside the BY2 data for the Auburn and San Anselmo offices, the reduction is almost 65%. GANDA is very pleased with the performance of its division offices in resolving water issues and otherwise improving water efficiency. Since leaks have been resolved, the next assessment period’s goals and results will reflect real changes in efficiency, rather than the resolution of a leak or other water crisis.

Reductions in total water usage can be achieved by retrofitting toilets, faucets, installing programmable controllers on irrigation systems and/or rainwater catchment systems, and contracting with drinking water suppliers (such as Arrowhead). GANDA has undertaken a number of these actions but will look for additional opportunities to reduce our water usage at our Auburn and Oakland office locations.

Reduction of non-recyclable waste is a priority for GANDA. To better manage our non-recyclable waste, GANDA actively tracks garbage bills and the total amount of paper purchased monthly. Internal directives have been issued regarding 'paperless' systems and archiving, double-sided printing, and other methods of reducing paper usage. With these directives executed, San Anselmo Headquarters has reduced paper ink waste and clutter. More initiatives have been planned to reduce waste in other aspects of administrative processes. However, finding meaningful ways of measuring reductions has been more challenging given that waste pickup is based on the same set number of receptacles, rather than on actual weight or volume, and paper usage is often dependent upon client expectations. That being said, GANDA has adopted a goal of a 1 percent reduction in purchased office paper for the three offices under review. Over the course of this period, the number of waste (1) and recycling bins (3) has remained unchanged, and therefore no change has been recorded. If waste pickup policies and practices change to reflect actual weight or volume, we will be in a position to revisit our waste reduction goal.

Reductions in total waste can be achieved by increased utilization of ‘paperless’ means of document control, double-sided printing, recycling of paper, cans, glass, etc., and composting food wastes (dependent on Sanitary Districts rolling out compost pick-up programs).

Not only is regulatory and legal compliance good green policy, it is also important from a company operations standpoint since it affects clients' perceptions of our professionalism and ability to effectively manage our work efforts.

GANDA's company-wide goal is to have no notice of violations, permit non-compliances, reportable spills, or assessed monetary fines or penalties. GANDA was successful in meeting this goal during this plan year, as well as for the entire assessment period.

The following table summarizes our goals and results for the current three-year period.

Table 5.  Status of All Reduction Goals

Plan Element

Three-Year
Reduction Goal

% Change from BY2 to PY3

% Change from BY2 to PY4 % Change from BY2 to PY5

Scope 1 GHG Emissions (from GANDA vehicles)

2% reduction in annual metric tons CO2 from Vehicle Emissions

-12.80% (Reduction)

-5.36% (Reduction) -9.26% (Reduction)

Scope 2 GHG Emissions (from purchased electricity)

5% reduction in annual kWh and lbs CO2 from Electricity Emissions

-2.86% (Reduction)

+0.65% (Increase) -5.56% (Reduction)

Energy Usage

Composite 5% reduction in use and annual lbs CO2 from Electricity and Gas Emissions

-2.86% kWh (Reduction)
+7.60% Therms (Increase)
+1.40% lbs CO2(Increase)

kWh/day: +0.65%
-5.99%/sqft
Therm/day: +13.94%
+5.90%/sqft
lbs CO2/day: +6.06%

-0.92%/sqft

kWh/day: -5.74%
-16.38%/sqft
Therm/day: +38.31%
+22.53%/sqft
lbs CO2/day: +12.19%

-0.53%/sqft

Water Usage

3% reduction in CCFs/day

+59.61% (Increase)

-1.63% (Reduction) -64.08% (Reduction)

Waste Reduction

1% reduction in annual lbs waste and recycling

0.00% (No Change)

0.00% (No Change) 0.00% (No Change)

Regulatory and Legal Compliance

No notices of violations, permit non-compliances, reportable spills, or assessed monetary fines or penalties

Meeting goal (zero instances of non-regulatory or legal compliance).

Meeting goal (zero instances of non-regulatory or legal compliance). Meeting goal (zero instances of non-regulatory or legal compliance).