Thursday, July 15, 2010

Interview with Craig Arnold, Real Estate at BMW

Craig Arnold, responsible for Real Estate Building Projects in Americas for BMW, shared with us some insights about sustainability at BMW...

Q: What would you say are current “trends” when it comes to organizations adopting green strategies or principles?
A: We recently added an Energy Manager position to my department. The real cost of energy today and the in the future coupled with the opportunities to pursue alternative energy makes this a viable position with a substantial ROI. The Energy Manager is responsible for all direct and indirect energy consumption meaning he has input into the suppliers we choose based on their energy practices. Progressive companies are learning about new opportunities but trying to chase these with the existing staff. A dedicated professional charged exclusively with developing the energy strategy is a current trend for large companies.

Q: What green / sustainability-related project are you working on now that you are most proud of?
A: Even in South Carolina where our electrical energy is one of the cheapest in the country we have been able to use landfill Methane Gas to generate our own electricity and save millions of dollars annually. It has been a huge win for the financial and environmental departments without artificial sources of funding, assistance or external incentive to do so.

Q: What has inhibited you or your organization from making more progress on the sustainability front?
A: Our largest facility is in South Carolina with substantial but smaller facilities on the West coast and Northeast. The availability of inexpensive energy is both a blessing and a curse for our South Carolina facility. Our global sustainability targets are based on consumption. Justification for energy per/unit reductions often comes with a conflicting budget target. You can imagine an energy saving project in Europe making perfect sense on all fronts (consumption, budget) while in the South Carolina the project cannot fly with an energy rate as little as one third the European rate.


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Lisa Jones said...

I would HIGHLY recommend this team and Craig especially if you want someone who will go above and beyond for you, someone who truly knows what they are doing, and someone who truly cares about you as individuals.
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