It’s official — millennials now outnumber baby boomers. Fueled by avocado toast and lattes with paper straws, this youth movement is poised to significantly shift America’s future in the name of efficiency.

According to a recent study conducted by Nielsen, 73 percent of the millennial generation (those born from 1977 to 1995) are willing to pay more for sustainable goods. Even more eye-raising: 81 percent of millennials expect their favorite companies to make public declarations of their corporate citizenship. Could efficiency be any more desirable?

Recognizing this trend, several industry players used the 2019 AHR Expo in Atlanta  as a stage to introduce their own sustainability initiatives.     



ASHRAE announced board approval of a $15.7 million budget to begin a renovation of a new net-zero energy world headquarters in Atlanta.

The project aims to reduce energy consumption to a level below 22 KBtu per square foot a year with a maximum daytime plug load of 0.5 watts per square foot. The facility will be substantiated by certification programs, including LEED, Green Globes, and others.

“We want our new world headquarters to be an example of all that we stand for as a society and all that our industry has to offer,” said Sheila J. Hayter, 2018-2019 president, ASHRAE. “This project will serve as an exemplary model for other organizations looking to incorporate similar approaches and designs into new and existing facilities across the globe.”



Rheem Mfg. Co. pledged to cut its greenhouse gas footprint by 50 percent and achieve zero waste and landfill impact from all its global  manufacturing operations by 2025 — the year of its 100th anniversary.

The initiative, deemed “A Greater Degree of Good,” is a vision of the manufacturer’s future — a future that starts today, said Chris Peel, president and CEO.

“We’ve set bold goals for ourselves in respect to sustainability,” he said. “Sustainable thinking is not new to Rheem. It’s embedded in everything we do. It’s in our products, processes, and the way our people think and act.”

Rheem also announced a commitment to train at least 250,000 plumbers and contractors on sustainable products, sustainable installation, and recycling best practices by 2025.



Johnson Controls Building Technologies & Solutions’ Wichita, Kansas, manufacturing plant will shift 100 percent of its electricity to wind power. The facility, which manufactures residential heating and air conditioning equipment, will produce zero emissions from electricity and reduce the company’s North American greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 18 percent. The wind farm is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2019, and the energy savings projections from the wind power agreement are conservatively expected to be about $2.7 million over the life of the 20-year contract.

“This renewable energy agreement is a win-win for the business,” said Liz Haggerty, vice president and general manager, Ducted Systems, Johnson Controls. “This is a great example of Johnson Controls’ commitment to sustainability, which drives our enterprise excellence.”



While the majority of your engineering firm’s time and effort is dedicated to helping others achieve their efficiency goals, what have you done on behalf of your own operations lately? Efficiency is now a cultural norm. The next generation of employees and clients expect you to put your money where your mouth is.


Register for our free webinars at, where users can also view any webinar from the last year on demand in our archive. Here are a few of our most recent webinars that are available to view on demand.


Electrical Protection of Standby Generators
Presented by Tim Coyle
Sponsored by Kohler



The Generator: Understanding Capacity Ratings
Presented by Julius Neudorfer
Sponsored by Kohler



Feb 10-14

Cooling Technology Institute 2019 Annual Conference

New Orleans


Feb. 17-23

National Engineers Week – National Society of Professional Engineers



Feb. 21

Discover E – Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day


Feb. 26 - Mar. 1

IDEA      Campus Energy 2019