Dallas is the third largest city in all of the state of Texas, as well as the ninth largest city in the United States. The Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex is the largest metropolitan area in the entire South and the fourth largest in the United States. The city is known for its historical importance throughout the cotton and oil industries as well as the focal point for the interstate system in the south. It is considered an Alpha World City by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network. As per the fact that it is in Texas, which is a cleantech heavy hitter with cities like Austin and Houston leading the pact, Dallas has done much in the way of clean technology. Here are a few of the highlights of the city.
1 ) University of Texas at Dallas Green Report Card. Every year, the Sustainable Endowments Institute comes out with its Green Report Card for a number of universities throughout the United States. In 2011, the University of Texas at Dallas was included and received a B- on their Green Report Card. The school scored decent grades in climate change and energy, food and recycling, green building, student involvement, and transportation. For example, the campus provides free public transportation passes to the entire campus community. When it comes to food and recycling, all meals at the campus are tray less, most food is locally produced, and students receive discounts if they use reusable mugs for beverages.
2 ) Local Food Promotion. Dallas continues to try to promote the purchase of local foods to not just sustain the local economy but also sustain the environment as well. For example, for more than six decades, the Dallas Farmer’s Market has been a big fixture in the city, providing a one-stop shop for many local goods, including meats, produce, and specialty food items. It is one of the largest farmer’s markets in the state and promotes the idea of buying locally. Dallas also hosts their own chapter of Slow Food, a grassroots organization that is all around the globe and promotes the purchase of local and fair trade food items.
3 ) Green Hotels. There are a number of green hotels throughout Dallas and more and more sprouting up as more people become environmentally conscious of where they stay when on vacation or on a business trip. The local green movement is now hitting hotels that are offering energy efficient services and products as well. Water conservation efforts include low-flow showerheads and toilets and linen cards that enable guests to utilize their sheets and towels more than once. Energy conservation techniques include ceiling fan installation, motion censored lights, and florescent bulbs.
4 ) 2012 Green Data Center Conference and Exhibition. In March of 2012, Dallas will host the Green Data Center Conference and Exhibition, “an intimate gathering of the most innovative efficiency leaders in the data center space. The conference seeks to provide strategic information for data center professionals looking to optimize their facility through increased energy efficiency and innovative data center design trends.” Some of the highlights of the conference include data center building trends and site selection, data center infrastructure management (DCIM), and green storage techniques and technologies. People who attend this conference include executives and decision-makers from government agencies, corporations, and nonprofit organizations.
5 ) Internap Data Center First in Texas to Gain Green Globes Certification. In February of 2012, Internap Network Services Corporation, a provider of intelligent information technology (IT) infrastructure services, announced that its data center in Dallas received Green Globes Certification after being reviewed by the Green Building Initiative. Highlights include a number of water conservation and energy efficiency measures, including having more than 90 percent of all computers, appliances, printers, and monitors as Energy Star compliant, as well as an improvement in indoor air quality and the reuse of building materials, diverting around 85 percent of all construction waste from landfills. To receive this certification, Internap had to adhere to a number of standards, such as reducing carbon dioxide emissions, consuming fewer fossil fuels and water, reducing other types of pollution, and minimizing the overall impact on surrounding land.
6 ) Dallas Cowboys Stadium on of Top Green Stadiums in the United States. Recently SunRun, a national home solar installation service ranked the Dallas Cowboys stadium as number five on the list of greenest stadiums in the United States. This is the first stadium to gain high recognition by the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s National Environmental Performance Track Program. Some of the primary programs that put the stadium on the green map include its state-of-the-art bio-composting reactor, retractable roofs for natural lighting, retractable end zone doors for natural ventilation, a comprehensive recycling program, and permeable pavement that aids with water drainage.
7 ) Dallas Green Building Alliance. The Dallas Green Building Alliance was created due to the need to have an educated and trusted source of information regarding energy efficient, green construction. This alliance is made up of educated and knowledgeable construction trades and suppliers looking to meet the challenge of building greener buildings. Expertise is provided in a number of areas regarding green building, including life-cycle performance, energy efficient technologies, products that are renewable, recyclable, and sustainable, and obtaining LEED certification from the United States Green Building Council.
8 ) Green Dallas. Green Dallas is a nonprofit organization that looks to bolster the city of Dallas’ environmental policy to reduce operational environmental impacts by placing focus on a number of areas, including climate change, green energy, converting landfill gas to energy, converting wastewater biogas into electricity, green purchasing and operations, lighting retrofits, vehicles emissions reduction, water quality and conservation, and energy performance contracting.
9 ) Largest Wind Energy Conference Held in Dallas. In 2010, Dallas held WINDPOWER 2010, the largest conference around the globe that centers on wind energy. Because Texas is the number one wind producer in the country, it was only natural for it to be held there. The objective of WINDPOWER is to offer more information about the sector and provide an opportunity for people to meet and talk about it. Many leaders, experts, professionals, decision makers, and researchers in the wind industry attend this conference.
10 ) Dallas Hosted 2011 Solar Power International. In 2011, Dallas was named the location for Solar Power International, the largest business-to-business trade show and conference in North America for the solar energy industry. “We are excited to take Solar Power International 2011 to Dallas,” said Brian Tully, executive director of Solar Energy Trade Shows, LLC. “Texas is the energy hub in this country and an emerging market for solar power. SPI and the Lone Star State are a perfect fit for one another. We look forward to highlighting this important market and building upon SPI’s previous successes in being the premier solar event in the United States.”
Article by Shawn Lesser, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Atlanta-based Watershed Capital Group – an investment bank assisting sustainable fund and companies raise capital, perform acquisitions, and in other strategic financial decisions. He is also a Co-founder of the GCCA Global Cleantech Cluster Association ”The Global Voice of Cleantech”. He writes for various cleantech publications and is known as the David Letterman of Cleantech for his “Top 10″ series. He is also author of The 2012 Cleantech Directory. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.