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Three Facilities in Georgia among 70 Top Performing Energy Star Certified Manufacturing Plants in 29 States

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that 70 manufacturing plants have achieved Energy Star certification for their superior energy performance in 2014. Together, these manufacturing plants saved a record amount of energy, cut their energy bills by $725 million, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 8 million metric tons –equivalent to the annual total energy use of more than 650,000 households. From implementing corporate energy management programs to implementing energy efficiency projects, there are many ways plants can save energy with EPA’s Energy Star program.   “Energy Star certified manufacturing plants are leading their industries by advancing energy efficiency and making cost-saving improvements while combating climate change,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Through their work with EPA, the 2014 Energy Star manufacturing plants are demonstrating that making sustainability and energy efficiency improvements is a smart business decision.” Energy Star certified plants are independently verified on an annual basis to have reached the top 25 percent of energy performance for their industries nationwide. Among these are plants from the auto assembly, cement manufacturing, corn refining, food processing, glass manufacturing, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and petroleum refining industries. Seven are certified for the first time: • ConAgra Foods’ American Falls, Idaho frozen fried potato processing plant; • ConAgra Foods’ Ogden, Utah cookie and cracker baking plant; • Essroc Cement Corp.’s Martinsburg, W.Va. cement manufacturing plant; • Essroc Cement Corp.’s Nazareth, Pa. cement manufacturing plant; • Lehigh Cement’s Glen Falls, N.Y. cement manufacturing plant; • Lehigh Cement’s Leeds, Ala. cement manufacturing plant; and • Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s Illinois Refining Division petroleum refinery.

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2015 Georgia Junior Duck Stamp Student Art Competition Winners Chosen

Amber Dong, 13, of Johns Creek, Georgia, is the winner of the annual 2015 Georgia Junior Duck Stamp Art Competition held Tuesday, April 7, 2015, at the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge in Juliette, Georgia.  Five judges unanimously selected her acrylic rendition of a Wood Duck out of 532 total entries as the Georgia Best of Show. 

Dong will receive a $175 scholarship from Georgia Power, a long-time sponsor of the Georgia Junior Duck Stamp Program, as well as additional prizes. As Georgia’s Best of Show, her original artwork has been sent to compete in the national Junior Duck Stamp Competition being held Friday, April 17, 2015, at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

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Georgia Public Service Commission will not consider increasing certified cost of over budget and delayed Vogtle nuclear reactors in current monitoring docket

Today the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) approved the procedural and scheduling order (PSO) for the 12th Vogtle Construction Monitoring docket (VCM). Georgia Power has requested approval of $169 million in expenditures for their portion of the Vogtle nuclear expansion project during the reporting period of July to December 2014. The utility’s 12th VCM report accounted for spending $2.96 billion in cumulative construction and capital costs. They also requested that the PSC consider amending the certificate to reflect significant delays in the project and increase the Company’s total construction capital cost estimate upwards, from $4.418 billion to $5.045 billion. Today’s vote held consideration of the schedule and cost changes in abeyance until Unit 3 is commercially operational, currently estimated for mid-2019, more than three years delayed, because of a stipulation reached in the 8th VCM.

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Global Study Connects Levels of Employee Productivity and Well Being to Office Design

Global Study Connects Levels of Employee Productivity and Well Being to Office DesignData shows those who work in environments with natural elements report a 6% increase in productivity

The Human Spaces report into The Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace, commissioned by the global modular flooring experts of Interface and led by renowned organizational psychologist Professor Sir Cary Cooper, has revealed that employees who work in environments with natural elements report a 15% higher level of well-being, are 6% more productive and 15% more creative overall.

The Human Spaces global study of 7,600 office workers from 16 countries, examined the impact of the physical office environment on employee well being. It concluded that office design was so important to workers that a third (33%) of global respondents stated it would unequivocally affect their decision whether or not to work somewhere. Incredibly, design was even more vital in India (67%), Indonesia (62%) and the Philippines (60%) where two thirds of office workers were significantly influenced by workplace design.

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