Blog   Tagged ‘environment’

Geared up to Bike to Work

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Geared up to Bike to Work

UMB recognizes the undeniable importance of sustainable business practices. We examine ways to reduce waste, promote recycling, decrease air pollution to improve air quality, conserve energy, and educate our associates about the benefits of environmental sustainability.

One way to make a positive environmental impact is to consider transportation options.

Whether your workplace is casual, business casual or strictly formal business attire, with a little pre-planning you can enjoy a smooth ride to the office.

Here are some tips to plan your commute.

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Map your route in advance

Free apps like Ride with GPS and MapMyRide can help you determine the best route to bike to work. In addition, they offer local bike route suggestions, bike challenges, mileage tracking and more.

Bike Necessities

  • Make sure your breaks, gears and chain are all in working order.
  • Adjust your bike saddle so that you are comfortable when you ride.
  • Be sure to have reflectors/lights in the back and a light in front.
  • Always check your tires before you ride to make sure they are inflated properly and don’t have leaks.
  • Remember your bike lock. Even if you are parking your bike in a secure company garage, it is still a good idea to lock it.

Transporting “your stuff”

There are many baggage options for bike commuting. If you have minimal items and only bike occasionally, consider a backpack, flipbelt or a small seat post bag. If you have greater baggage needs, try adding a bike rack that accommodates many bag styles, such as the Topeak MTX Trunkbag. It easily slides onto a bike rack and has expandable panniers.

What to wear

There are many options for stylish office-ready commute clothing, including items like this Columbia skort (see picture) or office ready technical trousers that are comfortable and stylish. You can also pack a change of clothes or have some standard pieces, such as a jacket and dress shoes, that you leave at the office. And last, but most important, don’t forget your bike helmet.

Transforming at the office – if you don’t have a shower at your workplace, or simply don’t have time, baby wipes make for a great quick clean up. There are also “adult” versions you can purchase, such as Paper Shower  dual wet and dry towelettes. Also, keep a deodorant handy in your desk drawer.

Additional accessories to consider:

  • A cellphone mount can be helpful if you need to check your GPS bike route map
  • A bike computer will keep track of your mileage, speed and the time
  • A bell is a great way to signal your presence if you are coming up behind pedestrians or other bikers
  • Fenders help keep water and mud from splashing onto your clothes

If you have a really long commute and can’t avoid highways, but are still interested in an alternative mode of transportation, consider the bus or carpooling. Many employers provide subsidies for bus riders – for instance UMB provides a subsidy that may cover 70% or more of an associate’s bus pass cost.

Also, if you live in Kansas City and are using alternative transportation, you may be eligible to compete in the 10th Annual Mid-America Regional Council’s (MARC) Green Commute Challenge, June 1- August 31. Our associates have competed over the last 10 years, learning about different modes of alternative transportation and the impacts on cost and environmental savings.bloog

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.pulation Survey/Housing Vacancy Survey, Series H-111, U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC 20233.


Ms. Shahane is a Vice President Healthcare Marketing/Sustainability Manager for UMB. She is responsible for managing marketing initiatives for UMB’s healthcare payments, HSAs, and benefit card products. In addition, she leads the UMB Green Team and promotes UMB’s internal sustainability initiatives. She joined UMB in 2001 and has 13 years of experience in the financial services industry. She earned a MA in Marketing from Webster University. She is a volunteer for Bridging the Gap and serves on the board for Northeast Neighbor to Neighbor.



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UMB Goes Solar

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As we guide our community members in their financial decisions, we also want to be part of making those communities great places to live.

Our business partners know that any organization with available capital has choices to make about where to invest. We’re excited to announce that we recently made the decision to invest in solar-energy systems to help power five of our locations.

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We’re committed to fostering conservation in our communities. As a clean and abundant type of renewable energy, these solar installations help preserve natural resources, curb carbon emissions and present opportunities for cost savings.

We believe this to be a sound investment in our business, our buildings and our communities and recommend it to all of you.

How does going solar work?

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UMB partnered with Brightergy, an energy company whose headquarters are also in Kansas City, just blocks away from ours. Brightergy works with their clients (primarily businesses, schools, cities and not-for-profits) to help them gain control of their energy through on-site energy generation, energy efficiency and smarter energy management.

Our five new solar-energy installations are a form of on-site energy generation—located on rooftops of three locations in Kansas City and two in St. Louis, creating energy for us right where we use it.

And now to dive in to the nerdy details…A multitude of solar panels absorb daily solar radiation, exciting electrons in the panels which creates direct current (DC) electricity. That current flows to inverters which convert the DC electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity, the kind we use to power our buildings every day.

Our solar electricity is available to us to use as soon as it is created. If we are ever creating more electricity than we are using at the moment, the excess electricity flows into the electrical grid and we earn credits on our utility bills for the electricity we provided.

For example, let’s look at the most recent holiday, Independence Day. It was warm and sunny. Even though our locations were closed, our solar-energy systems were working even as we were not. Since we created more electricity than our buildings had a demand for that day, that electricity flowed into the grid and was then distributed and used.

What are the benefits of going solar?

The sun is predictable—rising and setting every day. And in Missouri, we see the same amount of sun (an average of 4.7 hours a day) as they do in Tampa, Florida or the South of France.

Our five solar-energy systems are estimated to produce 170,000 kWh a year (solar panels have warrantees by the manufacturer for 25 years, and their expected lifetime is even longer). If you think about how much electricity you use at home, this amount is enough to provide 16 average-sized homes with electricity each year.*

After the cost of the equipment and installation, solar energy is essentially free fuel. So by creating a portion of our own electricity needs, the cost savings benefit for all five systems comes out to be approximately $22,000 in our first year of producing solar energy. Our total savings estimate increases to $610,335 for all five systems throughout the next 25 years.

We also expect to offset up to 250,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.* What does that mean? Traditional, carbon-intensive fossil fuel sources put out pollutants, or emissions, like carbon dioxide as they are burned to create usable energy.

We know that trees consume carbon dioxide (CO2) as they create food for themselves through photosynthesis, cleaning our air in the process. Approximately 250,000 pounds of CO2 is equivalent to the amount absorbed by nearly 100 acres of U.S. forest each year.

A community of solar businesses

As we get ready to ‘flip the switch’ on our systems and begin producing solar electricity, we join the growing number of businesses, including Costco, Apple, Macy’s, Johnson & Johnson, and Ikea, who recognize that solar lowers operating costs and benefits both the bottom line and our communities.

Next month, we’ll explore even more ways to go green.

 

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*Source: http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html#results

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Ms. Shahane is a Vice President Healthcare Marketing/Sustainability Manager for UMB. She is responsible for managing marketing initiatives for UMB’s healthcare payments, HSAs, and benefit card products. In addition, she leads the UMB Green Team and promotes UMB’s internal sustainability initiatives. She joined UMB in 2001 and has 13 years of experience in the financial services industry. She earned a MA in Marketing from Webster University. She is a volunteer for Bridging the Gap and serves on the board for Northeast Neighbor to Neighbor.



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