Empowering Sustainability with DOE’s Better Climate Challenge

February 16, 2024

Sustainability Competitions


In the pursuit of a sustainable future, organizations increasingly use competitions to showcase their commitment to environmental responsibility. For example, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) Better Climate Challenge drives energy efficiency, reduces pollution, and fosters financial savings for participating companies. Today’s blog explores how competitions like the Better Climate Challenge catalyze organizations to raise awareness, implement sustainable practices, and make significant strides towards a greener future.

The Better Climate Challenge sets ambitious goals for participating organizations. Companies then partner with the DOE to substantially reduce their portfolio-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (scope 1 & 2) by at least 50% within the next decade. This challenge spotlights environmental stewardship and aligns with global efforts to combat climate change. To illustrate the impact of such competitions, let’s use the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Better Buildings Challenge, a precursor to the Better Climate Challenge, as a case study.


Achieving Energy Reduction

Douglas Latulippe worked with a major national pharmaceutical store chain while participating in the Better Buildings Challenge. Participation required developing comprehensive energy strategies, including demand-side energy conservation measures such as HVAC upgrades, optimization, and controls, high-efficiency lighting and controls, Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) for Rooftop Units (RTUs), chiller plant and thermal energy storage, Retro-Commissioning (RCx), and automatic demand response (ADR).

The pharmaceutical chain’s commitment to energy efficiency resulted in an impressive overall energy reduction across all buildings of 17.5%, with some buildings experiencing a reduction of up to 30%. The cumulative impact of these measures resulted in substantial savings of 30 million kWh/yr of electricity and over 100,000 therms/yr of natural gas — eliminating over 21,500 metric tons of CO2 equivalent each year.

Beyond the environmental benefits, these initiatives translate into a noteworthy annual cost savings of over $3 million with a simple payback of under two years. Utility incentives and rebates also helped achieve this impressive return.


Partnering for Efficiencies

Participating in energy efficiency challenges fights climate change and saves money by creating win-win scenarios for industry and the environment. SCS Engineers works with clients similarly, creating wins from plan development and project execution to advance sustainability that meets financial and social goals and closing gaps between plans and actual achievements toward carbon reduction goals.


Doug LatulippeMr. Latulippe is responsible for developing and supporting SCS’s nationwide energy management and renewable energy practice. His work includes services related to our air quality, greenhouse gas (GHG), and sustainability practices for public and private commercial businesses, industrial facility owners, real estate clients, utilities, and renewable energy project developers. His experience includes managing energy portfolios, including capital and operating budget development, power generation, demand-side project and program development, bill management and reporting, and utility incentive program management. He also performed energy audits and GHG reporting for Fortune 500 companies. As part of his power generation experience, Mr. Latulippe patented a solid-fuel gasification system designed for environmental mitigation and pollution control. In addition, the EPA recognized Mr. Latulippe for his extensive work with the ENERGY STAR program.

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am