Implementing many initiatives—everything from turning off computers when they are not in use to replacing low efficiency T12 fluorescent lights—GRCS Energy Manager Randy Commeret has led GRCS' sustainability efforts since 2005. Recently, each of Grand Rapids Christian Schools’ campuses were awarded Energy Star certification from Consumers Energy.
"As a faith-based school system, we believe and emphasize our responsibility to take care of this world (Genesis 1:26-27)," says Commeret. "By becoming more energy efficient with gas and electrical usage, we have significantly lowered our carbon footprint."
In order to receive Energy Star Certification, a school must operate at or above the 75th percentile for efficiency compared to schools of the same size across the country. Each campus was evaluated above the 87 percentile, while two schools' scores were sky high— landing in the 99th percentile!
"This was a district-wide effort," says Commeret. "The teachers really do an awful lot in terms of being very conscious of using energy and helping the Schools reduce unnecessary expenses whenever possible." Commeret highly credits GRCS’ building managers Tim Hoving (GRCMS), Dave Zondag (GRCES), Rich Bakker (RCS), Scott Sanders and Jeremy Pyper (GRCHS) for supporting and maintaining effective efficiency practices.
Celebrating the certification on Wednesday, May 30, Commeret is proud of the milestone, while acknowledging his work isn't over yet. "This does not mean that we have arrived. It means we must continue to be vigilant," he says. "There is always more that can be done to be good stewards of God’s creation and the resources He has given us."