Benchmarking Case Study: UniGroup

UniGroup Benchmarking Case StudyThe 25×20 Voluntary Energy Benchmarking Campaign challenges buildings in the St. Louis Region to benchmark their energy use. Energy benchmarking is the key to unlocking potential energy and cost savings. Since the campaign was launched, businesses, local governments, houses of worship, schools, and institutions have pledged to benchmark their energy use!

25×20 participants include UniGroup, now featured in a benchmarking case study. UniGroup is a $1.7 billion transportation and relocation services company with headquarters in suburban St. Louis. In addition to household goods carriers United Van Lines and Mayflower Transit, logistics company UniGroup Logistics and international relocation providers UniGroup Relocation and Sterling, UniGroup owns other subsidiaries that provide goods and services to professional movers.

The headquarters for UniGroup has grown dramatically since the original building was built in 1968. The facility has been expanded over the years, resulting in more than 450,000 ft2of office space. There is also an on-site cafeteria (a 5-star member of the St. Louis Green Dining Alliance), an employee fitness center and a credit union.

UniGroup has embraced sustainability as a smart way to achieve cost savings. The company’s Director of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Rebecca Peterson led the charge to monitor energy usage, enabling the company to identify issues and resolve them quickly. As a result, they achieved the coveted ENERGY STAR certification.

The company took full advantage of utility rebate programs to maximize the return on investments in energy-related projects. They installed a 100 kW solar array, which included new pulse electric meters that provide dynamic reporting of energy usage to identify anomalies. Routine thermographic scans on electrical panels identify additional safety and efficiency issues. The maintenance staff installed more efficient interior lighting with electronic ballasts, and induction lighting on the parking lot reduced energy usage by 60%. Boilers were enhanced to improve burner efficiency and an energy management system was installed to better automate the HVAC system. They also installed variable frequency drives on two centrifugal chillers. Peterson attributes much of their success to the resources available to participants of the St. Louis Green Business Challenge.

You can view the full case study online here. Visit the 25×20 website to see a list of all participants or take the pledge. Contact Chapter staff at usgbc-mogateway@mobot.org to be featured in a benchmarking case study!

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