What a year it has been for Santa! Just 12 months ago, his eyes briefly lost a bit of their twinkle when he realized the "sustainability thing" would not be a passing fad like Pet Rocks and Tickle Me Elmo. No, the issue wasn't going away with the spring melt. But when Summit Energy helped him create a sound, thorough approach to sustainability, the Christmas season - no, the entire year! - got a ho-ho-whole lot cheerier.

Now, as he entered year two, he was ready to make some tweaks. But he had lists to check twice, elves to manage, toys to make and one Very Big annual deadline to meet. Once again, he turned to Summit's sustainability pros for guidance. They helped Santa and his Elfin Advisory Board take the operation to new levels of green success. With fresh ideas on how to engage all staff and implement new technology solutions, efficiency went way up, and so did comfort, thanks to sustainable climate-control improvements that Mrs. Claus especially enjoyed. With the same delight that marks his toy-making, Santa continues to be the champion for his very own sustainability master plan.

See how Summit helped Santa re-energize his sustainability efforts by clicking on the links at right or the illustration above.

Santa HQ

What's the most valued asset in Santa's entire enterprise? You guessed it, THE LIST of who's been naughty and who's been nice. It's under heavy security at Santa's Headquarters, the center of all things Christmas. Summit had already helped Santa transition his antiquated paper-based list into dashboarDView - the secure, database-driven online reporting system. Since he began checking THE LIST more frequently, Santa has become pretty good at using dashboarDView over the last year for other kinds of important tasks, like exporting reports on his emissions profile, analyzing his energy cost and usage, and tracking key sustainability projects. Soon, he'll even figure out a way to get Timmy in Topeka to stop wasting all that water with the repeated flushing!

Santa has seen the benefits of this improved view - and so have the elves! Now they compete for who can make toys with the most efficient use of energy. Who'd have thought that the kilowatts-per-kung-fu-action-figure metric would catch on so completely? They created the "Elfin Efficiency Award," and excitement is so high they have to declare a winner every day. Yes, Summit continues to help Santa keep the spirit of the season bright at HQ -- with no additional carbon impact.

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Sustainability Roadmap

It's one thing to set the strategy, it's another to map out an implementation plan that works for the organization. Summit helped Santa do just that - including timelines, schedules and responsibility assignments that balanced the need to implement quickly with sound fiscal discipline. With only one night each year to deliver all those toys, a sound sustainability roadmap and gameplan is essential.


Gift Wrap Central

Gift Wrap Central was always a picture of precision, with conveyors, loading bins, and bar scanners all systematized to serve the operation. Yet, last year Summit's crack team of efficiency experts still found a few areas for improvement. Now, gift wrap scraps go to Santa's new Recycling Center, which has lowered costs and raised productivity. The new waste-to-heat system turns some of that wastepaper into fuel that keeps the elves' toes warm.

When the workshop achieved ENERGY STAR Certification with Summit's help last year, all the elves ran outside for a celebratory snowball fight. Their excitement was contagious. Since then, Santa's elves in other buildings have been looking for ways they can become Energy Stars too. Those in charge of the reindeer stables, striving mightily to make theirs a "green" building, coated each stall with glossy, holly green paint. "I have a little more education to do here," Santa mused.

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Energy Star Partner

Energy Benchmarking - As an ENERGY STAR Service and Product Provider, Summit provides guidance to organizations wanting to achieve Energy Star ratings for their properties and certify buildings under the program. The ENERGY STAR designation has become widely accepted as the gold standard for energy efficiency in buildings -- even as far away as the North Pole.


The Toy Workshop

The legendary Toy Workshop buzzes with activity - woodcutters shape toy parts, painters brush on colorful lacquer, assemblers carefully fit tiny pieces together. With so much activity, there were bound to be opportunities for improved efficiencies, and Summit found many of them last year by performing a thorough energy site assessment. Summit discovered that the toymakers faced issues similar to the gift wrappers. Such silos! Summit convened a best-practice sharing session so gift wrappers could explain how they learned to reuse and recycle some of their waste. The toymakers loved the ideas and locked down significant energy bill reductions.

Santa asked Summit to help build on this success in year two with stronger internal communication among the various elfin departments to build a culture of sustainability. No longer are they "Santa's toymakers" or "Santa's gift wrappers." They now are "Santa's team." Thanks to Summit's guidance, elves in all departments now work together to improve processes, leaving Santa more time to focus on what he does best. "Do you feel left out?" Mrs. Claus asked. "Yes," Santa said. "It's wonderful."

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Demand Response - Summit helped the Toy Workshop analyze demand. It was fairly obvious to everyone that the demand was, shall we say, seasonal. The question was, how could they leverage that to save some cash? One answer - Demand Response. Summit helped the Toy Workshop take full advantage of North Pole Gas & Electric's Demand Response program, which enabled Santa to convert lower-demand summer months into cash back from the utility.


Power Center

You have never seen peak demand like that on Santa's campus as Christmas nears. Everything spikes -- heating demand, process load, steam requirements, wastewater pumping and more. To help manage it, Summit provided two key services last year -- onsite renewable generation and energy analytics.

After a year of reliable power using renewable energy, Santa says that reliability may be the real secret ingredient of Christmas magic. The elves report that Summit's cleantech solutions are making Santa's dimples more merry than usual. Recently, a toymaker spotted Santa looking at the North Pole Gas & Electric meter outside headquarters. At that moment, the wind blew a mighty howl. Santa looked skyward and smiled widely as the new hilltop wind turbine turned briskly and nearby solar panels glinted in afternoon sunlight. Like Germany and New Jersey, the North Pole has great solar incentives!

Summit's energy analytics team also installed metering equipment at each facility on campus. Now each site is properly commissioned and the data feeds correctly into the centralized data warehouse. The real-time energy usage information enables the sites to work more closely with the Power Center to ensure reliable supply.

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Online Meter Management - Summit taught Santa's operations managers how to tap into a website allowing them to see reports in real-time - data such as usage, demand and cost. Now they can spot opportunities to save and provide reports to the Clauses in a timely fashion.


The Sleigh

You may not have been awake to notice, but reindeer no longer idle on rooftops of the world's great cities and small towns. Last year, Summit helped Santa green his ride with a "no rooftop idling" policy. Or course, Santa's sleigh itself is an efficient mode of transportation. It runs on renewable fuel (Christmas cheer) and its reindeer never need replacing. However, when Santa saw how much more he could reduce his team's carbon hoofprint with a new policy, he embraced the idea. He insisted the results would be measurable -- he didn't want his stellar reputation tarnished by accusations of greenwashing. And he wanted to offset his travel completely, ensuring that his delivery method was completely carbon neutral.

Summit led the way in finding qualified providers of carbon offsets. A third party verified this entire process, ensuring that Santa's claims would withstand the scrutiny of external stakeholders (little Connie in California, Sven in Sweden, et. al). Santa confidently asserts that he flies carbon free!

Now, the reindeer eat a little less because they don't need as much fuel, saving Santa money on Reindeer Chow. Looking further still for economies, Santa briefly considered going all electric, but he got nipped in the bud. Donner blamed Blitzen for that one.

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Renewable Energy Credits - Summit's deep expertise was a key component in Santa's search for a verifiable and credible source for renewable energy credits (RECs). Also, Summit helped Santa understand various other REC procurement issues, such as, pricing, market dynamics and compliance with the North Pole Protocol.


Recycle Center

Nowadays on Santa's campus, if it can be recycled, it is. Just one year ago, Summit helped the operation meet waste reduction targets by establishing a Recycle Center. Summit, with some key data and analysis, helped all constituencies, from the Elfin Union to the Clauses themselves, come to agreement and guided the project to completion. Summit also helped find the perfect location near the Carbon Offset Forest.

In its first year of operation, the facility generated millions of dollars in economic impact, from direct energy cost savings to more efficient usage of materials to reduced freight costs (using leftover gift wrap for packing material was a good move).The team created an efficient Reindeer-to-Energy Conversion process, making productive use of all that biomass! And the Jolly Old Elf has even introduced a few recycling toys, like light-up rubber gloves for picking up recyclable litter. Kid reaction has been lukewarm, but Santa remains hopeful. As he says, no one is too young to develop good habits.

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Waste not, want not - Summit's team of efficiency experts has deep experience in helping organizations reduce their waste as well as find new, creative uses for it. Reducing waste limits raw material consumption and disposal costs can be key pieces of the waste reduction puzzle.



Nothing makes Santa ho-ho happier than getting the thumbs-up from youngsters around the world who are giving high marks to his sustainability program. Santa had been under pressure from all directions -- the Carbon Disclosure Project, the EPA and even the North Pole Protocol. So last year, he asked Summit to help build a strong, comprehensive sustainability strategy that would garner buy-in from key stakeholders such as the Elfin Union Boss and Mrs. Claus. The plan had to include sustainability messaging that would be well received by Santa's most important constituency -- all the children worldwide, also known as the "customers!"

Santa's implementation roadmap for sustainability included plans for renewable energy sourcing, waste reduction, portfolio optimization and carbon footprint reporting. As an early adopter who has brought every appropriate tactic into his sustainability strategy, Santa is poised to lead the way this year. And he is ever-vigilant for new ways to improve his efficiencies and make the world jollier at the same time.

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Sustainability Strategy - Summit Energy and their team of sustainability professionals shaped a strategy that helped Santa address issues related to his carbon footprint, renewable sourcing and waste management. A key element within the strategy is a roadmap for implementation.

Green Profiler - No more blue Christmases for Santa. He and his team now know just how green they need to be. Within the sustainability strategy, Summit's experts helped him develop a data-driven profile, using their proprietary GreenProfiler to help drive consensus across all stakeholders.