CAER Faculty Affiliates provide environmental advising
and technical support services to businesses interested in understanding their environmental impact and growing more sustainably.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions has become a priority for many businesses interested in promoting sustainability and cutting operational costs from utility bills. Early in 2008, the Kansas City, MO, Chamber of Commerce began its Climate Protection Partnership, a program in which participating local businesses get professional assistance to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and increase their economic competitiveness. The chamber provides a regionalized carbon footprint calculator and a team comprised of representatives from local utility and engineering firms to help businesses in the partnership reach their emission reduction targets. The Center for Applied Environmental Research (CAER) at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, also provides support to local businesses. In the summer of 2008, CAER assisted Swope Community Enterprises (SCE) with carbon footprint and emission reduction recommendations. SCE has varied business interests: outpatient clinics, a real estate development company, and a career training program. CAER documented SCE’s carbon footprint for 2007—6,650 metric tons of carbon dioxide—and provided a plan for SCE to reduce its overall footprint by 7 percent while saving nearly $19,000 in annual utility bills with little or no initial investment