GTI works to make a difference in our local community, helping others that are nearest to us. These activities are a reflection of our culture, our values, and the way we do business.
- Annual Food Drives. GTI hosts a food drive several times a year to help stock the local food pantry, the Self-Help Closet & Pantry of Des Plaines. The Pantry distributes food to over 1,000 individuals and families every month, feeding the area’s hungry children, elderly, working poor, unemployed, chronically ill, and homeless.
- “Toys for Tots” Campaign. GTI participates in a U.S. Marine Corps sponsored program, providing gifts to disadvantaged children throughout metropolitan Chicago.
- United Way Campaign. Through an annual payroll deduction campaign, we provide financial support to a national organization that creates a brighter future or those in need.
- LifeSource. Each year we sponsor several onsite blood drives at our headquarters.
- JPMorgan Chase & Co. Corporate Challenge. GTI employees take part in the annual 3.5 mile Chicago race that benefits local not-for-profit organizations.
- Veterans Day Service Project. Throughout the year, GTI employees collect personal-sized items such as shampoos and soap. In October, GTI hosts a service project to assemble the toiletries into basic supply kits that are delivered to needy veterans at the Jesse Brown VA Center in Chicago on Veteran’s Day. Each kit is accompanied with a special note of appreciation for their service to our country.
As a leading energy research institution, GTI believes everyone has a key role in protecting the integrity of our planet for future generations. From the projects we choose to the way we run our operations, we are committed to reducing our own environmental footprint.
- Acting on our Sustainability Management Plan. A strategic plan developed by GTI’s Environmental Sustainability Committee outlines our intention and goals.
- Assessing the carbon footprint of our technologies. GTI set a Corporate Sustainability Goal in 2020 to establish an enterprise standard for calculating and communicating the GHG impact of GTI technologies. Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) are a powerful solution and we are harmonizing our approach across the enterprise to conducting LCA for purposes of assessing and communicating the greenhouse gas emissions impact of GTI technologies and solutions.
- Reducing our own non-project related energy use. Over the past several years, GTI has invested in some significant building upgrades. We decommissioned 35 hoods in early 2017 and replaced 50% of office lighting with LEDs in 2019. All outdoor lights were replaced with LED lighting that is up to 80% more efficient than traditional lighting. During renovations, low-flow automatic flush toilets were installed to conserve natural resources. They save three gallons per flush and reduce overall water use by over 200,000 gallons of water/year. In addition, a high efficiency boiler was installed, and the amount of energy needed for safe and efficient building ventilation was reduced.
- Managing material re-use, recycling, and disposal. Systems to baseline and monitor output of recycling waste plus landfill waste have been established. Programs sponsored by the Environmental Sustainability Committee—such as electronics and running shoes recycling, shredding paper, and disposing of household items--focused on reducing waste. Paper use is minimized by setting printers to print double sided pages as the default. As we cleaned up facilities, excess colored paper and print equipment was donated to a program at an alternative high school in Chicago that uses art as a teaching tool for underserved students.
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