Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and environmental activists met to discuss climate control and how to limit the county’s carbon footprint at United Therapeutics’s main campus in Silver Spring Thursday. The meeting opened with a performance by local climate musician Rick Sullivan before transitioning to a speech delivered by Adriana Hochber, Montgomery County’s Assistant Chief Administrative Officer and Climate Change Coordinator.
Hochber urged for the community to get more involved in the climate change process, stating “We can accomplish more and strengthen our community by tackling the climate emergency as a collective challenge that we conquer together.”
Hochber then introduced Avi Halpert, the VP of Corporate Real Estate for United Therapeutics. Halpert discussed the efforts made by him and his team to make United Therapeutics a net zero company (one that doesn’t produce any excess carbon emissions.) In their efforts, they managed to lower the operating costs/utilities of one of their newest 100,000+ square foot buildings to a mere 20 dollars a day. Halpert believes that if more effort were put into lowering the carbon emissions and being more energy conscious, it will not only drastically help the environment, but also make the cost of living more affordable in the long run.
Next, CE Mark Elrich took the stage to further detail future plans the county has in regards to climate change. These included construction of new roads to limit carbon emission, a pilot program for food composting, and a pilot program for plastic recycling. In particular, Elrich detailed a plan where they sell their recycled plastic to a company that can re-purpose it in a variety of ways. That way it increases sustainability while also making money for the county itself.
The full conference can be found here.