Sustainability is not just a buzz word for Tobin Freid, it is a passion. And it takes passion in your field to dedicate time and energy toward it, as Freid has done with sustainability over the past 17 years. Eight of those years have been spent sharing her knowledge and passion with the city and county of Durham. Her recent successful involvement in Duke Energy’s Smart Energy in Offices (SEiO) program has been a natural progression to help her meet admirable and lofty sustainability goals.
As a sustainability manager, Freid’s main focus is to make sure the city and county of Durham’s office buildings are running in a manner that satisfies their day-to-day operational needs, without negatively impacting the environment. Beyond that, she aims to make Durham an energy efficiency role model. She continuously seeks to utilize new and creative ways to help Durham “be green.”
Freid’s proactive and purposeful approach toward energy efficiency naturally led her toward the SEiO program in 2015, and upon learning what SEiO offers, Freid understood the potential energy efficiency benefits for the buildings across the city and county. Despite her already busy workload, Freid’s interest in the program and action as a SEiO coach was the driving force behind engaging the city and the county.
As a SEiO coach, Fried oversaw the implementation of the communitywide challenge, “Add It Up” with the city of Durham in April, 2016. The city responded with the highest participation numbers of any community in the program. She followed suit with Durham county and the “Butterfly Effect” challenge in July, 2016. Again, the Durham community had some of the highest participation overall in the SEiO tenant challenge.
Fried appreciates the emails provided by SEiO to help promote the program, but notes that adding her own personalization to the messaging helps increase participation. She shared that offering additional incentive to the employees, such as LED lightbulbs for the highest participants, helps increase the buzz around the program. Tobin Freid insists that being a SEiO energy coach doesn’t take much time, and is a fun and easy way to help realize sustainability goals. She concludes, “It’s about getting what you give.”
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