The Port of San Diego's Green Business Network has a new member in its ranks: The Maritime Museum of San Diego.
The Maritime Museum of San Diego, located at 1492 North Harbor Drive, is home to the historic Star of India, an icon on the North Embarcadero. Constructed in 1863, it's the world's oldest active sailing ship.
But just because the museum's fleet of 10 vessels is rich with history doesn't keep its staff from looking for new sustainable business practices.
"I think a lot of people nowadays are very 'green-oriented,' and they want to know what (the museum) is doing," said Robyn Gallant, Director of Marketing.
The museum actually has a built-in advantage to saving energy: in keeping with maritime traditions that were in place the historic ships were built, the staff relies on manpower to keep the fleet in shipshape.
"We use very little energy around here," Gallant said. "We do as much as we can by hand. Our volunteers refurbish and maintain the Star of India using authentic methods of restoration."
Recently, the museum has been replacing florescent and standard light bulbs with energy-efficient and energy-saving alternatives, such as compact fluorescent lights, which can last up to 15 times longer and use three to four times less energy than equivalent incandescent lamps.
"Joining the Green Business Network we can gain advice from industry experts to help us steer our environmental practices," Gallant said. "We look forward to collaborating with all of the member tenants."
The Port of San Diego's Green Business Network evolved from the Port's 2011 Green Business Challenge. During the Challenge, SDG&E provided participating tenants with more than $134,000 in rebates and incentives that helped pay for upgrades such as lighting retrofits and heating and air conditioning tune-ups. The energy these businesses saved is about enough energy to power 70 homes for a year, which translates into almost $200,000 in annual savings.
The Port of San Diego is the fourth largest of the 11 ports in California. It was created by the state legislature in 1962. Since then, it has invested millions of dollars in public improvements in its five member cities – Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City and San Diego.
The port oversees two maritime cargo terminals, two cruise ship terminals, 17 public parks, the Harbor Police Department and the leases of more than 600 tenant and sub tenant businesses around San Diego Bay.
The Port of San Diego is an economic engine, an environmental steward of San Diego Bay and the surrounding tidelands, and a provider of community services and public safety.