Tuesday Buzz: Sunny-Side Up

How one association is turning its parking lot into an energy source. Also: The perfect time of day to go on a job interview.

If you find yourself in Carlsbad, California, anytime soon, be sure to stop in at the headquarters of the National Association of Music Merchants. You might be confronted by a really bright idea.

On Monday, the association announced that it had installed 714 solar panels at its headquarters, with the goal of reducing energy expenses and encouraging an eco-friendly office space. The setup, which is located above the parking lot of the headquarters, also offers shade to vehicles on the lot, and for employees who own electric vehicles, the solar installation can also charge the cars.

But beyond the parking lot, the installation comes with some major benefits for the association itself, in the form of cost savings. The association says the 359,453 kilowatt hours per year the installation will produce will cut the association’s operational electricity costs by more than 98 percent.

“Reducing expenses at the industry headquarters allows us to direct more resources toward achieving our vision, mission and objectives,” NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond said in a news release. “Over the next two decades this solar installation will achieve our energy reduction goals, while saving the association more than a million dollars, money that can be reinvested into promoting music and music education around the world.”

Counterprogramming of the Day

While most stores will be looking to fill up their aisles with shoppers this Black Friday, the outdoor-goods store REI will be trying the exact opposite strategy—and it may end up winning big as a result.

The company announced that it would be shutting down all 143 of its stores on Black Friday, paying its employees to instead do something outdoorsy. In other words, the company is choosing to encourage its employees to live the company’s mission rather than add to its bottom line on the day after Thanksgiving.

“We’re a different kind of company—and while the rest of the world is fighting it out in the aisles, we’ll be spending our day a little differently. We’re choosing to opt outside, and want you to come with us,” writes REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke.

Think you could pull off a trick like this within your own organization?

Other Links of Note

Want to schedule a job interview? The best possible time to do so might be on a Tuesday morning at 10:30 a.m., according to research from Glassdoor.

Pinterest is a great platform, but it’s not always the easiest for the uninitiated to understand. Fortunately, MemberClicks blogger Callie Walker has been around the block a few times, and she has some ideas on how to make Pinterest work for for your organization.

The “Yelp for humans” concept Peeple, one of the most controversial ideas for a social network in some time, isn’t coming to life in its original form. Re/Code has a roundup on the controversy that’s arisen around the unpopular startup.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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