Spotlight On: Hunter Engineering Company

Based in Bridgeton, Mo., Hunter Engineering Company is the world leader in alignment, wheel and tire service, inspection and ADAS calibration equipment. Hunter has offered 75+ years of designing and building automotive service equipment and is a certified veteran-owned business. With sustainability and environmental stewardship at the core of their culture, the company created the Hunter Green Team, which is an employee-led sustainability program that encourages team members across all sites and departments to introduce ideas to enhance sustainability, and their good work doesn’t stop there. 

Hunter is the only company in St. Louis Green Business Challenge history to successfully complete three different achievement levels in three consecutive years (2016-2018). Last year, Hunter Engineering received its third esteemed title of Challenge Champion for completing work with the Leader scorecard and committing to continued implementation of deeper sustainability strategies. 

“2022 was an exciting year of sustainability initiatives at Hunter Engineering Company, including proactive upgrades to our facilities and enhancements within our recycling program,” said Chip Hiemenz, Vice President of Hunter Engineering. “The St. Louis Green Business Challenge provides us with guidance and support to be a more sustainable company, resulting in economic, social and environmental benefits.” 

During the 2022 Challenge, Hunter Engineering replaced over 400 fluorescent, incandescent and HID lighting fixtures with high-efficiency LED fixtures, saving an average of 80 watts per fixture and amassing nearly 35,000 total watts of energy savings. The company also created HVAC schedules to reduce energy usage by 15% utilizing a programmable thermostat, added two extra electronics recycling stations, which collected 10,251 pounds of e-waste last year alone, and continued to enforce a “no-idling” policy for vehicles loading and unloading at their shipping docks to help reduce excess carbon emissions. 

To further reduce environmental impact, Hunter installed a solar energy system generating up to 1 kWh of power in their IT server room and three-layered panels in the building clerestory, doubling insulation R-value of previous panels, and also installed occupancy sensors and created lighting schedules for common areas.  

Other impressive initiatives that earned Hunter Engineering recognition in the Challenge include the construction of rainwater retention systems to mitigate hard surface run-off. In doing so, Hunter now controls peak flow rates of water which fights against property damage and helps remove pollutants. Additionally, the company converted to use of Earth Wise Kraft Napkins to replace a less sustainable alternative and implemented Green Seal certified Diversey J-Fill® Stations for dispensing chemicals. 

To learn more about the sustainable work underway by Hunter Engineering and ways your company can get involved in the St. Louis Green Business Challenge, subscribe to their weekly E-Newsletter or visit To learn more about the link between sustainability and air quality, explore our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.

Climate Change Making It Harder to Breathe and Clean Up Ozone Air Pollution

Scientific research done in recent years has added to the evidence that a changing climate is making it harder to protect human health. These health impacts are a concern for the future, but are also evident right now, as rising global temperatures and disruption of short- and long-term weather continue to play a significant role in making the number of unhealthy ozone days higher than it would otherwise be.

According to the American Lung Association’s latest “State of the Air” report, the three years covered by the report (2019-2021) ranked among the seven hottest years on record globally. High ozone days and spikes in particle pollution related to heat, drought and wildfires are putting millions at risk and adding challenges to the work that states and cities are doing across the nation to clean up air pollution. They are also increasing the severity of pollution, resulting in a sharp rise in the number of days when the air quality poses an elevated risk of negative health effects. More than 30% of the nation’s population is exposed to high levels of ozone on enough days to earn the air they breathe a failing grade.

We just have to look at air quality in recent weeks to see firsthand the impact of wildfires alone, with smoke from the Canadian wildfires causing some of the worst air quality ever in New York and other U.S. cities, and also negatively impacting the air quality right here in the St. Louis region several days this summer.

While anyone who spends time outdoors where ozone pollution levels are high may be in danger, some people face a higher-than-average risk because of their underlying health and other characteristics. These populations include pregnant people and fetuses, children, anyone 65 and older, people with existing lung diseases such as asthma and COPD, and those who work or exercise outdoors.

To help keep these individuals and other St. Louisans informed about ozone pollution levels in the region and how those levels can affect their health, the Clean Air Partnership releases color-coded, daily air quality forecasts all summer long to let area residents know what the next day’s air quality is forecast to be and if they should alter their outdoor activities to minimize exposure to polluted air. This is especially important on orange or red ozone action days, which we’ve seen an excess of this season.

For more information and a host of additional tips to beat the summer heat to help clear the air and protect human health, visit, like the Clean Air Partnership on Facebook or follow @gatewaycleanair on Twitter.

Spotlight On: Bethesda Health Group

Bethesda Health Group is a nonprofit, St. Louis-based senior living, care, and service organization providing a continuum of residential and care options for area seniors and their families for over 130 years. With an added commitment to sustainability, the company’s noteworthy green advancements are having a positive effect on the environment and helping clear the air in St. Louis region. 

Bethesda Health Group has been an active participant in the St. Louis Green Business Challenge since 2013. Last year, the Bethesda facilities team focused on continuing energy-efficient upgrades to equipment throughout the organization as a best practice for scheduled and necessary replacements. As a result, the company earned the esteemed title of Challenge Champion for completing work with the Leader scorecard and committing to continued implementation of deeper sustainability strategies.  

“Investments included hot water boilers, apartment heating and cooling equipment, window replacements, LED lighting in our apartments, and a cooling tower,” said Joseph J. Brinker, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bethesda Health Group. “I continue to be very proud that our entire organization has embraced the need for prioritizing energy efficient practices, and that we have continued to implement this strategy so effectively.” 

During the 2022 Challenge, Bethesda Health replaced over 30 HVAC units across its facilities with more energy efficient units. Additionally, the company upgraded its Delta Building Control Software so that equipment uses less energy, installed new hot water boilers with more energy efficient units at the Southgate and Meadow locations, upgraded water heaters to increase efficiency at the Orchard location, and upgraded the dining room heat pump and installed a new and more efficient cooling tower at the Barclay House location.  

Furthermore, Bethesda Health Group continued upgrades to LED lighting in apartments, coupling energy efficiency investments throughout all buildings with scheduled apartment renovations, and opted for a company-wide upgrade of holiday lights to LED lights. Doing so provides many environmental advantages since LED lights are up to 80% more energy efficient than fluorescent and incandescent lights and produce zero toxic elements. The company also continued replacement of windows and glass to use less energy for heating and cooling at their Orchard location, in addition to caulking the building exterior to reduce air infiltration. 

The Clean Air Partnership is pleased to recognize the efforts of businesses such as Bethesda Health that continue to take action for cleaner air by channeling their time and energy towards practicing sustainability. For more information on how your company can get involved in the St. Louis Green Business Challenge, subscribe to their weekly E-Newsletter or visit To learn more about the link between sustainability and air quality, explore our website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.