2015 Winner: Power to the People

The greatest percentage reduction in building energy use.

Who led the charge

Steve Melink               CEO, Melink Corp.


Melink is a Licensed Professional Engineer in Ohio. He is the past president of the U.S. Green Building Council, Cincinnati Chapter, a board member of the Ohio Advanced Energy Economy, and a former board member of Green Umbrella and Green Energy Ohio. He’s committed to mainstreaming the sustainability movement through positive leadership by example.


  • Systematically assess facilities and establish accurate baselines so projects can be prioritized and progress evaluated                      
  • Offer incentives to employees and/or customers

A Net-Zero Headquarters Scores High

When Steve Melink says that his HVAC testing and balancing firm is on the fast track to sustainability, he’s not just blowing hot air. The Melink Corporation’s ten-year-old headquarters received LEED Gold NC certification upon completion. A few years later, Melink, who’s serious about practicing the conservation and renewable energy principles he preaches to customers and staff, attended a green building conference; he quickly became inspired to ratchet up his firm’s efforts and seek LEED EB Platinum certification.

Soon after, the building received that certification, along with an Energy Star 99 rating. By 2011, Melink’s headquarters became one of the first existing buildings to go to net-zero energy.

The company uses the building as a laboratory. Melink’s lab tests numerous renewable energy types, with the intent of incorporating conservation and energy efficiency into customers’ and employees’ everyday work lives, while also looking for ways to encourage sustainability. For instance, Melink invested in a fleet of hybrid cars for its technicians. 


"Serving as an example for our customers, industry, and community has been the best business decision we ever made."


It also offers incentives to encourage its staff to buy hybrid or electric cars. What’s more, employees interested in converting to solar energy at home can take advantage of a special pricing arrangement Melink has with a solar-energy components supplier.

Back at the office, a waste-conservation program educates the Melink team on best practices for composting, reuse and recycling. As a result, 90 percent of the location’s waste is repurposed. Now that’s leading by example.

close up: melink Headquarters

What did we do?
Melink’s management achieved LEED Platinum status and net-zero energy use for its headquarters.

Why we did it: 
To mainstream the sustainability movement through positive leadership.

Our Approach: 
Melink turned its headquarters into a lab, testing renewables and energy conservation; it also offers employees incentives to support sustainability at work and at home.



  • Headquarters became one of the first existing buildings to go net-zero energy (NZE)
  • Building earned the LEED Platinum EB certification as well as an Energy Star 99 rating
  • Melink is now 33rd greenest building in the world