News-Events

Archive for May, 2017

Western Kentucky University campus transforms

Western Kentucky University’s campus in Bowling Green has changed a lot over the past 10 years. The addition of more than 20 campus dining locations, a 14,0000-square-foot addition to the student fitness center and several other projects are some easily visible improvements.

But over those same 10 years perhaps the biggest improvement is something people see daily: WKU’s energy policy and infrastructure.

In 2015, the campus earned recognition as one of the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon schools for its sustainability efforts.

“We have been able to really reduce our energy consumption, starting in about 2008, from using about 15 kilowatts per hour per square foot,” said Bryan Russell, a former WKU student and current employee. “We’re now down to about 11 kilowatts per square foot in a building. At the same time we’ve actually increased our gross square footage of the university by 774,000 gross square feet.”

Russell said that’s kept WKU’s utility budget from growing at a rapid pace.

Read more about WKU’s s sustainability efforts in the Bowling Green Daily News.

 

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Bon Secours KY receives national environmental award

The Bon Secours Kentucky Health System (BSKHS) of Ashland, Kentucky, has been honored with the 2017 Emerald Award from Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in healthcare, according to the BSKHS website. The award is one of the Environmental Excellence Awards given each year to honor environmental achievements in the healthcare sector.

The Greenhealth Emerald Award recognizes healthcare facilities that are setting the standard in eliminating mercury, reducing and recycling waste, sustainable sourcing and other areas. Winning hospitals have demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainability and shown leadership in the local community and in the healthcare sector.

“We are proud to be recognized with this honor, because sustainability is at the core of our healing mission and central to protecting the health of our patients, staff and community,” said BSKHS CEO Kevin Halter. “I’d like to thank our Green Team, led by Diana Williams, in helping us achieve this award. This honor demonstrates that Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital (OLBH) and the Bon Secours Kentucky Health System continue our work while looking to a future where healthcare is focused on sustainability.”

The Practice Greenhealth awards will be presented May 18 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at the conclusion of the CleanMed Conference & Exhibition.

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Solar panels give new bourbon distillery green edge

Solar Panels photoSHELBYVILLE – Kentucky’s bourbon distilling business grew with the opening of The Bulleit Distilling Co., a $115-million facility near Shelbyville.

Owned by spirits maker Diageo, the distillery can produce up to 1.8 million proof gallons of bourbon a year. It employs 30 people full-time.

What makes the distillery, which sits on 300 acres between Shelbyville and Hatton, stand out among Kentucky’s large distilling plants is its use of solar energy.

The facility features a solar array used to power its forklifts. The array produces about 40 megawatt hours per year. The energy can go directly into the Shelby County power grid. The industrial solar panel is a first for the North American Diageo distilleries and a first for Shelby County.

“If there is excess power, it will be back on the grid. So far, there hasn’t been any excess.” said Candi Waford, manager of member services of Shelby Energy Cooperative.

Other environmentally friendly aspects of the distillery include 100 acres of land surrounding the distillery that still retains its natural landscape. The distillery also uses water from the nearby natural Guist Creek Lake, stored in a pond near the plant, and uses corn grown in Shelby County.

“Environmental conservation is a top priority at the Bulleit Distilling Co.,” said Pauline Rooney, vice president, distillation, maturation and engineering for Diageo North America in an email.

Though there are no current plans to expand the solar array, it can be increased if needed, officials said.

Since 2011, distilleries and breweries have been sharing ideas about environmental issues through the Sustainable Spirits Initiative, formed by the Kentucky Distillers Association and the Division of Compliance Assistance of the state department for Environmental Protection.

Other energy-saving measures include Maker’s Mark providing a natural habitat for wildlife near its distillery in Loretto and the Jim Beam facility in Boston, in Nelson County, using an electric demand system to cut their electric bill.

Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, said the Bulleit distillery innovations are the latest in a pattern of environmentally conscious decisions.

Read the full article by the Lexington Herald-Leader.

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Don’t miss the 2017 KAM Conference & Trade Show

SSP-jpeg-KAMlogoRegistration is open for the 2017 KAM Conference & Trade Show. The deadline to register is May 24. The Kentucky Association of Manufacturers (KAM) is facilitating the conference, which will be held May 31 and June 1 at the Lexington Center in Lexington, Kentucky. The theme for this year’s conference is “Manufacturing Our Future.” The goal for the conference is for manufacturers to understand and leverage where they are now to influence manufacturing’s future. Trade show and sponsorship registrations must be received by close of business on May 10 to ensure inclusion in all event materials.

The conference offers a full agenda of relevant information from renowned speakers, including Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, who will speak about his new position in Washington, D.C., and his perspectives about energy and the environment. The conference will have 11 sessions over two days, and will include an industry trade show.

Additionally, the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center (KPPC) will have a booth at the conference. KPPC helps Kentucky businesses and industries develop environmentally sustainable, cost-saving solutions for improved energy efficiency.

KAM invites manufacturers, suppliers, legislators, educators, policy makers, large energy consumers and key decision makers to join them at the conference for focused discussion on topics such as: The pipeline of qualified and skilled talent; reliable and affordable energy now and into the future; and cybersecurity, hacking and the Internet of Things (IoT).

KAM is focused on giving manufacturers practical, relevant information that can immediately be put into practice to see positive results right away. It is also committed to ensuring Kentucky has a manufacturing-friendly environment now and into the future.

Learn more about the 2017 KAM Conference & Trade Show and register to attend.

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Governor’s Conference on Energy & the Environment set for Oct. 19-20

SSP-jpeg-Gov-Conf-logoThe Energy and Environment Cabinet will hold its 41st yearly conference examining contemporary issues regarding energy and our environment. The conference will be held at the Lexington Convention Center in Lexington, Kentucky.

Last year’s conference was full of sessions covering corporate sustainability initiatives, renewable energy, energy efficiency, today’s utility landscape and environmental policies.

For more information please check the 2017 conference website periodically.

Links to last year’s presentations are featured on the conference website.

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