SSP December 2015

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EPA Releases Sustainable Materials Strategic Plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a strategic plan outlining its areas of focus for recycling, source reduction and environmentally minded materials usage.

The EPA document, which has been posted on the website of the SSP-jpeg-LifeCycle-logoNational Recycling Coalition, covers the federal agency’s aspirations for sustainable materials management for fiscal years 2017 through 2022.

The concept of sustainable materials management (SMM), described by the EPA as “a systemic approach to using and reusing materials more productively over their entire life cycles,” has in recent years taken a more central role in the EPA’s research and reporting on national waste management issues. This year, for instance, the agency changed the name of its annual report on recycling and disposal data to “Advancing Materials Management.”

The five-year strategic plan lays out four SMM objectives: decrease the overall amount of materials disposed, reduce materials’ environmental impacts (such as greenhouse gas emissions) throughout the material life cycles, increase socio-economic benefits and increase SMM program capabilities at the state and local level.

The first focus area is characterized as the “built environment” and includes construction and demolition (C&D) materials as well as disaster debris and architectural planning. The second focus area is sustainable food management, a realm in which the agency has been particularly active of late. The third area outlined is sustainable packaging – in discussing this point, the report notes a number of anticipated outcomes by 2022.

The EPA’s Strategic Plan document is available to view or download as a pdf.

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USDA Approves Funding for Critical Wetlands in Western Kentucky

In October, United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack approved a grant of $9.4 million to protect, restore and enhance critical wetlands on private lands in the Obion Creek, Bayou du Chien and Mayfield Creek Watersheds which cover 965 square miles and include parts of Ballard, McCracken, Calloway, Hickman, Fulton, Carlisle and Graves counties in Kentucky. Funding will be provided through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP), a special enrollment program administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

SSP-jpeg-WetlandsUnder WREP, states, local units of governments, non-governmental organizations and American Indian tribes collaborate with USDA through cooperative and partnership agreements. These partners work with private landowners who voluntarily enroll eligible land into wetland reserve easements, producing benefits such as the enhancement and protection of habitat for wildlife, reduced impacts from flooding, improved drinking water quality and better groundwater recharge.

Read the article at the Nature Conservancy’s website.

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Going Green in the Bluegrass

From Public News Service – KY
A clean-energy economy will benefit the environment and the walletsSolar Panels photo of Kentuckians, according to a new report from NextGen Climate America, a nonpartisan group aiming to advance low-carbon energy solutions.

Nationwide, the study says, an economy built on clean energy would create more than 1 million jobs by 2030 and double that by 2050. Daniel Lashof, chief operating officer for NextGen, says its analysis indicates a win, all around.

“What we find is that a transition to clean energy will boost America’s economy, while it reduces pollution and improves public health,” says Lashof. “So, we see this as definitely a win-win.” Lashof says in Kentucky’s geographic area, the east-south central region of the U.S., clean energy could boost employment by as much as 225,000 jobs by 2050.  He says Kentucky has the ability to leverage the growth of clean energy, if the proper policies are put in place.

“In the east-south-central region of the United States, it’s actually a very strong region in the country, in terms of clean energy potential and the potential for that to boost employment particularly in construction, which sees the biggest gains,” says Lashof.

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KPPC Offices Closed for the Holidays Holly-leaves

The Shelby Campus offices of KPPC will be closed during the University of Louisville’s scheduled holiday break beginning on December 24, 2015. You can leave us a voice mail message at (502) 852-0965 or use “Contact KPPC” to send an email message.

The offices will open on Monday, January 4, 2016. Have a safe and happy holiday!


Answering the Call2Recycle

Founded in 1994, Call2Recycle—North America’s first and largest battery stewardship program—is a non-profit organization that collects and recycles batteries at no cost for municipalities, businesses and consumers. 2014 commemorated Call2Recycle’s 20th anniversary in battery collection and recycling. Since 1996, Call2Recycle has diverted more than 100 million pounds (45 million kilograms) of batteries and cellphones from the solid waste stream and established over 34,000 collection sites throughout the U.S. and Canada. It is the first program of its kind to receive the Responsible Recycling Practices Standard (R2) certification.

You can learn more about the organization and find local battery drop-off locations at the Call2Recycle website.


Turning Compost Into Cars

Toyota recently announced its intent to virtually eliminate CO2 emissions from its factories and vehicles, and it’s about to flip the switch on a very tangible example of this effort. Toyota’s Georgetown, Ky., manufacturing plant will begin generating electricity from methane, a byproduct of trash decomposition at the nearby Central Kentucky Landfill.

SSP-jpg-landfill“We will generate one megawatt per hour at the site,” said Toyota’s environmental strategies manager Dave Absher. “That’s enough annual energy generation to produce approximately 10,000 vehicles. The system can eventually be scaled up to 10 megawatts per hour.”

Toyota’s global headquarters recently announced a very aggressive goal of largely eliminating CO2 emissions from its vehicles and manufacturing plants by 2050. The launch of the Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicle this year; making its fuel cell patents available to other automakers; and developing manufacturing technologies that use hydrogen as a power source are specific initiatives mentioned within the plan. Alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and locally produced renewable energy also will be required to achieve the goal.

“The landfill gas generator represents the kind of thinking that our company is asking us to do to reduce our carbon footprint over the next 35 years,” said Kevin Butt, Toyota’s general manager for environment strategies. “It’s a small step, but a significant one. These types of changes to our manufacturing operations coupled with other global initiatives will help us reach this very aggressive goal.”

Read the article at Sustainable Cities Network.


Energy Star Benchmarking Tools

You can use Energy Star tools to benchmark energy performance, Link to External Siteregardless of facility type. Many of these tools are the industry standard and have been adopted for use by governments and leading private sector organizations.

Commercial buildings (includes institutional facilities)
For commercial buildings, there’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager. Use it to measure and track the energy use and greenhouse gas emissions of your entire portfolio of buildings and share results. You can also use it to track water consumption. Certain buildings will also receive a 1 – 100 Energy Star score.

Industrial plants
For manufacturing sites, there’s the Energy Star Energy Tracking Tool, which you can use to track the energy use of any type of facility. Energy Performance Indicators (EPIs) are also available for certain types of manufacturing facilities. Benchmark using your industry’s EPI to receive a 1 – 100 Energy Star score.

Commercial building design
For new construction, there’s Target Finder. Enter the estimated energy use of your commercial building design, and this tool will tell you its projected 1 – 100 Energy Star score. You can also pick a goal — either an Energy Star score or an energy reduction target — and it’ll tell you what annual energy use to aim for.

Check the “Upcoming Training, Events and Conferences” section below for Energy Star training opportunities.


See What’s New at ESRC

The Environmental Sustainability Resource Center (ESRC) is a member of the Pollution Prevention ESRC-Logo120x120Resource Exchange (P2Rx™), a national network of regional information centers. The objective of the ESRC is to provide technical environmental sustainability information and training to industrial service providers in EPA Regions 3 & 4. The primary service area for the ESRC is EPA Region 3 & 4. Region 3 includes Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, D.C., Delaware and Maryland. Region 4 includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. ESRC resources and staff are available to users in industry, consulting and universities. Please visit the ESRC website or call toll free (855) 531-3772 for more information.

GreenBiz – Sustainability News & Resources

GreenBiz advances the opportunities at the intersection of business, technology and sustainability. Through its websites, events, peer-to-peer network and research, GreenBiz promotes the potential to drive transformation and accelerate progress — within companies, industries and in the very nature of business. Since 1991, GreenBiz has chronicled and been a catalyst for thought leadership in aligning environmental responsibility with profitable business practices.

Find the latest articles, videos and resources on the GreenBiz website.

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Upcoming Training, Events and Conferences

• How to Apply for the Energy Star
Join this webinar to learn about applying for Energy Star Certification in Portfolio Manager. Understand the value of the Energy Star certification and see the step-by-step process of applying.
January 13 at 1:00 pm EST – Register for the Webinar

EPA Webinar: Portfolio Manager 101
Get started using EPA’s Portfolio Manager tool. An introduction and demonstration of the core functionality of the Portfolio Manager tool, including how to enter properties, enter energy and water data, share data with others, and generate performance reports.
January 26 at 1:00 pm EDT- View more training opportunities and Register for the Webinar.

• EPA Webinar: Portfolio Manager 201
Take a deeper dive into the more advanced features of Portfolio Manager, such as managing changes in property uses over time, using spreadsheet templates to quickly upload data, setting goals, and creating custom reports.
January 27 at 1:00 pm EDT – View more training opportunities and Register for the Webinar.

• EPA Webinar: Portfolio Manager 301
Take a deeper dive into the more advanced features of Portfolio Manager, such as managing changes in property uses over time, using spreadsheet templates to quickly upload data, setting goals, and creating custom reports.
January 28 at 1:00 pm EDT – View more training opportunities and Register for the Webinar.

Ca.jpg-icon-SSPTo view these and other sustainability-related events, please visit the KPPC Events Calendar.

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