December, 2017 – Volume 10, Issue 12
– KPPC offices closed for the holidays
– BOC call for instructors
– Register for the Kilowatt Crackdown
– UPS ramps up use of renewable natural gas
– Duke Energy joins sustainability reporting initiative
– Closed Loop Fund releases impact report
– GreenBiz: Rethinking paper and sustainable printing
Louisville claims big cut in pollution
Santa won’t need to deliver coal to Louisville’s Christmas stocking this month based on a new report that shows the city has sharply reduced the kind of pollution blamed for causing global warming.
Or at least not as much.
The study contains good news – a decline of Louisville’s main heat-trapping emissions of 16.9 percent between 2010 and 2016. LG&E’s conversion of its Cane Run power plant from coal, a high carbon fuel, to cleaner-burning natural gas, drove the change.
Mayor Greg Fischer announced the findings at Oxmoor Center, which unveiled Monday, December 11th, an installation of more than 2,300 solar panels – enough to provide more than 40 percent of the Shelbyville Road mall’s electricity demand or about the same as 80 area homes.
Authorities said the new solar array is the largest in Louisville and the largest of any at a retail business in Kentucky.
But Monday’s celebration could be relatively short-lived. As we grow, our heat-trapping emissions could increase by the same amount they have slid since 2010, assuming our energy mix stays the same – one dominated by fossil fuels, according to the report.
Fischer said the reduction came even as the local economy grew. Louisville, like many other cities, is taking threats from climate change seriously, even as the Trump administration pulls back, he added.
“If we can’t get it done at the federal level, we can get it done at the local level,” he said, adding: “We all know we have plenty of work to do.”
The mayor also praised the mall’s managers. “Good businesses are environmentally responsible,” Fischer said.
Their solar system cost $1.1 million and will pay for itself in about eight years, said Brian Montague, a vice president with GGP, the company that owns the mall. Kendall Merrick, the mall’s general manager, said the investment was part of GPP’s corporate environmental sustainability program.
She said the company had “essentially taken” half the shopping center “off the grid.”
KSMI Training Series continues with sustainable manufacturing workshop
The Kentucky Sustainable Manufacturing Initiative (KSMI) Training Series began in November with the first in a series of three sustainable manufacturing workshops that was held on November 16, 2017 at GE Appliance Park in Louisville, Kentucky.
The workshop addressed key environmental challenges facing Kentucky manufacturers and focused on how to extend lean manufacturing practices to incorporate sustainability measures and better evaluate the current state of environmental and business performance.
They engaged in working sessions to develop sustainable value stream maps (Sus-VSM) and participated in a discussion about the business case for sustainability.
The discussion identified a list of potential barriers to implementing sustainable manufacturing. The group also addressed how evaluating product design, sales and marketing functions that consider sustainability could provide opportunities that create a business advantage.
The business case for sustainable manufacturing was a significant theme of the workshop.
A presentation and tour of sustainable manufacturing practices at the GE Appliance Park facility was included.
Engineering research ongoing at the J.B. School of Engineering at the University of Louisville was also highlighted with a poster presentation showcase.
Participant feedback indicated that the workshop provided a clearer understanding of how to approach a sustainable manufacturing strategy and that developing sustainable value stream maps will help them identify opportunities to consider.
The KSMI Training Series continues in January and February of 2018 with two additional webinar and workshop modules that will address envisioning a future state with a product life cycle perspective and creating a culture for moving forward with sustainable manufacturing.
Cornell researchers to study reducing pollution impact with trees in Kentucky
Part of a UofL School of Medicine managed research project
Cornell engineering students are creating a state-of-the-art computer model to strategically place trees on highways near residential areas to mitigate pollution particles and improve human health.
Doctoral candidates Khaled Hashad and Bo Yang, and undergraduate researcher Dan Shaw ’18 – all working in the Energy and the Environment Research Laboratory of Max Zhang, professor of mechanical engineering – are developing a computational fluid dynamics model for the Green Heart project, a research effort that connects a greener environment to human health. The project is managed by the University of Louisville School of Medicine and funded by the Nature Conservancy. The Cornell team is primarily supported by the National Science Foundation on science-driven green infrastructure designs.
“We will be modeling trees and other vegetation, while exploring different designs and ways to scrub the particle pollution,” said Hashad. “For the next five years, we’ll be examining the space between trees in mitigating pollution from the highway, finding the best species and assembling a model to determine which trees belong where. And then we’ll measure the model’s efficacy.”
Observational opportunity abounds in Louisville, Kentucky, as Interstate 64 slices through the city from east to west, I-65 cuts north-south and I-265 serves as a partial beltway around the city. More than 12,000 trees will be planted annually over the five-year Green Heart Project, increasing vegetation by about 30 percent by 2022, the project’s final year.
Beyond Louisville, other cities and towns may identify mitigation solutions to their local near-road air pollution problems – this contributes to sustainable community development.
KPPC offices closed for the holidays
The Shelby Campus offices of KPPC will be closed during the University of Louisville’s scheduled holiday break beginning on December 22, 2017. 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 Tuesday, January 2, 2018. Have a safe and happy holiday!
Building Operator Certification (BOC) call for instructors
KPPC and the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) have collaborated to bring the Building Operator Certification (BOC) program to the Commonwealth of Kentucky through funding provided by the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet.
Building Operator Certification (BOC) is energy efficiency training for operators of commercial buildings, offering improved job skills and more comfortable, efficient facilities. Instructors are needed to teach full day classes in their areas of expertise, using the BOC materials and curriculum provided to cover a wide range of topics.
Register for the Kilowatt Crackdown
The Louisville Energy Alliance recognizes building owners and operators that track, reduce and report their electricity and natural gas usage using Portfolio Manager. This year’s competition will recognize the best performer in 2017 and the most improved from 2015 to 2016. Awards are distributed by building type.
The Kilowatt Cup recognizes superior achievement in energy efficiency. Winners are selected based on achievements in energy management, obstacles overcome and energy efficiency practices. Applicants may submit more than one building. The application includes a 500-word narrative and energy usage tracked in Portfolio Manager. Applications are due January 19, 2017.
All awards are hand made by local artist, Devin French.
UPS ramps up use of renewable natural gas (RNG) to deliver on 2025 sustainability goals
UPS is ramping up its use of renewable natural gas (RNG), signing a new agreement with Big Ox Energy, a subsidiary of Environmental Energy Capital (LLC), to purchase 10 million gallon equivalents of RNG per year until 2024 — the largest investment in RNG to date for the company. Compared to convention diesel, RNG yields up to a 90 percent reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions.
Earlier this year, UPS signed a five-year agreement with AMP energy for 1.5 million gallon equivalents of RNG per year from the Fair Oaks dairy farm in Indiana. The RNG agreements will help UPS reach its goal of fueling 40 percent of its ground transportation fleet from sources other than conventional gasoline and diesel by 2025.
“Natural gas is a proven alternative fuel to gasoline and diesel and is a key building block for our goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our ground fleet,” said Mike Casteel, Director of Fleet Procurement at UPS. “These agreements add significantly to our investment in the use of RNG and will help put us on track to nearly triple our annual use of RNG. They are also a direct reflection of our ongoing commitment to help shape the renewable natural gas industry.”
Also known as biomethane, RNG can be derived from many abundant and renewable resources, including decomposing organic waste in landfills, wastewater treatment and agriculture. It is then distributed through the natural gas pipeline system, making it available for use as liquefied natural gas (LNG) or compressed natural gas (CNG).
UPS fueling stations in Lexington, Ky.; Louisville, Ky.; New Stanton, Penn.; Richmond, Va.; Roanoke, Va.; West Columbia, S.C.; Horsham, Pa. and Doraville, Ga. will use Big Ox RNG to fuel UPS delivery vehicles and tractors.
Read the full article on the Sustainable Brands website.
Duke Energy joins industry initiative to enhance sustainability reporting for investors
Duke Energy, an industry leader in transparent environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting, is now helping pilot an innovative industry-wide approach to better communicate progress on ESG and sustainability issues.
The new reporting template was developed as part of an ongoing initiative by Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and its member companies to help provide investors with more uniformity and better consistency for ESG/sustainability metrics.
“Duke Energy has a long-standing track record of providing comprehensive information about our ESG activities to investors, customers and other stakeholders,” said Mike Callahan, Duke Energy’s vice president of investor relations. “Sustainable investing is gaining momentum and we want to make it even easier for investors to incorporate ESG considerations into their investing strategies.”
Duke Energy is executing a strategy to deliver a cleaner, more sustainable energy future for customers. The company’s ESG/sustainability efforts earned it a place on the Dow Jones Sustainability North American Index for the 12th consecutive year in 2017.
Duke Energy’s pilot ESG/sustainability template is available at duke-energy.com/investors.
Closed Loop Fund releases impact report
First public report reveals key insights on how to ensure a robust recycling system and circular economy.
Closed Loop Fund, an investment fund that finances recycling infrastructure and sustainable manufacturing technologies to advance the circular economy, has released its first public progress “Impact Report.”
Details from the report reveal investment opportunities in the recycling industry that deliver environmental and financial returns for cities, companies and private investors, despite the headwinds of low commodities prices.
In addition, the report unveils a new umbrella, called Closed Loop Partners, that includes Closed Loop Fund; Closed Loop Ventures, a venture fund that invests in sustainable consumer goods, advance recycling technologies and services related to the circular economy; and Closed Loop Foundation, which funds research and development of technologies and business models focused on building the circular economy.
Closed Loop Partners, according to the impact report, is an investment firm using venture capital and project finance, through the Closed Loop Fund, to commercialize and scale solutions for the circular economy.
See What’s New at ESRC
The Environmental Sustainability Resource Center (ESRC) is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource 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. 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 and 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.
Currently on the GreenBiz website by Sarah Murphy:
Rethinking paper and sustainable printing
It may be time for you to let go of your printer anxiety. If you are mindful of your environmental impact, you’ve likely fretted over whether your document was really worth printing, all the while wishing you could take your eyes off the screen for a while and read some actual paper. Your conflicting objectives need no longer be incompatible.
Rolland Paper is rethinking the intersection between paper and sustainability. The company, which produces primarily recycled paper, recognizes that it’s unrealistic to think the modern business world ever will be entirely paperless, so it wants us to focus instead on production, consumption and the supply chain connecting all stakeholders, which can lead to a more sustainable society.
“Rolland is the only paper mill to actually use biogas to power our company,” explained Michele Bartolini, marketing director, North America. “Ninety-three percent of our energy is thermal instead of using traditional combustible fuels.” The company’s carbon footprint is at an industry low.
Rolland started making recycled paper in 1989, at the forefront of the industry. In 2004, the company invested a lot of money in creating alternative manufacturing pathways. Rolland is in St. Jerome, Canada, 8 miles away from a garbage dump. One day, a Rolland engineer had an idea. He saw a TV program on alternative energy and wondered about the dump so close by. He proposed that Rolland work with its local gas provider to use biogas — or, affectionately, “garbage gas” — to fuel the paper plant. The company made his idea a reality, and now it is displacing carbon-intensive virgin fibers and fossil fuels with its production approach.
The biogas plant emerged as a creative way to reduce Rolland’s CO2 footprint by 70,000 tons, or the equivalent of taking 23,400 compact cars off the road for one year (and why they call it their best kept secret).
Rolland has conducted two full life-cycle analysis assessments of its recycled paper products and published the full results on its website.
Find the latest articles, videos and resources on the GreenBiz website.
Upcoming Training, Events and Conferences
- Solar Panel Stewardship: the Future is Now
In this webinar, speakers from Washington State and the solar panel industry will discuss the environmental and economic problems with post-consumer solar panels, Washington’s law, and how others can take the lead in properly managing these products when consumers are done with them.
January 4 at 1 p.m. EST
Register for this free webinar.
- Relaunching the Pollution Prevention Options Assessment System (P2OASys) Tool for TUR Planners
TURI developed the Pollution Prevention Options Assessment System (P2OASys) tool to help companies determine whether the toxics use reduction (TUR) options they are considering improve upon their existing process when looking at environmental, health and safety topics. By using P2OASys, unforeseen negative environmental, worker or public health impacts may be identified prior to adopting the proposed changes.
January 8 at 12 p.m. EST
Register for this informative webinar.
- KSMI Webinar 2 – Life Cycle Perspective (LCP)
This webinar will present a practical approach to “thinking” about product life cycles, as is included in the new ISO 14001:2015 standard, in order to address environmental issues and sustainability from a systems, or life cycle perspective.
January 11 at 11 a.m. EST
Register for this sustainable manufacturing webinar.
- DCA Annual Compliance Reporting Workshop
The Division of Compliance Assistance (DCA) is presenting an educational opportunity to offer guidance on annual compliance certifications (ACCs) and semiannual monitoring reports (SAMRs) with the Annual Compliance Reporting Workshop.
January 11 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. EST – Frankfort, KY
For more information and to register for this workshop visit the DCA event page.
- KSMI Workshop 2 – Envisioning the Future State
The workshop will discuss ways in which the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) can be accessed and made useful to manufacturers. Participants will also learn how to incorporate a life cycle perspective in their ISO 14001:2015 environmental management system. Sessions will follow on innovation and practical approaches to incorporating sustainability in new product development, which will be a significant emphasis of this workshop.
January 25 – GE FirstBuild, Louisville, KY
Register for this sustainable manufacturing workshop.
- EPA National Stormwater Calculator Update
EPA’s Safe and Sustainable Water Resources research program provides the science and innovative technologies that the Agency and the nation need to maintain drinking water resources and systems, as well as to protect the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the nation’s waters. It uses an integrated, systems approach to support the availability of the clean, adequate, and equitable water supplies necessary for human well-being and resilient aquatic ecosystems.
January 31 at 2 p.m. EST
Register for this webinar.
EPA ENERGY STAR webinars:
- ENERGY STAR and Green Building Rating Systems
During this session, attendees will learn how to use EPA tools and resources to help meet requirements for green building rating systems such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the Green Globes system, IREM Certified Sustainable Properties, and BOMA BEST.
January 23 at 1 p.m. EST
Portfolio Manager Series
- 101 – January 4 at 1 p.m. EST – Attendees will learn how to: navigate the Portfolio Manager; add a property and enter details about it; enter energy and water consumption data; share properties; generate performance reports to assess progress; and respond to data requests.
- 201 – January 11 at 1 p.m. EST – Learn more advanced functionalities such as: managing and tracking changes to your property uses over time; using spreadsheet templates to update property data; setting goals and targets to plan energy improvements for properties; generating and using custom reports; and using the Sustainable Buildings Checklist.
- 301 – January 18 at 1 p.m. EST – Learn about some advanced features, including: using spreadsheet upload templates to update property data; setting goals and targets to plan energy improvements for properties; creating custom reports; and using the Sustainable Buildings Checklist.
View recorded ENERGY STAR webinars at any time.
To view these and other sustainability-related events, please visit the KPPC Events Calendar.