February, 2019 – Volume 12, Issue 2
How future factories will change manufacturing and supply chains
Green pinstripes: Yankees hire environmental scientist
Displaced coal workers follow in tradition of Appalachian apiculture
GreenBiz: Reuse makes a comeback
GreenBiz 19 Conference
Energy Efficiency for Agriculture-Related Business
Plastics Recycling 2019
7th Responsible Business Summit New York 2019
Building for Resiliency and Mitigation in Kentucky Workshop
ENERGY STAR – Best Practices for Benchmarking your Building
KFC commits to sustainable packaging globally
The chain plans to make all plastic consumer packaging recoverable or reusable by 2025.
KFC has recently announced a new global sustainability commitment that all plastic-based, consumer-facing packaging will be recoverable or reusable by 2025. KFC says the goal supports its long-term plan to implement a more sustainable packaging strategy in its restaurants – by both developing and using sustainable packaging options – and builds on progress already made in some markets to eliminate plastic packaging items.
“As a global brand that operates more than 22,000 restaurants in over 135 countries, KFC is in a position to have a real impact on how the industry approaches waste and packaging management overall,” says Tony Lowings, the chief executive officer of KFC. “With environmental sustainability as a core aspect of how we do business, this commitment represents a public acknowledgment of the obligation we have to address these serious issues.”
To meet its goals, KFC has developed a roadmap that includes partnering with major suppliers and franchisees globally to identify plastic alternatives in each market. The restaurant chain is working on several key initiatives related to achieving these goals, including conducting an audit of current systems with franchisees to identify plastic waste reduction opportunities; partnering with suppliers to identify sustainable packaging alternatives for items like straws, plastic bags, cutlery and lids; and setting market-specific goals to reduce, reuse and recycle. KFC will support franchisees to define and implement their own sustainability agenda to address the unique needs of local markets and customers. Global markets will also continue to have their own additional local sustainability goals that vary based on local market conditions and regulations.
Somerset vineyard first in Kentucky to produce solar-powered wine
SOMERSET, Ky. — Cedar Creek Vineyards, which installed solar panels a little more than two years ago, is now selling wine powered by solar. It is believed to be the first winery in Kentucky to be solar-powered.
“We are committed to reducing our impact on the environment, both in our personal lives and with our business,” said Jeff Wiles, a lifelong Pulaski County resident who owns and operates the vineyards. “We utilize solar power to heat water, run pumps and for lighting in the winery and tasting room. Our house is also powered by the solar panels.”
Solar Energy Solutions of Lexington installed the solar array, which provides a total of 8,400 watts of power.
“Farms are a great candidate for solar panels,” said Steve Ricketts, co-owner of Solar Energy Solutions. “These small businesses can save on their monthly utility bills, which allows them to reinvest in their farm. There is a misconception that solar is out of reach for some, but with its price dropping more than 70 percent in the past 5 years, the initial investment pays for itself in less than one-third of the lifespan of the solar panels.”
Other sustainability practices of the Cedar Creek Vineyards include composting, collecting rain water, transitioning to an edible landscape and native grasses, and keeping bees to produce honey and increase pollination.
Ribbon cutting marks completion of first HBEER home
A ribbon cutting was held for the first prototype from the University of Kentucky’s Houseboat to Energy Efficient Residences (HBEER) initiative with local, state and federal dignitaries on January 27 in an established residential area near downtown Monticello, Ky.
HBEER is a partnership between the UK College of Design, the Center for Applied Energy Research at UK, the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation (KHIC) and the Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC).
The multi-year project was initiated in the fall of 2009 and directly responds to the impact the current economic downturn has had on the houseboat manufacturing industry in the Commonwealth. More than 50 students and faculty at the college’s School of Architecture were responsible for researching and developing initial models of energy-efficient, affordable housing that could be produced by the region’s houseboat manufacturers.
Today, HBEER is creating green jobs and bringing back to work some of the 575 skilled workers and 1,000 related jobs that were lost in the houseboat manufacturing and marine industries due to the economy.
“This project meets a multitude of needs in our region, by putting families back to work, providing energy-efficient housing, increasing the demand for Kentucky-made products, and creating a hands-on learning experience in the classroom,” Congressman Hal Rogers said. “Additionally, it highlights the great success we can achieve when partners join resources for the benefit of families across the state.”
A potential buyer has nearly completed the steps to qualify for affordable, permanent financing. In this applicant driven process, the home may be occupied as soon as the financing is arranged.
“The opportunities are endless for creating safe, energy-efficient, affordable homes while adding good-paying jobs to the local economy and promoting Kentucky products,” said KHIC President and CEO Jerry Rickett. “We are proud to be partners with the University of Kentucky and local employers to make this vision a reality.”
“The transfer of knowledge and expertise gained during the HBEER project traces the path of an arc leading directly from design research conducted at the University of Kentucky to design products meant to address important energy and economic needs of communities in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and beyond,” said UK College of Design Dean Michael Speaks.
How Future Factories Will Change Manufacturing and Supply Chains
The Fourth Industrial Revolution provides us a massive opportunity, a chance to redesign supply chains so they never sleep.
We’re witnessing a transformation of manufacturing supply chains that’s ushering in the fourth modality of logistics.
To ground, air and ocean, we can now add digital. The move to the digital supply chain — the power source for Industry 4.0 — creates multiple opportunities for every company in every industry.
“The move to the digital supply chain creates multiple opportunities for every company in every industry.”
But every revolution needs exemplars to help lead the way, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies present us with a massive opportunity — a chance to redesign supply chains so they are no longer constrained by the physical limitations of transportation and logistics.
Imagine a day when the supply chain never sleeps.
The transformation of manufacturing
That’s the message I shared at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, where I participated in the Future Factories 4.0 discussion with fellow executives from Groupe Renault, Tata Group, Robert Bosch and other leading companies.
The group explored how the future of factories will influence business strategy and overhaul global supply chains to fuel the on-demand economy.
We’ll always need to move goods from Point A to Point B. But how we’ll move goods through integrated networks will transform not just the world of logistics but the nature of manufacturing itself.
Large inventories and slow-moving pallets of goods will become a distant memory. Manufacturers will build that spare airplane part on demand, for example, tailoring it to the customer’s exact demands, and we’ll ship it out — all within hours.
You’ll see more products driven by customers’ individual needs and specifications produced in a customer-driven factory, not a product-driven factory. In corresponding fashion, digital supply chains powered by advanced technologies — including IoT, AI and machine learning — will bring greater visibility, control and reliability to the manufacturers that invest in them.
These factories will be more predictive, more autonomous and more efficient. As “what’s possible” changes in manufacturing, everything changes in the supply chain downstream as well.
In this way, the digital supply chain accrues power to the companies that control the information, not the assets. It becomes the digital and physical thread connecting products from birth to death — and then to a new life through recycling.
Here’s the key point: It’s not just about efficiency. It’s about tapping into new business models, using Industry 4.0 technologies to create fundamentally better solutions for people around the world.
Making a better world
For instance, a number of leading-edge companies are using the 3D-printing capabilities of Fast Radius at UPS’s global air hub in Louisville, Kentucky, to offer greater product customization and shorter lead times.
Fast Radius can 3D print parts on site at UPS’s global air hub.
But the virtual inventory solution we’re offering with Fast Radius isn’t just about a new need — for example, the need for a replacement part. It’s about how that need is satisfied.
If you can print the part on-demand regionally or locally, it’s a fundamentally better business model. Manufacturing doesn’t happen until it’s needed — saving energy, materials and time.
Goods aren’t shipped until they’re needed — reducing transportation and warehousing costs, not to mention cutting down on greenhouse gases and product obsolescence.
There are also societal benefits. Some countries today are virtually locked out of manufacturing, a key driver of prosperity. But when a democratized, distributed manufacturing economy becomes democratized and distributed, then local and regional players are better able to compete against the “mass production” business model of the last century.
In terms of collaboration, public-private partnerships offer great opportunities to accelerate adoption of additive manufacturing and other Industry 4.0 technologies. A great example is the recently announced Singapore Centre for 3D Printing, which will pair the academic community with private companies on long-term research projects.
Another area ripe for collaboration is the reskilling of the labor force. Siloed efforts will not bring about change at the speed required. Universities, governments and companies must work together to accelerate learning.
Green pinstripes: Yankees hire environmental scientist
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Yankees are going green, hiring an environmental science adviser.
The team said Tuesday that Allen Hershkowitz will focus on energy use, waste management, water conservation and food services at Yankee Stadium.
Hershkowitz has a Ph.D. in political economics, specializing in energy resources economics, from the City University of New York Graduate School. He has been a senior scientist for 26 years at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Hershkowitz is chairman and founding director of Sport and Sustainability International, a group that uses the reach of to protect the environment. He is co-founder and past president of the Green Sports Alliance, an organization founded by pro teams in the Northwest to promote sustainable communities.
Displaced Coal Workers Follow In Tradition of Appalachian Apiculture
No one expects sustainable energy and lifestyle businesses to completely replace the fossil fuel jobs that have been lost. But advocates in both areas are hoping that sustainability career paths can assist displaced workers and the next generation to find satisfying employment and create more diversified, robust local economies. Sustainable businesses with an emphasis on small, locally-based options keep the wealth created by local labor circulating in the community.
Jobs are blossoming in sustainable energy, transportation, and energy efficiency. We’re seeing opportunities in retrofitting, mass transit, safe bike and pedestrian traffic, regional food systems based on sustainable organic agriculture, clean manufacturing, infrastructure, and public services — education, youth programs, child care, senior care. The future as forecast by the Green Party in the run-up to the 2016 US election is already emerging around us today. Money from fossil fuels and other dead-end industries is being steadily directed toward research in wind, solar, and geothermal as well as wave and tidal power. We’re seeing investments in sustainable, non-toxic materials, closed-loop cycles that eliminate waste and pollution, organic agriculture, permaculture, and sustainable forestry.
Let’s zoom in on the buzz (pun intended) of one such career shift and how it’s rejuvenating entire communities through workforce development programs and associated economic opportunities. It’s fun to see the enthusiasm of these retrained workers.
It’s All about the Bees: Displaced Workers Find Jobs within an Appalachian Tradition in Oil and Honey, Bill McKibben uses the metaphor of the hard work and determination it takes to raise local Vermont bees free of chemicals to describe the arduous but possible journey of active resistance to the fossil fuel industry. Instead of a “continent currently baking — a continent that feels like a giant never-ending disaster film,” local beekeeping “is the closest thing to a sweet spot” (p. 169). To McKibben, beekeeping resides in the proverbial “land of milk and honey” (p. 52) — closely related, revelatory, and a bit romantic.
In an interview with NPR, James Scyphers talked about his family’s 3-generation legacy of mining coal in West Virginia. “These were the best jobs in the area; we depended on ’em,” he recalled of his own 20-year coal mining career. As the mining jobs declined from 132,000 in 1990 to 53,000 in 2018, Scyphers found himself without work and turning to construction and odd jobs to make ends meet. West Virginia has the lowest labor-force participation rate in the nation.
Enter the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective. Scyphers started with the group by building hives and tending bees. “Beekeeping is hands-on work, like mining, and requires on-the-job training,” Scyphers explained. “You need a good work ethic for both. I wish this group had been here 30 years ago. Our region needs it.”
Appalachian Headwaters operates the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective, continuing a long-standing tradition of Appalachian apiculture. The program originally began as an effort to ensure there were enough pollinators necessary to help mined land restoration projects succeed — the undertold story of restoring ecosystems damaged by mining in central Appalachia. It quickly evolved into a workforce development program as Appalachian Headwaters realized the significant economic opportunities offered by beekeeping.
They say the Beekeeping Collective has the potential to bring millions of dollars into the region, offering job options and supplemental incomes for hundreds of people.
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 Joel Makower:
Reuse makes a comeback
It’s an environmental mantra most school kids — and many of their parents — can recite, a pledge of allegiance to an age of limited resources. Most of the attention goes to the first and last of the Three R’s — reduce and recycle — but hardly any to the concept of reuse. To the extent it has, the focus has been on giving a second life to used packaging (such as bags and bottles) and apparel — and maybe to donating or selling unwanted stuff.
That’s a start, but just a taste of what’s possible.
The rise of the circular economy, where resources flow continuously and safely, has jumpstarted a nearly moribund culture of reuse. A new generation of materials, products and services is coming, reviving business models that would be instantly recognizable to our parents and grandparents, albeit with a distinctly 21st-century overlay.
Consider Loop, a service launched at the 2019 World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, Switzerland. It involves a collaboration among more than a dozen global brands, including Clorox, Coca-Cola, Mars, Mondelez, Nestle, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and UPS. Loop, managed and owned by TerraCycle — which made its name by finding creative uses for hard-to-recycle materials, from juice boxes to cigarette filters — describes itself as “a global platform that enables consumer product companies and retailers to shift from a disposable to a durable supply chain.”
Translation: Welcome back to the “milkman model.”
Those of a certain age will recall a time when local dairies would deliver bottles of milk to consumers’ doorsteps and, at the same time, pick up empty bottles to be cleaned and refilled. Loop, rolling out first in Paris and New York, put that model on steroids, offering hundreds of refillable products. That required creating innovative new packaging, designed for 100-use cycles, some digitally enabled, which can be returned and reused. Many offer benefits beyond durability. The Ben & Jerry’s ice cream container, for example, will keep your Cherry Garcia colder longer than a typical disposable container. Empties can be left for pickup or returned to retail stores.
Such services are just the beginning of the resurgence of reuse. Another is the renaissance of the fix-it culture, where worn or broken goods, from sweaters to smartphones, are repaired or upgraded rather than disposed of. Leading the movement is the Repair Café, a concept born a decade ago in Amsterdam, now numbering more than 1,500 outlets worldwide. Each features tools and materials to help individuals repair or refurbish clothes, furniture, appliances, bicycles, crockery, toys and whatever else needs a little TLC. Onsite specialists — electricians, seamstresses, carpenters, mechanics and more — are available. The idea is to do it yourself, get help when needed or help others when you can.
The fix-it movement — a subset of the maker movement, which comprises a vast army of individual inventors, designers and tinkerers — is still nascent. But as a new generation of do-it-yourselfers enters the time of life when people traditionally acquire homes, cars, furniture, appliances, baby toys and many other things, fixing what’s broken could become second nature. So could an ethic of avoiding nonrepairable goods and shunning companies stuck in the world of cheap, disposable products.
A handful of political leaders is seeing social value in this, particularly in Europe. Sweden offers tax breaks on repairs to clothes, bicycles, refrigerators and washing machines, an effort to counter its throwaway consumer culture. In Ireland, a new focus on reuse has captured the imagination of consumers keen to do their bit to reduce carbon emissions and prevent waste. In Scotland, a furniture reuse firm has drawn praise for bringing the benefits of reuse and repair to housing associations and landlords.
And then there’s “recommerce,” another emerging concept in the culture of reuse, where consumers can trade in used goods to consumer brands, which then refurbish and resell them. The idea has found a good fit in the apparel sector as a means to combat some of the industry’s rampant waste: an estimated 92 million tons of textile waste annually from the global fashion industry, projected to increase by about 60 percent between 2015 and 2030, according to the 2017 Pulse of the Fashion Industry report.
Find the latest articles, videos and resources on the GreenBiz website.
Upcoming Training, Events and Conferences
- GreenBiz 19 Conference
The premier annual event for sustainable business leaders. Join more than 1,200 of the world’s brightest thinkers and most influential sustainability leaders for an unparalleled look into the pressing challenges, emerging trends and biggest opportunities in sustainable business today.
February 26-28, 2019 – Phoenix, AZ
Find out more about the GreenBiz 19 Conference and register today.
- Energy Efficiency for Agriculture-Related Business
If you are an agricultural producer or farmer who wants to improve your energy efficiency and profitability – critical components for keeping your business competitive in today’s environment – this webinar is for you.
February 28 at 12:00 p.m. – Webinar
Register for this webinar provided by PennTAP.
- Plastics Recycling 2019
Plastics Recycling 2019 is the focal point for the increasingly complex and international plastics recycling industry. The event, now in its 14th year, brings together plastics reclaimers, equipment manufacturers, brand owners, brokers, government officials and leading sustainability voices from around the globe to deepen connections and push the sector forward. Don’t miss out on the industry event of the year.
March 11-13, 2019 – National Harbor, MD
Find out more about why you should attend and how to register for this conference.
- 7th Responsible Business Summit New York 2019
The 7th Annual Responsible Business Summit New York is North America’s premier event focused on providing practical solutions and ideas to help accelerate action on key social and environmental challenges. We will bring together 500+ CEOs, business leaders, Investors, Government representatives and NGOs to address the core challenges and understand the latest technologies that are shaping the future of responsible business.
March 18-19, 2019 – New York, NY
Find out more about this summit and how to register.
- Building for Resiliency and Mitigation in Kentucky Workshop
The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet has assembled national, state and local industry leaders to address how intentional design of our buildings, landscapes, communities and regions can reduce human and financial consequences of future catastrophic events. The Office of Energy Policy is hosting the Building for Resiliency and Mitigation in Kentucky Workshop free of charge through support of a federal State Energy Program grant.
March 20, 2019 – Bowling Green, KY
Register for this workshop.
EPA ENERGY STAR webinars:
- Best Practices for Benchmarking your Building
Whether you’re new to benchmarking your energy use in Portfolio Manager or a seasoned user, join us to learn basic best practices and some lesser known methods to benchmark and obtain an accurate score. We’ll cover topics such as what to exclude from your property, applying Data Center Energy Estimates, and what to include in your property description. During this session, attendees will learn helpful tips to help avoid common benchmarking pitfalls that may delay the process of earning ENERGY STAR certification.
February 27 at 1:00 p.m. EST
To view these and other sustainability-related events, please visit the KPPC Events Calendar.