SSP January 2019

January, 2019 – Volume 12, Issue 1

Registration is open for the 2018 Kilowatt Crackdown Awards

Rare earth elements support renewable energy technologies

EPA honors recycling achievements in the electronics industry


Gov. Bevin makes appointments to Kentucky Boards and Commissions

Toyota and Kenworth collaborate to develop zero emission trucks

Wabash National Corp. facilities earn ISO 14001:2015 certification standard for environmental management

Loop Industries and thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions form alliance for sustainable PET recycling

GreenBiz: By the numbers: the economic, social and environmental impacts of ‘fast fashion’

Upcoming Training, Events and Conferences

GreenBiz 19 Conference

Plastics Recycling 2019

7th Responsible Business Summit New York 2019

ENERGY STAR – Best Practices for Benchmarking your Building

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Registration is open for the 2018 Kilowatt Crackdown Awards

The Louisville Energy Alliance (LEA) has opened registration for the 2018 Kilowatt Crackdown Awards.

LEA challenges building owners and operators in Jefferson County and surrounding areas to realize the benefits of energy efficiency by participating in the Louisville Kilowatt Crackdown. It’s easy — all you have to do is benchmark your facility’s energy use with Portfolio Manager (for buildings) or Energy Tracking Tool (for industrial plants), EPA’s free online benchmarking tools; make improvements over the contest period; and submit your final benchmarking score. Top honors will go to the most efficient buildings and the buildings making the greatest energy improvements, but all buildings will be recognized for participating and striving to improve Louisville’s environment.

Award Categories

Winners will be selected based on data from the final Energy Performance rating or Energy Use Intensity (EUI) metric generated by Portfolio Manager. All participants that complete the competition will be awarded certificates of participation. Award categories are:

Best Performer (based on 2018 data only) – awarded to the building or plant with the highest energy performance rating for 2017
Most Improved – awarded to the building or plant making the greatest percentage gain in energy reduction from 2017 to 2018

These categories will be awarded for each building type entered into the competition.

Visit the LEA website for more information about the Kilowatt Crackdown.

Registration for the Kilowatt Crackdown ends February 25, 2019.

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Rare earth elements support renewable energy technologies

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 14, 2019) — Sustainability and coal mining don’t typically go hand in hand, but a project at the University of Kentucky is offering an opportunity to bring the two together.

UK Center for Applied Energy ResearchAt least that is the hope of Jack Groppo and Jim Hower, researchers at the UK Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER), where they are locating and evaluating rare earth elements (REEs) found in coal and processing coal byproducts.

REEs are a series of 17 elements within the Earth’s crust. Due to their unique chemical properties, REEs are essential components of technologies spanning a range of applications, including smartphones, batteries and defense technologies.

They are also used in renewable energy technologies, like wind turbines and solar panels.

“Never in a million years saw that coming, but it’s true. It is absolutely true,” said Groppo, who is also a professor in the UK Department of Mining Engineering. “That’s where the rare earth elements are (in coal) and they need those for renewable technologies. So once again, we see that the coal is the tangible compatible partner, not only in the load distribution for generation as a fuel resource, but actually providing the raw materials to generate the technology in the first place.”

With funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Defense and National Science Foundation, the team at CAER is working with university and industry partners to retrieve these valuable chemicals from fly ash, the residual material left over after burning coal. CAER has been conducting research with fly ash since the mid-1990s, repurposing it into construction products like fast-setting concrete.

“If you can go after the REEs as a byproduct of going after something else, that makes sense. And, that’s sustainable,” Groppo said. “You extract the REEs from fly ash, give the fly ash back to us, and we will use it to make concrete. So there’s no waste from this process if we do this right.”

China currently produces the majority of the world’s REE supply, and scientists and policymakers agree the U.S. needs to find a domestic source. According to Hower, the premier domestic source is the Fire Clay coal seam in Eastern Kentucky. This fact gives Kentucky and UK even more of an opportunity to lead this endeavor.

“It’s an opportunity for growth. It’s a necessity for security,” said Hower, who is also a professor in the UK Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and is credited with the first publication that identified REEs in domestic coal. “If you’re going to have something that’s going to be very vital to all sort of industries, not just the consumer-based electronics industries, but the defense-based industries, it’s important to have some control over the means of production.”

Read the original article with video and find more information about UK’s work with REEs on the UKNOW website.

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EPA announces 2018 winners of the Sustainable Materials Management Electronics Challenge Awards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the 2018 winners of the Sustainable Materials Management Electronics Challenge Awards, which honor sustainable products and processes and the diversion of electronics from landfills.

“The participants in the Electronics Challenge saved roughly 276,000 tons of electronics from going to landfills and instead diverted it to certified recyclers,” says EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “The commitment of these companies to sustainable management of electronics proves that innovative business practices and environmental stewardship can go hand in hand.”

“We thank EPA for joining with the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)—owner and producer of the Consumer Electronics Show—to recognize the technology manufacturers and retailers making a real impact toward reducing our environmental footprint,” says CTA Vice President for Environmental Affairs and Industry Sustainability Walter Alcorn. “Each of this year’s winners exemplifies our industry’s commitment to increasing product sustainability and protecting the planet for future generations. Thanks to the leadership of these companies and others, the technology industry now uses less materials to produce tech devices than it did 20 years ago—even as the number and type of products available to consumers has significantly grown.”

EPA will hold a ceremony at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2019 to showcase the work of the winners. The winners of the 2018 Electronics Challenge Gold Tier Awards are:

Silver Tier Award winners are Best Buy and VIZIO.

EPA is also recognizing Dell, Xerox and Best Buy as the Electronics Challenge Champion Award winners for what it says are innovative processes and products that use materials in an environmentally responsible way throughout their life cycles. These companies serve as examples in demonstrating environmental, social and economic outcomes for their organizations and the public that go above and beyond the requirements of the Electronics Challenge, the agency says.

Dell is receiving the Product Award for its closed-loop gold recycling program. By creating partnerships, Dell overcame the challenge of sourcing gold for its products by reusing gold from recycled electronics in new computer motherboards. They also increased consumer awareness of the value of used electronics through “creative and impactful outreach,” EPA says.

Xerox is receiving the Non-Product Award for its takeback and recycling program in partnership with Close the Loop, Hebron, Kentucky, a recycler of toner cartridges. In 2017, the takeback program reused 725 tons of material, recycled 1,050 tons and kept all these materials out of the landfill.

Best Buy is receiving the Cutting-Edge Award for its Teen Tech Centers. In partnership with certified electronic recyclers, these centers increase science technology engineering and math (STEM) education by encouraging the exploration of technology through training in coding, digital music and film production photography, 3D design and other STEM disciplines by reusing older electronics.

EPA’s Electronics Challenge encourages electronics manufacturers, brand owners and retailers to strive to send 100 percent of the used electronics they collect from the public, businesses and within their own organizations to third-party certified electronics refurbishers and recyclers. The challenge’s goals are to:

* address the entire life cycle of electronic products;
* help ensure responsible recycling;
* increase collection of electronic equipment for reuse and recycling;
* promote data transparency; and
* conserve valuable resources and energy.

More information for consumers to find a location to donate or recycle their electronics is available at

More information on the Sustainable Materials Management Electronics Challenge and how to participate is at

View the original article on the Recycling Today website.

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Governor Bevin makes appointments to Kentucky Boards and Commissions

The governor’s office announced 10 appointments to various boards and commissions on January 14, 2019. One of those appointments was to the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center’s Board of Directors.

Patrick M. Henderson, of Irvington, KY, is a farmer. He will represent members at-large as an agricultural producer and serve for a term expiring July 15, 2021.

The Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center Board of Directors consists of ten members, seven of which are appointed by the Governor, and is charged with governing the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center.

The press release can be viewed on the website.

Toyota and Kenworth collaborate to develop zero emission trucks

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 8, 2019 — Kenworth Truck Company and Toyota Motor North America are collaborating to develop 10 zero-emission Kenworth T680s powered by Toyota hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrains. This collaboration is part of a Zero and Near-Zero Emissions Freight Facilities (ZANZEFF) grant preliminarily awarded by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), with the Port of Los Angeles as the prime applicant. The grant monies are part of a larger program that will put fuel cell electric tractors, hydrogen fueling infrastructure, and zero emissions cargo handling equipment into operation in the ports and Los Angeles basin in 2020.

The Kenworth T680s will transport cargo across the basin and to inland cities – such as Ontario and – while generating zero emissions, other than water vapor, thanks to their fully electric hydrogen fuel cell powertrain integrations co-developed by Kenworth and Toyota.

“This is an excellent opportunity for Kenworth and Toyota to work together to both explore and drive the development of advanced zero emission technologies that will play a critical role in the commercial transportation of the future,” said Mike Dozier, Kenworth general manager and PACCAR vice president.

“This is not just a science experiment; the goal is to make a difference in society. To remove pollution and improve the air quality in and around the Port of ,” said Bob Carter, executive vice president, Toyota Motor North America.

The Kenworth T680s with the Toyota hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrains combine hydrogen gas and air to produce electricity. The electricity powers electric motors to move the trucks, while also charging the lithium-ion batteries to optimize performance as needed. Sophisticated power management systems will apportion the electrical power from the fuel cells to the motors, batteries, and other components, such as electrified power steering and brake air compressors. The hydrogen fuel cell electric powered Kenworth T680s will have a range of over 300 miles under normal drayage operating conditions.

The program will also fund foundational hydrogen fuel infrastructure, including two new fueling stations that, subject to a final investment decision by Equilon Enterprises LLC (dba Shell Oil Products U.S.), will be developed through Shell Oil Products U.S., to support the operation of the fuel cell electric trucks in .

View the original article on the PRNewswire website.

Wabash National Corp. facilities earn ISO 14001:2015 certification standard for environmental management

Wabash National Corp., industrial manufacturer and producer of semi-trailers, truck bodies and liquid transportation systems, has received certification to the new ISO 14001:2015 standard from the prior ISO 14001:2004 standard at five manufacturing operations. The ISO 14001:2015 standard provides organizations with the elements of an effective environmental management system that can be integrated with other management requirements to help them achieve environmental and economic goals. The overall aim of this International Standard is to support environmental protection and prevention of pollution in balance with socio-economic needs.

Wabash National was the first semi-trailer manufacturer in North America to receive the Environmental Management System Registration in June 2005. New ISO standards are released approximately every 10 years with new requirements, including being expected to show an increased alignment of environmental management within an overall strategic planning process, a greater commitment from leadership and lifecycle thinking.

The company has earned the new ISO 14001:2015 standard at its operations in Lafayette, Indiana; Cadiz, Kentucky; Harrison, Arkansas; Portland, Oregon; and San Jose Iturbide, Guanajuato, Mexico.

Read the original article on the Fleet Equipment Magazine website.

Loop Industries and thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions form alliance for sustainable PET recycling

By Mary Page Bailey | January 7, 2019

Loop Industries, Inc. (Montreal, Quebec, Canada;, a technology innovator in sustainably produced plastic, and thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions (Essen, Germany; division, Uhde Inventa-Fischer GmbH, a global polyester technology provider and polyester plant engineering firm, announced a strategic alliance expected to shape the future of Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and Polyester manufacturing. The Global Alliance Agreement advances the integration of their respective technologies intended to provide a turnkey industrial solution for license to manufacturing companies seeking a commercially viable technology to produce sustainable PET and polyester plastic.

“We have successfully established a large variety of patented technologies and processes in the global market. This agreement will enable a very resource efficient and cost-attractive solution for the production of sustainable PET and polyester,” said Sami Pelkonen, CEO of the Electrolysis & Polymers Technologies business unit of thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions. “The alliance with Loop Industries is an important milestone on the way to producing sustainable PET and polyester.”

“This Global Alliance Agreement allows for Loop’s technology to rapidly transform the plastic market and fully capitalize on our disruptive potential as the leader in the circular economy for PET plastic,” said Daniel Solomita, Founder and CEO of Loop Industries, “thyssenkrupp’s extensive engineering expertise and proven Melt-To-Resin® technology provides Loop with a world class partner to bring the Waste-to-Resin manufacturing solution to market.”

Solomita continued, “WTR is a key pillar of Loop’s commercialization blueprint to meet global demand from consumer packaged goods and other brands for Loop™ branded sustainable resin. We plan to license the respective technologies developed by Loop and thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions to manufacturing partners in geographical regions around the world in order to quickly roll out multiple WTR plants over the next decade.

Loop and thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions have already begun the integration assessment and are collaborating on the WTR process design package ready for license to global manufacturing companies who will now be able to establish facilities close to urban centers where feedstock is readily available – and finally decouple PET plastic from fossil fuels. Both companies will retain all rights, titles and interests in and to their respective intellectual property.

Read the original article on the Chemical Engineering Online website.

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 Deborah Drew and Elizabeth Reichart:

By the numbers: the economic, social and environmental impacts of ‘fast fashion’

Think about how many sweaters, scarves and other clothes were given as gifts this holiday season. How many times will people wear them before throwing them out?

Probably far fewer than you think. One garbage truck of clothes (PDF) is burned or sent to landfills every second. The average consumer bought 60 percent more clothes in 2014 than in 2000, but kept each garment for half as long.

Gone are the days when people would buy a shirt and wear it for years. In a world of accelerating demand for apparel, consumers want — and increasingly can afford — new clothing after wearing garments only a few times. Entire business models are built on the premise of “fast fashion,” providing clothes cheaply and quickly to consumers through shorter fashion cycles.

This linear fashion model of buying, wearing and quickly discarding clothes negatively affects people and the planet’s resources.

Here’s a look at the economic, social and environmental implications:

The economics

According to the Ellen McArthur Foundation, clothing production approximately has doubled in the last 15 years, driven by a growing middle-class population across the globe and increased per capita sales in developed economies. An expected 400 percent increase in world GDP by 2050 will mean even greater demand for clothing.

This could be an opportunity to do better. One report found that addressing environmental and social problems created by the fashion industry would provide a $192 billion overall benefit to the global economy by 2030. The annual value of clothing discarded prematurely is more than $400 billion.

The environmental impacts

Apparel production is also resource- and emissions-intensive. Consider that:

* Making a pair of jeans (PDF) produces as much greenhouse gases as driving a car more than 80 miles.

* Discarded clothing made of non-biodegradable fabrics can sit in landfills for up to 200 years.

* It takes 713 gallons of water to make one cotton shirt, enough to meet the average person’s drinking needs for 2.5 years.

The societal impacts

Clothing production has helped spur growth in developing economies, but a closer look reveals a number of social challenges. For instance:

* According to non-profit Remake, 75 million people are making our clothes today, and 80 percent of apparel is made by young women ages 18 to 24.

* Garment workers, primarily women, in Bangladesh make about $96 per month. The government’s wage board suggested that a garment worker needs 3.5 times that amount in order to live a “decent life with basic facilities.”

* A 2018 U.S. Department of Labor report found evidence of forced and child labor in the fashion industry in Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Turkey, Vietnam and other countries.

Rapid consumption of apparel and the need to deliver on short fashion cycles stresses production resources, often resulting in supply chains that put profits ahead of human welfare.

So, what do we do?

So, what does a more sustainable apparel industry look like, and how do we get there? We’re starting to see some early signs of an industry in transition. Business models based on longevity, such as Rent the Runway and Gwynnie Bee, are the beginnings of an industry that supports reuse instead of rapid and irresponsible consumption. Just as Netflix reimagined traditional film rental services and Lyft disrupted transportation, we are beginning to see options for consumers to lease clothes rather than buy and stash them in their closets. Ideally, an “end of ownership” in apparel will be implemented in a way that considers impacts on jobs, communities and the environment.

This is only the beginning of the radical transformation required. Apparel companies increasingly will have to confront the elephant in the boardroom and decouple their business growth from resource use.

To meet tomorrow’s demand for clothing in innovative ways, companies will need to do what they never have done before: design, test and invest in business models that reuse clothes and maximize their useful life. For apparel companies, it’s time to disrupt or be disrupted.

View the full article with infographics on the GreenBiz website.

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

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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.
  • 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.


  • 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.
    January 30 at 1:00 p.m. EST

View this plus more ENERGY STAR training opportunities and to register.

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

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