July, 2019 – Volume 12, Issue 7
Solar power takes market share from coal
UK turns food waste into usable material
Empowering employees: The key to achieving environmental sustainability goals
GreenBiz: How to drive value through supply chain sustainability
The Resource Recycling Conference and Trade Show
KY EXCEL Solar Energy Workshop
EPA Energy Star Portfolio Manager Training
The 2019 Best Practices Expo & Conference
North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) Conference
Make a Splash with Quick Water Wins
Benchmarking Water & Wastewater Treatment Plants in Portfolio Manager
ENERGY STAR – Portfolio Manager Webinars
NPPR MVP2 Award nominations are Open!
The application deadline has been extended to August 15th!
Do you know an individual or a project that is worthy of a Most Valuable Pollution Prevention (MVP2) Award? The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) is currently accepting nominations.
There are seven award categories for nominations:
* Awards for individuals (5):
“P2 Champion”, “Volunteer of the Year”, “Educator of the Year”, “Student of the Year”, and the “Fred Granek Memorial P2 Ambassador”
* Award for multimedia (1):
“Best P2 Multimedia” (publication, writing, video)
* Award for project/program (1):
“Best P2 Project/Program” (material use, waste, water, energy, natural resources, air emissions)
There is a $50 application fee for each submittal. Applications should be no longer than two pages, unless otherwise noted (i.e., Multimedia, Project/Program)
Winners will be announced during P2 Week in September.
Award Applications are available online at http://www.p2.org/mvp2-awards/.
Over 1,000 environmental education leaders convening in Kentucky
The largest environmental education conference in North America will focus on educating for a just and sustainable future
LEXINGTON, Ky., July 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) will host its 48th Annual International Conference along with its 16th Research Symposium from October 15-19, 2019 at the Lexington Convention Center in Lexington, KY.
With more than 1,000 formal and nonformal environmental educators from more than thirty countries, this conference is one of the largest gatherings of environmental educators in the world. This year’s conference focuses on educating for a more just and sustainable future, building on the three interwoven pillars of sustainability—social equity, shared prosperity, and environmental integrity. The conference will also highlight the role of education in inspiring action and how every individual, community, and organization can inspire hope and create positive change.
Special events include a Share Fair for nonprofit organizations to highlight successful programs and inspiring ideas and an Authors’ Corner highlighting the talented writers who will be attending the conference. The heart of the conference features more than 400 sessions focused on all aspects of environmental education for professionals at all levels—from young professionals to seasoned experts. The conference will also host the Environmental Professionals of Color annual meeting and more than 15% of all sessions focus on equity and inclusion to ensure that field is increasingly relevant in a changing world.
“It’s such an inspiring conference with educators from all parts of the world coming together to share, learn, and advance our collective work,” says Judy Braus, Executive Director at NAAEE. “There’s never been more urgency for the work we do as a field to further environmental literacy and civic engagement and to highlight the importance of creating a more equitable and inclusive movement that grapples with the complex issues of our times.” The conference is hosted in partnership with the Kentucky Association for Environmental Education.
Early-bird rates end on August 23, and there are reduced rates for students, retired professionals, NAAEE members, and exhibitors.
USDA has over $400 million available for renewable energy system and energy efficiency loan guarantees
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is encouraging farmers, rural small businesses and agricultural producers to apply for financing in a key USDA program that provides loan guarantees to help rural small businesses lower their energy costs.
“USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) is an important tool to help strengthen and grow the rural economy,” said Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development, Joel Baxley.
The USDA accepts applications for REAP funding year-round. Potential applicants should contact their state USDA Rural Development office for additional information.
REAP funding can be used for renewable energy systems such as anaerobic digesters, biomass, geothermal, hydropower, wind and solar. It also can be used to make energy efficiency improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems; insulation; and lighting and refrigeration. Below are some examples of USDA’s REAP investments.
* Edgehill Farms, an ag tourism center in Oakland, Kentucky, received a $34,596 loan guarantee to install a 34.8-kilowatt photovoltaic array system on the roof of its ham processing facility. The system will generate approximately 45,000 kWh annually that will be sold directly to the local utility, earning $4,448 for the firm annually.
* In Magnolia, North Carolina, Optima KV received a $6.5 million loan guarantee for an anaerobic digester that will help hog producers dispose of waste by converting it to energy. The project aggregates multiple biogas streams at a refinery. The resulting natural gas is then transported via pipeline to a power plant to generate electricity. The digester produces additional revenue for hog producers and a cleaner environment.
In April 2017, President Trump established the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity to identify legislative, regulatory and policy changes that could promote agriculture and prosperity in rural communities. In January 2018, Agriculture Secretary George “Sonny” Perdue presented the Task Force’s findings to President Trump. These findings included 31 recommendations to align the federal government with state, local and tribal governments to take advantage of opportunities that exist in rural America. Supporting the rural workforce was a cornerstone recommendation of the task force.
Solar power takes market share from coal
In April, electricity generation from renewables in the United States exceeded that from coal-fired generation for the first time, according to the federal Energy Information Administration.
As you’re heading east on Interstate 64 after leaving Lexington, Kentucky, you pass a solar farm just before the Winchester exit. The solar farm is a move by a power company to diversify its generating mix away from coal and toward the renewables that some customers demand.
East Kentucky Power Cooperative, the owner of Cooperative Solar One, as the solar farm is called, is not the only generator moving away from coal. Among others are a small town in Ohio and the owners of the cleanest coal plant in West Virginia.
“For a number of years we’ve had cooperative members who have said, ‘We want renewable power,'” Nick Comer, external affairs manager for EKPC, said in a phone interview this month. “In recent years, the economics of solar have gotten better. A few years ago we looked at it and said we can do it in a manner that is cost-effective for those who want to participate and won’t harm people who don’t want to participate.”
EKPC is a not-for-profit, member-owned cooperative providing wholesale electricity to 16 owner-member distribution cooperatives that serve 1.1 million Kentucky residents at 535,000 homes, farms, businesses and industries in 87 of Kentucky’s 120 counties. EKPC has coal-fired plants in Mason and Pulaski counties, natural gas-fueled peaking units in two other counties and renewable energy plants in seven Kentucky counties.
“It’s been successful. It’s paying for itself. We’re able to cover the cost of the facility with the energy it produces,” Comer said.
Cooperative Solar One has about 32,300 solar panels. People belonging to one of EKPC’s distribution co-ops can buy a 25-year license for an individual panel for $460. That entitles the buyer to a credit on its monthly electric bill for their share of the power produced by the solar farm.
Comer said EKPC has sold licenses for about 1,000 panels.
The solar farm has allowed EKPC to diversify its generating portfolio, just as the lower cost of natural gas in recent years has allowed it to move more in that direction, Comer said.
UK turns food waste into usable material
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 28, 2019) — The University of Kentucky took another important step toward its sustainability goals with the launch of a food waste composting program earlier this week. The effort will reduce the amount of material going into the landfill and produce an organic, nutrient-rich soil amendment for use on campus farms and landscaping. The program, which launched Monday, will be piloted at Champions Kitchen through the summer and expanded to include Fresh Food Company at the start of the fall semester. Other dining locations may be added at later dates. This new initiative is a partnership between UK Dining, UK Recycling, and the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment (CAFE) that grew out of several years of planning and preparation.
“Our students have done a remarkable job of leading food recovery efforts to address hunger and food insecurity through programs like Campus Kitchens, Farm-to-Fork, and the Big Blue Pantry. The composting program complements this work and boosts our ability to keep food waste out of the landfill through a closed loop system that turns a waste material from one process into a beneficial material for another,” said Carolyn Gahn, sustainability director for UK Dining.
UK worked with Aramark (UK Dining) on the design of both the Fresh Food Company and Champions Kitchen to minimize waste and reduce barriers to composting. Both facilities use washable cups, plates and silverware. Pump stations and bulk containers are used for most condiments, sauces, dressing, etc. to avoid the plastic waste created by individual packets. Both facilities are also tray-less, which helps prevent food waste by limiting the amount of food that can be carried to the table in one trip. There are no straws or lids for the cups and no disposable to go containers, though reusable ones are available for purchase. The cumulative effect of these design decisions makes collecting food waste from the dining areas simple because there are very few non-compostable items available. Those that remain (ice cream containers, waffle mix cups, etc.) are pulled by UK Dining staff once the plates reach the dish room. Food prep waste from the kitchens will also be included in the program.
The food waste and napkins are “pulped” in the dish rooms to shred and remove excess liquids. The pulped material is collected in carts that are picked up by UK Recycling. UK Recycling purchased a truck outfitted with an enclosed, self-dumping container and cart tipper to divert this new waste stream using funding secured from internal and external grants.
The final step is the actual composting which will take place at CAFE’s C. Oran Little Research Center in Woodford County. The food waste will be combined with a carbon source (wood chips, grass clipping or animal bedding) in a windrow system to speed the conversion to a nutrient-rich compost. The finished compost will be used at the university’s Organic Research Farm and by UK Grounds to provide an organic fertility boost to crops and campus landscaping.
Empowering employees: the key to achieving environmental sustainability goals
Companies increasingly believe that addressing environmental sustainability is a strategic and integral business imperative. This is evidenced most recently by the volume of companies with Earth Day announcements including going carbon net neutral or eliminating plastic packaging. Yet, only four percent of companies are successful in achieving their environmental sustainability goals, according to Bain & Company. This is because companies are challenged to connect their strategic sustainability vision with meaningful operational changes to meet those goals.
At the same time, employees are calling for action. The expectation that companies commit to environmental sustainability is growing, and that’s not going to change. Millennials are a particularly vocal cohort and by 2025, they will be 75% of the workforce. But, according to Deloitte, there’s a gap between what they hear their companies say they’re doing and what they see.
How does an organization bridge these gaps? The business case is clear, the employee demand is growing, but what’s keeping environmental sustainability initiatives from being successful?
At Ingersoll Rand, we believe our “winning culture” is a top reason we’ve achieved many of our 2020 environmental sustainability goals. Consistently high annual employee engagement scores demonstrate that we are creating an environment where our people are learning, thriving and expanding their capabilities. The actions and creative ideas of our people are the reason we’ve been successful.*
As we head toward 2020 we’ve learned a thing or two about creating a winning culture that paves the path to achieving sustainability goals.
Set and communicate clear and specific objectives
To build a culture focused on sustainability, start with setting and communicating your goals – specifically GHG and natural resourced-focused commitments with specific targets. Connect your workforce to company purpose by engaging and educating everyone from the C-suite to the manufacturing floor. Utilize both digital and analog (e.g.: posters) tools to convey messages. Importantly, ensure these goals are communicated in all ongoing, operating reviews to reinforce commitment and further illustrate their connection to your business strategy.
Companies will approach this differently, but whether a 20-person start-up or a 44,000-person global workforce like ours, senior leadership must always buy in, or these initiatives won’t work. Our leaders believe their job is to create a culture where the kind of aspiration to do better for our world can flourish.
Empower employees to adopt a sustainable mindset
Creating ways for employees to feel included – to feel a sense of belonging and contribution – will support your sustainability strategy and can lead to long-term employee retention.
Make sustainability personal by giving employees license to create change in their own community. Our “Green Teams” across the world are employee-driven groups who develop and execute ways to reduce environmental impact at their site – from recycling to upgrading lighting and more. With the support of an executive champion, dozens of Green Teams around the world are leading change. For example, in Waco, Texas, employees installed a rainwater collection system for facility and manufacturing use in this water-stressed area. Thanks to Green Teams in Galway, Ireland and Rotterdam, Netherlands, our facilities there are 100% zero-waste-to-landfill – all waste is recycled or re-used. In Monterrey, Mexico, the teams there have improved water efficiency by 75% and compost all organic waste. Sites from Kentucky to Italy to China are nearing zero-waste-to-landfill thanks to the leadership of Green Teams; each of these started with an employee idea.
While top-level support is critical, widespread behavior change is grass-roots driven. Companies must identify opportunities to meet goals in ways that matter to employees. For example, give employees choice by inviting local environmental organizations to meet employees and discuss how to reduce environmental impact in the office and at home.
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 Tara Norton:
How to drive value through supply chain sustainability
No matter the industry, managing sustainability in supply chains continues to increase in importance. Most companies’ risks and opportunities are often in their supply chains, and companies with supply chain sustainability programs have a leg up against competitors to mitigate risk, find cost savings through resource efficiency, drive innovation through supplier collaboration and access finance and improve working capital. To take just one example of the link between supply chain sustainability and business risk, the World Health Organization, International Labor Organization and United Nations Development Program have found that productivity losses related to heat-related workplace disruption and injury could rise above $2 trillion by 2030.
As supply chain sustainability — also known as responsible sourcing, sustainable sourcing, responsible supply or sustainable procurement — continues to evolve, companies also must stay abreast of the trends regarding best practice in order to build or maintain a competitive edge. At BSR, we have seen the shift from a compliance-based approach which started in the 1990s, to going beyond monitoring in the 2000s and into supply chain transformation today. These trends align with overall management trends in the evolution of procurement and supply chain management, and companies need to navigate how to evolve with the times.
In order to help companies either start their journey in implementing supply chain sustainability or improve their existing programs, BSR developed the Supply Chain Leadership Ladder in 2017. The Leadership Ladder is a maturity model for companies to evaluate and evolve their approach to supply chain sustainability. Today, we are pleased to announce the launch of its update, the Supply Chain Leadership Ladder 2.0.
The Leadership Ladder helps illuminate a path to improved supply chain sustainability performance in the following ways:
– Providing a true assessment of the level to which a company’s existing supply chain and procurement practices integrate sustainability and are providing value across internal and external dimensions
– Ascertaining the company’s own level of ambition in driving supply chain sustainability: Does a company want to be driving impact, managing its most important priorities, or is it comfortable at the level of assuring compliance?
– Identifying concrete actions that the company can take to improve its program and approach, and to align with peers or leading practice.
Read the full article on the GreenBiz website to find out more about the four levels of The Leadership Ladder.
Find the latest articles, videos and resources on the GreenBiz website.
Upcoming Training, Events and Conferences
- The Resource Recycling Conference and Trade Show
he Resource Recycling Conference and Trade Show, in partnership with the The Recycling Partnership, Association of Plastic Recyclers and National Recycling Coalition, is the must-attend conference for the recycling industry’s most influential policy leaders, CEOs and government officials. The conference, now entering its 10th year, is your opportunity to network with clients, prospective partners, vendors and top materials management decision-makers all in one location, saving you precious time and travel expenses.
August 26-28, 2019 – New Orleans, LA
Register for this conference and trade show.
- KY EXCEL Solar Energy Workshop
KY EXCEL, Kentucky’s environmental leadership program, invites you to join us for a interactive day of learning the “ins and outs” of how to access solar energy and manage electricity. This is a great educational and networking opportunity for all of Kentucky’s current and developing stewards and environmental educators.
August 26, 2019- Frankfort, KY
Find out more and register for this workshop.
- EPA Energy Star Portfolio Manager Training
The Louisville Energy Alliance, in partnership with Louisville Metro Government’s Office of Sustainability, invite you to attend a free ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager training session. The training will consist of a one-hour webinar hosted by an ENERGY STAR professional followed by on-site assistance with entering data into the software.
September 17, 2019 – Spalding University, Louisville, KY
Register for this hands-on training event.
- The 2019 Best Practices Expo & Conference
The BEST PRACTICES 2019 conference is designed to educate and provide tools to the people who make industrial utility projects happen at a factory. Factory personnel (General Managers, Production Managers, Energy Managers, Plant Engineers, Maintenance Managers) will convene here to identify Key Performance Indicators, learn to measure them and identify projects to reduce kW and H2O consumption per unit of product produced.
October 13-16, 2019 – Nashville, TN
Find out more and register for this conference.
- North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) Conference
With more than 1,000 formal and nonformal environmental educators from more than thirty countries, this conference is one of the largest gatherings of environmental educators in the world. This year’s conference focuses on educating for a more just and sustainable future, building on the three interwoven pillars of sustainability—social equity, shared prosperity, and environmental integrity.
October 16-19, 2019 – Lexington, KY
Find out more and register for this NAAEE conference.
EPA ENERGY STAR webinars:
- Make a Splash with Quick Water Wins
Managing water within your facility doesn’t have to involve major retrofits or renovations. Significant water savings can be achieved with small changes to operation and maintenance procedures and changes to user behavior. Learn about no- and low-cost solutions that can be implemented to start saving water in buildings right away, without the need for costly capital improvements.
August 7, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. ET
- Benchmarking Water & Wastewater Treatment Plants in Portfolio Manager
This webinar features EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, a powerful online tool that can help you track and manage your system’s energy usage and energy savings from efficiency projects, including related greenhouse gas emissions for your inventories. We will discuss how Portfolio Manager benefits water and wastewater systems, and demonstrate how you can create an account and benchmark your systems at no cost to you.
August 15, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. ET
Portfolio Manager Series
- 101 – August 6, 2019 at 1 p.m. ET – 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 – August 13, 2019 at 1 p.m. ET – 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 – August 20, 2019 at 1 p.m. ET – 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.
To view these and other sustainability-related events, please visit the KPPC Events Calendar.