SSP November 2019

November, 2019 – Volume 12, Issue 11

KPPC featured in Compressed Air Best Practices® Magazine

Hydrologic project earns recognition

Hundreds of environmental educators ‘energized’ by national conference in Lexington


Energy efficiency strategies for food processors

The unconventional methods liquor makers are taking to be more sustainable

Meijer pilots app to help reduce food waste

GreenBiz: How companies can use tech to turn climate commitments into action and profits

Upcoming Training, Events and Conferences

Scrap Tire Markets in a Sustainable Circular Economy

Webinar: Electric Vehicles – The utility Connection

Plastics Recycling Conference and Trade Show

Sustainability in Packaging Conference

Every Drop Counts – Assessing and Evaluating Water Efficiency in Capital Improvement Projects

Engaging Commercial Tenants in Energy Efficiency

ENERGY STAR – Portfolio Manager Webinars

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KPPC featured in Compressed Air Best Practices® Magazine

KPPC has been featured in a recently published article on the Compressed Air Best Practices® Magazine website.

Compressed Air Best Practices® Magazine content offers insights into the industrial manufacturing and process environments with input from expert Energy Auditors and Energy Managers active in the field. The magazine is focused on helping Energy Managers create industrial energy savings by providing educational content about compressed air systems.

The article was written by Mike Grennier, who is a contributing editor to the magazine. He has extensive experience as a technical writer familiar with rotating equipment and cooling systems.

Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center: Guiding Manufacturers Toward Sustainability Success

By Mike Grennier, Compressed Air Best Practices® Magazine

Mountain climbers in the Himalayas place a great deal of value in the wisdom and expertise of Sherpas who guide them on their journey through high-altitude peaks and valleys.

In Kentucky, many industrial manufacturers have experienced something similar as they strive to save energy and reduce pollution. Only in this case, there isn’t a Sherpa involved. Instead, it’s the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center (KPPC): a non-profit resource center dedicated to guiding manufacturers and other businesses on their journey toward sustainability.

KPPC has helped more than 800 businesses and organizations in the state discover sustainable opportunities, improve their environmental performance and lower operating costs. And the list of companies KPPC has guided along the way continues to grow – as do the advantages of improved sustainability.

Read the entire article on the Compressed Air Best Practices® website.

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Hydrologic project earns recognition

Stantec, the lead design firm in the design-build team of Stantec/EcoGro/Ridgewater, has earned a top engineering design award for work supporting Lexmark International, Inc. in developing a rainwater harvesting system in Lexington, Ky. The American Council of Engineering Companies of Kentucky (ACEC-KY) awarded the design-build project team the Grand Conceptor Award in Waste and Storm Water, the organization’s top honor in the state and part of its annual Engineering Excellence Awards program.

To help Lexmark advance their mission as a vanguard for innovation in the community, the project team developed a rainwater harvesting system to supply filtered water to the manufacturing company’s cooling towers. The result is a man-made, yet naturally inspired, system that provides tangible benefits to Lexmark and the entire community.

Stantec was the lead designer and Engineer-of-Record for the project, completed in May 2018. The project reduces the need for Lexmark to purchase potable water from the municipal water supply and improves water quality in Cane Run and the Royal Spring Aquifer, the drinking water supply for neighboring Georgetown, Kentucky. This year, 95 percent of all water usage in the company’s cooling towers (over 5.7 million gallons between January and August) was harvested rainwater from the system. Additionally, the project serves to educate members of the community about sustainable practices for managing stormwater runoff for beneficial reuse.

The project mimics the natural hydrologic cycle, conveying runoff from 35 acres to a bioretention basin capable of holding over 2 million gallons. As part of the project design, runoff is infiltrated through a sand and gravel filter specifically designed to treat water to meet Lexmark’s stringent water quality standards.

Read the original announcement on the Point of Beginning website.
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Hundreds of environmental educators ‘energized’ by national conference in Lexington

More than 1,250 environmental education professionals gathered in Lexington from Oct. 16 – 19 for the North American Association for Environmental Education’s (NAAEE) annual conference. Participants traveled from 30 countries and all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. One hundred and forty one Kentuckians attended the conference.

Attendees said that the conference offered unparalleled opportunities for professional development and networking with environmental educators from all around the world.

Session topics included air quality education with low-cost sensors, science communication, program evaluation and data visualization. Equity and inclusion were themes that ran throughout the conference, with many sessions offering strategies to engage diverse audiences, build cultural competence and increase collaboration.

“The NAAEE conference provides a time and place to gather with colleagues and explore the leading edges of the field, to learn new ways of thinking and doing, to be inspired by what others have achieved, and to share our own achievements,” NAAEE Conference Director Lori Mann said. “This was my 39th NAAEE conference, and even after all this time, I came away, as I do every year, energized, motivated and buoyed by the optimism and drive found at the heart of virtually every environmental educator.”

Kentucky is viewed as a national leader when it comes to environmental education. The Kentucky Association for Environmental Education (KAEE) is one of the oldest and largest professional environmental education organizations in the country. Kentucky is also home to a rigorous, nationally-accredited Environmental Education Certification program, offered by the Kentucky Environmental Education Council. More than 230 people have graduated from the annual course since it began in 2004.

For all of these reasons and more, NAAEE chose to bring its national conference to the Bluegrass state this year. Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton also declared the week of Oct. 14 – 19, 2019 as Environmental Education Week in the city.

Many state agencies, including the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, utilize environmental education as an essential tool for building informed, engaged citizens.

Environmental educators often describe their work as teaching how — not what — to think about environmental challenges and solutions. An environmental educator’s job is not to advocate for any one approach or solution, but instead to provide resources that empower students to make their own informed decisions.

Read the full article on the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Land, Air & Water Webzine site.

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Energy efficiency strategies for food processors

While food processors have to commit to using a certain amount of energy to meet production and food safety requirements, there are ways to be more efficient about how that energy is used. Whether it’s on the production line or converting waste into power, here’s a look at how some processors are finding new ways to be more efficient with energy.

Smithfield’s biogas program

Smithfield Foods began its program to create biogas from plant waste even before Food Engineering awarded it Sustainable Processor of the Year in November 2014.

Today, not only does Smithfield actively create biogas from many of its processing facilities, it also has an active program to convert manure to biogas at its hog farms. Manure-to-energy projects are part of the Smithfield Renewables program, the company’s platform that unifies and accelerates its renewable energy efforts to help meet its goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25% by 2025. Smithfield has also set up wind farms and solar collectors in some of its locations.

During this past summer, Smithfield has been busy with manure-to-energy projects in Missouri and Utah—and with the largest to date in North Carolina, where Smithfield is partnering with Dominion Energy to create enough energy to power more than 3,500 homes annually.

In Northern Missouri, Smithfield finished construction of a low-pressure natural gas transmission line connecting a Smithfield hog farm with the city of Milan. Renewable natural gas (RNG) produced at the hog farm is injected into the natural gas transmission line flowing into the city’s natural gas distribution system prior to delivery.

In a joint venture, Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods have broken ground on North Carolina’s largest RNG venture, Align Renewable Natural Gas.

“Breaking ground on this project with Dominion Energy is an exciting first step in bringing Align RNG to life,” says Kraig Westerbeek, senior director of Smithfield Renewables and hog production environmental affairs for Smithfield Foods. “This project implements proven manure-to-energy technology across a number of farms to produce reliable renewable energy for our community and contributes to our company’s ambitions goal to reduce GHG emissions by 25% by 2015.”

Read the full article and learn more about Smithfield’s and other food processor’s energy programs on the Food Engineering Magazine website.

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The unconventional methods liquor makers are taking to be more sustainable

By John Kell

Air Co. says the only two ingredients that are required for its vodka are carbon dioxide and water.

Standing in my kitchen, I pour three teeny servings of vodka into three tiny glasses.

On the far left is Stoli, and the nearby bottle tells me a tale of foreign lands. The spirit hails from fertile wheat farms in Russia’s Tambov region before becoming a vodka in Latvia. I sip it and it tastes like a standard, smooth vodka. Next to Stoli is Tito’s, a newer buzzier brand, with a bottle that evokes more modern marketing. Handmade in Texas and with no gluten and no added sugar. Smooth like Stoli, though Tito’s has a very mild hint of sweetness at the finish.

The last of the trio is from a new startup called Air Co. Vodka is often described as “odorless, colorless, and tasteless” and this new vodka aligns with the last two describers, but not the first. When raised to my nose, I detect a hint of ethanol. But the taste is as close to a classic vodka as you can imagine.

What helps Air Co. stand out is the marketing. This vodka is “Made From Air, Water & Sun.” And it is proclaimed to be the world’s “most sustainable vodka” ever.

Founded in New York City by Greg Constantine (a former Diageo executive) and Stafford Sheehan (a Yale PhD), the new brand is a purported carbon-negative vodka, achieved by producing ethyl alcohol from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The startup says that each bottle produced is equal to the daily carbon intake of eight trees.

At a suggested price of $65 per bottle, Air Co. vodka will first start selling locally in New York City liquor stores and at trendy Manhattan restaurants, including Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s ABC Kitchen and Danny Meyer’s Gramercy Tavern.

After a complex scientific (and proprietary) process, Air Co. purifies and dilutes the ethanol to a 40% alcohol by volume vodka.

In layman’s terms, vodka is typically made by taking big molecules from starches like wheat or potatoes and breaking them down, a fermentation process that requires a lot of energy. Air Co. is reversing traditional production methods, instead combining carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen atoms to produce ethanol and oxygen. “We use carbon dioxide as one of the ingredients for our alcohol, rather than have it as an emission,” says Sheehan.

The distilling process is powered by an electric steam boiler, which runs on solar electricity. The vodka is bottled by hand and labels come from a supplier in New York. Bottles are from Illinois but the startup wants to work on getting those locally, too.

Air Co.’s sustainability focused business model reflects a broader societal shift. Consumers are cutting back on single-use plastic, reducing their travel footprint, and even adopting plant-based diets, all in a bid to lessen their impact on the environment. Increasingly, studies show consumers expect beverage companies to hold similar standards throughout the production chain.

Read the full article on the Fortune website to learn more about the world’s largest liquor makers getting serious about sustainability.

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Meijer pilots app to help reduce food waste

Flashfood enables customers to shop and save on near-expired items

Meijer is testing Flashfood, a mobile app that helps lessen store-generated food waste by allowing shoppers to buy near-expiring products at a discount.

The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based supercenter retailer said that it’s piloting the app at four stores in metropolitan Detroit: Brighton, Waterford, Commerce and Howell, Mich.

Meijer is testing Flashfood, a mobile app that helps lessen store-generated food waste by allowing shoppers to buy near-expiring products at a discount.
The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based supercenter retailer said yesterday that it’s piloting the app at four stores in metropolitan Detroit: Brighton, Waterford, Commerce and Howell, Mich.

Upon arrival at the store, they pick up their items in the designated “Flashfood zone” in the front of the store and confirm their order with customer service. The purchased food will be stored in a refrigerator or storage rack until picked up.

“Food is at the core of what we do, and we are constantly looking at ways to minimize in-store waste because it’s the right thing to do for our communities and our customers,” Don Sanderson, group vice president of fresh at Meijer, said in a statement. “We are excited to work with Flashfood and learn how much food can be spared from landfills.”

In other efforts to curtail food waste, Meijer last year donated more than 10.6 million pounds of food to local food banks through its Food Rescue program. The retailer said it also has repurposed food waste created during the manufacturing process of its foods. For example, waste from Meijer dairies in Tipp City, Ohio, and Holland, Mich., are being turned into animal feed, and fresh food byproducts from Middlebury, Ind., and Lansing, Mich. are sent for anaerobic digestion and being turned into compost.

“Reducing food waste is an important goal at Meijer,” according to Erik Petrovskis, director of environmental compliance and sustainability. “There are creative solutions throughout a food’s lifecycle that can reduce landfill use and production of greenhouse gases, and I’m pleased we’re looking at another in-store option that benefits our customers.”

Read the full announcement on the Supermarket News website.

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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 Tom Murray:

How companies can use tech to turn climate commitments into action and profits

Fueled by a surge in employee, customer and investor pressure to act on climate, and the near universal recognition of how a warming planet threatens the global economy, businesses are stepping up their climate commitments in a big way. This was especially true in September, when hundreds of companies announced their intentions at Climate Week, and in August when the Business Roundtable unveiled its new take on the purpose of a corporation: to “serve all its stakeholders” and “protect the environment by embracing sustainable practices across our businesses.”

These commitments — and the adoption of purpose in corporate America — are certainly reasons for encouragement. Unfortunately, the reality is that “when… aspirational rhetoric is paired with middling financial performance, there is rarely a happy ending,” noted New York Times columnist David Gelles. In other words, purpose doesn’t work without profit.

When it comes to climate change, how can companies deliver on their promises to reduce emissions in line with what the science says is necessary, and deliver value to shareholders?

An October report, “Business and the Fourth Wave of Environmentalism,” suggests one possible answer: CEOs can turn their technology investments into a one-two punch that delivers business results and protects the planet.

While 92 percent of executives agree that emerging technologies can help improve both their bottom line and sustainability, only 59 percent are investing for this purpose.

The findings of this second annual analysis make it clear that business leaders are increasingly familiar with emerging technologies, are weaving sustainability goals more deeply into business strategy, and yet aren’t fully connecting the dots between how the innovative technologies they use to run their companies also can be their best solutions for measuring environmental performance and accelerating results.

The report surveyed 600 business leaders (CEOs, VPs and directors) in major companies across retail, manufacturing, energy, technology and financial sectors with $500 million to $5 billion in revenue — and here is the primary takeaway: While 92 percent of executives agree that emerging technologies can help improve both their bottom line and sustainability, only 59 percent are investing for this purpose.

This 33-point opportunity gap shows that companies are leaving environmental and business opportunities on the table despite that 90 percent of those surveyed said consumers increasingly will hold them accountable for their environmental impact, and 94 percent believe investing in new technology is essential for staying competitive.

Closing the opportunity gap will require that businesses apply existing and emerging technology for sustainability purposes, and deploy it at scale.

Read the full article on the GreenBiz website to find out more about the need to develop and deploy technologies to reduce pollution.

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

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Upcoming Training, Events and Conferences

  • Scrap Tire Markets in a Sustainable Circular Economy
    As the scrap tire industry’s premier market development and emerging trends conference, the 8th Scrap Tire Recycling Conference offers a valuable opportunity for industry leaders, regulators and stakeholders to review key developments in scrap tire management. This year, we will explore emerging trends in circular economy and scrap tires, and explore challenges and opportunities for existing and potential markets for scrap tires including: rubber modified asphalt, micronized rubber powder, tire-derived fuel, civil engineering markets and emerging markets like pyrolysis and devulcanization.
    December 4-5, 2019 – Greenville, SC
    Find out more and register for this cybersecurity webinar.
  • Webinar: Electric Vehicles – The utility Connection
    This webinar, organized by EPA’s State and Local Energy and Environment Program and Office of Transportation and Air Quality, will provide an overview of the current electric vehicle market and expected trends for the future. It will touch on key studies and briefly summarize findings about the environmental and economic implications of electric vehicle adoption. Intended for state and local environmental and transportation planners.
    December 11, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. EDT
    Register for this EPA energy resources webinar.
  • Plastics Recycling Conference and Trade Show
    The Plastics Recycling Conference and Trade Show is the focal point for the increasingly complex and international plastics recycling industry. The event, now in its 15th 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.
    February 17-19, 2020 – Nashville, TN
    Find out more about the Plastics Recycling Conference and how to register.
  • Sustainability in Packaging Conference
    The Sustainability in Packaging Conference is a platform to learn the latest on everything from ROI on sustainability, compostable packaging, packaging design, and transformation in the aluminum packaging industry, find out how to create a package that your customers will love and that is truly sustainable, and develop partnerships with other organizations throughout the supply chain that will benefit your product and your bottom line.
    March 11-13, 2020 – Chicago, IL
    Find out more about the Sustainability in Packaging Conference and how to register.



  • Every Drop Counts – Assessing and Evaluating Water Efficiency in Capital Improvement Projects
    Achieving significant water savings can often require going beyond the low-hanging fruit. Find out how to take the information collected during a facility water assessment to evaluate and prioritize larger-scale projects to maximizing water, energy, and cost savings. Get the information you need to include water efficiency in capital improvements through equipment retrofits and replacements during a renovation or when designing a new facility or space.
    December 4, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.
  • Engaging Commercial Tenants in Energy Efficiency
    Learn about CodeGreen Solutions’ participation in the 2018 ENERGY STAR Charter Tenant Pilot program, and how they achieved recognitions for their headquarters & client offices in the Empire State Building. In addition, Vornado will share how they earned ENERGY STAR Charter Tenant recognition for tenants and hosted an energy savings competition based on the principles of “Bring Your Green to work with ENERGY STAR.”
    December 5, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.

Portfolio Manager Series

  • 101 – December 3, 2019 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 – December 10, 2019 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 – December 12, 2019 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 these plus more ENERGY STAR training opportunities and register today.


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

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