SSP October 2019

October, 2019 – Volume 12, Issue 10

Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet recognizes award winners at annual conference

Maker’s Mark, KU announce bright plans for new solar array

More than $6M in grants announced for new high-tech workforce training center



Newsbits

No plastic trash to China sends companies to Evansville manufacturer of recycled lumber

Company rolls out flat-panel processing technology

Meijer recognized for carbon reduction

Building demand in US water quality trading markets

GreenBiz: Circularity and the 45 percent climate solution



Upcoming Training, Events and Conferences

Webinar: CyberSecurity in the Manufacturing Industry

Webinar: Electric Vehicle Trends and Projections

2019 AASHE Conference and Expo @ Spokane Convention Center

Minimizing Water Use in Mechanical/HVAC Systems

Recognizing Employee Participation in Energy Management Efforts

ENERGY STAR – Portfolio Manager Webinars

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Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet recognizes award winners at annual conference

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet recognized a number of individuals and organizations for making positive contributions to Kentucky’s environment.

Cabinet Secretary Charles Snavely presented the environmental awards during a luncheon ceremony at the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Energy and the Environment in Lexington. Conference sessions during the all-day event included a look ahead at the 2020 legislative session, an overview of federal EPA regulations and standards, efforts to sustain Kentucky’s forests, and Public Service Commission initiatives.

“The Cabinet is very pleased to recognize all these award winners for the outstanding contributions they have made to the Commonwealth,” Secretary Snavely said. “We applaud their dedication to safety and energy savings and their environmental leadership.”

Some of the award categories included:

  • KY EXCEL Champion Award, given by the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection, for being a Kentucky EXCEL member that demonstrated outstanding stewardship of Kentucky’s environment.
  • Environmental Pacesetter Award, given by the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection, for its exemplary and innovative efforts to protect the environment and set an example of environmental stewardship for the Commonwealth.
  • Resource Caretaker Award, given by the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection, for its conservation of Kentucky’s natural resources.
  • Community Luminary Award, given by the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection, for demonstrating an outstanding record of educating, engaging and inspiring communities and employee partners through environmental outreach.
  • Kentucky Excellence in Energy Leadership Award, given by the Kentucky Office of Energy to individuals or entities having a tremendous impact on the Commonwealth by inspiring others to save energy and/or utilize alternative energy resources.

 

Read the full article to find out more about all of the awards presented and the recipients.

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Maker’s Mark, KU announce bright plans for new solar array

Kentucky Utilities Company (KU) and Maker’s Mark have partnered through the utility’s Business Solar program to construct a new solar array at the bourbon distillery’s property in Loretto, Kentucky, along Highway 52.

Without compromising any part of the unique Maker’s Mark production process that makes its bourbon so distinctive, the new ground-mounted solar panel system will offset the energy needs required to maintain rickhouses where bourbon is stored for aging. This includes energy for security, lighting, barrel elevators and office spaces.

“My grandparents’ vision when they created Maker’s Mark was not only that it might elevate the bourbon category, but also that we would constantly look for meaningful ways to give back to the community,” said Rob Samuels, Maker’s Mark chief distillery officer and eighth-generation distiller. “This partnership with KU to offset our energy use in the rickhouses fits that vision perfectly, matching up with our ever-increasing sensitivity about our place in the environment and the responsible use of natural resources.”

Read the original announcement on the BizJournals website.
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More than $6M in grants announced for new high-tech workforce training center

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. — Gov. Matt Bevin and Congressman Hal Rogers joined Senate President Robert Stivers Saturday to announce grant funding for a new high-tech workforce training center in Barbourville. The project received over $6 million combined state and federal funding for the KCEOC Community Action Partnership Inc. to construct and develop the facility.

“I am excited today to join Congressman Rogers and President Stivers in making this truly historic announcement for the Knox County community,” said Gov. Bevin. “Federal, state and local funds, coupled with the Forcht family’s generous facility donation, will enable us to build a world-class workforce training center right here in Barbourville. The commonwealth is rapidly becoming America’s center for engineering and manufacturing excellence, and this new state-of-the-art Work Ready Training Center will equip hundreds of additional Eastern Kentucky residents each year for success.”

The Work Ready Training Center will be housed in the former Barbourville Nursing Home facility, which was donated by Terry and Marion Forcht to be retrofitted for the project, saving the community time and resources. The new center will provide trade, certificate and post-secondary education opportunities in high-demand career sectors such as healthcare, technology, advanced manufacturing and transportation/logistics. Programs will be supported and administrated by Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College.

“Kentucky has committed $100 million to ensure communities across the commonwealth are able to provide the modernized training and education that will equip Kentuckians with the skills to earn sustainable incomes in high demand career sectors.”

Read the full announcement on the Lane Report website.

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Newsbits

No plastic trash to China sends companies to Evansville manufacturer of recycled lumber

A manufacturer of recycled plastic products in Evansville, Indiana is experiencing a surge in business due, in part, to China halting the import of plastic trash last year. Green Tree Plastics is now expanding partnerships with major corporations.

The family-owned company is also meeting the growing demand from student groups to produce benches and picnic tables from what most Americans have been sending to landfills – plastic bottle caps.

The playground at Holy Name Catholic School in Henderson, Kentucky has a couple of special benches. They’re made from recycled plastic caps and lids, from water bottles, milk jugs, yogurt cups, toothpaste, coffee cans, peanut butter, and lots of other containers.

It takes 200 pounds of caps to make one six-foot bench.

“We collect about six large 55 gallon drums about every two months and then they’re taken to Green Tree,” said Drury.

Green Tree Plastics is a manufacturer of recycled plastic lumber located just across the Ohio River from Henderson, Kentucky, in Evansville, Indiana.

Since Nov. 2, 2009, Holy Name Catholic School has delivered 18,756 pounds of caps and lids to Green Tree Plastics, said company Vice President Cara Bornefeld. Those caps are made into benches or picnic tables for the school, or dontated to other groups.

That means Holy Name has kept about 1.7 million caps and lids out of their landfill and community, said Bornefeld. “We are so proud of them and our other groups participating in our partnership.”

The ABC Promise Partnership began as a collaboration between Holy Name and Green Tree Plastics.

Read more about how Green Tree is in the midst of another creative business moment on the WKYUFM website.

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Company rolls out flat-panel processing technology

A startup led by recycling industry veterans has developed a robotic system for removing hazardous substances from flat-panel display devices. The system is expected to come to a U.S. facility soon.

Founded in 2018, FPD Recycling has developed a robot, called the FPD PRO, that processes TVs, monitors and laptops at a rate of about 60 units per hour, or up to 1 metric ton per hour (the process speed is based on 32-inch screens). The machine “de-pollutes” devices by removing liquid crystal screens and LED or CCFL backlights, allowing devices to be safely shredded for commodities recovery or manually disassembled for parts harvesting.

“[It’s] not our job to tell the recycler how to handle his waste stream. Our job was to make it safe, and once we remove the mercury and liquid crystals, it is then safe,” Paudy O’Brien, founder and CEO of FPD Recycling, said in an interview.

With an office in Lakewood, Colo., the company is also led by Craig Thompson, who pioneered the first franchised collection network for electronics in the U.K. and who has worked over the past decade with processors in North America and Europe. Austin Ryan, who co-founded the recycling and waste software company AMCS, is another part of the management team.

At the 2018 E-Scrap Conference and Trade Show, O’Brien spoke at the about a different automated technology for dismantling LCD display devices. At the time he was executive director of Votechnik Technologies, a company he is no longer involved with.

O’Brien said in the recent interview that FPD’s patent-protected technology is more advanced than Votechnik’s, noting the FPD system uses artificial intelligence and handles a much broader range of flat-panel display types.

How the technology works

Formally launched in the U.S. at the 2019 E-Scrap Conference and Trade Show, the FPD PRO can handle devices with displays sizes from 11 inches to 70 inches. It uses artificial intelligence to evaluate size, weight and barcode data to identify the type and brand, O’Brien said.

The machine then knows how to process a product to remove hazardous materials. The removal occurs within a self-contained chamber, keeping employees away from mercury, lead and liquid crystals, according to FPD Recycling.

The device-recognition capabilities also allow the FPD PRO to access information on the parts contained in the e-scrap. “One of the biggest advantages of the way we’ve developed this is it allows for component reuse,” O’Brien said.

Read the full article on the E-ScrapNews website to learn more about this intelligent recycling technology.

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Meijer recognized for carbon reduction

Meijer has received two supply chain sustainability awards.

For the second consecutive year, the Michigan-based discounter remains the only retailer named by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a SmartWay Excellence Award winner in two categories simultaneously – as a shipper and carrier.

Meijer has been recognized as a SmartWay award recipient in the past – as a shipping partner in 2017 and 2018 and as a carrier partner in 2018. The SmartWay Excellence Award is the EPA’s highest recognition. It recognizes the top retail and manufacturing carriers and shippers that demonstrate how their logistical operations make a measurable difference in reducing carbon emissions, while also effectively managing fuel costs as they move goods around the country.

SmartWay Excellence awardees are recognized for leading their industries in improving freight efficiency and contributing to cleaner air within their supply chains.

Additionally, the Meijer fleet is one of 10 from across the country chosen by the National American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) to represent the truck industry in its “Run on Less” fuel efficiency program. This program showcases trucks equipped with a variety of technologies that improve fuel efficiency. During three weeks in October, a driver from the selected fleets will haul freight in different locations across the U.S. to demonstrate fuel economy. Meijer operates a fleet of 250 semi-trucks that cover more than 27 million miles each year.

“We are honored to receive such a distinguished award that speaks volumes to the work our logistics team does day after day,” said Tom McCall, VP of logistics for Meijer. “Our team diligently works to monitor and improve the efficiency of our fleet with the mission to minimize our carbon footprint across the Midwest.”

Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates more than 245 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.

Read the original announcement on the Chain Store Age website.

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Building demand in US water quality trading markets

Environmental credit trading programs have gained traction for pollutants like carbon emissions, at least in concept. Is water quality trading the next frontier? The mechanism offers the possibility of more flexible and cost-effective water quality control, but in contrast to some environmental credits, markets have struggled to gain momentum.

Water quality trading markets allow the operators of point sources of water pollution — such as sewage treatment plants or factories — to offset that pollution by purchasing credits representing reductions elsewhere. Just as the purchase of a carbon offset gives its buyer credit for reducing their carbon footprint, a water quality trading market allows participants to buy and sell the credit for reduction of water pollution into a given water body.

Trading is a tool that may be well-suited to address the evolving nature of water pollution in the United States.

“The Clean Water Act was written at a time when the major pollution in our waterways was coming from pipes,” said Kristiana Teige Witherill, clean water project manager at the Willamette Partnership, a nonprofit focused on market-based conservation in the American West. “Today, depending on what watershed you’re looking at, 80 to 90% of pollution is coming from non-point sources, not coming from the end of a pipe.”

After establishing parameters for water quality trading in 2003, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reiterated its support for the tool in a statement in February. A 2017 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report tallied 19 water quality trading programs operating in 2014 in a diverse set of 11 U.S. states, from California to Idaho to Florida.

But despite the presence of functioning programs across the country, the GAO noted that the overall volume of trading remains low. “According to stakeholders, two key factors have affected participation in nutrient credit trading — the presence of discharge limits for nutrients and the challenges of measuring the results of nonpoint sources’ nutrient reduction activities,” the report stated.

Now, proponents of water quality trading are working to bring more participants into the fold. What can be done to scale up use of trading?

Read the full article on the Conservation Finance Network website to find out more about how water quality trading works, generating demand and building markets.

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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 Joel Makower:

Circularity and the 45 percent climate solution

Among the copious reports and white papers released during the third week of September — a.k.a. Climate Week (a good roundup can be found here) — was one that didn’t get much notice, but should. It neatly and powerfully places the circular economy at the center of untapped solutions to limit the worst impacts of a changing climate.

The report, like so much groundbreaking research on the circular economy, came from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in partnership with Material Economics, a Stockholm-based management consultancy firm focusing on sustainability strategy, technology and policy. Completing the Picture: How the Circular Economy Tackles Climate Change (PDF) makes the case that shifting to renewable energy and energy efficiency in buildings and transport can meet only about 55 percent of greenhouse gas reductions needed to meet the 1.5-degree Celsius cap in temperature rise set out by the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The other 45 percent? We’ll need to redesign and rethink how we manage land and other resources, and how we produce everything from cars to cauliflower. In short: The world will need to embrace a circular economy.

The new paper shows how applying circularity principles to just five key areas — cement, aluminum, steel, plastics and food — can eliminate substantial emissions while increasing resilience to the physical impacts of climate change.

For example, it says, by keeping materials in play, companies can decouple economic activity from the consumption of resources vulnerable to climate risks, and therefore build greater flexibility if supply chains are significantly disrupted. In the food system, regenerative agriculture improves the health of soil, which can increase its capacity to absorb and retain water, thereby reducing the devastating impacts of both floods and droughts.
More stuff

Thinking about the means of production and consumption is a critical part of the climate solutions toolbox, even though it often gets short shrift in climate conferences and conversations, where the focus is often on energy-related issues. The rise of the global middle class, with roughly 3 billion new entrants between now and 2030, will lead to an explosion of demand for stuff. Most of that growth will come from the developing world — China, India, Nigeria, Indonesia, Bangladesh and a few other countries, mostly in Asia and Africa.

By 2050, global demand for industrial materials could quadruple, while demand for food is projected to increase by 42 percent. Both will have major implications for climate emissions, potentially increasing them at a time when the world needs to drastically reduce or even eliminate them.

Tomorrow’s middle class won’t just be buying more goods, they’ll also be eating higher on the food chain — more meat and dairy products, for example, along with a rise in processed and packaged foods. How those meals are produced and delivered will be as key to solving climate change as the shift away from fossil fuels.

And so, the circular economy. “To meet climate targets, a fundamental shift will be needed in the way the economy functions and creates value,” say the report’s authors. That means moving away from today’s linear, take-make-waste model “towards an economy that is regenerative by design.”

In such an economy, they explain, “Natural systems are regenerated, energy is from renewable sources, materials are safe and increasingly from renewable sources and waste is avoided through the superior design of materials, products and business models.”

That’s as good a definition of the circular economy as I’ve seen.

In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, circularity offers other benefits, such as increased economic opportunity, better access to goods, increased mobility and connectivity, and lower air pollution.

Say EMF and Material Economics: “It therefore acts as a delivery mechanism for several U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. In fact, by contributing to responsible consumption and production (SDG12) and developing resource-smart food systems, a circular economy contributes to at least 12 of the 17 SDG goals outlined in the U.N.’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” (PDF).

Read the full article on the GreenBiz website to find out more about building circularity and clean production.

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

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Upcoming Training, Events and Conferences

  • Webinar: CyberSecurity in the Manufacturing Industry
    The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s October Pollution Prevention Webinar will cover the importance of the manufacturing industry being proactive with cybersecurity. Discussion will include why the manufacturing industry should care about cybersecurity, how cybersecurity relates to them, how and where they can get help from, and why cybersecurity is a shared responsibility among all employees.
    October 23, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. EDT
    Find out more and register for this cybersecurity webinar.
  • Webinar: Electric Vehicle Trends and Projections
    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.
    October 24, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. EDT
    Register for this EPA energy resources webinar.
  • 2019 AASHE Conference and Expo
    The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE’s) annual conference is the largest stage in North America to exchange effective models, policies, research, collaborations and transformative actions that advance sustainability in higher education and surrounding communities.
    October 27-30, 2019 – Spokane, WA
    Find out more about this conference and how to register.

 

EPA ENERGY STAR webinars:

  • Minimizing Water Use in Mechanical/HVAC Systems
    Facilities with extensive heating and cooling requirements can still be water-efficient. Optimizing your heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system efficiency will help save your facility water, energy, and money. EPA’s WaterSense program will teach you how to reduce water waste in cooling towers and steam boilers, optimize chilled water systems, and address equipment that uses single-pass cooling water.
    October 23, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. EDT
  • Recognizing Employee Participation in Energy Management Efforts
    Facilities with extensive heating and cooling requirements can still be water-efficient. Optimizing your heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system efficiency will help save your facility water, energy, and money. EPA’s WaterSense program will teach you how to reduce water waste in cooling towers and steam boilers, optimize chilled water systems, and address equipment that uses single-pass cooling water.
    November 6, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. EST


Portfolio Manager Series

  • 101 – November 5, 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 – November 14, 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 – November 26, 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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