April, 2020 – Volume 13, Issue 4
GreenBiz: Google redefines what it means to be ‘100% renewable’
Circularity 20 Digital
Pollution Prevention Opportunities in the Metal Finishing Sector
Using ENERGY STAR recognition in Strategic Energy Management programs
Renewable Energy Options for Small Businesses and Congregations
Efficiency and Renewables Finance for Small Business and Congregations
Just Add WaterSense to Your Energy Efficiency Efforts
Strategies for Setting Effective Energy Performance Goals
ENERGY STAR – Portfolio Manager Webinars
KPPC is working remotely
In March, the University of Louisville initiated a remote services plan in response to the social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. UofL moved to online classroom instruction for the remainder of the spring semester immediately following the spring break session. Additionally, faculty and staff began working remotely to minimize on-campus activity.
KPPC successfully initiated a remote work strategy on March 17th that included the student co-op for the spring semester, Taylor Brock. She is an industrial engineering major in the J.B. Speed School of Engineering. Given the impact of businesses curtailing normal operations, many Speed School co-op students were challenged with being able to complete their assignments in the workplace for the semester. KPPC has been fortunate to be able to continue teaching and working with Ms. Brock in her role as a co-op student who provides project support for the Sustainability Engineers here at the Center.
KPPC staff have settled into remote working to deliver no-cost technical assistance and information that helps business and industry across the Commonwealth of Kentucky to enhance operations and achieve sustainability goals. For example, we delivered a webinar on April 23rd that provided training on how to map water use and identify reduction opportunities for sustainable operations as part of the Sustainable Spirits and Brewing Initiative. The webinar was recorded and will be made available on the SSB web page very soon. You can check out the Sustainable Spirits and Brewing content at http://kppc.org/ssb for more information.
As a reminder, KPPC continues to be available to serve you via email, telephone, or web/video conferencing for any technical assistance needs you may have. In the meantime, we are working on projects, completing reports and planning for better ways to serve you in the future. KPPC operational planning during this time will be following the guidance and requirements issued by UofL which can be found at https://louisville.edu/coronavirus.
KPPC staff phone numbers and email addresses are provided on our website at http://kppc.org/about/staff/. If you are uncertain as to who to contact, please email email@example.com or call us at (502) 852-0965 and you will be directed to the appropriate person.
Call for Submissions: 2020 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards
The EPA Safer Choice program is accepting submissions for its 2020 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards. EPA developed the Partner of the Year Awards to recognize the leadership contributions of Safer Choice partners and stakeholders who, over the past year, have shown achievement in the design, manufacture, selection, and use of products with safer chemicals, which furthers outstanding or innovative source reduction. All Safer Choice stakeholders and program participants in good standing are eligible for recognition. Interested parties who would like to be considered for this award should submit to EPA information about their accomplishments and contributions during 2019. There is no form associated with this year’s application. Award winners will be recognized at a Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards ceremony that is being planned for in the Fall of 2020.
All Safer Choice stakeholders and program participants in good standing are eligible for recognition. Submissions are due on or before May 31, 2020.
What your state will pay you to recycle
Most Americans are hunkered down in their homes, keeping clear of the novel coronavirus — there have been about 760,000 people in the United States as of April 20. Staying inside all day, every day may have a positive environmental effect as it has helped reduce air pollution levels in some major cities, but homebound residents are hurting the environment as well because they are generating more garbage and trash haulers are barely keeping up.
With so many news articles showing images of clean cities, clean air, and animals thriving as humans hide inside, now may be a good time to think how else people may protect the planet. Some long-term benefits of recycling include creating environmentally-related jobs, reducing water and air pollution, conserving energy, and preserving natural resources.
In 2017, the latest year for which EPA data is available, about 267.8 million tons of garbage, or or 4.51 pounds per person per day, were generated in the United States, about 94 million tons of which were recycled and composted. This is equivalent to a 35.2% recycling and composting rate.
States have recognized the importance of recycling and have been working to promote it for years. A noticeable trend may be making their job difficult — we are producing more waste per person.
To determine what each state will pay its residents for recycling, 24/7 Tempo looked at beverage container deposit laws in all 10 states that have such statutes and reviewed recycling programs — both public and private — in each state.
See what each state pays its residents to recycle on the 24/7 Wall St. website.
The Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Waste Management sponsors projects to expand recycling, reduce the amount of solid waste going to landfills and improve the management of household hazardous waste. This year it is financing about 80 grants worth about $5 million.
The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s Division of Waste Management oversees the Kentucky Pride Fund. In 2019, the fund, which is financed by a $1.75 fee for each ton of municipal solid waste disposed of in Kentucky landfills, announced it was funding 84 grants for recycling, composting, and hazardous waste totaling about $4.6 million. Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, grant applications have been extended to May 1.
Making a Mark on Sustainability: The role of water in crafting Kentucky’s native spirit
After completing an internship with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and The Nature Conservancy, Jason Nally traveled around the commonwealth for ten years serving various roles within the government and non-governmental sectors as an educator and wildlife biologist. His current role as environmental champion at Star Hill Farm has allowed him to combine his love for two of Kentucky’s greatest resources — the environment and Maker’s Mark — where he leads environmental and sustainability initiatives and oversees research and conservation activities at Star Hill Farm.
WATER TECHNOLOGY: Water is obviously a critical ingredient in beverage manufacturing. How do you ensure the highest possible quality source water?
JASON NALLY: Clean, limestone-filtered water is an essential element for crafting Kentucky’s native spirit, and that is why we have increasingly dedicated time and resources to protecting the watershed that feeds our lake. Without that reliable source of water, we would not be able to consistently produce the quantity and quality of bourbon that the world knows and loves.
We can positively influence the water source through ecologically enriching land management practices and promoting sustainable agriculture on our property.
WT: We’re seeing more trends revolving around the circular water model. Does that apply to your business?
JN: From a food safety and product quality perspective, the circular water model can be difficult to implement in the beverage industry.
Risk to product quality must be measured to eliminate the risk of contamination.
The key element to consider is that any new and improved method cannot compromise the integrity of our product. Our end game is to consistently produce a very high-quality product that is based on a well-defined flavor vision.
Our lake water is one of our “not-so-secret” ingredients and we have absolutely no plans to divert the use of that water or jeopardize its integrity in any way. This makes the idea of implementing the concept of the circular water model into our system for cooking mash a bit difficult to conceptualize. As mentioned, we can, however, positively influence that water source through ecologically enriching land management practices. This follows along some of the core concepts of the circular water model, even though it may not be in the traditional “industrial” application of the concept.
WT: Have you implemented any strategies, such as water reuse, to reduce water consumption?
JN: Reuse opportunities are much easier to realize with process water used for boilers, chillers, etc. At Maker’s we’ve installed improved air-cooled chillers, which have also helped significantly decrease water usage. Although we are still quantifying that data, the savings will be significant.
Recently, at Maker’s Mark we installed a second pass to the existing reverse osmosis system. This improvement has allowed us to reclaim reject water in order to replace the use of municipal water in our cooling tower saving us approximately 15,000 gallons per day.
UK, Lexmark Form Technology Partnership
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 23, 2020) — The University of Kentucky Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) announces its first-ever license agreement with Lexmark International Inc. involving a project led by Joshua Werner, assistant professor in UK’s College of Engineering, exploring the recovery and recycling of precious metals. This agreement is related to and in support of a framework agreement with Lexmark for sponsored research and professional services.
Werner is an extractive metallurgist and worked in the electronic materials industry before pursuing his doctorate in metallurgical engineering (metals engineering). The technology to be developed under the project is a method for recovering valuable materials from end-of-life devices (e.g. spent laser printers, batteries) and recycling these materials into new products.
The value proposition to Lexmark in this project flows from the fact that it receives the end-of-life printers and toner cartridges for recovery, which can result in both the extraction of materials that can be sent to recycling as well as toner cartridges that are reconditioned.
Werner began a relationship over two years ago with John Gagel, global senior manager of corporate sustainability for Lexmark, during the 2017 International Forum on Sustainable Manufacturing hosted by UK.
Through a project called SMaRT (Sustainable Materials and Recovery Technologies) led by Lexmark Business Development, Werner and Lexmark began to consider how the cost of recycling circuit boards can be reduced and how a business opportunity might develop around the idea.
“I previously conceptualized a process that would be able to recover gold, copper, and other elements such as nickel and cobalt without the use of harsh acid,” Werner said. “This process was something novel and valuable and I was able to work with the fantastic team at UK OTC to protect it.”
With this partnership, UK and Lexmark will be working together to further develop the technology and assess its viability as a sustainable business for recovering valuable materials from end-of-life consumer devices at an industrial scale.
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 Sarah Golden:
Google redefines what it means to be ‘100% renewable’
This week, Google announced the launch of a new technology designed to shift the electricity demands of its largest data centers to match clean energy supply. Never one to shy away from buzzwords, Google is calling this a “carbon-intelligent computing platform.”
Developed by a small team of smarty-pants Google engineers, the technology schedules non-urgent computing tasks to correspond with when renewables are plentiful.
Using renewable forecasting data from Danish startup Tomorrow, a Google data center would plan computing tasks that are somewhat flexible — such as creating new filters for Google Photos or processing YouTube videos — for when renewables are plentiful and cheap. Meanwhile, the services people want on demand — such as accessing Maps, watching YouTube videos and generating search results — would continue to be powered around the clock.
Clean energy power matching: the next frontier
To reach 100 percent clean energy all day, every day — be it for companies, states or utilities — 100 percent clean energy goals aren’t enough.
While hundreds of companies have committed to 100 percent renewable energy for their operations, that is based on annual electricity consumption. It doesn’t take into account what time of day — or even what season — the energy is generated.
The all-in-on-renewables strategy should be credited with bringing clean power into the mainstream, but it never will decarbonize energy completely. The next frontier is figuring out how to match supply with demand in real time.
If successful, Google’s new software will shift its own computing loads to better match its low-carbon electricity supply.
The data center (down)load
Data centers are energy hogs, using about 3 percent of all electricity in the United States, with energy traffic growing every year. They’re expected to be one of the major sources of growth in demand for electricity in the coming decade (according to Schneider Electric).
Data centers’ energy demands have a rather consistent baseload. They need to run all day and night, with relatively little fluctuation when compared to residential or commercial electricity consumption.
By bifurcating out non-urgent computing activities, Google’s new platform is looking at data centers’ ability to be flexible in an innovative way — one that could be important with data farms gobbling up more energy.
Google isn’t the only company thinking about this. Lancium, a technology startup, has a vision to create “Pausable Data Centers” that provide a higher level of grid flexibility. The company also projects cost savings by shifting loads to times with plentiful ultra-low-cost wind power.
Find the latest articles, videos and resources on the GreenBiz website.
Upcoming Webinar Training and Events
- Circularity 20 Digital
This time of unprecedented challenges will require systemic solutions and radical new ways of doing business. Circularity 20 Digital will inform and empower you to adopt circular economy principles that increase resilience, address supply-chain risk, respond to shifting consumer demand and unlock new business opportunities.
May 19, 2020 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT
Register for this multi-session online web conference.
- Pollution Prevention Opportunities in the Metal Finishing Sector
The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) will cover their recently completed metal finishing pollution prevention (P2) work funded under EPA Region 5’s Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program. The focus of the presentation will be the Rinsing Manual that was developed through the project; an overview of the project will also be provided. The Rinsing Manual is a new on-line resource developed under the project for evaluating and improving rinsing systems in the metal finishing sector. During the P2 project, the manual was used to help a Michigan metal finishing shop reduce water use and sludge generation and these results will also be discussed.
May 27, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EDT
Register for this metal finishing P2 webinar.
EPA ENERGY STAR webinars:
- Using ENERGY STAR recognition in Strategic Energy Management programs
Helping facilities earn recognition for energy performance can be an effective way to demonstrate the value of Strategic Energy Management (SEM) and build support energy management broadly. ENERGY STAR offers several different recognition opportunities for industrial facilities through the Challenge for Industry and the Find the Treasure Campaign that SEM programs can leverage. Join us to learn more about these and other SEM resources.
May 14, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EDT
- Renewable Energy Options for Small Businesses and Congregations
Electricity use is often the single largest source of an organization’s emissions and air pollution footprint, not to mention being a significant expense. Making the simple choice to use renewable energy can offer environmental, economic and community benefits. On this webinar, you will learn about the various options available in the market to buy green power through retail purchase, self-generation and direct purchase from a renewable project. You will learn about how to align your desired energy and environmental outcomes to specific green power supply options. You will learn about the role of renewable energy certificates and how they can support your organization meeting its renewable energy and carbon footprint reduction goals.
May 21, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EDT
- Just Add WaterSense to Your Energy Efficiency Efforts
If you’re just focusing on energy, you may be leaving money on the table. Join us to learn how to incorporate water into your energy management activities by assessing your facility’s water use and identifying areas of water waste. Find out what it takes to make your building more water-efficient from simple, low-cost changes to larger-scale improvements and how WaterSense tools can help you start maximizing your savings and building performance.
May 27, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EDT
- Discovering Energy Savings with Treasure Hunts
During an Energy Treasure Hunt, groups of people walk around a building looking for opportunities to save energy. Treasure Hunts focus on quick fixes with a short payback period. Hundreds of organizations have used Energy Treasure Hunts to reduce their facilities’ energy use by up to 15 percent. During this webinar, you’ll hear from ENERGY STAR partners that have used Treasure Hunts as a way to improve day-to-day operations and engage building operators and employees in “discovering” treasure in their facilities.
April 29, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EDT
- Strategies for Setting Effective Energy Performance Goals
Are you aiming to set meaningful energy performance goals for your buildings? Join us to hear from three ENERGY STAR partners how to use a technical approach to estimate the energy efficiency improvement potential of a building and set effective goals. Boston Properties will share how they used a scientific method for setting performance goals for targets to make them realistic and achievable. In addition, CommonWealth Partners will talk about how they provide guidance on tracking emissions through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to all their properties and established science-based emissions targets. Finally, Hudson Pacific Properties will discuss how they setting performance goals and updating targets for their buildings, and how to incorporate carbon reduction goals into a program.
May 28, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. EDT
Portfolio Manager Series
- 101 – May 6, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. – 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 – May 13, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. EDT – 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 – May 19, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. EDT – 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.