SSP December 2019

December, 2019 – Volume 12, Issue 12

Douglas C. Griffin Environmental Sustainability Award winners for 2019

Kentucky endorses ENERGY STAR certification for distilleries

UofL sugar substitute, bio-coal technology licensed to Louisville startup


KPPC offices closed for the holidays

Bluegrass Sustainability Summit Feb. 4 aims to shift regional culture

Louisville Water Company signs contract with Itron to improve operational efficiency

Whiskey makers making a play for climate-conscious drinkers

GreenBiz: Ford and McDonald’s to turn coffee waste into car parts

Upcoming Training, Events and Conferences

Bluegrass Sustainability Summit

Plastics Recycling Conference and Trade Show

Sustainability in Packaging Conference

How to Apply for the ENERGY STAR for U.S. Buildings

ENERGY STAR – Portfolio Manager Webinars

SSP banner image

Douglas C. Griffin Environmental Sustainability Award winners for 2019

The Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center (KPPC) Douglas C. Griffin Environmental Sustainability Award recognizes Kentucky entities that have demonstrated a commitment to the principles of sustainability and environmental stewardship. The award is presented each year in conjunction with National Pollution Prevention Week.

This year’s award winners are the Louisville Distilling Company for their environmental sustainability achievements and the Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing for efforts to encourage sustainable manufacturing practices with Kentucky companies.

Louisville Distilling Company

Angel’s Envy®, a subsidiary of Bacardi Limited, is a hand crafted, small batch whiskey produced by Louisville Distilling Company (LDC). Angel’s Envy® produces its port wine barrel whiskey in a handsomely renovated facility in downtown Louisville. Conceived by Lincoln Henderson and son Wes Henderson in 2011, the Angels Envy brand has become one of the most in demand craft bourbons in the marketplace today.

The LDC Angel’s Envy® team celebrate receiving their 2019 Environmental Sustainability award.

LDC has developed a reputation for not only great tasting whiskey, but for their passion for environmental stewardship. Tours and events are hosted daily at their production facility, which includes energy efficient equipment and LED lighting. Through its recycling efforts, LDC has diverted tons of glass from local landfills, and all of its spent grain wastewater goes to a local farmer for animal food. Partnering with KPPC, the J.B. Speed School of Engineering at the University of Louisville and equipment providers, LDC continues to look for ways to enhance its sustainability performance,and reduce their environmental impact.

Julio Torruella, LDC Operations Director accepted the award at their annual company-wide educational event. “We are honored to accept this award for our environmental sustainability achievements and appreciate the recognition it brings to the staff of the Louisville Distilling Company. We would not have accomplished what we have without their dedication and support. We look forward to continuing to enhance our sustainability efforts and we appreciate the assistance that KPPC has provided to help us achieve our goals.”

Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing

Functioning within the University of Kentucky College of Engineering, the ISM is a multidisciplinary collaborative research unit whose primary objectives are to develop and advance sustainable manufacturing principles and practices in Kentucky, the nation and beyond. With a focus on products, processes and systems, the ISM conducts basic and applied research, offers educational programs, develops new and innovative sustainable manufacturing technologies, and transfers principles and technologies through outreach to industry.

The ISM has been instrumental in assisting KPPC in developing sustainable manufacturing services, including sustainable value stream mapping and sustainable product development, and has provided training to Kentucky companies through educational webinars and workshops offered by KPPC. KPPC is grateful for their partnership in encouraging improvement in sustainability performance at Kentucky manufacturers.

Dr. I.S. Jawahir, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing accepted the award. “We are honored to accept this award in recognition of our efforts to encourage sustainable manufacturing practices with Kentucky companies. We are very grateful to the faculty, staff and students of the ISM, for their dedication and support, and the ongoing inspiration they bring to the Institute. We look forward to continuing and enhancing our sustainability efforts, and we appreciate the partnership with KPPC in these efforts.”

There have been sixteen Kentucky companies that have previously won the Environmental Sustainability Award since KPPC created the award program.

Find out more about the Sustainability Award and past award winners.

Scroll to Top

Kentucky endorses ENERGY STAR certification for distilleries

Kentucky, the birthplace of bourbon, may soon be home to the world’s first ENERGY STAR-certified distilleries.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of creating an ENERGY STAR certification specifically for distilleries, an initiative for which the Kentucky Office of Energy Policy (OEP) was the driving force.

“It’s a national effort, and a natural fit with our cabinet’s Sustainable Spirits initiative,” said OEP Assistant Director Kenya Stump, who has been working closely with U.S. EPA in the early stages of the project.

Stump said the idea for a distillery-specific certification originated last year, when representatives of a distillery approached her asking how they could get ENERGY STAR certified. She asked U.S. EPA if such a rating existed, and, upon finding out none did, Stump offered to help create one.

Distilling isn’t the first industry to have a specialized ENERGY STAR certification. The U.S. EPA works with individual manufacturing sectors through ENERGY STAR to develop certifications for specific industries, which are referred to as “industries in focus.”

In order to accurately assess the energy efficiency of a facility, specialized industries need sector-specific energy benchmarks. These measurements give businesses or plants something to compare their energy usage to — such as that facility’s energy consumption during a similar time period or energy usage at a similar facility elsewhere. This serves as a baseline for progress.

Thus far, ENERGY STAR has created energy efficiency tools for more than 30 industries and offers specialized plant energy performance indicators for 18 of those sectors. This includes industries such as food processing, motor vehicle manufacturing, paper manufacturing and more.

Right now, OEP and U.S. EPA are in the process of asking distilleries — of bourbon as well as other spirits — to participate in its “benchmarking” process.

“ENERGY STAR certification is the defining mark of top energy performance for manufacturing facilities within their industry,” said Elizabeth Dutrow of ENERGY STAR Industrial Partnerships. “To develop an ENERGY STAR distillery energy performance indicator for use in certifying the energy performance of distilleries, we welcome the full participation of all distillers.”

Facilities’ energy consumption will be measured, and the ENERGY STAR energy performance indicator will produce an energy performance score for each distillery between one and 100. A score of 75 or higher is needed to qualify for ENERGY STAR certification, although scores falling below that threshold are still useful and help manufacturers better manage energy.

That’s because even the act of periodically measuring usage helps drive action. One EPA study found that consistently measuring benchmarks over time reduced average annual energy consumption by 2.4 percent. Participating distilleries will also receive assistance from energy professionals in the industry, who can share non-proprietary energy management strategies and answer questions.

Distilleries that are interested in participating in the process can contact

The Kentucky Office of Energy Policy, within the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, aims to utilize the state’s energy resources in a way that improves the Commonwealth while protecting and improving the environment.

To learn more about ENERGY STAR’s programs, visit

Read the original post on the Land, Air & Water webzine site.
Scroll to Top

UofL sugar substitute, bio-coal technology licensed to Louisville startup

A technology born from University of Louisville research uses spent distillers’ grains, corn and waste wood to create a low-calorie sugar substitute.

And it gets sweeter: the process also results in a bio-mass “coal” alternative that burns up to 20 times cleaner than the regular stuff.

The technology was invented at the UofL Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research, biomass conversion and biofuels group in collaboration with Michael Nantz and his team in the UofL chemistry department. The newly-issued patent for the technology is now licensed to Louisville-based startup, BioProducts, which is working to get it to market.

Brian Walsh, the company’s CEO, said the potential environmental benefits of the technology are huge. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, burning traditional coal can cause emissions linked to smog, acid rain and other negative environmental and health side effects.

“There’s a better way to do it,” he said. “We don’t have to harm the earth. We don’t have to pollute.”

The process isolates xylose – a low-calorie sugar from the biomass. Xylose sugar is widely used as a diabetic sweetener in food and beverage applications. It is also used as a diagnostic agent to observe malabsorption in the gastrointestinal tract.

Once the xylose is extracted, the team turns the remnant agriculture waste products into a cleaner “drop-in” replacement for coal – a “bio-coal” product.

BioProducts licensed the technology from UofL’s Commercialization EPI-Center, which handles intellectual property resulting from university research and forges partnerships with companies for commercialization.

“I’m blown away with how well UofL does integrating technology with business leaders,” Walsh said. “I’ve never seen anything like it. I don’t see other universities doing that better.”

Dr. Jagannadh Satyavolu, theme leader for biomass and biofuels research at the UofL Conn Center, led this research effort and is the founder of BioProducts. Energy and value creation from waste products are his specialty.

In the past, Satyavolu has partnered with industry to accelerate the commercialization of multiple bioproducts made from wood and agricultural biomass materials. His bio-coal work has been partly funded by U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities.Dr. Satyavolu is continuing his bio-coal research work with Oregon Torrefaction LLC, John Day, Oregon and other industry partners.

The process technology behind those products, as with the technology licensed by BioProducts, was torrefaction — essentially, “roasting” the biomass material to remove moisture and certain volatile compounds. A densification step needs to follow torrefaction to make the product denser, turning it into a coal replacement brick that’s easier to store and ship.

He said the xylose work started about seven years ago, after he took on a pilot project to find new uses for spent distiller’s grain — something Kentucky has in spades — and for corn. Walsh said the product could also create an additional revenue stream for farmers who might otherwise lose money on their agriculture waste.

“We’re always looking for new opportunities to add value and lower the cost of biofuels,” Satyavolu said.

Read the original post on the UofL News website.

Scroll to Top


KPPC offices closed for the holidays

The Shelby Campus offices of KPPC will be closed during the University of Louisville’s scheduled holiday break beginning on December 23, 2019. You can leave us a voice mail message at (502) 852-0965 or use “Contact KPPC” to send an email message.

The offices will open on Thursday, January 2, 2020. Have a safe and happy holiday!

Scroll to Top


Bluegrass Sustainability Summit Feb. 4 aims to shift regional culture

As reported on the Lane Report website.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Nearly two-thirds of Central Kentuckians say they want to see a culture of environmental sustainability in the Bluegrass, according to a poll conducted by the Kentucky Environmental Education Council (KEEC). The inaugural Bluegrass Sustainability Summit, held Feb. 4, 2020 and hosted by Bluegrass Greensource, aims to take action toward that goal.

Mark Fisher, vice president of facilities, planning and sustainability at the Cincinnati Zoo, named the “Greenest Zoo in America,” will be keynote speaker.

The summit, held at the University of Kentucky’s new Gatton Student Center, will feature regional sustainability success stories from Cincinnati, Louisville and other Kentucky communities. Local experts will discuss four main topics.

The topics were chosen based on a poll taken by Bluegrass Greensource in which nearly 64% of Central Kentuckians reported to having a vested interest in waste reduction; 50% said they are concerned about water quality; about 45% are interested in learning more about energy efficiency and climate change; and nearly 40% want to know more about sustainable agriculture and local food.

Summit attendees will hear from local experts, then form action teams to take on challenges and look at opportunities in each area. With administrative support from Bluegrass Greensource, the action teams will begin meeting to identify goals and methods to pursue them.

The summit will be a historic event for Lexington, empowering attendees to create change in their businesses, homes and communities. All Central Kentuckians – including elected officials, government employees, businesses, students and those working in community and environmental fields – are invited to become inspired to work together to make Kentucky a greener state.

More information regarding the event and the day’s agenda can be found at

Scroll to Top


Louisville Water Company signs contract with Itron to improve operational efficiency

Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI), which is innovating the way utilities and cities manage energy and water, signed a contract with Louisville Water Company, which serves more than 1 million people in Louisville, Kentucky and the surrounding areas, to modernize the water usage data collection process.

The utility will deploy Itron’s OpenWay ® Riva IoT solution, including replacing nearly 280,000 meters with the OpenWay Riva water communication modules, a new type of communication technology that allows usage to be captured electronically and communicated in real-time. The utility will also utilize Itron’s analytics offering to detect water loss, allowing customers to make faster, better informed decisions.

“Our mission is to provide safe, high-quality water and related services to our customers,” said Dave Vogel, executive vice president at Louisville Water. “Itron’s IoT solution and analytics allows us to take advantage of real-time data analysis to improve water loss detection and improve service to our customers.”

“We are excited to collaborate with Louisville Water to empower customers to monitor their water usage and better manage resources,” said Sharelynn Moore, senior vice president of Networked Solutions at Itron. “This is yet another example of how Itron’s water solutions are enabling utilities to create a more resourceful world.”

Read the full announcement on the Smart Water Magazine website.

Scroll to Top

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 Catherine Early:

One for the road: Ford and McDonald’s to turn coffee waste into car parts

Ford is making car parts out of coffee waste from McDonald’s.

Waste coffee from McDonald’s is to be turned into new, lightweight car parts under a new partnership announced between the fast food giant and the carmaker Ford.
Researchers from the two companies found that coffee chaff — the dried skin on the bean that naturally comes off during the roasting process — can be converted into a durable material to reinforce vehicle parts, such as headlamp housing.

By heating the chaff to high temperatures under low-oxygen, mixing it with plastic and other additives and turning it into pellets, the material can be formed into various shapes.

The innovation will help make Ford car parts about 20 percent lighter and provide up to 25 percent energy savings during the molding of parts. The heat properties of the chaff components are significantly better than the material currently used, Ford said.

Ford and McDonald’s said that the partnership would see a “significant portion” of the fast food chain’s coffee chaff in North America incorporated into vehicle parts, but was not clear if the idea would be rolled out globally.

Debbie Mielewski, senior technical leader in Ford’s sustainability and emerging materials research team, said: “Now is the time to jump-start the closed loop economy, where different industries work together and exchange materials that are either side or waste products.”

Ford has a goal of using only recycled and renewable plastics in its vehicles. The automaker already makes around 300 car parts from renewable materials, including soy, wheat, rice, agave, castor, tomato and tree cellulose.

Read the original article on the GreenBiz website.

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

Scroll to Top

Upcoming Training, Events and Conferences

  • Bluegrass Sustainability Summit
    Bluegrass Greensource presents Central Kentucky’s inaugural Sustainability Summit at the University of Kentucky Gatton Student Center. The Inaugural Bluegrass Sustainability Summit will empower attendees to create change in our businesses, homes and communities. Local experts will equip Action Teams on waste reduction, sustainable agriculture and local food, water quality, energy efficiency and climate change.
    February 4, 2020 – Lexington, KY
    Find out more and register for this sustainability summit.
  • 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.



  • How to Apply for the ENERGY STAR for U.S. Buildings
    Learn about applying for ENERGY STAR Certification in Portfolio Manager. Understand the value of the ENERGY STAR certification, see the step-by-step process of applying, and gain tips to help your property get from application to award.
    January 21, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.

Portfolio Manager Series

  • 101 – January 15, 2020 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 – January 22, 2020 at 2 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 – January 29, 2020 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.

Scroll to Top


View past issues of SSP