SSP February 2022

February, 2022 – Volume 15, Issue 2

UofL Industrial Assessment Center is up and running

How Maker’s Mark became the largest distillery in the world to earn B-Corp Certification

Intel to construct large chip plant in Ohio using sustainable building practices

Engineers are building bridges with recycled wind turbine blades

The circular economy professional gets promoted

Upcoming Online Events

Sustainability and Clean-In-Place (CIP) Techniques

Circularity 22

Tracking GHG Emissions in Portfolio Manager

Benchmarking Water & Wastewater Treatment Plants in Portfolio Manager

Find Leaks and Stop Water Waste in Their Tracks

ENERGY STAR – Portfolio Manager Webinars

Amplifying the latest sustainability news, perspectives and events

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The UofL Industrial Assessment Center is up and running

The University of Louisville’s J.B, Speed School of Engineering was selected as one of 32 universities to participate in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Industrial Assessment Center program to help local manufacturers improve their energy efficiency. The grant funds the University of Louisville Industrial Assessment Center (ULIAC) for Manufacturing Technical Assistance and Energy Engineering Workforce Development. The DOE investment will aid in the transition to a clean energy economy, building the next-generation energy workforce, and propelling America toward a carbon-free future by 2050.

The UofL project team is lead by Dean of Speed School of Engineering Emmanuel Collins; Principal Investigator (PI) Mark McKinley, Civil & Environmental Engineering Professor; Co-PI and Chemical Engineering Professor Mahendra Sunkara; Ed Tackett, Director, Engineering Solutions & Industry Relations; and Lissa McCracken, Executive Director of Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center (KPPC).

KPPC’s role in the ULIAC

The ULIAC became operational as of January 2022 and has already conducted multiple faculty and student led no-cost assessments for small to medium-sized manufacturing facilities (SMEs) that meet the eligibility requirements and additional assessments have been scheduled for the spring semester.

The ULIAC is utilizing the knowledge and experience of the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center with conducting on-sight assessments.

“A primary role for KPPC is to incorporate IAC standards for assessment procedures, lead assessment efforts, recruitment and supervision of co-op students, and recruitment of new industry members,” said Lissa McCracken, Executive Director of KPPC.

KPPC technical staff oversee the training and development of SSoE engineering students selected to participate in on-sight ULIAC energy assessments of regional SMEs. KPPC will also leverage its outreach capabilities to connect our past, present and future qualifying clients to this valuable no-cost service.

Read more about the DOE IAC process and the impact that the program has.

Visit the ULIAC website for more information about who is eligible and to inquire about a ULIAC assessment for your manufacturing facility.

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How Maker’s Mark became the largest distillery in the world to earn B-Corp Certification

Maker’s Mark has earned B Corporation Certification, making it the largest distillery in the world and the first in Kentucky’s Bourbon Country to achieve the distinction, which recognizes companies working to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. The B Corp Certification signals a major milestone on the brand’s environmentally conscious mission to “Make Your Mark. Leave No Trace.”

Maker’s Mark achieved B Corp Certification by meeting and exceeding benchmarks across five categories of the B Impact Assessment: Community, Customers, Environment, Governance and Workers.

B Corp Certification is one step Maker’s Mark is taking to “Make Your Mark. Leave No Trace,” as part of its long-term environmentally-focused mission which couples bold, regenerative actions with comprehensive efforts to leave nothing harmful behind. Beyond the initiatives assessed as part of B Corp Certification, Maker’s Mark has introduced several innovative efforts to create a more sustainable future for the spirits industry, including the establishment of the world’s largest repository of American White Oak trees for research purposes; a genome mapping project of the American White Oak species; and regenerative farming practices to enrich soil for more robust and flavorful varieties of grain.

Read more about the key efforts by Maker’s Mark that were recognized as part of the certification on the Environmental Leader website.

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Intel to construct large chip plant in Ohio using sustainable building practices

Intel has announced plans for an initial investment of more than $20 billion to construct two chip factories in Ohio, which will be built with green building principles and use all renewable electricity.

The initial project will be on a 926-acre site in Licking County near Columbus and will also aim to achieve net positive water use and zero total waste to landfills as part of Intel’s 2030 sustainability goals, according to the company. Construction on the factories is expected to begin later in 2022 with completion in 2025.

New and remodeled facilities play a big role in Intel’s sustainability goals. The company wants to use 100% renewable energy across its operations and conserve 4 billion kilowatt hours of energy by 2030.

The company says it has already completed more than 2,000 energy conservation projects and has saved more than $500 million in energy costs.

Intel also aims to cut 10% of its absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions as it grows its production capacity from 2020 to 2030. Additionally, Intel plans to increase its product efficiency to help reduce Scope 3 emissions

As part of that goal, the company aims to make production of its semiconductors sustainable, and it seeks to form a collective to approach with other businesses to reduce emissions across the industry.

Read the full article on the Environmental Leader website to find out more about how Intel looks to improve it’s circular manufacturing.

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Engineers are building bridges with recycled wind turbine blades

Repurposing the blades could help solve a major waste challenge

On a former train track bed connecting the towns of Midleton and Youghal in County Cork, Ireland, workers recently excavated the rusted remains of an old railway bridge and installed a pedestrian one in its place. The bridge would have been an unremarkable milestone in the development of a new pedestrian greenway through the Irish countryside, if not for what it’s made of: recycled wind turbine blades.

That makes it just the second “blade bridge” in the world. The first, installed last October in a small town in western Poland, officially opened in early January. The engineers and entrepreneurs behind these bridges are hopeful they represent the beginning of a new trend: repurposing old wind turbine blades for infrastructure projects.

It keeps them out of landfills and saves energy required to make new construction materials. When civil engineer Kieran Ruane first saw concept designs for a bridge built with wind turbine blades, he said the idea was “immediately appealing.”

“It was a no-brainer that this needed to be investigated and trialed, at least,” Ruane, a lecturer at Ireland’s Munster Technological University and a member of Re-Wind, the research network behind Ireland’s new blade bridge, tells The Verge.

Creative solutions will be necessary to deal with the wind turbine blade waste that’s coming. Averaging over 150 feet in length and weighing upwards of a dozen tons each, wind turbine blades take up huge amounts of space in landfills. Once there, the ultra-sturdy, fiber-reinforced plastics they’re made of don’t break down easily. Decommissioned wind turbine blades, if they’re not just stockpiled, are often destined for landfills today. The main alternative, incinerating them for energy, creates additional pollution.

That could change if ideas like blade bridges take off. Marcin Sobczyk, a product developer at Anmet, the company behind Poland’s new blade bridge, tells The Verge that wind blades often have decades of life left in them after a turbine is decommissioned. And the same material properties that make blades good at harnessing wind power — strength, lightweightness, and all-weather durability — also make them attractive as engineering support structures.

Read the full article by Maddie Stone to learn more about the repurposing of wind turbine blades on The Verge 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 Lauren Phipps:

The circular economy professional gets promoted

There’s been plenty of talk within companies in the past few years about the circular economy. In fact, “circular economy” was the fastest-rising skill among all LinkedIn users in 2019, according to that year’s State of Green Business report. But just as architect and author Bill McDonough often says design is the first signal of human intention, headcount is the first signal of meaningful corporate action.

There’s a new role appearing on org charts at companies across industries: the circular economy lead. Responsible for curbing a company’s role in the linear systems of extraction, manufacturing, consumption and disposal, the emergent head of circularity has the potential to influence an entire organization. This strategic lens can be applied to nearly every material flow and business model, and in late 2021 more than 1,200 circular economy jobs were listed in the U.S. alone.

The rise of the corporate circular economy exec is following a maturity curve similar to that of the sustainability professional. It’s taken over two decades for the sustainability title to move into the C-suite. As the circular economy concept is still in its relative infancy, the job of helping to advance it inside a company is gaining momentum and similarly evolving in scope, scale and influence. High-level titles are cropping up on org charts across the tech industry, for example, at companies including Amazon, Cisco and Google.

Read the full article on the GreenBiz website to understand what circular jobs at more companies entail.

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

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Upcoming Online Events

  • Sustainability and Clean-In-Place (CIP) Techniques
    The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation invites you to join us for the Tennessee Sustainable Spirits’ first webinar of 2022. This webinar will discuss how spirits producers can enhance facility sustainability through clean-in-place (CIP) practices. Attendees will learn more about how spirits producers can clean equipment in a manner that can reduce operational costs associated with water consumption, chemical use, and energy consumption.
    March 16, 2022 at 11:30 a.m. EDT
    Register for this sustainable spirits event.
  • Circularity 22
    As the leading convening of professionals building the circular economy, Circularity 22 offers thought-provoking keynotes, informative breakouts, a solutions-oriented expo and engaging networking opportunities.
    May 17 – 19, 2022 – Atlanta, GA
    Find out more and register to attend this in-person for this conference.


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  • Tracking GHG emissions in Portfolio Manager
    Now that you’ve benchmarked, what’s next? Join us to understand how to interpret your results and your building’s performance. Learn how you can take things to the next level with more insights into your building’s performance metrics, and use your data to identify actionable energy and cost saving opportunities!
    March 9, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. EST
  • 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.
    March 22, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. EDT
  • Find Leaks and Stop Water Waste in Their Tracks
    With a good background on the basic functionality of EPA’s ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® tool, 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.
    March 23, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. EDT

Portfolio Manager Series

  • 101 – March 8, 2022 at 1:00 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 – March 17, 2022 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 – March 23, 2022 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.


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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