July, 2020 – Volume 13, Issue 7
Your Manufacturing Neighbors and P2 Best Practices
Reporting and Pollution Prevention Calculators
Circularity 20 – Accelerating the Circular Economy
ENERGY STAR and Green Building Rating Systems
Reducing Costs with Quick Water Wins
ENERGY STAR – Portfolio Manager Webinars
30 years of the P2 Act
Excerpts from the “25 Years Preventing Pollution: A Retrospective Report” previously published on the PPRC.org website.
The Pollution Prevention (P2) Act, passed 30 years ago, represented a paradigm shift in our nation’s approach to solving pollution problems. In clear terms, the Act called for industry, government, and the public to look upstream in manufacturing processes – to prevent sources of pollution rather than use end-of-pipe reduction or clean-up strategies.
The undeniable success of both private and state prevention programs facilitated a national embrace of two goals previously seen as incompatible: environmental quality and economic productivity. A series of 1980s federal reports on waste reduction – both from the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – recognized how those two goals could be, and should be, accomplished together. A 1987 OTA report, for example, stated, “[This] study shows how the competitiveness of American industry and environmental protection can be improved by devoting more resources to waste reduction and thus quickly reducing the costs of pollution control.”
The Pollution Prevention Act went one step further; it placed prevention firmly at the top of the waste management pyramid. The only strategy better than reduction, the Act suggests, is to prevent waste in the first place. In a 1993 Public Policy Statement, EPA Administrator Carol Browner explained the shift toward valuing prevention:
“When EPA was created in the early 1970’s, our work had to focus first on controlling and cleaning up the most immediate problems. Those efforts have yielded major reductions in pollution in which we should all take pride. Over time, however, we have learned that traditional ‘end-of-pipe’ approaches not only can be expensive and less than fully effective, but sometimes transfer pollution from one medium to another … Pollution prevention has the exciting potential for both protecting the environment and strengthening economic growth through more efficient manufacturing and raw material use.”
Instead of commanding reductions, the Pollution Prevention Act aimed to help businesses assess their own pollution problems and be active participants in solving problems.
Kentucky Proud Park awarded LEED certification
Kentucky Proud Park, the home of University of Kentucky baseball, has been awarded LEED certification for its environmental performance and sustainable design.
The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. Kentucky Proud Park is the third UK Athletics facility to be certified, joining Kroger Field and the Joe Craft Football Training Facility.
“Kentucky Proud Park is one of the most outstanding venues in college baseball, both in its amenities and in the sustainability of its design and construction,” Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “We are proud to see that fact recognized with LEED certification and thankful to our construction partners who made that possible.”
UK worked with RossTarrant Architects and associate architect HNTB, as well as consultant Staggs and Fisher, Brown+Kubican, Technical Design Group, CMTA and Ballpark Design Associates, to design a ballpark for new game-day fan experiences and training facilities for student-athletes. Congleton-Hacker Company was the construction manager for Kentucky Proud Park.
“UK Athletics and the university have been great partners for sustainable design. Kentucky Proud Park is the third Athletics project in a row to achieve LEED certification,” said Greg Hosfield of RossTarrant Architects. “LEED accreditation was important to the university and it is great to see the stadium reducing energy use on campus. We hope to see more home runs each year for the Cats.”
Kentucky Proud Park achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Water saving efforts reduced annual potable water use by 30%. Energy consumption cost reductions are estimated to be 31.7% savings. Excellence in construction waste management resulted in diverting 75.56% of on-site generated construction waste from landfills. Recycled materials are used in 30.61% of the total building materials (by value) and 42.73% of the total building materials (by value) includes products and materials made and extracted within 500 miles of Kentucky Proud Park.
Diageo collaborates with Pilot Lite to create sustainable packaging
Alcohol conglomerate Diageo and venture management company Pilot Lite are partnering to create sustainable packaging for a myriad of consumer goods products. The new company named Pulpex Limited, will specialize in plastic-free bottles made from sustainably sourced pulp.
Johnnie Walker whisky will be the first product that will be sold in the new bottles. The new whiskey bottles are expected to be in stores next year.
“We are constantly striving to push the boundaries within sustainable packaging, and this bottle has the potential to be truly groundbreaking,” said Diageo chief sustainability officer Ewan Andrew in a statement. “It feels fitting that we should launch it with Johnnie Walker, a brand that has often led the way in innovation throughout its 200 years existence.”
The new company has also developed a partner consortium with consumer goods companies like Unilever and PepsiCo for the packaging to be used more broadly.
Invisible light can now be harnessed for solar power
Scientists have managed to use low-energy light to generate electricity in a major breakthrough for solar power.
Invisible light can now be ‘upconverted’ into high energy light, enabling solar cells to capture it and produce electricity. Using this technology, scientists say that we could theoretically obtain far more power from sunlight than ever before, making solar farms and solar panels significantly more efficient.
“The energy from the sun is not just visible light,” explains Professor Tim Schmidt from the University of New South Wales Department of Science, “the spectrum is broad, including infrared light which gives us heat and ultraviolet which can burn our skin.
“Most solar cells, charge-coupled device (CCD) cameras and photodiodes (a semiconductor that converts light into electrical current) are made from silicon, which cannot respond to light less energetic than the near infrared. This means that some parts of the light spectrum are going unused by many of our current devices and technologies.”
Teams across the United States and Australia have used the strategy, called photochemical upconversion, to change invisible infrared light into “more energetic, visible light” so that it can be used to generate electricity.
This is the first time light of this type has been able to be captured, and while the efficiency of the technology needs more work before commercialization is possible, it bodes well for the future of solar power.
The Home Depot reports US stores reduced electricity by 35%
The Home Depot’s US stores used 35% less electricity last year than in 2010, according to a 2020 Responsibility Report published today. In addition, the home improvement retailer detailed progress toward renewable energy procurement and emissions reductions.
In 2019, installing LED lighting across US stores contributed to substantial energy savings, the company said. The Home Depot reported that about 60% of US stores had LED lighting installed by the end of last year, and upgrades are continuing. Last year US store energy consumption went down by 12%.
The company has a science-based goal linked to its annual CDP reporting, committing to reducing carbon dioxide emissions 2.1% per year for a 40% reduction by 2030 and a 50% reduction by 2035. The new report shows that in 2019 the company reduced Scope 1 and 2 emissions 10%, and Scope 3 emissions 1%, all compared to the year before.
Renewable energy was a focus. The Home Depot seeks to produce or procure energy from 335 megawatts (MW) of renewable and alternative energy projects by 2025. By the end of last year, 260 stores were operating onsite alternative or renewable energy projects. The company said that it plans to “nearly double the number of stores with onsite solar panels and continue to leverage onsite fuel cells and offsite wind and solar energy.”
Partnerships with suppliers on improving products and packaging led to 1.44 million pounds of plastic being eliminated, and 7.73 million pounds of virgin plastic getting replaced with recycled plastic last year.
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 Heather Clancy:
AMD’s energy-slashing feat
It isn’t often I have the mindspace to proactively follow up on every commitment proclaimed by the companies I cover. But I recently paused to catch up about one that has particular relevance as more companies act to address their Scope 3 emissions reductions, those generated by supply chains and customers: AMD’s bold pledge back in 2014 to improve the energy efficiency of its mobile processors — the components used in notebook computers and specialized embedded systems, such as medical imaging equipment or industrial applications — by 25 times by 2020.
Not-so-spoiler alert: The fact that I’m bringing it up should be a big hint that the company has delivered. In fact, AMD overachieved the goal, delivering a 31.7 times improvement with its new Ryzen 7 4800H processor.
In layperson’s terms, that means that the chip consumes 84 percent less energy, while taking 80 percent less compute time for certain tasks. For you and me, that means batteries last longer. For companies buying entire portfolios of devices based on these processors, they will see their electricity consumption reduced. (The specific reduction you’d see by upgrading 50,000 laptops would be 1.4 million kilowatt-hours.)
Consider this perspective from tech research analyst Bob O’Donnell, president of TECHnalysis Research: “Lower energy consumption has never been more important for the planet, and the company’s ability to meet its target while also achieving strong processor performance is a great reflection of what a market-leading, engineering-focus company they’ve become.”
Indeed, when I chatted with Susan Moore, AMD’s corporate vice president for corporate responsibility and government affairs, she told me it took “a full company focus and a lot of innovation” by the AMD engineering team to make the goal happen. Note to others attempting the same sort of thing.
Although the company had pretty good visibility into what it would be able to pull off early on during the six-year period, there were plenty of questions marks, and it took unwavering support (and faith) from AMD CEO Lisa Su to keep true, Moore said.
Find the latest articles, videos and resources on the GreenBiz website.
Upcoming Webinar Training and Events
- Your Manufacturing Neighbors and P2 Best Practices
This webinar will be highlighting the pollution prevention best practices that Clayton Savannah and Mastermelt America have achieved while manufacturing homes and processing precious metals. We will be learning specifically about how these two facilities are using innovative materials management efforts to reduce waste.
August 12, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. EDT
Register for this online session.
- Reporting and Pollution Prevention Calculators
Reporting can be confusing if you are unsure of how to use the calculators and tools that are provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This webinar will be breaking down the EPA’s Pollution Prevention Calculators and Tools to help us better understand how they work. Kathy Davey is one of the individuals that created these calculators and will be able to answer any questions that you may have regarding them.
August 19, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. EDT
Register for this TDEC webinar.
- Circularity 20 – Accelerating the Circular Economy
This time of unprecedented challenges requires systemic solutions and radical new ways of doing business. Circularity 20 will empower participants to employ circular economy principles that navigate disruption, increase resilience, respond to shifting consumer demand and unlock new business opportunities. Join industry-leading speakers and more than 10,000 professionals participating from around the world to learn, connect and accelerate the circular economy.
August 25-27, Online event
Learn more about this online event and register.
EPA ENERGY STAR webinars:
- ENERGY STAR and Green Building Rating Systems
During this session, attendees will learn how to use EPA tools and resources to help meet requirements for green building rating systems such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), the Green Globes system, and others.
August 25, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. EDT
- Reducing Costs with Quick Water Wins
Reducing utility costs for your facility doesn’t have to involve major retrofits or renovations. Significant water and cost savings can be achieved with small changes to operation and maintenance procedures and changes to user behavior. Learn about no- and low-cost solutions that can be implemented to start saving water in buildings right away, without the need for costly capital improvements.
August 26, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EDT
Portfolio Manager Series
- 101 – August 5, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EDT – 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 – August 19, 2020 at 2:00 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 – August 25 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.