SSP March 2021

March, 2021 – Volume 14, Issue 3

BOC lunch and learn webinar in April

Energy consumption 2020 update: 22 states see 2-digit drops in power usage

A smart water solution is a smart investment in accomplishing more with less



Newsbits

EPA calls for nominations for the 2021 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards

Report features best practices for chemical management

Tide sets goal to reduce water use by 40%

Renewed focus on landfill calculations as waste industry faces pressure to reduce emissions

Argo blockchain and DMG launch world’s first ‘Green Bitcoin’ mining pool



GreenBiz:
The rise of the corporate circular economy professional



Upcoming Online Events

Energy Green Convene

2021 KY EXCELebration

A Circular Economy for Plastics: How Companies are Moving from Strategy to Action

Power Dialogue: Climate Solutions for Kentucky

Building Operator Certification – Lunch & Learn Session

Tracking GHG Emissions in Portfolio Manager

How to Benefit from Benchmarking Compliance with Strategies for Improving your Energy Performance

Controlling Water Waste Across Commercial and Institutional Properties Everywhere

A Beginner’s Guide to Using Portfolio Manager for Benchmarking Law Compliance

ENERGY STAR – Portfolio Manager Webinars

Amplifying the latest sustainability news and perspectives

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BOC Lunch and Learn held on April 14th

Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center (KPPC) held a free, 20 minute information session about Building Operator Certification (BOC) virtual training courses. View the webinar to learn about the curriculum and the class format along with hearing from a previous graduate about the BOC experience.

Those who attended the Lunch & Learn session were eligible to receive a $100 discount on tuition for the upcoming BOC training series this summer in Kentucky.

View this BOC informational webinar on the KPPC YouTube channel.


BOC Level I Training – Kentucky Online Series now scheduled for summer 2021

Registration is now open for the virtual Building Operator Certification (BOC) Level I training series beginning June 15, 2021!

BOC is a nationally recognized,  competency-based program focusing on energy-efficient building  operations and preventive maintenance procedures. The program will train  facility personnel to understand how their building systems work  together, and how to bring them to their most efficient level of  operation.

This training is ideal for operating engineers, HVAC technicians, heads of maintenance or anyone working with the mechanical systems of large commercial or institutional buildings, around 50,000 square feet or larger. Click here to view eligibility requirements for Level I BOC training.

The BOC Level I training series will be offered online in consecutive two-day training sessions, with instructor-led lectures. Online sessions are planned to be held from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm ET.

Find out more about this upcoming training series beginning June 15, 2021 and how to register.

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Energy consumption 2020 update: 22 states see 2-digit drops in power usage

LEXINGTON, Ky. (CommercialCafe) – The pandemic has been the ultimate black swan event of the past decade.

Not only did it require changes in the way individuals and groups interact, but also in how businesses are run, as well as how and what individuals spend money on. It’s also made the public more aware of what resources power daily lives, as well as the disproportionate effect a lack of or limited access to these resources can have.

The following study uses Energy Information Administration (EIA) state-level and sector-specific data on energy sales and is split into two main timeframes. The first compares changes in yearly U.S. energy sales between 2019 and 2020, while the second examines emerging power generation and consumption trends between 2010 and 2020.

Using data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), CommercialCafe looked at changes in yearly U.S. energy sales between 2019 and 2020. It also included data on the main energy sources.

Here’s how Kentucky compared to the nation as a whole:

– In Kentucky, the overall power consumption fell by 7% last year compared to 2019.

– The commercial and the industrial sectors both registered decreases —8% y-o-y and 11% y-o-y, respectively.

– The energy consumption in the residential sector saw a 1% dip.

– Nationally, overall energy consumption decreased 4% in 2020 compared to the previous year. And, while residential energy usage increased by roughly 2%, commercial and industrial consumption declined by 6% and 8%, respectively.

Read the full article for more key takeaways from the 2020 versus 2019 energy consumption comparison on the WTVQ website.

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A smart water solution is a smart investment in accomplishing more with less

Mansfield, Texas, March 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Master Meter and Ferguson Waterworks encourage water utilities and municipalities to invest in smart water management systems and their residents’ future. Meter systems are an essential part of the water system when coupled with connectivity capabilities that remotely capture data and streamline operations, achieving astounding customer service results, cost savings, and labor outputs.

The City of Harrodsburg, KY, understands the value of a smart water technology investment. Founded in 1774, this is the oldest city in Kentucky. Nevertheless, with Master Meter and Ferguson Waterworks’ partnership, they’ve begun to enjoy the latest smart water technology available as they transform their water utility to bring all 8,000+ citizens an unparalleled new customer service experience.

A smart meter investment empowers water customers with convenient on-demand access to timely consumption information, automated leak alerts, and a powerful budgeting tool to manage their consumption and increase a sense of water stewardship. “When Master Meter launched our smart water solution portfolio, we realized that it enables every stakeholder in a city – utility management and the end customers – to become a better manager of their relationship with water. Hence, our tagline, ‘Because Everyone is a Water Manager.’ At a time when customers are more tech-savvy and demand greater transparency, our portfolio of smart water technologies and engaging software make this a reality,” said Ian MacLeod, Master Meter’s Vice President of Marketing.

The City of Harrodsburg’s objective to operationally be more efficient while providing new heights in customer service to their citizens began this month, March 2021, when the first water meters were installed.

Read the full announcemnet to learn more about the smart water technology on the Street Insider website.

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Newsbits

EPA Calls for nominations for the 2021 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now accepting nominations for the 2021 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards. The awards will 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.

As part of EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment, the Safer Choice program partners with businesses to help consumers and commercial buyers identify products with safer chemical ingredients, without sacrificing quality or performance. In support of the Biden-Harris Administration’s goals, EPA especially encourages submission of award applications that show how the applicant’s work in the design, manufacture, selection and use of those products promotes environmental justice, bolsters resilience to the impacts of climate change, results in cleaner air or water, or improves drinking water quality.

Submissions are due by May 31, 2021. Award winners will be recognized at a ceremony in the fall of 2021.

More information on the 2021 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards, the submission process, and past winners can be found at https://www.epa.gov/saferchoice/safer-choice-partner-year-awards.

Safer Choice is an EPA Pollution Prevention (P2) program, which includes practices that reduce, eliminate, or prevent pollution at its source, such as using safer ingredients in products. EPA’s Safer Choice program certifies products containing ingredients that have met the program’s specific and rigorous human health and environmental toxicological criteria. The Safer Choice program allows companies to use its label on certified products that contain safer ingredients and perform, as determined by expert evaluation.

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Report features best practices for chemical management

Clean Production Action recently released the 5th Annual Chemical Footprint Project (CFP) Report analyzing the results of the CFP 2020 Survey. The Survey evaluates and benchmarks participating companies on their progress to best practices in proactive chemicals management. The 33 companies participating in the 2020 Survey came from seven industry sectors and ranged in size from small privately owned companies to large publicly traded multinational corporations. For the first time in five years of the CFP Survey, seven companies scored over 80 percent of possible points. These Front-runners were far more likely than other participants in the survey to:

– Have senior management leadership and Board level engagement in chemicals management.

– Publicly disclose their Restricted Substances List (RSL), manufacturing RSL (MRSL), and CFP 2020 Survey responses and score.

– Measure their chemical footprint using the CFP Chemicals of High Concern (CoHC) reference list of over 2200 chemicals

– Invest in safer alternatives to CoHCs

Investors, retailers, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) want to know where companies are on their chemicals management journey. CFP Signatories include investors with over $2 trillion in assets under management, and retailers and health care organizations with over $800 billion in purchasing power. First Affirmative Financial Network (FAFN) “is a long time signatory to the Chemical Footprint Project because it provides investors with the necessary framework for companies and their investors to measure, manage, and reduce these chemical risks while enhancing quality of life for people and planet” said Holly Testa, Director, Shareowner Engagement at FAFN, according to a press release.

The CFP Survey questions and response options provide a holistic framework for how companies identify hazardous chemicals in products, packaging, manufacturing, and supply chains, and replace them with safer alternatives.

For details on the CFP 2020 Report visit https://www.chemicalfootprint.org.

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Tide sets goal to reduce water use by 40%

Tide aims to reduce water use at plants by 40% (by 2030 vs. 2010 baseline), while evolving products to use less water in both formula and wash cycle. In 2020,Tide reduced absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in its direct manufacturing by more than 75% annually versus a decade ago and has set a new goal to cut GHG emissions in half at its direct manufacturing plants by 2030.

Tide is also launching a significant educational campaign in spring 2021 to convince North American consumers to shift to cold water washing. The goal for three out of four loads of laundry in the United States and Canada to be washed in cold instead of hot by 2030 has the potential to reduce GHG emissions by 4.25 million metric tons (MT), according to Tide. Over the decade (2020-2030), the total impact of this action would be a cumulative 27 million MT reduction in CO2.

Today, Tide manufacturing plants use 100% renewable electricity. Tide will advance its GHG emissions reduction goal through a pilot development project with Opus12, a Silicon Valley start-up at the forefront of carbon transformation, to explore the company’s carbon capture and utilization technology to incorporate CO2 Made ingredients in the manufacturing of Tide.

With over two-thirds of all GHG emissions in the laundry lifecycle resulting from the consumer use phase, Tide will zero in on an ambitious long-term mission to make cold water washing the industry standard in the US and Canada, compared to today’s baseline, which sees on average less than half of laundry loads washed on cold. Switching from hot to cold water reduces energy use in the wash phase by up to 90%.

Behavior change at this scale will require significant investment, as well as collaboration across the industry. To advance that goal, Tide will launch a “turn to cold water” consumer education campaign in the coming weeks.

Read the original article on the Environmental Leader website.

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Renewed focus on landfill calculations as waste industry faces pressure to reduce emissions

Greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change are under growing scrutiny from regulators and investors alike. Finding the most precise way to measure them remains a complex effort.

Waste companies have long been comfortable dealing with regulations about tracking and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but heightened attention may make that more complex in the years ahead.
The pressure to address contributions to climate change is starting to come from new sources. Growing numbers of customers and investors are insisting that all industries — waste included — record greenhouse gas emissions and shrink their carbon footprints. In a relatively short period, considering how a company may be exacerbating the effects of climate change morphed from a peripheral concern for investors to a mainstream inquiry.

“I continue to be impressed by how quickly this conversation has changed, and how rapidly it’s evolved in the last few years,” said Hana Vizcarra, a staff attorney at Harvard Law School’s Environmental & Energy Law Program.

In January, for example, the chief of the investment group BlackRock, which has holdings in several major waste companies, wrote a letter to CEOs urging them to bring their net emissions to zero by 2050. In many cases that objective would be more aggressive than the climate targets set by the industry’s largest companies. The request comes with force, as the firm has begun to hold companies accountable for their climate-related choices.

The financial group’s announcement happened within a week of the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden, who leads an administration that has promised stronger action on climate change and emissions reduction measures – including a focus on methane. Any actions making good on the promises could potentially include actions affecting landfills. All together, the facilities accounted for 17.3% of human-caused methane emissions in the U.S. in 2019, and clocked in as the third largest source of the gas, according to the latest emission data released by the U.S. EPA.

Even if advocates for emission transparency and reduction aren’t talking specifically about landfills yet, those are the facilities waste companies will have to address most directly to meaningfully lower emissions.

In 2019, landfills accounted for over seven times as much emissions as Waste Management’s energy-related and vehicle-related emissions combined, a ratio Republic Services mirrored in the same year. As an entire industry, landfills produced 114 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gases that year, per the latest EPA data.

For landfill operators working to report emissions, the agency has a process overflowing with calculation methods and nuances approaches to what happens to buried piles of waste. And that complexity is only about reporting landfill emissions. Deciding how to reduce them is similarly complicated.

Read the full article on the Waste Dive website to learn more about the complex calculations and evolving regulations regarding landfill GHG impacts.

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Argo blockchain and DMG launch world’s first ‘Green Bitcoin’ mining pool

U.K.-based crypto mining firm Argo Blockchain PLC and Canadian firm DMG Blockchain Solutions Inc will launch the world’s first clean energy Bitcoin mining pool.

The mining pool termed “Terra Pool” will be aimed at better managing the impact of Bitcoin mining on the climate.

According to a press release, the pool will consist of both DMG and Argo’s hash rate, which will be comprised exclusively of clean energy generated by hydroelectric resources.

“In the near-term, Terra Pool will work with like-minded Bitcoin miners to expedite the shift from conventional power to clean energy,” said DMG Blockchain, explaining that the goal would be to incentivize cryptocurrency miners to produce Bitcoin in a sustainable and climate-conscious way.

Why It Matters: Crypto mining companies have been under scrutiny from climate activists around the world after a recent Cambridge study found that mining Bitcoin uses more electricity than the whole country of Argentina.

As Bitcoin’s price continued to soar, however, miners didn’t show any signs of slowing down as the mining hash rate reached an all-time high of 165.96 million terahashes per second (TH/s).

The launch of a climate-conscious mining pool would be the first of its kind, and as Peter Wall, Chief Executive of Argo Blockchain puts it, creating “the first ‘green’ Bitcoin mining pool is an important step towards protecting our planet now and for generations to come.”

What Else: In line with making mining more environmentally sustainable, the state of Kentucky recently passed two laws that give Bitcoin miners tax breaks on electricity and clean energy incentives.

Read the original article on the Yahoo!finance website about the press release.

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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 rise of the corporate circular economy professional

“Circular economy” was the fastest rising skill among all LinkedIn users in 2019, according to GreenBiz’s State of the Profession Report. Although the circular economy’s momentum is undeniable, frankly, this finding still floors me. While nearly all jobs could “go circular” by embracing this strategic lens and adopting its principles, a new class is emerging of specific positions designed to accelerate this transition.

To better understand these roles, I asked five corporate circular economy professionals — working at big companies and with the specific words “circular economy” or “circularity” in their title — about the scope and skills needed for their work, as well as advice they would offer to anyone looking to get into the field.

– What do you actually do?
– What is the most important skill to do your job?
– What is one piece of advice you would offer a young professional looking to get into the circular economy?

Read the full article on the GreenBiz website to find out the responses to these questions.

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

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Upcoming Webinar Training and Events

  • Energy Green Convene
    The Louisville Sustainability Council is hosting a virtual Green Convene that will highlight energy assessment services for commercial energy customers while discussing financial assistance resources available to help implement the resulting energy efficiency recommendations.
    March 30, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. EDT
    Register for this Green Convene event.
  • 2021 KY EXCELebration
    The Division of Compliance Assistance cordially invites you to attend the 2021 KY EXCELebration virtual event. There will be small group breakout sessions for networking and an opportunity to learn from KY EXCEL members as they share their Beacon Award winning projects. The Member Recognition and Beacon Awards ceremony will be presented as well.
    March 31, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. EDT
    Register for this free virtual event by March 29, 2021.
  • A Circular Economy for Plastics: How Companies are Moving from Strategy to Action
    As plastic waste continues to threaten the globe, companies are making ambitious commitments and joining with partners to do their part. This new class of plastics goals include designing for recyclability, investing in recycling infrastructure and exploring material innovations, charting and reporting progress and helping to bring more partners in to drive collection action. This hour-long webinar will explore opportunities to move from aspirations and commitments to practical action.
    April 1, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. EDT
    Find out more and register for this GreenBiz webcast.
  • Power Dialogue: Climate Solutions for Kentucky
    UofL’s Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research is excited to host the Kentucky event as part of Solve Climate by 2030 – A Global Dialog on Green Recovery / Climate Solutions / Just Transition. On April 7th, university and high school students across the US and around the world will tune in to 100 coordinated university-hosted regional webinars from fifty different countries. How can ambitious state and local action put us on the way to solving climate change by 2030?
    April 7, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. EDT
    Learn more about this event and how to register.
  • Building Operator Certification – Lunch & Learn Session
    Attend a lunch and learn session on Building Operator Certification training courses in Kentucky! You’ll learn more about the program and hear from BOC graduates about their experience.
    April 14, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. EDT
    Register for this free BOC webinar.

Energy Star banner
EPA ENERGY STAR webinars:

  • How to Benefit from Benchmarking Compliance with Strategies for Improving your Energy Performance
    In this session, you’ll learn about low-and-no-cost improvements that can help you reduce energy consumption and save money without significant capital investments. You’ll also learn about a variety of free ENERGY STAR resources that are available to help you improve your energy performance. Finally, you’ll learn how to connect with service provider organizations that can help you achieve your energy efficiency goals and earn ENERGY STAR certification for your building.
    March 30, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Controlling Water Waste Across Commercial and Institutional Properties Everywhere
    Learn how facility managers can incorporate water assessment methods into their standard procedures and daily routines to identify and stop leaks and water waste. Hear insights and lessons learned from decades of work with Fortune 500 companies deploying water-efficient recommendations to control the costs, property damage, and environmental impact of water waste. With an eye toward the future, we will also demonstrate how improved measurement lowers costs and simplifies implementation for complex properties and larger organizations.
    April 20, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. EDT
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Using Portfolio Manager for Benchmarking Law Compliance
    This webinar will serve as a beginner’s guide to Portfolio Manager and provide you with all the essential “how-to” information you need to start benchmarking and reporting your building data to your local or state government. Topics covered will include understanding how state and local jurisdictions use EPA’s Portfolio Manager tool to facilitate reporting, setting up your Portfolio Manager account and properties, entering energy data, and reporting or sharing data with your jurisdiction.
    April 21, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. EDT


Portfolio Manager Series

  • 101 – April 7, 2021 at 1:00 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 – April 14, 2021 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 – April 20, 2021 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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