May, 2020 – Volume 13, Issue 5
GreenBiz: Protector or polluter? The impact of COVID-19 on the movement to end plastic waste
Reputational Risks and Opportunities: Managing the Impacts of COVID-19 and Climate Change
How to Get Your Supply Chain to Embrace Circularity
Stewardship with the ENERGY STAR Action Workbook for Congregations
Saving Energy and Money with the ENERGY STAR Action Workbook for Small Business
How to Develop Playbooks and Employee Guides for Energy Efficiency
ENERGY STAR – Portfolio Manager Webinars
SSBI sustainable water consumption webinar recording now available
KPPC hosted a webinar on April 23, 2020 entitled “Sustainable Water Consumption for Spirits, Brewing and Wine Making” that was recorded and is now published on our website. This webinar provided training on how to map water use and identify reduction opportunities for sustainable operations.
Expert guidance on how to save water and reduce costs by analyzing a facility’s water bills, developing baselines and using benchmarks were presented. KPPC’s energy use ratio and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) calculator developed as part of the Sustainable Spirits and Brewing Initiative (SSBI) was also upgraded to include water use ratio and was demonstrated during the webinar.
Along with other water management topics, participants learned how to utilize sustainable value stream mapping which is an approach of overlaying sustainability data to visualize and identify opportunities for water reduction, improvement in performance and cost savings.
Topics covered in this webinar include:
– Water bills
– Water benchmark and baseline development
– Management and technologies
– Sustainable value stream mapping with water
Although the webinar was presented to a spirits, brewing and wine making industries audience, the strategies, principles and management concepts shared are transferable to other industries interested in reducing energy, water consumption and GHG emissions.
The Kilowatt Crackdown awards deadline is now extended to August 1, 2020
The Louisville Energy Alliance challenges building owners and operators in Jefferson County and the surrounding areas to realize the benefits of energy efficiency by participating in the Louisville Kilowatt Crackdown. It’s easy — all you have to do is benchmark your facility’s energy use with Portfolio Manager (for buildings) or Energy Tracking Tool (for industrial plants), EPA’s free online benchmarking tools; make improvements over the contest period; and submit your final benchmarking score. Top honors will go to the most efficient buildings and the buildings making the greatest energy improvements, but all buildings will be recognized for participating and striving to improve their environment impact.
Winners will be selected based on data from the final Energy Performance rating or Energy Use Intensity (EUI) metric generated by Portfolio Manager. All participants that complete the competition will be awarded certificates of participation.
Award categories are:
Best Performer (based on 2019 data only) – awarded to the building or plant with the highest energy performance rating for 2018.
Most Improved – awarded to the building or plant making the greatest percentage gain in energy reduction from 2018 to 2019.
These categories will be awarded for each building type entered into the competition. All buildings will automatically be entered for both categories unless the building’s energy use data is insufficient.
Any building that can be entered into Portfolio Manager is eligible to participate, regardless of whether it is eligible to earn ENERGY STAR Certification. Participation is limited to buildings located in the Louisville Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) that includes: Jefferson County, KY; Bullitt County, KY; Spencer County, KY: Shelby County, KY; Henry County, KY; Oldham County, KY; Trimble County, KY: Clark County, IN; Scott County, IN; Floyd County, IN; Harrison County, IN and Washington County, IN.
Buildings that have won an award through this competition within the past three years are not eligible to win again.
The deadline to submit projects for the Kilowatt Crackdown is August 1, 2020.
All energy data must be entered into Portfolio Manager and shared with the Louisville Energy Alliance by the deadline. Instructions on how to share data through Portfolio Manager will be emailed upon submitting a building or project. Kilowatt Crackdown winners will be honored during at an awards luncheon to be scheduled.
Kentucky International Convention Center awarded LEED Silver certification
The Kentucky International Convention Center has earned LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, joining the ranks of a growing number of sustainable convention centers across the country.
The recognition comes two years after the venue, located in downtown Louisville, Ky., completed a $207 million renovation and expansion. A handful of energy efficient and sustainable features were added as part of the upgrades, including LED and occupancy sensor lighting. Low-flow plumbing fixtures were installed throughout the building, which helped reduce total water usage by 32 percent. In addition, the renovations were designed using whole-building energy simulation modeling, which resulted in energy cost savings of 24 percent, with 85 percent of construction waste diverted from landfills to recycling.
Food-and-beverage changes were also implemented. The Kentucky International Convention Center now partners with the restaurant and hospitality company Levy Restaurants to reduce food waste through local donations and composting. Twenty-five water filling stations have been added throughout the facility to reduce the need for disposable water bottles.
“When we rebuilt the Kentucky International Convention Center, it was important to be good stewards of our resources,” said David S. Beck, president and CEO of Kentucky Venues, in a statement. “We wanted to build a facility that wasn’t just aesthetically appealing, but sustainable for the future.”
Energy and Environment Cabinet announces $600,000 in energy program grants
Funding will support education, low-income communities, and energy security
Governor Andy Beshear and Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) Secretary Rebecca Goodman today announced more than $600,000 in U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program (SEO) grants will support Kentucky education, reduce the energy burden in low-income communities, and improve energy security.
The federal program provides annual funding to enhance energy security, advance state-led energy initiatives, and maximize the benefits of decreasing energy waste.
“Even as we are doing everything that we can to protect the ones we love during the Coronavirus, these grants will enable Kentuckian’s to make better choices that will save them money and lead to a more sustainable energy future,” Gov. Beshear said.
Gov. Beshear launched the Healthy at Work initiative in late April to guide the smart, safe and gradual reopening of the state’s economy. The initiative sets out public health benchmarks for reopening Kentucky’s economy.
Nine Kentucky organizations will contract with the EEC to deliver energy programs funded through the State Energy Program. Projects will begin later this year, pending contract legislative review and approval.
“We are pleased to announce these new initiatives that provide long-term benefits to the citizens of Kentucky,” said Sec. Goodman. “Affordable electricity is a primary driver of our economy and essential for the wellbeing of everyone. Now more than ever in this time of the coronavirus pandemic, it is important to ensure continuing affordability and resilience of Kentucky’s energy resources, and to invest in energy education that integrates new technologies and practices in areas that support our infrastructure and families.”
Read the full announcement on the Naturally Connected website to see a list of award recipients and to find out more about programs of the Kentucky Office of Energy Policy.
New business in Cumberland can help you save on energy bills
Over 20 years of working in the coal industry, Scott Shoupe watched as jobs vanished from his hometown of Cumberland. With the economic downturn, families and businesses struggled to pay their rising utility bills. At the same time, they were facing increased flooding and infrastructure issues due to years of low investment and environmental degradation.
Shoupe said he knew that the area needed something very different.
He began to get interested in the growing field of energy efficiency and renewable energy. So in 2018, Shoupe, along with John Craft, another former coal miner, enrolled in the New Energy Intern program offered by the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED).
With greater fluctuation in weather, coupled with rising utility rates, eastern Kentuckians are facing electric bills that are higher than ever. Energy efficiency upgrades, renewable energy, and sustainability education help both reduce energy use and stabilize bills in face of these changes. For the past decade, MACED’s energy team has facilitated these energy solutions for eastern Kentucky businesses and organizations. But limited contractor and staff capacity has been a challenge in helping complete energy upgrades like LED lighting or renewable energy installations in a timely manner.
MACED created the internship program, funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission, to build a workforce trained in how to complete assessments on buildings and homes for energy efficiency issues, implement energy efficiency upgrades, and install renewable energy systems. The seven month internship also included training on communications, sales and marketing, and small business startup skills.
As Shoupe approached the end of his internship, with support from MACED’s staff and a MACED small business microloan, he developed his own clean energy services business, New Age Solutions, to serve a wide area of eastern Kentucky. In spring 2020, Shoupe opened a storefront in downtown Cumberland for the business.
As a part of his ongoing partnership with MACED, Shoupe is currently offering free energy audits for small businesses, non-profits, childcare and addiction recovery centers. An audit includes a walk through your building to look at your HVAC, lights, insulation, water heating, and any other areas of concern, as well as a utility bill analysis to look for any errors in billing or additional saving opportunites.
“I think this is the perfect opportunity to be on the ground floor to learn and teach that our economy can rebound and prosper with energy conservation.” – Scott Shoupe
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 Kristin Hughes:
Protector or polluter? The impact of COVID-19 on the movement to end plastic waste
Versatile, affordable and ever-present, plastics have been essential to keeping hospitals running and protecting our frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re the bedrock of medical equipment and protective gear. They’re even at the heart of innovative cross-industry collaborations to combat the virus; the luxury auto brand Ferrari, for instance, announced it will produce the thermoplastic components needed for respiratory valves, while Apple designed plastic face shields for medical professionals and is shipping millions of them across the United States every week.
But that’s only part of the bigger story. The devastating impact of COVID-19 and the extraordinary measures taken around the world have led to some tough questions for those working to combat plastic pollution. How do we support those in our community hit hardest by the outbreak? Can the recycling industry survive COVID-19? Can we still achieve a circular economy for plastics? And, how can we keep our work going in a world in which “normal” still seems so far away?
Waste pickers are particularly vulnerable to this crisis
Informal sector waste pickers have long worked on the frontlines of efforts to keep cities and villages free from waste and litter. In Indonesia, for instance, the informal sector is the backbone of plastic waste management, collecting 1 million tonnes of plastic waste per year, 70 percent of which is recycled.
Yet with a general lack of job security or health benefits, waste pickers are also facing unprecedented threats to their safety and their livelihoods.
“With COVID-19, it’s getting even more difficult for us,” Pris Polly, chairman of IPI, Indonesia’s union of 3.7 million waste pickers, recently shared with us. “Waste pickers who try to continue to find scraps do so because they have to work. If they don’t work, then they won’t be able to survive. We have no protection. We cannot survive at home. We don’t have savings like other citizens or workers.”
As demand skyrockets for masks, gloves, gowns and disposable bags, one thing is clear: Plastics are indispensable, especially during a pandemic.
In Indonesia, private sector partners are delivering urgently needed resources to waste pickers. Water utility company PAM Jaya has provided hand-washing facilities and masks, Pris Polly says, while Unilever is supplying soap.
But looking at the bigger picture, it’s clear that governments and businesses must explicitly and thoughtfully build support for waste pickers into their COVID-19 responses, by supplying them with personal protective equipment, connecting them with food and community resources and ensuring access to formal healthcare systems.
- Efforts to reduce plastic waste could be on the chopping block
- The increase in single-use plastics is understandable, but we need to think about our planet’s long-term health
- COVID-19 has illuminated a host of structural issues, including plastic pollution, left simmering on the back burner for decades
- Some things consumers can do
Find the latest articles, videos and resources on the GreenBiz website.
Upcoming Webinar Training and Events
- Reputational Risks and Opportunities: Managing the Impacts of COVID-19 and Climate Change
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility of the global economy and its supply chains. It has also shown that reputational risks and opportunities can become magnified in times of crisis. Across sectors, leading companies have built valuable trust in their brands by taking early and serious action to protect their workers and suppliers—and slow the spread of the virus. In the face of another existential threat—the climate crisis—companies are also finding ways to minimize risk and identify opportunities.
June 16, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. EDT
Register for this GreenBiz webcast.
- How to Get Your Supply Chain to Embrace Circularity
Companies can make progress toward building a circular system only so far on their own. To change your entire system, you need to engage your whole value chain and beyond to create a truly circular model. Succeeding in this arena often requires convincing suppliers to make shifts and identifying new suppliers that better align with your company’s circularity goals.
June 23, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. EDT
Register for this supply chain GreenBiz webcast.
EPA ENERGY STAR webinars:
- Stewardship with the ENERGY STAR Action Workbook for Congregations
This webinar will present actionable information for saving money and preventing pollution from the “how to” Action Workbook for Congregations. The presentation will address ENERGY STAR tools, training and technical support, including Portfolio Manager, “Sure Savers” (no-cost, low-cost), case studies, the worship facility “Treasure Map,” Help Desk, current technology, as well as new content on EPA approved disinfectant and guidance for reopening congregations post-Covid-19.
June 11, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. EDT
- Saving Energy and Money with the ENERGY STAR Action Workbook for Small Business
This webinar will present actionable information for saving money and preventing pollution from the “how to” Action Workbook for Small Business. The presentation will address ENERGY STAR tools, training and technical support, including Portfolio Manager, “Sure Savers” (no-cost, low-cost), case studies, “Treasure Maps” for different industries, Help Desk, current technology, as well as new content on EPA approved disinfectants and guidance for reopening businesses post-Covid-19.
June 16 2020 at 1:00 p.m. EDT
- How to Develop Playbooks and Employee Guides for Energy Efficiency
Playbooks and employee guides can be an effective method to convey best practices for energy efficiency as well as listing ENERGY STAR resources that are available. Join us to hear how three ENERGY STAR Partners have successfully developed employee playbooks and guides. Allergan will share how they developed an employee guide outlining what individuals can do.
June 24, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EDT
Portfolio Manager Series
- 101 – June 3, 2020 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 – June 17, 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 – June 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.