SSP November 2018

November, 2018 – Volume 11, Issue 11

Douglas C. Griffin Environmental Sustainability Award winners for 2018

Regional seminar on smart manufacturing – November 29th

Regulators trim Kentucky Utilities’ demand management programs

UofL joins United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network


Meijer first retailer to receive the U.S. EPA’s 2018 SmartWay Excellence Award as a shipper and a carrier

Here’s the skinny: for lean production processes to work, a company needs to be all in

Producing less waste is quickly becoming a priority for events worldwide

A broad view of the impact of artificial intelligence on remanufacturing

GreenBiz: Opportunity Zones: a $100 billion investment for the clean economy?

Upcoming Training, Events and Conferences

Case Studies for Sustainable Event Strategy

Regional Seminar on Smart Manufacturing

LEED v4 Discussion Forum

Top 10 Tips to get Started Greening Events

ENERGY STAR – Electric Demand 101 – Tracking and Benchmarking kW to Drive Savings

ENERGY STAR – Ask the Expert (Portfolio Manager)

ENERGY STAR – Every Drop Counts – Assessing and Evaluating Water Efficiency in Capital Improvement Projects

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Douglas C. Griffin Environmental Sustainability Award winners for 2018

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.

Pine Mountain Settlement School

Pine Mountain Settlement School has been selected as one of the KPPC Douglas C. Griffin Environmental Sustainability Award winners for 2018.

Preston Jones and Geoff Marietta accept the ES award for Pine Mountain Settlement School from Lissa McCracken, Executive Director and Mark Toda, Sr. Sustainability Engineer of KPPC

Pine Mountain Settlement School has served the people of the Kentucky Mountains since 1913. Their mission is to enrich lives and connect people through Appalachian place-based education for all ages. The School has a history of environmental sustainability education, community development, and more recently sustainable farming. Over the past year the School has implemented energy efficiency measures including LED lighting retrofits, and new HVAC equipment to reduce the load on propane boilers. These efforts have reduced energy costs and the resulting greenhouse gas footprint of the School.

Geoff Marietta, PMSS Executive Director accepted the award along with Preston Jones, PMSS Assistant Director. “We are honored to accept this award for our environmental sustainability achievements. We would like to thank the Pine Mountain staff for their dedication and support to accomplish what we have. We look forward to continuing to pursue additional opportunities to further our sustainability efforts. We also appreciate the assistance the staff of KPPC has provided to help us achieve our goals.”

Southeastern Kentucky Rehabilitation Industries (SEKRI)

SEKRI Incorporated’s Cumberland plant has also been selected as a 2018 KPPC Douglas C. Griffin Environmental Sustainability Award winner.

Larry Franks, Plant Manager for the SEKRI Cumberland Facility, accepts the ES award from Lissa McCracken, Executive Director and Cheryl Eakle, Sr. Sustainability Engineer of KPPC

SEKRI, Inc. was established in Corbin, Kentucky in 1971 for the purpose of serving people with mental and physical disabilities, enabling them to obtain and to be successful in maintaining competitive employment.

The Cumberland plant has implemented many energy efficiency improvements and is leading the way for the other company facilities. The plant has installed LED lighting on the production floor and area expansions, and also replaced the propane furnace with high efficiency heat pumps to reduce electric use, along with their carbon footprint.

Larry Franks, Cumberland Plant Manager, accepted the award along with Norm Bradley, SEKRI Executive Director, and Board member Ralph Souleyret at the facility on October 30 and acknowledged the combined effort of the plant staff working with the SEKRI team on moving forward with successful sustainability initiatives.

There have been fourteen Kentucky companies that have previously won the Environmental Sustainability Award since KPPC created the award program: Akebono Brake in Elizabethtown, Denyo Manufacturing in Danville, Fetter Group, Kindred Healthcare and Republic Conduit in Louisville, Sherwin Williams in Richmond, The United States Playing Card Company in Erlanger, Indelac Controls in Florence, A. Raymond Tinnerman Manufacturing in Flemingsburg, Owensboro Grain and Hausner Hard-Chrome in Owensboro, Cox Interior in Campbellsville, Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green and the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers (KAM) in Frankfort.

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

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Regional seminar on smart manufacturing – November 29th

A new industrial revolution is taking place. At the forefront is the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII) that is helping manufacturers of all sizes, and across all industry sectors, with bringing together information and operations technologies built on the open SM PlatformTM.

The goal is to create radically smarter, more productive, and energy-efficient production systems and domestic supply chains across American industry, while empowering workers from the plant floor to the C-Suite with actionable information for real-time decision-making. This transformation aims to unlock the true potential of our people, processes, and technology by transcending barriers of cost, risk and accessibility.

Attend this seminar on Thursday, November 29, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. at the University of Louisville, Belknap Campus, to find out more about CESMII’s key strategic objectives and near-term technology road map. Learn how you can participate in:

(a) advancing the four paradigms underpinning Smart Manufacturing—Business Practices, Enabling Technologies, Platform Infrastructure, and Workforce Development and;

(b) developing and deploying your own products and solutions built on the revolutionary SM PlatformTM ecosystem in your industrial settings to achieve new cross-industry benchmarks for radically improving safety, energy efficiency, environmental sustainability, operational performance, and economic productivity.

Who should attend?

Anyone interested in Smart Manufacturing technology, R&D and workforce development is welcome to join us. CESMII supports industry-university projects in the following areas:

– Modeling, validation, workflows, and cyber-physical systems
– Process and Controls: interoperability, predictive analytics, monitoring, and enterprise security
– Sensors: Big/Smart Data, IoT, plug-and-play, data exchange, and hardware and software
– Modeling/Machine Learning/Analysis: real-time collection, machine and deep learning
– Business Practices and Workforce Development: best practices, gaps, certification, curriculum, skills, and competencies

View the agenda to find out more.

Register for this seminar.
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Regulators trim Kentucky Utilities’ demand management programs

Kentucky Utilities has been offering DSM programs since the 1990s, and company officials say they are always adjusting the offerings which are subject to PSC approval. The removal of several programs is a normal occurrence, they say, and allows other popular programs to be continued.

“Over the years, our program offerings have continued to evolve — some programs have expired because they’re no longer cost-effective to our customers, some have extended on, and others have been introduced as new programs,” Kentucky Utilities told Utility Dive in an email. “These changes are based on factors like our customer’s energy-use habits, improvements to industry standards and customer feedback.”

Approved projects include a weatherization program for low-income customers and a demand response program that would cycle heat pumps, air conditioning and other appliances for residential and small commercial customers.

Regulators did, however, limit the size of the demand response offering, saying in a statement that “the program will be modified to reduce the rebate and to cap participation at the current number of customers.” A program for large non-residential customers will also be modified to cap participation and reduce rebates.

In addition, a rebate program that incentivizes large non-residential customers to install energy-efficient equipment “will be modified to base incentive payments on actual savings, rather than providing a fixed dollar amount,” the PSC said.

In addition to ending the school energy manager program, regulators approved Kentucky Utilities’ plan to discontinue other programs that were no longer cost-effective, including: rebates for purchasing energy efficient appliances, payments to customers who dispose of old and inefficient refrigerators, home energy audits, public education efforts and others.

“The programs set to expire were no longer cost-effective to our customers, and with these programs expiring, our residential customers in particular will see a cost savings on the DSM line item on their monthly bill,” the utility said.

Earlier this year, the PSC ordered KU and LG&E to reduce revenues by $203.8 million — about a 6% decrease for electric customers and 4.5% for gas. The utilities have since pushed back on that decision, citing procedural and factual errors in the proceeding.

Read the original article on the Utility Dive website.

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UofL joins United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network

What does the University of Louisville have in common with the Columbia University, Princeton University and Oxford University? All are members of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

UofL has joined 684 universities and research centers throughout the world to advise the United Nations on sustainable development. The announcement was made at the Louisville Sustainability Summit, which UofL hosted for the first time.

“Inclusion in this international effort recognizes our efforts over the decades to impact our world in a meaningful way when it comes to sustainability,” said UofL President Neeli Bendapudi. “From the Conn Center looking for renewable energy sources and our university-wide efforts to reduce our carbon footprint to our recent creation of the Envirome Institute that focuses on health sustainability, we have a long history of trying to leave a better planet.”

Additionally, UofL will be a founding member of the U.S. Solutions Network later this year.

“The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network is honored to welcome the University of Louisville to the global network,” said Columbia University Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, advisor to the Secretary General of the UN and director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. “The SDSN looks forward to working closely with the Envirome Institute and city and community leaders to advance the Sustainable Development Goals. Our efforts together will help to advance well being in Louisville and around the world.”

The national and regional networks support the localization of the 17 goals set out by the UN and agreed to by 193 nations in 2015. Local networks will promote long-term pathways for sustainable development, promote high-quality education and research collaboration for sustainable development, and support governments in understanding and addressing the challenges of sustainable development.

Through these efforts, the networks are working to create a future in which poverty has been eradicated, the planet is protected and people are ensured the ability to enjoy peace and prosperity.
“We feel a tremendous sense of responsibility to be a founding member of this nation’s grassroots effort,” Bendapudi said. “All of us at the university in collaboration with our community partners look forward to spearheading efforts to better understand how our environment, in the broadest sense of the word, impacts us as individuals.”

Led by Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D., the Smith and Lucille Gibson Chair in Medicine, the UofL Envirome Institute takes a holistic approach to researching how the human-environment interrelationship impacts peoples’ lives. In addition to building on Bhatnagar’s pioneering work establishing the field of environmental cardiology, UofL will incorporate community engagement and citizen science to introduce a singular, new approach to the study of health.

“Our researchers, staff and students will explore new concepts associated with examining the elements of a single person’s overall environment and determine how that affects their lives. The impact this will have will be felt well beyond Louisville,” Bendapudi said.

Read the original article on the UofL News website.

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Meijer first retailer to receive the U.S. EPA’s 2018 SmartWay Excellence Award as a shipper and a carrier

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Oct. 9, 2018 – Meijer is pleased to announce that for the first time, it has been named a SmartWay® Excellence Award winner in two categories simultaneously – as a shipper and a carrier by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Meijer is the only SmartWay partner to receive the rare distinction of being recognized in both categories simultaneously. Meijer has been recognized as a SmartWay award recipient in the past – as a shipping partner in 2017 and as a carrier partner in 2007.

The SmartWay Excellence Award is the EPA’s highest recognition. The award recognizes the top retail and manufacturing carriers and shippers that demonstrate how their logistical operations make a measurable difference in reducing carbon emissions, while also effectively managing fuel costs as they move goods around the country. SmartWay Excellence Awardees lead their industries in improving freight efficiency and contributing to cleaner air within their supply chains.

“On behalf of the hard-working men and women that make up our logistics team here at Meijer, we are elated to receive such a distinct honor by the EPA’s SmartWay,” said Tom McCall, Vice President of Logistics for Meijer. “Our team members are driven to constantly monitor and improve the efficiency of our fleet with the mission to minimize our carbon footprint in the communities where we do business.”

Meijer operates a fleet of 250 semi-trucks that cover more than 25 million miles each year. In the spirit of relentless improvement, Meijer has also built a best-in-class clean diesel fleet and invested in energy efficiency within its retail operations, including its commitment to retrofit each of its more than 240 retail locations with LED lighting by 2021. Meijer reported the change will reduce its lighting electrical use by as much as 50 percent annually.

“Today, EPA is honoring top-performing SmartWay Partners with this year’s 2018 SmartWay Excellence Award, for their leadership in moving more goods with less fuel,” EPA’s Assistant Administrator of the Office of Air and Radiation Bill Wehrum said. “These companies inspire others in the freight sector to invest in innovative technologies and business practices that save fuel, while reducing costs and protecting the environment.”

Meijer is constantly monitoring the emissions from its refrigerated trailers. All refrigerated units are programmed with “cycle sentry.” Cycle-Sentry automatically regulates the engine as refrigeration is needed. This technology enables Meijer to realize a fuel savings of nearly 80 percent, increase the life of its engines, and reduce maintenance costs.

Meijer also uses three, Tier 4 CARB hybrid/electric shore powered refrigerated units at its distribution facilities, and its stock dock doors run on electricity only. This reduces operating and maintenance expenses, eliminates local diesel emissions, and meets local noise ordinances. These hybrid units are now the standard specification for new unit purchases.

View the press release on the PR Newswire website.


Here’s the skinny: for lean production processes to work, a company needs to be all in

For a company in Chesterfield, Mo., it involved something as seemingly simple as attaching a trash can to an employee’s chair.

For one in St. Louis, it meant leaving the cover off an electronic temperature controller.

For others it’s meant gathering employees from the chief executive on down for what’s known as Kaizen events — based on the Japanese word for continuing improvement.

What do these seemingly unconnected efforts have in common? They are approaches to what is known as lean manufacturing — or, more recently, lean production — aimed at streamlining production processes, enhancing employee engagement and increasing profits.

Take for example, Watlow, a 96-year-old family-owned business in St. Louis, that designs and manufactures industrial heaters, temperature sensors and other components of thermal systems. It was founded in 1922 (making heating elements for the shoe industry) by Louis Desloge.

In 2006, with Peter Desloge, the third-generation chief executive charge, the company adopted lean production principles.

“A competitive environment forced us to figure out how to lower our costs while also better engaging our people.” Mr. Desloge said, adding, Watlow chose the lean route “because the approach doesn’t just reduce cost and drive productivity, but also “increases value to our customers and engages everyone in the business to eliminate waste.”

Peter Desloge, the chief executive of Watlow, a family-owned business in St. Louis. “A competitive environment forced us to figure out how to lower our costs while also better engaging our people,” he said.

This week, for example, the company discovered that it had been supplying a customer in the transportation industry a temperature controller with an unnecessary part. “When it got to their facility, the customer was taking the cover off because they had to install it in their machine. We realized we could ship without it and eliminate both the effort on our end as well as for the customer.”

In the world of lean production, these microdiscoveries can be as important as the big picture.

The approach has its roots in the vaunted Toyota Production System developed in Japan in the late 1940s, which was aimed at streamlining processes to eliminate waste, improve productivity and, ultimately, grow profits. Known as either the T.P.S. or Toyota Way, it advocates for “an organizational culture of highly engaged people solving problems or innovating to drive performance,” according to Jamie Bonini, vice president Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing North America.

Roughly 40 years later the term lean production was coined by John Krafcik, who is the chief executive of Waymo, the autonomous driving car company that was spun off from Google. Mr. Krafcik was part of a team led by the research scientist James Womack, who became a founder and senior adviser to the Lean Enterprise Institute, a nonprofit based in Boston. Its approach, which differs in some ways, focuses on eliminating waste, rethinking work flow and improving productivity, from entry-level employees to high-level executives.

“When we came up with the name lean production, what we meant was the complete system,” Dr. Womack said. “What the world heard was factories. But the frontier has been outside of the factory world for the last 20 years.”

Whichever term one uses, the goal is to improve the production process, said Rachna Shah, a professor at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Read the full article by Ellen Rosen on the NY Times website to find out more about how companies have worked on streamlining, eliminating waste and improving employee engagement.


Producing less waste is quickly becoming a priority for events worldwide

The meetings industry has a huge environmental impact – from the millions of miles delegates have flown to attend events to the reams of paper squeezed into bulging delegate bags and the kilowatts of energy used to light exhibitions and displays around the world.

Now green culture is taking hold and event stakeholders are thinking carefully about environmental impacts, becoming keen to show their sustainability credentials.

Olivia Galun, member services manager of the UK-based International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO), has noticed increased awareness of the importance of sustainability in meetings and events around the world from clients, organizers and the various stakeholders involved.

Interested in more stories like this? Subscribe to Skift’s Meetings Innovation Report to stay up-to-date on the future of business events.

“There is more of a focus on the long-term impact of a meeting and the throwaway mentality is now being challenged,” she said.

Ian Cummings, vice president of EMEA for CWT Meetings & Events, is among those who see the trend towards sustainable meetings and events as much more than a passing fad. “It has certainly been growing every year as a key buying factor,” he said, noting that some clients go as far as ensuring their events comply with the ISO 20121 sustainable event standards.

Clients who have a strong company culture based on sustainability require it as part of any event, and this can influence the venues, activities, and even menus selected as a part of the event, according to Rose Squitieri-Strickland, senior project manager at BCD Meetings & Events.

The stakes are even higher when staging events for younger delegates. “Millennials and Gen Z care deeply about issues of sustainability and CSR (corporate social responsibility), and if you’re building an event that resonates with them, it’s important to factor this in,” she said.

A holistic approach is needed

Insiders stress the importance of a holistic approach to sustainability, looking to “green” all stages of sourcing, organizing, planning, and executing events.

Mindy Hanzlik, senior solution designer at BCD Meetings & Events, is seeing the green approach starting at the sourcing phase. Companies looking for low carbon footprint impacts are choosing venues close to their audiences to minimize flight miles, and may even look to add carbon-offset to their overall flight budget.
“Hotels are being asked about their green initiatives and green programs prior to selection,” she explained.

Venues are actively promoting their environmental certifications and awards to win business. The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) in Australia’s second-largest city is a good example, boasting that it is the first convention center in the world to be awarded a 6-Star Green Star environmental rating. Leighton Wood, chief operating officer, said the center has reduced its energy consumption by 30 percent over the past two years through a number of measures, from replacing over 600 light fittings with energy-efficient alternatives to eliminating the use of all plastic water bottles in catering.

IAPCO’s Galun sees companies including sustainability suggestions within their proposals and creating their own environmental policies, as well as encouraging local venues and suppliers to become more eco-friendly.

At a tactical level, there is also a strong move to paperless events, avoiding the use of printed material at every stage – from invitations to event apps which keep attendees informed about the program and share presentations.

Event planners are commonly avoiding single-use plastics and promoting recycling in everything from ID cards to reusable dinnerware.

On the catering front, Hanzlik is seeing a more sustainable approach to menus, with a strong move towards a farm-to-table approach.

CWT advises organizers to ensure minimum wastage by getting headcounts and choices correct, with Cummings adding that “no-one likes throwing away a lot of food when it can be easily avoided”.

Read the full article on the website to learn more about the importance of events needing to demonstrate environmental credibility.


A broad view of the impact of artificial intelligence on remanufacturing

The Association for Sustainable Manufacturing

The advancement and utilization of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is poised to make a similar impact in the 4th Industrial Revolution we are currently experiencing as Henry Ford’s assembly line did over 100 years ago. A convergence of machine learning algorithms, big data analytics, and connectivity between machines due to Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities are impacting and reshaping industry and business around the globe. Here is a broad overview of some of the contexts within remanufacturing these advances are rapidly being applied.

Design for Remanufacturing
Barriers for remanufacturing can always be traced back to the initial product design stage. If products were better designed to accomplish the goals of the remanufacturing process, massive improvements and efficiencies can be accomplished. The adoption of ubiquitous information and communication technologies (ICTs) thanks to elements of advanced AI as described above continue to blur the lines between virtual environments and the real world to create more sophisticated cyber-physical production systems (CPPSs).

Advanced Remanufacturing Processes
Artificial intelligence technologies are exponentially expanding computing power and connectivity which results in greater volumes of data that can be analyzed in a more robust manner than ever before. This will allow remanufacturers to think big and push the envelope to develop more ambitious goals and objectives for their programs. Lack of data or advanced robotics capabilities will no longer be impediments for remanufacturers to successfully process a higher percentage of product components and materials.

Robotics in Remanufacturing
Robots have already proven their capabilities in remanufacturing under certain conditions with relatively small and simple batches of components that usually involve some significant human oversight. Advances in AI are moving the needle in identifying and creating new patterns in the way humans and machines interact. This application of emerging technology shows significant promise to expand the capabilities of robotics in remanufacturing to tackle progressively more complex scenarios with less and less human interaction with greater efficiency.

Critical Failure Prediction
In industrial manufacturing settings, there is continuous pressure to improve efficiency, increase productivity, and reduce costs. IoT connectivity and other elements of AI are being brought to bear in this environment to improve predictive maintenance and avoid machine failure during critical phases of production. These same benefits of monitoring automated equipment on the front-end of the manufacturing process can also deliver the same benefits to the remanufacturing setting as well. Not only can unexpected downtime be eliminated, but the ability to plan and schedule preventive maintenance more proactively and efficiently can occur as well.

Inventory Forecasting
One of the most significant challenges all remanufacturers face is predicting how much demand there will be for returned products with the flow of returned items coming into the remanufacturing process. Of course, the quality of the materials being returned can make a significant difference as well. AI technologies can greatly improve upon existing forecasting models that attempt to predict product returns. Elements of Big Data and Machine Language Learning can leverage and up-date real-time data on sales, product usage and warranty activity and more accurately predict product life expectancy and the rate and timing of returns into the remanufacturing process.

Resilient Remanufacturing Networks (ReRuN)
Sustainability is the objective of remanufacturing in a world that has shifted from a linear model where products used to end up in a landfill once they are no longer functioning for their intended use. As a society, we continue to grow more aware of the finite nature of our natural resources that has led companies to produce products according to a circular model where as many components of an item are reused as many times as is practical.

As stated in the points above, AI and other emerging technologies are already making significant improvements in all phases of the product life-cycle that occur prior to remanufacturing. By embracing a ReRuN mindset that is calculated as early as the product concept/design phase, remanufacturing outcomes are positioned for greater outcomes due to improved forecasting in all elements of the remanufacturing process.

Closed-Loop Supply Chain Management
There can be no true resiliency for remanufacturing unless a complete closed-loop supply chain management strategy is employed. In-depth studies on remanufacturing are just now starting to take place and raise awareness of the opportunities to be leveraged during the remanufacturing process to impact economic and environmental sustainability. The advances in AI and all emerging technologies will help put remanufacturing on equal footing with all other phases of product life cycle. Because this emphasis on remanufacturing is just starting to expand and receive attention, it also holds the most potential for impacting the entire product lifecycle.

The Future is Now
In the news, every day we continue to see advancements in the development of products and processes that seem to be right out of science fiction movies and shows of the 1960’s and 1970’s. From flying cars to putting a colony of people on Mars, humankind is entering a bold new era where we know have the technology to execute just about anything we can imagine. This coupled with increased global awareness of our finite resources and need to be good stewards of our planet, will continue to bring greater emphasis and attention to remanufacturing in all phases of the product cycle. AI and other emerging technologies are finally catching up and giving industry the tools to create this new reality.

Read the original article on the The Association for Sustainable Manufacturing website.


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 Graham Richard:

Opportunity Zones: a $100 billion investment for the clean economy?

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

On Friday, the U.S. Treasury Department issued proposed guidance related to the new Opportunity Zone tax incentive. The tax benefit, created by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, is designed to spur economic development and job creation by encouraging long-term investments in economically distressed communities nationwide.

It could have significant impact for accelerating the clean economy.

“We anticipate that $100 billion in private capital will be dedicated towards creating jobs and economic development in Opportunity Zones,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “This incentive will foster economic revitalization and promote sustainable economic growth, which was a major goal of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.”

Opportunity Zones offer capital gains tax relief to investors for new investment in designated areas. Investment benefits include deferral of tax on prior gains as late as 2026 if the amount of the gain is invested in an Opportunity Fund. The benefits also include tax forgiveness on gains on that investment if the investor holds the investment for at least 10 years. Opportunity Zones retain their designation for 10 years, but under the proposed regulations, investors can hold onto their investments in Qualified Opportunity Funds through 2047 without losing tax benefits.

Working with state and local governments earlier this year, Treasury certified 8,761 communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories.

Nearly 35 million Americans live in areas designated as Opportunity Zones. These communities present both the need for investment and significant investment opportunities.

Based on data from the 2011-15 American Community Survey, the designated regions had an average poverty rate of over 32 percent, compared with the 17 percent national average.

What is the potential for clean economy investments in the Opportunity Zones? Will investors seek out vacant buildings (think abandoned shopping malls, old manufacturing plants, unused warehousing facilities) to invest in rooftop solar, storage and deep energy retrofits to repurpose buildings for new uses? Will investors develop brownfields to become community solar brightfields? What about rural Opportunity Zones for clean economy investments, including solar and wind projects?

These questions and many more need the active attention and industry engagement and leadership from the clean economy community, including many readers who attended VERGE last week or the recent Global Climate Action Summit.

I believe the Opportunity Zone federal tax incentive provides great potential for accelerating the clean economy and creating jobs in underserved communities. But this will happen only if our industry provides leadership by engaging at the state and local level in deep and impactful new ways.

View the full article on the GreenBiz website to read about the four action steps that should be considered.

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

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Upcoming Training, Events and Conferences

  • Case Studies for Sustainable Event Strategy
    Have you ever wondered how some of the big corporate conferences started down their path of sustainablilty? If yes, this session is for you. During the course of this hour, you’ll hear from a few experts that have been incorporating sustainability into the same event for several years. They will discuss how they began their journey and how they were able to built upon each step in the process along the way. You will hear case studies on IMEX Frankfurt and America, Sustainable Brands & the International Green Events Austria Conference.
    November 27 at 11:00 a.m. EST
    Register for this webinar.
  • Regional Seminar on Smart Manufacturing
    A new industrial revolution is taking place. At the forefront is the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII) that is helping manufacturers of all sizes, and across all industry sectors, with bringing together information and operations technologies built on the open SM PlatformTM. The goal is to create radically smarter, more productive, and energy-efficient production systems and domestic supply chains across American industry, while empowering workers from the plant floor to the C-Suite with actionable information for real-time decision-making. This transformation aims to unlock the true potential of our people, processes, and technology by transcending barriers of cost, risk and accessibility.
    November 29 – University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
    Find out more, view the agenda and register for this event.
  • LEED v4 Discussion Forum
    Do you have questions about LEED v4? These monthly virtual meetings focus on individual credit categories and/or general questions about LEED v4 project certifications. We’ll include a moderator and local subject matter experts to share what we’ve learned in our first LEED v4 projects.
    November 29 at 12:00 p.m. EST
    Join the USGBC community to participate in the discussion.
  • Top 10 Tips to get Started Greening Events
    Ready to be Green in 2019? The new year offers fresh promises for innovation in an ever-changing events industry. If you haven’t gotten started convening gatherings in a sustainable way, this is the year. If you are just starting out, don’t worry, you are not alone. Let’s get started together with the basics of greening by taking on the easy initiatives to increase your efficiency, save time and save money.
    December 11 at 11:00 a.m. EST
    Register for this greening events webinar.



  • Electric Demand 101 – Tracking and Benchmarking kW to Drive Savings
    Join us to learn the basics of tracking and benchmarking electric demand in Portfolio Manager. We’ll review sample utility bills, tips to benchmark within Portfolio Manager, define commonly-used terminology, and share helpful resources.
    November 29 at 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Ask the Expert
    Every other Wednesday at noon, we’ll hold Portfolio Manager “Ask the Expert.” It’s a live webinar that gives all users an opportunity to ask their questions directly to EPA experts in an open forum. Want to talk to a “real” person? Have a question about how Portfolio Manager calculates your score? Want to learn more about entering Green Power? Join us, and we’ll answer all your questions about ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager in this public forum.
    November 28 at 12:00 p.m. EST
  • Every Drop Counts – Assessing and Evaluating Water Efficiency in Capital Improvement Projects
    Curious how your multifamily property stacks up against others in terms of water efficiency? EPA’s 1-100 water score allows users tracking water through Portfolio Manager to gauge how their properties compare against similar ones across the country. This webinar will cover how to generate the score in Portfolio Manager and discuss how multifamily owners can use this new water performance metric to identify opportunities for water savings. Finally, learn about some of the best practices and tools to start saving water and improving your property’s score.
    December 12 at 1:00 p.m. EST


View these plus more ENERGY STAR training opportunities and to register.


Ca.jpg-icon-SSPTo view these and other sustainability-related events, please visit the KPPC Events Calendar.


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