October, 2020 – Volume 13, Issue 10
Pollution Prevention Opportunities for Ammonia Emissions in the Food and Beverage Sector
How to Track Waste & Materials in Portfolio Manager
Communicating Your Energy Plans and Achievements
Benchmarking Wastewater Treatment Plants and Drinking Water Treatment Systems
ENERGY STAR – Portfolio Manager Webinars
Environmental justice, COVID-19 response take center stage at Governor’s Conference on Energy and the Environment
by Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet
Issues of environmental justice were at the forefront of the 44th annual Governor’s Conference on Energy and the Environment, as leaders from the environmental and business communities discussed ways to increase accessibility to clean water and affordable energy, improve health outcomes for vulnerable populations and promote economic opportunities for citizens of the Commonwealth.
“As we look at our environmental legacy and the new challenges of a changing climate … we must embrace our responsibility to our environment, which we’re going to leave to our children,” Gov. Andy Beshear said in his opening remarks. “With this responsibility comes understanding what changes are occurring and managing the transitions, which is why today you’ll hear about our renewed focus on environmental justice.”
“My administration wants to ensure the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people, regardless or race, color, national origin or income — whether it be access to clean drinking water in Martin County or air quality concerns in West Louisville.”
As part of ongoing efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Energy and Environment Cabinet held conference virtually for the first time. More than 500 people attended the 2-day event that took place Oct. 13-14.
Participants heard panelists speak on a variety of issues such as economic development opportunities within sustainable agriculture, Kentucky’s business outlook, the potential of brownfield redevelopment, and renewable energy procurement. There also were segments on energy affordability, environmental justice, and regulatory and policy updates from cabinet leadership.
The first day’s sessions highlighted programs from both the public and private sectors that are both ecologically and economically beneficial. This included a session on Kentucky AgriTech, or innovative agriculture.
The second day of the conference focused largely on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on EEC’s work, the regulated community and businesses in the region. The day also included updates from EEC directors and the Public Service Commission.
“I’m extremely proud of the cabinet staff and how everyone has stepped up and faced this pandemic,” EEC Deputy Secretary John Lyons said during his remarks. “At the beginning, there was so much uncertainty, but I believe we have handled this about as well as we could have. Employees of this cabinet are simply outstanding and make a difference in our lives every day.”
A full list of panelists can be found here.
EPA releases draft national recycling strategy for comment
WASHINGTON (October 5, 2020) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft National Recycling Strategy for public input in preparation for America Recycles Week and ahead of the third annual Recycling Summit. The draft National Recycling Strategy identifies strategic objectives and actions needed to create a stronger, more resilient U.S. municipal solid waste recycling system.
“Over the last two years, we’ve heard from our partners about the challenges facing our nation’s recycling system, and in particular for municipal solid waste recycling” said EPA Administrator Wheeler. “Our strategy aims to move recycling in America forward by identifying actions that all of us – governments, non-profits, private industry, and the public – can take together.”
The draft National Recycling Strategy was developed as part of EPA’s continued leadership in addressing the challenges facing the U.S. recycling system and builds on EPA’s 2019 National Framework for Advancing the U.S. Recycling System. The strategy organizes high-level actions around three strategic objectives to improve the U.S. recycling system: 1) reduce contamination, 2) increase processing efficiency, and 3) improve markets.
EPA has shared the draft National Recycling Strategy for public comment through December 4, 2020, with the goal of finalizing it in early 2021.
To read the National Recycling Strategy and provide comments visit: https://www.epa.gov/americarecycles/national-recycling-strategy-and-framework-advancing-us-recycling-system
AppHarvest opens first greenhouse, first harvest by early 2021
Rowan County, Ky. (WTVQ) –
“We’re doing the ribbon cutting on the largest greenhouse in North America,” said Governor Andy Beshear
AppHarvest said it’s a greenhouse like no other. An Eco-friendly indoor operation where up to 45-million pounds of tomatoes are expected to be produced in a year. The first harvest is scheduled for early 2021.
That process of planting tomatoes will begin in about a week in this new 2.76 million square foot facility. The company said it will supply grocery stores and restaurants not just in the US but eventually around the world.
“This will do the equivalent of 15 hundred to 18 hundred acres in California and Mexico,” said Jonathan Webb, AppHarvest Founder and CEO.
Bringing back some 300-jobs to an area hit hard by the decline in the coal industry.
“It’s our chance to bring our people back home and allow those to live here that want to live here and have a bright future,” said Rocky Adkins, Senior Advisor to the Governor.
AppHarvest hopes to become a 10 billion dollar industry and be the AgTech capital of America based in central Appalachia.
“While I might not have been given a choice on whether or not I grew up in the foothills of Appalachia, AppHarvest was given a choice, and you chose Eastern Kentucky.”
Bulleit Frontier Whiskey teams up with American Forests to plant 1 million trees over the next five years
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Bulleit Frontier Whiskey announced today that it is teaming up with American Forests, the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the United States, and a leader in forestry innovation, with the goal to plant one million trees over the next five years. As a fundamental part of the recently announced Bulleit Frontier Fund, this initiative reaffirms the brand’s long-standing commitment to a more sustainable future for the bartending and hospitality industry, and the communities surrounding it.
As a brand focused on building community, Bulleit aims to support pioneers like American Forests who are pushing the frontier of sustainability forward, to aid in a healthier future for our planet. The partnership with American Forests announced today reflects this mission.
“At Bulleit, we believe now more than ever that businesses have a responsibility to our environment, our communities, and our planet,” said Sophie Kelly, Sr. Vice President of Whiskey at Diageo North America. “We’re so excited about our partnership with American Forests because it allows us to further our commitment to sustainability and help in the fight against climate change by planting these trees, which will provide a variety of environmental benefits for years to come including carbon sequestration, air purification, water conservation, and providing vital wildlife habitat.”
The partnership will reforest eastern landscapes dominated by white oaks, a key species for wildlife, water conservation, and forest products.
White oak forests benefit every aspect of our lives, from providing clean air and water to the amazing smells and flavors in a glass of bourbon,” said Jad Daley, president and CEO of American Forests. “This great new partnership with Bulleit will give back to these forests by taking care of white oak forests for long-term health and resilience.”
Together, Bulleit and American Forests will not only plant trees but also utilize innovative forestry, including using prescribed fire to facilitate natural oak restoration and planting trees in ways that will help them thrive in a changing climate.
These one million trees planted through the Bulleit and American Forests partnership will provide a variety of environmental benefits for years to come.
DOE campaign drives $95M in annual building energy cost savings
– The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) just-completed Smart Energy Analytics Campaign, facilitated by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), has reportedly created the world’s largest collection of building energy analytics, highlighting the benefits of energy management and information systems (EMIS) in commercial buildings like offices and retail spaces.
– The four-year DOE campaign supported the installation or expansion of EMIS in over 6,500 buildings, helping 104 businesses, universities, governments and entities save $95 million collectively in energy costs, according to the Berkeley Lab. Participants saved an average of $3 million in annual energy costs.
– The campaign found that if buildings across the commercial sector adopt EMIS best practices, the savings in annual energy costs would amount to $4 billion nationwide.
Buildings are responsible for 40% of the energy used in the U.S., according to the Berkeley Lab, which illustrates the potential for EMIS to support sustainability goals through the monitoring and controlling of this energy use. EMIS, which can cost up to eight cents per square foot for installation and software costs, can also pay for itself in about two years, according to DOE campaign findings.
“The work proved the value of smart buildings. We found that investment in analytics provided deep savings with a two-year payback,” said Berkeley Lab Staff Scientist Jessica Granderson in a video statement. “With the business case established, we can imagine a future where advanced control and analytics for buildings is as mainstream as efficient design and equipment.”
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 Mike Hower:
Rethinking the role of sustainability reports
Corporate sustainability has a reporting problem — it always has. Companies typically don’t enjoy creating them and investors, customers, employees and most other stakeholders don’t revel in reading them. Yet, with investors more interested in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues than ever before, this long-standing problem has become an immediate liability for companies looking to maximize shared value.
Today, some 90 percent of companies in the S&P 500 produce corporate sustainability reports, and the practice has become so ingrained in corporate sustainability culture that few question its purpose or efficacy. Reporting has risen to prominence for good reason — there never has been a more critical time for companies to communicate their strategies and actions for corporate sustainability.
Many investors evaluate nonfinancial performance based on corporate disclosures, with most finding value in assurance of the strength of an organization’s planning for climate and other ESG risks. Meanwhile, consumers increasingly are demanding responsible products, and attention to sustainability issues has become an employee expectation.
But something isn’t right with the status quo of reporting.
“By trying to meet the demands of multiple stakeholders, sustainability reports have become bloated, overly complex and expensive to produce,” said Nathan Sanfacon, an ESG expert at thinkPARALLAX, a sustainability strategy and communication agency. “This results in companies spending scarce resources on a report that doesn’t quite satisfy the needs of any stakeholder group.”
To be more effective at engaging investors and other critical audiences on ESG, companies ought to shift towards communicating relevant data in a more agile and real-time format.
This is particularly problematic for large, publicly traded companies seeking to attract and retain institutional investors. “To be more effective at engaging investors and other critical audiences on ESG, companies ought to shift towards communicating relevant data in a more agile and real-time format,” Sanfacon said.
Addressing this disconnect is at the core of the new thinkPARALLAX white paper, “The New Era of Reporting: How to Engage Investors on ESG,” which examines the pitfalls of sustainability reporting in the past and present and offers a better way forward for corporate sustainability practitioners.
Find the latest articles, videos and resources on the GreenBiz website.
Upcoming Webinar Training and Events
- Pollution Prevention Opportunities for Ammonia Emissions in the Food and Beverage Sector
The webinar will provide an overview of the sources of emissions of ammonia from the industrial refrigeration systems commonly used in food and beverage processing facilities, a summary of refrigerant inventory determination methods for industrial ammonia systems, including an Ammonia Inventory Calculator, which is a new online resource to estimate the operating charge of existing systems; and the use of dynamic charge calculations for flagging refrigerant losses from systems that would otherwise go undetected. Applications of these methods, along with best practices for identifying and eliminating fugitive ammonia leaks will also be discussed.elping to achieve corporate sustainability goals.
November 18, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EST
Register for this online session.
EPA ENERGY STAR webinars:
- How to Track Waste & Materials in Portfolio Manager
In addition to benchmarking energy and water use in Portfolio Manager, you can measure and track waste & materials generated by your building. Upgrade from the cumbersome spreadsheet you have been using, or get started for the first time, and learn how to use the waste tracking feature.
November 12, 2020 at 2:30 p.m. EST
- Communicating Your Energy Plans and Achievements
Communicating your energy plans and achievements both internally to employees and externally to the public can be informative, motivational, and fun. Join us to hear how and why three ENERGY STAR industrial partners implemented creative communications plans.
November 18, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EST
- enchmarking Wastewater Treatment Plants and Drinking Water Treatment Systems
This webinar features EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, a powerful online tool that can help you track and manage your system’s energy usage and energy savings from efficiency projects, including related greenhouse gas emissions for your inventories. We will discuss how Portfolio Manager benefits water and wastewater systems, and demonstrate how you can create an account and benchmark your systems at no cost to you.
December 1, 2020 at 2:30 p.m. EST
Portfolio Manager Series
- 101 – November 4, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EST – Attendees will learn how to: navigate the Portfolio Manager; add a property and enter details about it; enter energy and water consumption data; share properties; generate performance reports to assess progress; and respond to data requests.
- 201 – November 10, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. EST – 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 – November 17, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. EST – 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.