The United States Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD) is a non-profit association of businesses whose purpose is to deliver highly focused, collaborative projects that help its members and partners demonstrate leadership in the United States on sustainable development and realize business value. US BCSD leverages member participation and partner support to serve five platforms of activity — By-product Synergy, Ecosystem Services, Value and Supply Chain, Energy and Climate Change, and Water Resource Management. In addition to information on each of these activity areas, the US BCSD web site includes member/partner profiles, information on joining the council, and a list of upcoming events.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! For those of us of Irish descent (and those who pretend to be Irish, if just for today), I thought it would be appropriate to spend some time considering environmental initiatives in Ireland. Here are a few examples of green activities on the Emerald Isle:
- Wind Power: According to Sustainable Energy Ireland, “wind energy provides electricity to the equivalent of 40 million European citizens, and wind farms in Ireland supply enough clean green power to support over 146,000 users.” Their web site provides an interactive map of existing wind farms in Ireland (as of April 2007). A recent post on the Green Tech Blog (“Ireland: Where Wind Power is King” by Michael Kanellos) discusses the great potential for further wind farm development on the island, both on and offshore.
- Cultivate Living and Learning Centre: The Cultivate Centre in Dublin serves as a hub for environmental activities and ideas. Their web site provides a green map of Dublin; environmental workshop listing; a directory of schools, businesses and other organizations in Ireland that are teaching or training and have principles of sustainability rooted in their mission and strategies; information on energy issues and climate change; and a host of other resources. The themes addressed in their educational programs include green building, permaculture and organic gardening, renewable energy, energy conservation, and rethinking urban design and planning.
- Cleaner Greener Production Programme (CGPP): This program of Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency encourages Irish business and industry to produce goods and services in more environmentally friendly ways. That agency defines “Cleaner Greener Production” as “the application of integrated preventive environmental strategies to processes, products and services to increase overall efficiency and reduce risks to humans and the environment, for example: (1) Production processes: conserving raw materials and energy, eliminating toxic raw materials and reducing the quantity and toxicity of all emissions and wastes (2) Products: reducing negative impacts along the life cycle of a product, from raw materials extraction to its ultimate disposal (3) Services: encouraging and supporting the development of higher environmental performance in the service sector, by incorporating environmental concerns into designing and delivering services.”
The Michigan Retired Engineer Technical Assistance Program (RETAP) is sponsoring a free pollution prevention technology workshop on advanced coolant and filter media usage reduction technology for the metal working process. The workshop is October 2, 2007 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Crystal Filtration Company, 2938 Waterview, Rochester Hills, MI.
The (Diamler) Chrysler Detroit Axle plant, in cooperation with Kettering University and Crystal Filtration, integrated an innovative coolant filtration system into the facility’s primary metal working operation. The system achieved a 40 – 60 percent reduction in filter media usage resulting in an anticipated annual savings of up to $60,000.
Professor Terri Lynch-Caris, Kettering University, will present the technology, its implementation, and the project’s economical and environmental analysis. Mr. Glenn Rowe, Crystal Filtration, will describe the system installation and technology’s applications.
For more information, contact David Herb, RETAP Manager, at 517-241-8176 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a previous post, I described the U.S. Department of Energy’s Industrial Technologies Program Save Energy Now initiative. On August 20th, DOE began accepting applications for the third round of free industrial energy assessments. According to the DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) News, the program has already performed energy assessments at 253 industrial plants throughout the United States which have resulted in annual energy savings of nearly $63 million; currently planned projects are expected to yield another $263 million in annual energy savings. The assessments focus primarily on energy-intensive components and systems, such as fans, pumps, and systems for process heating, steam, and compressed air. Initial selections of industrial plants for energy assessments will be made starting in mid-September, and additional selections will be announced periodically until the target of 250 assessments is reached for the calendar year 2008. For more information and to apply for an assessment, visit the Save Energy Now web site.
- Rx for the Environment: Hospitals are reporting tenfold increases in costs for managing pharmaceutical waste. Prevention options are helping some facilities reduce drug waste and costs.
- Pharmaceutical Waste Workshops: MnTAP is sponsoring three pharmaceutical waste workshops to help hospital-based pharmacies keep in regulatory compliance.
- Minnesota Health Care Facilities Win Honors: Three Minnesota health care facilities were recognized at the Hospitals for a Healthy Environment’s Environmental Excellence Summit.
- Disposing of Drug Waste at Home: Tips on how to manage unwanted medications from your home.
- Lou-Rich Cuts Water: This contract metal manufacturer reduced water used in cleaning and cooling operations by 8.9 million gallons per year, saving $42,100 annually—with assistance from a MnTAP intern.
- Non-contact Cooling Water: Evaluate your facility’s use of non-contact cooling water to identify opportunities to reduce water use and cost.
- Where’s Your Waste–MnTAP Interns: Nine MnTAP interns are reducing waste across the Minnesota. Join us on August 23 to hear about how their companies are working to reduce waste.
- Vacuum Bagging and Infusion Demonstration: Carstens Industries will share its process for vacuum bagging and infusion in Melrose on September 12.
- Lean and Green Seminar: Manufacturers Alliance is hosting the educational seminar “The New Scene is Lean & Green” on August 9. Three manufacturers will present their experiences.
- Minnesota Materials Exchange: A materials exchange program lists one company’s unwanted material and makes it available for use by another company. The listings in Source are examples of available and wanted listings, and successful exchanges from the Minnesota Materials Exchange.
- Calendar: MnTAP posts trainings and events related to manufacturing process improvement, waste management and environmental, health and safety.
Sign-up for a free subscription of the MnTAP newsletter. You can receive the newsletter via e-mail. Minnesota businesses and organizations can choose to receive a hardcopy in the mail, ideal for routing to colleagues.
There’s still a few days left to apply for a FREE Energy Savings Assessment (ESA) from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Applications are being accepted until March 16, 2007 at 5 p.m. Eastern time. According to the online application information: “DOE will make initial selections of applications for ESAs in late November. Additional selections will be announced periodically until the target of 250 assessments is reached for the calendar year 2007.”
Through the Save Energy Now program, DOE’s Industrial Technologies Program is sending energy experts to energy-intensive manufacturing facilities to conduct free Energy Savings Assessments (ESAs). “The purpose of the assessments is to identify immediate opportunities to save energy and money, primarily by focusing on energy intensive systems including process heating, steam, pumps, fans and compressed air.” Check out the Save Energy Now fact sheet for more information.
Visit the Save Energy Now web site to read FAQs about the program, view results summaries from past ESAs, read case studies, find contact information for ESA energy experts, and access tip sheets, technical fact sheets, software and other best practice information.
Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy program recently released a Plastics Energy Best Practice Guidebook. According to a Focus on Energy press release, the guidebook emphasizes not only the energy savings advantages, but the additional benefits, such as improved production, reduced waste and lower materials and water usage that result from improving plastics-specific manufacturing processes. The guidebook includes a discussion of energy use in the plastics industry, ways to compare a facility’s performance with other plastics processors, guidelines for energy management best practices and summaries for more than 20 technical best practices for plastics-specific production processes that have been reviewed by plastics industry leaders. To request a copy of the guidebook, contact Craig Schepp at 608-277-2948.
One of the outcomes of the GLRPPR Strategic Planning Meeting that was held in February 2006 was the formation of four “discussion groups” for the purpose of networking and facilitation of communication and cooperation among regional organizations. These groups were formed around four topics identified by meeting attendees as subjects of special interest for the region: mercury, energy efficiency, water, and lean and green manufacturing.
GLRPPR administrative staff will assist these groups as needed with the arrangement of conference calls, and facilitation of communication among members of the group and among the groups and the general membership via the maintenance of these web pages and posting or promotion of material via the GLRPPR web site and newsletter. The discussion groups are independent entities/efforts of GLRPPR members—the GLRPPR administrative staff and Steering Committee do not manage these groups or dictate the pollution prevention topics for which GLRPPR members may form groups.
Discussion Group pages are now available on the GLRPPR web site. These pages provide descriptions of these groups and contact information, as well as conference call information and shared documents of interest where appropriate. If you are interested in joining any of these groups, please contact the individual “lead” for that group, identified on the group’s page.
If you are interested in forming an additional discussion group on a topic of regional significance, please contact Bob Iverson.