SUSTAINABLE ISSUE 01/15
B U S I N E S S
M A G A Z I N E
LEDCOR SUSTAINABLE CAMPUSES
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY TRENT UNIVERSITY MR KEN SMITH
President & CEO, Ever-Green Energy
ALSO FEATURED THIS ISSUE
AASHE • IDEA • OMA
S U S TA I N I N G T O M O R R O W. T O D AY
B U S I N E S S
M A G A Z I N E
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CONTENTS ISSUE 01/15
Welcome to the latest issue of Sustainable Business Magazine Sustainable Business Magazine aims to spread awareness of the values of sustainability, as well as the brilliant ways in which institutions continue to meet challenges and champion corporate social responsibility. In this issue Murray MacKinnon, Vice President of Corporate Sustainability at Ledcor, talks to us about how one of North America’s most diversified construction companies is an industry leader in sustainability. We also speak to the Ontario Mining Association about what can be done to reduce the impact of the mining industry on the environment, while Matthew Pickard, Vice President of Environment and Sustainability at Sabina Gold and Silver Corp., explains how they’ve been working with local communities to maximize the socioeconomic benefits of their gold mining projects in Northern Canada. Rob Thornton, President and CEO of the International District Energy Association (IDEA), explains the strengths and real world achievements of district heat and energy networks, and what it means for the future of sustainable energy, while a Q+A with Ken Smith, President and CEO of Ever-Green Energy, highlights how local energy sources and smart infrastructure planning can help communities achieve their energy, carbon, and sustainability goals. The latest installment of our AASHE ‘Sustainable Campuses’ series features Princeton University, Santa Clara University, and Trent University. The series is being run in partnership with AASHE (the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) and celebrates the continuing efforts of North American universities to develop and operate sustainably, as well as the role they’re taking in educating students and the wider public about the importance of sustainability. The series is prefaced by a foreword from AASHE’s brand new Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. As always this month’s issue includes a selection of guest editorials by industry experts. Andrea Martin and Nora Ferm of Cascadia Consulting Group provide an environmental report, Gillan Tuddune, CEO of Banyan Water, provides a technology report, and Paul Woods, Chairman, CEO, and President of Algenol Biofuels, provides an energy report. Our sustainability news page contains current headlines from around North America, while our events calendar details upcoming sustainability events. This month’s highlighted event is the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association’s 1st Annual Canadian Bioeconomy Conference. The event boasted three days of talks, panels, and lectures on the future of renewable energy in North America and beyond. We hope that you find this issue both interesting and inspiring. Thank you for reading. The Sustainable Business Magazine Team
Environmental Report Cascadia Consulting Group
Technology Report Banyan Water
Energy Report Algenol Biofuels
Ontario Mining Association (OMA)
Sabina Gold & Silver Corp.
Q&A Ken Smith Ever-Green Energy
The International District Energy Association (IDEA)
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
Santa Clara University
Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA) 1st Annual Canadian Bioeconomy Conference
FRONT COVER IMAGE: VANDUSEN VISITOR CENTRE IMAGE PROVIDED COURTESY OF LEDCOR. PHOTO CREDIT: NIC LEHOUX
© SBM Media Ltd 2015. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form for any purpose, other than short sections for the purpose of review, without prior consent of the publisher.
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ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT VIETNAM TEAM
NORA FERM, SENIOR ASSOCIATE & DIRECTOR OF CLIMATE PROGRAMS AT CASCADIA CONSULTING GROUP
ANDREA MARTIN, ASSOCIATE AT CASCADIA CONSULTING GROUP
By Andrea Martin & Nora Ferm of Cascadia Consulting Group.
Keeping Pace with a Changing Climate Businesses know risk, from oil price fluctuations to E. coli outbreaks and political instability. Smart businesses must always anticipate, plan for, and respond to these and other real business threats in order to survive and thrive. So why is the risk of climate change any different? The threats posed by climate change are unprecedented. Businesses have long dealt with flooding, storm surges, and dry spells, but not at the frequency and severity expected with our chang2 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
ing climate. The recent U.S. National Climate Assessment found that over the last 50 years, much of the United States has already experienced an increase in prolonged high-temperature periods, more heavy downpours, and more severe droughts. These trends are projected to increase over the next century. Climate change risks are unfamiliar. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutionsâ€™ 2013 Building Business Resilience to Climate Change report found that while most companies have
The unique risks posed by climate change call for customized and innovative approaches.
risk management experts, few have the extreme weather or climate change expertise necessary for decision-making. Furthermore, future climate projections are often too broad or too technical to enable informed business decisions. Without the ability to apply these projections to individual business decisions, itâ€™s hard to know how to act. The unique risks posed by climate change call for customized and innovative approaches, mainstreamed into ongoing business processes. Twentieth century designs and protocols will no longer suffice in this new climate. Organizations and institutions must find viable entry points to address emerging climate-related challenges, such as through strategic planning, infrastructure design, product sourcing, and supply chain and energy source redundancy. Cascadia Consulting Group, based in Seattle, Washington, helps identify these kinds of entry points, assess climate risks to critical assets and resources, translate the latest science into clear, actionable information, and evaluate the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of climate change preparedness measures. We develop tailored decision support tools to make it easy for organizations, managers, planners, and decision-makers to apply climate and other information in their standard processes. Cascadia developed a software tool that directly addresses the need for easily accessible, scientifically credible, and
actionable climate information. The Climate Impacts Decision Support Tool (CIMPACT-DST) filters through many sources of climate information to quickly show managers and planners the risks and response measures relevant to their project timeframe, geography, and sector of interest. The tool can help reduce risks to all aspects of an organization or jurisdiction, from long-term planning, design, and engineering, to day-to-day operations, maintenance, and management. Recently, the tool was used by the City of Seattle to revise the design of a new bridge expansion joint and by planners in Vietnam to identify locations for new residential and commercial areas while protecting human life and ecosystems. Cascadia is currently exploring expansion of our tool offerings to address additional climate-related challenges that are unique to the private sector. We anticipate including functionalities such as visualizing supply chain vulnerabilities under different climate scenarios and mapping the relative vulnerabilities of important facilities or locales. In doing so, we hope to help our economy and our communities thrive, even in the face of a changing climate. c Cascadia Consulting Group makes climate action accessible and actionable for businesses, local governments, and communities. For more information visit www.cascadiaconsulting.com SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
By Gillan Taddune, CEO of Banyan Water.
How Water Efficiency Technology can improve Corporate Social Responsibility Much of the Western United States is currently in the midst of a serious drought, and this has propelled our water supplies and consumption habits in to the spotlight. How can companies and large institutions best incorporate water into corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs? And how can they reap the financial benefits of water conservation as water rates continue to rise? The answers lie in water efficiency technologies. GREEN YOUR LANDSCAPE AND YOUR BUSINESS The first area of focus for water efficiency in commercial and institutional spaces should be on outdoor water use. Landscaping is typically the largest water use area and also has the most to gain from efficiency efforts. A variety of online resources are available that estimate how much water is required for a landscape given its location and characteristics; comparing that to historical water bills will provide a starting point to identify areas for improvement. 4 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Irrigation system inspections are also a good way to quickly see if water is being wasted. Monitoring and control technologies can achieve significant savings, but a properly functioning irrigation system is a necessary first step. Irrigation controllers are now ubiquitous on commercial and institutional properties, but technological advancements have significantly improved water savings and the ability to manage complex sites. In addition, Internet-enabled hardware provides visibility into system performance without setting a foot onto the landscape itself. However, landscapes are heterogeneous and constantly in flux as conditions change and systems malfunction. Maintaining a water-efficient property means staying on top of these issues so that landscapes stay healthy and water isnâ€™t wasted. Measuring and analyzing water consumption in tandem with smart controls and system alerts allows users to continually maximize water and financial savings. These technologies can also be
GILLAN TADDUNE, CEO OF BANYAN WATER
complemented by xeriscaping or onsite water reuse to gain even more conservation benefits. INDOORS AND IN CONTROL While irrigation management is a mature industry, indoor water management technologies are currently coming of age. Utility smart meters have become more popular but rarely provide detailed water use data to the end users. Fortunately, the recent proliferation of monitoring and communication technologies can deliver actionable data to sustainability and operations managers in real time. Anyone can begin to manage water more effectively by tracking monthly consumption on water bills; a simple spreadsheet of monthly use can help identify trends and anomalies. Yet, with high-resolution
The collective public attention given to drought over the past year is a great reminder that water sustainability should be at the heart of any CSR program.
data, analysis, and visualization tools, data begins to paint a much better picture of water use patterns which allows users to begin making informed improvements. While monitoring technologies immediately provide value through identification of large anomalies, many leaks and inefficiencies are smaller and more gradual. Because of this, data-driven water management should be approached as a long-term investment in order to maintain savings over time and identify the best and most cost-effective conservation opportunities. LOOKING AHEAD The collective public attention given to drought over the past year is a great reminder that water sustainability should be at the heart of any CSR program. Fortunately, the technology available today allows us to make significant progress towards a water-efficient future while also saving on operating expenses. When environmental stewardship and bottom line management are this closely aligned, there is a clear path forward. c Author - Gillan Taddune is the Chief Executive Officer of Banyan Water. Banyan Water provides smart water management as a service for commercial and institutional businesses using real-time technologies and related services to save money and enhance properties. Prior to Banyan, Ms. Taddune held leadership positions at Green Mountain Energy, EnerNOC, and Recyclebank. For more information on Banyan Water, visitÂ www.banyanwater.com SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
ENERGY REPORT PAUL WOODS, CHAIRMAN, CEO, AND PRESIDENT OF ALGENOL BIOFUELS.
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Energizing the Biofuels Industry ENERGYREPORT
By Paul Woods, Chairman, CEO, and President of Algenol Biofuels.
As we wake up each morning to a world facing a number of critical issues, Algenol Biofuel’s technology has the capability to address three of them: Energy consumption, climate change, and freshwater scarcity. Algenol’s algae-based platform converts CO2 into the four most important fuels (ethanol, gasoline, jet, and diesel) using proprietary algae, sunlight, and saltwater, while producing fresh water. TRUE COSTS The combination of high yield and low cost fuel production is critical for the success of the biofuels industry. Corn based ethanol, the most common form in the United States, has an average yield of approximately 420 gallons of fuel per acre per year. Algenol’s industrial algae have the ability to yield 8,000 gallons of liquid fuel per acre per year; a yield nearly 20 times that of corn. To put this into perspective, Algenol’s platform could supply all US fuel needs with less than a third of the acreage used for corn cultivation, without diverting any farmland from food production. Although high yield is crucial, it is only half of the equation; fuel must also be produced at a low cost. Algenol has the ability to produce a gallon of liquid fuel for approximately $1.30 USD at commercial scale. However, when looking at the cost of production, it is important to remember both economic and environmental factors. Corn ethanol is extremely costly when you consider land, water, fertilizer, and other fuel consumption, all of which leave behind a large carbon footprint. Algenol utilizes abundant natural resources (sunshine, saltwater, and marginal
Algenol’s industrial algae have the ability to yield 8,000 gallons of liquid fuel per acre per year; a yield nearly 20 times that of corn.
land) and consumes CO2 emissions that would otherwise be emitted to the atmosphere. UTILIZING CARBON DIOXIDE Climate change is a crucial issue that cannot be ignored. Every 2000 acre module of an Algenol facility is equal to planting more than 40 million trees, or removing 36,000 cars from the road. In the U.S., 3.6 billion metric tons of CO2 are emitted from stationary sources alone, not including the additional output from vehicles. Photosynthesis is nature’s best carbon recycler, removing 260 billion tonnes of CO2 per year and 40% of all photosynthetically fixed carbon is fixed by algae. Algenol’s technology simply takes advantage of Mother Earth’s natural processes to produce valuable commodities. Algae based Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU) is the best current alternative for mitigating this global challenge. Algenol’s technology recycles and monetizes carbon dioxide. The CO2 produced by industrial processes is captured and used as feedstock for the algae in an outdoor reactor system, producing ethanol directly through photosynthesis. Finally, Algenol’s technology also helps to combat global water scarcity as the production process utilizes saltwater instead of freshwater. Additionally, for every gallon of fuel produced, 1.4 gallons of freshwater is produced as a by-product. The advantages of Algenol Biofuel’s technology, and those of the algae industry as a whole are very clear. Algae are the future of fuel and fresh water, and Algenol is looking forward to commercialization and its next steps as a company; leading the way to global algae biofuel production. c Algenol’s Direct to Ethanol® Technology targets producing ethanol using proprietary algae, sunlight, non-arable land and carbon dioxide with operating costs of $1.30 per gallon, and production rates of 8,000 total gallons of liquid fuel per acre per year. Waste algae is processed by hydrothermal liquefaction and HT in gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. Paul invented the Direct to Ethanol® Technology in 1984 while attending the University of Western Ontario near Toronto, Canada. Woods and Algenol currently hold 36 patents and have 69 patents pending. Algenol currently employs over 190 employees in Lee County, Florida and in Germany. For more information visit: www.algenol.com SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
THE FUTURE Sustainable Business Magazine talks to Murray MacKinnon, Vice President of Corporate Sustainability at Ledcor, about being an industry leader in sustainability.
VANDUSEN VISITOR CENTRE IMAGE PROVIDED COURTESY OF LEDCOR. PHOTO CREDIT: NIC LEHOUX
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LEDCOR VANDUSEN VISITOR CENTRE IMAGE PROVIDED COURTESY OF LEDCOR. PHOTO CREDIT: NIC LEHOUX
Ledcor is more than just a building construction company, it is an organisation that carries the full breadth of the construction industry on its shoulders. Teams specializing in everything from mining of materials and building construction, to asset acquisition and infrastructural projects, have established Ledcor as one of the most diversified construction companies in North
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America. Though it has grown since it was established in 1947, the Alberta, Canada, based company continues to hold the values of its founder William Lede at the core of its operations: accountability, innovation, quality, and sustainability. Ledcor is present, and has gained respectability, in many sectors including building construction, oil and gas, infrastructure,
telecommunications, forestry, and power generation. This accessibility means it is able to bring its vision of an accountable and sustainable model of the future to many different clients. This is reflected in its participation in the Living Buildings Challenge (LBC), a green building programme considered the toughest in the world at present. That it has successfully constructed two buildings within
VANDUSEN VISITOR CENTRE IMAGE PROVIDED COURTESY OF LEDCOR. PHOTO CREDIT: NIC LEHOUX
SPECIALIZING IN EVERYTHING FROM MINING OF MATERIALS AND PROPERTY BUILDING, TO ASSET ACQUISITION AND EVEN INFRASTRUCTURAL ENGINEERING.
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LEDCOR HAS BEEN A PIONEER IN GREEN BUILDING, ITS ETHIC OF SUSTAINABILITY HAVING PRECEDED THE INTRODUCTION OF INDUSTRY STANDARDS AND THE GROWTH OF GREEN CAPITAL.
UNIVERCITY CHILD CARE CENTRE IMAGE PROVIDED COURTESY OF LEDCOR.
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77 BLOOR STREET WEST OFFICE IN DOWNTOWN TORONTO IMAGE PROVIDED COURTESY OF LEDCOR.
LBC parameters is testament to Ledcor’s environmental commitment and construction skill. Murray MacKinnon, Vice President of Corporate Sustainability at Ledcor, explains further. “We have worked with two of Canada’s leading green architectural firms: Hughes Condon Marler on the UniverCity Childcare Centre on Burnaby Mountain, and Perkins+Will on the VanDusen Gardens Visitor Centre in Vancouver. Ledcor quickly recognized that for us the material sourcing and tracking and, most importantly, avoiding products containing ‘Red List’ chemicals, was central to the challenge. The list contains a lot of products that are considered day-to-day materials. When building the Childcare Centre, for example, even our fencing had to be reconsidered. Typically we use chainlink fences but those are galvanised. Galvanizing is a red listed item. It was a really challenging but rewarding exercise. Just recently we were informed by Perkins+Will that the World Architec-
ture News named the VanDusen Project as its Most Sustainable Building of the Year for 2014.” RENEWING THE OLD Ledcor has been a pioneer in green building, its ethic of sustainability having preceded the introduction of industry
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LEDCOR ASHLU PROJECT IMAGE PROVIDED COURTESY OF LEDCOR.
IT IS LEDCOR’S WILLINGNESS TO PARTICIPATE IN AND DRIVE INNOVATION THROUGHOUT ALL ITS SECTORS WHICH HELPS IT MAINTAIN A LEADING EDGE.
standards and the growth of green capital. The company has integrated environmental consciousness into its revitalization concept known as Ledcor Renew. By optimising energy consumption and improving environ-
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mental sustainability in existing buildings, the organization is able to increase not only the lifetime of an older building but also the comfort of its tenants. This has been offered to and taken up largely by existing clients. A majority of these clients’ portfolios include older buildings that are not as competitive on the market as their newer, more efficient buildings. They see Ledcor Renew as an ideal balance between capital expenditure and savings gained. One recent example of this is the 77 Bloor Street West Office in downtown Toronto. The electrical and mechanical systems of the building were overhauled, including removal of the perimeter induction system, whilst high grade window fittings were installed. Removing the induction system also meant Ledcor created an entirely new 20,000 square foot top floor for the building, providing a major return on investment. DIVERSIFIED APPROACH Infrastructure is another important sector for Ledcor and they remain equally committed to sustainability in this area of their operations. The company has recently used the Greenroads Foundation rating system
to assess their most recent P3 project. Ledcor was involved in the construction of the 38 kilometre South Fraser Perimeter Road connecting Highway #1 to Deltaport Way in Tsawwassen, which received Bronze Certification from the Greenroads Foundation. As an early member, Ledcor’s participation in that system has been helpful as Greenroads grows into a widely recognized standard for environmental infrastructure construction. It is Ledcor’s willingness to participate in and drive innovation throughout all its sectors which helps it maintain a leading edge. “In the oil and gas sector we are promoting technologies that accelerate the recovery of reusable water from the Oil Sands processes, specifically the elimination of settling ponds and fine mill tailings using a process of filter presses,” explains Mr. MacKinnon. “Ledcor Power has also partnered in the construction of Run-ofthe-River hydro projects, which by their smaller scale result in less intrusive electrical generation than conventional dams. Two such installations are the 49.9MW/hr Ashlu project northwest of Squamish and the smaller but more familiar 7.5MW/hr Fitzsimmons installation at Whistler. Fur-
SOUTH FRASER PERIMETER ROAD PROVIDED COURTESY OF LEDCOR. PHOTOGRAPHER: LARRY GOLDSTEIN
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LEDCOR FITZSIMMONS INSTALLATION AT WHISTLER. PROVIDED COURTESY OF LEDCOR. COPYRIGHT KRISTOFER GRUNERT PHOTOGRAPHY
LEDCOR CONTINUES TO FOCUS ON MARRYING ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY WITH FINANCIAL SUCCESS FOR ITS CLIENTS.
thermore, Ledcor Transportation recently purchased 15 LNG highway semi-tractors for use by our forestry group to haul woodchip and pine beetle waste to various bio-fuel generating installations and 200 CNG Ford Transits to provide installation service to its telecommunication clients.” Oil sands processes are a topical issue at present but Ledcor has gone to great lengths to ensure that it helps push the boundaries of efficiency and environmental 16 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
responsibility. They are working with the Green Chemistry and Engineering Department of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology to develop new solutions for oil sands development. Using its field knowledge and experience, the Ledcor Group Applied Research Chair helps guide research according to practicable solutions for industry use. This will help not only Ledcor, but also other companies and organisations throughout the oil sands industry.
WORKING WITH THE COMMUNITY On top of all its industry efforts and internal corporate accountability, Ledcor also aims to work with the local communities near its projects now and into the future. “At the local level, each office is encouraged to give back to the communities in which they work,” says Mr. MacKinnon. “That can be a ride or run for a cause, youth team sponsorships, Habitat for Humanity, or any number of local op-
IMAGE PROVIDED COURTESY OF LEDCOR. COPYRIGHT LARRY GOLDSTEIN PHOTOGRAPHY
IMAGE PROVIDED COURTESY OF LEDCOR. COPYRIGHT LARRY GOLDSTEIN PHOTOGRAPHY
portunities. Ledcor has a long-standing relationship with First Nations peoples too, encouraging education, providing facilities, and offering employment training and job opportunities. Annually our staff Giving Program is augmented by a corporate match which this year raised more than 1.2 million dollars for over 90 targeted charities in Canada and the USA. At our most senior level, the Lede Foundation donates millions of dollars with
a primary focus on children and youth, health and education.â€? GREEN ROADS FORWARD Having led the green building industry for more than a decade, including receiving its first LEED certification 12 years ago, Ledcor continues to focus on marrying environmental responsibility with financial success for its clients. Often these two follow the same path. As a large company with more
than 7000 employees across 11 different groups it can be difficult to achieve a unified position, but Ledcor has done so by compiling the metrics and measurements of each division. Starting from this position, it is then able to move forward with a clear vision for the immediate and long-term future of both its own internal structure and that of its projects. By maintaining this awareness and presence, it continues to maintain its position as an industry leader in sustainability. c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
ONTARIO MINING ASSOCIATION
MINING IN ONTARIO Sustainable Business Magazine talks to Adrianna Stech, Manager of Environment and Sustainability at the Ontario Mining Association, about what can be done to reduce the impact of the mining industry on the environment. Written by Michael Anjos. The Ontario Mining Association (OMA) is one of the longest serving trade organizations in Canada, having been established in 1920. Since then, the organization has represented the interests of Ontario’s mining industry and has put a heavy emphasis on safety and environmental sustainability. “The safety record of the Ontario mining industry is a source of pride and continual focus,” explains Adrianna Stech, Manager 18 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
of Environment and Sustainability. “Ontario is one of the safest mining jurisdictions in the world and mining is one of the safest industries in Ontario, achieving a 96% improvement in lost time injury frequency over the past 30 years. Our members have longstanding, positive experience with training, and their fundamental commitment to zero harm drives a robust safety culture.” The Ontario Mining Association also makes sure
that mining companies are aware of government mandated environmental measures and promote environmentally friendly mining practices to help OMA members reduce their ecological footprint. MINIMIZING IMPACT Since 1972, the Ontario Mining Association has had an Environment Committee that works to help members continually improve
PHOTO COURTESY OF NORTH AMERICAN PALLADIUM
PHOTO COURTESY OF DE BEERS CANADA
operations occupy 500 square kilometres, only about 0.05% of Ontario’s total land area. Most mining operations, including the mine, mill, access roads, and tailings, take up less than 5 square kilometres. “Notwithstanding its small physical presence, mining is not a benign activity,” explains Ms. Stech. “It is impossible to remove minerals from the earth and process them without impacting in varying degrees the air, land, and water, as well as plant and animal life. The goal and commitment of modern mining companies is to minimize the temporary disruption to the environment during exploration and production and to maximize the restoration of ecosystems at the end of the mine life.” their environmental performance, understand and comply with legal requirements, and practice environmental stewardship. To achieve this, the committee participates in meaningful dialogue with member companies, governments, and communities of interest, with the primary goal of encouraging the adoption of environmental management systems and practices, and promoting the application of effective techniques for managing environmental risks. This is important as the OMA acts as a conduit between industry and government, as well as between industry and the public, meaning almost all of their sustainability progress is driven by the actions of their member companies. Ontario mines actually have a remarkably small footprint. Past and present mining
The philosophy, financial expenditures, and most importantly, actions of the Ontario Mining Association’s member companies have made Ontario a world leader in sustainable mining. Throughout the province, companies are adhering to the highest standards in regards to important issues such as water conservation, energy consumption, pollution abatement, and the preservation of biodiversity. ECOLOGICAL INNOVATION The Ontario Mining Association is constantly looking for new, innovative ways to help their members prosper while decreasing negative environmental impacts. “Innovation has two key dimensions in mining:
PHOTO COURTESY OF GLENCORE
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ONTARIO MINING ASSOCIATION
PHOTO COURTESY OF VALE
what we produce and how we produce it,” explains Ms. Stech. “What we produce forms the building blocks of all technologies that define innovation today, from lifesaving medical devices to planet-saving green technologies and advanced energy solutions. All technical breakthroughs begin with the products of mining. It is gratifying to be part of an industry that builds a better world.” While the benefits of what the mining industry produces can’t be disputed, it’s also important to take note of how OMA’s
member companies are producing it. “How we produce has been revolutionized by new approaches and new technology. From biochemistry to robotics, Ontario mining companies invest heavily in research and development to improve working conditions, increase efficiency, lower production costs, and enhance environmental protection.” One of the more remarkable innovations to come from the association’s environmentally conscious business practices
is the “Clean AER Project”, which is being developed by member company Vale. Vale, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Brazilian mining company of the same name, recently launched its $1-billion Clean AER Project, the largest single environmental investment in Sudbury’s history, and one of the largest in Canada. Clean AER stands for “Atmospheric Emissions Reduction”, which simply means cleaner air. The project is designed to capture sulphur bearing gases from the smelter’s converter aisle and significantly
PHOTO COURTESY OF VALE
PHOTO COURTESY OF LAKE SHORE GOLD
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reduce dust and metal emissions. This will involve a retrofit of Vale’s Copper Cliff smelter, and upon completion of the project will result in an 85% reduction in sulphur dioxide emissions from current levels. COMMUNITY RELATIONS One of the most important issues for the Ontario Mining Association is how they approach their relationship with local communities. Ms. Stech believes that member companies see this relationship as a partnership, with both the industry needs and community needs being met. Through proactive
communication, OMA member companies address concerns and engage with communities to create sustainable values at a local level. This builds understanding and trust, while opening up the opportunity to positively influence people’s lives. Although this participatory model is important in any community, it is imperative in remote ones, where mining serves as the key to improving socio-economic circumstances and stimulating a diversified local economy that will flourish throughout the life of the mine and well beyond. The socio-economic benefits of a local mining industry are essential to certain regions of Canada, and Ontario is no exception, but it’s also important to look at the demographics of that increased prosperity. Aboriginal peoples account for 3.8% of the Canadian population, but about 7.5% of the total mining labour force. In Ontario, Aboriginal employment accounts for 9.7% of total mining jobs, making the mining industry the largest private sector employer of Aboriginal Canadians. In creating employment and business opportunities for Aboriginal communities, mining companies seek to encourage economic independence and
entrepreneurship, while remaining sensitive to local cultural and social practices. The industry values indigenous knowledge, which can inform and improve a mine’s operational and environmental policy. All of this can be seen as an example of the positive influence the Ontario Mining Association endeavours to have on local communities, as well as the environment; something Ms. Stech is very proud of. “Given that it can be found in all corners of the province and provides measurable benefits, it can be said that mining builds Ontario.” c Learn more at www.oma.on.ca
PHOTO COURTESY OF SANDVIK
PAST AND PRESENT MINING OPERATIONS OCCUPY 500 SQUARE KILOMETRES, ONLY ABOUT 0.05% OF ONTARIO’S TOTAL LAND AREA.
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SABINA GOLD & SILVER CORP
“DESIGNING THE PROJECT TO LIMIT THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS IS VERY IMPORTANT.”
Sustainable Business Magazine talks to Matthew Pickard, Vice President of Environment and Sustainability at Sabina Gold and Silver Corp., about how they’re working with local communities to maximize the socioeconomic benefits, and minimize the environmental impacts, of their gold mining projects in Northern Canada. 22 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
CARIBOU MOVING BY THE BACK RIVER PROJECT. IMAGES WERE CAUGHT USING MOTION AND HEAT SENSITIVE REMOTE CAMERAS
AN OVERVIEW OF THE GOOSE PROPERTY, THE PRIMARY LOCATION OF FUTURE DEVELOPMENT FOR THE BACK RIVER PROJECT
Sabina Gold and Silver Corp. is a Canadian precious metals company founded in 1966. The corporation is engaged in the acquisition, exploration, and development of mineral resource properties in Canada, specifically the northern region of Nunavut, and are on track to become a mid-tier gold producer. Their flagship project, the Back River Gold Project, is comprised of 45 federal mineral leases and 16 federal mining claims covering an
area of approximately 58,179 hectares in Nunavut in the Canadian Arctic. ENVIRONMENTAL FOOTPRINT Sabina Gold and Silver are aware of the impact a project of this size can have on the environment, and as such are constantly looking at ways to limit the size of their environmental footprint. “Essentially the Back River Project is at the design stage,” explains Matthew Pickard, Vice President of
Environment and Sustainability. “Designing the project to limit the environmental impacts is very important. We’re ensuring that each and every team is aware of, and able to focus on, where they can reduce potential impacts. One of the areas we focus on most is footprint size; trying to keep our footprint size as small as possible.” One of the ways in which the company reduces the environmental impact of their operations is by limiting the use of SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
SABINA GOLD & SILVER CORP
A MEETING BETWEEN SABINA AND THE KUGLUKTUK COMMUNITY ADVISORY GROUP TO DISCUSS VARIOUS ASPECTS OF THE PROJECT
“linear corridors”, which are essentially long man-made roads that can potentially disturb local wildlife. A notable example is the barren-ground caribou, a subspecies of caribou native to the Nunavut region of Canada. Many fear that long, all-season roads could disturb the animal and possibly even prevent it crossing areas where such roads are found. As a result of these concerns, Sabina Gold and Silver only use winter roads made of ice and snow, and
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only build these roads once the primary caribou herds have already moved further south. This ensures that the animals are not disturbed. Mr. Pickard explains that this is not the only way in which they’re trying to reduce the local impact of their operations. “We design all of our machinery to be as energy efficient as we can to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as making sure that we design the mine for closure. By looking at closure early on
we can ensure that we have a mine that can be effectively closed out.” KITIKMEOT INUIT ASSOCIATION Potentially disrupting wildlife is not the only concern when working in Nunavut. The area is also home to several communities of Inuit peoples. The Back River Gold Project would not be possible without the consent of the local Inuit organization and the company goes to great lengths
to ensure that local communities have significant input throughout the entire process. “Nunavut is broken into three areas and there is one land claim that covers all of Nunavut,” explains Mr. Pickard. “The claim was ratified by the federal government of Canada and the Inuit of Nunavut. There is an Inuit organization, which in this case is the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, which is the primary quasi-government that we deal with within the region. There are seven communities which are also in the area of the project, although
they’re hundreds of kilometres away and not in close proximity.” Sabina Gold and Silver Corp. run an incredibly transparent operation in Nunavut and make a point of listening to the concerns of the local Inuit organization. They also invite members of the Community Working Groups to tour the mining sites and voice any concerns they may have. It is important to note that these Community Working Groups essentially have no screening process, meaning that the company does not discriminate between pro-mining and anti-mining
parties and has no objections to sceptical community members assessing the project for themselves. This level of cooperation with the Inuit communities is indispensable to the project’s team and helps drastically increase their ability to alleviate the risk of significant environmental impacts. Mr. Pickard explains that the local people help the Back River Gold Project remain ecologically sustainable. “When we look at work in Northern Canada, especially in Nunavut proper, there is a lack of scientific data, general publically available scientific
MATTHEW PICKARD, VICE PRESIDENT, ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY, PRESENTS AT AN OPEN HOUSE IN KUGLUKTUK.
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SABINA GOLD & SILVER CORP EVERYTHING IS FLOWN INTO THE CURRENT BACK RIVER PROJECT SITES INCLUDING THIS HERCULES LOAD FROM YELLOWKNIFE, NWT.
“OUR OVERALL APPROACH TO TRANSPARENCY AND COMMUNICATION, NAMELY OUR ENGAGEMENT, IS WHAT REALLY SETS US APART.”
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A GROUP OF COMMUNITY MEMBERS FROM KUGLUKTUK AND CAMBRIDGE BAY MAKE A TRIP TO THE BACK RIVER PROJECT SITE
data, which means that the company must collect a significant amount itself. We’ve done that very intensively over the last three years (before that we also actually have data going back, depending on the area, to the 1990’s) but because of the lack of other data we reutilize a significant amount of traditional knowledge. The traditional knowledge told to us by the Inuit communities includes stories and historic maps which explain things like how they used to use the land. This really helps us a lot.”
can provide work, experience, and on-thejob training opportunities for Inuit peoples and other northerners, which can potentially allow them to move into other roles once the project has closed. “We can design a mine that works financially and technically, that’s not really difficult and anyone that has a deposit that’s good enough can make
that happen, but where we’re different is that we’ve heavily included all the thoughts, comments, and concerns that come forward from the local communities over time,” explains Mr. Pickard. “I think that our overall approach to transparency and communication, namely our engagement, is what really sets us apart.” c
SOCIO-ECONOMIC BENEFITS There are a range of different opportunities and benefits for members of local communities. One of the most important is employment opportunities. Generally the members of local communities lack high levels of education and previous employment experience and associated training, but Sabina projects in Nunavut are showing that mining SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Q&A KEN SMITH
President & CEO EVER-GREEN ENERGY
Can you tell us a little about the history of Ever-Green Energy? Ever-Green Energy was launched as an extension of District Energy St. Paul, an internationally recognized energy utility. After decades of success heating and cooling Saint Paul, the utility was interested in diversifying its activities to include renewable energy (biomass) and improve efficiency through combined heat and power. Additionally, we wanted to take advantage of the many inquiries we received to share our experience and expertise with other systems and communities. These interests drove the formation of Ever-Green as a consulting and operations and management organization that is now responsible for operation of District Energy St. Paul, District Cooling St. Paul, Environmental Wood Supply, St. Paul Cogeneration, Energy Park Utility Company, and Duluth Steam. Each of these operations is 28 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
located in Saint Paul or Duluth, Minnesota. These activities make up the majority of our business, however we also have been involved in the development and implementation of energy projects throughout North America, primarily focused in the district energy field, offering niche expertise in integrated energy systems using hot water distribution, combined heat and power, biomass, thermal storage, and solar thermal. How do you help communities find sustainable energy solutions? One of our most important commitments is finding energy solutions that are localized and fit the goals of our clients, which can be cities, counties, campuses, businesses, hospitals, or community partners. Most of these partners are looking to find cost-competi-
tive alternatives to their current energy systems, while also reducing their carbon footprint. The use of district heating, district cooling, combined heat and power, and renewables are ideal solutions for economic and environmental objectives. However, the renewables and other alternative technology integration require an analysis of the client’s project. Even if a project can’t start with renewables, we work with the project partners to establish a system vision that allows for maximum adaptability in the system’s growth and improvements so sustainable alternatives can be implemented. This could be waste heat from a local industry or energy production source, solar thermal, biomass, biogas, deep water cooling, geothermal, etc. We also help the community build support for their efforts, educating local partners about the energy system, available technologies, and the benefits to the end-user and the community. What projects are you currently involved in? We currently have projects in various stages of development throughout the United States and in Canada. Each of these projects uses district heating or cooling as its base infrastructure to incorporate other advanced technologies or fuels. In Montpelier, Vermont the system includes biomass and hot water district heating. We helped with many aspects of this project‘s evolution, from system design, operational concept, and implementation, and now we provide ongoing management support to the operations including customer and operator training. In Arlington County Virginia, we are working with local partners to evaluate the potential of district heating and cooling, with long-term potential to incorporate combined heat and power and other microgrid technologies in Crystal City and Pentagon City. Closer to our home office, we are working on several development projects in various stages of feasibility analysis and engineering design. The Rice Creek Commons project offers the opportunity to reuse a large brownfield site for the creation of an urban village. This site could incorporate biomass, solar, geothermal, combined heat and power, all through the foundational infrastructure of district energy and microgrids. We recently completed a white paper detailing the possibilities for the project and recommending local policy structures that would encourage short-term and longterm system development. Beyond these projects, we continue to leverage our multiple operations and management responsibilities to help other communities envision what is possible and lend our experience to projects being considered or systems in need of improvement. We often utilize our first pursuit, District Energy St. Paul, as a model for educating industry colleagues, students, and the public about what is possible with these systems and how they fit into and complement the broader energy system. How are you trying to expand the utilization of renewable energy systems throughout the United States? We have to approach the expansion of renewables on multiple fronts. As noted before, we are committed to using our current operations as a teaching opportunity for many different sectors. We use our facility to host tours and have also developed an EcoDistrict concept with our neighbors and customer buildings which showcases renewable energy in their facilities (primarily solar PV). We host hundreds of people each year who want to understand how these fuels and technologies work and how we have maintained a competitive business model while still upholding such strong environmental standards with our renewable integration and efficiencies. These
facilities, and our experiences throughout our projects and operations, have provided us with many opportunities to educate local and federal government entities, private business, academia, and industry cohorts. We are able to use our success with these projects to show what is possible. We have operations that showcase how things can be done well, operate effectively, meet environmental goals, and be part of a community effort to increase renewables, and make projects more sustainable. People often need to see the inside of these types of operations to believe that these types of advancements are achievable in their community. What does sustainability mean to Ever-Green Energy? This is such a great question. Over the years we have seen many terms used to explain a level of commitment to environmental stewardship. Clean energy, green energy, environmentally-friendly, and of course, sustainability. For us, the latter means that we are creating and fostering systems that take into consideration the limited nature of our earth’s resources and the great responsibility that we have to use what we need in the smartest way possible to leave enough for the next generation. This is why we are so committed to energy efficiency and incorporation of renewables in fuel flexible systems. We have found that we can make decisions that are good for business and the environment, without having to compromise either. It’s about conservation. It’s about balance. And it’s about advancing our systems so they can meet that sustainability definition and commitment. What achievements are you especially proud of? In Saint Paul, we have managed to transition a traditional steam system to a hot water system that integrated combined heat and power, biomass, solar thermal, and thermal storage, among other advancements. We accomplished these improvements while still maintaining the value proposition to heating and cooling customers. Customers have not sacrificed reliability or cost competitiveness in exchange for these advancements. It’s an important lesson about balancing economic and environmental values for your operations. I am particularly proud of our work with other communities that have benefited from our experiences with the national model established in Saint Paul. In the past four years we have upgraded two other systems under our management and helped Montpelier Vermont implement its system, which also integrates energy from biomass. I know we have a unique expertise from running these systems and integrating these sustainable solutions and it’s important that we share these lessons with our other project clients. Lastly, I would note that it is important that our company continues to put our words into actions. We are heavily involved with policy and academic discussions about our energy future, but the core of our business is about developing, implementing, and operating these energy solutions. It is rewarding to see these ideas advance from concept to construction and to know we were an important part of making that happen. What exciting plans do you have for the future? We are engaged in several exciting projects that have the potential to be a landmark for their community and an example for others. That’s what we do. We know we can make the most difference by working with communities to help them use local energy sources and smart infrastructure planning and design to achieve their energy, carbon, and sustainability goals. c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
IDEAS As President and CEO of the International District Energy Association (IDEA), Rob Thornton is uniquely positioned to understand and promote the case for district energy networks. In this interview he elaborates on their strengths, real world achievements, and what it means for the future of sustainable energy for cities. District heating is a proven approach to heating buildings in cities and on campuses, dating back to the 1880’s when it was first deployed as an environmental strategy in US cities like New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Denver to improve urban air quality by displacing emissions from dirty coal boilers in hundreds of individual buildings. By recovering surplus heat from local electricity generating plants, district energy systems aggregated the heating demands and piped steam through underground thermal grids to customer buildings, eliminating on-site combustion and reducing fire risks. After World War II, the rebuilding of cities in Europe included construction of large district heating hot water networks,
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often anchored by Combined Heat and Power plants, while in the US, electric utility generating stations were being constructed in remote locations, far from city centers. In the 1960’s and 70’s, district chilled water systems were built in dozens of US cities as part of urban renewal and redevelopment, providing more efficient air conditioning services to buildings in dense downtowns, complexes and college campuses. Lately, an increasing emphasis on environmental sustainability as well as energy efficiency and resiliency has brought district energy back into the limelight, helped in particular by the dramatic destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The International District Energy Association (IDEA) has been at the core of this growing popularity, a non-profit industry group aiding the sector with development of policies, technologies and advocacy. Founded in 1909 as the National District Heating Association, its aim was to consolidate best practice, policy making, and marketing across the nascent industry. Since then it has held an annual conference every year – with the exception of 1918, due to World War One. By the 1980s, interest had spread globally and the organisation expanded its regional remit beyond North America and in 1994, updated the IDEA
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN COOLING TOWERS
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moniker to reflect the growing role of combined heat and power in the industry. Though its size and concerns have evolved, the association remains focused on promoting technical peer exchange, energy efficiency and environmental stewardship by advancing the district energy industry. Today it includes nearly 2000 members across 26 countries. “We are very active in North America as well as Europe, Asia, and increasingly the Middle East where district cooling has become fundamental infrastructure in locations such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha.” says Rob Thornton, President and CEO of IDEA. “Our members operate systems in cities and we also have a very strong presence across university campuses, where district energy systems are quite common. Since the 1990s, many of our members have returned to our roots by investing in combined heat and power (CHP) , which involves creating both heat and electricity from a single fuel. IDEA has had a long history but I believe there is an even brighter future ahead of us.” DISASTER RELIEF As both a representative and an advocate for the international district energy sector, IDEA plays an important trans-national role in putting companies from around the world in touch with each other. In this way ideas, successes, and failures are shared to strengthen the community as a whole. In addition, IDEA also undertakes its own projects. One recent example was a community energy planning guide from the UK that was 32 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
revised for the USA and for Canada. Though energy and environmental technologies across countries remain similar, regulations and policies vary from location to location. The IDEA's adaptation of the energy guide translated the evaluation and planning process used in the UK into relevant policy and structural platforms that could be understood by companies, regulators and local governments in North America. The US version of the guide – Community Energy: Planning, Development and Delivery was launched in June 2012, just months before Hurricane Sandy swept across the east coast of the United States. This natural disaster marked a transitional moment in how district energy was perceived throughout the country due largely to the success of Princeton University,
where a combined heat and power (CHP) system withstood the storm and maintained energy services to the campus, offering an area of refuge to students, residents and first responders from the community. Mr. Thornton explains, “The campus energy system continued to supply the lights, heating and cooling for the majority of their campus buildings including mission critical research facilities. Many university district energy systems provide critical energy services to research and healthcare facilities where reliability is paramount and precise temperature and humidity controls are essential. Princeton's district energy system stood up to Sandy largely because it had on-campus cogeneration, enabling it to island off from the main grid and maintain operations. Likewise, Co-Op City in the Bronx, a public housing community with of 60,000 residents, was also able to withstand Sandy and continue operating with its own district energy CHP system whilst exporting power back into the ConEdison grid. “Two years later and mayors across the country are asking for microgrids to protect not only their citizens but critical businesses located in the city as well,” explains Mr. Thornton. “The greatest challenges to deploying district energy/ CHP/microgrid systems are not technical or even financial, but rather the need for appropriate policy and regulatory frameworks vis a vis how these systems interact with larger investor-owned utilities and the broader electricity grid. IDEA is working to better inform regulators on the benefits of our systems, especially for those segments of the economy demanding higher resiliency and reliability so district energy microgrids can be properly accounted for in the regulatory arena.”
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN STEAM TURBINES
OUR MEMBERS OPERATE IN CITIES AND WE HAVE A VERY STRONG PRESENCE ACROSS UNIVERSITY CAMPUSES.
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MANY OF OUR UNIVERSITY SYSTEMS PROVIDE ENERGY SERVICES TO CRITICAL RESEARCH FACILITIES AND OFTEN TO ADJACENT HEALTHCARE AND TERTIARY CARE HOSPITALS.
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY UMCPP - HIGH RESOLUTION RENDERING
RESILIENT AND RELIABLE In addition to the resiliency provided by microgrids, local CHP also excels in carbon reduction and sustainability. The technologies available today are able to reach fuel conversion efficiencies of 70%, 80% and even 90%, far better than traditional remote power plants and separate boilers. District energy CHP systems recover and utilize surplus heat that then offsets combustion of fossil fuels in individual building boilers downstream. Very often, district energy CHP systems will optimize heat production and displace electricity consumption by running in parallel with the grid, making power when grid costs are high and buying power 34 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
when grid prices are lower. From a regulatory perspective, however, most federal policies focus on electricity and overlook the importance of heat, even though heat is the primary form of end use energy in the global economy, accounting for 47% of total annual energy use in non-OECD countries. Across the EU and in the UK, thermal energy is gaining in policy importance and more US states are recognizing the importance of thermal energy in energy efficiency standards. To unleash the full potential of district energy CHP microgrids, the environmental value of thermal energy (heating and cooling) must be properly accounted for in emissions regulations or efficiency standards.
The localization of heat and energy production also gives flexibility to communities because the fuel source can be tailored to the region. In Iowa, for example, the prevalence of corn stover (the leaves and stalks of maize plants) makes excellent biomass. In St. Paul, regional wood waste has displaced coal as primary fuel while alleviating impact on local landfills, whilst in Toronto very cold lake water from Lake Ontario is used for air conditioning buildings throughout the downtown core via district cooling. By aggregating the heating and cooling demands of dozens or hundreds of buildings, district energy systems can exploit economies of scale, investing in highly-efficient industrial
TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY CO-GEN PLANT
grade equipment or renewable technologies that would not be economically feasible for individual buildings. FORWARD THINKING “In 1800, total global population was one billion souls and there was just one city on the planet with a population of one million people – London. Today, global population is 7.2 billion souls and there are 250 cities with a population of over 1 million, “says Mr. Thornton. “The number of urban areas with more than 10 million inhabitants "megacities" - has nearly tripled in the last 24 years, climbing from 10 in 1990 to 28 in 2014, according to the latest UN report
on world urbanization., “ Looking ahead to 2030 and global population of 9 billion, we must become much more energy efficient in our cities and that won't be achieved using just gas pipes and electricity cables. Heating and cooling must be much more sustainable and efficiently integrated by localising generation and delivering CHP closer to the critical loads. Regulatory frameworks need to encourage this. Many of the leading clean energy cities in the world have district energy infrastructure as a fundamental core, such as Helsinki, Copenhagen, and Stockholm, and all benefit from a policy framework that has enabled district energy to flourish. Here in North America, most major cities
have robust district energy systems serving their central business district – New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Phoenix, San Francisco, Denver, and dozens more. But IDEA needs to work on educating policy makers and regulators on how to optimize thermal energy markets to really unleash investment at scale to achieve more resilient and sustainable cities. Cities are economic engines with dense energy needs that are difficult to meet with intermittent renewable supplies alone. Integrated energy networks like district energy/CHP microgrids will be important to meeting our economic and environmental targets in North America. District energy can deliver.” c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
AASHE SFSU-CHANT LEADER MICHAEL ZAMBRANO GETS READY TO KICK THINGS OFF
RAIN GARDENS AROUND THE UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON CAMPUS ARE DESIGNED TO COLLECT, RETAIN AND SLOWER ABSORB WATER RUNOFF FROM SURROUNDING SURFACES OR ACT AS A NATURAL FILTER SO WATER IS CLEAN BY THE TIME IT ENTERS A STORM SEWER.
SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY TO END COAL INVESTMENTS: THE SFSU FOUNDATION HAS AGREED TO NOT INVEST IN COMPANIES “WITH SIGNIFICANT PRODUCTION OR USE OF COAL AND TAR SANDS.” THE FOUNDATION WILL ALSO SEEK TO LIMIT INVESTMENTS IN FOSSIL FUEL COMPANIES.
CAMPUSES A foreword by Meghan Fay Zahniser, AASHE Executive Director
MEGHAN FAY ZAHNISER, AASHE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
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The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) supports and encourages the advancement of sustainability at higher education institutions through programs such as the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), professional development offerings, and an annual conference & expo. STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. This comprehensive assessment tool helps institutions understand exactly how they are performing, as well as identifying areas for improvement related to sustainability in academics, operations, and administrative efforts on campus. With more than 650 institutions registered for STARS, it has transformed the way campuses track and monitor their sustainability progress. We have institu-
tions that participate in STARS annually and are able to see their improvements through an increased score. Institutions, both national and international, work toward a Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum rating, or they may opt to be recognized as a STARS Reporter where they only report data without receiving a rating. In addition, given that transparency is critical to sustainability reporting, all STARS data is made available to the public which easily enables our members to share information and best practices. Professional development opportunities also boost sustainability efforts and are one of the top member offerings and benefits. Members can access webinars for free and receive discounts for workshops, STARS, and conference registrations. Members also have access to the Resource Center. The online Resource Center is a comprehensive
DELTA COLLEGE LIVING WALL
source of information on sustainability in higher education. It provides administrators, faculty, operations staff, students, and other campus stakeholders with the tools, information, and guidance they need to lead a sustainability transformation on their campus. We are also looking forward to welcoming AASHE members and others in the campus sustainability community to the AASHE 2015 Conference & Expo, themed Transforming Sustainability Education, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Oct. 25-28. The annual conference allows everyone the opportunity to share and exchange ideas on the expansion of
sustainability efforts, as well as providing a platform for feedback. Attendees also have an opportunity to hear from internationally recognized sustainability leaders such as last year’s featured keynote speaker Annie Leonard, Greenpeace Executive Director and creator of “The Story of Stuff Project”. Founded in 2005, AASHE celebrates its tenth year throughout 2015, and remains committed to inspiring and catalyzing higher education to lead the global sustainability transformation through the aforementioned efforts and many other exciting celebratory initiatives planned throughout the year. See the AASHE website for information on these
initiatives including live tweet sessions and a video campaign kicking off at the conference in Minneapolis! I’m excited to build on past successes from my six years at AASHE. It is vital that we remain focused on providing support and additional resources to empower higher education institutions to be the foundation for a thriving, equitable, and ecologically healthy world. Sustainable Business Magazine’s continued support highlighting sustainable campuses is pivotal to furthering the campus sustainability community and AASHE’s vision, and we are thrilled to continue the partnership, especially throughout this monumental year for AASHE. c VIRGINIA TECH
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS CHICAGO STUDENTS TEACH DIVERSITY WITH GARDENS
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AN EDUCATION IN THE ENVIRONMENT Sustainable Business Magazines talks to three key representatives from Princeton University about the investment, research, and technology undertaken on its campus that has made it stand out as a leader in environmental issues. Photos courtesy of Princeton University Facilities.
PUâ€™S SOLAR COLLECTOR FIELD (SCF)
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PU’S DEMONSTRABLY RELIABLE MODEL HAS RAISED AWARENESS OF THE SUCCESSES OF COGENERATION PLANTS AND MICROGRIDS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.
PRINCETON ENERGY PLANT
Princeton University (PU) is at the frontier of energy sustainability. As a major university it has the opportunity to research and invest in new technology across many sectors, and as an environmentally conscious institution it has chosen not only to fund research but also to turn its own site into a model of sustainability. At the centre of this
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is a 15 megawatt cogeneration plant, 4.5 megawatt solar collector field, microgrid, and a sustainability plan running until 2020. DIVERSITY OF SOURCES Resiliency in this network was tested in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy struck the east coast of the USA including New Jersey and the
town of Princeton, bringing energy and other utilities down across the state. The university, powered by its own grid, was able to maintain power throughout the storm and to be a place of refuge for others. During the two years since this event, PU's demonstrably reliable model has raised awareness of the successes of cogeneration plants and microgrids across the country. With an energy efficiency of 80% - compared to the 25% to 45% of standard centralized utility plants – the durability of this grid is outshone only by its economic and environmental benefits. “The cogeneration system is comprised of one 15 megawatt GE gas turbine and a heat recovery boiler that transfers the engine heat into water to make steam,” explains Ted Borer, Energy Plant Manager. “Two auxiliary boilers are included to provide extra steam for peak needs and as a backup for when the cogeneration system is out of service for maintenance. For reliability we run our electric system synchronized with the utility grid at all times it is available. We generate more power whenever that is most cost-effective and purchase more power when the utility is selling it more cheaply than we can generate it – typically at night.” Alongside this power and heat generation, the plant also chills water overnight
CARRIER SERVICE As Carrier’s own servicing entity, we provide a broad portfolio of services from maintenance to retrofits and optimization with factory-trained certified technicians trained on products, customer service and safety.
Operation, Service and Protection • Start-up service • Extended warranty protection • Service agreements • Predictive maintenance • Refrigerant management • Rental solutions
Retrofits, Upgrades and Optimization • Equipment overhaul and modernization • Turnkey retrofit solutions • Equipment optimization • Energy savings solutions • Building management solutions • Engineered services
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WE GENERATE MORE POWER WHENEVER THAT IS MOST COST-EFFECTIVE AND PURCHASE MORE POWER WHEN THE UTILITY IS SELLING IT MORE CHEAPLY.
PRINCETON ENERGY PLANT POWER TURBINE
for use in HVAC systems the next day. The Thermal Energy Storage (TES) tank has become as essential a feature of PU's microgrid as power and steam, enabling the campus to save money by chilling when energy is cheapest â€“ that is, at night. To cool the 2.6 million gallons of thermal stor-
age, warm water is pumped out of the top, through chillers, and back into the bottom. To discharge the tank, cool water is pumped from the bottom, through heat exchangers that supply the campus, and back into the top of the tank. As with steam and electricity, having thermal storage means the
PRINCETON ENERGY PLANT MAIN GENERATOR
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University is able to tolerate several hours with the chillers or cooling towers shut off without interrupting service to customers. PU's solar collector field (SCF) comprises 16,528 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels on 27 acres of land. Nine DC to AC power inverters are used in series with five step-up
PRINCETON ENERGY PLANT MAIN GENERATOR
PRINCETON ENERGY PLANT MAIN SYNC PANEL
transformers that convert the power from 480v to 13,200v for efficient transmission to the campus, where it is then stepped back down to 4160v for distribution. The array accounts for 6% of PU's total annual electric energy usage. Though this sounds slight, Mr. Borer is emphatic in highlighting that this is a large absolute amount given the size of the campus and that the SCF supplies upto 100% of the energy for the
substation it is connected to during low demand daylight hours. On particularly sunny days this can even be exceeded, with the substation exporting energy into the outside power grid. Efficient, reliable power production means little without an excellent management system. Bill Broadhurst, Campus Energy Manager, talks more about the work his team carries out. “The building management
system controls HVAC across at least 120 buildings, and in some buildings it controls the lighting as well. We utilize several different manufacturers for all of our equipment but it is all connected to one centralized control centre where we do the scheduling and optimization assistance. What this means is that we need to know when to bring systems online and take them offline. It's not just classrooms that we are responsible
PU’S SOLAR COLLECTOR FIELD (SCF)
PU’S SOLAR COLLECTOR FIELD (SCF)
SOLAR FEED AT ELM DRIVE
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PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PU’S SOLAR COLLECTOR FIELD (SCF)
for but research labs, clean rooms, performing arts and athletics spaces, and vivarium spaces. Some of these have a lot more data points than others. There are approximately 100,000 data points across PU.” HOLISTIC APPROACHES Sustainability is also a core feature of policy and research at PU. The Office
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of Sustainability has a stated mission to “cultivate the desire in all of us to lead meaningful lives in service of global human and environmental well-being”, an ethic taken seriously not only by the institution but by its students, faculty, and staff as well. The use of bicycles and carpooling by people travelling to and from the university is encouraged, for example, with a univer-
sity carpooling system in place to facilitate this approach. Food waste is currently composted off site. A programme called Campus As Lab uses the environmental issues faced by the university itself to foster learning, allowing students to study the cogeneration plant, solar array, and microgrid to learn about sustainability. Students can work with professors and researchers
ANDLINGER CENTER FOR ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT (UNDER CONSTRUCTION)
PU ANNOUNCED A SUSTAINABILITY PLAN TO ROLL BACK ITS CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS TO 1990 LEVELS BY 2020 THROUGH DEVELOPING TECHNOLOGY.
tackling these issues to deepen their own field of understanding. “There is also a staff initiative called Sustainability Ambassadors,” elaborates Kristi Wiedemann, Manager of the Office of Sustainability. “The program gathers staff members across different departments together for an annual training programme where they learn about how PU is
itself sustainable as well as steps they can take in their personal lives to live in a more environmentally friendly way. We also have a partnership with Sustainable Princeton, based in the town of Princeton, where we work together on broadening capabilities. At the moment we are working on better unifying the identity of the two parties across shared recycling initiatives.”
SECURING THE FUTURE In 2008 PU announced a sustainability plan to roll back its carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 through developing technology and changing behaviors on campus rather than outsourcing through the purchases of offsets. Development continues along this guiding principle with, for example, current campus modifications reducing water and chemical usage as well as the swapping out of over 200,000 lamps for LED alternatives. “We are replacing thousands of steam traps with newer, more efficient technology, and adding variable frequency drives to dozens of large pump and fan motors,” says Mr. Borer. Over the next few years researchers and strategists will analyze the advancement of technology and see how it can best be implemented at PU to establish a sustainability plan reaching beyond 2020. In doing this, the university will continue marking its position at the forefront of sustainability. c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY
ETHOS Sustainable Business Magazine talks to Lindsey Kalkbrenner, Director of the Center for Sustainability at Santa Clara University, about student engagement, the development of campus buildings, and working towards a sustainable future.
A CLASS TOURS ONE OF SCU’S PV SYSTEMS
SANTA CLARA’S CAMPUS IS PEDESTRIAN-FRIENDLY, DESIGNED TO FAVOR WALKING, SKATEBOARDING, AND CYCLING
As a Jesuit University, Santa Clara University (SCU) has always seen sustainable actions as part of their responsibility to educate and influence future generations of industry leaders. Lindsey Kalkbrenner, Director of the SCU Center for Sustainability, explains that despite always being present in the university’s ethos, the last ten years have seen sustainability become a real priority. “We adopted a comprehensive sustainability policy in 2004 which focused on three main areas: stewardship, educa46 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
GETTING EVERYONE ON THE SCU CAMPUS INVOLVED IN THE UNIVERSITY’S SUSTAINABILITY DRIVE IS A PRIORITY.
tion and research, and outreach. Through those three areas we have been working on integrating and advancing environmental health, economic development, and social justice and wellbeing.” It’s not just SCU’s sustainability staff who are tackling these three areas. Ms. Kalkbrenner explains that the Center for Sustainability ensures that all members of the campus community have the opportunity to contribute to sustainability initiatives. “We have two faculty associates that work with
us on curriculum and programming, ten undergraduate interns that work on various aspects of sustainability on campus, and finally we have two AmeriCorps members who work on our Bronco Urban Gardens Program. There are a lot of different people from different areas of the campus community involved in the sustainability effort.” A COMMUNITY EFFORT Getting everyone on the SCU campus involved in the university’s sustainability drive
is a priority which is emphasized by the Sustainability Liaison Network (SLN). The SLN is made up of members from different parts of the SCU community. In monthly meetings throughout the academic year, members discuss ways in which they can best promote behavioral changes to improve the university environment. The SLN is made up of people who represent six key areas of the campus: Community Facilitators are student staff in the SCU residence halls and attempt to promote sustainable behaviors and raise SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY
THE UNIVERSITY HAS A POLICY TO DESIGN ITS BUILDINGS TO BE LEED GOLD OR BETTER.
THE SCU CAMPUS BOASTS 1,100 KILOWATTS OF PHOTOVOLTAICS
awareness of the various sustainability initiatives going on among campus residents. Workplace Sustainability Liaisons try to promote discussion and foster a culture of sustainability amongst university employees. SCOOPS (Students Collaborating and Organizing Opportunities and Projects for Sustainability) are student leaders who
promote sustainability within their student organizations. SCOOPS has facilitated collaborations between student groups, events, and fundraisers with sustainability as the main focus. LOCALS (Living Off-Campus And Living Sustainably) are students who live off campus and promote sustainable behaviors to their housemates, friends, famTHE ADMISSION & ENROLLMENT SERVICES BUILDING GIVES A STRONG IMPRESSION OF THE CAMPUS’ BEAUTY, HISTORY, AND COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY
ily, and neighbors. The two newest groups are faculty members who are interested in living sustainably and promoting change within their professional and social circles, and SEEDS (Student Employees Engaging in Discussions of Sustainability), where students develop a culture of sustainability in their on-campus jobs. The Center for STUDENT CLUB LEADERS GATHER MONTHLY TO DISCUSS COLLABORATIVE PROJECTS
GRAHAM HALL IS SCU’S FIRST RESIDENCE HALL TO BE LEED GOLD CERTIFIED
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CAMPUS SUSTAINABILITY DAY SHOWS WAYS THE COMMUNITY CAN TAKE ACTION IN SUSTAINABILITY ENDEAVORS
Sustainability and sustainability liaisons are particularly active in the online world of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Ms. Kalkbrenner explains that the SLN have been integral in spreading the university’s message about sustainability. “I think of our liaisons as a megaphone for the Center for Sustainability. As an office we sometimes do big presentations but normally we only get to speak to a few people a day. Most of the time, it is one-on-one conversations that really inspire people to engage or
connect with other students and student projects, that’s how you really get the message across.” A PRODUCT OF THEIR ENVIRONMENT SCU policy dictates that university buildings must be built to high sustainability standards. “The university has a policy to design its buildings to be LEED gold or better,” explains Ms. Kalkbrenner. “The campus as a whole has been working towards firstly
LUCAS HALL IS DESIGNED TO BE 10% MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT THAN CALIFORNIA TITLE 24 REQUIREMENTS
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SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY STUDENTS USE THE FORGE GARDEN AS A LIVING LABORATORY FOR THEIR COURSEWORK
STUDENTS FROM THE “GARBOLOGY” CLASS CHARACTERIZE SCU’S WASTESTREAM
reducing our energy usage through more efficient appliances and fixtures in our new buildings, but we also have a comprehensive plan to upgrade existing buildings with things such as more efficient boiler systems and lighting fixtures.” As well as engaging with the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification system, SCU is actively involved with the AASHE STARS program. Having submitted their first report in 2011, SCU originally achieved a silver rating, howSCU EMPLOYEES AND STUDENTS MODEL DESIGNS AT THE ECO-FASHION SHOW
POSTERS IN THE RECREATION CENTER AND ATHLETE TRAINING ROOMS ENGAGE ATHLETES IN SUSTAINABLE BEHAVIORS
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ever their most recent report, submitted in May 2014, achieved the gold rating. An excellent example of SCU’s sustainable building policy is the Patricia A. & Stephen C. Schott Admission and Enrollment Services building. The process used to demolish the original building and clear the construction site was carefully monitored and ensured that 100 tons of waste material was recycled instead of going to landfill. The new building was built
with water and energy efficiency in mind. Low-flow fixtures in the bathrooms reduce water usage while energy is purchased from renewable sources or produced by solar arrays on campus which provide over 1,670,000 kW hours of energy for the Santa Clara campus per year. “This building provides a lot of key services to our students – from prospective students joining a campus tour to current students addressing their billing, financial aid and STAFF AND STUDENTS AT AASHE 2014 IN PORTLAND
SCU IS HOME TO SEVERAL TYPES OF RENEWABLE ENERGY GENERATION SYSTEMS
registration needs,” explains Ms. Kalkbrenner. “This provides a great opportunity to showcase the university’s commitment to sustainability by using it as a model for sustainable design.” Santa Clara University is currently in the final stages of developing and implementing technology that has the potential to revolutionize the way energy usage is managed on campus. “We are currently working on linking the buildings across campus to a smart micro-grid with the potential to be powered entirely by renewable energy. The idea is that all the campus buildings and systems will be able to communicate with each other in order to optimize energy performance. If for example there was a massive power failure and the university had to operate as an island, we could reduce the amount of energy the campus needs using the smart micro-grid as opposed to switching things
on and off manually which takes time. The smart micro-grid can make adjustments in an instant.” The smart micro-grid will make it far easier for the university to monitor and optimize the use of energy, bringing enormous benefits to the campus. A FOUNDING PRINCIPLE Santa Clara University is embracing new technology while promoting sustainability at all levels. Successful engagement with the campus community is helping them tackle sustainability issues like never before. Despite this Ms. Kalkbrenner is keen to emphasize that trying to be sustainable has always been part of the university’s ethos. “We are a Jesuit and Catholic University, and our vision is to develop a just, humane, and sustainable world. Sustainability has been an inherent part of the university’s mission ever since we were founded in 1851.” c
SCU EMPLOYEE WITH PRODUCE FROM THE FORGE GARDEN
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TRENT AT Sustainable Business Magazine talks to Shelley Strain, Sustainability Coordinator at Trent University, about sustainable initiatives on campus. Written by Liam Cook.
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IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT THE CAMPUS USES ENERGY AS EFFICIENTLY AS POSSIBLE, TRENT UNIVERSITY IS ABOUT TO ENTER INTO A NEW ENERGY PERFORMANCE CONTRACT.
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Trent University turned fifty last year and Sustainability Coordinator Shelley Strain explains how award-winning campus buildings, focusing on energy efficiency, and initiatives such as their food and composting program are contributing to the university’s sustainability efforts. “We have environmental policy from 2001, environmental procurement policy from 1995, we didn’t just read about what others were doing and jump on board.” Ms. Strain explains that she is particularly proud of Trent “for their early incorporation of sustainability efforts”. This 54 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
has led to a long-standing reputation for being a ‘Green Campus’. The sustainability office was created in 2007 and operates under the ecoTrent umbrella which supports Trent’s commitment to promoting awareness of environmental issues and taking active measures to reduce waste, conserve energy and water, and keep Trent green. THINKING ABOUT FOOD Trent University’s Office of Student Affairs has focused on making university food services more sustainable and has introduced a
range of changes to how food on campus is produced, consumed, and disposed of. The focus on sustainability has meant changes in the food menu including introducing value options for students, a “made-from-scratch” program for non-franchised foods, and providing complete nutritional information both online and at the point of sale. Ms. Strain explains that it is not simply about the food on the plate, but a holistic approach to implementing sustainability in all food practices. A new back-of-the-house system for managing food costs and waste has been put in place with new provider Chartwells. The contract specifies that 50% of food now has to come from within the province of Ontario. Ms. Strain explains that these changes were partly thanks to consultations with students, faculty, staff, partners, and visitors to the university. “The key issues identified were food quality, variety, and affordability, facilities renewal, stakeholder involvement and financial transparency, supportive human resources planning, and the provider’s contribution to the university’s educational mission and environmental sustainability.” “It was clear going into the food services request for proposals that the Trent community was very interested in sustainability issues related to food,” explains Dr. Nona Robinson, Associate Vice President Students from the Office of Student Affairs. “We used a ‘request for innovative
solutions’ approach, in which bidders were asked to describe how they would address sustainability concerns, including energy and waste reduction, sustainability education and partnerships, and sustainably produced and locally sourced food.” Food waste is a key priority for Trent, and Ms. Strain is particularly proud of their
composting efforts. “Starting off with composting in the kitchen areas and cafeterias, this program has now expanded to include all residences and all public areas.” The compost program accepts a wide range of food and non-food substances. By 2011 this program was allowing Trent to divert over 70 tonnes of waste from landfill every
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year. Instead of going to landfill the finished compost, after being rigorously processed and monitored, is used all over the campus gardens and lawns. EFFICIENT ENERGY In order to ensure that the campus uses energy as efficiently as possible, Trent Uni-
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versity is about to enter into a new Energy Performance Contract. The new contract will look at ways to streamline energy use and greatly reduce it. The approach that Trent is taking is to focus on working comprehensively to ensure that the greatest opportunities for energy saving are being addressed. This means implementing new systems to
monitor performance and update older energy infrastructure. Ms. Strain explains that this type of large investment in energy infrastructure, as well as new systems which ensure efficient performance, is helping Trent University actively seek a more sustainable future. â€œThis process will benefit the campus for decades in terms of improved building infrastructure, efficient energy use, as well as improved energy monitoring that will allow us to identify and evaluate on-going improvements.â€? Trent is unique amongst Canadian universities in that they have been generating renewable energy for almost 50 years with an on-campus hydro-electric power station. The Stan Adamson Powerhouse was built in 1921 and gifted to the university along with much of the 1460 acre campus by General Electric (GE). Originally this facility was rated at 2.4MW, however due to aging equipment it was only operating at about half capacity in recent years. This led Trent to enter into a partnership with the local utility company to embark on a 22.8M upgrade. The newly updated facility now includes three state of the art turbines which are able to produce 3.9MW with a lifespan of 100 years.
THE ATHLETICS COMPLEX, WHICH ACHIEVED A LEED SILVER RATING, IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF SUSTAINABLE DESIGN ON CAMPUS.
CAMPUS IMPROVEMENTS Last year Trent University was proud to celebrate its fiftieth anniversary. Whilst this was an opportunity to reflect on the universityâ€™s past achievements, history, and legacy, it was also an opportunity to look forward to the next fifty years.
Two new buildings have recently been opened on campus. The 21 Million Dollar Life and Health Sciences Building opened in 2010 and was originally designed to achieve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification; however project staff exceeded
expectations ultimately achieving a LEED Gold certification. The building showcases environmentally-friendly design and includes bike-racks and showers for cyclists. These measures promote low-impact transportation, which is a valuable part of the LEED requirements. Other less visible
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DR. LEO GROARKE PRESIDENT OF TRENT UNIVERSITY
aspects of the building process which helped achieve the LEED Gold accreditation include using building materials that were extracted and manufactured within 800 km of the job site, using wood from certified sustainably managed forests, and using reflective paint on the roof. The Athletics Complex, which achieved a LEED Silver rating, is another example of sustainable design on campus. The design of the
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building is in harmony with the surrounding natural environment and includes a variety of fitness and recreation features for students and the wider community. SUSTAINABLE STUDIES The sustainability office is tasked with overseeing a range of initiatives and programs which promote sustainability on campus, however Trent University also
THE ENVIRONMENTAL AND RESOURCE STUDIES PROGRAM OFFERS SEVERAL DEGREE OPTIONS, INCLUDING THE RECENTLY DEVELOPED BACHELOR OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE/STUDIES.
provides a suite of sustainability-related academic courses. The Environmental and Resource Studies Program offers several degree options, including the long-standing Bachelor of Environmental Science/Studies, which is the first university environmental science program to be accredited by the Canadian Environmental Accreditation Commission (CEAC) and Environmental Careers Organization (ECO) Canada. Also new at Trent is the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems program and a Masters of Arts (M.A.) in Sustainability Studies which will carry out interdisciplinary graduate education and research
that will improve our understanding of environmental sustainability, economic prosperity, and social responsibility. These courses build on the University’s strengths and take advantage of Trent’s ability to offer extensive on-campus farm fields and rooftop gardens, multidisciplinary and collaborative teaching, and opportunities for hands-on experience through the Trent Centre for Community-Based Education. Students interested in agriculture and food even operate an on-campus organic café which serves locally-sourced produce. Ms. Strain is extremely proud of Trent University’s commitment to sustainability
and the progress that has been made on campus. “Now when people ask about our efforts; yes we are reducing energy and water use, yes we have a car share program, yes we have a bike share program, yes we have ‘greened’ our cleaning solutions, yes we have a sustainability office, we compost everywhere on campus, and we’ve been generating renewable energy for our entire existence! We are small and our resources are strained so we spend more of our time ‘doing’ than promoting these efforts. It is nice to take a moment and celebrate how truly remarkable our campus community is.” c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
CANADIAN BIOECONOMY CONFERENCE
CANADIAN BIOECONOMY The Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA) held its first Annual Canadian Bioeconomy Conference at the beginning of December in Toronto, Ontario. The event boasted three days of talks, panels, and lectures on the future of renewable energy in North America and beyond. Written by Michael Anjos
The conference ran from the 1st to the 3rd of December, 2014 and featured talks from both national and international industry leaders. Founded in 1984, CRFA’s focus is on advancing the use of value-added products made from renewable resources through consumer awareness and government liaison activities. OPENING TOURS The first day of the conference offered two optional industry tours for those interested in seeing biofuel research and production 60 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
at work in Ontario. The first was a tour of the BIOX Corporation (a biodiesel production facility), and the second was a tour of the Bioproducts Discovery & Development Centre (BDDC). The BDDC tour explored the University of Guelph’s biofuel focused interdisciplinary centre and showcased the facility’s cutting edge equipment and frontier research in the understanding of processing and commercialising biofuel. Home to seven stateof-the-art laboratories, each dedicated to research in the area of bio-based materials,
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CANADIAN BIOECONOMY CONFERENCE
THE OPENING PLENARY SESSIONS WERE KICKED OFF BY SCOTT LEWIS (CRFA CHAIR) AND ANDREA KENT (CRFA PRESIDENT).
the BDDC facility is a fascinating example of the scientific progress made within the biofuels industry and serves to highlight Guelph’s global importance in building a renewable fuel based economy. The other tour took the attendees to the BIOX Corporation’s biodiesel production facility in Hamilton. BIOX is “a renewable energy company that designed, built, owns and operates a 67 million litre per annum nameplate capacity biodiesel production facility in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.” While both tours were held simultaneously and participants were only able to attend one, both offered a fascinating insight into the commercial production of biofuels and the research and development driving the biofuels industry forward. 62 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
PLENARY SESSIONS The second day featured a full program of dynamic panels and speakers. The opening plenary sessions were kicked off by Scott Lewis (CRFA Chair) and Andrea Kent (CRFA President), before all attendees were addressed by the Global Panel,featuring panellists Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (USA), Joel Velasco, Senior Advisor at Amyris Renewable Diesel (Brazil) and Jim Grey, CEO of IGPC Ethanol Inc. (Canada). The Global Panel was moderated by Bliss Baker of the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance. This was followed by the Bioeconomy Panel; featuring panellists Robert Gallant (President and CEO of Greenfield Specialty Alcohols), Dr. Murray McLaughlin (Pres-
ident and CEO of Bioindustrial Innovation Canada), and Jim Grey (CEO of IGPC Ethanol Inc.). Chad Martin (CEO of ecoEnergy Inc.) then spoke about the “Facts and Figures of the North American Industry” before an insightful lunchtime keynote address led by Jeffrey Simpson of the Globe and Mail. FORESTRY INNOVATIONS IN THE BIOECONOMY One of the day’s signature panels explored Forestry Innovations in the Bioeconomy, moderated by Catherine Cobden (Executive Vice President of the Forest Products Association of Canada). Ms. Cobden also moderated the Bioeconomy Panel earlier. Panellist Jean-Francois Levasseur (Sen-
ior Engineering Advisor at the Canadian Forest Service) discussed the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) Program, a four-year $100-million initiative started back in 2010 with the goal of making Canadaâ€™s forestry sector more economically and environmentally sustainable. Rod Albers, Manager of Energy and BioProduct Development at West Fraser Timber, spoke about the development of the forest products industry over the last ten years, discussing various production methods and how they contribute to an environmentally sustainable natural resources industry. Gurminder Minhas, Managing Director at Performance BioFilaments, spoke about Performance BioFilaments, a joint venture between Mercer SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
CANADIAN BIOECONOMY CONFERENCE
DALTON MCGUINTY, FORMER PREMIER OF ONTARIO ACCEPTS 30 YEARS GREEN AWARD RECOGNIZING POLICY LEADERSHIP THROUGHOUT ONTARIO’S HISTORY WITH RENEWABLE FUELS.
International Inc. and Resolute Forest Products, and their focus on developing and commercializing a new biomaterial called “cellulose filaments” which is obtained from wood fibre. Cellulose filaments have unique performance-enhancing properties such as increased strength, stability, and flexibility, which could open up possibilities for augmenting a multitude of materials including composites, coatings, and consumer or industrial products such as lighter-weight more fuel efficient vehicles or more resilient coatings and advanced filtration systems. 64 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
The panel provided an exhilarating glimpse into how forest industry innovations could contribute to a more sustainable future. The three panellists made it clear that new technologies, ideas, and opportunities for the use of wood and wood products are adding to a revitalized industry with much to offer. THE FINAL DAY The final day of the 1st Annual Canadian Bioeconomy Conference began with Don O’Connor, President of (S&T)2 Consultants Inc., and continued with the same gusto
and emphasis on innovation and sustainability evident the day before. The morning’s bioeconomy track saw a series of lectures on “Task 42 Biorefining,” which is based around sustainable processing of biomass into a spectrum of marketable food and feed ingredients, bio-based chemicals, and many other products and materials. The field is new and broad and has a large spectrum of potential applications. The panel discussed the challenges presented by the cost of developing advanced biofuels and foreign policies that deter investment. Mark Nantais, President of the Canadian Vehicle
presented three awards during lunch. The Green Fuels Industry Award went to Gord Surgeoner, for his outstanding work and dedication as the President of Ontario Agrifood Technologies. The Fueling Change Award went to Arcade Station, Gales Gas and Porter airlines for their achievements in promoting the use of renewable fuels. Finally, former premier of Ontario Dalton McGuinty accepted the 30 Years Green Award recognizing the strong policy leadership during Ontario’s work with the renewable fuels industry. The CRFA’s 1st Annual Canadian Bioeconomy Conference provided an in-depth
insight into the technological advancements being made in the biofuels industry and showcased the innovative ways in which different organizations are shaping the future of renewable energy. This conference will return next year in Vancouver, British Columbia, to the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel. Next year’s event promises to deliver another well-rounded agenda, profiling Canada’s renewable fuels industry and the emerging Canadian Bioeconomy. There will be more opportunities to meet with industry leaders and stakeholders to discuss the exciting future of Canada’s bioeconomy. c
GORD SURGEONER RECEIVING THE GREEN FUELS INDUSTRY AWARD FOR HIS OUTSTANDING WORK AND DEDICATION AS THE PRESIDENT OF ONTARIO AGRI-FOOD TECHNOLOGIES
Manufacturers’ Association, discussed the challenges and opportunities presented by the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards and how they impact efforts to improve fuel economy nationwide. After three days of inspirational debate and discussion on the future of the biofuels industry, the conference came to a close and gave way to the Greenfuels Awards Luncheon. Presented annually since 2006, the Green Fuels Awards honour pioneers in the development and commercialization of low carbon renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel in Canada. Jim Grey SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
10th - 13th
IDEA Campus Energy Conference Denver Colorado, USA www.ideacampus2015.org
Campus professionals face many challenges in planning and operating efficient, reliable campus utilities. This conference provides an atmosphere of open exchange and collaboration that is focused and unique.
11th - 12th
MiaGreen 2015 Miami, Florida, USA www.miagreen.com
MiaGreen Expo & Conference is the only USA-based trade show and conference focused on sustainability and renewables which is providing access to the ever-growing green, renewable and sustainable markets for ALL the Americas.
17th - 19th
GreenBiz Forum 2015 Phoenix, Arizona, USA
The 2015 GreenBiz Forum brings together GreenBiz Group, The Sustainability Consortium, and ASU’s Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives. They leverage their vast networks, insights and domain expertise to bring you the brightest thinkers and most influential leaders.
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CanWEA - Operations & Maintenance Summit Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The CanWEA O&M Summit will delve into issues facing O&M professionals in the Canadian wind energy marketplace and intends to help owners and operators make informed decisions when it comes to operating their wind assets in Canada.
Hawaii Sustainability in Higher Education Summit Hawaii, USA
The 3rd Annual Hawaii Sustainability in Higher Education Summit, will continue setting the course for 21st century campus sustainability. This year’s event is themed on“Innovation & Action.”
26th - 28th
Smart Cities: Exhibition & Conference Sofia, Bulgaria
The event covers the areas of energy management, smart grid and storage, intelligent buildings, lighting, ICT, e-mobility and smart transport, emergencies and security.
17th - 18th
26th GLOBALCON Philadelphia, PA, USA www.globalconevent.com
Globalcon, presented by the Association of Energy Engineers, is designed specifically to facilitate those who need to get up to speed on the latest developments in the energy field, explore promising new technologies, compare energy supply options, and learn about innovative and cost-conscious project implementation strategies.
18th - 19th
Sustainable Brands 2015 Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok hosts the SB community in early Spring 2015. Brands are broadening their view of their role within society and are redesigning products and service offerings to create a net positive impact.
2015 Value of Biogas Workshops, Resources and Tours Hamilton, ON, Canada www.biogasassociation.ca
The Biogas Association is proud to present a comprehensive new program this year that is designed to help potential new operators from different sectors understand the opportunity and benefits associated with biogas systems, and address their concerns through detailed information and analysis, and lessons learned from existing operators.
11th - 13th
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HOUSTON, USA (FEB. 19-20) ABU DHABI, UAE (MARCH. 02-03)
The Centre for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE) has delivered its Advanced Certified Sustainability trainings in 25 countries, 5 continents and trained 5,000 professionals from non-for-profit, governmental and Fortune500 organizations. Topics discussed include: • Current Global and Local Legislation for CSR and GHG emissions, Sustainability (CSR) • Strategy and Related Global Standards & Guidelines (UN Global Compact, GRI G4, CDP, SROI) • The importance of Sustainability in Supply Chain and Carbon Footprint reduction • External Assurance and how to communicate and gain credibility in your report and many more trending topics.
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SUSTAINABILITYNEWS SC Johnson to receive World Environment Center 2015 Gold Medal Award for Sustainable Development Achievements The World Environment Center has awarded SC Johnson with its 31st Annual Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development. The award comes after SC Johnson continued their company-wide commitment to sustainable practices and implemented transparency initiatives to improve their product ingredients. The GreenlistTM process restricts the company to only using raw materials rated “Better” or “Best”. It is one of the methods used by SC Johnson to decrease the yearly percentage of ingredients which can cause negative impacts on the environment and human health. In a further example of SC Johnson’s commitment to sustainability, the company revealed plans to provide product-specific fragrance ingredients, expanding its ingredient disclosure program, which is due to launch in Europe next year. This comes in addition to SC Johnson’s published restricted use of materials list. These efforts are fomenting other companies in the sector to implement similar transparency measures. “We are extremely proud to accept this Gold Medal Award. At SC Johnson, we have long believed that sustainability and helping consumers make the best product choices go hand-in-hand,” said Chairman and CEO H. Fisk Johnson. “In addition to driving ongoing product improvements, it has fueled a far-reaching ingredient disclosure effort.” For more information visit www.scjohnson.com
Mars and UC Davis Launch Innovation Institute for Food and Health
The new Innovation Institute for Food and Health is being launched by food company Mars, Inc. in partnership with the University of California, Davis. The Institute will aim to research and promote discoveries in sustainable food, agriculture, and health. Mars and UC Davis have pledged $40 million and $20 million, respectively, to fund the Institute over the next ten years. The plans were announced at a day-long symposium at the World Food Center at UC Davis where panel discussions focused on research and innovation in food, agriculture, and health, and venture capital’s potential to contribute to solutions. Laureates and scientific leaders attending the symposium hope that efforts to solve agriculture’s greatest challenges will continue with renewed vigor, particularly those from a cross-sector stance; an approach which has proven to be effective in the past. Mars and UC Davis have enjoyed a strong four-decade relationship which has seen them cooperate on a variety of projects, from agriculture to veterinary health. Previous collaborations include sequencing the cacao genome in 2010 and establishing the African Orphan Crops Consortium. Both projects aimed to improve yield, productivity, and the climatic hardiness of vital crops. For more information visit www.mars.com
Ecolab to Offset Electricity Use through SunEdison Community Solar Gardens The ambitious community solar garden project fostered by SunEdison, Inc. receives its first corporate subscriber as Ecolab Inc. eagerly signs on. If the project is approved, Ecolab will offset 40% of its electricity use for the next 25 years. Ecolab intends to use the electricity for its corporate, research, development, and engineering campuses in Minnesota. “Supporting SunEdison’s solar garden project enables us to lock in electricity rates for the next 25 years and promote solar energy,” enthuses Alex Blanco, executive vice president and chief supply chain officer. “We always seek opportunities to achieve both business and sustainability goals in the way we operate and through our customer solutions.” Over the coming 25 years Ecolab hopes to avoid producing more than 381,000
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tons of CO2 by using the zero-emission electricity generated by the solar garden. SunEdison are keen to promote their solar gardens to other businesses and schools. “Xcel Energy customers don’t need additional hardware or solar panels installed on their property to take part in the program,” explains Sam Youneszadeh, managing director at SunEdison. “As long as they are in the same county or an adjacent county to a SunEdison solar garden, the customer simply signs up with SunEdison and starts receiving savings on their utility bill. There is no cost to participate and SunEdison will complete the required administrative steps on behalf of the customer,” For more information visit www.ecolab.com
Impact Infrastructure Introduces AutoCASE, Sustainable Return on Investment Tool Impact Infrastructure, Inc. has revealed its new cutting-edge software, AutoCASE, at a launch event at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco. The new product incorporates social, environmental, and financial aspects into the traditional engineering framework to combine BIM project design with innovative triple bottom line analysis. Placing emphasis on non-financial factors like recreational space and air pollution, AutoCASE maximizes the societal value of a project. “Traditionally, the majority of these effects have been difficult to quantify, which has resulted in non-financial impacts being given less weight in the decision-making pro-
SUSTAINABILITY A KEY DRIVER
FOR HOSPITALITY IN 2015 Deloitte’s global strategic consulting team’s 2015 Hospitality report outlines the rise of sustainability as a significant aspect in the hospitality industry. The report states that “sustainability is increasingly seen as a prominent factor in hospitality decision-making, but is not yet fully embedded in business thinking. Rising populations and increasingly scarce resources will provide a challenging business environment in which sustainability will need to be embedded within all facets of the industry, rather than regarded as a standalone issue.” According to the report, a major hurdle for the hospitality sector in implementing a sustainable agenda will be the large cost of converting existing less sustainable assets into more efficient resources. Additionally, the report found that there is a hefty demand for a more sustainable hospitality sector, with 95% of business travellers surveyed believing that the hotel industry should commit to more green initiatives. The report later detailed that 60% of consumers in most countries are aware of the issue of sustainability, with 30% making consumer decisions based on that knowledge. Hotels have received criticism in the past for heavy consumption of electricity and water as well as wasteful dumping of stock and food. However, increasingly sustainable initiatives such as linen and towel re-use and erecting LEED certified buildings have come into vogue. “[Sustainability] is now an accepted dynamic in the socioeconomic and political environment of the 21st century,” affirms Deloitte. For more information visit www.deloitte.com.mt
cess,” says John Williams, Impact Infrastructure’s Chairman and CEO. “AutoCASE changes all of that. Major project sponsors are looking to maximize total returns.” AutoCASE has been extolled for its user-friendly interface, its social and environmental impact indices, and its up-to-date data which is location-specific for increased efficiency. It represents a huge step forward in making triple bottom line analysis cheaper and more present in business contexts. The cloud-based software is currently available as a plugin for Autodesk’s AutoCAD Civil 3D, or as an online service through their website. Visit www.autocase.com
MIT Sloan Management Review, BCG, and the UN Global Compact point the way to Sustainability Success A joint global study by MIT Sloan Management Review (MIT SMR), the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and the UN Global Compact reveals that corporate sustainability is gaining traction. A survey of almost 4000 executives from 113 countries found that 90% recognized sustainability collaboration as important, although just 47% stated that their companies had on-going collaborations. Despite this, 61% reported that sustainability collaborations were very successful. The report noted that the more collaborations a company had participated in, the more likely it was that these collaborations would be perceived as successful. Another driver of success was the level of support and engagement from a company’s board of directors. 86% believed that the board of directors should play a strong role in spearheading their company’s sustainability efforts. The reported rate of success without board engagement was less than a third. “We identified several ways to overcome the barriers to board participation,” explained co-author Knut Haanaes, a Geneva-based senior partner at BCG. “They include appointing members with sustainability expertise, creating an external advisory board, integrating sustainability into the duties of the overall board and established board committees, and establishing a broader vision of the board as steward of all stakeholders and managers of risk versus the traditional maximizing only of shareholder financial value.” Visit www.mit.edu, www.bcg.com and www.un.org
SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
ADVERTISERS INDEX A Automated Logic Corporation (ALC) B BEL Contracting C Carrier Corporation CIBC Mellon Centre for Sustainability and Excellence Chartwells
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D Davis Brody Bond E Earth Day Network Energy Network Services Inc
Inside Back P56
P41 Back Cover
K KBL Environmental Ltd
P67 Inside Front
J JDS Energy & Mining Inc
M Mapleridge Mechanical Contracting Inc
S Sofame Technologies Inc
T Tozour Energy Systems