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CONTENTS ISSUE 02/14
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. The publication’s content is based around the three core components of sustainable business development; economic sustainability, environmental sustainability, and social sustainability. This month’s edition includes guest editorials by industry experts David O’Sullivan, President of PW Trenchless Construction, Adam Glatherine, Managing Director of G3 Lighting Design, Nikos Avlonas, President of the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence, and a guest editorial on behalf of Green House Data by Joe Kozlowicz and company president Shawn Mills. Our sustainability news page contains current sustainability related headlines from around North America, while our events calendar details upcoming sustainability events. A detailed review of this month’s highlighted event details how the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) has designed Solar Ontario to support the rapidly evolving solar energy market in Ontario. Sustainable Business Magazine is once again working with some of Canada’s most influential associations to promote sustainability. This edition contains major features on the Canadian Electricity Association, the British Columbia Sustainable Energy Association, the Mining Association of Canada, and the Forest Products Association of Canada. This month’s issue also contains the latest installment of the AASHE ‘Sustainable Campuses’ series. 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. This month’s installment features three American universities; Vanderbilt University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of Minnesota Duluth, as well as three Canadian universities; the University of British Columbia, the University of Toronto, and the University of New Brunswick. The series is prefaced by a detailed feature on AASHE themselves, featuring quotes from new Executive Director Stephanie A. Herrera. We hope that you find this issue both interesting and inspiring. Thank you for reading. The Sustainable Business Magazine Team
Green House Data
Q&A Kevin Jones BLOOM
Solar Ontario 2014
Canadian Electricity Association (CEA)
British Columbia Sustainable Energy Association (BCSEA)
Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC)
Mining Association of Canada (MAC)
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
University of Minnesota Duluth
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of British Columbia
University of Toronto
University of New Brunswick
© SBM Media Ltd 2014. 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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SUSTAINABILITYNEWS Cooking oil fuels the ‘Perfect Flight’
The first ever North American ‘Perfect flight’ took place over international borders on June 18th. The flight produced 40 percent less carbon dioxide than a regular flight. Airbus and Air Canada took part in the event flying from Toronto, Canada to Mexico City. The flight combined the best operational and environmental practices that are available today. An Airbus A319 used a sustainable bio-fuel (a 50 percent blend) made from cooking oil which was supplied by SkyNRG, currently the most eco-efficient aircraft family in the market. Airbus is committed to meeting the industry target of becoming carbon neutral by 2020, while improving fuel efficiency by 1.5 percent per year. If Air Traffic Management Authorities allow flights to fly the most direct routes, using the most efficient vertical flight profiles, and applying Continuous Descent Approaches into destinations to save on fuel and limit noise, then these aims might be attainable. Visit www.airbus.com
Henkel research has made a new discovery which could reduce carbon dioxide emissions amounting to 12,000 metric tons a year in surfactant consumption. Their aim is to create more value for their customers and consumers by using high performance enzymes. Enzymes are an important active ingredients in modern cleaning products. Since 2011, Henkel’s Laundry and Home Care business unit have succeeded in cutting their carbon footprint, with customers being able to clean their clothes and homes at cooler temperatures. The latest development involves using enzymes to combat starch soil such as the dried remains of rice and noodles. These have been incorporated into Henkel’s hand-dishwashing product ‘Pril gegen Fett und Starke’. In the dishwasher product the enzymes are capable of splitting starch molecules which gives great results but also allows for a reduction in energy consumption. Visit www.henkel.com
Massive Government Investment The Canadian Government has invested ten million dollars to help 5 new Ontario-based companies with the commercialization of their clean technology projects. The first company is called Ubiquity Solar Inc. and the environmental benefits of the solar power they produce includes reducing carbon emissions and associated reductions in air pollution. The Government has invested 3.1 million dollars into their ‘High Performance PV Polysilicon and Ingot Plant.’ The second company also specialises in solar power and is called Morgan Solar. Morgan Solar use Concentrated Photovoitaic panels which are twice as efficient as conventional silicon panels and around half the cost. Their project is called Sun Simba Gen 4.0 and 2 million dollars has been invested in it. Next we have Electro-Kinetic Solutions. 2.1 million dollars has been invested into their Electric Kinetic Reclamation of Oil Sands Tailings Development and Field Demonstration project which aims to recycle over 200 million m3 of water annually by 2023. They plan to do this by extracting water from oils, clay, and sand using a low current electrode array. The project should produce cleaner air, cleaner water, and cleaner soil.
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Cleeve Technologies is the fourth company to have received recent government investment. The company have created an efficient de-coating technology that uses robots and lasers to remove coatings from large, complex aerospace structures. The increased efficiency of the new process significantly reduces the overall environmental footprint as well as the cost of performing these operations. The Environmental Efficient De-Coating of Aerospace Structures project has received seven hundred and ten thousand dollars. The final company to have received significant government investment is GreenMantra Technologies. 2 million dollars has been invested into their Catalytic De-Polymerization of Recycled Plastics into Waxes project, which focuses on reducing the environmental impacts of the wax industry. As oil prices increase, so do the prices of industrial waxes. This has led engineers to seek new sources of waxes that perform well and have few negative environmental impacts. Among other things these industrial waxes are used to produce flooring, desks, and walls. For more information visit www.sdtc.ca
UPS STEP UP SUSTAINABILITY In July 2014 UPS joined a select group of global companies who have adopted the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) new G4 guidelines for sustainability reporting. Despite the fact that GRI is the most widely used and respected sustainability reporting framework in the world, UPS became one of the first U.S based companies to adopt the guidelines which focus on reporting sustainable issues that matter most to businesses and their stakeholders. UPS chief sustainability officer Rhonda Clark says “UPS is proud to be a global leader in sustainability reporting. GRI’s Comprehensive option advances UPS commitment to integrating sustainability into our business decisions.” Visit www.ups.com
Recognition for Caterpillar The world’s largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment is being recognised in Interbrand’s Best Global Green Brands 2014 report. Caterpillar operates in more than 180 countries and sustainability remains a constant focus. Company priorities include preventing waste and developing better systems. The organization works with individuals and like-minded organizations such as the U.S. Green Building Council, the World Food Programme, and the Nature Conservancy, to help promote future sustainable development. Visit www.cat.com
High Demand For Renewable Energy
Large companies including Walmart, HP, Intel, and General Motors are looking to use renewable energy, but is there enough? According to Marty Spitzer, director of U.S. Climate and Renewable Energy Policy for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), there is high demand for renewable energy from many U.S. Corporations but there simply isn’t enough supply. He also said that setting up contracts for renewable energy is complex, time consuming, and typically not achievable at the scale large corporations want. “They want everyone in the utilities market to know they have significant, renewable energy goals and they’re in for the long run.” There are six principles that identify what is required when purchasing renewable energy: • Greater choice in procurement options. • Longer - and variable- term contracts • Access to new projects that reduce emissions • Streamlined third-party financing • Increased purchasing options with utilities David Ozment, Senior director of Global Renewable Energy for Walmart, says “going forward these principles let everyone know what our concerns are and what some of the mechanical issues are that need to be fixed.” Walmart stated in April 2014 that someday they want to get 100% of their required energy from renewable sources such as solar, wind, bio fuel, and hydroelectric. Like many other companies, Walmart is increasing the use of renewable energy because it can now be cost competitive with traditional energy sources. Cost savings made by companies thanks to renewable energy could be passed down to customers. Visit www.walmart.com
PARTNERSHIP RENEWED TO HELP ACHIEVE GLOBAL SUSTAINABLE GOALS The Coca Cola Company and WWF are focusing on a variety of issues ranging from global agriculture to climate change and are looking at ways to protect fresh water resources. “With growing global demands on food and water, we must seek solutions that drive mutual benefit for business, communities, and nature,” explains Greg Koch, Global Water Stewardship Director. “Only by working together across sectors will sustainable solutions be reached.”
The partnership began in 2007 and additional partners are now helping to increase its impact and scale. “We can’t solve these challenges alone so we are collaborating across borders and sectors from government, multilateral institutions, academia, industry, and civil society,” explains Suzanne Apple, Vice President of Private Sector Engagement at the WWF. “This years Annual Review highlights real world examples of these local collaborations around the globe.” Visit www.coca-colacompany.com
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ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT DAVID O’SULLIVAN, PRESIDENT OF P.W. TRENCHLESS CONSTRUCTION
By David O’Sullivan, President of P.W. Trenchless Construction.
A Small Step Towards Making Sustainability Attractive When people take the time to think about utility installation they often recognize the benefits of the use of various trenchless installation methods. However, these benefits must be measured and evidenced in a legally acceptable and agreed manner for a purchasing body to give them full consideration. When one deals with public funds, the path of spending approvals must be clear, concise, and replicable. The Supreme Court of Canada has made it very clear in its decisions on the process of public tendering that in order to be legally binding the bidding documents must be clear and precise. Broad and subjective definitions will be meaningless, while precise and focused definitions will be upheld. For example, under tendering law, a city may be within its rights to ask that when you submit a tender you have to agree to use equipment made locally, even if there is only one source of equipment. Therefore clauses like “the owner has the right to accept tenders that are environmentally friendly” will not be enforceable unless the “environmentally friendliness” is defined clearly in a measurable way. In short, subjectivity in the tender sub4 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
mission process has to be removed and replaced by the objective, measurable, and comparable. In the trenchless industry we have struggled for decades to have environmental benefits included in the tendering process. The benefits are very obvious but we need a method of measuring them in a clear, concise, and replicable manner. CARBON CALCULATOR BACKGROUND This idea was born in 2006 when NASTT-BC (the British Columbia chapter of NASTT) initially pursued the connection between reductions of Carbon emissions and the use of Trenchless construction. The British Columbia Carbon Calculator and subsequent calculators are tools to assist designers in making initial decisions about which types of construction to recommend, thus guiding them in designing projects. The broader promise of Trenchless cannot be leveraged until we monetize the environmental value, in this case carbon reduction, by choosing Trenchless technology over the status quo.
A major benefit of trenchless can be measured in a legally defined way and that cost saving can be added to the project should it be constructed using trenchless rather than traditional open cut construction techniques. CARBON PROTOCOL If we have established that using trenchless technologies does reduce carbon emissions (Matthews et al, 2012), we must develop a way to have that reduction internationally recognized and accepted. When this process started 7 years ago the reduction of carbon emissions did not have a real value but more and more governments are now assessing value on carbon emissions and it is this real cost that we are connecting to the use of trenchless. In the Province of British Columbia (BC), in 2008, the government mandated the reduction of carbon emissions. The BC government along with all schools, universities, and health authorities achieved carbon neutrality in 2010. Most municipalities in the province signed on to the Climate Action Charter which commits them to achieve, or evidence progress to, carbon neutrality by 2012. Since most of the cities in BC are trying to achieve zero carbon emissions from their “Day to Day” operations, we have an opportunity to assist the cities in reaching that goal. Cities now have the choice of reducing their energy use as much as possible and then buying credits to “offset’ the energy they use while serving the taxpayer. However since the use of trenchless creates a measurable carbon benefit, we can help them get closer to carbon neutral without having to buy credits externally. This area of the carbon market is quite new for government and industry alike, and it has to be set up very carefully. A definitive legal method must be developed to allow these savings to be turned into a saleable/tradable item. This method is called the Carbon Offset Protocol. The first trenchless offset protocol is something we developed a year ago, but we were ahead of the government and so had
to wait for the BC Provincial government and the cities to catch up. We are now working with Carbon professionals to have the protocol accepted by the Province and this will allow the cities of BC to capture the carbon credits from their trenchless programs. The cities can then use these credits against their emissions from their regular operations. With reference to the tendering process, it now means that a major benefit of trenchless can be measured in a legally defined way and that cost saving can be added to the project should it be constructed using trenchless rather than traditional open cut construction techniques. SOCIETAL GOOD Considering the devastating effects that weather changes can have on society, we in the utility industry need to “do our bit” to reduce carbon emissions where we can. To do this we need to be innovative and come up with different ways of completing our work. That work is the provision of clean water and the removal of sewage to the general population, as well as the provision of electricity, information, and fuels to our businesses and homes. One must remember that the supply of clean water and the removal of sewage is the biggest life-prolonging service that can be supplied by government. All the health care in the world only accounts for about 4 or 5 years of increased average life expectancy. Clean water accounts for over 30. Leveraging carbon offsets so the trenchless construction industry can cost-effectively provide this service is clearly the right thing to do. c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
ECONOMIC REPORT PHOTOGRAPH OF LIGHTING INSTALLATION TO BE REPLACED
THE ACCURATE TECHNICAL MODEL OF THIS UNIVERSITY ATRIUM.
RENDERING OF PROPOSED RETROFIT INSTALLATION
RENDERING OF PROPOSED RETROFIT INSTALLATION
By Adam Glatherine, Managing Director of G3 Lighting Design.
Lighting Design & Sustainability Lighting design is highly relevant to sustainability in our built environment and an area with particularly exciting potential for improvement. Some of the main factors likely to be involved in a sustainable lighting design include daylighting, artificial lighting, accurate modelling, and controls, as well as the interaction between these different aspects. DAYLIGHTING In my experience the best energy savings can often be achieved if we start by considering how to make best use of the highest quality and most sustainable light source we have, our most local of stars, the sun! Creating static or dynamic built forms that make the most of the changing play of daylight throughout the day under varying weather conditions is a wonderful challenge, and one that yields great benefits to a building’s sustainability when undertaken. Accurately modelling a space throughout a sample year of changing lighting conditions means a building can be modified to bounce useful quantities of diffuse daylight into the space using techniques such as light shelves, prismatic glazing, heliostats, and light wells, and that the position of windows can be optimized whist limiting uncomfortable and debilitating glare. This process can allow many spaces to use primarily daylight throughout most of the year. Using daylight to good effect as our primary light source will result in enormous carbon and electricity savings. Good levels of daylighting have also been shown to improve educational attainment, speed recovery rates after 6 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
operations, and increase alertness during the day, which in turn has been shown to improve the quality of sleep at night. ARTIFICIAL LIGHTING LED is the buzzword here, and for good reason. Implemented well (i.e. the most appropriate LED chips coupled with the right heat sync, driver, body, optics, and control systems) this light source can last for decades, use relatively little energy, render colours well, and has the potential to be highly controllable; both by using precise optics to put the light where it’s needed and using dimming and switching so that the light is only on when it’s needed and only as brightly as is required. The flip side of this is that there is plenty that can go wrong too if LEDs are specified incorrectly. Poor LED systems can produce inadequate light output often with very cool light of blue-white tone where colours are poorly rendered, looking grey and washed out. Other problems with poor LED systems include flicker (particularly when dimmed), colour shift over time, quickly reduced light output over time, significantly reduced lifespan, and thermal and electrical problems amongst others. It’s important not to forget other lighting technologies in the rush for LED. Discharge lighting such as metal halide still has its uses, particularly in areas such as high output sports stadium lighting. Even the humble T5 fluorescent may still be a robust, efficient, and practical solution where the budget is tight. Looking to the future OLED (already used in many phone displays and some high end
MR ADAM GLATHERINE, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF G3 LIGHTING DESIGN.
COMPLEX MODEL OF AN INDUSTRIAL SPACE USED TO ENSURE LIGHTING LEVELS ARE PRECISELY ACHIEVED WITHOUT THE WASTE OF OVER LIGHTING OPTION
High quality lighting design based on a sound knowledge of lighting technology, principles, and accurate modelling processes can greatly reduce capital and long term costs. TV screens) has potential. OLED currently tends to be primarily a high-end decorative light source; however with improvements in efficiency, life span, and reductions in cost it has the potential to be a practical mainstream light source within the next decade. Potential interesting applications for this light source may include integration into windows or even use as wall paper. Artificial lighting can also be used to simulate some of the positive effects of daylight. Using selected quantities and tones of light at particular times of day can provide external environmental cues to support circadian rhythms of our bodies, so potentially increasing alertness, performance, and well-being. The deliberate use of artificial light to mimic the effects of changing natural light on our daily biological cycles is a relatively new area of research, so it would be wise to proceed with some caution despite the obvious potential. High quantities of blue-white light at selected times of day have been shown to significantly support people with dementia to be calmer and to sleep more soundly. There are also indications that the long term lack of daylight experienced by female night-shift workers leads to higher rates of breast cancer, which can potentially be avoided through the selective use of specific artificial lighting. In these ways artificial lighting can be used where needed to support the health, well-being, and productiveness of the people who use our buildings, so supporting the sustainability of our society as a whole.
as the accumulation of dirt) simply in order to be certain that the final installation would meet requirements. This ingrained habit of overdesigning our lighting is unfortunately quite persistent in the generally conservative construction industry. If the light levels of a design are 20% over requirements then depending on how itâ€™s controlled it may well use 20% more energy than is required, cost 20% more in light fittings, cost 20% more to install, and have 20% higher embodied energy from manufacturing and transporting the additional light fittings. These additional unnecessary costs quickly add up both in terms of money and carbon, which makes it very unsustainable to keep overdesigning our lighting schemes simply due to a combination of bad habits and inaccurate modelling. Precise modelling is very useful for retrofits too. Replacing fittings one for one may make a reasonable energy saving, but using a precise model to show conclusively that fewer new fittings can be used will save considerably more energy for a lower initial cost. By investing in a good, thorough, and detailed lighting design the lighting installation as a whole will use far less energy over its life, cost far less to run, and is likely to cost far less immediately due to a significant reduction in capital cost due to using fewer light fittings. More accurate lighting models coupled with better lighting design can therefore be shown to be a more sustainable approach from every angle; short term, long term, environmental, and financial.
ACCURATE MODELLING Using a sufficiently detailed model with software verified against real world installations we can accurately predict technical light levels as well as the look and feel of a space before itâ€™s built. Before this level of modelling became widely possible, and when sustainability was often lower on the agenda, it became common practice to overdesign lighting schemes by an additional 20% or more (above allowances made for the lowering of light output over time due to factors such
CONCLUSION High quality lighting design based on a sound knowledge of lighting technology, principles, and accurate modelling processes can greatly reduce capital and long term costs, can improve the well-being of building occupants, can vastly lower electricity use, and can reduce embodied carbon. In these ways it represents a far more sustainable approach, both environmentally and financially, to lighting our built environment. c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
SOCIAL REPORT NIKOS AVLONAS, PRESIDENT OF THE CENTRE FOR SUSTAINABILITY & EXCELLENCE (CSE)
By Nikos Avlonas, President of the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence.
Do You Have The Appropriate Sustainability Education? The Centre for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE) aims to increase global awareness of Sustainability and the immediate need to consider its practical benefits. 8 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Managing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is increasingly a necessity nowadays, and the business world needs practical tools and guidelines to integrate sustainability into operations. The reasons why sustainability is extremely urgent are numerous. Firstly, as pointed out by the WWFâ€™s Living Planet Report in 2010, the global ecological footprint has doubled since 1966, leading humanity, in 2007, to consume the equivalent of 1.5 planets. Furthermore, the gap between rich and poor is widening while problems relating to health, education, and social justice are increasing. In addition to this, the situation will probably get worse if we do not take serious measures. Current U.N. population growth projections predict that the planet will be inhabited by nine billion people by the year 2050.
Sustainability management should go beyond the usual practices, and all parties should take a more proactive and effective approach. Ingraining sustainability management into the core values of companies, NGOs, and governments, is the only way to have a more sustainable and balanced planet. If all organizations integrate sustainability into their day-to-day business, we will have a good chance of facing (and maybe solving) the challenges of scarce resources and climate change. On this long and hard path towards sustainability, organizations have a key role to play. Firstly organizations have to implement factors that contribute to the success of a sustainable business model involving stakeholder engagement. Secondly, linking sustainable initiatives to ways in which companies can discover new business opportunities is an important and useful process which helps to integrate them into the overall corporate strategy. Thirdly, material assessment allows the prioritization of issues which are more relevant. There are numerous standards and guidelines that provide helpful advice on how to integrate sustainability into not only the governance of an organization, but also into its daily activities, thus helping to more effectively manage sustainable practices within a business. In order to emphasize the importance and global need for sustainability integration, the plenary of the European Parliament adopted the â€˜Directive on disclosure of non-financial and diversity
informationâ€™ on the 15th of April 2014. The directive applies to large companies (over 500 employees) and needs to be applied fully by 2017. Through its Global Advanced Sustainability Trainings (Certified by IEMA), the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE) aims to increase global awareness of sustainability and the immediate need to consider its practical benefits, not just for individual organizations but also for the environment and society as a whole. By training senior executives from worldwide Fortune 500 companies, CSE is trying to provide key decision-makers with a healthy and accurate perspective on essential sustainability principles, as well as the latest advanced industry developments and up-to-date legislation. Since 2008 CSE has trained more than 5000 CSR professionals who have improved their organizationâ€™s performance and also furthered their career in the field, according to our recent internal survey. This year we are continuing our mission by providing an advanced version of our IEMA CSR-P course as well as other global courses on environmental issues and GRI G4 reporting. Our only hope is that organizational policymakers and key stakeholders will gain an appropriate understanding of what needs to be done and what their objectives should be, and that they find an effective way to integrate sustainability into their long-term vision. c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
GREEN HOUSE DATA
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BUILDING A GREENER CLOUD:
GREEN HOUSE DATA PURSUES SUSTAINABLE IT What was once a techie term is now commonplace: â€œthe cloudâ€? is mentioned across industries and media as everything from documents to music to entire business operations are placed in
remote data centers. As more companies turn to managed service providers and public cloud hosting for their business applications, e-mail, data storage, and more, the energy use of data centers is
increasing dramatically. It is estimated that 3% of global energy use is from data centers. Greenpeace reports that this energy demand is expected to grow 81% by the year 2020.
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GREEN HOUSE DATA
Our green efforts have never been a marketing ploy for us, It’s about pushing the industry towards energy independence and sustainability leadership as a whole. We’re showing that green business is good business with 100% revenue growth nearly every year. As Greenpeace and others shine a light on the data center industry and its dramatic dependence on carbon emitting fossil fuels, some organizations are starting to go green. One smaller provider based in Wyoming, Green House Data, was founded in 2007 with the mission of supplying the infrastructure companies need while innovating efficient technology and purchasing 100% renewable energy. By focusing on facility design, particularly cooling, they were able to create a data center environment that is 40% more efficient than the average. “Our green efforts have never been a marketing ploy for us,” said Green House Data President Shawn Mills, “It’s about pushing the industry towards energy independence and sustainability leadership as a whole. We’re showing that green business
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is good business with 100% revenue growth nearly every year.” Data centers are large, specially designed warehouses for servers, networking, and other support equipment like backup generators, storage, and more. Generally they offer cloud hosting or co-location: With cloud hosting, companies rent the infrastructure they need on a Pay-As-You-Go basis (think 10 processors, 80 gigs of RAM, and 2 terabytes of storage). With co-location, companies still use their own servers, but they place them in a data center to take advantage of the electrical redundancy, faster networking, and other specializations allowed by a dedicated facility. In a data center, efficiency is measured by Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE). Com-
puter equipment requires tons of cooling to avoid failure. PUE measures the ratio of raw computer energy use to the total data center power draw, including cooling and other supporting technology. Most data centers average 1.7 PUE, while the most efficient are close to 1.0, meaning every watt goes directly to servers. By using highly efficient cooling units combined with a modular design that separates air flow on the data center floor, Green House Data has managed to lower their PUE to 1.14 in their new Cheyenne headquarters. This location also allows the IT service provider to use air directly from outside to cool servers rather than needing traditional Computer Room Air Conditioning units, which are quite power hungry.
“Cooling is where we save the most energy by far,” said Mills, “But everything from cable management, keeping cables tidy and well-organized, down to automated lighting systems help us reduce our total energy draw. We’re saving tens of thousands of dollars a month compared to less efficient competitors.” The company purchases Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to cover 100% of
its energy use across three data centers throughout the United States, as well as corporate travel and auxiliary office energy use. An REC certifies energy as generated by a renewable energy resource. Supplementing RECs with some direct solar generation at their New Jersey location, Green House Data is also an EPA Power Partner with 100% Green Power Usage for several years.
While established industry giants like Google and Facebook can afford to build data centers at the edge of the Arctic Circle or in countries with vast amounts of hydroelectric power, companies like Green House Data are demonstrating how revenue growth and sustainability can coexist even in a traditionally resource-intensive industry. If the cloud is the future, it’s about time to make it a green one. c
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Q&A KEVIN JONES
President & CEO
Kevin Jones tells Sustainable Business Magazine about how BLOOM is achieving sustainable outcomes in Ontario and beyond.
Can you begin by explaining what need you address at BLOOM? At BLOOM, we address the need for a “connecting bridge” in the market - between demand and supply, between risk and opportunity, and between problems and solutions. We recognize that resource management issues and opportunities are often complex and inter-connected, requiring collaborative effort. We also find that sectors are fragmented, with many organizations working independently, leading to inefficiency or duplication of effort. We have noticed that successful market adoption of sustainable practices and technologies happens when different organizations are able to work together on an aligned goal, while at the same time achieving their own unique objectives. As a trusted 3rd party, BLOOM brings together organizations, identifies opportunities and guides implementation of solutions that result in measurable and tangible outcomes. Why is it so difficult for organizations to enact real change? Well, the short answer is that real change requires time and patience. It requires organizations to step back and take a holistic view of their business, adopting a deliberate, strategic approach to managing it. 14 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
It also requires organizations to get beyond symptoms and reduce issues to their root causes, considering entire systems rather than just individual parts. This is difficult to do as organizations are busy with the day-to-day and are continuously under pressure “to do more with less”. Ultimately, real change depends on an organization’s ability to honestly assess where they are, and establish a clear vision of where they would like to go. How can the BLOOM Impact Quantification (BLOOM IQ™) help organizations? BLOOM IQ™ was created to provide organizations with the knowledge and confidence to make better decisions. It allows organizations to “cut through the noise” by focusing on the key metrics and performance indicators that matter most to them and to their stakeholders. The key output of BLOOM IQ™ is quantifiable data on the “net” economic, environmental and social impacts. With this information in hand, decision makers are better equipped to balance the inherent trade-offs. Our work with Waterfront Toronto is a good example of the value of a BLOOM IQ™.
Waterfront Toronto is transforming and revitalizing industrial land in Toronto’s waterfront, which requires the excavation and management of two million cubic metres of contaminated soils. Rather than using the traditional “dig and dump” approach, Waterfront Toronto had a desire to shift away from the status quo and manage soils sustainability as a resource that could be recycled and reused on-site. Their challenge was how to compare the “dig and dump” option to the on-site recycling/reuse option, in a way that would take into account the net impacts over the long-term. The BLOOM IQ™ quantified the net environmental and social impacts of on-site soil recycling systems versus the “dig and dump” approach. The results were compelling: the projected net impacts over 10 years from on-site recycling would result in a projected $65 million in cost savings and reductions of greenhouse gas emissions by 36 kg per tonne of remediated soil. Who are your primary clients/collaborators and why do you choose to focus on specific sectors? We generally focus on small to medium-sized organizations, which we have found are under-served by the market. Due to the nature of our work, we gravitate towards organizations that share our ideals, who are willing to embrace change and who are committed to obtaining tangible outcomes. In addition to working with individual organizations, we also operate in sectors where our intervention can add value. We call this our “sector-focussed” model. We use it as an efficient means to identify “pre-competitive” issues, risks and opportunities, and practical solutions. This approach allows for greater collaboration, synergy and sharing of knowledge and efforts that can accelerate broader adoption in targeted sectors. How are you working to improve Ontario’s food and beverage sector? The food and beverage processing sector is one of Ontario’s best kept secrets. It is the second largest manufacturing industry in Ontario, with an estimated annual economic impact of $35 Billion. Increased costs and risks associated with water, energy and resource management are emerging as key strategic business issues facing the sector. Adoption of sustainable solutions is critical to improve competitiveness and ensure future sector success. We’ve been collaborating with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, food industry associations and technology and solution providers, to deliver strategic project initiatives that address sector barriers to change. A specific target area has been water innovation, driven in part by the regulatory risks and increasing compliance costs related to wastewater management. We are piloting innovative on-site technology-based solutions to show that they work and can be integrated into operations to create tangible business value. We are aiming to increase the awareness that WASTEWATER = LOST MARGIN – and that practical, business-case driven solutions can be implemented to reduce or eliminate wastewater, with the payoffs being reduced liability risk and an improved bottom-line. An interesting example of our food sector-focused approach is a “pre-competitive” initiative we are currently delivering in partnership with the Wine Council of Ontario.
What changes are you currently working towards in Ontario’s wine sector? In Ontario’s wine sector, we are working towards establishing water as a key strategic resource. Water is becoming increasingly scarce, more expensive and a future risk. Numerous opportunities are available for wineries to reduce their risks and improve their margins. Wineries have everything to gain from better water management, and establishing this mindset is our first priority. We also recognize that the core business of wineries is making wine - they are seeking guidance on best practices they can use to be more efficient with their water use, and to reduce the amount of wastewater being produced in their operations. We are working on building the capacity of wineries so that they can pursue and implement sustainable water initiatives. How are you enabling this change? Our first priority was to take the time and develop a deep understanding of the current situation: “What is really going on at Ontario’s wineries? How are they managing their water?” This first step was crucial for dispelling any misinformation, myths and opinions not founded on facts. From there, we identified six major water risks and opportunities facing the industry. We also defined what an ideal winery would look like based on an integrated and sustainable approach to water management. We’re now working in partnership with the Wine Council of Ontario to transition the wine industry to this preferred water management future. We’re conducting pilots to “derisk” innovative on-site solutions, as well as developing guidance and training materials that can be easily used by wineries, allowing them to answer the “why should I care”, “what do I need to do” and “how do I to get it done” questions. In short, we are listening to wineries, identifying the barriers to implementing better practices, and addressing them. We expect that this will lead to broader adoption and integration of sustainable water management solutions, supporting the future growth and prosperity of Ontario’s wine industry. What is the biggest obstacle that inhibits the adoption of sustainable solutions? Lack of awareness: of the issues, of the solutions, and of the paths to implementation. It’s that simple. With awareness, organizations will understand where they are, where they want to go, and finally how they can get there. Awareness is the bridge to discovering root causes and real solutions and asking the question of “what is possible” from doing things differently. Once organizations realize how much there is to gain from “seeing” their operations through a holistic, strategic and sustainable lens, the possibilities are endless. Tell us about the BLOOM Sustainability Leadership Award The BLOOM sustainability leadership award is a pragmatic consolidation of our ideals—a form of positive encouragement and recognition. The awards recognize those organizations that take a holistic approach to change, and that are integrating sustainability into business strategy and operations, with measurable outcomes to demonstrate success. Additionally, BLOOM hopes that organizations just starting out on their journey can use the award criteria as a self-assessment tool and guide. The ideal outcome for BLOOM is that, in the near future, we are overwhelmed by exceptional organizations vying to be recognized as sustainability leaders! c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Jul 30th Aug 1st
ICCEA 2014 São Paulo, Brazil www.iccea.org
ICCEA 2014 is to provide a platform for researchers, engineers, academicians as well as industrial professionals from all over the world to present their research results and development activities in Civil Engineering and Architecture.
7th - 9th
Just Sustainability: Hope for the Commons Conference Seattle, WA, USA
Hosted by the Seattle University Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability, Just Sustainability: Hope for the Commons will focus on the intimate connections between environmental justice and sustainability.
AASHE Workshop: Sustainability Across the Community College Campus Palos Hills, IL, USA www.aashe.org/node/84270
This workshop will focus on practical solutions to common obstacles for those working toward sustainability on community college campuses.
Global Sustainability Summit Boston, MA, USA www.fmi.org
The Global Sustainability Summit is designed to help companies with all levels of awareness, expertise and global reach incorporate sustainability into every aspect of their business model.
B U S I N E S S
M A G A Z I N E
PROMOTE YOUR EVENT HERE If your organization has a trade show or event, please let us know and we will promote it on our global events pages. For more information please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
1st - 3rd
Sustainable Phosphorus Summit 2014 Montpellier, France sps2014.cirad.fr
SPS 2014 is the fourth of a young and successful series of Sustainable Phosphorus Summits related to the GPRI, Global Phosphorus Research Initiative.
3rd - 5th
World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities Manchester, United Kingdom http://www.haw-hamburg.de/en/ ftz-als/veranstaltungen/wssd-2014
The “2nd World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities” (WSSD-U-2014) will focus on “transformative approaches to sustainable development across disciplines”, and will contribute to the further development of this fast-growing field.
7th - 14th
FSC General Assembly 2014 Seville, Spain ga2014.fsc.org
20 years of growth, the FSC has come a long way, showing solid growth and gaining international recognition, while promoting responsible forest management worldwide.
9th - 17th
Sustainable Energy Solutions Ljubljana, Slovenia
Organized jointly by UNIDO and the International Centre for Promotion of Enterprises (ICPE) in Ljubljana. It aims to address some of the key issues pertaining to sustainable energy.
Climate Summit 2014 New York, USA www.un.org/climate change/summit2014/
This Summit will be a different kind of Climate Summit. It is aimed at catalyzing action by governments, business, finance, industry, and civil society in areas for new commitments and substantial, scalable and replicable contributions to the Summit that will help the world shift toward a low-carbon economy.
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Las Vegas, Nevada (Sept. 15-16)
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. CSE will next be hosting its courses in Las Vegas (Sept. 15-16), San Francisco (Sept. 29-30) and Atlanta (Nov. 13-14). For more information visit http://www.cse-net.org/article/127/upcoming-trainings or contact us at email@example.com
Victoria Karkouli - Marketing Coordinator • T: 3122146464 • 70 W Madison Str.,Suite 1400, Chicago, IL 60602, USA SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
SOLAR ONTARIO 2014 JOHN GORMAN, CANSIA PRESIDENT
SOLAR ONTARIO 2014
A FORUM AND AN
OPPORTUNITY 18 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
THERE WAS A GREAT ABUNDANCE OF EXPERT SPEAKERS, USEFUL LEARNING STATIONS, AND WORKSHOPS, INCLUDING A SESSION ON THE ‘CHANGING POLITICAL LANDSCAPE IN ONTARIO’
In Canada’s capital, Ottawa, leading figures in Ontario’s solar power industries gathered on May 7th and 8th to discuss the future. Among them were over 100 policy makers from all three levels of government and more than 1000 industry professionals ranging from retailers to engineers. The participants were there to discuss and shape the rapidly evolving solar energy market in Ontario. Solar Ontario, an annual event run by the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA), is the leading solar energy event in the province and one of the more important nationwide. This year’s event followed a surge in solar opportunities in the province as Ontario became
the first Canadian province to close all coal power stations. Until the changes in government policy coal was a power source that provided 25% of the electricity. Solar Ontario 2014 sought to enable much needed discussion and coordination that will allow the solar industry to continue its path to growth. A new feature of CanSIA’s conference was entitled ‘Capitol Hill Day’, a day dedicated to meetings on Parliament Hill between conference participants and Federal Government officials. This was an opportunity for luminary solar industry entrepreneurs to have a dialogue with legislators about the kind of fiscal policies that are needed to help build a stronger national industry.
‘Capitol Hill Day’ discussions included solar export growth opportunities, aboriginal solar initiatives, and solar tax treatment. The solar industry believes they can work collaboratively with the federal government towards a common goal of enhancing Aboriginal communities while strengthening Canada’s economic and environmental sustainability. The Canadian solar industry has a lot to offer the world through it engineering and financial services expertise, but Canada also has much to gain by improving its connection to the world’s solar energy markets, one of the fastest growing global markets. These are areas that could potentially lower the government burden of providing SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
SOLAR ONTARIO 2014
traditional electricity to remote areas and offer the potential for increased tax revenues as Canada sells its expertise abroad. One of the resounding successes of Solar Ontario 2014 is that it has brought together multiple stakeholders and presented winwin opportunities for government, business, cities, and aboriginal communities, a reminder that equitable distribution of the value created by solar makes it sustainable not just renewable. THE PROSUMPTION ENERGY REVOLUTION Although new federal government policies may draw entrepreneurs into the market, CanSIA President John Gorman believes a new model for electricity pro20 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
duction is needed for long-term industry profitability. In the conference opening speech, Mr. Gorman spoke to his belief that the industry is more likely to be shaped through grassroots consumer pressure than government policy. “The amazing thing about solar is that it is turning consumers into prosumers; those who produce and consume a given product. These prosumers are demanding options for how electricity is generated and tools for managing their consumption. What is happening is small solar companies are attracting customers [from utility companies] and turning them into prosumers. People are putting solar on their rooftops, saving them hundreds of dollars a month
and giving them the power to control how and when they use their electricity. A quiet revolution is underway.” Explaining the current dominant model Gorman told the audience “You build the biggest possible plant, you run it with the cheapest available fuel, and you provide as many electrons to as many customers as possible. It is why we have thousands and thousands of fossil fuel plants providing for our energy needs today.” However, that model may be vulnerable to a revolution. Gesturing towards a new generation solar panel Mr. Gorman said, “It’s a beautiful technology. It’s thin, it’s light, it is made from the most abundant material in the Earth’s crust next to oxygen, it lasts for 30 years, the fuel is completely free, and
“THE AMAZING THING ABOUT SOLAR IS THAT IT IS TURNING CONSUMERS INTO PROSUMERS; THOSE WHO PRODUCE AND CONSUME A GIVEN PRODUCT.”
we are not going to run out for the next four billion years. In 2008 solar became truly disruptive when the price hit a ‘sweet spot’ allowing governments around the world to start investing and now the price has declined another 80%.” Following the opening speech, the conference unfolded with presentations centering on the commercial issues within the solar industry. There was an abundance of expert speakers, useful learning stations, and workshops, including a session on the ‘changing political landscape in Ontario’. Jim Burpee, president of the Canadian Electricity Association brought a wealth of energy sector experience to the event in his delivery of the keynote luncheon address.
Over the course of the conference attendees could visit any of the over 75 exhibitors from Ontario and across Canada featured in the trade show. NEW POSSIBILITIES Among all the questions about the future of solar at the CanSIA event, there was time to reflect on the recent triumphs of solar power and renewable energy in Ontario. 2013 was defined by many milestones for Ontario such as the installation of solar capacity reaching one Gigawatt per year as well as the unprecedented move away from coal. Also, for the first time in history, solar panels dipped below $0.50 per watt produced. One can only imagine the satisfaction of CanSIA who started advocating solar energy
in 1992 when the price was around $8 per watt and coal caused widespread smog and associated respiratory issues. At the conclusion of his opening speech Mr. Gorman reflected on the efforts that CanSIA and others have made to promote solar energy. “If Thomas Edison were here today he would be a champion of the ‘prosumer’ and he would be the CEO of a utility that was progressive in bringing these services to us and meeting consumer demand. He recognised the incredible power of the sun over a century ago.” Then, quoting Edison’s incredibly prescient words, Gorman said, “I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.” c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
CEA MANITOBA HYDRO’S KETTLE GENERATING STATION, BUILT ON THE LOWER NELSON RIVER, IS THE SECOND LARGEST HYDROELECTRIC GENERATING STATION IN THE PROVINCE. PHOTO CREDIT: MANITOBA HYDRO
SASKPOWER IS LEADING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST POST-COMBUSTION CARBON CAPTURE AND STORAGE (CCS) PROJECT—THE FIRST IN THE WORLD TO FULLY INTEGRATE CCS TECHNOLOGY WITH COMMERCIAL SCALE COAL-FIRED GENERATION.
POWERING PHOTO CREDIT: SASKPOWER
SUSTAINABILITY Channa Perera, Director of Sustainable Development at the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA), talks to Sustainable Business Magazine about how they’re working to guarantee a sustainable future for Canada’s electricity industry. Written by Carl Long.
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Throughout its one hundred and twenty year plus history, the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) has adapted its mandate to meet changing expectations of the electricity sector in Canada. Founded in 1891, the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) is the national forum and voice of the evolving electricity business in Canada. The Association contributes to the regional, national and international success of its members through the delivery of quality value-added services. CEA members generate, transmit and distribute electrical energy to industrial, commercial, residential and institutional customers across Canada every day. Members include integrated electric utilities, inde-
pendent power producers, transmission and distribution companies, power marketers and the manufacturers and suppliers of materials, technology and services that keep the industry running smoothly. Channa Perera is their Director of Sustainable Development and he is currently spear-heading CEAâ€™s sustainability efforts with utilities from across the country. Canada is a nation subdivided into ten provinces and three territories, and each province is responsible for its own electricity policy and regulation. However, the Canadian federal government also has a significant role to play on some aspects of energy and environment policy affecting utilities. Based
in the capital city, Ottawa, CEA advocates for the electricity sector primarily at the federal government level. AN INDUSTRY PLATFORM The Canadian electricity sector has a long history on environmental protection. In 1997, CEA and its members established the Environmental Commitment and Responsibility (ECR) program to ensure they minimize or avoid adverse environmental impacts. Mr. Perera explains that its focus on greenhouse gas emissions, air pollutants, and spills was designed to improve environmental performance and management across the industry. â€œWe wanted to be proactive in terms of SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
CEA CAPITAL POWER’S KINGSBRIDGE WIND FACILITY NEAR GODERICH, IN SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO. PHOTO COURTESY OF CAPITAL POWER CORPORATION
“WE ALSO ESTABLISHED A VERIFICATION SYSTEM TO MAKE SURE THAT INFORMATION WE GATHER WAS ACCURATE AND THAT COMPANIES WERE MAKING PROGRESS ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES”
taking action on environmental impacts.” As part of the ECR program, CEA made the implementation of ISO 14001 consistent Environmental Management System a condition of membership. “We also established a verification system to make sure that information we gather was accurate and that companies were making progress on environmental issues”. Ten years later in 2007, a full review of the ECR program was undertaken, with a desire to create a more holistic sustainability program which also 24 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
included both social and economic pillars of sustainability, not just environmental. It was during this period of transition that Mr. Perera took up his current role. Mr. Perera’s initial task was to transform the ECR program into a sustainability framework. Following months of intensive discussions with member companies, CEA and member utilities began their sustainability journey with the launch of the Sustainable ElectricityTM program in February 2009. Now nearly five-years old, one of
the cornerstones of the program remains the Sustainable Development—Corporate Responsibility Policy that all member companies must adhere to. “It not only defines what we mean by sustainability, but outlines the key guiding principles on sustainability” says Mr. Perera. Similar to the ECR program, Sustainable ElectricityTM is mandatory for CEA Corporate Utility Members. This program is aimed at fostering continuous improvement in the areas of environmental, social, and economic performance and
CHANNA PERERA, DIRECTOR, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, AT THE CANADIAN ELECTRICITY ASSOCIATION (CEA). PHOTO CREDIT: CANADIAN ELECTRICITY ASSOCIATION (CEA)
includes the following core elements: • A Policy on Sustainable Development— Corporate Responsibility; • Annual reporting of environmental, social, and economic performance by member utilities; • Independent Public Advisory Panel to review the sector’s annual performance; • External verification of data, sustainability performance, and implementation of ISO 14001 consistent Environmental Management Systems (EMS).
NOVA SCOTIA POWER IS MOVING AHEAD WITH A NUMBER OF RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS. PHOTO CREDIT: NOVA SCOTIA POWER
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“COMPANIES ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE SUSTAINABLE. THEY ARE TAKING SUSTAINABILITY ELEMENTS AND PRINCIPLES INTO CONSIDERATION WHEN MAKING DECISIONS.” HORIZON UTILITIES WAS THE FIRST COMPANY IN CANADA TO BE DESIGNATED A SUSTAINABLE ELECTRICITY COMPANYTM BY THE CANADIAN ELECTRICITY ASSOCIATION (CEA) ON APRIL 24, 2013. PICTURED FROM L-R: CHANNA PERERA, DIRECTOR, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, CEA; MAX CANANZI, PRESIDENT AND CEO, HORIZON UTILITIES CORPORATION; AND JIM R. BURPEE, P.ENG., PRESIDENT AND CEO, CEA. PHOTO CREDIT: HORIZON UTILITIES CORPORATION
Following the launch of this mandatory Sustainable ElectricityTM program, CEA also established a voluntary Sustainable Electricity CompanyTM brand designation for individual utilities. This designation carries significant prestige and is not easy to obtain. Mr. Perera explains that meeting the accreditation criteria requires determination; “this is really raising the bar on integrating sustainability and social responsibility considerations into company operations.” Several CEA member companies have obtained this designation 26 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
and many more are currently working to attain this designation. The designation is primarily based on the ISO 14001 standard on Environmental Management System and ISO 26000 Guidance on Social Responsibility. LOOKING TO THE FUTURE Long-term planning is inherent in the electricity sector. In March 2014, CEA launched Vision 2050, a long-term framework that outlines the steps utilities, regulators and governments will have to
take towards reaching their desired destination thirty-six years hence. The website, www.vision2050.ca, describes it as an opportunity for the continued deliverance of a strong electrical system. The Vision 2050 outlines four key recommendations: accelerating customer innovation and management of energy; implementing financial instruments for carbon reduction, including a North American carbon price that is implemented across the economy; enabling electric vehicles; and expanding collaboration with the U.S. to optimize
AN ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATION IN BRITISH COLUMBIA. PHOTO CREDIT: BC HYDRO
TAKECHARGE IS A JOINT INITIATIVE BETWEEN NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR HYDRO AND NEWFOUNDLAND POWER THAT IS AIMED AT PROVIDING NEWFOUNDLANDERS AND LABRADORIANS WITH INFORMATION, TOOLS, AND REBATE PROGRAMS TO ASSIST THEM IN USING ENERGY WISELY. PHOTO CREDIT: NEWFOUNDLAND POWER
electricity assets while expanding opportunities for electricity storage and the export of low-carbon electricity. “CEA have tried to encourage more public participation” explains Mr. Perera. One way they’ve done this is through the establishment of Electricity Month. As of 2013, CEA members are encouraged to hold “open-houses” every June, where people can walk in and acquire information on what utility companies are doing, the services they’re providing, and what kind of conservation initiatives they’re running.
CHANGING THE MINDSET Mr. Perera is most proud of how significantly understanding and commitment to sustainability has increased over the years. He explains that many CEA member companies are now leading the way by constantly seeking to further integrate sustainable thinking into their operations. “These companies actually understand what it means to be sustainable. They are taking sustainability elements and principles into consideration when making decisions.” Despite being traditionally
conservative, the Canadian utility sector is starting to take more risks. The pursuit of renewable generation options and technological innovations like carbon capture, energy storage, and SMART GRID applications are an excellent way to observe the sustainability progress made by Canadian utilities. c To get more insight on the sustainability performance of the Canadian electricity sector, please visit: www.SustainableElectricity.ca SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
FUTURE Nigel Protter, CEO of the British Columbia Sustainable Energy Association (BCSEA), talks to Sustainable Business Magazine about how they’re helping British Columbia build a clean and sustainable future. By Thomas Massey. The British Columbia Sustainable Energy Association (BCSEA), a non-profit organization, tasks itself with ensuring that citizens of British Columbia have access to information about and regulatory intervention over sustainable sources of energy and energy efficiency. The BCSEA was founded in 2004, during the height of the global peak oil crisis. Nigel Protter, CEO of the BCSEA, explains that the threat of peak oil meant an increase
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in research and investment into alternative energy sources. “In 2004 the world was running out of oil, it was peak oil, and there was a pretty strong economy. During that time, governments all over the world were investing a lot of money into renewables and energy efficiency. A lot of renewables were starting to be competitive with fossil fuels and governments wanted to head off the threat of peak oil and hedge against it.”
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BCSEA REGIONAL POWER INC’S AWARD WINNING SECHELT CREEK HYDRO PROJECT HAS TO LED TO THE SUCCESSFUL REINTRODUCTION OF WILD SALMON TO THE AREA
ADAPTABILITY Since 2004 governmental changes and a global economic downturn have meant that the BCSEA has had to fight tooth and nail to remain successful, and it’s now a prime example of how an organization can survive despite a difficult global market. By 2010 fear of the threat of peak oil had dissipated, which coincided with a global economic downturn. Along with other factors this caused a significant shift in the stance of many governments and businesses towards sustainability and renew-
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able energy. Mr. Protter explains how due primarily to these factors governments changed their approach to investing in renewable energy and sustainability projects. “By 2010 the world had shifted beneath the feet of those looking at renewables and peak oil. Suddenly there was no money and there was no peak oil. There was a glut of gas and oil coming and the people, who knew about it, knew that unconventional gas and oil were going to be a big force. This put organizations like BCSEA in a difficult position as there was
a lot less government grant money to support those kinds of organizations and grass roots efforts because everybody wanted to focus on the economic recovery and also focus on exploiting the potential market for unconventional gas and oil.” Mr. Protter joined BCSEA at the end of 2012, bringing with him a background in clean technologies, finance, computers, and business. Mr. Protter was tasked with revamping the image of BCSEA, as well changing the organizations direction and making it more relevant to today’s market.
CHANGING DIRECTION One of Mr. Protter’s first decisions was to scrap the BCSEA Solar Systems Project in favor of implementing a pilot energy efficiency project. “Solar is an excellent technology,” explains Mr. Protter. “We know it is an exponential cost reduction technology. We know that one day solar power will be a dominant technology but in British Columbia it can’t compete against the grid due to the low cost of gas and electric. We found there won’t be a market for solar energy until it reaches grid parity, which we believe is still 10 – 15 years away. We therefore decided the money we were investing could be better spent elsewhere.” The money that was originally put aside for the Solar BC Project has instead been used to develop and implement the Retrofit BC program. The Retrofit BC program is primarily aimed at large scale apartment buildings and involves owners investing money for energy efficiency upgrades which reduce long-term building energy costs. In the pilot stages of development, Mr. Protter and the BCSEA found that there were very few people willing to, in his own words, “trust the energy equation.” Mr. Protter explains that this caused them to rethink the program. “Of the six building owners we pitched to, not one of them would make the investment because they didn’t trust the energy equation. They didn’t trust the large upfront investment would result in a long term pay off, even though the money they invested would be more than recouped in the long run through the energy savings they’d make. We sat down and evaluated the situation and decided to invest our leftover money in creating a better business model.” What
they came up with is the business model for BCSEA’s signature program, Retrofit BC. “Retrofit BC is our signature program and it’s designed to change the calculus surrounding small scale energy project finance in British Columbia,” explains Mr. Protter. “Retrofit
is a little like an energy services company model but it’s a warranty backed guaranteed energy performance product. We implement the energy efficiency upgrades for them and own it for 10 years. They pay us a fee for energy service and the energy performance they are buying is guaranteed.” SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Largely down to their adaptability, the BCSEA have become a leading organization for energy market and policy transformation. They continue to push forward and have become heavily involved in the government’s energy regulatory process in British Columbia. The BCSEA is also looking to spread its message to the next generation of Canadians with their Climate Change Showdown Program. The aim of the program is to get children actively engaged with climate change and other environmental issues. In this way the BCSEA is not only successfully providing renewable energy solutions for the citizens of British Columbia, but also raising awareness of what it’s going to take to build a sustainable future. c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
FORESTRY David Lindsay, CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada, talks to Sustainable Business Magazine about how theyâ€™re building and maintaining a healthy and sustainable Canadian forest industry. Written by Carl Long. Images provided by FPAC.
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“WE HAVE COMMITTED AS AN INDUSTRY TO MAKING SURE WE ARE HAVING AS LIGHT AN ENVIRONMENTAL FOOT-PRINT AS WE CAN.”
The precipitous decline of the US housing market in the early part of the twenty-first century, combined with a rising Canadian dollar and an ongoing shift from the physically printed word to the digital one, saw the Canadian forest industry face its ‘perfect storm’. David Lindsay, CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), and his colleagues recognised that their industry needed to adapt in order to sustain a successful existence. It might be hard to imagine
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a tree from New Brunswick appearing in a Bollywood movie just twelve months later in the form of a sari, but that is exactly the kind of thing that is happening. The determination to sell Canadian forest products as an environmentally friendly and sustainable resource has been astounding. FPAC members deserve a considerable amount of credit for the industry’s rejuvenation. If the Canadian forests are the canvas, and the forest products are the images painted thereon, then the industry’s business practices are the frame that holds it all together. FPAC members seek to protect not only the forests, but also the futures of its inhabitants and their local economies. “Sustainability begins in the forest,” explains Mr. Lindsay. “We have committed as an industry to making sure we are having as light an environmental foot-print as we can.” Considering the environmental value of global boreal forests, both in terms
of biodiversity and carbon storage, this is not just a good thing for Canada, but also the rest of the world. Mr. Lindsay oversees the development of FPAC programs such as their Vision2020 and the Bio-pathways Partnership Network. Both programs incorporate the idea that being sustainable means considering environmental, economic, and social factors. For truly sustainable operations, all three must be safeguarded. BUILDING A HEALTHY INDUSTRY FPAC members have their forest management practices certified by a third-party and go to great lengths to ensure that first and foremost they themselves operate sustainably. Since 1990 the industry has cut greenhouse gas emissions by 70% and FPAC members are committed to reducing this still further along with
water affluent and particulate matter in smoke stacks. They are also committed to making use of entire trees once they have been felled. As forest management practices become increasingly sophisticated; research and innovation have a vital role to play. Together with FPInnovations FPAC members work to come up with new ways of sustainably managing everything from forests to paper mills. Innovation is breeding excitement within the industry and Mr. Lindsay explains that increasing sustainability and efficiency is now a core part of many forest related businesses. â€œIt is now part of their natural business model.â€? While the forest industry naturally seeks to promote the environmental benefits of using wood as a clean, safe, and aesthetically pleasing alternative for constructing
buildings, it has also found it necessary to diversify into less commonly-known uses of wood. The Bio-pathways Partnership Network seeks to build business-to-business relationships between Canadaâ€™s forest products companies and companies in other sectors in order to explore possible new business ventures and economic opportunities. The initiative was designed to look for opportunities to use forest fibre for new products because it was felt that the forest industry needed to grow beyond the traditional lumber, pulp, and paper. A good example of this is the aforementioned Bollywood sari: The development of dissolving pulp has granted the forest industry the ability to make rayon fabrics. Bio-energy, bio-chemicals, and bio-products can also be made from fibres extracted from the forest and additional research is showing that
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THE FOREST INDUSTRY IS ONE OF THE LARGEST EMPLOYERS OF ABORIGINAL PEOPLES IN CANADA, EMPLOYING AROUND 17,000 INDIVIDUALS.
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oils, lignum, and sugar compounds can be turned into green products for everything from car parts to lipstick and other cosmetic additives. The Bio-pathways Partnership Network allows potential customers to understand the range of products that can be produced from trees, and producers to understand the types of oils, sugars, and other compounds that are needed to make items such as paint, pharmaceuticals, and food additives. Mr. Lindsay explains that the program acts as a match-maker service for companies who are able to complement each other in this fashion. “The forest industry has evolved and changed. This last decade really has been a challenge and has forced this new and creative thinking and we’re the better for it.” FPAC’s Vision2020 has three distinct focus areas: products, environmental performance, and a renewed workforce. By 2020, the industry aims to have produced $20 billion dollars’ worth of additional economic activity through new products, existing products, and new markets. Growing their existing markets, as well as diversifying into emerging markets, will help ensure that the Canadian forest products industry is sustainable. The industry is committed to reducing 11 parameters including Nitrogen Oxides and Sulphur Oxides (NOx and SOx) as well
as waste and particulate matter. Over the next decade these environmental indicators will be tracked with the intent of further improving them by an aggregate of 35%. Other key areas of focus include improving management practices, as well as increasing local employment opportunities. FPAC members hope that a further 60,000 people will be employed from local areas and a recruitment drive is taking place which specifically targets the aboriginals and women. FAMILY TREES The industry has long been associated with Canada’s aboriginal communities. The forest industry is one of the largest employers of aboriginal peoples in Canada, employing around 17,000 individuals. FPAC members
contract first nation companies to deliver services for them, such as trucking and supplies. They also work closely with the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business (CCAB) and offer an award for aboriginal entrepreneurship to highlight successes. It is part of the industry’s modus operandi that they remain conscious of people who depend on forestry for their living. Local people’s traditions must be respected and they must have access to any forest based opportunities. Mr. Lindsay and his colleagues are rightly proud of what they continue to achieve, particularly with Vision2020. “It’s a wonderful platform to tell our story and a good directional document that allows people to see how these changes all come together to create a new and vibrant industry.” c
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MINING ASSOCIATION OF CANADA
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MINING Sustainable Business Magazine talks to Ben Chalmers, Vice President of Sustainable Development at the Mining Association of Canada, about how theyâ€™re working with companies and communities to ensure that the Canadian mining industry is increasing efforts to be as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible. By Thomas Massey.
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MINING ASSOCIATION OF CANADA
“THE WHITEHORSE INITIATIVE LAID THE GROUNDWORK FOR WHAT IS NOW COMMONPLACE AT MAC WITH REGARDS TO SUSTAINABILITY”
BEN CHALMERS, VICE PRESIDENT OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
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The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) was formed in 1935 to be the voice of the mining industry in Canada. Ben Chalmers, Vice President of Sustainable Development, explains that changes in mining techniques, as well as updated governance and regulations, mean that the mining industry has changed significantly since the MAC was formed. “The biggest change in our role is that in the mid 90’s, the MAC became very involved in corporate and social responsibility issues. There was an initiative in Canada called the Whitehorse Mining Initiative. This was the first significant sit down between NGOs and the mining industry. This led to increased conversations on how to mine responsibly and how to address environmental concerns.” The Whitehorse Initiative was a significant milestone for the Canadian mining industry. The Initiative states that the mining industry should seek to be sustainable “within the framework
of an evolving and sustainable Canadian society.” Mr. Chalmers explains how the MAC design and implement new policies and initiatives with the aim of reaching that goal. “The Whitehorse Initiative laid the groundwork for what is now commonplace at MAC with regards to sustainability. In the late 90s it led to the Board of Directors making the decision to undertake a significant performance-driving sustainability initiative, which would later become the Towards Sustainable Mining initiative that was implemented in 2004.” TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE MINING Since its launch in 2004, the Towards Sustainable Mining initiative (TSM) has become mandatory for all members of the Mining Association of Canada. The TSM initiative allows mining companies to put ideas regarding social and environmental responsibility into action while ensuring
LALOR WATER TREATMENT
PHOTO CREDIT - IMPERIAL METALS CORPORATION MOUNT POLLEY MINE
that communities are kept well informed of the key issues relating to site management. Mr. Chalmers explains why the exceptional TSM initiative has been so successful. “It’s unique in the world as it’s the only mining sustainability initiative that requires facility level reporting of environmental and social management systems. It ensures that mines report on the way they manage six key areas of a site. It addresses tailings management, community engagement, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas management, biodiversity conservation, health and safety management, and crisis-preparedness planning.” Within these six categories are twenty-three indicators that should be examined at mining sites. The MAC collects and publishes
an annual online progress report based on indicator results from mines across Canada and in some cases, internationally. Mines are required to undertake an independent third party verification of their results every three years to ensure continued progress. To ensure that all corporate and social responsibilities are met, Mr. Chalmers explains that the evaluation process is informed by a national advisory panel made up of various people with different interests. “The national advisory panel that helps to inform the evaluation process is made up of various stakeholders in the industry: aboriginal people, environmental organizations, social organizations, organized labor, the financial sector, and also local communities. They all have a hand
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MINING ASSOCIATION OF CANADA
“WE PUBLISH OUR PROGRESS REPORTS ON OUR WEBSITE EVERY YEAR, FOR ALL TO SEE. THIS OBVIOUSLY HAS A LOT OF VALUE TO LOCAL COMMUNITIES.”
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LALOR WATER TREATMENT
in this.” Mr. Chalmers explains that the TSM initiative, in combination with community engagement, has helped to ensure increased transparency in the mining industry that has eased concerns amongst communities in mining areas. “We publish our progress reports on our website every year, for all to see. This obviously has a lot of value to local communities. If you have a mine in your back yard, it doesn’t matter what a company is saying about their performance corporately on a global scale. What matters to you is how they are managing their risks locally. That’s what this initiative provides, the information to understand if and how that particular company is managing their sites responsibly.” COLLECTIVE EFFORTS As an example of how TSM has helped drive performance, in 2006 (the first year of verified reporting for members) approximately 50% of the participants were achieving the ‘A standard’ (meaning they were at a good practice level) in the area of aboriginal and community engagement. In the eight years that have elapsed since the implementation of the initiative, that percentage has rocketed and 90% of MAC members are now achieving the A standard of practice. Mr. Chalmers explains how MAC actions such as the TSM initiative have ensured that mining
corporations go the extra mile in taking responsibility for the impact of their operations on the environment and local communities. “TSM is not a replacement for regulation, it exists in parallel with regulations, which are very stringent in Canada. TSM allows us to tackle the issues that are not easily regulated, such as community engagement. All of our six protocols and the twenty-three subsequent indicators have been designed under the assumption that the mining regulations in place are being followed and complied with. Then we ask what else needs to be done on top of those regulations.” Through initiatives such as Towards Sustainable Mining the Mining Association of Canada seem to have gone a long way towards uniting the entire Canadian mining industry behind the cause of making mining operations as environmentally friendly and sustainable as possible. Ben Chalmers is proud of the collective efforts being made by an industry that has been known to cause controversy and debate amongst the general population. “What is most impressive to me is how the industry has responded to addressing its challenges, by auditing its performance through TSM. Seeing improvements being made year after year is truly impressive. In addition, the culture it has created, which is allowing it to tackle very difficult issues, is equally impressive.” c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
THE ASSOCIATION FOR THE
SUSTAINABILITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION Sustainable Business Magazine talks to AASHE’s Monika Urbanski, and also hears from AASHE’s new Executive Director, Stephanie A. Herrera, about how the organization will provide new leadership and vision in promoting sustainability among higher education institutions across North America and beyond. Written by Thomas Massey.
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) was founded to coordinate and strengthen campus sustainability and social justice efforts. AASHE Programs Analyst Monika Urbanski explains that the main mission of AASHE is to catalyze and inspire higher education to lead the sustainability transformation. “We provide resources, professional development, and support
BABSON UNIVERSITY CHARGING STATION
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networks to enable institutions of higher education to model and advance sustainability in everything they do.” WHAT IS AASHE? AASHE continues efforts to expand its already diverse network in order to share ideas and practices to aid campus sustainability. The organization aims to make sustainability considerations a standard part
CHAMPLAIN COLLEGE STUDENTS FUND APIARY: ON-CAMPUS BEEKEEPING WILL BE THE COLLEGE’S FIRST LIVING, LEARNING LABORATORY
of the operations, curriculum, and planning of academic institutions in North America. Over 800 universities and colleges, and more than 100 businesses and nonprofits, are now members of AASHE. LATEST TRENDS Recent analysis conducted for an AASHE publication suggests positive sustainability trends emerging in the worldwide
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.
campus sustainability movement. The recently released 2013 Higher Education Sustainability Review provides analysis of campus sustainability news stories in the AASHE Bulletin (a free weekly e-newsletter delivering the latest campus sustainability news, events, and job listings worldwide to over 10,000 weekly subscribers). Ms. Urbanski hopes that these trends indicate that real progress is being made in a number of areas. “We learned through analysis of the Bulletin stories that 2013 saw growth in sustainable investment, funding, student engagement, and purchasing, as well as health and wellness.” The review also highlights high-impact sustainability best practices and stories at campuses across the world. Over 60 institutions from 12 countries were highlighted in this year’s review (images throughout this article are provided courtesy of these institutions).
SPREADING THE AASHE MESSAGE At the start of 2014, Stephanie A. Herrera was chosen by the AASHE board as the new Executive Director. Ms. Herrera was selected from over 300 applicants to the position. She brings 20 years of leadership and management experience in nonprofit organizations and has hired a new Director of Membership & Marketing, J.M. de Jesus. Mr. de Jesus is the first person to occupy what is a new position at AASHE. Ms. Herrera feels that embracing an integrated array of modern marketing tools available can only strengthen the position of AASHE going forward as it attempts to address the needs of its members and the sustainability community as a whole. Ms. Herrera explains that, “in creating this new position, we aim to improve our marketing communications through diversification of revenue streams, cutting edge internet media technology, streamlining the use of the AASHE
DELTA COLLEGE LIVING WALL
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THE UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON REMOVED HALF THE LIGHTS IN ROESCH LIBRARY AND UPGRADED THE OTHERS TO HIGH-EFFICIENT DOUBLE-LIFE LAMPS AND ELECTRONIC BALLASTS. THE RESULT WAS A REDUCTION IN ENERGY USAGE OF MORE THAN 50 PERCENT FOR THE LIBRARY, WITH A BARELY NOTICEABLE REDUCTION IN LIGHT OUTPUT.
brand, and other strategies and methods to share information with our community,”. Given that AASHE work reaches all stakeholders in higher education: faculty, staff, students, affiliated businesses, and nonprofit partners, a key priority for the organization is to ensure that its messaging is tailored in a way that is relevant to all constituents.
One of the key facets to the continued success of the AASHE mission is communication. AASHE continually acts as a catalyst, spurring conversation and information sharing amongst its members. Aside from the Bulletin, another vehicle for discussion is AASHE’s Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS). STARS is a transparent, self reporting framework for
PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY GRANT SUPPORTS CLIMATE MODELING COMPUTER: A RECENT GRANT SUPPORTS THE DEVELOPMENT OF A COMPUTER THAT WILL TAKE ON THE COMPUTATIONALLY DIFFICULT RESEARCH QUESTIONS RELATED TO CLIMATE, AIR POLLUTION AND ENERGY-EFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS.
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colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. The self-assessments performed by colleges and universities enable them to earn a STARS rating based on the effectiveness of their sustainability practices. The information is recorded and collated by AASHE and is accessible to its members on the AASHE website. Participation in STARS enables BOWLING GREEN STATE UNIVERSITY PROJECT CLEAN PLATE
UNIVERSITY OF WEST INDIES
PARTICIPATION IN STARS ENABLES INSTITUTIONS TO COMPARE THEIR OWN SUSTAINABILITY EFFORTS AND INITIATIVES AGAINST OTHER STARS PARTICIPANTS.
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AASHE SFSU-CHANT LEADER MICHAEL ZAMBRANO GETS READY TO KICK THINGS OFF
AASHE IS LOOKING TO BRING ITS SUSTAINABILITY MISSION INTO SHARPER FOCUS THIS YEAR WITH ITS ANNUAL CONFERENCE.
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.
institutions to compare their own sustainability efforts and initiatives against other STARS participants. The aim is to showcase sustainability achievement as institutions strive to improve their STARS ratings by introducing new or improved initiatives and practices. AASHE staff members are particularly proud of the forum for discussion and engagement provided by STARS. “Institutions participating in STARS can see CORNELL UNIVERSITY
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where they currently stand and what the opportunities for improvement are. STARS participation is a great way to start conversations about advancing sustainability on campus at the operational, academic, and executive levels,” Ms. Urbanski explains. AASHE is hoping to expand the success of STARS in the international arena as well. “Since the launch of STARS 2.0 last fall,” Ms. Urbanski explains, “institutions VIRGINIA TECH
beyond the United States and Canada can now fully participate in STARS and earn a rating. We are excited to make this platform available to any higher education institution in the world.” THE FUTURE AASHE is looking to bring its sustainability mission into sharper focus this year with its annual conference. The 2014 AASHE
GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY CREATES CLIMATE CHANGE APP (AUSTRALIA): THE NEWLY RELEASED COASTAL ECOSYSTEMS RESPONSE TO CLIMATE CHANGE SYNTHESIS REPORT APP PROVIDES CRITICAL INFORMATION FOR ANTICIPATING HOW CLIMATE CHANGE MAY IMPACT COASTAL AUSTRALIA.
Conference & Expo will be held in Portland, Oregon between the 26th and 29th of October. The event will provide yet another opportunity for AASHE members to share information and promote initiatives, as well as engage in discussions about the hot topics in the world of campus sustainability. Over 2,000 campus sustainability representatives from nineteen countries were represented at last year’s conference. With over 750 abstract submissions received for this year’s event, the organization is preparing to host its most dynamic and diverse conference yet. AASHE will be announcing the final line-up of high profile keynote speakers, as well as the final conference schedule, in May of this year. In her new role, Ms. Herrera is looking forward to connecting with the campus sustainability community at the upcoming AASHE conference & expo, and is pleased with its site selection and the huge influence
that the City of Portland has had in the leadup to the event. “We are incredibly excited about the 2014 conference. Portland is an amazing city that is one of the sustainability world leaders, and engagement from colleges and universities in Portland has been inspiring! We’re also excited about our conference theme, ‘Innovation for Sustainable Economies & Communities,’ as it touches on so many critical issues relevant to the sustainability movement within higher education and beyond.” AASHE continues to expand networking opportunities and its global position in the sustainability movement. A key focus has been maintaining the excellent progress it has made with North American institutions regarding sustainability practices and interaction with members, staff, and the public. Members of the AASHE staff are passionate about the organization’s mission to inspire and catalyze the improvement of
campus sustainability. “AASHE is a dynamic and mission driven membership association,” Ms. Herrera explains, “and I am thrilled with the opportunity to be a part of such an exciting and diverse organization.” Ms. Urbanski adds, “I feel lucky to have worked on a number of great projects at AASHE that form part of a mission I strongly believe in; helping higher education to lead the sustainability transformation”. c YORK UNIVERSITY LAUNCHES INITIATIVE TO PROVIDE HIGHER EDUCATION TO REFUGEES (CANADA): THE UNIVERSITY HAS RECEIVED FUNDING TO PROVIDE HIGHER EDUCATION IN REFUGEE CAMPS ON THE KENYA-SOMALIA BORDER.
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VISION Andrea George, Director of the Sustainability and Environmental Management Office at Vanderbilt University, talks to Sustainable Business Magazine about current initiatives, projects, and their long-term sustainability goals. Written by Thomas Massey.
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COMMODORE CORNELIUS VANDERBILT, THE FOUNDER OF VANDERBILT VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY
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VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY AERIAL VIEW OF THE COMMONS VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY
Vanderbilt University, located in Nashville, Tennessee, was founded in 1873. As an academic medical research university, Vanderbilt covers over 300 acres and has more than 11000 students and over 25000
staff and faculty members. Andrea George, Director of the Sustainability and Environmental Management Office at Vanderbilt University, explains that the energy needed to successfully run such a large university requires a substantial level of expenditure and an equally significant focus on sustainability. “Here at Vanderbilt we use an environmental management system to operate sustainably. This essentially means we manage our environmental impact as you would any other business function. We track and trend over 1600 key environmental performance indicators including energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and even employee commuter miles driven. By doing this we can identify areas of opportunity for improvement.” BUILDING SUSTAINABLY Maintaining and improving the sustainability performance of campus buildings and facilities can be a challenge for historic uni-
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VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY’S HOSPITAL BUILDINGS VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY
“WE TRACK AND TREND OVER 1600 KEY ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE INDICATORS INCLUDING ENERGY USE, GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS, AND EVEN EMPLOYEE COMMUTER MILES DRIVEN.”
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VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL (LEFT) AND MEDICAL RESEARCH BUILDING IV (RIGHT) VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY
versities such as Vanderbilt. The campus at Vanderbilt University includes buildings that range from over 100 years old, as well as the brand new, 400,000 square foot College Halls at Kissam residential complex that is opening Fall 2014. “Our primary struggle, from a sustainability standpoint, is trying to
green these existing buildings,” explains Dr George. “It’s crucial to reducing our energy use as we have far more existing buildings than new buildings.” In 2008, recognizing the importance of upgrading the existing buildings, Dr. George and her colleagues in Vanderbilt’s Plant Operations and Plant Ser-
vices departments set to work on planning and carrying out required retrofits. Those retrofits have resulted in a 27% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per gross square foot. “We’re already doing well but the really good news is that the university administration truly recognizes how important
REUSED SANDSTONE PAVERS IN LEED GOLD COMMONS CENTER VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY
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SMITH SECKMAN REID, INC Smith Seckman Reid, Inc. (SSR) is an employeeowned, high-performance engineering design and facility consulting firm with 400 employees in 13 offices across the United States. SSR provides sustainability consulting services on facilities and infrastructure projects, including over 220 LEEDÂŽ projects to date. As a founding member of the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI), bringing innovative solutions to their clients is SSRâ€™s passion.
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“WE HAVE FOURTEEN LEED CERTIFIED PROJECTS ON CAMPUS, THE MAJORITY OF THEM ARE CERTIFIED AT THE GOLD OR SILVER LEVEL.”
the energy efficiency of these buildings is.” The unfortunate reality is that high energy related expenditure is to be expected at a medical university such as Vanderbilt. A large amount of expenditure is associated with the use of Vanderbilt University’s hospital buildings which include over 70 operating rooms as part of their extensive medical facilities. Due to recent upgrades and retrofits many of these medical facilities are now being fully automated. This enables Vanderbilt to reduce their emissions and energy expenditure by turning off parts of buildings when they are not in use. In the
unlikely event of a mass casualty where the buildings would need to be at maximum occupancy, the recent automations mean that the buildings can be brought online, to full capacity, in moments. In conjunction with retrofits and upgrades that are taking place on the Vanderbilt campus, the university also engages with the U.S. Green Building Council and its LEED certification program. Dr George explains that Vanderbilt’s engagement with the LEED initiative has engrained sustainability into the working practices of university staff. “Most of the Vanderbilt University
architects who oversee our building projects are LEED accredited. Inherent in that accreditation is that they always seek creative ways in which to build in a green and sustainable manner whether we are seeking LEED certification or not. On top of that we have fourteen LEED certified projects on campus, the majority of them are certified at the gold or silver level.” 100% NATURAL GAS In order to meet campus energy demands, Vanderbilt University has a dual fuel co-generation power plant that runs on
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REUSED LIBRARY CHAIRS IN LEED GOLD COMMONS CENTER VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY
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COMMONS EXTERIOR VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY
both coal and natural gas. A year ago the university decided to renovate the power plant, an ambitious project aimed at making it run entirely on natural gas. This renovation comes with many engineering, technical, and practical challenges. The power plant at Vanderbilt is located in the center of the campus and is therefore surrounded by academic buildings, residential buildings, and a student center. The large-scale renovation will obviously have to take this into account as it proceeds, however Dr George points to
the overwhelmingly positive environmental and financial benefits that the project will provide. “In terms of cost, time, and space, the challenges of this conversion are substantial, however this is the right time for Vanderbilt to move away from coal. It is an almost $29 million dollar project to convert but when we looked at our projections for plant maintenance and fuel costs, while taking into account the potential for additional emissions regulations by the government, we found that if we convert to 100% natural gas we will
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The Solar Power-Dok and The Soltice are solar-powered picnic tables and charging stations that are a great addition to any campus or outdoor venue. Both have been designed to provide self-sustaining GREEN energy wherever they are placed outdoors with access to direct sunlight. Not only are these electronic device charging oasis’ powered by the sun, they are also made from recycled materials to be eco-friendly masterpieces. EnerFusion, Inc. - 2305 N. High St., Lansing, MI 48906 USA TEL: (517) 783-3344 • FAX: (517)-782-2567 • E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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“WE FOUND THAT IF WE CONVERT TO 100% NATURAL GAS WE WILL REALIZE A SAVING OF OVER $3 MILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY ON FUEL COSTS ALONE.”
VANDERBILT COMMODORES’ MASCOT, MR. C., CELEBRATING EARTH DAY 2014 WITH SUSTAINVU VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY
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VANDERBILT POWER PLANT BEFORE
VANDERBILT POWER PLANT AFTER ROBERT WHEATON/VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY
ROBERT WHEATON/VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY
realize a saving of over $3 million dollars annually on fuel costs alone.” As well as being financial beneficial, the conversion to 100% natural gas will provide Vanderbilt with the ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and virtually eliminate the production of a number of hazardous air pollutants and waste products. Dr George emphasizes that Vanderbilt always used the highest quality low emission coal available, however the opportunity to convert to 100% natural gas was too good to turn down. “This conversion, both in terms of environmental impact
WATERFREE URINALS AND DUAL FLUSH TOILETS IN COMMONS CENTER RESTROOMS. VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY
and in cost, is the largest investment and improvement we could make on our campus at one time regarding our environmental footprint.” A SUSTAINABLE UNIVERSITY The commitment to sustainability that Vanderbilt University has shown through its efforts to upgrade operations and facilities is testament to the environmental awareness of the institution and its staff. The forward thinking mentality of people such as Andrea George is reflected in the engagement the Sustainability Office has
RECYCLED GLASS USED IN TERRAZZO FLOORS IN COMMONS RESIDENCE HALLS VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY
with student groups such as SPEAR (Students Promoting Environmental Awareness and Responsibility) and in initiatives such as the Dump the Pump drive, which encourages staff and faculty members to car pool or use public transport. Dr George emphasizes that Vanderbilt University is taking a pro-active approach to environmental issues by continually striving toward continuous sustainable improvement. “We’re not looking to implement flavor of the month policies. Here at Vanderbilt, we’re looking to implement change for the long-term.” c
VANDERBILT STUDENTS PLANTING THE ON-CAMPUS COMMUNITY GARDEN
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UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA DULUTH ALTERNATIVE PLANTINGS CAN BE FOUND THROUGHOUT CAMPUS, THEY HELP DIVERSIFY THE LOOK OF OUR CAMPUS AS WELL AS REDUCE OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT. (IMAGE IS IN FRONT OF THE KATHRYN A. MARTIN LIBRARY)
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A JOB FOR EVERYONE Sustainable Business Magazine talks to Mindy Granley, Sustainability Coordinator at the University of Minnesota Duluth, about how the university is incorporating sustainability into everything they do. Written by Thomas Massey.
The University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) and its Office of Sustainability, led by Sustainability Coordinator Mindy Granley, are currently implementing changes and initiatives to ensure that sustainability is approached in the correct way. Ms. Granley explains that at UMD they believe that true sustainability can only be achieved when it is implemented from the top down, filtering through all tiers of the institution. “To ensure that everyone knows what sustainability is and why it is important to our campus, we have integrated sustainability throughout all departments through our campus strategic plan. We have made sustainability a core value, and we now have specific targets and goals that everyone should be working towards. Whether you’re a student or staff member, sustainability is your job.” INTEGRATING SUSTAINABILITY Since the incorporation of sustainability into the UMD campus plan there have been success stories from many different parts of the university community. Sustaina-
bility related initiatives have been implemented amongst students and staff while individual faculties have taken up the sustainability cause through the Green Office Certification Program. The Green Office Program is an elective, in-house certification, designed to evaluate workspaces on two fronts: energy and waste. Based on the results of an evaluation of office efficiency in these two categories, the office is given a numerical rating that represents how sustainable it is. The staff at UMD has also found ways to integrate sustainability into their actions. A recent overhaul of custodial closets has provided a new selection of environmentally friendly cleaning products, as well as a switch to ionized water. The positive actions of faculty and staff who are embracing sustainability are reflected by the actions of the student body. Initiatives such as the UMD Energy Pledge and the Sustainability Energy Awards (a set of awards handed out to outstanding sustainable students, faculty, and staff members) mean
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UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA DULUTH SWENSON CIVIL ENGINEERING WAS BUILT AS A MODEL IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT EARNING A GOLD LEVEL LEED CERTIFICATION. OPENED JULY 2010
that positive engagement with sustainability at UMD is only increasing. Ms. Granley hopes that these student-aimed initiatives will encourage long-term sustainable behavior changes within the student community. “All the programs we have in place at UMD are designed to get people thinking about sustainability in one way or another. For example, when someone takes the UMD Energy Pledge and signs up to perform sustainable actions that will reduce emissions, or save water or whatever it may be, the hope is that it will change how they
view themselves. They will think “I am a sustainable person now.” Hopefully they will then think about ways in which they can back up that statement.” SUSTAINABLE FACILITIES It‘s not just through operations and administration that UMD is implementing sustainable change. The university also achieves unprecedented success in its construction projects by making buildings as efficient as possible at minimum cost. Ms. Granley explains that despite some of the drawbacks of
having aging buildings on campus, sustainability can be achieved, leading to financial success and many other long-term benefits. “The age of buildings can be a barrier, but knowing we’re going to have these buildings for 50 years actually helps us increase our sustainability efforts. Any investment we make on saving energy, water, or heating, we know that it’s going to pay back for many years to come.” As well as the success UMD has had upgrading and retrofitting the older buildings on campus, Ms. Granley explains that their location and the associated state
UMD PROVIDES COMPOST BINS TO COLLECT FOOD AND OTHER BIODEGRADABLE WASTE. HELPFUL SIGNS ARE LOCATED ABOVE COMPOST BINS TO GUIDE STUDENTS AND FACULTY IN SORTING THEIR WASTE ACCURATELY.
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“ALL THE PROGRAMS WE HAVE IN PLACE AT UMD ARE DESIGNED TO GET PEOPLE THINKING ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.”
SOLAR POWERED TRASH COMPACTORS AND RECYCLING KIOSKS CAN BE FOUND AROUND THE UMD CAMPUS
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UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA DULUTH THE MALOSKY STADIUM HAS 28 SOLAR PANELS THAT WERE INSTALLED IN THE FALL OF 2008. THE PANEL ARRAY PROVIDES POWER DIRECTLY TO THE STADIUM TO HELP MEET ITS ELECTRICAL NEEDS.
rules and regulations have played a vital role in ensuring that new building projects are built to the highest possible standards. “Our five newest buildings on campus have all been LEED certified. We built the first new building back in 2007 and that was going to be the first building to apply for LEED certification. What we found was that the state of Minnesota has such strict rules and high standards for energy efficiency in state funded buildings, that just by meeting the
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state standards we were basically meeting the LEED gold standard as far as energy is concerned. The remaining requirements to become LEED certified actually cost us very little.” UMD continues to proceed with building projects while adhering to strict state laws and LEED regulations. Recently, one of the newer buildings on the UMD campus became the first university building in the state of Minnesota to be LEED platinum certified.
RENEWABLES AND INNOVATION The increased focus on sustainability at UMD has led to a rise in the demand for renewable technologies at the university. The UMD Office of Sustainability has responded to this by starting the UMD Green Revolving Fund. Sustainability Coordinator Mindy Granley explains how the fund helps increase sustainable investment at the university. “The green revolving fund is a sum of $100,000 which is available to any of the staff, students, or
UMD USES THEIR MASCOT CHAMP TO HELP INCREASE AWARENESS FOR THE SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROJECT (UMD FARM).
THE INCREASED FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY AT UMD HAS LED TO A RISE IN THE DEMAND FOR RENEWABLE TECHNOLOGIES AT THE UNIVERSITY.
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UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA DULUTH THE STAFF AND STUDENTS THAT ARE EMPLOYED FOR THE UMD OFFICE OF SUSTAINABILITY
“SUSTAINABILITY IS PART OF EVERYONE’S JOB, AT EVERY LEVEL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA DULUTH.”
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BAGLEY NATURE AREA IS 55 ACRES OF FOREST, POND, AND OPEN AREA FOR STUDENTS AND THE COMMUNITY TO ENJOY, LOCATED RIGHT ON THE NORTHWEST PART OF CAMPUS.
UMD REPRESENTATIVES AT THE ANNUAL STUDENT ENGAGEMENT LEADERSHIP FORUM IN SUSTAINABILITY (SELFSUSTAIN), WHICH GATHERS STUDENTS FROM ACROSS THE U OF MN SYSTEM GATHER TO SHARE IDEAS AND WORK TOGETHER ON SUSTAINABILITY ISSUES.
faculty, who have an idea for investment that will pay back over time and help with energy efficiency on campus.” The procedures around proposals to the fund appear to be carefully orchestrated. An example of this is the recent case of a proposal for retrofits and upgrades to systems that had only recently been upgraded. This meant that this particular upgrade had not yet paid back on the original investment and therefore had to be scrapped for the time being. One thing that seems to have slotted into the university’s sustainability policy seamlessly is their work with renewable energy technologies. Ms. Granley explains how renewable energy sources currently on campus have been effectively integrated into university operations. “We have two renewable energy installations on campus right now, two solar panel arrays. We have found that these work just fine in Minnesota. Originally there was a lot of concern
about whether they would generate enough energy, whether the climate and the weather would cause problems, but we found that once the panels go up, there is very little maintenance involved. You can just sit back and watch the electricity roll in.” Mindy Granley’s efforts to incorporate sustainability into everything at the University of Minnesota Duluth seem to have been a resounding success. This success is reflected in the participation of faculty, staff, and students in sustainable endeavors and initiatives campus wide, not to mention the administrative focus on ensuring that sustainability is, and will remain to be, a top priority at the university. “Everybody needs to do their bit,” Says Ms. Granley. “Our students think about it, our vice-chancellors think about it, and our custodians think about it. Sustainability is part of everyone’s job, at every level at the University of Minnesota Duluth.” c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT CHICAGO
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Sustainable Business Magazine sits down with the Associate Chancellor for Sustainability at The University of Illinois at Chicago, Cynthia Klein-Banai, to discuss the development and implementation of sustainable practices and how programs and initiatives are getting students actively engaged with sustainability. Written by Thomas Massey.
Dr. Klein-Banai founded the Office of Sustainability at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 2008. As founder of the Office of Sustainability Dr. Klein-Banai has played a pivotal role in implementing measures that promote sustainability. One of her most crucial contributions has been to help UIC clarify its stance on sustainability
and give that stance a true definition. Dr. Klein-Banai explains that this was the first of many challenges that her role has presented. “Shortly after my office was formed, we started having meetings with the Chancellor’s Committee on Sustainability and Energy. One of the first things we did was develop a definition of sustainability to take
to the faculty senate. The senate however saw it more as a definition of environmental sustainability. It was basically that we wanted to integrate sustainability into all our operations and be as sustainable as we could, but it was rather a vague definition.” INTEGRATING SUSTAINABLE VALUES Since those early stages of deciding what exactly defines environmental sustainability, Dr. Klein-Banai has worked tirelessly to expand what the university sees as sustainability issues. One of the keys to her success at UIC has been her policy of closely examining what is already in place at the university that can meet a broader definition of sustainability, not just an environmental one. Using this approach, and with the help of other offices, faculty, students, and administration, she has helped to broaden the range of issues that the university considers to be sustainability related. “We did it through an engagement process” Dr. Klein-Banai explains, the question we asked was “what are the things that we already SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT CHICAGO
WE LOOK AT HOW SUSTAINABILITY INTEGRATES WITH OUR MAIN FUNCTIONS OF TEACHING, LEARNING, RESEARCH, COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT, AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, ALL OF THE THINGS THAT ARE THE STANDARD MANTRA OF WHAT WE DO
have in place that meet a broader definition of sustainability, not just an environmental one.” Broadening the UIC definition of sustainability comes with the challenge of examining the social and economic ramifications that come with any policy changes in large institutions such as a university. Dr. Klein-Banai believes that the co-benefits that come with sustainability such as financial, health, and creating a more vibrant campus, have been a significant factor in convincing members of the UIC community to actively engage with sustainability. “We really looked at what we call the three E’s: environment, equity, and economics. Looking at those things and discussing what they tell us about what we’re already doing on campus that is sustainable, that’s really a way to engage with people to see their work through the sustainability lens.” As a 70 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
result of broadening what defines sustainability at UIC, as well as changes in strategic thinking, sustainability has become part of the everyday workings of UIC. “We look at how sustainability integrates with our main functions of teaching, learning, research, community engagement, and economic development, all of the things that are the standard mantra of what we do.” ENGAGING WITH SUSTAINABILITY Social sustainability has always been at the forefront of policy for UIC. Unfortunately financial restraints have meant that very little new construction has taken place on campus. This makes it all the more impressive that throughout UIC’s participation in the LEED certification scheme, they have achieved unprecedented levels of success. In 2010 the renovation of the Lincoln Hall
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UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT CHICAGO
THE GREEN FEE PROVIDES ABOUT $150,000 ANNUALLY IN FUNDING FOR STUDENT LED INITIATIVES THAT PROMOTE A MORE SUSTAINABLE CAMPUS ENVIRONMENT.
was awarded the LEED gold standard, the second highest standard the scheme offers. In order to counter the handicap of financial constraint that hampers the construction of
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new buildings, the campus has undertaken the complex task of upgrading the existing university buildings. Dr. Klein-Banai explains that this is no mean feat. “Some of our
buildings are aging, many of them were built in the sixties and the mechanical systems haven’t been upgraded. Also, we have buildings on our medical campus that range from 100 years old to 10 years old so we have been looking to upgrade our systems. It started with simple tasks such as metering and has progressed to building automation, and installing the most efficient equipment and materials possible during renovations.” It is not just the higher echelons of UIC that are embracing the sustainability drive on campus. To encourage engagement with sustainability amongst the student population, UIC students proposed a Green Fee. The Green Fee is a $3-4 per semester fee charged to each full-time student, which is
made available to fund student led initiatives that promote a more sustainable campus environment. Since 2009 and the introduction of the Climate Action Plan (a list of guidelines and strategies that UIC has in place to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050), UIC has seen a sharp increase in participation and engagement with sustainability. “All the closet environmentalists came out” explains Dr. Klein-Banai, “what we found over time is that by developing partnerships with staff that have responsibilities such as transportation, energy, or waste, people do want to engage and do the right thing. Having the framework has served us well in strategizing and monitoring our progress. We also update the plan through
our annual reports and we found we’ve accomplished a lot of things through our strategies as well as discovering some new, long term targets.” With the implementation of the Climate Action Plan and the Green Fee, the student body at UIC has taken an active role in the sustainability drive. “We have a major student group, Eco-Campus, that is incredibly active in this area. The Climate Action Plan frames all of their initiatives when they are writing proposals to submit to the Green Fee.” OUTSTANDING PROGRESS Under the guidance of Cynthia Klein-Banai and her Office of Sustainability, UIC has embraced the challenge of operating
a modern university sustainably. Broadening how the university defines the term ‘sustainability’ has allowed UIC to incorporate sustainable values more completely into campus life. This has been achieved despite financial constraints and many of the architectural, technical, and structural issues that come with running a historic and diverse campus. The success that UIC has had in their efforts to become more sustainable is undoubtedly due to engagement with all tiers of the university community, as well as an incredible understanding of economic strategy. All the evidence suggests that UIC’s outstanding progress is set to continue. c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
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UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA An interview with Orion Henderson, Director of Sustainability and Engineering at the University of British Columbia. Written by Liam Kelleher.
SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
The University of British Columbia’s Director of Sustainability and Engineering talks to Sustainable Business Magazine about the University’s long term planning, their behavioral change programs, and their goal for the campus to be a living lab for sustainability. CHEMICAL ENGINEERING TO SUSTAINABILITY DIRECTOR Originally a Chemical Process Engineer from Cork, Ireland, Orion Henderson found an opportunity to change direction
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in his career after marrying and relocating to Vancouver in 2007. Tempted by the possibility of working in the sustainability arena, Orion landed a job as the University of British Columbia’s Energy Manager. Working tirelessly on a number of sustainability initiatives since, Orion was recently appointed as the University’s Director of Sustainability and Engineering. With a constantly changing campus and a multitude of ongoing long term plans, Orion is settled in for the long haul and tells us that he’s enjoying every minute of it. “UBC
is a pretty exciting place to work because it’s constantly evolving, there’s always a lot happening which is a lot of fun.” In his role Orion works in the Campus and Community planning department and has responsibility for the long term planning for energy and water sustainability, waste management, long range infrastructural planning, sustainability change management, as well as providing engineering services to the rest of the planning department. Orion explains that long term planning is key due to the nature of the campus. “We
WE OPERATE LIKE A SMALL CITY OR MUNICIPALITY WITH 5 RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBOURHOODS AND OVER 8,000 RESIDENTS AS WELL AS 1.5 MILLION SQUARE METERS INSTITUTIONAL BUILDINGS, COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS, A HOSPITAL AND STUDENT HOUSING.
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UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
“WE REQUIRE ALL ACADEMIC BUILDINGS TO BE AT LEAST LEED GOLD STANDARD AND WE’VE HAD A NUMBER OF LEED BUILDINGS COMING ONLINE.”
operate like a small city or municipality with 5 residential neighbourhoods and over 8,000 residents as well as 1.5 million square meters of institutional buildings, commercial buildings, a hospital and student housing
and this means we have a lot of land use and development planning which my unit provides the engineering support for.” The rapid expansion of the University campus over the last thirty years has significantly im-
pacted the university infrastructure, requiring Orion and his unit to remain aware of the changing cost impacts to the University. This has however created a number of opportunities; “this allows us to develop the business case for sustainability through long term sustainability planning exercises.” CHANGE ON A MICRO AND MACRO SCALE There are a number of behavioral change and student participation programs running at the University of British Columbia. Sustainability Coordinators are one such program which uses a community based social marketing approach to try and identify the most impactful behaviors of the campus population. “We use this research to find and encourage more sustainable ways to do these activities and to live on campus.” Another program that runs at UBC is SEEDS (the Social Ecological Eco-
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nomic Development Studies program). In the SEEDS program coordinators engage with university staff to identify areas of their work that could be conducted more sustainably. The program matches staff with students who then research more sustainable methods of conducting these activities. “We’ve had many successes around the program” Orion confirms, “whether it’s using less pesticides on campus, help-
ing to set up a sustainability fund. The program has been a lot of help especially to operational units such as Food Services and Building Operations.” The University has also had success with larger scale projects such as their Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility. This living lab partnership project with Nexterra and General Electric resulted in a combined heat and power plant which
generates green electricity and thermal energy for the campus, while also serving as part of a research program for the Faculty of Applied Science. Long term plans show both ambition and foresight. “We’re looking at the feasibility of a new district energy system to serve future residential buildings. We’re hoping to get started in the next few years and it will take about 20 years to complete.”
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UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
LONG TERM PLANNING While the idea of using the campus as a living lab is a major theme for the University, they are also finding value in using vehicles such as the Green Building Council’s LEED certification program, to help them to achieve their environmental, social, and economic sustainability objectives. “We require all academic buildings to be at least LEED gold standard and we’ve had a number of LEED buildings completed in recent years. We had our first LEED platinum building completed in 2011 and we’re expecting our second, the Students Union Building, to be completed by September of this year.” The LEED Platinum CIRS building
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completed in 2011, is one of North America’s greenest buildings and has pushed the boundaries on campus in terms of sustainable building science. The Centre for Interactive Research in Sustainability (CIRS) is designed to be net positive in a number of areas including water, human health and wellbeing, energy and carbon. It’s a building that has really pushed the envelope.” UBC has also been participating in AASHE’s STARS system since 2011, a tool which Orion finds extremely useful. “We really like the system, it’s incredibly comprehensive and it’s useful for the university to have a third party rate how we’re doing and also bring a bit of attention to the
THE PLANNED TARGET IS TO REDUCE EMISSIONS BY 33% AGAINST A 2007 BASELINE BY 2015 WITH A LONG TERM GOAL OF ELIMINATING GHG EMISSIONS ENTIRELY BY 2050.
sustainability efforts that are being made at UBC.” The opportunity to benchmark against other universities is also one that has proved useful to Orion, “it’s a good opportunity to find out who is doing well and find inspiration for some of the same things that we can do here.” Of all of the achievements that the University of British Columbia have had to date, one that remains a particular source of pride for Orion is the University’s Climate Action Plan. This plan includes three major projects which have been approved and funded by the university: The first is the conversion of the university’s steam district energy system to hot water, the second is the implementation of a renewable bioenergy centre, and the third is the continuous optimization of all major old buildings on campus. All of these projects are geared towards the planned objective of reducing GHG emissions. “We com-
pleted a Climate Action Plan in 2010 that was adopted by the board of governors. The planned target is to reduce emissions by 33% against a 2007 baseline by 2015 with a long term goal of eliminating GHG emissions entirely by 2050.” Thanks to
the three projects that are currently being implemented by the university, this goal appears to be in reach and the future looks extremely bright for both Orion Henderson and the University of British Columbia as a whole. c
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UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
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FIGHTING FOR SUSTAINABILITY University of Toronto: Director of Sustainability Paul Leitch talks to Sustainable Business Magazine about the challenges of inspiring behavioral change amongst students and working towards sustainability. Written by Thomas Massey.
A graduate of the University of Toronto, Paul Leitch has been Director of Sustainability since August 2012. Between graduating and rejoining the university as a valuable member of staff, Mr. Leitch accumulated over twenty years’ experience working with organizations and businesses on environmental sustainability. This work provided extensive knowledge of renewable energy technologies such as wind energy, solar power, and biogas systems. Mr. Leitch hopes to use his combined knowledge of the University of Toronto and sustainability to affect the culture of staff and students alike. “We aim to create a culture of sustainability at the University of Toronto that is integrated and reflected in all its functions and operations, and also results in tangible environmental,
economic, and social benefits. My job encompasses two main areas: The first area includes organizing conservation initiatives, as well as targeting, qualifying, and developing projects to reduce our energy and carbon footprint on the campus. The second aspect of my role is related to AASHE. I manage the sustainability office, which consists of three full time staff. Their role is to develop and implement behavioral changes and other aspects of sustainability and energy conservation.” It’s not just behavioral changes that were considered necessary at the University of Toronto. Mr. Leitch has made it a priority to include best practices from the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) LEED certification standards into the university construction and design standards SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO ROTMAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT GREEN ROOF
to ensure that buildings are as sustainable, and efficient, as possible. The University of Toronto already has one building certified to the LEED gold standard, while five more buildings are awaiting certification to the silver standard. A SIZABLE TASK The vitally important task facing Paul Leitch and the sustainability office is not without obstacles. Mr. Leitch explains that the sheer size of the University means that sustainable
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and renewable initiatives have become imperative not just in an environmental sense but also in an economic one. “Facilities & Services, of which sustainability office is a part of, manages a portfolio of some 120 buildings over approximately 12,000,000 sq. ft. We have a 48 million dollar annual energy spend and we’re always looking at ways to reduce that where we can.” The financial situation at the University of Toronto has sometimes proved difficult for Facilities & Services, and hence the
Sustainability Office, and the way they wish to operate. While many universities in the Northern United States and Canada are making sustainable initiatives something of a priority across campuses, it cannot be forgotten that much of what they can achieve is dependent on the financial resources available to them. Director of Sustainability Paul Leitch explains how recent governmental changes in university fees and finances have made the job of Facilities & Services more difficult. “One of the main obstacles we face
FACILITIES & SERVICES, OF WHICH SUSTAINABILITY OFFICE IS A PART OF, MANAGES A PORTFOLIO OF SOME 120 BUILDINGS OVER APPROXIMATELY 12,000,000 SQ. FT.
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UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO PROMOTES GREEN INITIATIVES AND PROGRAMS TO FACULTY, STUDENTS, AND STAFF TO ENCOURAGE SUSTAINABLE BEHAVIOR THROUGHOUT THE COMMUNITY.
is that we are financially constrained. The provincial government has seen fit to curtail the financial resources we usually lean on, such as caps on tuition and hikes, which is a key revenue source for us. We’re seriously underfunded relative to other universities in Canada.” These recent governmental
changes mean that proposals for sustainable initiatives have become as much about their economic advantages as their sustainable credentials. Throughout his time as Director of Sustainability, Paul Leitch has always considered economics a key part of initiative proposals and he does not believe that the recent financial constraints will change the way he presents proposals for sustainable initiatives. “I always drive my projects with a return mindset. If the investors do what we suggest, they will get their money back”. A SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY One of the key aims of the sustainability office is to promote sustainability and encourage engagement with sustainable initiatives throughout the university community. The University of Toronto promotes green initiatives and programs to faculty, students,
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FLEXO PRODUCTS LIMITED “Between the Green Seal certified paper products and our PatriotTM ECOLOGO certified cleaning chemicals that we sell U of T, we find the university to be one of the leaders in adopting sustainable products. In addition, since we manufacture the PatriotTM chemicals in our own facility and deliver them directly to each U of T building with our own trucks, our partnership has also created a very low carbon footprint for the full manufacturing/distribution cycle.“ Steve Parker, P.Eng. MBA, President and CEO, Flexo Products Limited
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UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO GREEN GALA AWARDS
“ONE OF THE KEY THINGS FOR US IS KEEPING WHAT WE HAVE. WE HAVE TO TAKE OUR SUCCESS AND KEEP IT GOING”
and staff to encourage sustainable behavior throughout the community. An example of this commitment to improving sustainability awareness is the university’s Green Ambassadors Program. Mr. Leitch explains that the Green Ambassadors Program is an initiative aimed specifically at staff which hopes to encourage environmental friendly behavior within university offices and faculties. “The Green Ambassadors Program is for staff at the university. People who become Green Ambassadors volunteer their time, and are then issued with program based modules of things they can do in their particular 88 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
office, such as turning printers to double sided print. This teaches them to do things that reduce our resource use, energy use, and carbon footprint as standard.” As well as promoting the Green Ambassadors Program amongst faculty staff, Mr. Leitch explains how the University of Toronto has targeted students with their Green Champion Pledge Program. “The sustainability office came up with the pledge this year and we pitched it to students at orientation in September. We wanted the students to pledge to be greener and to commit to showing how they are doing
this throughout the year. There are five categories: waste, water, energy, food, and transportation, from which students choose one they would like to pledge to. They sign up and become a green champion, and they pledge to do one thing throughout the year that will help the environment. For example, this year we had one student who pledged to walk the last five stops of their bus route.” Although the Green Champion Pledge is primarily aimed at students and staff, Director of Sustainability Paul Leitch has himself pledged to be greener this year, allowing him to continue
issued with a transportable container and lid called “the Lug-a-Mug” to help support this. To help promote this sustainable promotion, each time a student buys a cup of coffee on the campus, and it is poured into their Luga-Mug, they receive a discount of 25 cents. SUSTAINING SUCCESS Despite facing some financial difficulties, the University of Toronto continues to make big strides towards achieving their long-term goal of zero to slightly negative energy intensity even as the University grows. The exciting level of engagement the University has achieved between faculty staff and students means that the topics of sustainability and renewable energy are never far from anyone’s mind. The initiatives and programs run by the university mean that behavioral changes are easier for people within the University of Toronto community to implement. The Green Ambassadors Program and the Green Champion Pledge are
just two parts of a multi-faceted approach to addressing sustainability. Another such approach is the Rewire Program, an online appendix giving students access to information that can reduce their environmental impact. The sustainability office is already planning to have a bigger presence at next year’s student orientation and these approaches, combined with the success of the first annual Green Gala and the recent launch of the Sustainability yearbook, mean that Paul Leitch expects the University of Toronto’s sustainability push to go from strength to strength. “One of the key things for us is keeping what we have. We have to take our success and keep it going, that’s what makes it a success story. It will be my job to ensure that my team at the sustainability office has enough funding available to keep doing what we’re doing. The programs are going to be maintained and they’re going to grow at the same time, so that will mean more success for us.” c
his long running battle with the disposable coffee cup. “They’re even in our kitchen at the office. Why do we have paper cups? We have a dishwasher. Just wash a regular cup. I keep hiding them. People keep finding them. That’s an interesting challenge in itself.” Mr. Leitch’s vendetta against the disposable cup has led to two inter-linked initiatives being implemented across campus. The university started a ‘ban the bottle’ campaign two years ago, and installed water re-fill stations across campus to stop people buying bottled water. Also, students are SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
UNIVERSITY OF NEW BRUNSWICK
GOLD STANDARD Sustainable Business Magazine talks to Tom Gilmore about how the University of New Brunswickâ€™s Energy Management Program has become a multifaceted sustainability effort. By Liam Kelleher.
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The University of New Brunswick has focused on operating more efficiently since the 1970s, but it wasn’t until 1996 that this commitment to operating its buildings more efficiently was formalized by the campus board of governors into the Energy Management Program. The university’s Energy Manager Tom Gilmore explains that his role has changed and evolved, putting him at the forefront of exciting new ground that the university has begun to tread. “This time last year we didn’t have a sustainability committee in place and we weren’t looking for a sustainability coordinator. Seeing all of these pieces come together to create a focus on furthering our sustainability beyond our
energy management program to broader sustainability focus is really exciting.” An engineer by trade, Mr. Gilmore’s role encompasses the efficient management of utilities such as electricity, water, and steam. This includes the management of the university’s central heating plant which services not only the campus but also external clients that include the local hospital. Due to the nature of the campus, his role is not without challenges; “we’re trying to incorporate sustainability into our campus incorporating financial, social, and environmental sustainability. One of the biggest challenges is that our campus is the oldest English university in Canada, having been founded over 225 years ago. For this SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
UNIVERSITY OF NEW BRUNSWICK
“WE’RE TRYING TO INCORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY INTO OUR CAMPUS INCORPORATING FINANCIAL, SOCIAL, AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY.”
reason the campus includes a number of old buildings and there have been various additions to the campus throughout the years which all pose their own unique challenges.”
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INVESTING IN THE FUTURE The university is investing in projects that will pay for themselves through energy savings. The first phase of funding lasted seven years and saw the energy department
looking for, and acting upon, opportunities both large and small. The low hanging fruit was consumed relatively quickly and so larger projects were initiated; “we turned to our projects group to handle bigger scale projects with the help of energy and engineering consultants.” Mr. Gilmore found that this enabled them to undertake a ‘whole building approach’ looking at everything as a whole instead of isolated, individual projects that allowed a simple payback criteria that met the needs of the program. “What that allowed us to do was to group some longer term payback items that maybe no one would have found attractive with some very attractive short term payback projects and really leverage the program to maximize ability.” Mr. Gilmore found that this success allowed more freedom in pursuing other avenues of sustainability, “we’ve tracked our performance since ’96 and put out an annual report which goes to various committees
on campus and ultimately goes before the board of governors. It’s basically a brag report for us about how well the program and the projects are doing and because of the cost avoidances we’ve measured, and realized along the bottom line, asking for more funding to do other energy projects is
easier because they’ve seen success in the past.” Being able to definitively measure the success of the various energy projects has allowed UNB to implement the BOMA best program as well as LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, a green building certification program) in the ongoing
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UNIVERSITY OF NEW BRUNSWICK
energy efficiency and new build initiatives. “We became a member of BOMA, learned more about what the BOMA best program does and just completed a trial registration in one of our buildings. We have a building that has really been a success story for us and the energy efficiency program and just two weeks ago we received an award for BOMA BESt level two.”
AWARD WINNING ENERGY EFFICIENCY The efforts of the university, Mr. Gilmore, and the Energy Management Committee were not only successful but resulted in awards for the university’s efforts. “Every year ‘Efficiency New Brunswick’ present “Premiers Awards”, in 2010 the University of New Brunswick won an award as energy
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efficiency champion for the commercial sector for its energy management program. Then in 2012 it won a Premiers Award for best commercial retrofit for the Head Hall complex, the same complex that we just achieved BOMA BESt level 2 on. The original building is over 100 years old but there various additions over the decades, It was quite a challenge.”
“WE BECAME A MEMBER OF BOMA, LEARNED MORE ABOUT WHAT THE BOMA BEST PROGRAM DOES AND JUST COMPLETED A TRIAL REGISTRATION IN ONE OF OUR BUILDINGS”
Other points of pride for Mr. Gilmore include the removal of bunker only boilers that have been replaced with new efficient natural gas units; as well as avoiding approximately 59,000 tons of CO2 emissions to date with energy projects through the energy management program. “It helps that we’ve been doing it for over eighteen years!” Mr. Gilmore says with a laugh. “One of the things we’re most proud of is reaching LEED gold certification with the Hans W. Klohn Commons on our Saint John Campus. It was the first LEED certified building that the university had gone after so it’s exciting not only for what we
achieved, but also for the precedent it sets going forward.” There are also exciting plans for the future involving the appointment of a Sustainability Coordinator. “We have a job competition right now for a sustainability coordinator to help with the sustainability program, things like BOMA and the AASHE STARS program, to get them to start collecting more information on existing buildings and really start to build a catalogue of where we’re doing well with our buildings, where we can improve, and where we can target our improvements.” Having someone In the role will allow
for the ongoing sustainability efforts to take advantage of the university’s newly formed relationship with AASHE. “Myself and the student sustainability coordinator went to their annual conference down in Nashville and I was just overwhelmed by the opportunities and the topics that were spoken of. The sustainability Coordinator will be maximizing the tools and resources that AASHE have to offer and will get us started with the STARS program. It really is a good fit and gives us good comparable data for other universities of our size and climate. We’re looking forward to it.” c
SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
ADVERTISERS INDEX A Ameresco
B Bruner Cott
C CIBC Mellon C-Intech Coppertree CYLA Design Architects E EnerFusion Inc ESC Automation
96 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Back Cover P87 P79 P71
F Flexo Products
G Guy Brown GDI
L LHB Loop Recycling
M Milhouse Egineering & Construction
H Hastings Architecture Associates
P Prism Construction
K Konica Minolta Business Solutions
S Smith Seckman Reid Inc
T TA Canada
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Victoria Victoria Karkouli Karkouli - Marketing - Marketing Coordinator Coordinator • T:• 3122146464 T: 3122146464 • 70 • W 70 Madison W Madison Str.,Suite Str.,Suite 1400, 1400, Chicago, Chicago, IL 60602, IL 60602, USAUSA