SUSTAINABLE ISSUE 06/16
B U S I N E S S
M A G A Z I N E
BURNS & MCDONNELL
CARIBBEAN CEMENT COMPANY
BIOFERM ENERGY SYSTEMS OPTIMUM ENERGY ST. VINCENT SHIPYARD UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO ALSO FEATURED THIS ISSUE
INTERNATIONAL DISTRICT ENERGY ASSOCIATION
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B U S I N E S S
M A G A Z I N E
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CONTENTS ISSUE 06/16
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 organizations continue to meet challenges and champion corporate social responsibility. We are proud to present the second installment of our ‘District Energy’ series in partnership with the International District Energy Association (IDEA). Each installment of the ‘District Energy’ series will feature detailed profiles of companies demonstrating state-ofthe-art best practices in district energy across North America. For this installment we spoke to Scott Clark, Vice President and General Manager at Burns & McDonnell, about providing reliable, crisis-proof energy to some of the U.S.’s most critical facilities. We also spoke to Ben Erpelding, P.E., Chief Technology Officer at Optimum Energy, about the company’s unique energy management platform and how it has revolutionized the University of Texas at Austin. As always the series is prefaced by a foreword from Rob Thornton, President and CEO of the International District Energy Association (IDEA). Continuing our focus on energy, we spoke to Nadeem Afghan, President and CEO of BIOFerm™ Energy Systems, about customized solutions, innovation, and proving maximum value to customers. Our ‘Sustainable Campuses’ series in partnership with AASHE celebrates how universities continue to develop and operate sustainably, as well as the role they’re taking in educating students and the wider public about sustainability. The series is prefaced by a foreword from AASHE’s Executive Director Meghan Fay Zahniser. For the latest installment we spoke to Paul Leitch, Director of Sustainability at the University of Toronto, about energy savings, waste reduction, and getting the word out on a campus the size of a city. To continue our focus on sustainability in the Caribbean we spoke to Sophia Lowe, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager at Caribbean Cement Company, Jamaica, about locally-sourced raw materials, improving efficiency, and community investment programs. We also spoke to Daniel Ravotti, Managing Director of St. Vincent Shipyard, about restoration, repair, and fresh approaches to old problems. Details of upcoming sustainability events can be found on our events calendar. For more information, or to view previous editions, visit www.sustainablebusinessmagazine.net We hope that you find this issue both interesting and inspiring. Thank you for reading. The Sustainable Business Magazine Team
Energy Association (IDEA)
Burns & McDonnell
BIOFermTM Energy Systems
The Association for
the Advancement of
Sustainability in Higher
University of Toronto
Caribbean Cement Company
St. Vincent Shipyard
B U S I N E S S
M A G A Z I N E
ISSUE 06/16 FRONT COVER FIRE-TUBE STEAM BOILERS. IMAGE COURTESY OF BURNS & MCDONNELL.
© SBM Media Ltd 2016. 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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INTERNATIONAL DISTRICT ENERGY ASSOCIATION UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN COOLING TOWERS.
“DURING THIS ERA OF HISTORICALLY LOW FUEL COSTS, THE IMPORTANCE OF ENERGY AND RESOURCE EFFICIENCY IS ESCALATING.”
DISTRICT A foreword to the ‘District Energy’ series by Rob Thornton, President & CEO of the International District Energy Association (IDEA).
ROB THORNTON, PRESIDENT & CEO OF THE INTERNATIONAL DISTRICT ENERGY ASSOCIATION (IDEA).
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On behalf of the board of directors and over 2100 members of the International District Energy Association (IDEA), I am pleased to support this special focus on district energy and combined heat and power
(CHP) for Sustainable Business Magazine. In light of the growing interest and investment in district energy/CHP as a more efficient and sustainable energy solution for cities, communities, and campuses, we applaud
SBM’s interest in sharing successful case studies from our industry. In particular, IDEA institutional members at colleges, universities, and healthcare campuses are demonstrating highly valuable and innovative approaches to reducing energy and carbon footprints while enhancing operational resiliency and economic sustainability. Now in our 107th year of operation, IDEA members are witnessing a profound paradigm shift “back to the future” in the way energy is produced, distributed, and consumed locally. In fact, the district energy renaissance marks a return to local generation of power and heat, reminiscent of the era of Thomas Edison when cities first turned to district energy/CHP to cut emissions, reduce fire risks, and improve urban air quality. Today, the convergence of generating electricity and useful heat and cooling is a proven technology that can reduce regional greenhouse gas emissions and help to optimize the grid. As our cities expand in population and the need for more resilient energy services increases, the value and appeal of district energy/ CHP widens. Even during this era of historically low fuel costs, the importance of energy and resource efficiency is escalating. Conserving water, recovering surplus heat, and balancing renewable energy supplies are all possible when multiple buildings are interconnected and a district energy system provides the thermal network scale to optimize production and distribution. We appreciate SBM’s interest in advancing understanding and providing insight to these
useful technologies, business practices, and integrative strategies. For his 2016/2017 term, IDEA Chair Tim Griffin has established “Sustaining our Success” as his theme to represent the importance of continued relevance, attention to environmental performance, and building on our legacy of collaboration and knowledge-sharing. We believe the ensuing articles and case studies to be shared in SBM will strengthen our outreach and support our mission. We are pleased to engage with the readers of SBM and welcome your inquiries at www.districtenergy.org. c
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY CO-GEN PLANT.
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BURNS & MCDONNELL
BURNS & MCDONNELL, WHOLLY OWNED BY ITS 5,400 EMPLOYEES, IS ONE OF THE LARGEST ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION FIRMS SERVING THE UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE INDUSTRY.
PARKLAND CUP ARIEL VIEW.
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POWER Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Scott Clark, Vice President and General Manager at Burns & McDonnell, about providing reliable, crisis-proof energy to some of the U.S.â€™s most critical facilities.
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BURNS & MCDONNELL
FIRE-TUBE STEAM BOILERS.
In 1898, when Clinton S. Burns and Robert E. McDonnell, both Stanford engineering graduates, were looking for somewhere to site their consulting firm, they chose Kansas City, Missouri, believing the region had a need for sustainable water and energy infrastructure. Today, that legacy of energy expertise persists. Burns & McDonnell, wholly owned by its 5,400 employees, is one of the largest engineering and construction firms
serving the utility infrastructure industry. In the Engineering News-Record’s Top 500 Design Firms rankings, Burns & McDonnell was ranked no. 1 in the Electrical Power category, while at the same time Fortune’s 2016 list of 100 Best Companies to Work For ranked Burns & McDonnell no.16. Burns & McDonnell’s specialized OnSite Energy and Power Group focuses solely on district energy systems. The team has
worked on CHP plants everywhere from office buildings to airports, ranging in size from 500kW to 100MW. “Resiliency and efficiency are huge items for our clients,” says Scott Clark, Vice President and General Manager at Burns & McDonnell, who leads the OnSite Energy and Power Group. “We do integrated design-build district energy projects nationally, working coastto-coast from five different locations.”
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HURRICANES AND FLOODS The OnSite Energy and Power Group’s clients face different challenges depending on where they’re situated, but a constant is the need to maintain power, heat, and cooling, no matter the weather. One recent project is the Gainesville Regional Utilities South Energy Center, a CHP system supplying the University of Florida Health Shands Cancer Hospital. The South Energy Center has the capacity to provide all of the hospital’s power generation, chilled water, steam, and medical gases needed during a natural disaster. Burns & McDonnell built the original plant back in 2008, providing 5MW of power, 44,500pph of steam, and 4,200 tons of chilled water capacity to the Cancer Hospital. “That project’s located in a hurricane zone, so resilience is very important,” says Mr. Clark. “The plant’s designed for 150 mph winds, and it can separated very quickly from the grid to continue the operation of the medical center in the event of the grid dropping out.” Now, as the medical center continues to expand, Burns & McDonnell is completing a design to add 7.4MW of generation capacity and two 3,000 ton chillers to the system.
“Another project where we took significant resiliency measures was one we did for Enwave in New Orleans after the floods,” says Mr. Clark. “In that case, all our equipment is 20 feet above the flood plain, and we’ve got fuel and water storage so the plant can continue operating for weeks without any outside support.”
COMPREHENSIVE INVOLVEMENT The company worked on the Thermal Energy Corporation (TECO) CHP project on the Texas Medical Center campus. “The project we worked on at TECO is one of our proudest moments,” says Mr. Clark. “They have Level I trauma centers, and neo-natal intensive care units, and
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BURNS & MCDONNELL
IN THE ENGINEERING NEWS-RECORD’S TOP 500 DESIGN FIRMS RANKINGS, BURNS & MCDONNELL WAS RANKED NO. 1 IN THE ELECTRICAL POWER CATEGORY.
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN, CHILLING STATION 7. PHOTO CREDIT: FLINTCO, LLC.
all the UT MD Anderson cancer research goes on there, so it’s very, very important they have a utility system which is robust and reliable.” Burns & McDonnell was involved in the project from the early stages of master plan implementation planning. “We were able to really optimize the efficiency and the reliability of the system,” says Mr. Clark. “We took the project from that
70,000 PPH WATER-TUBE STEAM BOILERS.
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master planning stage all the way through design, construction, implementation, and start-up. It was $350 million dollars’ worth of work on a site roughly the size of a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, with steam, chilled water, power, and a 138kV electric substation, all of which had to be maintained in operation through planning and phasing and temporary connections, to maintain all the various critical systems. So the degree
of difficulty was a 10.0. I’m very happy to say that it went extremely well, and that the results have been fabulous. Every year they’ve been able to give money back to their customers because of the savings that their system has generated, and their efficiency and their reliability and emissions reductions has gone up exponentially. It’s a huge success story, and one we’re very proud of.”
SOUTH ENERGY CENTER – CHILLED WATER DISTRIBUTION.
versus a traditional cooling and hot water plant, with the heat pump chiller expected to save $287,000 of gas every year, and 17 million gallons of water. CHP AND ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES The potential for CHP to dramatically improve efficiency and reduce emissions is profound, and district energy allows for regionally-specific solutions to be applied on a broad scale. “In the Midwest, we still have some universities that are burning coal, so if you can convert them to natural gas, that’s a huge environmental benefit,” says Mr. Clark. “Meanwhile out in California we have some clients who don’t want to burn any fossil fuels. They’re looking at heat pump technology, and solar, and other methods of generating energy. The great thing about district energy is you can implement efficiency and sustainability projects on a much larger scale than on a local, building level, and so whatever you’re doing, you can have a much greater impact.”
A FIRST IN EFFICIENCY Burns & McDonnell is currently finishing up a new chilled water generation plant at UT Austin, for which they were the prime design firm working alongside Flintco Construction. The project, consisting of a 15,000 ton chilling station and a 5,500,000 gallon thermal energy storage tank, will be the seventh cooling station on the campus. But there’s nothing routine about this project. “It will be arguably the most energy-efficient chilled water plant in the country,” says Mr. Clark. “It has optimization technology built in at every turn – the piping, the pumping, the way the chillers have been selected, the type of controls, and the type of cooling tower. Juan Ontiveros heads up the utilities there, and he prides himself on having the most efficient systems available. It’s in the final stages of completion right now, and it will serve their new medical school, which is the only medical school in the U.S. in the last 30 years to have been built from scratch.” As a result of the optimizations, the project is expected to save up to 25,000MWh/year
COLLABORATIVE ENVIRONMENT Burns & McDonnell maintains a deep level of involvement in the International District Energy Association (IDEA). Mr. Clark is currently a second-time board member, serving alongside several other individuals from the company. “We also typically have anywhere from three to five speakers at the annual conference and the campus conference, and we take eight to 12 people to every conference,” says Mr. Clark. “We’re a major sponsor, and we always have a booth and are active in their trade show.” For Mr. Clark, participation in IDEA brings many rewards. “It’s an amazing col-
laborative environment, very rich in terms of the amount of technical knowledge that gets exchanged and the networking that goes on. Our engineers learn a lot about district energy and new trends, and we get the opportunity to share our experiences with other people. It’s a major part of what we do on an annual basis, because we believe in the organization and what they stand for.” THE FUTURE OF DISTRICT ENERGY Recently, Burns & McDonnell has begun doing a lot of work on microgrids, and it is here that Mr. Clark sees more investment to come. “Large utilities are seeing a huge shift in their markets,” says Mr. Clark. “In the past, utilities have built coal-fired power plants that are 1,000MW or bigger. They’re really shifting their focus to distributed generation and microgrids, looking at their largest customers and going and negotiating power purchase agreements and putting distributed power in those sites. We’ve got half a dozen projects in that space under development now. It’s a huge shift in the utility environment in the U.S., and we’re seeing it start to pick up momentum.” Mr. Clark sees it as an exciting time to be in district energy. “There are all kinds of things utilities can do that a private developer can’t. The opportunities for district energy are increasing exponentially because of the utility companies’ involvement. You’re talking about companies that have billions of dollars of capital expenditure that can make investments at a reasonable return, versus individual owners trying to do one-off projects with a higher rate of return requirement. It’s really blowing the doors open on district energy.” c
WATER-COOLED ELECTRIC CENTRIFUGAL CHILLERS.
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TO DELIVER SCALABILITY, LONG-TERM PERFORMANCE, AND EFFICIENCY, OPTIMUM ENERGY DEVELOPED THE OPTICX PLATFORM.
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CLOUD COMPUTING Ben Erpelding, P.E., Chief Technology Officer at Optimum Energy, speaks to Sustainable Business Magazine about the company’s unique energy management platform and how it has revolutionized the University of Texas at Austin.
Optimum Energy is a provider of software solutions supported by engineering services which optimize commercial-scale cooling and heating systems, dynamically adapting to changes in the load, weather, and occupancy conditions to save energy and maintain upmost system resiliency. Optimum Energy formed in 2003 out of a successful previous incarnation which offered similar solutions through a purely engineered approach. “What we wanted to do with Optimum Energy is solve for scale, consistency, data rationalization, and automated measurement verification, which would provide long term successful outcomes for our customers across the globe,” says Ben Erpelding, Chief Technology Officer at Optimum Energy, referring to the disparate systems experienced
in their industry and tendency of malfunctioning control and mechanical equipment to lead to deteriorating performance. “We started the company with just two people and grew the organization over the past decade. There are about 65 people in the company right now.” LAYERED PLATFORM To deliver scalability, long-term high performance, and efficiency, Optimum Energy developed the OptiCx platform. OptiCx is a modular platform designed to optimize any chilling, heating, or HVAC system. This is achieved through combined software and human components. In order for the platform to function well, a minimum amount of variable speed and instrumentation is required, so Optimum SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Energy first work with clients to bring their systems up to standard. Once the systems are primed, OptiCx can be installed. There are two main components to the solution: Cloud services and On-premise, real-time, closed loop, optimization algorithms. Its cloud-based software component offers
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multiple layers of fault detection and data science, including trending, reporting, key performance indicators (KPIs), and machine learning. This is backed up by Optimum Energyâ€™s human technical team, who provide important analysis, engineering, and operator support for OptiCx users.
The advantage of this additional human component is in ensuring the long term success of the optimization program. Optimization is not a one-time event. There are sometimes thousands of iterations that cannot be solved for upfront. Equipment breaks and weather has extremes. Operators
take action to maintain upmost reliability and uptime. Supporting and training the operators and working through these iterations provides a means to fight the phenomena called “performance drift”. Optimum Energy themselves are able to monitor the systems and interact with the operations staff remotely, strengthening the connection with the client. Three module products are currently available for OptiCx: OptimumLOOP for chilled water plants, OptimumAIR for
HVAC systems, and OptimumHEAT for boiler systems. Scaling and modularity mean each product complements and strengthens the others. AUSTIN POWERED One of Optimum Energy’s most prestigious clients is the University of Texas (UT) at Austin, where there is a close relationship between the company and Juan Ontiveros, Associate Vice President for Utilities, Energy, and Facilities Management. “Our holistic
approach allows us to optimize the campus chilled water requirements as “one” system as opposed to four independent chilled water plants on a common loop. Using relational controls to optimize the interdependencies between the subsystems brought tremendous results,” explains Mr. Erpelding. The relationship between Optimum Energy and UT Austin has evolved over almost a decade. “I first became involved in 2007 when UT Austin were designing a new chilled water system, a 15,000-ton plant they call Chilling Station 6; one of the first large scale all variable speed chilled water plants in the country,” says Mr. Erpelding. “When I got involved it was still being designed because, as part of our solution, Optimum Energy can provide engineering services in the form of consulting. So we were hired as an owner’s consultant to peer review the design and ensure it was “optimization ready”. We like simple, well instrumented systems. You cannot optimize what you cannot measure is one of the 1st laws of optimization.” Customers like UT Austin invest in Optimum Energy’s solutions in part because they can offer impressive financial results. “UT Austin put extra money into efficiency gains which ultimately lead to a healthy rate of return. That’s what we’re able to offer,” explains Mr. Erpelding. “Once Chilling Station 6 results were proven, Juan and his team began a phase approach of integrating our solution into the rest of the Campus. This in-
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THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FACED BY OPTIMUM ENERGY AT MOST LARGE SCALE DISTRICT SYSTEMS IS MOVING INTO A TRADITIONALLY NON-AUTOMATED SECTOR AND INTRODUCING AUTOMATED PROCESSES.
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cluded the other Chilling Stations and thermal energy storage system. In each implementation, the process is identical and very important: Engineering, implementation, commissioning, monitoring, and long term supporting.” The annual campus efficiency is now 0.63 kilowatts per ton and total annual savings equate to approximately $1.5 million per year. According to Mr. Ontiveros, this has helped UT Austin become one of the most efficient campus energy systems in the whole of the United States. BUILDING TRUST The biggest challenge faced by Optimum Energy at most large scale district systems is moving into a traditionally non-automated sector and introducing automated processes. “Understandably, operators do not want you turning a 5,000-ton chiller on and off automatically,” explains Mr. Erpelding. Optimum Energy has developed both closed loop algorithms and open loop staging to help gain the trust of the operations team. While pumps and towers can automatically control their speeds and sequencing (closed loop control), chiller staging is manual (using open loop control). This is where the benefits of cloud computing can bring additional efficiencies to the project if machine learning coupled with operator dashboards is implemented. “We can show operators graphically when to add and shed chillers,” says Mr. Erpelding. “But, even better, data science can be used to determine what chiller should be added or shed next based on the actual historical efficiency of the equipment and minimum run hours dictated by the owner.” This has helped the company expand into other areas. Apart from chilling stations and thermal energy storage, Optimum Energy is implementing their
OptimumAIR platform within the UT Austin campus’ building HVAC infrastructure. “Juan keeps seeing the return on his investment, and is constantly eager to move onto the next project,” says Mr. Erpelding. “That is what we do for all of our enterprise customers, whether UT Austin or a large pharmaceutical.” BROAD PORTFOLIO Apart from higher education, Optimum Energy also work with clients in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, high tech, and district energy. Each industry provides a unique challenge, though resiliency and reliability is always a requirement. “We believe our people, process, and tools provide the consistency global customers require,” says Mr. Erpelding. “Whether the project is in the Middle East, Europe, South America, or Asia Pacific, we apply the same team to the enterprise account. Our customers have said this “consistency” is one of the biggest advantages of working with us.” SMALL SCALE Having developed a company around the possibility of scaling upwards, Optimum Energy are now looking into scaling in a different direction. “We’re extremely proud of our work with UT Austin, but we don’t just want to do projects for very large customers,” says Mr. Erpelding. “Offices could apply this technology too. The only way to apply these solutions to smaller commercial buildings is being able to provide them at lower cost, so a lot of our research and development now is on how we bring this solution to more markets. More markets for us actually means going down market, which ultimately means being able to offer the same level of energy savings to small facilities and businesses as well.” c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
BIOFERM ENERGY SYSTEMS
ANAEROBIC DIGESTERS ARE USED TO TREAT BIODEGRADABLE WASTE AND TO PRODUCE BIOGAS, A RENEWABLE FUEL.
SOLUTIONS Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Nadeem Afghan, President and CEO of BIOFerm™ Energy Systems, about customized solutions, innovation, and providing maximum value to customers.
Wisconsin-based BIOFerm™ Energy Systems is a comprehensive provider of anaerobic digestion and gas upgrading systems operating in the United States and Canada. Part of the German-headquartered Viessmann Group since 2008, 16 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
BIOFerm™ offers anaerobic digestion technologies which the Viessmann Group has installed in over 450 facilities across Europe and Japan, as well as PSA gas upgrading technology which has been installed over 900 times worldwide.
“Most companies have a single technology,” says Nadeem Afghan, President and CEO of BIOFerm. “They go to a customer, and they say: ‘Here’s the shoe we have, and your foot needs to fit in it.’ Here at BIOFerm, because of our parent company, we have a
COCCUS® ANAEROBIC DIGESTERS PROCESSING MANURE AT ROSENDALE DAIRY. WI’S LARGEST DAIRY FARM.
parts to stir the materials. “You essentially drive the waste into a garage using a front-end loader, close the door, and collect energy from the biogas rising from fermenting organics, and then what comes out of the garage at the end of the cycle can be processed into compost,” says Mr. Afghan. “Because there are no internal moving parts, the digester is virtually immune to contaminants. It’s designed for customers who don’t have the resources to sort and clean everything. It could even have a bicycle or furniture in there and it won’t affect the digester.” Since 2011, a BIOFerm™ Dry Fermentation Digester has been operating on the campus at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. The plant, which was the first industrial-scale dry fermentation anaerobic digester in the Americas, converts high-solids waste into biogas, which is then fed into a 2G Cenergy combined heat and power (CHP) system to provide renewable electricity and
heating for the campus. “There were a lot of sceptics,” says Mr. Afghan. “But we’d already built 30 of these things in Germany, and the University’s digester has been working perfectly since it was installed.” Currently, BIOFerm™ is building a new dry fermentation plant at the City of Edmonton’s Waste Management Centre in a partnership with the University of Alberta. “It’s been wonderful to work with them,” says Mr. Afghan. “Edmonton has a lot of extremely qualified people, and they’ve been a pioneer for the whole of Canada in sustainability. Now other municipalities across Canada are watching, and they’re saying if this project is successful, they may follow.” DEEP MIXING ANAEROBIC DIGESTION BIOFerm™’s COCCUS® complete-mix digester takes low-solids waste and processes it to produce biogas, a liquid fertilizer prod-
comprehensive line of technologies, so we can do a diagnostic and provide customers with whichever solution is best suited to their stream.” DRY FERMENTATION ANAEROBIC DIGESTION Anaerobic digesters are used to treat biodegradable waste and to produce biogas, a renewable fuel. Within the industry, waste streams are divided into high-solids (e.g. food waste, yard waste) and low-solids (e.g. liquid manure, sewage sludge). BIOFerm’s high-solids digester uses a process called dry fermentation, setting it apart from other wet digestion systems which use moving
INTERNAL VIEW OF THE REMEX PADDLE MIXERS INSIDE THE ANAEROBIC DIGESTERS AT ROSENDALE DAIRY.
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BIOFERM ENERGY SYSTEMS are always the same size, it’s much easier to set the strainer. We actually have competitors who buy mixers from us because of their efficiency.” Also using deep mixing, BIOFerm™’s EUCO® product is a plug-flow digester, a technology typically used on farms to process manure. “Most people don’t make plug-flows with deep mixing,” says Mr. Afghan. “EUCO® can take very high-solid waste and still function because of its design.” EUCO® is often combined with COCCUS® to liquefy the feedstock while producing a percentage of the biogas.
uct, and a solid product. The technology’s unique selling point is its capacity for ‘deep mixing’. “Basically, to get maximum gas yield from waste, you want a mixture which keeps waste in suspension so the bacterial reaction goes forward,” explains Mr.
Afghan. “Deep mixing ensures this process. Then, after you’ve extracted the biogas, the effluent is extremely homogenous - so if you’re applying additional technology to recover clean water, it’s much easier to do at this point. Essentially, if your tea leaves
APPLICATIONS BIG AND SMALL The City of Akron, Ohio uses EUCO® digesters feeding into COCCUS® digesters at their wastewater treatment facility to process 100% of their sewage sludge and to generate over 10,500 MWH of renewable electricity per year. “Those kinds of municipal entities typically lose money, because it costs a fortune to build one and then they have an obligation to process all of a city’s biosolids and wastewater with very few sources of income to become a profit center,” says Mr. Afghan. “Biosolids, post-treatment, is typi-
MIXING LOBBY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN OSHKOSH’S BIOFERM™ DRY FERMENTATION ANAEROBIC DIGESTER.
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EUCO TITAN ANAEROBIC DIGESTION SYSTEM AT KB BIOENERGY PROCESSING BIOSOLIDS AT AKRON, OH.
cally a big liability for a plant, so to be able to inoculate that and get biogas out of it and turn it into a revenue stream completely changes the business model. In Akron, we’re working with the developer KB BioEnergy on Phase 3 of the wastewater treatment facility, which will allow it to take in food waste and have even more biosolids capacity. Then, the end of the process will be organic compost they can sell.” Recently, BIOFerm™/Viessmann Group developed a containerized unit based on EUCO for smaller-scale use. “Everybody was focusing on large dairy farms,” says Mr. Afghan. “No-one was coming up with something that a small dairy could deploy which could work on a leasing arrangement, so they could get their hands on the technology without investing in a very large fixed capital cost. That containerized unit is currently working very well at a 130-cow dairy. The challenge with this product is that utilities aren’t open to letting these smaller
projects connect to the grid, and the farmers aren’t able to use all the energy they’re generating. The utilities need to be incentivized to accept these projects.” GAS UPGRADING The other branch of BIOFerm™’s business is gas upgrading systems. Their company’s Carbotech Pressure Swing Adsorption systems upgrade biogas into renewable natural gas (RNG), which can then be used in the grid or converted to compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG) for use as vehicle fuel. “We’re one of the oldest companies using pressure swing adsorption,” says Mr. Afghan. “Our system is designed to meet the most stringent specifications. In California, where because of Rule 30 it’s extremely difficult to take RNG from a wastewater treatment digester or a landfill and put it in a natural gas pipeline, our technology meets those demanding
requirements. We’re currently building a plant which will feed into the Duke Energy pipeline, which demonstrates how robust the technology is.” BIOFerm™ seeks a competitive advantage by providing more benefits to their customers. “Nitrogen is a big problem with landfill gases,” says Mr. Afghan. “Our base technology, in a single-stage, can treat raw gas with up to 5% Nitrogen, which no other technology can do just as a base. We’re also working on a product which will be able to handle Nitrogen levels greater than 12%. To be able to handle all the Nitrogen they throw at you is the greatest solution you can give to a landfill owner. Instead of telling the owner: ‘Okay, you find a way to control your Nitrogen’, which is like telling a mountain: ‘Control the amount of snow you get,’ we basically say: ‘We know how you run your business, and we’re going to bring you a technology to enhance your operation.’” SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
BIOFERM ENERGY SYSTEMS
“OUR CHALLENGE IS TO CONVINCE MORE PEOPLE TO SEE THE BENEFIT AND VALUE CHAIN IN THE SOLUTIONS.”
NORTH AMERICA’S FIRST INDUSTRIAL-SCALE DRY FERMENTATION DIGESTER (BIOFERM™ DRY FERMENTATION) AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN OSHKOSH.
SUSTAINABLE PRINCIPLES BIOFerm™ has invested a great deal of technical effort into ensuring their facility is safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly. “Everyone focuses on plant safety, but we also look into how a worker flows around the facility,” says Mr. Afghan. “Lots of parts go into making sure the workers have the necessary environment to run the plant safely. Everything we do is electronically 20 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
controlled, so there’s an app which gives employees notifications of any faults. We also don’t have any red flags where people would be at any kind of risk; our machinery automatically shuts down when it reaches an orange flag level.” Then there are the investments in the environment, which go beyond compliance. “We’re a green energy plant, so we always go above and beyond any code requirements,” says Mr. Afghan. “We
work very hard to make sure our plant has a positive impact on its surroundings, whether it’s dust control, water drainage, or planting new plants in the ground. The technology itself has an extraordinarily low carbon footprint, which helps.” EDUCATIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS In 2012, the Viessmann Group made a donation to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Foundation in support of the
training more electricians so they can work in our plant. We’re going to train kids so they’re contributing to overall sustainability.’ The fruits of that labor will be given to the community for a very long time.” BIOFerm™ also provides free education to schools, universities, and municipalities on waste collection and management best practices, and they contribute to biogas education at a local technical college. “It’s important to us that we’re not selling anything when we’re educating,” says Mr. Afghan. “We keep a complete separation between business activities and educational activities. We also donate engineering resources to a program to provide recipes for digesters to the African continent. We can’t commercially manufacture digesters there, but we’re happy to train people and provide the resources of our research, all free of charge.” SOLUTIONS OF THE FUTURE The Viessmann Group and BIOFerm™ pride themselves on staying ahead of the curve. “Every product portfolio has a three, five, and ten year roadmap which is updated by internal and external consultants and engineers,” says Mr. Afghan. “The Viessmann family have been running their business for a century, and our chairman doesn’t want to pass on a company which has been made obsolete to the next generation.” Consequently, BIOFerm™ and the Viessmann Group invest a large percentage of their profits into R&D. ““We have a technology which takes carbon dioxide
from our digesters and converts it in addition of hydrogen to methane. This allows us to store excess energy out of wind and solar power in methane,” says Mr. Afghan. “That took tremendous R&D effort. We have another technology which enhances the natural selection of bacteria in the digesters. Basically, we isolate colonies of good citizens, add those to the digester and reduce the quantity of low performers, which increases the stability and quality of gas production in the digester, and it helps ailing digesters improve. On the gas processing side, gas companies are starting to say: ‘Perhaps we need the CO2,’ so we’re taking their CO2 as we clean and purify methane and give it back to them, rather than letting it escape. These kinds of technologies are always being developed years out, when we think the market will need them in the future.” “We take pride in ensuring our technology is commercially affordable, and we’ve never had a customer who’s said: ‘You sold us something that didn’t work’,” says Mr. Afghan. “No-one wants to live in a poorly managed waste environment. Great communities and great cities are built on their cleanliness. People need their waste to be contained, they need clean water, clean air, they need compost and renewable energy and for methane to be controlled because it’s 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide. We offer all these things. Our challenge is to convince more people to see the benefit and value chain in these solutions.” c
SMALL-SCALE ANAEROBIC DIGESTER, EUCOLINO, AT ALLEN FARMS.
university’s Sustainable Technology program, creating the Viessmann Endowed Chair in Sustainable Technology. “There is no company in our field in North America which has made an investment to create a sustainability institution that is then training students in a complete sustainable lifestyle, from engineering to economics,” says Mr. Afghan. “That was the commitment Prof. Dr. Martin Viessmann made. He said: ‘We’re not going to invest this money in SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
SUSTAINABLE EMORY UNIVERSITY.
CAMPUSES A foreword by Meghan Fay Zahniser, AASHE Executive Director
MEGHAN FAY ZAHNISER, AASHE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.
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The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) is proud to support the “Sustainable Campuses” series that recognizes achievements of the higher education community and their efforts towards developing a thriving, equitable, and ecologically healthy world. AASHE empowers higher education faculty, administrators, staff, and students to be effective change agents and drivers of sustainability innovation. We enable members to translate information into action by offering essential resources and professional development to a diverse, engaged community of sustainability leaders. Additionally, we work with and for higher education to ensure that our world’s future leaders are motivated and equipped to solve sustainability challenges.
We support the higher education community through the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), the AASHE Conference & Expo, Campus Sustainability Month, and the Green Gigawatt Partnership, as well as other professional development opportunities. STARS STARS was launched in 2010 as a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. STARS was designed to provide a structure for understanding sustainability in all sectors of higher education, enable campus sustainability comparisons over time, incentivize institutions to boost future sustainability efforts and initiatives, as well
as provide an open platform for information sharing both nationally and internationally. With more than 550 ratings since the program’s inception, the importance of the rating system as a valuable tool for both seasoned campus sustainability leaders and institutions just beginning their sustainability endeavors is clear. AASHE 2016 CONFERENCE & EXPO Expected to draw over 2,300 participants, AASHE’s annual conference is the largest stage in North America for sharing effective models, policies, research, collaborations, and transformative actions which advance sustainability in higher education and beyond. Higher education institutions have been modeling sustainability solutions on their campuses for many years. With a theme of “Beyond the Campus,” the AASHE 2016 Conference & Expo will focus on a crucial next step: The dissemination and implementation of these solutions in communities throughout the world. Meeting the sustainability challenge will require collaboration across sectors and with stakeholders outside of academia. This year’s conference took place Oct. 9-12 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Attendees enjoyed thought-provoking keynote speakers, hundreds of sessions to engage all higher education sustainability interests, and an Expo Hall with innovative and inspirational products and services. CAMPUS SUSTAINABILITY MONTH Held each October, Campus Sustainability Month is an international celebration of sustainability in higher education. During this month, colleges and universities have STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT CORTLAND.
organized events on campus and elsewhere to engage and inspire incoming students and other campus stakeholders to become sustainability change agents. These events include teach-ins, sustainability pledgedrives, zero energy concerts, waste audits, green sporting events, letter writing campaigns, service projects, and more. Campus Sustainability Month raises the visibility of sustainability and provides advocates with a platform to deepen campus engagement and address pressing environmental and social challenges. GREEN GIGAWATT PARTNERSHIP The Green Gigawatt Partnership (GGP), launched by AASHE last October, works to catalyze at least one gigawatt of new green power in higher education by 2020 by recognizing colleges and universities sourcing large-scale renewable energy and by helping more campuses do the same by using long-term, large-scale, power purchase agreements. The GGP supports green
power in higher education by providing in-person training workshops, instructional webinars, educational materials, recognition in written, electronic, and in-person forums, networking opportunities with peers, project tracking, and no-cost assistance to assess large-scale renewables opportunities. These are only a few ways we inspire and catalyze higher education to lead the global sustainability transformation. We are proud of our nearly 1,000 members and look forward to welcoming all institutions and businesses who are motivated to make meaningful and lasting change towards campus sustainability. Visit AASHE.org to learn more about how you can help advance sustainability in higher education. c
Meghan Fay Zahniser AASHE Executive Director THOMPSON RIVERS UNIVERSITY.
UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA.
SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
THE TIPPING POINT Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Paul Leitch, Director of Sustainability at the University of Toronto, about energy savings, waste reduction, and getting the word out on a campus the size of a city. “As I look back, it’s like Sisyphus,” says Paul Leitch, Director of Sustainability at the University of Toronto. “You’re pushing a rock up a hill, but then all of a sudden, there’s a tipping point. That’s when people go: ‘I get it.’ And at that point, the culture 24 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
kicks in. In our case, we’ve seen sustainability going from being a cultural outlier to a cultural norm.” In 2014, Mr. Leitch talked Sustainable Business Magazine through the challenges of pursuing sustainability at the
biggest university in Canada. With over 70,000 students spread over 120 buildings and 12 million square feet, the University of Toronto is a small city in its own right; and in 2014 Facilities and Services, of which the Sustainability Office is a part,
technology like variable speed drives, lighting, new pumps, new motors, and occupancy-based controls. Things of that nature. Nowadays they’re conventional measures, but when you apply them to a large campus like ours, it has a big impact.” A key part of the University of Toronto’s energy saving approach was communication with the occupants of the targeted buildings. “We talked to our staff, and got them to tell us their pain points and what hurts,”
says Mr. Leitch. “They’d say: ‘This building is really hard to control’ or ‘this building is always cold’ or ‘this one is using 600 kilowatt hours per square meter when it should only use 350’, things like that. Then we quantified and qualified the opportunities. With these buildings, saving those 200 million kwh/year is worth almost $2,800,000 a year; and when you’re saving that kind of money, it’s easy to pay the projects back. All these projects are paid back in around three years.”
was spending $48 million annually on energy. ENERGY SAVING Now, as a result of development which began in 2013-14, the University of Toronto is now saving more than 20 million kilowatt hours of energy a year. “We’ve started to realize the fruit of our labours,” says Mr. Leitch. “Some significant energy saving projects have come online. We went through and picked the top twenty worst-performing buildings, a couple of which are a million square feet. We’ve put large investments in SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
THE UNIVERSITY TAKES A FUNDAMENTALLY PEOPLE-ORIENTED APPROACH TO ENERGY SAVINGS.
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PEOPLE-ORIENTED The university takes a fundamentally people-oriented approach to energy savings. Staff and operators are being trained to pay more attention to the energy performance of their buildings. “The often-used method of controlling and operating a building is by reaction,” says Mr. Leitch. “Somebody calls and they say they’re hot, and then you deal with it. It’s rare for people to dive down and say: ‘Why was it hot? What happened?’” This is what the Facilities and Services is doing now. Mr. Leitch and the energy management team have been collecting data to support more proactive measures to manage energy use in campus buildings. New submeters measure energy loads by
building. “We want to get into more of a predictive and a diagnostic mode,” says Mr. Leitch. “That comes with an increased use of automation systems and data management.” Then awareness programs pass that information onto the occupants. “We’re creating benchmarks by giving people the data, translated into a language they can understand and act on,” says Mr. Leitch. The results of this work? “We’ve been getting a lot more in-tune with how people want their buildings,” says Mr. Leitch. “And people are noticing. They’re saying: ‘Gee, it’s nice in here. I like the light. This is great!’ People don’t think about saving money; they think about: ‘What’s my comfort like?’ And we’re looking to improve that for them.”
RENEWABLE FUTURE “To me, conserving energy is like putting money in the bank and saving it at 1.2%,” says Mr. Leitch. “Generating energy onsite, on the other hand, is like investing money, where you might get 8 to 10%.” The University of Toronto is looking into opportunities to produce electricity and hot water with rooftop photovoltaics and solar thermal systems. Furthermore, the university has invested in passive design features to utilize more daylight. “We’re doing daylight controls now,” says Mr. Leitch. “We’re looking at controlled window shades. Things like that are taking on a lot more importance.” Mr. Leitch is also looking into using condenser water SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
MR. LEITCH WANTS TO CONTINUE TO DRIVE DOWN THE UNIVERSITY’S CARBON FOOTPRINT – AND HE WANTS EVERYONE TO BE INVOLVED.
heat, or reject heat, to generate electricity. “In my mind, there’s no such thing as ‘reject’ energy,” says Mr. Leitch. “You can use it until you can’t use it. We run 600,000 pounds of steam an hour around the campus, through kilometers of steam pipe. The steam goes into a building at high pressure, and then the pressure has to be lowered. When you put it through a pressure reduction valve, 28 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
you waste a huge amount of energy generation capacity. We’re looking into pushing that energy through a turbine, which also reduces the pressure but at the same time gives you electricity. Renewable energy is really based on energy that you usually take for granted and ignore or throw away. Well, this is new energy which is free – we’ve already paid for it!”
TAKING THE INITIATIVE The sustainability initiatives don’t stop with energy. The University of Toronto has one of the highest waste diversion rates for a university in North America, at over 70% of all waste recycled, composted, or repurposed. “It’s a big number,” says Mr. Leitch. “Particularly when you consider our size, and the fact that we have a very transient population.
Green Offices rewards offices for following straightforward environmentally-friendly practices with a rating of 1, 2, or 3, and a Green Offices symbol. “Some people use the symbol for their signature,” says Mr. Leitch. Green Courses, similarly, offers a symbol to professors who take steps like distributing course notes digitally. The Green Champion Pledge Program continues, and the university recently produced its second annual Sustainability Yearbook. “With a university, the cycle of throughput with students is 3-4 years, which is always a challenge,” says Mr. Leitch. “But we hope by inspiring the staff and faculty, we can create a culture which trickles down to the students too.” PUSHING FORWARD Now, Mr. Leitch wants to continue to drive down the university’s carbon footprint – and he wants everyone to be involved. “With conservation, you can do a project behind the green curtain and nobody
knows. Engineers aren’t known for talking about their success stories. One of the great things about the last couple of years is the people who operate the buildings are really participating. There’s a lot of drive, a lot of people saying: ‘Where’s the next project? How do we reduce more?’ The President and the Vice President are very much engaged, and they’re pushing the envelope for all of us. All the technology and all the measures that you take have to be sustained by people, and that is done by getting them aware of what their actions do, and what the effect is when they make a change. Some of the capital projects here on campus are now being driven by sustainability, and conservation, and improved-quality-of-life initiatives, which is going to make a significant impact on what this campus looks like and how it operates over the next fifty years. That’s something everybody can be proud of.” c
We’ve got a really good staff that look after the waste. Our waste bins have clear separation so it’s clear what to put where, and we aggressively promote the proper disposal.” Just this year, the university won a Gold Award from the Recycling Council of Ontario for their recycling and diversion efforts. Then there are the Sustainability Office’s various awareness and promotion programs. SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
CARIBBEAN CEMENT COMPANY
BUILDING A NATION
Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Sophia Lowe, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager at Caribbean Cement Company Ltd., about locally-sourced raw materials, improving efficiency, and community investment programs.
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SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
CARIBBEAN CEMENT COMPANY
CARIB CEMENT HAS INVESTED IN NOT ONLY STATE-OF-THE-ART EQUIPMENT AND MACHINERY BUT ALSO IN PHYSICAL INFRASTRUCTURE.
Carib Cement is truly a Jamaican company, operating the only cement plant on the island. Located at the foothills of the world famous Blue Mountains, the company manufactures, distributes, and exports high-quality Portland cement using locally produced raw materials. Since opening its doors in 1952, Carib Cement continues to be the leading supplier of world-class cement to Jamaica and the region. The company has seen several changes in ownership over the years where it has been privately and publicly owned. Today, Carib Cement is 32 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
owned by Trinidad Cement Limited Group (TCL). TCL is not just the majority shareholder in Carib Cement but is also the owner of seven other cement companies in Trinidad, Barbados, Anguilla, and Guyana. UNIQUELY JAMAICAN Over the years, Carib Cement has expanded its market reach from supplying only the local market to exporting to international markets. The addition of its world class kiln and mill, commissioned in 2008 and 2009, has placed Carib Cement in a strategic po-
sition as a major exporter of cement in the region. An added advantage to the business is that the raw materials required in the production of cement are sourced from within 12 miles of the plant. “The limestone is literally in our backyard,” explains Ms. Lowe. “Additionally, the other raw materials used to create the cement such as gypsum and shale, are found in our quarries in close proximity of the plant. Over the years, we have experimented with several imported raw materials. However, we’ve always had to return to using locally-produced raw
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materials, because it has proven to be consistent and of high-quality which can stand up to any market.” And like the locally sourced raw materials, 90% of the company’s 797 employees, who consist of permanent and temporary staff as well as contractors, are from the surrounding communities. “One of our main thrusts is to make sure that we include the communities in the process,” says Ms. Lowe. “There’s a great deal of local pride in our products and our people. It’s important that as a country we build and maintain adequate
quantities of products manufactured locally, and ensure that manufacturers are creating jobs for locals. That investment in our indigenous Jamaican product is something the Carib Cement family is very proud of.” INVESTING IN EFFICIENCY Carib Cement has invested in not only state-of-the-art equipment and machinery but also in physical infrastructure. This is evident in its kiln which had the capacity to produce 2,800 tonnes of clinker per day. With our recent upgrades in August,
2016 we have moved to producing 3,200 tonnes of clinker per day. “The company is also looking at investing in a new coal mill to replace the current one, which should commence operations in 2017,” explains Ms. Lowe These improvements, along with other investments, will allow Caribbean Cement Company to increase the environmental performance, safety standards, and efficiency of the facilities. Noting “Jamaica’s notoriety for having one of the highest energy costs in the world,” Ms. Lowe explains that the SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
CARIBBEAN CEMENT COMPANY pact of the company’s actions. According to her, “the new equipment is significantly improving our impact on the environment. We’ve also seen significant changes in our water usage, dust emissions, and noise levels. These are all due to our company’s strategic plan which was implemented in 2015. The results of these new strategies have been realized by the company, and have found favor, not only with the government, but also with the local communities and our employees.”
process of upgrading their operations to match international standards has resulted in recent investments in machinery and technology which has contributed to a significant decrease in power consumption. Ms. Lowe was equally enthusiastic when talking about the environmental im-
SUSTAINABLE SYSTEMS Caribbean Cement Company adheres to operating at international standards, and competes on the global market. The veracity of this is reflected in being certified to ISO14001, as well as OHSAS18001 and ISO9000. “We pride ourselves on following all the environmental procedures and requirements,” says Ms. Lowe. “These systems and processes are beneficial to our sustainability and efficiency as they allow us to address concerns in a timely manner. Adhering to these standards also allows us to reduce downtime which results in an increase in productivity.”
Multinational cement manufacturer Cemex recently increased their stake in Caribbean Cement Company’s parent, the TCL Group. “This has resulted in a positive impact on Carib Cement,” says Ms. Lowe. “The increased relationship with Cemex has given access to a number of global industry leaders, and has assisted in improving our reliability and productivity at least threefold within the last year. The added expertise has enabled our employees, and plant, to perform at international standards. It really does make a difference when you can access people with experience from diverse backgrounds. An example of that is kiln stops. With the training and expertise procedures now implemented at Carib Cement, we’ve been able to drastically reduce stoppage by more than 50% in comparison to previous years. These are largely due to changes in normal operations and from adopting international standards of operation.” COMMUNITY COMPANY Surrounding Caribbean Cement Company are several low-income communities. “We’re very happy to be a part of the
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solution for these communities,” says Ms. Lowe. Carib Cement has always invested significantly in Corporate Social Responsibility. “One way we’ve assisted people from the community in getting better opportunities is through training, which is paramount to our company. We embarked on a significant training program when we commenced our kiln expansion program. This resulted in training of over 1000 people from the community, in areas such as steelwork, masonry, crane, and operations. The individuals who participated in this program received internationally recognized certification. Caribbean Cement Company believes in nation-building and has continued to invest in and around surrounding communities through several programs. “Our scholarship program assists children who would not have otherwise been able to afford their education. We have also invested in local schools, and have equally supported women’s entrepreneurship programs by way of investment,” says Ms Lowe.
“One recent program that we are very proud of was one geared towards tackling the Zika virus. Carib Cement was the first corporate entity in Jamaica to sponsor a major Zika eradication program. This program trained over 100 community-based young people to educate others about the virus, to help them identify the mosquito which transmits the virus, as well as how to destroy mosquito breeding sites. Jamaica was previously impacted by Chikungunya, and we’re very proud to say all the communities that we targeted saw less than half the cases of Zika when compared to what they obtained otherwise. We were actually lauded by the Ministry of Health for this program.” NATIONAL PRIDE Ninety per cent of all concrete structures in Jamaica were made using Caribbean Cement. “For a country of our size and GDP, we have some of the best and strongest buildings in the world. This has allowed us to weather storms, hurricanes, and earthquakes,” says Ms. Lowe. “Many of our
neighbouring islands have not been able to withstand these type of disasters in the way Jamaica has. We’re very proud to contribute to literally building Jamaica.” Caribbean Cement Company also participates in the compensation mechanism of Jamaica’s Petrocaribe Agreement with Venezuela, providing clinker to Venezuela in repayment for Venezuelan oil. “We were named the Champion Exporter in Jamaica for the last three years by the Jamaica Exporters Association,” says Ms. Lowe. “We now see ourselves growing and expanding into new markets, improving our efficiencies, and bringing more education and training to our people. We also think some of our community programs can be replicated in other parts of the world; we want those programs to soar to new heights. We’re happy to continue being a positive contributor to the Jamaican economy and the Jamaican landscape. We will ensure that we continue to do well for our shareholders, while doing good for our immediate communities, and Jamaica at large.” c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
ST. VINCENT SHIPYARD
THE NEW BOYS IN TOWN Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Daniel Ravotti, Managing Director of St. Vincent Shipyard Limited, about restoration, repair, and fresh approaches to old problems.
SSL HAD THE TECHNICAL EXPERIENCE AND THE KNOWLEDGE TO RENEW AND REINVIGORATE THE SHIPYARD.
St. Vincent Shipyard Limited (SSL) assumed management of the Ottley Hall Marina and Shipyard in July 2015. At the time, the facility was in a state of disrepair. “When we first saw the place, it was deteriorated and rotting,” says Daniel Ravotti, Managing Director at St. Vincent Shipyard Limited. “But the government had a vision of improving and developing it, and when I saw the shipyard, I fell in love. This is a remarkable facility.” 36 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
QUALITY AND INNOVATION SSL had the technical experience and the knowledge to renew and reinvigorate the shipyard. Today, the facility has its own certified machinists, fabricators, and welders, and Vincentians no longer have to send off to Trinidad for specialist jobs. A reputation for quality has followed. “We’re now considered one of the best metal workshops in the Eastern Caribbean,” says Mr. Ravotti. “This is a really good development for the island,
because now other countries in the region are hearing about us.” What’s more, SSL has begun offering services which have never before been offered in the region. “Usually the bearings for a shaft are Babbitt,” explains Mr. Ravotti. “We’ve developed a new system using Teflon, remaking a Cutlass bearing system. I think this is our invention; I’ve never seen that system applied anywhere else. The temperature of the shaft we produced went
Mr. Ravotti is the Managing Director of the company, but he’s also a mechanical engineer with a Master’s degree in Maritime Engineering. “My school of thought is, there’s no better way to teach somebody than by your own example,” says Mr. Ravotti. “Before we came here, they used to take two days to put in a shaft using a chain hoist. Then the first shaft I assembled here, it took two and a half hours to assemble, align, and put back in the boat using the crane. The employees couldn’t believe it! Another time, we were doing sandblasting
during the night shift, and I said: ‘Okay, let’s see who sandblasts faster. Give me the best blaster you have.’ The guy did one square meter in ten minutes, then I did one square meter in three minutes. He said: ‘Oh boy, the boss knows what he’s doing!’ My belief is you can teach better by example than by telling people what to do.” SAFETY AND EFFICIENCY “When we took over here, safety was non-existent,” says Mr. Ravotti. “People used to work in shorts and slippers.” Today,
SSL - METAL WORK BOTTOM HULL IN DRY DOCK.
SSL - SUNSET AT DRY DOCK AND MARINA.
SSL - AERIAL VIEW ST. VINCENT SHIPYARD LIMITED. SSL - STAINLESS STEEL WELDING.
down from 68 degrees Celsius to just 29 Celsius.” LEADING BY EXAMPLE When SSL took the lease on the shipyard, they had twenty-one employees. Less than a year later, there are sixty-one. What’s more, SSL employees are among the bestpaid employees in the country. The national average salary is EC$15 an hour, while SSL employees average EC$22 an hour. SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
ST. VINCENT SHIPYARD
SSL - GROOVING AND MACHINING FOR SHAFT.
SSL has implemented internationally-recognized safety standards, and fosters a safety culture among employees. “Now, everybody’s wearing a hard hat, overalls, and boots, and everybody is part of the safety plan,” says Mr. Ravotti. “I’m the Managing Director, and I wear my overalls too!” SSL has taken steps to improve energy efficiency as well, switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs and implementing efficiency policies which they’ve applied to the ma-
SSL - FLAT NUT FOR SHAFT COUPLING FABRICATION.
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chinery. “Our bills have gone down a long way as a result,” says Mr. Ravotti. “We’re looking into installing solar panels in the future, to help even more.” CULTURE OF REPAIR “The employees used to say: ‘Okay, it’s broken; buy a new one’,” explains Mr. Ravotti. “We’ve changed that. We had an Iveco crane here that was sitting there not working for four years. But we brought over
some parts and a mechanic from Venezuela, where they have an Iveco plant. He reassembled the crane, and now it’s working. The day we started it back up, everybody came out of work and took their smartphones out and started taking pictures!” Now, SSL employees are taught how to repair the equipment they use. “They know what to look for, how to identify problems, and how to fix them,” says Mr. Ravotti. “We’re very proud of teaching the local
SSL - BABBITT AND LEAD ALLOY MELTED AND MACHINED IN WORKSHOP.
SSL - PROPELLER SHAFT COUPLING FABRICATION.
Vincentians how to work more efficiently, and giving them these skills.” SSL plans to go even further, offering technical training to local people from beyond the shipyard. “We’re going to set up a training facility,” says Mr. Ravotti. “We’re right now putting together an agreement with the technical schools here. They don’t have practical facilities available, and we can offer them that. We intend to share the facilities for free with Vincentians who want to learn those technical skills to get a better job.” OXYGEN PLANT SSL is now working on a new project to develop an oxygen plant. The shipyard burns forty bottles of oxygen a day, which they have to import from Trinidad at US$70 a bottle. “The plant will be US$100,000, but the maintenance is very cheap once that has been paid off,” says Mr. Ravotti. “We have a compressed air system in the shipyard already in place, with pipes everywhere. We’ll use the same system to distribute it to the guys directly from the plant.” The shipyard won’t be the only beneficiary of cheap oxygen, though. “We’re going to make oxygen not just at an industrial level, but also to supply to the hospitals on the island,” explains Mr. Ravotti. “We want
to cooperate with the government and the community on this. We’re talking about selling it to them for US$30 a bottle, so they will save $40 with every bottle. And they won’t have to wait for it to come from Trinidad; they’ll have it immediately.” RESTORATION PROJECT In addition to the marina area, which has space to moor sixty boats, the site has a hotel, apartments, a supermarket, and a restaurant, all of which SSL is restoring. “The Grenadines is one of the best places in the world for tourism,” says Mr. Ravotti. “We have the same beauty you can find
in Malaysia or the Philippines, but it’s nicer, it’s brighter, and for American and European tourists it’s much cheaper. The shipyard is just one hour’s sailing away, and we’re going to make it the gateway to the Grenadines. There’s guys in superyachts sailing all the way from Martinique; they can have the same quality treatment here, only one hour’s sail away. And if you want a good bed, a nice TV, Wi-Fi, a hot shower, we have our hotel; if you want groceries, or some fine rum, there’s our supermarket. St. Vincent is a beautiful place with wonderful, warm people, and it has a lot of potential to develop tourism.” c
SSL - PROPPELLER NUT FABRICATION.
SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
1st - 3rd
BIOCLEANTECH 2016 Ottawa, ON, Canada
Policy makers, large GHG emitters, NGOs, and biomass feedstock and technology suppliers will gather in Ottawa for a dialogue on the deployment of Canada’s biomass resources to reduce GHG emissions, generate significant employment, and serve as the basis for an innovation-rich sustainable economy.
6th - 7th
Yale Environmental Sustainabilty Summit Yale University, USA
The premiere Yale Environmental Sustainability Summit (YESS) is designed to build a thriving multi-disciplinary network of Yale leaders in sustainability, enhancing their collaboration and impact.
Waste & Recycling Expo Canada Toronto, ON, Canada
Canada’s only trade show serving the waste, recycling, and public works markets, Waste & Recycling Expo Canada and the Municipal Equipment Expo Canada are pleased to announce their return to the Toronto area.
9th - 10th
11th - 13th
Green Festival Expo San Francisco, CA, USA
Bringing together the world’s most trusted companies, innovative brands, national and local businesses, pioneering thinkers, and conscious consumers in one place to promote the best in sustainability and green living.
Green Energy & Expo Atlanta, GA, USA
Green Energy 2016 provides a platform for researchers/scientists to share and globalize their research work while participants from industry can promote their products thus felicitating dissemination of knowledge.
28th - 30th
Nov 29th Dec 2nd
ECO-AG 2016 Omaha, NE, USA http://www.acresusa.com/
The annual Acres U.S.A. conference sets the standards for innovation and learning. It is where you find farmers and consultants from every side of eco-farming who come together to share their experience and expertise.
2016 ACEEE Intelligent Efficiency Conference Austin, TX, USA
Intelligent efficiency holds the promise of substantially reducing energy use while transforming many energy-using markets. Achieving this outcome requires collaboration among the efficiency, technology, and user communities.
World Biodiesel Congress & Expo Austin, TX, USA
Biodiesel: Sustainable Future Fuel. Biodiesel 2016 is the event designed for international professionals to facilitate the dissemination and application of research findings related to Biodiesel as replacement fuel.
5th - 7th
13th - 15th
Renewable Energy World International Orlando, FL, USA http://www.rewintl.com
40 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Covering the wind, solar, biomass, hydro, geothermal, ocean/tidal/wave, biopower, bio-fuels, hydrogen, and energy sectors provides a unique opportunity to network with thousands of experts about the technologies and trends at the forefront of the renewable energy industry’s future.
ADVERTISERS INDEX A Agreen Tech Expo 2017 B BioMRF Technologies Inc. G GB Energy Texaco Jamaica
I Interscape Commercial Environments P06
K KWE Technologies Group
M Mia Green Expo 2018
Midac Equipment Ltd.
R Ruff & Tuff Trucking Ltd.
W Wahlco, Inc. Water Expo 2017
P07 Back Cover
SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
MARK YOUR CALENDAR for these 3 outstanding events in MIAMI, The Americaâ€™s Business Capital.
Where manufacturers & distributors CONNECT BIG with Latin American, Caribbean & United States HUGE MARKETS 40 countries under one roof!
agreen tec EXPO
www.AGTexpo.com (305) 412-7945
April 18 & 19, 2017
Showcasing Technologies, Products & Know-How for the AGRICULTURAL and GREEN OUTDOORS industries
www.TheWaterExpo.com (305) 412-EXPO (3976)
Empowering WATER & SANITATION for ALL of The Americas!
Green Green Mia
www.MiaGreen.com (305) 412-0000
Showcasing E x p o GREEN BUILDING, SOLAR, ENERGY STORAGE, CLEANTECH...
Expo & CoNFERENCE 9th edition!
Jan. 24 & 25, 2018
Produced by Show Winners Corp. - www.ShowWinnersCorp.com