By-Product Synergy

General Motors’ 110th Landfill-free Property

RenCen

US BCSD Member General Motors’ 110th Landfill-free property is a big one: 5.5 million square-feet, 12,000 office workers, 3,000 daily visitors, with a 73-floor hotel. The Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan is no longer sending any waste to the dump. The Detroit Free Press reports,

“From our CEO all the way across the organization, every single person plays a role in this project,” said John Bradburn, GM’s waste reduction manager and US BCSD Chairman. Purging waste from the RenCen bedeviled GM’s environmental sustainability officials for a time. For example, the hotel needed to find a way to address mattresses. The automaker collaborated with 11 other RenCen corporate tenants — including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan — as well as 27 retailers and 20 restaurants. “It’s a very, very diverse site,” Bradburn said. “For us to get this done, we needed to get everybody’s buy-in — and we were very pleased to know when we sat down with the various retailers and businesses in there, they were very enthused about doing this.” (Source)

Read more by clicking here.

An Unlikely Combination: Auto Parts Bins and Community Gardens

sylvia-ffBy-Product Synergy is useful to more than just the companies and organizations exchanging goods; in some cases, entire communities benefit. US BCSD member General Motors has brought its home city of Detroit into the BPS loop by donating its used shipping crates to Cadillac Urban Gardens. The community garden grows roughly 2,400 vegetables and herbs, which in turn are provided free of charge to area residents.

Source: http://detroit2020.com/2013/08/16/our-person-of-the-week-unifies-a-community-through-an-urban-garden/

Snapshot from Qinghuangdao, China

Andy Mangan, US BCSD Executive Director, is in China this week meeting with China Business Council for Sustainable Development staff, member companies, and government representatives working on the Hebei By-Product Synergy Project. Here’s Andy alongside Mr. Zhai Qi, Secretary General of the CBCSD, at the shore in Qinghuangdao.

Andy will be traveling from Qinghuangdao to Ulsan, South Korea next week to attend the International Society for Industrial Ecology’s biennial conference at the University of Ulsan. The city is one of the best examples of the amazing development of South Korea. It’s is home to Hyundai (ship building and automobiles), the SK refinery and petrochemicals complex, and has a large and developing Eco-Industrial Park, which will be a model for industrial symbiosis around the world.

Experts to help us move from Vision 2050 to Action 2020

Joining us for Action 2020 at Yale University on July 17-18, 2013?

Actions led by business to achieve one or more societal or planetary goal in the Action 2020 framework will be assisted and scaled up through collaboration with industry peers, academic experts, and government representatives. Action 2020 organizers at the Yale Center for Business and Environment have assembled an esteemed group of colleagues to join us at Yale University, each committed to helping us understand the complexities of our efforts and continue driving to action. See a few standouts below, and visit our website to learn more.


Paul Anastas

Paul T. Anastas is the Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professor in the Practice of Chemistry for the Environment. He has appointments in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Department of Chemistry, and Department of Chemical Engineering. In addition, Prof. Anastas serves as the Director of the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale.

Anastas took public service leave from Yale to serve as the Assistant Administrator for the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Agency Science Advisor from 2009-2012. From 2004 -2006, Paul Anastas served as Director of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute in Washington, D.C. He was previously the Assistant Director for the Environment in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy where he worked from 1999-2004. He is credited with establishing the field of green chemistry during his time working for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the Chief of the Industrial Chemistry Branch and as the Director of the U.S. Green Chemistry Program.


John Bradburn

John is manager of waste-reduction efforts at General Motors. In this role, he leads the company’s landfill-free initiative, which has resulted in 99 GM operations around the world that reuse, recycle, and convert to energy all wastes from daily operations. John is an established expert in waste reduction and recycling, and frequently mentors other companies pursuing zero-waste goals. John’s responsibilities also include directing the company’s design-for-the-environment program, implementing sustainable processes and technologies that reduce the company’s environmental impact and costs.

He collaborates with suppliers, product and manufacturing engineers, and external stakeholder groups. Under John’s leadership, GM recycled or reused 90 percent of waste generated globally through various resource conservation efforts in 2011. Between 2000 and 2010, the company reduced non-recycled manufacturing waste by 73 percent.


Marian Chertow

Marian Chertow is Associate Professor of Industrial Environmental Management and has been Director of the Industrial Environmental Management Program at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies since 1991. Her research and teaching focus on industrial ecology, business/environment issues, waste management, and environmental technology innovation. Primary research interests are 1) The study of industrial symbiosis including geographically-based exchanges of wastes, materials, energy, and water within networks of businesses. 2) The potential of industrial ecology to underpin ideas of the proposed Circular Economy law in China. 3) The application of innovation theory to the development of environmental and energy technology.

Prior to Yale, Marian spent ten years in environmental business and state and local government including service as President of the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority charged with developing a billion dollar waste infrastructure system for the state. She is a frequent international lecturer and has testified on waste, recycling and other environmental issues before committees of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.


Richard Kidd

Richard Kidd became the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Energy & Sustainability) on October 25, 2010. This is his third assignment as a Senior Executive within the Federal Government. In this position he is responsible for overall program direction, establishment of policies, development and refinement of strategies, and oversight for implementation of all programs and initiatives related to Energy Security and Sustainability within the Army. As the Army’s Senior Energy Executive, Mr. Kidd coordinates and integrates both installation and operational energy programs and strategies.

Mr. Kidd graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1986 and served as an Infantry Officer until 1991. After receiving a Masters Degree in Public and Private Management from Yale University, he joined the United Nations in 1993 and served in a variety of international assignments, principally in war affected regions of the world.


Anthony Leiserowitz

Anthony Leiserowitz, Ph.D. is Director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and a Research Scientist at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University. He is a widely recognized expert on American and international public opinion on global warming, including public perception of climate change risks, support and opposition for climate policies, and willingness to make individual behavioral change.

His research investigates the psychological, cultural, political, and geographic factors that drive public environmental perception and behavior. He has conducted survey, experimental, and field research at scales ranging from the global to the local, including international studies, the United States, individual states, municipalities, and with the Inupiaq Eskimo of Northwest Alaska. He also conducted the first empirical assessment of worldwide public values, attitudes, and behaviors regarding global sustainability, including environmental protection, economic growth, and human development.

Accelerating Sustainable Solutions through Transformative Business Education

The US BCSD, WBCSD, and deans and professors from Yale School of Management and the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies met last week to accelerate sustainable solutions through business education. This partnership opportunity aligns the WBCSD global business community, its Regional Network, and the Global Network for Advanced Management to pursue co-development of transformative business education, extensive research opportunities, and regional project collaboration.

In the complex world of scaling up business solutions to sustainability, top universities, particularly business and management schools, have a key role to play in educating the leaders of today and tomorrow. Partnership with the WBCSD provides access to senior executives of companies who are at the forefront of corporate sustainable innovation and practices, and equally important, access to its Regional Network which provides regionally specific insights on corporate sustainability project opportunities and barriers.

The Global Network for Advanced Management brings together 23 universities from 23 countries of varying regions, cultures, and economies in different phases of development. The coalition of universities work together on four key goal challenges, one of which is sustainability. Students from participating schools travel for a week of intensive study organized around a theme, company visits, and networking. Geographically, 20 of the 23 universities are located in countries with strong WBCSD Regional Network affiliates.

By partnering with a university consortium like the Global Network for Advanced Management that shares our sense of urgency on sustainability, we’re providing our members with a groundbreaking new opportunity create innovative sustainability solutions and foster the appropriate framework conditions to bring them to scale.

Greater Houston By-Product Synergy Project honored as TEEA Finalist

The US BCSD’s Greater Houston By-Product Synergy (BPS) Project was honored as one of 19 finalists for a Texas Environmental Excellence Award (TEEA) at the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Awards Banquet on May 1, 2013. Susan Fernandes, the US BCSD’s Project Manager, and Houston BPS Project member Joe Rizzo, Cherry Companies, attended the Awards Banquet. The finalists and 10 winners were selected from a field of more than 150 applications state-wide. The Houston BPS project was selected in the Innovative Operations/Management Award Category.

The concept of BPS is that one company’s waste can become another company’s resource. Matching by-product streams from one facility with users at another creates new revenues or savings, and potential social and environmental benefits. Since its inception three years ago, the Houston BPS project has identified more than 18,000 metric tons that can be diverted from landfill disposal, achieved an estimated annual savings of $4.5 million in waste disposal costs and virgin materials purchases, and a wide range of other life-cycle environmental benefits. Consider joining our diverse industrial network to bring these benefits to your company too. For more information, visit: http://houstonbps.org

Hebei BPS Project Gains Strong Local Government Support

In May 2012, the US BCSD and the China Business Council for Sustainable Development (CBCSD) initiated a Hebei By-Product Synergy Project under the US-China Strategic Economic Dialogue’s EcoPartnership program. One year later, the project continues to gain momentum.

The mayor’s offices of Huainan and Qinhuangdao, as well as the Hebei provincial government, have all recently voiced their strong interest and support for the project in talks with CBCSD representatives. The project team is in the process of selecting two or three pilot industrial parks in Qinhuangdao City, Hebei Province and Huainan City, Anhui Province, to develop and test the implementation procedures, select the list of participating enterprises, draw lessons from domestic and international successful practices, and screen BPS technologies.

To support the Hebei BPS project, the US BCSD is developing an online materials marketplace designed to facilitate and manage materials data and transactions for BPS projects. This marketplace will allow easy access to materials data, synergy knowledge, and potential resources available based on facility type and industry.

The BPS effort in Qinhuangdao City aligns with a National Science Foundation research project led by the Yale Center for Industrial Ecology entitled: Developing Low-Carbon Cities in the USA, China & India through Inter-Disciplinary Integration Across Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Social Sciences & Public Health. The project includes a focus on BPS as a short term intervention that would likely be beneficial both environmentally and economically, and is considered an important component of the NSF grant.

This project will produce cross-industry material reuse opportunities that ultimately bring a circular economy network to the Hebei region in China through the matching of wastes and under-valued resources at one facility with potential users at other facilities. For more information, visit: http://usbcsd.org/us-china-ecopartnership/

US BCSD Winter Meeting 2013 Recap

US BCSD members and other sustainability experts came from around the country to the University of Texas at Austin to grapple with the complexities of scaling up solutions to Vision 2050 through collaborative learning and real, actionable regional projects.

The US BCSD Winter Meeting was unique this year in its diverse assembly of participants, creating a rare opportunity for sustainability professionals from multiple industries to collaborate and learn alongside cutting edge researchers and federal, state and local policymakers. A number of highly actionable outcomes were created as a result.

Read the rest of this entry →

By-Product Synergy featured in Sustainable Brands Article

The US BCSD’s By-Product Synergy process was recently featured in Sustainable Brands. Click here to access the full article.

This project methodology is being introduced around the world. In May 2012, the US BCSD and the China Business Council for Sustainable Development initiated a BPS project in Hebei Province in northeast China. The Hebei BPS project is modeled after the US BCSD’s network of successful projects in regions across the United States and will address several objectives of China’s 12th Five-Year Plan. Those include a 16 percent reduction in energy use per unit of GDP, a 17 percent reduction of CO2 emissions per unit of GDP, and an 8 percent absolute reduction in sulfur dioxide and organic water pollutants. Three to four dozen Chinese companies will be invited to join this network and are expected to produce synergies valued at US$5 million to $10 million in new revenues, savings and investments in 2013.

Back to Top