Leading US companies managing over 3,400 acres for pollinators

Pollinator ecosystem survey uncovers corporate goals and progress to protect pollinators 

The US Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD) and Pollinator Partnership launched the Corporate Pollinator Ecosystem Project (C-PEP) with leading US companies to identify and quantify pollinator habitats established and maintained at various corporate properties. This project sought to uncover the total number of acres currently used as pollinator habitats on corporate lands and encourage other companies to develop acreage for pollinator habitats.

Forty percent of invertebrate pollinator species, bees and butterflies in particular, are facing extinction, according to a two-year study conducted by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. 

“We know a large proportion of pollinators face the threat of extinction; it’s what we don’t know that is more troubling,” said Victoria Wojcik, research director of the Pollinator Partnership. “Research and monitoring is essential to learn more about the challenges faced by pollinators. Efforts by individual companies to assess and enhance pollinator habitats on their corporate properties will fill gaps and provide policymakers and scientists with additional conservation tools to protect these species.”

A comprehensive survey was sent to over 20 corporations in March 2016 to collect data about existing pollinator habitats. Seventy-four sites participated in the survey, and 41 percent of respondents noted that pollinator protection is included in their corporate sustainability goals. 

This project is aligned with the national strategy to promote the health of honeybees and other pollinators and the Wildlife Habitat Council’s mission to facilitate business engagement in biodiversity and conservation. The project was co-led by Susan Kelsey of General Motors and Greg Cekander of Waste Management, Inc. 

Kelsey presented the results on June 15, 2016 at Pathways to Impact, a joint US BCSD-WBCSD-Yale University conference in New Haven, Connecticut. According to the findings, 46 of 74 responding sites are actively managing for pollinators including butterflies, moths, native bees, monarch butterflies, honey bees, hummingbirds, wasps, to name a few.

“Businesses are actively pursuing habitat improvements for pollinators, and we’re trying to challenge additional companies to become part of the process,” said Kelsey. “As more people and organizations add pollinator habitats, we can create a large quilt of connected patches of habitats for pollinators to thrive.” 

Scientists estimate that one out of every three bites of food humans eat exist because of pollinators. Corporations have a number of opportunities to improve pollinator habitat development and management. Many C-PEP survey respondents said they wanted more education on the issues within companies and the communities where they work. Some respondents said they would benefit from additional instruction on how pollinator habitats are developed and maintained. There is a clear opportunity for corporate organizations, like the US BCSD, to promote existing resources from pollinator organizations, like the Pollinator Partnership’s Monarch Habitat Development Guides for Corporate Lands

This survey presents a good sample of corporate leaders with sustainability commitments, particularly those with goals to protect declining pollinator populations in North America. The results of the project will be integrated into work by the National Pollinator Taskforce. 

Daniel Kietzer
Session on September 5th at IUCN World Conservation Congress

We'd love for you to join us for our panel session at IUCN on Monday, September 5th, 7:30 to 9:30pm.

 

Coastal restoration is about playing offense to protect our natural capital. And there’s good news: restoration has been demonstrated to fix landscapes degraded by agricultural and industrial activity, storm surge and subsidence, and also deliver outsized environmental, social and economic benefits. 

This session will engage participants in how to unlock the billion-dollar business case for landscape scale restoration using the power of private-public collaboration and a breakthrough model.

Located in the Business and Biodiversity Pavilion. Learn more here.

Daniel Kietzer
From the Austin Materials Marketplace: Johnson’s Backyard Garden and Ian’s Giving Garden exchange drip irrigation tape

Johnson’s Backyard Garden just completed a transaction to provide 3,000 ft of drip irrigation tape to our youngest (and arguably coolest) Austin Materials Marketplace participant, Ian’s Giving Garden.

Ian McKenna, 11, has started multiple “giving gardens” around town to grow and donate food to children and families in need in the Austin area. His wonderful efforts are fueled in part by grants from the City of Austin Sustainability Office, Katie’s Krops, the Sodexo Foundation, and others; and we hope to connect Ian to more and more materials resources as his work grows and expands. Great work, Ian!

Daniel Kietzer
Via TriplePundit.com: Louisiana Wetlands Restoration Project Offers Corporate Investors a Social Return
A Sea Grant College Program group from Louisiana State University pulls discarded crab traps from the water in Pointe aux Chenes.

A Sea Grant College Program group from Louisiana State University pulls discarded crab traps from the water in Pointe aux Chenes.

The US BCSD and Restore the Earth Foundation’s Strategic Alliance for landscape-scale restoration and a $1 million Collaborative Fund was recently highlighted in Triple Pundit.

Travel in Pointe aux Chenes, a 35,000-acre swampy marshland southwest of New Orleans, is difficult. The 680 members of the Pointe-au-Chien Tribe who call it home historically used canoes carved from native bald cypress trees – a species often compared in size and majesty to California’s redwood. Today the wetlands’s acreage is more likely to be traversed on motorboat by hunters seeking waterfowl, mink, nutria, muskrat, and Inland saltwater fish species like crabs and shrimp. That is, if they can find them, as the district’s natural resources have been under attack for years. Read more...

The project calls for $1 million in funding to restore an initial 1,000 acres at the Pointe aux Chenes Wildlife Management Area, which is owned and managed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries. Learn more about our work in Louisiana here.

Daniel Kietzer
Materials Marketplace awarded Environmental Leader Project of the Year
Andrew Mangan, US BCSD and Paul Nastu, founder, Environmental Leader

Andrew Mangan, US BCSD and Paul Nastu, founder, Environmental Leader

The Materials Marketplace was awarded "Top Project of the Year" by Environmental Leader at a ceremony in Denver, CO on June 22, 2016. The program recognizes excellence in the fields of environmental, sustainability and energy management.

The judging panel said, “This could be an extremely impactful project and it addresses a space that is of utmost importance, supply chain and material use. This is a very innovative program and great to see support from large companies in the pilot project. This is a very innovative program that has great collaboration with partner companies.”

Learn more about the awards program at environmentalleader.com

Daniel Kietzer
US BCSD and Restore the Earth Foundation Strategic Alliance aims to Restore last line of defense from open water for two Louisiana parishes

New Haven, CT – June 14, 2016. The United States Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD) and the Restore the Earth Foundation announced their Strategic Alliance for landscape-scale restoration and a $1 million Collaborative Fund today at the US BCSD, World Business Council (WBCSD), and Yale Center for Business and the Environment meeting at Yale University. The funds will be used to restore 1,000 acres at Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area, Louisiana, the largest land area that provides the last line of defense protecting more than 250,000 people, including the United Houma Nation and Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe, from the threat of storms and land loss. The region is home to threatened and endangered species, commercial and recreational fisheries, and a rich diversity of wildlife and birds. “We have the potential to bring back essential ecosystems by investing in restoration of degraded land, forests, and coastlines,” said Restore the Earth Co-Founder and Executive Director PJ Marshall. “These ecosystems offer diverse physical, biological, and socioeconomic resources. Millions of people and businesses depend on them. Restoration can also enhance and protect the overall health, resiliency, and sustainability of local communities—especially in the face of the potentially devastating effects of climate change.”

By contributing to the Collaborative Fund, corporate partners are able to demonstrate and report on the value their investment creates. Restore the Earth’s EcoMetrics™ Model quantifies the full financial value of the restoration’s environmental, social, and economic impacts, aligned with the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC)’s Framework. Their model proves that for every $1 invested in restoration, more than $9 in value is created. Corporate partners also benefit from third-party-verified carbon, nitrogen, water, and phosphorus offsets.

The US BCSD Louisiana Water Synergy Project will serve as the platform for this joint work. The project, which began in May 2012, provides a forum for business leaders to collaborate on efforts to address water quality, quantity, and coastal resiliency. The project includes 23 companies from a wide range of industrial sectors working with Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, and Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.

“Restoring our degraded lands is critical for society, for the environment, and for business,” said Susan Fernandes, Manager of the US BCSD Louisiana Water Synergy Project. “Restore the Earth has a proven track record for landscape-scale restoration and their EcoMetrics model supports the business case for these investments by providing verifiable, monetized metrics for the social, economic, and environmental value created.”

This investment is the first stage of Restore the Earth’s 15-year project to restore “North America’s Amazon,” a once-forested area that was similar in scale to the Amazon Rainforest. The restoration project will break ground in October 2016 at Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area.

If you are interested in learning more about the US BCSD/Restore the Earth Collaborative Fund or Restore the Earth’s EcoMetrics Model, accounting for the value of landscape-scale restoration, contact Restore the Earth’s PJ Marshall or US BCSD’s Susan Fernandes.

About United States Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD) The US BCSD is an action oriented and member-led nonprofit business association that harnesses the power of collaborative projects, platforms and partnerships to develop, deploy and scale solutions to ecosystems, energy, materials and water challenges. For more information, visit http://usbcsd.org.

About Restore the Earth Foundation Restore the Earth Foundation, Inc. is 501(c)(3) not for profit, its mission is to restore the Earth’s essential forest and wetland ecosystems, delivering outstanding environmental, social and economic returns. Restore the Earth has secured over $35 million from private and public sources and has successfully restored over 45,000 acres along America’s Gulf Coast. Today, these reforested areas have restored habitat, created jobs, and brought back the landscape’s green attributes and benefits that contribute so much to the nation’s communities and culture. To learn more, please visit www.restoretheearth.org.

About the Restore the Earth EcoMetrics™ Model The EcoMetrics™ Model measures the full value for each environmental, social and economic outcome produced by ecosystem restoration, and reports on those outcomes in monetary terms.

Restore the Earth provides a formal detailed report to funders in a format ready for 3rd party audit and in a form that accounts for intangible assets on the funder’s balance sheet to support the business case for investment. This also allows funders to take credit for GHG-offsets, water quality offsets and other environmental benefits produced, in perpetuity; and if desired, they can use the environmental offsets to mitigate the portion of their climate footprint that cannot be offset at source.

The EcoMetrics™ Model is compliant with the global standards for ecosystem services, Restore the Earth’s work creates value with outcomes that truly benefit communities by enhancing quality of life and sustaining the factors that provide for environmental, social and economic resiliency.

BlogDaniel Kietzer
Andy Mangan at Better Business, Better World: Mainstreaming the Circular Economy

US BCSD Executive Director Andy Mangan presented the Materials Marketplace platform at the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation's "Better Business, Better World: Mainstreaming the Circular Economy" event on May 16, 2016. Watch Andy's presentation in the recording above, courtesy of the USCCF.

Andy makes a "call for action" at the end of the video, inviting companies, organizations and government entities to get involved in our efforts. If you're interested in learning more, join us at "Pathways to Impact: Driving Scale & Aligning Values" this June at Yale University. Four sessions and workshops will focus on the Materials Marketplace and Sustainable Materials Management; and you'll also be exposed to a number of other exciting projects and programs happening at the WBCSD, US BCSD, and Yale University. Learn more at impact.usbcsd.org.

BlogDaniel Kietzer
Agenda is Live! Pathways to Impact: Driving Scale & Aligning Values

impact We have an exciting mix of plenary sessions and deep-dive workshops planned for Pathways to Impact: Driving Scale & Aligning Values this June - our annual US BCSD, WBCSD and Yale University conference. Our agenda, just posted at impact.usbcsd.org will examine key sustainability drivers through the lens of existing initiatives run by the US BCSD and WBCSD, as well as from the leading academic vantage point of Yale University faculty. Learn more and register at impact.usbcsd.org.

BlogDaniel Kietzer
Pathways to Impact: Driving Scale & Aligning Values

impact

Join us on June 14-15, 2016 at Yale University for Pathways to Impact: Driving Scale & Aligning Values

2016 is the year of implementation. Companies are putting into place the ambitious commitments they made in Paris during COP 21. They are scaling initiatives that succeeded in pilot trials last year. Businesses are figuring out what the Sustainable Development Goals mean for their industries, and aligning their sustainability objectives with these global priorities. Momentum grew during 2015 and, now in 2016, we – business leaders, financiers, risk auditors, government officials, conservationists, academics – have our boots on the ground and we’re working together to implement and scale sustainability solutions.

Multiple factors contributed to the momentum of 2016 – circular economy, climate action, climate risk & adaptation, and systemic transparency & reporting – and more will emerge over the course of this year. The 2016 US BCSD-WBCSD-Yale University Summer Conference, Pathways to Impact: Driving Scale & Aligning Values, will dive into these drivers, looking at what caused the sustainability sea change of 2015 to swell and how the big ideas are being put into action and brought to scale. We will look carefully at the hard work of 2016, with a lens toward each sustainability driver and how we expect it evolve over the next year.

[themify_button style="xlarge yellow rounded" link="http://impact.usbcsd.org" target="_blank" ]Learn More & Register Today[/themify_button]

Blog, EventsDaniel Kietzer
United States Materials Marketplace: Q1 2016 Update

circulars winnerMOMENTUM BUILDS POST-DAVOSAs you've probably seen by now, the U.S. Materials Marketplace was recognized with a prestigious "Circulars" Award at this year's World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in January, kickstarting a considerable amount of momentum for the project both in the US and around the world. Scroll down through our past postings to see recent news articles and social media activity.

SHARE THE NEWS This award is unique in that it's shared not only by our three organizations; but also by each of you as project participants and supporters. We want to help you share this achievement both within your organization and externally through your media channels and CSR reports. Contact us for a press package with badges and a brief description of the award.

PROJECT SPONSORSHIP We're asking all companies participating in the US Materials Marketplace to help offset costs for project administration, data analysis, ongoing software improvements, and program expansion with a participation fee. Three tiers of sponsorship are outlined on our website - click here for more information.

NEW REUSE IDEAS EMERGE FROM GREENBIZ CONFERENCE PVC anti-chip paste: GM has a good amount of unwanted PVC paste materials from their manufacturing processes, and Armstrong is interested in exploring the possibility of reusing this material in various flooring products (such as vinyl composition tile).

Limestone powder: Automobile manufacturers generate a paint overspray byproduct and use limestone to absorb extra paint. This byproduct is 90-95% limestone and 5-10% paint overspray. Armstrong flooring is exploring the possibility to feed this material into their production process to replace virgin filler for their flooring products.

SAVE THE DATE: JUNE 14-15 AT YALE UNIVERSITY

static image

Move 'Ideas to Action to Scale' this summer with the US BCSD, WBCSD and Yale Center for Business and the Environment. Open up your calendars now and add June 14-15, 2016 in New Haven, Connecticut; and stay-tuned for more information as the date gets closer.

CALL TO ACTION: ADD NEW MATERIALS & NEW LOCATIONS We're looking to significantly increase the number of materials and locations in the Materials Marketplace database, which will in turn allow our team to identify more opportunities and create a greater impact. Adding new materials information and bringing more facilities online is a fairly straightforward process, and we've put together this quick tutorial to make it even easier.

We’re also moving forward toward a goal of having 100+ companies participating in the US Materials Marketplace by this time next year and will be updating you as new companies sign up.

NEW WEBSITE UPDATES We made some major updates to our project website - materialsmarketplace.org - in January 2016 to better communicate the scope of the project; share resources, news and updates; and capture new leads on new project participants. Click on the link to take a look, and feel welcomed to share it with your colleagues and linkedin connections.

MATERIALS MARKETPLACE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENTS The Materials Marketplace software will be getting some improvements this summer as it moves ahead on a continuous improvement path. We will be in touch to invite your contributions as the software improves and evolves.

G7 ALLIANCE ON RESOURCE EFFICIENCY The Materials Marketplace is being recognized during a G7 Alliance on Resource Efficiency Workshop in Washington, DC on March 22-23, hosted by the US EPA. The event theme is the Use of Life Cycle Concepts in Supply Chain Management to Achieve Resource Efficiency. This workshop offers US Marketplace exposure at the ministerial levels in all G7 countries and will help foster dialogue about innovative practices, key challenges, and highlight areas of opportunity related to life-cycle based approaches. Stay tuned for key outcomes and action items.

BlogDaniel Kietzer
U.S. Materials Marketplace Wins Prestigious “Circulars” Award at World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

logos

US BCSD, Corporate Eco Forum and WBCSD partnership recognized for “disrupting business as usual by enabling the circular economy with data driven technologies”

20 January 2016/Davos, Switzerland: Selected from an impressive group of more than 200 entrants, the U.S. Materials Marketplace was recognized with a prestigious “Circulars” Award at this year’s World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. The Circulars, the world’s premier circular economy award program, is a collaboration between the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders and Accenture and recognize individuals and organizations from commerce and civil society that have made a notable contribution to driving circular economy principles – where growth doesn’t depend on the use of scarce natural resources.

circulars winner

Awarded the BT Award for Circular Economy Digital Disruptor, the Materials Marketplace is a joint project of three business organizations that together represent hundreds of companies worldwide: the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD), the Corporate Eco Forum (CEF) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Andy Mangan, Co-founder and Executive Director of the US BCSD, and Peter Bakker, President and CEO of the WBCSD accepted the award yesterday evening at an event in the UN World Food Programme Tent.

“While materials matching has been tried many times before, several developments make now a good time for tipping it toward normal business practices,” said Mangan, who has decades of experience working with businesses on sustainable materials management. “These include the growing corporate buy-in, the evolving sophistication of intelligent software and the momentum for climate change solutions coming out of the Paris Agreement.”

Participants in the Marketplace work with materials experts to comb through an online database seeking ways to reuse or exchange unwanted materials, from textile scraps to hydrochloric acid to off-spec wood flooring. Companies not only save money as they acquire cheaper raw materials and dispose of less waste, but also use significantly less energy and emit lower levels of greenhouse gases.

MR Rangaswami, Founder of the Corporate Eco Forum, praised the companies who led the charge: “The Materials Marketplace is an amazing example of what companies can do when they collaborate. The pioneering companies who sparked this initiative have paved the way for hopefully hundreds of more companies to reduce their footprints and move toward more circular business models.”

The Marketplace is developing a tiered cooperative model that would allow for big and small marketplaces to share their outcomes. As other countries implement their own marketplace programs, this co-op structure would connect them while allowing participants to retain control and ownership of their country’s data and activities. WBCSD’s Global Network, comprising of 70 national business councils would help facilitate the expansion.

Peter Bakker, President and CEO of WBCSD, sees enormous promise in the Materials Marketplace model: “Business has a critical role in making the transition to a sustainable and thriving economy. New business models based on the principles of circular economy will accelerate this shift allowing companies that use them to capitalize on new economic opportunities. The Materials Marketplace is a clear demonstration of this potential as it turns waste into an engine for creating value. With support from WBCSD’s Global Network, we will work towards replicating this model around the world.

Founding companies in the Marketplace include Alcoa, Armstrong World Industries, BASF, CH2M, Dow Chemical, Essroc, Fairmount Santrol, General Motors, Goodyear, Greif, LafargeHolcim, Nike, Novelis, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, Swisstrax, Tetra Pak, Veolia and Waste Management.

For more information, visit https://thecirculars.org

BlogDaniel Kietzer
News from Austin: [Re]verse Pitch Finalists Compete for $10,000 Innovation Prize

reversepitch Eight Austin entrepreneurs will compete for a $10,000 innovation prize on December 9th.

The finalists are competing to present the best idea – and business concept – that repurposes a byproduct from a local organization into a viable business with social benefit.

The [Re]Verse Pitch Final Competition will be from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 9 in the Bass Lecture Hall at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, 2300 Red River St. The event is free and open to the public. RSVPs requested. Austinites may vote for their favorite idea by 5:00pm on Dec. 9th by signing up for a free account or through a handful of social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.

The top five vote-getters will earn “People’s Choice” points added on top of the judges’ scoring.

“We are thrilled to see so many [Re]Verse Pitch concepts that solve for real needs in the community and reduce waste at the same time,” said Bob Gedert, Director of Austin Resource Recovery. “We encourage Austinites to check out the ideas and vote.”

Ideas range from re-purposing waterproof clog shoes into safer slip-resistant high heels and using leftover vinyl for new products like backpacks.

“Challenging and enabling entrepreneurs to work with hard-to-recycle materials is a key step in the evolution to a circular economy in Austin – one where locally generated waste becomes the new engine for creating value,” said Daniel Kietzer with the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development.

Proposals for spent grains, a brewery byproduct, include “brewnola” granola bars and “brew biscuits” for dogs. And what could possibly be done with a room-full of wicker baskets? Find out by browsing the proposals. KXAN interviewed each of the finalists this morning, which you can view on their website.

[RE]verse Finalists

Eight finalists will pitch their ideas at the final competition Dec. 9:

  • Sue Sende Cole, Working with Wicker (repurposing wicker baskets)
  • Santiago Diaz, Austin Building Materials Depository and Working Space (repurposing books, spent grain, vinyl banners, water proof clogs, canvas, and decorative glassware)
  • Joe Diffie, The Table to Bacon Feed Company (repurposing spent grain)
  • Aaron Pierron, Non-container Glass Recycling (repurposing decorative glassware)
  • Melissa Rothrock, Calling All Seamstresses (repurposing vinyl banners)
  • Cory Skuldt, Brew Biscuits Expansion (repurposing spent grain)
  • Renata Sturdival, Safe Innovative Heels (repurposing vinyl banners and waterproof clogs)
  • Brandon Ward, Brewnola Bars (repurposing spent grain)

Judging will be based on business viability, sustainability impact, economic impact and social impact, along with effectiveness of pitch delivery.

Background

The [Re]Verse Pitch Competition is a one-of-a-kind social innovation program to turn valuable raw materials that are currently leaving local businesses, nonprofits and institutions as waste into the foundation of new social enterprises. The first-ever “reverse pitch” Nov. 3 drew more than 85 social entrepreneurs and Austinites at Vuka to hear pitches from local businesses and nonprofits that have materials up for grabs.

The [Re]Verse Pitch Competition is a collaboration between the City of Austin, the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development, Impact Hub Austin and the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service with additional support from a wide variety of community partners. Learn more at ReversePitch.org.

BlogDaniel Kietzer
U.S. Materials Marketplace selected as a finalist for The Circulars Awards 2016

Project selected from an international pool of candidates in the “Circular Economy Digital Disruptor” category

circulars with logos

Nationwide, December 1, 2015: The United States Materials Marketplace project, a groundbreaking company-led “waste-matching” initiative led by the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD), Corporate Eco Forum (CEF) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), was selected as a finalist in The Circulars Awards 2016 under the “Circular Economy Digital Disruptor” category. The Circulars, the world’s premier circular economy award program, offers recognition to individuals and organizations from commerce and civil society across the globe that have made a notable contribution to driving circular economy principles.

The project, piloted in the summer of 2015, sought to assess the feasibility of a national “Materials Marketplace” to match traditional and non-traditional industrial waste streams with new product and revenue opportunities. 23 major companies participated in the first phase of the pilot, representing 78 industrial facilities across the U.S. The project plans to expand to over 100 participating organizations in the US, and scale to other regions through combined organizational networks by the end of 2016.

The results reveal significant opportunities to eliminate corporate waste and by-product streams. From June through August 2015, participants uploaded 2.4 million tons of underutilized materials to the marketplace, and sought 59 materials via a unique “wishlist” function. The Marketplace team, leveraging more than two decades of experience, recommended 68 matches and initiated 19 transactions.

A comprehensive report presenting the outcomes, challenges, lessons learned and path forward for the U.S. Materials Marketplace pilot is available at http://materialsmarketplace.org.

By participating in the Materials Marketplace, companies can lower operational costs and waste disposal expenses while reducing energy consumption and GHG emissions. Additionally, they will spend less for raw materials, create new business opportunities and jobs to implement them, and join a respected collaborative network of diverse like-minded companies that are eager to explore new pathways to more efficient production and environmental protection.

Companies participating in the 2015 U.S. Materials Marketplace pilot project include: Armstrong World Industries, CH2M, BASF, Dow Chemical, Essroc, Fairmount Santrol, General Motors, Goodyear, Greif, LafargeHolcim, Nike, Novelis, Procter & Gamble, Swisstrax, Tetra Pak, Veolia, Waste Management, and others. In 2014, these companies accounted for over $600 billion U.S. in revenue, operated over 600 facilities in the U.S., and employed over 1.7 million people worldwide.

BlogDaniel Kietzer
Pilot project implemented in the US by 23 leading companies reveals promising opportunities to eliminate industrial waste

New report details early results and outlines a path forward for a national-scale Materials Marketplace

Today, the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD), Corporate Eco Forum (CEF) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) announced the results of a groundbreaking company-led “waste-matching” initiative. The project sought to assess the feasibility of a national “Materials Marketplace” to match traditional and non-traditional industrial waste streams with new product and revenue opportunities. 23 major companies participated in the first phase of the pilot, representing 78 industrial facilities across the United States.

The results reveal significant opportunities to eliminate corporate waste and by-product streams. From June through August 2015, participants uploaded 2.4 million tons of underutilized materials to the marketplace, and sought 59 materials via a unique “wishlist” function. The Marketplace team, leveraging more than two decades of experience, recommended 68 matches and initiated 19 transactions.

A comprehensive report presenting the outcomes, challenges, lessons learned and path forward for the U.S. Materials Marketplace pilot is available at http://materialsmarketplace.org.

Andrew Mangan, founder and Executive Director of the US BCSD, likens the process to pulling open curtains that have long been closed. He summarizes the vision of the project, “The increasing pressure on our natural resources sends a clear message: we need to find value in discarded materials. Growing cross-industry collaboration for the efficient use of our resources opens up new business opportunities while creating economic, environmental, and societal benefits.”

Added Amy O’Meara, Director of the Corporate Eco Forum, “The pilot clearly demonstrated that an expanded U.S. Materials Marketplace with hundreds of companies reusing their material flows could significantly reduce the waste currently going to landfills. With increasing numbers of companies aspiring to more circular business models, the Marketplace also plays an increasingly important convening role for likeminded business leaders.”

Peter Bakker, President and CEO of the WBCSD, said “The Materials Marketplace project pilot has revealed major economic opportunities for companies to close material and waste loops. In collaboration with our 70 Global Network Partners across the world, we will identify ways to bring these projects to scale and accelerate the transition to a circular economy.”

The project received a major boost from the early and enthusiastic enlistment of General Motors and Nike. In recent years, General Motors has generated nearly $1 billion in annual revenue through reuse and recycling of its by-products, which enabled the corporation to avoid releasing 10 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions in the atmosphere.

In January 2016, the pilot will be extended for another three months to finish transactions in progress and recruit additional companies. By participating in the Materials Marketplace, companies can lower operational costs and waste disposal expenses while reducing energy consumption and GHG emissions. Additionally, they will spend less for raw materials, create new business opportunities and jobs to implement them, and join a respected collaborative network of diverse like-minded companies that are eager to explore new pathways to more efficient production and environmental protection.

Companies participating in the 2015 U.S. Materials Marketplace pilot project include: Armstrong World Industries, BASF, CH2M, Dow Chemical, Essroc, Fairmount Santrol, General Motors, Goodyear, Greif, LafargeHolcim, Nike, Novelis, Procter & Gamble, Swisstrax, Tetra Pak, Veolia, Waste Management, and others. In 2014, these companies accounted for over $600 billion U.S. in revenue, operated over 600 facilities in the U.S., and employed over 1.7 million people worldwide.

ABOUT THE US BCSD: The US BCSD is an action-oriented and member¬-led business association that harnesses the power of collaborative projects, platforms and partnerships to develop, deploy and scale solutions to ecosystems, energy, materials and water challenges. US BCSD activities are designed to generate economic returns and address environmental and societal challenges. The US BCSD is one of 65 national councils affiliated with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

ABOUT THE WBCSD: The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a CEO-led organization of some 200 forward-thinking global companies, is committed to galvanizing the global business community to create a sustainable future for business, society and the environment. Together with its members, the council applies its respected thought leadership and effective advocacy to generate constructive solutions and take shared action. Leveraging its strong relationships with stakeholders as the leading advocate for business, the council helps drive debate and policy change in favor of sustainable development solutions.

The WBCSD provides a forum for its member companies - who represent all business sectors, all continents and a combined revenue of more than $8.5 trillion, 19 million employees - to share best practices on sustainable development issues and to develop innovative tools that change the status quo. The council also benefits from a network of 70 national and regional business councils and partner organizations, a majority of which are based in developing countries.

ABOUT THE CORPORATE ECO FORUM: The Corporate Eco Forum (CEF) is an invitation-only membership organization comprised of Fortune and Global 500 companies from 18 industries with combined revenues of over $3 trillion. CEF’s mission is to help accelerate sustainable business innovation by creating a neutral “safe space” for influential business leaders to strategize and exchange best-practice insights. Participants are exclusively top-level executives, including chief sustainability officers, chief financial officers, and chief technology officers, and other VP-level executives with responsibilities affecting the supply chain.

BlogDaniel Kietzer
National Materials Marketplace Pilot Project Update: August 2015

timeline As we near the end of August 2015, the National Materials Marketplace pilot has nearly wrapped up the initial data collection phase and has marched forward into analysis, synergy identification and the early stages of synergy facilitation. This positions us well to close out the pilot phase of the project in mid-September and launch a formal report with our results, learnings and path forward.

Materials Available

materials

So far there are 140 material available listings in the marketplace from 20 out of 22 participants, totalling around 2.3 million tons/year of underutilized materials available for higher and better use. This figure alone demonstrates a tremendous opportunity for environmental, social and economic impact; and as a part of the final report, we'll be conducting deeper analysis on potential impacts in each of these three areas.

Actionable Opportunities

Select, preliminary results from the initial round of materials analysis are summarized below. In addition to this, nearly all of the 140 materials available have been matched with some sort of reuse idea, which we'll be sharing directly with participants over the next week or two.

Cement kiln Co-processing Waste co-processing (pre-treatment and co-incineration) in cement kilns takes advantage of the high heat and long retention time already used in the cement production process. Out of all the materials that can be technically reused in the cement kilns, we have prioritized those that adhere to the "highest and best use" principle of our work. This includes many of the non-metallic mineral materials from aluminum industry, and organic by-products with high calorific value from chemical industry.

Chemicals By-products from the chemical industry are generally reused in four ways: 1) reuse as it is 2) reuse after purification/treatment, 3) reuse the chemical property of the material in other applications, or 4) reuse of the heat value in the material. Many of the chemical materials in the marketplace fall under one or more of these categories, including: propanol heads (direct reuse), spent sulfuric acid (direct reuse or pH adjustment), methocel, resin oil, spent solvents, and lubricants (btu value).

Red Mud One chemical and one sand/mining company have expressed interest via the marketplace software in reusing red mud (bauxite residual) as Phosphorus removal media and sand production additive, and are in the process to acquiring test samples. We are also working to identify interested parties - in particular, those with operations along the Gulf Coast and Mississippi River - to reuse red mud as levee construction materials. Research from the EPA's Region 6 office is also being leveraged for this idea.

Drums and Totes Some participants have used shipping containers like totes and drums in the marketplace, and are in discussions to recondition and reuse them for their original purpose.

Steel Offal The steel offal from one auto industry company has caught great interest from multiple participants, all of whom are scoping reuse of these high quality materials directly in their production.

Fibrous Material Fibrous material makes up a significant part of the packaging materials available in the marketplace. Our reuse idea is to work with a ceiling tile manufacturer to incorporate these materials into their ceiling products.

Materials Highlights

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Below are four especially interesting materials available now in the marketplace. Visit http://marketplace.usbcsd.org to login and view these materials and more.

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Natural Leather Scrap Natural leather from footwear manufacturing component cutting. Good for direct reuse.

Quantity: 5200 tons/year

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Silica Sand Crystalline silica is hard, chemically inert and has a high melting point. It is used for a wide range of applications, e.g. glass, casting, molds production, etc.

Quantity: 4200 tons/year

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Hardwood Flooring Off-spec unfinished and finished hardwood (mostly red and white oak) flooring.

Quantity: 960 tons/year

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HITEC Solar Salt Mixture of water soluble, inorganic salts of potassium nitrate, sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate. It is a heat transfer medium for heating and cooling between 300-1100 F.

Quantity: 368 tons/year

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Emerging Connections

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is a global circular economy thought leader; leveraging education, business innovation and analysis to accelerate the transition from linear to circular systems. Their Circular Economy 100 platform brings together leading companies, emerging innovators and regions to work towards this end goal. The overlap between our efforts is clear, and we'll be presenting our action-oriented project methodology to CE100 companies this October in Milan to explore how they can join the effort.

Our collaboration on Sustainable Materials Management with the US EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) is moving forward, and through this collaboration we'll be involved in an upcoming workshop with G-7 Alliance on Resource Efficiency.

Scaling this project and our successes to the European Union is looking very likely, spearheaded by the WBCSD's Global Network. We'll be presenting the project via webinar to over 20 Global Network leaders across the EU in late August. We'll also be presenting at a European Commission circular economy workshop in mid-September.

BlogDaniel Kietzer
Social Media Recap from Yale University

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BlogDaniel Kietzer
From Waste to Opportunity: Over 20 Companies Launch New Project to Scale Up Material Reuse across US Facilities

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Online marketplace allows companies to exchange underutilized materials, turning one company’s waste into raw material for the other.

Geneva, San Francisco, Austin, July 8, 2015: The National Materials Marketplace is a new joint pilot project led by the Corporate Eco Forum (CEF), US Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD), and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Bringing together more than 20 major companies with operations in the United States, the project will help participants identify ways to reuse or exchange undervalued materials via an online database, and establish new circular supply chains.

“The increasing pressure on our natural resources sends a clear message: we need to find value in discarded materials. Growing cross-industry collaboration for the efficient use of our resources is promising. This opens up new business opportunities while creating economic, environmental, and societal benefits,” says Andrew Mangan, Executive Director of US BCSD.

“The Materials Marketplace project is a key step towards the shift to a circular economy - one where waste becomes the new engine for creating value,” says Peter Bakker, President and CEO of the WBCSD.

“Unlocking business-to-business reuse opportunities ensure effective waste management and deliver integrated benefits.”

The potential benefits of matching material and by-product waste streams with opportunities for reuse are massive. In recent years, General Motors has generated nearly $1 billion in annual revenue through reusing and recycling its by-products. By finding reuse and recycling options for this material, GM avoided over 10 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions in 2014.

"Material management is a business opportunity, not just a cost-reduction strategy," adds John Bradburn, GM’s Global Manager of Waste Reduction. “We have to reach the stage where by-products are viewed the same way we view product development – part of constant improvement and innovation.”

The Marketplace is a unique collaboration among the three business associations. Originally conceived at a CEF member meeting, the idea gained momentum with the support of early advocates including GM and Nike. The national pilot builds upon a similar regional project in Austin, Texas, as well as other “by-product synergy” projects in North America, China and the United Kingdom over the past 20 years.

Amy O’Meara, Director of the Corporate Eco Forum explains: “US BCSD’s expertise and software were exactly what our members were looking for. And joining forces with US BCSD and WBCSD was a natural fit, given the significant complementarity of our memberships. By leveraging each of our organizations’ strengths, we can deliver increased value to participating companies.”

By joining the pilot, participating businesses benefit from:

  • Lower operational costs due to cheaper feedstock and reduced waste disposal costs
  • Reduced carbon footprint owing to major cuts in energy use and GHG emissions
  • Reduced environmental footprint by avoiding waste disposal and raw material purchase
  • Enhanced social and economic impact through new business opportunities and jobs
  • Improved corporate reputation through the reporting of reuse activities and diversion of waste streams for productive purposes
  • A collaborative and dynamic business network allowing for exploration of new pathways for materials with other like-minded colleagues.

Lessons learned from the pilot will be used to scale up materials reuse projects worldwide, notably through the WBCSD’s Global Network of national business councils.

Participating companies include: 3M; Armstrong World Industries; CH2M; Eastman Chemical; Essroc – Italcementi Group; Holcim-Geocycle; Goodyear; Fairmount Santrol; General Motors; Nike; Novelis – Aditya Birla Group; The Dow Chemical Company; Tetra Pak Inc.; Swisstrax; Systech; and many others.

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About the US BCSD The US BCSD is an action oriented and member-led business association that harnesses the power of collaborative projects, platforms and partnerships to develop, deploy and scale solutions to ecosystems, energy, materials and water challenges. US BCSD activities are designed to generate economic returns and address environmental and societal challenges. The US Business Council is one of 70 national councils worldwide associated with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a network of 200 companies with members drawn from 30 countries and 20 major industrial sectors. http://usbcsd.org

About CEF The Corporate Eco Forum (CEF) is an elite, invitation-only membership organization comprised mainly of Fortune and Global 500 companies from 18 industries with combined revenues of over $3 trillion. CEF provides a year-round safe, neutral space for influential executives to exchange best practice, collaborate, and innovate. Participants are almost exclusively VP and C-level executives across multiple business functions including CSOs, CTOs, CIOs, CFOs, CMO, and VPs for Supply Chain. The diversity of executives, coupled with the cross-industry nature of CEF, creates a world-class platform to accelerate sustainable business problem solving and innovation. http://corporateecoforum.com

About the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a CEO-led organization of some 200 forward-thinking global companies, is committed to galvanizing the global business community to create a sustainable future for business, society and the environment. Together with its members, the Council applies its respected thought leadership and effective advocacy to generate constructive solutions and take shared action. Leveraging its strong relationships with stakeholders as the leading advocate for business, the Council helps drive debate and policy change in favor of sustainable development solutions.

The WBCSD provides a forum for its member companies - who represent all business sectors, all continents and a combined revenue of more than $8.5 trillion, 19 million employees - to share best practices on sustainable development issues and to develop innovative tools that change the status quo. The Council also benefits from a network of 70 national and regional business councils and partner organizations, a majority of which are based in developing countries. http://wbcsd.org

BlogDaniel Kietzer
Pope Francis Embraces Circular Economy
By Maclain Pinkerton, US BCSD Summer Intern

The circular economy now has the backing of a papal mandate, thanks to Pope Francis's June 18th encyclical letter ("Laudato Si") concerning the environment. In only 2 years of papacy, Pope Francis has made headlines for his many progressive (and at times controversial) opinions regarding poverty, homosexuality, and interfaith dialogue. His newest focus is on the environment, decrying wasteful use of materials and endorsing the science behind human-driven climate change.

Stating that "Mother Earth... cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her," Pope Francis acknowledges the negative impacts of unsustainable economic practices. His request for ecological reform heavily promotes the transition to a circular economy, demonstrated by his views that "our industrial system, at the end of its cycle of production and consumption, has not developed the capacity to absorb and reuse waste and by-products. We have not yet managed to adopt a circular model of production capable of preserving resources... while limiting as much as possible the use of non-renewable resources, moderating their consumption, maximizing their efficient use, reusing and recycling them."

He also stresses the importance of action vs. attitude by saying that "people may well have a growing ecological sensitivity but it has not succeeded in changing their harmful habits of consumption." He isn't speaking just to Catholics, but to everyone, saying "Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production, and consumption."

Pope Francis chose his name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of the environment. He reflects this with his groundbreaking opinions on environmental reform, the full text of which can be found here. Perhaps this new Catholic doctrine will give zero-waste initiatives around the world a much-needed dose of divine intervention.

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BlogMaclain Pinkerton