Inspiring zero-waste innovation at the intersection of business, policy and oyster shells

From the Austin Materials Marketplace in Austin, Texas

The City of Austin’s Universal Recycling Ordinance supports Austin’s Zero Waste goal by requiring affected property owners to ensure that tenants and employees have access to convenient recycling. The ordinance also includes an Organics Diversion component which requires food permitted businesses to reduce or divert organic material away from the landfill. Businesses can meet this requirement through various approaches including leaner supply-chain management, composting organic materials, donating edible organics, or by finding reuse opportunities, a specialty for the Austin Materials Marketplace team.

Quality Seafood Market provides Austinites with the freshest possible seafood and has been doing so for almost 50 years. They run a tight ship that expertly maneuvers obstacles to serving up seafood to Central Texans, but the organics-related requirements in the URO created a new challenge for Quality Seafood. They generate a significant amount of byproducts from their seafood preparation including heavier items such as oyster shells and smellier items like fish parts – by-products that are inedible to most Central Texas animals, and difficult and rather expensive to compost. Owner Carol Huntsberger noted,

“Quality Seafood Market is dedicated to finding the highest and best use for all products without sending them to the landfill. The Austin Materials Marketplace program is helping us to achieve that goal.” 

Quality Seafood Market joined the Austin Materials Marketplace to develop and implement pro-environment AND pro-business solutions for their hard to divert materials. The Austin Materials Marketplace team has been working on finding reuse opportunities for these materials that save on disposal costs for Quality Seafood while also helping the restaurant meet the organics diversion component of the URO. The team explored several reuse options including loading up empty trucks and sending the shells to the gulf for oyster reef restoration projects, and using ground up shells to enhance soil and animal feed. However, the logistics for each solution have been challenging to incorporate into Quality Seafood’s operations.

We were thrilled when Munkebo Farm joined the conversation and brought a new reuse idea to the table – to use these shells as road base. Munkebo Farm picked up 3,000lbs of oyster shells from Quality Seafood to use on their farm’s road, which saved on costs for both parties, diverted around .7 tons of CO2 emissions, and created a road made of natural materials that won’t leach harmful chemicals into the surrounding environment.

The Austin Materials Marketplace team is still exploring additional long-term, high impact business solutions for these oyster shells. If you have any ideas, feel free to get in touch!

Daniel Kietzer
Ohio EPA Announces Launch of New Online Materials Marketplace

New circular economy program connects businesses, organizations and entrepreneurs to uncover and implement new creative solutions for hard-to-recycle wastes and by-products

Sandusky, Ohio - April 4, 2017: Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler today announced the launch of a new online platform that allows continuous reuse of products and materials that might otherwise be destined for disposal in landfills. Through the cloud-based Ohio Materials Marketplace, traditional and non-traditional industrial waste streams are matched with new product and revenue opportunities, ultimately enabling the culture shift to a circular, closed-loop economy. 

With statewide access to thousands of Ohio’s businesses, communities and other organizations, Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental & Financial Assistance (DEFA) is well positioned to bring members together in this modern online marketplace,” Director Butler said. “This new service positions Ohio as a leader in the circular economy, helping remove materials from the waste stream, promoting jobs and allowing for better efficiency and savings in the processes of creating goods and services.

Ohio is the first state in the US to adopt a circular economy program of this scope and scale. This leadership from the Ohio EPA is paving the way for other states - through a new public-private partnership between the US Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD) and the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) - to launch state-level programs modeled on the Ohio Materials Marketplace.

The Ohio Materials Marketplace also allows for collaborations to be made between Ohio’s larger manufacturers working towards zero-landfill and highest and best use of materials like General Motors, and agile and innovative small and medium-sized businesses. 

John Bradburn, Global Manager of Waste Reduction at General Motors notes, “The Ohio Materials Marketplace provides a great opportunity to utilize materials in a sustainable way, while enabling business and job development and profitability to a very diverse group of participants.

The Ohio State University’s Sustainable and Resilient Economy (SRE) program will be engaged in this initiative, and has assembled an outstanding group of interdisciplinary experts to address key challenges in both technology and governance.

According to Dr. Joseph Fiksel, Executive Director of SRE, “Through our engagement with US BCSD, as well as other business and government partners, we are able to integrate and apply the latest scientific methods to support circular economy practices in the real world. It has been an exciting journey.

Over the past 20 years, Materials Marketplace projects spearheaded by the US BCSD and scale-up partner Pathway21 have engaged hundreds of companies - large and small - academic institutions, nonprofits and entrepreneurs around the world. Andrew Mangan, Founder and Executive Director of the US BCSD, says “This partnership is a breakthrough alignment between business and state government leaders on circular economy objectives.

Additional Background/How to Get Involved:

  • Visit the program's website at http://ohio.materialsmarketplace.org for more information and steps for how to get involved. It's a quick and easy process.
  • Participation is free for any company or organization with operations in Ohio that wants to explore new opportunities to transform by-product/waste materials into new products, or secure recycled material streams to reduce use of virgin feedstocks.
  • The physical address of available materials must be located in Ohio.
  • The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) manages the Ohio Materials Marketplace with support from the US BCSD.
Daniel Kietzer
Apto Solutions and Liquis Inc. find new value through the Austin Materials Marketplace

Apto Solutions, an ITAD services provider, and Liquis Inc., a facilities decommissioning and asset recovery corporation, joined the Austin Materials Marketplace program to buy and sell inventory that might otherwise end up in a landfill. Because of the environmental benefits of reuse over recycling, Apto and Liquis hoped to find reuse opportunities through the Austin Materials Marketplace program to generate value and improve their environmental footprint. Since November, Apto has used the Marketplace to find new markets for many of the materials they’ve made available so far, with almost every transaction generating value and helping Austin achieve its zero-waste goal.

Take for example Apto’s recent transaction with Liquis for 19 telecommunication vaults – large plastic and metal boxes used to house and route telecommunications equipment underground. Liquis purchased all 19 vaults from Apto to distribute for direct reuse. This transaction created mutual value for both companies. Buying these new and unused vaults through the Marketplace created thousands of dollars in savings for Liquis. For Apto Solutions, the transaction resulted in the creation of additional value and savings by finding a buyer and avoiding additional disposal fees. This transaction also saved around 1.66 metric tons of CO2 and diverted 554 cubic feet from landfill.

As we roll into 2017, we hope to see many more transactions like these that create significant value for program participants, the local economy, and the environment. Visit austinmaterialsmarketplace.org to learn more about the Austin Materials Marketplace; and if you're a business with locations in Central Texas, get involved today.

Daniel Kietzer
State Environmental Commissioners and National Business Leaders Launch Materials Leadership Council
 
 

As interest in Sustainable Materials Management grows within both the public and private sectors, and the Materials Marketplace platform has emerged as a leading path to Sustainable Materials Management, an historic Materials Leadership Council is being established among members of the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) and of the US Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD). The initial purpose of this important public-private partnership is to connect the capabilities and interests of state and business leaders to scale creative material reuse across industries and develop policy solutions that support these shared goals. 

The Materials Marketplace is an award-winning regional and national platform to facilitate company-to-company industrial reuse. Through the cloud-based platform, traditional and non-traditional industrial waste streams are matched with new product and revenue opportunities, ultimately enabling the culture shift to a circular, closed-loop economy. In addition to diverting waste from landfills, these recovery activities generate significant cost and energy savings and create new jobs and business opportunities.

ECOS Materials Leadership Council members are environmental commissioners from the states of Minnesota, Ohio, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Louisiana. US BCSD participants are senior representatives of General Motors, Lockheed Martin, Ingersoll Rand, Entergy, LafargeHolcim, and others. Senior members of the US Environmental Protection Agency will be invited to observe and comment. 

"ECOS has a long commitment to advancing Sustainable Materials Management principles and to demonstrating how they work in practice through programs,” says Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Executive Director and General Counsel of ECOS. “The partnership we begin today will advance the sharing of exciting and innovative ideas between states and the private sector."
Andrew Mangan, Executive Director of the US BCSD, adds, “This partnership is a breakthrough alignment between business and government leaders on circular economy objectives. This public-private collaboration will open new doors to achieve greater resource efficiency while creating economic, environmental, and societal benefits.”
John Bradburn, GM, Global Manager of Waste Reduction added, “We are excited about the great potential this collaboration brings in managing materials in the most sustainable way across all sectors."

The Council’s first meeting is scheduled for today by teleconference. 

Background 

Increasingly, state and city governments, businesses, entrepreneurs, and researchers want to participate in Sustainable Materials Management and the Materials Marketplace because they see value in:

  • Finding material reuse matches that make business sense beyond conventional sourcing;
  • Reviewing existing regulations and structures to examine how they help or hurt Sustainable Materials Management and the Materials Marketplace;
  • Overcoming technical, business, and regulatory barriers to material reuse;
  • Building relationships externally – creating valuable intentional networks, not limited to “linear” progression up and down the value chain;
  • Broadening sustainability participation internally – having a vehicle for reaching out to multiple functions and/or facilities internally with something practical to do about sustainability; 
  • Taking a leadership role in Sustainable Materials Management and the Materials Marketplace – working with other business, government, academic, and NGO leaders to help shape materials policies and programs;
  • Developing alternative approaches to better align rules and regulations to achieving these objectives.

Dialogue, understanding, and innovation are needed. Each side of the Sustainable Materials Management ecosystem has an important role to play and must make its interests and capabilities known. Through this Council we will seek solutions that will help accelerate adoption and implementation of sound materials management and establishment of a national Materials Marketplace. Contact us for more information.

Daniel Kietzer
Rethinking Value Chains: Creating Car Parts and Social Impact from Bottles and Tires

Pictured left to right: John Bradburn, GM; Daniel Kietzer, US BCSD; Chad Pregracke, Living Lands and Waters; and Steve Tullos, Entergy on the Living Lands and Waters barge outside of Memphis, TN.

Recycled water bottles from Flint, MI become insulation for coats for the homeless, Chevrolet Equinox V-6 engine covers, and air filters for ten GM plants. (source)


Mississippi River Tires to Become GM Car Parts

Just as GM helped collect water bottles from the Flint, Michigan community to turn them into engine covers and insulation for Empowerment Plan coats for the homeless, GM is now looking to the Mississippi River for its next project.

Chad Pregracke, founder and president of the nonprofit Living Lands and Waters, spends his days on barges cleaning up trash in rivers throughout Mississippi, Illinois, Tennessee and Ohio. GM global waste reduction manager John Bradburn, who met Chad a few years ago (and subsequently introduced Living Lands and Waters to the US BCSD) perked up when he heard about the massive amounts of tires washed ashore or at the bottom of the water. GM offered a plan to get a couple of truckloads of tires power-washed and ground, and transport them to GDC, Inc., an Indiana-based supplier that will further process them into vehicle parts.

“These tires from the Mississippi River will produce a high-quality part for our customers, all in a cost-neutral way for GM,” said Bradburn. “This is an example of how we are reaching beyond our industry to do our part and demonstrate what’s possible.

Read more...


Support Living Lands and Waters

Chad Pregracke started Living Lands & Waters in 1998 as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the beautification and restoration of America’s major rivers and the education of environmental issues. From his single boat beginning, LL&W has grown to an industrial strength, internationally known organization with a fleet of barges and workboats.  LL&W engages thousands of volunteers each year in river cleanups, hands-on environmental education workshops, the Great Mississippi River Cleanup, Adopt-a- River-Mile program, Invasive Species Removal, and the MillionTrees Project. Visit http://livinglandsandwaters.org/

2 Million Flint Water Bottles into Fleece

General Motors is adding 2 million water bottles from Flint, Michigan residents into its Do Your Part water bottle recycling initiative. The company partnered with Schupan Recycling to collect the bottles. The plastic is washed, flaked and turned into fleece to make three products: Chevrolet Equinox V-6 engine covers, insulation for The Empowerment Plan coats for the homeless, and air filters for 10 GM plants.  

The program engages a supply web of 11 organizations and reduces landfill waste. The resulting social impact contributes to the initiative’s progress and expansion, and was recently honored for its above and beyond efforts.

“People want to do the right thing,” said John Bradburn, GM global waste reduction manager and chair of the US BCSD Executive Committee. “The Do Your Part recycling initiative is a way our employees and communities can connect their individual actions to broader social and environmental causes.”

Read more...


Support The Empowerment Plan

The Empowerment Plan is a Detroit-based non-profit organization dedicated to serving the homeless community. They hire homeless women from local shelters to become full time seamstresses. These women manufacture a coat that transforms into a sleeping bag, which is then given out to homeless individuals living on the streets at no cost to them. Visit http://www.empowermentplan.org/

Daniel Kietzer
Energy Efficiency in Buildings: time to Amplify action in 50 cities by 2020

Today, at the Buildings Day organized during COP22 by the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction, WBCSD announced a significant expansion to its project on energy efficiency in buildings.  

  • The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and its partners are launching EEB Amplify, a new phase of the project on energy efficiency in buildings, which will begin in 2017 and aims to expand to 50 cities by 2020.  
  • WBCSD is proud to announce its partnership in Europe with Climate-KIC; the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and US Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD) in the USA; and the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) in India.
  • EEB Amplify uses a proven business-led approach methodology to develop and implement action plans on energy efficiency in buildings. This methodology is set out in the Handbook on creating dynamic local markets for Energy Efficient Buildings released today.

Marrakech, 10 November 2016: Known as EEB Amplify, the expansion will begin in 2017 and aims to include 50 cities by 2020. EEB Amplify uses a proven business-led methodology piloted in 10 cities over the last four years to develop and implement action plans on energy efficiency in buildings.

Partnerships are a key success factor in this approach, and WBCSD is proud to announce it has developed four partnerships with key partners in Europe, in the US and in India.

In Europe, Climate-KIC is joining forces with EEB Amplify through their Climate-KIC Building Technologies Accelerator (BTA). Together they will work across five cities in 2017 to boost demand for low-carbon building products and solutions (in Switzerland, France, UK, Germany and another country to be confirmed).

In the USA, EEB Amplify will work with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and US Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD) to activate market activity in American cities building on the success of the EEB platform in Houston.

In India, the Green Building Council will bring the WBCSD approach to five cities - three cities in 2017 and two in 2018: Pune, Mumbai, Kochi, Ahmadabad and Goa. The goal will be to establish a local network on energy efficiency in buildings following the example of Jaipur, one of the WBCSD’s 10 pilot markets.

Buildings are one of the largest end users of energy, consuming a third of global final energy and creating a fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions. Population growth, urbanization and household wealth are all rising and energy use in buildings may double and possibly triple by 2050.  If widely adopted, current best practices and technologies could halve this amount by 2030, which will be necessary if we stand any chance to fulfill the Paris Agreement.

Eleven WBCSD member companies have invested over US$4M to demonstrate that their engagement framework can effectively increase market activity for energy efficient buildings – and promote sustainability and business opportunities. EEB Amplify will use this business-led approach, piloted in 10 markets over four years and captured in the Handbook on creating dynamic local markets for Energy Efficient Buildings released today.

Five EEB platforms have been set up so far in Houston, Warsaw, Jakarta, Jaipur and Shanghai. For instance, today the EEB platform in Poland has released a first ever benchmarking report entitled “Business for Climate. Operating Costs of Office Buildings” that will encourage transparency and data sharing among office buildings.

EEB Amplify is endorsed by the Sustainable Buildings & Construction Program of the UN 10 Year Framework of Programs on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP SBC) and will be led by WBCSD in partnership with other program partners including: LafargeHolcim, United Technologies, AkzoNobel, ArcelorMittal, Arcadis, ENGIE, Infosys, Schneider Electric, SGS, Siemens, and Skanska.

Daniel Kietzer
Register Today for Making Markets, Moving Markets - This January at Duke University

Business leadership is using market mechanisms to help solve the biggest sustainability challenges - from carbon to water, circular economy, ecosystems and a range of other complex issues. These market solutions are moving the needle in the right direction, but continue to encounter challenges in: 

Scaling Up Action and Impact

Driving Shifts in Financial Markets

Identifying & Passing Barriers to Market Solutions

Register today and join the US BCSD; Duke Center for Energy, Development and the Global Environment; and leading companies like Ingersoll Rand, General Motors, Monsanto and Fairmount Santrol on January 11-12, 2017 at Duke University for hands-on work sessions on existing and emerging markets, and in identifying the priorities for new marketplace innovations.

Daniel Kietzer
Melancon pledges LDWF support to Lower Mississippi River Basin restoration effort

You have our total support,” Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Charlie Melancon pledged Thursday to a national organization attempting to restore some 1 million acres of land along the Lower Mississippi River Basin, or as Restore the Earth Foundations calls it, “North America’s Amazon”.

Melancon was a guest speaker at the Restore the Earth Foundation’s kick off activity – the planting of trees at Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area in Terrebonne Parish. Volunteers from several public and private businesses and groups participated in the effort that will eventually reach 4,000 acres planted along the coast.

“This is a great public and private partnership for a great cause,” Melancon said. He told REF officials that Louisiana will “work alongside you as long as it takes to get this done.”

The tree-planting ceremony kicked off Restore the Earth’s long range plan to restore Mississippi River Basin land which it calls North America’s Amazon. The commitment in Louisiana is part of a larger 15-year commitment to restore 1 million acres in the Lower Mississippi River Basin.

P.J. Marshall, co-founder and executive director of REF said, "To address the significant coastal wetland loss here in Louisiana, and the bigger issues of environmental degradation in the United States and around the world, we need big picture goals and diverse, collaborative partnerships which bring together visionaries from government, non-profits and companies to restore the Earth!   Its projects like these where collaboration becomes impact.”

REF says if its goals are met, the result will be: the reduction of America’s carbon foot print by 2 percent, the reversal of the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico by 12 percent; improved water quality; mitigation contaminates reaching the Gulf of Mexico; and the creation of jobs.

REFs has created partnerships with the Entergy, Shell Oil, CITGO, VMware, U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD), Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Lower Mississippi Valley Joint Venture, the United States Department of Agriculture, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and others.

Dozens of volunteers from REF’s partners participated in Thursday’s tree planting Groundbreaking ceremony, planting over 600 trees.

Daniel Kietzer
US BCSD and Sustainable Surplus Exchange Partner Up to Launch the San Diego Materials Marketplace

In a key strategic move for both Sustainable Surplus Exchange (SSE) and the US Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD), the organizations have partnered up to launch a new Materials Marketplace project in San Diego.

Sustainable Surplus, a 501 (c)(3), based in San Diego, “turns corporate excess into community assets,” according to Executive Director, Sue Prelozni. "SSE handles the internal surplus, everything from office supplies and furniture to computers and lab equipment, and redistributes them to schools, nonprofits and start-up organizations."

The Materials Marketplace aims to create a closed-loop, collaborative network of businesses, organizations and entrepreneurs in San Diego County where one organization’s waste becomes another organization’s raw material. In addition to diverting waste from landfills, the recovery activities will generate significant cost savings, energy savings, and create new jobs and business opportunities. 

San Diego joins a number of other existing and emerging Materials Marketplaces located throughout the US – Austin, Detroit, Tennessee, Ohio and others. The US BCSD targeted San Diego after learning about the parallel mission of SSE to divert still useful product from the landfill.  

“We’re thrilled to be working alongside Sustainable Surplus in this groundbreaking new project,” said Daniel Kietzer, Program Manager for the US BCSD. “Many San Diego businesses and organizations are challenging the traditional take-make-dispose model; the Materials Marketplace is an important enabler to move this new circular thinking into action.”

Local Businesses Early Adopters

Several local companies have joined the combined efforts of the organizations to launch the San Diego Materials Marketplace. Among them are Bottles and Wood, Republic Waste Management and Stone Brewing Corporation.

“It made sense for Bottles & Wood to join,” explained Zelda Waxenberg, CEO.  “We utilize reclaimed materials sourcing, mostly glass and wood, then transform the reclaimed materials into furniture, lighting, serving ware, and other products for the hospitality and décor industries.”  The B&W business model supports the circular economy and the goal to divert still usable materials away from the landfill and into the hands of community.
San Diego’s largest craft-brewery, Stone Brewing, is a leader in sustainability. “This is excellent timing to launch a raw materials marketplace in San Diego as it underlines our city’s goals toward reduced greenhouse gas emissions and zero waste,” said Pat Tiernan. “We strongly support sustainable manufacturing practices at Stone and invite the opportunity of discovering additional ways to strengthen our commitment.”

More information about the San Diego Materials Marketplace can be found at this website: http://sandiego.materialsmarketplace.org. Interested participants may contact Sue Prelozni at sue@sustainablesurplus.org or Daniel Kietzer at kietzer@usbcsd.org.

About Sustainable Surplus

Sustainable Surplus Exchange, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization, supports hundreds of educational, charitable, military and start-up organizations through the redistribution of donated surplus assets from commerce – everything from office supplies to furniture, computers and lab equipment. We reduce the carbon footprint of waste by diverting still-useful items from the landfill.

Daniel Kietzer
Apply for the Monarch Sustainer of the Year Award
 

The Monarch Sustainer of the Year Award is an initiative to recognize business in supporting the long‐term viability of monarch butterflies by the U.S. Business Council on Sustainable Development and the Pollinator Partnership.

Monarchs rely on a network of nectar plants and milkweeds that stretches across North America to sustain them on their annual journey from summer breeding grounds to overwintering habitats. Many factors have fragmented the migratory corridors monarchs rely on during this journey. Helping monarchs means filling these habitat gaps to sustain the monarch migration so that generation after generation can enjoy their wonder. It also means spreading the word on the need to conserve and protect this unique insect that takes on an epic journey.

The Monarch Sustainer of the Year Award recognizes a US business that has shown exceptional leadership and action in providing habitat and awareness for monarchs along their migratory corridors. The award is a part of the Monarch Joint Venture that strategically supports the monarch through the North American Monarch Conservation Plan.

To submit an application for this award please provide a narrative and supporting documents (photographs, site, plans, outreach plans, etc.) that highlight the unique and inspiring ways in which your business is supporting monarchs and meeting the award criteria. The application package should include a completed cover sheet, a narrative highlighting how your monarch conservation program meets the stated technical and organizational criteria, and any supplementary materials that you would like to share. Please send/upload all attachments as a PDF.

Key Dates

  • December 1, 2016 – Deadline for applications 
  • January 2017 – Announcement of Winner

Award Criteria

To qualify for the Monarch Sustainer of the Year Award an organization must make an effort to increase and/or enhance nectar and host plants within the migratory pathways of monarchs. Activities can be focused on single localities or on multiple sites within the Pacific, Central, and Eastern migratory routes.

Technical Criteria ‐ Provide clean and safe habitat for monarchs

  • Milkweed is essential and a successful monarch conservation plan cannot be developed without the right species of milkweed in the right place. Monarch caterpillars need this to survive and thrive.
  • Nectar plants are needed to support adult butterflies and need to be in bloom throughout the season.
  • A habitat that is free of chemical inputs and noxious weeds is also essential. Any management plans need to include integrated approaches to managing pest issues.

Organizational Criteria ‐ Take a leadership role in developing programs that go beyond habitat installations and tell us how this has changed the way you do business

  • Show a clear internal program or policy for monarch support that is integrated into your green or sustainable guidelines and/or programs.
  • Provide opportunities for employees and/or local community members to engage in monarch conservation activities.
  • Show a record of corporate outreach and engagement within your industry to encourage monarch conservation.
  • Show a record of public outreach and engagement.

Get a start on your monarch conservation program!

 

Daniel Kietzer
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