Recycled Materials Complete the Circle in Tennessee
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Florim USA and Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations connect through the Tennessee Materials Marketplace to close the loop on end-of-life materials

Americans dispose of some 10 million metric tons of reusable materials, like glass, annually. Most of it ends up in the landfill, and only about one-third gets recycled. That’s not because of some intrinsic materials or chemical property that makes materials like plastic and glass difficult to recycle, but rather a reflection of a very challenging interplay between collection processes, market supply and demand, and rising freight costs to move material in the US.

“Glass is 100% recyclable,” says Robert Weisenburger Lipetz, executive director of the Glass Manufacturing Industry Council (GMIC), a nonprofit trade association. “It has an unlimited life and can be melted and recycled endlessly to make new glass products with no loss in quality,” he adds.

The difficulty is that most processes that can use recycled glass need it to be clean, sorted by color, and/or meet some minimal contamination requirements. This is difficult for our single-stream recycling systems in the US to produce. Glass is also very heavy, making it difficult for manufacturers to source recycled glass at a manageable cost.

That being said, there are some very creative companies right here in Tennessee finding ways to “mine” this valuable material.

Photo courtesy of Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations

Photo courtesy of Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations

In Clarksville, TN, Florim USA is producing large format porcelain tiles that offer surfaces for all requirements in architecture, interior design and building construction. The American subsidiary of the Florim Group, based in Italy, Florim USA is one of the largest and most technologically advanced porcelain facilities in North America. The process they use is considered “closed-loop,” with all waste generated throughout the six processing operations recycled back through the system.

Not only that, but they can and do utilize a variety of post-consumer and post-industrial materials as a raw material in their tiles, replacing various virgin raw materials. They are committed to producing high-quality products in an efficient and environmentally sustainable manner, constantly exploring the latest technological advances and best management practices. Active material exploration is one reason they are an engaged participant in the Tennessee Materials Marketplace.

"At Florim we are focused on the environment and its sustainability. Post-consumer material is an aspect of the process that Don Haynes and his team have been working on for several years. We are now very proud to be able to use post-consumer materials in all of our tiles," said Marco Fregni, CEO at Florim USA.

Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations is a full-service electronics and materials lifecycle management company with locations in Onalaska, Wisconsin and Nashville, Tennessee. They have years of experience managing the unique risks and regulations of organizations seeking to safely participate in recycling, while safeguarding sensitive data and protecting the environment from e-waste and other pollutants by closing the loop for all sorts of electronic devices.

One of the challenges Dynamic has managed to tackle is end-of-life materials from electronics. Dynamic utilizes a proprietary process to separate the different kinds of components of electronic wastes, and as a result is producing millions of pounds of recyclable materials in clean commodity form.

Dynamic is also an active user on the Tennessee Materials Marketplace. While working on the platform to identify opportunities for buying used gaylord boxes, they noticed that Florim USA had posted a “wanted material” listing detailing specific post-consumer materials they could use in their manufacturing process. Once connected, it didn’t take long for the two parties to see the potential for a reuse application, especially as they began to explore the logistics of the deal.

Dynamic’s trucks regularly make the trip from Wisconsin to their location in Nashville, TN to pick up recyclable items needing special processing. They can now make one productive loop - taking full truckloads of material south, and returning north with full truckloads of materials from their Nashville facility.

Both companies see this as a significant win, the regions they serve and for the Tennessee Materials Marketplace. The application makes financial sense, environmental sense and it demonstrates how important the right connections can be. As often happens, both companies are beginning to explore other materials and improved methods of delivery and packaging that will smooth the process even more.

Is your company looking to source by-products and recycled materials to use in your products, or establish new end-markets for existing materials? The Tennessee Materials Marketplace may be able to help. It’s quick and easy to get engaged - click here get set up in our program today.


About Dynamic LIfecycle Innovations


About Florim USA

Daniel Kietzer
Recap: US BCSD National Meeting in New Orleans

Members of the US BCSD and leading companies - including Dow, Schlumberger, and Ingersoll Rand - and organizations from around the US gathered in New Orleans, LA at the end of January 2019 for our first National Meeting of the year.

Meeting attendees discussed a range of water, circular economy, cities, and ecosystems challenges; and identified actionable opportunities to work together in existing or emerging US BCSD projects. A high-level summary of outcomes can be found below. For questions or to get involved with our work, email us at info@usbcsd.org.


Water

Objectives

Awareness of the risks associated with water-related issues is coming to the forefront of industry planning and operations. Understanding and addressing risks and opportunities helps organizations navigate water quality, quantity and stormwater issues at both site-specific and watershed scales. This session presented examples from the US BCSD Louisiana Water Synergy Project of how companies and partners are dealing with water issues through collaboration and regional scale solutions.

Key Takeaways

Port Fourchon - Ninety percent of all Gulf of Mexico deepwater petroleum output for the entire United States flows through this small port at the southern tip of Louisiana. And Port Fourchon is rapidly disappearing into the Gulf of Mexico. A collaborative project between the Port Authority and industrial tenants to make beneficial use of dredge material from deepening the shipways is in development. The goal is to use material to maintain and restore lost land for long-term coastal protection and habitat creation.

Simone Maloz of Restore or Retreat described the role of participants and the nature of the project, highlighting the importance of collaboration among the private-public partnership between tenant companies and the port authority. Justin Ehrenwerth of The Water Institute of the Gulf further discussed the nature of the project, and reiterated the importance of metrics and using sound science.

Water Quality Trading - In 2017, project participants partnered with environmental, agricultural, and coastal protection agencies to design a framework and develop guidance for a Water Quality Trading Program for Louisiana. This public/private program is aimed at facilitating trades between industrial and municipal point sources with agricultural and other types of non-point sources. The Louisiana DEQ is working with the US BCSD Louisiana Water Synergy Project to develop practical common sense program rules by the end of 2019. The goal is to demonstrate how voluntary, market-based solutions can successfully improve water quality in Louisiana, the Mississippi River, and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico at a lower cost and more efficiently than traditional regulatory approaches.

Tierra Resources - Sarah Mack, president of Tierra Resources, described the Luling wetlands project which, in partnership with Entergy, will generate carbon offsets and nutrient pollution reductions which could become tradable credits. George Kelly of RES gave an overview of different types of trading projects under development or in place in other states.


Cities

Objectives

This session sought to explore how to more effectively connect regional business capabilities and interests with the big city challenges; issues like resiliency, data collection and organization, energy efficiency, mobility and others. It also set out to explore what partnerships (organization and program partnerships) the US BCSD should be prioritizing to support its emerging cities platform.

Key Takeaways

The Greater New Orleans Foundation provided an overview of its work to create a vibrant, sustainable and just Greater New Orleans region, highlighting work with partners at the City of New Orleans, New Orleans Business Alliance, Louisiana Coastal Exchange and others. They described efforts under way to work more closely with construction and real estate industry associations, and to promote “sustainable tourism”.

Speakers from the City of New Orleans and Life City stressed the need for holistic, big picture thinking to solve city-sustainability-resiliency challenges; and the opportunity for an “expert idea exchange” between cities to share ideas and best practices.

And City Park, our host, presented a number of sustainability projects that improve resiliency and address stormwater challenges in the local community.


Circular Economy

Objectives

The US BCSD is the leading facilitator for business-to-business material reuse in the US, helping develop and scale new reuse and recycling market opportunities. Updates included a new multi-state approach to building and developing new Materials Marketplace programs, a case study showed how Shell had joined with the US BCSD, its Marketplace partner Pathway21, and a Louisiana coastal resiliency company, Martin Ecosystems, to show how used water bottles from the New Orleans Jazz Fest were converted through eight stages into coastal barriers supporting seagrass growth on the Louisiana coast.

Key Takeaways

The Materials Marketplace continues provide an actionable path for companies, regions and organizations to engage in the circular economy. Tennessee, Michigan, and Ohio are leading the way with state government supported efforts and over 2,000 companies are engaged today.

Storytelling value can be just as important as environmental and economic benefits. Meeting attendees were fascinated learning each of the steps involved to turn PET bottles into floating islands for seagrass beds. Stories like this should increase consumer participation in recycling and reuse.


Ecosystems

Objectives

Ecosystem services are becoming an integral part of infrastructure solutions. Nature based solutions can offer lower cost, highly reliable approaches to dealing with issues such as stormwater management, flooding mitigation, water quality and quantity issues, and carbon sequestration. Industry is collaborating with key partners to identify, quantify, and in some cases monetize, ecosystem services in order to make a more compelling business case.

Key Takeaways

Overall, this session stressed the importance of recognizing the value of leveraging natural systems, ecosystem services and green infrastructure.

Restore the Earth Foundation described their Point aux Chenes restoration project and the numerous environmental, economic, and social co-benefits created. The business council has a strategic alliance with Restore the Earth Foundation to apply a business-led model to landscape scale restoration. Various parties are working jointly to implement a 4,000-acre coastal restoration project at the Point-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management area, southeast of Houma, Louisiana. REF also shared insight into their EcoMetrics methodology that quantifies and monetizes the co-benefits using location-based data and stakeholder inputs.

Dow presented the Nature Goal Initiative that drives their determination of how and when to use natural solutions to address operational needs such as water treatment and stormwater management.


Other Initiatives Discussed

Alliance for Sustainable Progress - Andy Mangan, US BCSD, presented a business/academic/government alliance concept to the US BCSD member companies for feedback. Responses were neutral on the idea. Concerns included lack of focus on specific goals, like water or the built environment. Some questioned the need for another organization, though the reasoning for accelerated action on SD goals was not disputed. Several were concerned about the academic side as presented, saying that by choosing one university to work with it initially it would be hard to get others on board. Overall, they were understanding of the concept but said it needed more work.

Great Lakes Sustainability Initiative - The Council of Great Lakes Industries has conducted a project to assess the state of sustainability efforts underway by companies in the Great Lakes region and to propose recommendations for building on these efforts. CGLI is not positioned to lead the next stage of this project, which includes establishing collaboration among industry and key stakeholders to define and take action on the challenges identified in the initial analysis. US BCSD is in discussion with CGLI on establishing a collaboration platform model, similar to the Louisiana Water Synergy Project, to engage companies and move forward on the recommended actions.

10 Across - the US BCSD will attend this year's 10X Summit in Arizona which explores economic, environmental, and social challenges and opportunities for communities along the I-10 corridor. As Houston, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans all lie along I-10, there is potential collaboration opportunities for US BCSD.

US Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center - the US BCSD has been in exploratory discussions with the CCC to explore collaborative opportunities. This group is mainly industry, and there is membership overlap. This group does not get into projects and therefore working with US BCSD would be a good partner.

Alliance for Water Stewardship Standard - the AWS standard certifies sites based on their commitment and performance on site and watershed water stewardship efforts. Ecolab's Garyville, Louisiana site is pursuing certification. This site is an active member of the LWSP. AWS is also partnering with Restore the Earth Foundation to leverage the EcoMetrics model as a method to address quantification and monetization of benefits requirements in the standard. A crosswalk between the AWS requirements and EcoMetrics is available.

Daniel Kietzer
Ohio Materials Marketplace diverts 1,681 tons and creates $150k in disposal savings and value creation in first year
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The Ohio Materials Marketplace ended year one (April 4, 2017 – April 4, 2018) with 3,362,000 pounds of material diverted from Ohio’s landfills and saved participating companies more than $153,000 through virgin material substitution costs and avoided landfill costs.

A wide variety of business and organization types have signed up in the first year, and are actively engaged in continuous transaction conversations through the marketplace platform. Material listings, both available and wanted, are as diverse as the marketplace membership and are beginning to reveal trends in material management challenges across Ohio.

As the program moves into Year 2, the Ohio EPA will continue to direct marketplace management and marketing to increasing participation numbers and diversity while improving platform interactions that drive high-value, high-impact reuse transactions.

For more information, download the full Year 1 Report here, or visit ohio.materialsmarketplace.org.
 

Daniel Kietzer
US BCSD's Strategic Planning Workshop - Outcomes and Next Steps

In September 2017 US BCSD staff kicked off a deep review of our strategy and priorities. Over three months we interviewed members, project participants, partner organizations and other key stakeholders; asking questions about business sustainability challenges they’re facing, areas they’d like the US BCSD to focus on, brainstorming specific project ideas, and discussing operational enhancements that could help grow our effectiveness and scale.

Early 2018 was been dedicated to reviewing and processing this data, with input and oversight from our US BCSD Executive Committee. A number of key decision points and opportunities for future platform and project development were identified and brought to US BCSD members at a Strategic Planning Workshop in late-March 2018. Below is a summary of outcomes of that workshop, and some important steps in our path forward. 

As always, thanks to US BCSD’s members, partners and staff for your engagement and support along the way - we’re looking forward to this new chapter.

1. Stay Rooted in the US BCSD Process

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2. Drive Engagement and New Project Development through US BCSD Platforms

US BCSD platforms are ongoing venues for key stakeholders to define the critical needs for business action in sustainability within a topic area, share perspectives, and develop potential project-based solutions for testing. Platforms are the source of US BCSD projects, and serve as issue-focused think tanks with an action emphasis. Projects on the other-hand are focused efforts to develop and test specific actionable solutions, and may be spun off and scaled up if successful. Projects have substantive scope with a clear business case; and discrete beginnings, ends, activities and outcomes.

3. 2018 Platforms

Circular Economy - A venue to define, design and test solutions to materials reuse, supply web challenges and opportunities, circular design, and circular partnerships. Stakeholders are scoping a variety of new project opportunities on supply web engagement, carbon accounting, cross-state regulatory harmonization, and identifying and capturing at-risk resources in addition to continuing new Materials Marketplace project development.

Water - A venue to define, design and test solutions to regional and national water quality, quantity, stormwater and other water-related challenges and issues. Stakeholders are keen on expanding the model developed by the Louisiana Water Synergy Project to new geographies - including the Mid-Mississippi region and Houston/Texas Gulf Coast - and to address additional water-related challenges.

Cities (in development) - A venue to clearly define and understand real city issues, and link them up with actionable private-sector solutions and partnerships. This platform may address issues and challenges related to resilience, city competitiveness, and support for rural areas during economic downturns.
 

Ecosystems (in development) - A venue for companies to define, design and test solutions to land-use, conservation, and other non-water ecosystem challenges and opportunities.

4. Additional Key Outcomes and Implementation Plan

Additional key outcomes identified during the workshop include renewed focus on:

  • Partnerships - Reevaluate the landscape and establish new US BCSD partnerships to support platform and membership growth.
  • Membership Growth - Focus efforts to drive membership growth, especially to new sectors not currently represented in the US BCSD membership.
  • Member Engagement - Expand member engagement and continue to define the US BCSD value proposition with existing members.
  • Visibility - Improve the visibility of our projects and platforms, and create more impactful opportunities to showcase our work, especially through national meetings.

March - July 2018: Platform Development and Company Engagement

Following this workshop, US BCSD members and staff have been engaged in smaller planning discussions to frame out 2018 platforms, identify initial project opportunities, and pull-in current and prospective members in the process. If you’re interested in participating in any of the above platforms, contact Daniel Kietzer at the US BCSD.

Fall 2018: Next US BCSD National Meeting

We’re planning our next US BCSD national meeting for the Fall of 2018, date and location to be announced shortly. This meeting will be an important milestone and venue to engage additional platform and project participants, and harvest new ideas to fuel platform growth.
 

Daniel Kietzer
Registration is open!

Registration is now open for two very important March 2018 events - our Strategic Planning Workshop on the 27th (limited to US BCSD members and invited guests only) and South Central Regional Meeting on the 28th. Learn more about these events by clicking the graphics below, or contact us with any questions.

Daniel Kietzer
Texas A&M Students Create Building Envelope Designs from GM Manufacturing Scrap
Andy Mangan, executive director, U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development, and Ryan Jones, associate partner of Lake|Flato Architects were members of the design jury. ( Photo credit )

Andy Mangan, executive director, U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development, and Ryan Jones, associate partner of Lake|Flato Architects were members of the design jury. (Photo credit)

Story reposted from General Motors Green:

General Motors thinks of waste as a resource out of place. To help make the zero-waste mindset more mainstream, the company engages others in its mission, including students. Most recently it was Texas A&M University’s College of Architecture helping reimagine waste materials to keep them in use.   

The students’ assignment was to design the Houston Museum of Waste, an imaginary 27,000-square-foot museum. As in many projects, there was a challenge. They had to incorporate offal – a galvanized piece of thin sheet metal left over when stamping out car parts – within the building’s physical separation of its interior and exterior. This variable encouraged students to provide a novel solution to design a building envelope using byproducts from the manufacturing industry.

The jury committee included experts and professionals from GM; U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development; Zahner; Lake|Flato Architects; and Corgan Associates. The jury credited the winner, Yingzhe Duan, for her use of offal in a functional, practical and replicable way. Yingzhe’s museum proposal delivered an airy, translucent appearance thanks to its simple, open floor plan, glass walls and an interior shading system made from offal sheet metal. Read more...

Daniel Kietzer
Ed Piñero Joins the US BCSD as Director, Water Projects
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The United States Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD) is pleased to announce that Edwin (Ed) Piñero is joining the Council as Director, Water Projects. Ed is joining the Business Council team to fill Susan Fernandes' role as the Water Program Director and Project Manager of the Louisiana Water Synergy Project. After seven years of dedicated work, Susan is retiring from the US BCSD, effective November 30th.

Susan notes, “I know that Ed will be a great leader to continue what we have started and take the US BCSD Water Program and the Louisiana Water Synergy Project further.”

Ed has a long history with the Louisiana Water Synergy Project, and as Senior Vice President for Sustainability at Veolia North America, spearheaded their engagement starting in 2011. Ed is a seasoned veteran in sustainability leadership, and brings to this role a strong mix of science, business, and policy experience. He currently serves as Vice Chair of the Alliance for Water Stewardship Board of Directors and is a member of the Alliance for Water Stewardship North American Steering Committee. He is also a member of America's Water Initiative Advisory Board.

Ed will be engaged with the US BCSD on part-time basis, and will continue as President of The Pinero Group LLC.

Get in touch with Ed: pinero@usbcsd.org | Linkedin | Twitter

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.

Daniel Kietzer
Getting Our Hands Dirty
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Leading companies, state environmental agencies, and nonprofits mix sweat equity, technology, creativity and innovation to create lasting impact on the Ohio River

CINCINNATI - Materials lacking end-of-life solutions don’t just end up in the landfill - some find their way into rivers and waterways, too. In September, a dedicated group of company leaders, representatives from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, and materials technology innovators from the US Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Materials Marketplace, gathered on the Living Lands & Waters (LL&W) barge to help solve the problem.

This mix of people from Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Wisconsin and Tennessee climbed into aluminum long boats and motored to collection zones along the Ohio River. Throughout the day, they loaded everything from ubiquitous plastic containers to dilapidated refrigerators, bringing more than 2,500 pounds of mixed materials back to the barge for separation. The team then entered those materials into the Ohio Materials Marketplace, an online software platform facilitating company-to-company materials reuse, enabling one another to purchase scrap versus buying new. In addition to diverting waste from landfills and rivers, the Materials Marketplace helps save money and energy while creating jobs and business opportunities.

Any organization operating in Ohio can upload details about their various excess materials into the Materials Marketplace free of charge. The Marketplace team then analyzes those entries for reuse by others in the program. The Ohio EPA and US BCSD launched the program in April, and by October, more than 370 companies have used it. As awareness spreads, so too do transactions.

Repurposing materials, even the kind found in the muddy banks of the Ohio River, is doable, according to the US BCSD. 

“We found some challenging materials during the two days on the barge,” said Daniel Kietzer, US BCSD. “Very dirty and deteriorated non-PET plastics currently have limited reuse or remanufacturing end uses; but we found non-landfill outlets for all the material, validating that all businesses and communities can do the same.”

The river cleanup also offers a collaborative model for post-disaster cleanup efforts, like those underway from Texas to Florida following the sweeping hurricanes that hit in the last six weeks. Companies, governments and community organizations can work together to turn perceived waste into valuable products, aligning with a more circular economy that creates economic opportunities along the way. 

General Motors and Johnson Controls led the Ohio River cleanup activity, with participants from organizations including Veolia, Pathway21, Covanta, Phoenix Technologies International, Waste Management, ERM, US Ecology, The Ohio EPA, the Tennessee Department for Environment and Conservation, and the Suppliers Partnership for the Environment. LL&W provided the ability to gather on the river, collect and separate materials; and the Ohio Materials Marketplace brought the data together in one place to be organized, analyzed, repurposed and reported, all in a landfill-free way.

Living Lands & Waters

Headquartered in East Moline, Illinois, Living Lands & Waters is a 501(c)3 environmental organization established by Chad Pregracke in 1998. LL&W has grown to be the only “industrial strength” river cleanup organization like it in the world.

Spending up to 9 months a year living and traveling on the barge, the LL&W crew hosts river cleanups, watershed conservation initiatives, workshops, tree plantings and other conservation efforts.

The nonprofit has worked with over 100,000 volunteers from companies, schools, universities and community organizations in more than 1,000 river cleanups. As a result, they have removed 9 million tons of material from 23 rivers. 

Materials Reuse, Circular Economy and Business Supply Chains

In a circular economy, all materials recirculate back productively into the economy. Leading US companies like General Motors and Johnson Controls are challenging traditional take-make-dispose practices and moving to circular models, spurring new levels of innovation, collaboration and connectivity up and down the supply chain.

For example, GM makes car parts from plastic water bottles and Johnson Controls seeks ways to increase the recycled content of lead-acid vehicle batteries - already the most recycled consumer product in the world. Solution and service providers play a major role, from processing and transporting materials, to providing environmentally positive end-of-life disposal when no higher and better solutions are applicable. The Materials Marketplace accelerates such efforts. 

The Ohio EPA and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation are spearheading statewide Materials Marketplace programs, opening the doors for hundreds of companies in their states to get involved. This has created a tool for their agencies to engage with business in collaborative dialogue outside of the typical regulator role.

Results from Ohio River Cleanup

The US BCSD team led discussions on reuse opportunities for the materials collected from the river, such as bottles, tires, barge line, metal, rigid plastic, glass, polystyrene and films. Together the group identified viable business opportunities and created action plans to use the materials in new or existing supply chains. Finally, they created Materials Marketplace listings for each material type. 

Looking Ahead

Leadership comes in all shapes and sizes. In many ways, this event served as a demonstration model for companies, organizations and government agencies to: 

  1. Collaborate in new ways that merge business objectives with environmental initiatives
  2. Look creatively for new sources of materials, and use technologies and programs like the Materials Marketplace to their fullest extent
  3. Embrace the role of hands-on hard work in employee engagement to get teams outside finding and solving tough problems.

“Living Lands & Waters is an incredible organization, and if you’re not working with them already, you should find ways of getting engaged with what they do,” said John Bradburn, General Motors. “But there are also tons of other great organizations out there. We hope people can use our example to explore ways to work together in deeper, more impactful ways, and bring their networks together to support and collaborate.” 

There is space for innovation in this market - especially with foams and films - to expand collection and processing opportunities. These are all materials that should not be in the river to begin with, so expanding education and outreach efforts in communities plays a key role. 

“At the end of the day, we wish organizations like Living Lands and Waters didn’t need to exist,” said John. “But we’re glad they do.” 

Special thanks to Living Lands and Waters, General Motors, Johnson Controls, Covanta, Veolia, Pathway21, Phoenix Technologies International, Waste Management, the US BCSD, ERM, US Ecology, The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the Tennessee Department for Environment and Conservation, and the Suppliers Partnership for the Environment.

Daniel Kietzer
Materials Marketplace - Quick Progress Update

Ohio Materials Marketplace (Launched April 2017)

 

Completed transactions for plastic bottle caps, wood pallets, e-waste, plastic drums and plastic bottles. 64 other transactions are currently being explored by participants.


Tennessee Materials Marketplace (Launched August 2017)

 

Our newest state-scale Marketplace project. Companies - including General Motors, Nissan, American Snuff, La-Z-Boy, Trane, Bridgestone, Lucite International, and others - are just starting to finish the onboarding process and upload data.


Austin Materials Marketplace (Launched 2014)

 

Active since 2014, the Austin Materials Marketplace has facilitated over 330 transactions, saving or creating over $350,000 in value for participants and avoiding more than 740 MTCO2E.

Daniel Kietzer
Hurricane Harvey
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Our thoughts go out to our friends and colleagues along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast who continue to be impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Houston is an incredible city; and we hope for a speedy return to dry homes, safe conditions, and normal operations for our US BCSD members and partners in the area.

Daniel Kietzer
Announcing the Launch of the Tennessee 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

Franklin, Tennessee - August 14, 2017: The US Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation today announced the launch of a new online platform that allows for circular reuse of products and materials that might otherwise be destined for disposal in landfills. Through the cloud-based Tennessee Materials Marketplace, traditional and non-traditional waste streams are matched with new product and revenue opportunities, ultimately enabling the culture shift to a circular, closed-loop economy. 

Tennessee is the second state in the US to adopt a circular economy program of this scope and scale; and joins an international network of Materials Marketplace projects already underway across the globe, including the Ohio and Austin Materials Marketplaces, US Materials Marketplace, and the Turkey Materials Marketplace.

In addition to facilitating reuse matches, the program also allows for collaborations to be made between Tennessee’s larger manufacturers working towards zero-landfill and highest and best use of materials like General Motors and American Snuff, and agile and innovative small and medium-sized businesses. 

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 “Many businesses and organizations in Tennessee are challenging the traditional take-make-dispose model; the Materials Marketplace is an important enabler to move this new circular thinking into action.

Additional Background/How to Get Involved:

  • Visit the program's website at http://tennessee.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 or near the state 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 US BCSD manages the Tennessee Materials Marketplace, with initial funding support from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. 
Daniel Kietzer
Louisiana Legislature Passes Water Quality Trading Bill

On June 8, 2017 the Louisiana State Legislature passed HB423 authorizing the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) to establish and administer a water quality trading program. This is a major milestone for the Louisiana Water Synergy Project, which has an active working group dedicated to designing a voluntary, market-based water quality trading program to improve water quality in Louisiana. 

Market-based solutions to improve water quality were identified by Water Synergy Project participants as a way to convert water problems into economic opportunities, and to develop a collective capacity for conserving watershed systems as both public and private goods. This approach is consistent with the Louisiana Nutrient Management Strategy that suggests that incentives such as water quality trading may provide opportunities for nutrient reduction and assimilation. In addition, this program may provide agricultural businesses and landowners with additional revenue sources and regulators with more policy options for improving water quality.

An existing law allowing a credit program was too narrow for the program to achieve the desired nutrient reductions. The Work Group, which includes representatives from LDEQ, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) took on the challenge to design a Water Quality Trading Program that would include both point sources (industrial and municipal wastewater treatment discharges) and nonpoint sources (agricultural production and stormwater management). 

The work group will continue to work closely with the LDEQ, nonpoint source agencies, and stakeholders to continue the program design work leading to adoption and promulgation of regulations to establish and administer the water quality trading program. For more information on the Water Synergy Project, visit usbcsd.org/water or contact us.

Daniel Kietzer
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