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

highlight

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

[themify_col grid="4-1 first"]

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

Quantity: 5200 tons/year

[/themify_col]

[themify_col grid="4-1"]

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

[/themify_col]

[themify_col grid="4-1"]

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

Quantity: 960 tons/year

[/themify_col]

[themify_col grid="4-1"]

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

[/themify_col]

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

[themify_col grid="2-1 first"]

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

[/themify_col]

[themify_col grid="2-1"]

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

-----

[/themify_col]

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

logos

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.

[themify_hr color="light-gray" width="80%" border_width="1" ]

 

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.

[themify_author_box avatar="no" style="gray rounded contact" ]

 

BlogMaclain Pinkerton
What new approaches are opening up access to funding for sustainability projects?

goal This July 16-17 at Yale University, we’ll be asking you for your input on how financing can help scale up our collaborative sustainability projects and initiatives. We’ve assembles a small group of experts from finance and investment institutions, as well as government-funded green banks, to work with you on July 17th and respond to your experiences related to financial opportunities and barriers to scaling sustainability initiatives. We’ll discuss developments in debt, equity and unconventional financing tools.

The agenda for the two day event will also include discussions on a range of other US BCSD, WBCSD and Yale University projects and initiatives - view the full agenda and register at http://usbcsd.org/blog/events.

BlogDaniel Kietzer
Collaborating to Achieve Scale: this July 16-17 at Yale University

July 16th and 17th - Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut

Can business make real progress on global environmental and social issues? Can businesses positively influence environmental and social trends while strengthening their own resilience to issues like climate change and resource scarcity? We think so - but we have to work together to get there.

The WBCSD, US BCSD, and Yale University are walking the talk. We've engaged in new organizational collaborations that will help scale up impact by joining forces and leveraging our collective capabilities. For example, the US BCSD and WBCSD have engaged in a new level of collaboration to connect the WBCSD's thought leadership, breakthrough ideas, and realistic business approaches to the US BCSD's action-oriented project proving ground and implementation platform.

goal

In this context of organizational collaboration, we invite US BCSD and WBCSD members, other businesses, Yale and Global Network for Advanced Management faculty and staff, and colleagues in our network to join us on July 16th and 17th at Yale University. Together we'll explore existing and emerging projects that demonstrate how these collaborations work in practice; discuss what's needed for scale in the context of finance, communications and technology; and create opportunities for peers across sectors to learn and gain from one another.

The agenda for these two days includes:

  • Hands on work sessions to scale existing projects focused on the circular economy, collaborative water strategies, energy efficiency in buildings and others.
  • Work sessions on emerging projects, including climate smart agriculture and coastal resiliency.
  • An exploration of emerging tools and approaches to address the barriers to scaling up impact, including finance, communications and technology.

[themify_hr color="light-gray" width="100%" border_width="1" ]

Add the event to your calendar using the buttons below, and watch our website and twitter account for registration details.

[themify_col grid="3-1 first"]

[themify_button style="large yellow rounded" link="http://usbcsd.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/US-BCSD-WBCSD-Yale-Meeting.ics" ]Outlook Cal[/themify_button]

[/themify_col]

[themify_col grid="3-1"]

[themify_button style="large yellow rounded" link="http://usbcsd.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/US-BCSD-WBCSD-Yale-Meeting.ics" ]iCalendar[/themify_button]

[/themify_col]

[themify_col grid="3-1"]

[themify_button style="large yellow rounded" link="https://www.google.com/calendar/event?action=TEMPLATE&tmeid=aml2ZmVsajM0c3Nia3BiNGhhdmwzMDlnbm8ga2lldHplckB1c2Jjc2Qub3Jn&tmsrc=kietzer%40usbcsd.org" ]Google Cal[/themify_button]

[/themify_col]

BlogDaniel Kietzer
ROC Detroit Wraps Up Second Working Meeting

roc group

The Reuse Opportunity Collaboratory (ROC) Detroit held its second working meeting on April 8th at the General Motors Renaissance Center. The meeting attracted wonderful turnout from Detroit industries, institutions, small and medium sized businesses, and entrepreneurs looking to unlock how to transform waste into new products and new business opportunities. Keep an eye out here, and on rocdetroit.org, for a meeting summary and new project developments.

Scott Nadler joins the US BCSD as Program Director

Nadler SAF 2014The United States Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD) is pleased to announce that Scott Nadler is joining the Council as Program Director. Scott joins US BCSD to provide support in a number of areas including project coordination, membership development, and increased collaboration with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). 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.

Scott brings a broad range of experience, including 20 years in environment and sustainability consulting to business with ERM, a leading global provider of environmental, health, safety, risk and sustainability services. Prior to ERM, Scott spent 15 years in industry and 5 years in state government. He has worked closely with the US BCSD for several years, including serving as a member of US BCSD’s Executive Committee.

“Over more than two decades, the US BCSD has created a unique organization and role in business sustainability”, said US BCSD Executive Director Andrew Mangan. “The Business Council focuses on projects rather than policy. We concentrate on turning great ideas into great actions. Increasingly, business sustainability efforts globally are turning to actions as well. The biggest challenge is to scale up those actions so business can have more meaningful impact on the world’s sustainability challenges. I’m delighted to have Scott join us to work in that effort.”

Scott will work with the US BCSD on a part-time basis. He remains a Partner with ERM.

BlogDaniel Kietzer
Industrial Materials Reuse in Tennessee

On March 27th we presented a new initiative to engage Tennessee-based companies of all sizes to create closed-loop systems in which one company's waste is another company's raw material. As we ended the presentation, we put out a call to action for Tennessee businesses and organizations interested in the project to get in touch - if this means you, fill out this form!

During this hour long session, representatives from General Motors, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conversation and the US Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD) presented on:

  • The concept and implementation of business-to-business material reuse and the plethora of business opportunities that can be uncovered.
  • The US BCSD's Materials Marketplace, a new tool being used in Austin and other regions around the US to help companies easily post materials available or desired, identify reuse opportunities, and exchange underutilized materials.
  • Our next steps and plan to engage with Tennessee automotive businesses and manufacturers to facilitate and launch a materials reuse network in the state.

Waste is just a resource out of place - lets work together to keep these high value resources out of the landfill and put them back into the hands of the Tennessee businesses that can use them best.

BlogDaniel Kietzer
Travis County Launches Texas’ Inaugural PACE Program, Unleashes Private Funding for Energy and Water Efficiency

travis CTY Today marked a milestone for Texas’ clean energy economy. Travis County voted to adopt the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, making it the first county in Texas to do so. This means Austin and the surrounding area will soon reap the economic and environmental benefits from giving energy-intensive, thirsty Texas a reprieve with water efficiency and clean energy.

"The US Business Council for Sustainable Development ignited interest in PACE in 2011 after working on its implementation in Connecticut and California. Two attorneys with the Thompson and Knight law firm, Jim Morriss and Stephen Block, learned of this innovative energy financing concept at a Tucson meeting of the US BCSD and became infected with the idea of making it happen in Texas," said Andrew Mangan, executive director of the US BCSD.

"Together we created a new organization called Keeping PACE in Texas, hired an executive director, Charlene Heydinger, who prepared the way for legislative action in the 2013 session. And now, after years of hard work, Travis County has stepped up as the first government in Texas to launch a PACE energy efficiency in buildings program," Mangan said.

What is PACE?

PACE, enacted during the 2013 Texas Legislature with support from both sides of the aisle, has the potential to unlock a considerable amount of private funding for clean energy projects in the state. Specifically, it is an innovative financing program – completely free of government mandates and public funding – that enables commercial, industrial, multi-family, and agricultural property owners to obtain low-cost, long-term loans for water conservation, energy-efficiency, and renewable energy projects. Participants will then repay these loans for clean energy projects through their property tax bill.

A PACE loan simultaneously offers building owners cheaper financing options and lenders secure repayment terms. In exchange for funds provided by a private lender to pay for the project, the property owner voluntarily requests that the local government place an assessment secured with a senior lien on the property until the assessment is paid in full. The assessment is owed to the local government, which forwards the payments to the private lender.

State Program, County Project, Local Support

Travis County Commissioners Gerald Daugherty (R) and Brigid Shea (D) united to cosponsor the resolution with tremendous support from a large local coalition of PACE advocates in Travis County, as well as by County Tax Assessor Collector Bruce Elfant.

This means that within the next several weeks, private funding for water and energy efficiency upgrades as well as renewable energy projects in Travis County will be unleashed for local businesses.

Benefits to Businesses

PACE has great potential to directly affect the bottom lines of small and medium sized businesses. To be eligible for PACE financing, a project must show that the savings in utility costs will offset the cost of installing the project. In most instances, this will result in an immediate positive cash flow. This mechanism can be used to equip buildings with the latest in efficiency technology, including lighting, HVAC, and water conservation tools. In addition, PACE can be used for renewable energy additions, such as roof-top solar panels.

Nationally, almost 75 percent of PACE projects were less than $250,000 in size, demonstrating PACE’s popularity as a tool for small and medium-size businesses. Further, these project installations lead to increased property value and lower utility bills, making PACE projects attractive for both property owners and tenants alike.

The Future of PACE in Texas

Texas now has its first PACE program. But it shouldn’t stop here in Travis County. The state of Texas accounts for about 12 percent of the entire country’s energy use, and Texas’ unique PACE framework makes implementation across the state easy and predictable. In the next few months, we’ll be looking to help other counties follow with PACE programs of their own. If you’d like to bring PACE to your county in Texas, please contact Keeping PACE in Texas.

BlogDaniel Kietzer