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green@work : Magazine : Newlines : Jan/Feb 2002

Newslines
Actions and initiatives worth noting

2002
Customer Choice Would Boost Renewable Energy

Giving consumers a greater choice of how their electricity is generated could advance solar, wind and other “green power” sources 40 percent by the end of the decade, according to a new study by two U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories.

Achieving such a result, however, would require an orderly transition to competitive power markets and a significant expansion of the green pricing programs currently offered by regulated utilities, said energy analysts who conducted the study at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).

The findings are based on detailed modeling of green power demand, drawing on the experience of green power markets to date and consumer response to other “green” products.

“Our study shows that giving consumers energy supply choices can be a powerful mechanism for moving renewable energy into the marketplace,” said Blair Swezey of NREL, one of the study’s co-authors.

The authors note that realizing the full potential of green power markets will require a combination of better information and consumer education about electricity supply choices and the development of market rules and public policies that support customer choice.

The full report, “Forecasting the Growth of Green Power Markets in the United States,” is available on the NREL Web site at: www.eren.doe.gov/greenpower/pdf/30101.pdf.


Honda Goes Green in Gresham

American Honda officially opened its unique “green” facility, a 212,888-square-foot warehouse, training center and zone office in Gresham, OR, designed and constructed with recycled, recyclable and sustainable building materials. American Honda’s Northwest Regional Facility utilizes environmentally friendly products in virtually every aspect of the building’s design, construction and operation—from its lighting, heating, flooring, bathroom tiles and wall finishes to exterior landscaping.

American Honda relied heavily on a number of Portland, OR-based environmental organizations and government entities for the facility’s sustainable development design, construction and operation. These local experts included Portland Energy Conservation, Inc., Portland General Electric, the city of Gresham and other local design, construction and engineering firms.

“We chose to ‘go green in Gresham’ because of Oregon’s leadership in the sustainable development movement and because we wanted to demonstrate that a warehouse and commercial building can be environmentally friendly and energy efficient while supporting normal business activities,” stated Anthony Piazza, American Honda HR/Administration Division’s assistant vice president.

Honda is also working closely with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to receive a LEED Gold Certification, the USGBC’s second highest certification level (platinum being highest) for the Gresham facility’s environmentally friendly design, construction and operation.


Starbucks Brews New Purchasing Guidelines

Starbucks Coffee Co. has developed new coffee purchasing guidelines in partnership with The Center for Environmental Leadership in Business, a division of Conservation International (CI), to support its commitment to purchase coffee that has been grown and processed by suppliers who meet important environmental, social, economic and quality standards.

To launch the guidelines, Starbucks will enlist the support of coffee suppliers who are sustainability advocates.

Starbucks has instituted a flexible point system that rewards suppliers for their performance in sustainable categories. Suppliers who earn more points in the program will receive higher purchasing preference when Starbucks purchases green coffee.

These guidelines are based on the following four criteria:

• Quality Baselines

All coffee offered by producers and suppliers must meet Starbucks’ quality standards in order to be considered for purchase. Maintaining the highest quality is an integral component of sustainability at all levels of the coffee supply chain.

• Social Conditions

The standards for coffee production should ensure protection from workplace hazards and conform to local laws and applicable international conventions related to employee wages and benefits, occupational health and safety and labor and human rights.

• Environmental Concerns

Coffee growing and processing standards will contribute to conservation of soil, water and biological diversity; employ efficient and renewable energy technologies; minimize or eliminate agrochemical inputs; and manage waste materials consistent with the principles of reduction, reuse and recycling.

• Economic Issues

Coffee production and commercializa-tion should benefit rural communities by boosting producer incomes, expanding employment and educational opportunities and enhancing local infrastructure and public services.

The Starbucks sourcing guidelines and all supporting documents can be found on-line at www.starbucks.com and www.celb.org.


The Five Millionth Mile

As a testament to the growth of the environmental vehicle industry in the United States, Budget EV Rental Cars, the nation’s only environmental vehicle rental company, announ-ced that its fleet has accumulated over five million miles.

Budget EV Rental Cars, a joint effort between EV Rental Cars and Budget Rent a Car, is the only company renting hybrid, natural gas and electric vehicles. The company estimates that by driving five million miles, the fleet has saved over 130,000 gallons of gasoline that would have been used by conventional rental cars. Equally valuable is the air pollution prevented by the rental vehicles, calculated at over 20 tons.

The consumer benefits of driving EV Rental Car’s clean fuel vehicles include access to carpool (HOV) lanes even with no passengers in the car, reduced fuel costs, no charge for returning the car on empty and free parking in many cities.

Those interested in renting or buying alternative fuel vehicles can call 877-387-3682 or visit EV Rental on the Web at www.evrental.com.


CERES Principles Gain Support

The Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES) received more backing when the following seven companies recently endorsed its principles:

• Energy Management Inc. (EMI) is an electricity generation company that recently divested its natural gas fired power plants and is concentrating on renewable energy projects. It is currently working on a joint venture with Wind Management, a European wind company, to develop Cape Wind, a 420-megawatt wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod, MA.

• Based in California, ENVINTA (www.envinta.com) is a global energy management solutions provider working with utilities, governments and major corporations to achieve significant impact on energy use and greenhouse gas management.

• Headquartered in Riverdale, NJ, First Environment (www.firstenvironment.com) provides strategic environmental and engineering services nationally and is the first environmental engineering firm in the United States to earn ISO 14001 certification.

• Hotel Mocking Bird Hill (www.hotelmockingbirdhill.com) is a 10-room “boutique hotel” in Port Antonio, Jamaica that has been an active participant in CERES’ Green Hotel Initiative. The hotel is seeking Green Globe certification, which helps hotels achieve independent verification of their environmental performance.

• Rolltronics Corp. (www.rolltronics.com), headquartered in Menlo Park, CA, is a new technology business specializing in a manufacturing technique called “roll-to-roll” processing, which it plans to use to produce an entirely new class of lower cost, lighter weight and more durable electronic products that are created directly on flexible substrates, such as plastic.

• The Saunders Hotel Group, the first major hotel company to endorse the CERES’ principles, has partnered with CERES for years in the “greening” of its Boston, MA hotels. Tedd Saunders, executive vice president, worked on the launch of CERES’ Green Hotel Initiative, has written a book about the business benefits of environmentalism and has lectured to the travel industry about the economic, marketing and moral benefits of environmentally responsible hotels.

• YSI Inc. (www.ysi.com) is a sensor manufacturing company based in Yellow Springs, OH, which produces a variety of measurement, monitoring and analytical instruments. Major market segments include environmental monitoring, water testing and analysis, food and beverage processing, biotechnology, cell culture, fermentation, health care and aerospace.


New SRI Research Group Thinks Global

A major new alliance of socially responsible investment (SRI) research providers from 12 countries was launched to provide consistent and detailed profiles of global corporations. The Sustainable Investment Research International (SiRi) Group will offer standardized profiles of the largest 500 global companies, undertake SRI consultancy services in local and global markets, as well as enabling its investor clients to have wider access to local company research undertaken by its members within their own markets.

The SiRi Group’s unique methodology is based on an active dialogue with multinational companies on a wide range of sustainability issues such as social policy, child labor, environmental impact, employment rights and corporate social responsibility reporting.

The SiRi Global 500 offers institutional investors and financial services providers the opportunity to incorporate sustainability information in their investment process. The local SiRi Group member organization has the expertise to set up tailor-made products and services that are specific to each market and can advise in this process.


Canada Feels Breeze From Joint Venture

Suncor Energy Alternative and Renewable Development, a division of Sunoco Inc. (Suncor), announced plans to work with NA Renewables Canada Co., a North American subsidiary of EHN, to develop wind power projects in Canada.

The joint venture, which will operate under the name of SunNar, will take advantage of EHN’s technological know-how and Suncor’s knowledge of the Canadian market.

“Our work with EHN will bring a new and powerful player onto the renewable energy scene in Canada,” says Mike O’Brien, executive vice president, corporate development and CFO. “The focus on large-scale renewable energy projects fits with our commitment to address the risk of global climate change and our parallel path approach to energy development.” The parallel path refers to Suncor’s strategy to responsibly develop hydrocarbon resources to meet current energy needs while taking action to develop renewable energy sources for the long-term.

EHN is currently undertaking large-scale wind power developments in Spain and Latin America and conducting research in the state of New York to identify possible sites for wind power development.

Most recently, Suncor announced the SunBridge Wind Power Project, a partnership between Enbridge Inc. and Suncor Energy to develop a 17-turbine wind farm in southeast Saskatchewan.


Recycling Benefits at All-time High

Despite a nationwide economic slowdown, the financial and employment benefits of the recycling industry appear to be at an all-time high, according to a new study released by the National Recycling Coalition.

While the environmental benefits of recycling are well known, the National Recycling Economic Information Study, conducted for the NRC by the consulting firm R.W. Beck, Inc. and commissioned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, provides the first definitive evidence of recycling’s contributions to the national economy.

According to the study, the recycling industry employs 1.1 million people nationwide, generating an annual payroll of $37 billion and grossing $236 billion in annual sales. This is comparable to the size of the auto and truck manufacturing industry and is significantly larger than either the mining or waste management/disposal industries.

Wages for recycling workers are notably higher than the national average for all industries. More than 56,000 public and private sector recycling facilities recover and transform discarded materials into useful products of considerable value. “Returning commodities to the stream of commerce is a value-adding, job-providing and economy-spurring activity,” says Jonathan Burgiel, national director of solid waste management services for R. W. Beck, Inc. and project manager of the study.

Study highlights, as well as the full report, are available now on NRC’s Web site at www.nrc-recycle.org or by calling 703-683-9025.


Wind Project Takes to the Skies

The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and SeaWest WindPower, Inc. executed an agreement under which Bonneville will purchase power from a wind energy project being constructed by SeaWest. The project is located near the town of Condon, in central Oregon, south of the Columbia River Gorge. BPA will purchase and market the entire output of the project over a 20-year period.

At 49.8 megawatts, the Condon Wind Energy Project will utilize 83 – 600kW wind turbines manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan to provide clean, renewable electricity while increasing local employment and investment in a rural and economically challenged area of Oregon. Located on private farmland, the project will provide additional income to farmers while leaving the vast majority of their land available for wheat production.

“Much of Oregon’s energy still comes from fossil fuel sources, and the Condon project is a common sense way to clean our air while diversifying our fuel sources,” said Oregon Congressman David Wu (D-OR). “It will also create new jobs and bring $15 million in income to the local community over its lifetime.”

For further information about SeaWest WindPower and other recent projects, visit www.seawestwindpower.com or contact Dave Roberts of SeaWest WindPower, Inc., at 619-908-3440 or droberts@seawestwindpower.com.


HP Joins Fight Against Climate Change

The Pew Center on Global Climate Change announced that the Hewlett-Packard Co. has joined the organization’s efforts to battle global climate change. The Pew Center established the Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC) with 13 members in May 1998. The addition of Hewlett-Packard brings the BELC’s total membership to 37 companies.

Members of the BELC are committed to take steps in their domestic and foreign operations to assess their greenhouse gas emissions and establish programs to reduce those emissions. The BELC considers the Kyoto Protocol a first step in global efforts to mitigate climate change and supports the development of market-based mechanisms as called for in the Kyoto Protocol.

The BELC includes many Fortune 500 companies in a diverse group of industries including energy, chemicals, metal, consumer appliances and high technology. These companies do not contribute financially to the Pew Center, which is supported solely by contributions from charitable organizations.

For more information about global climate change and the activities of the Pew Center and the BELC, visit www.pewclimate.org.


Dodge-Regupol Doubles Its Capacity

To capitalize on new and rapidly growing business operations, Dodge-Regupol, Inc. (DRI), North America’s largest manufacturer of recycled rubber products, has acquired new facilities that nearly double its previous capacity.

DRI’s most recent acquisitions include a 90,000-square-foot production facility for the grinding and cleaning of shredded scrap rubber as well as 50,000 square feet for warehousing of inventory. Coming soon will be the addition of a new Regupol line more than doubling production of ECOsurfaces® commercial flooring, Everlast Surfacing™ (fitness flooring) as well as specialty products, such as Regupol™ insulation for sound impact reduction and underlayment for artificial turf and other sports surfacing systems.

From operating an old, inefficient 80,000 square-foot plant with 35 employees to produce cork and rubber commodities, DRI has since utilized 400,000 square feet of refurbished facilities with 150 employees and state-of-the-art “Regupol” technology geared for high volume output. This expansion allows DRI to continue operating a facility with rapid response capabilities while maintaining its customer service position despite dramatic business growth.


Improving Air Quality for 2002 Olympic Games

The Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) for the Winter Olympics of 2002 has exceeded its goal of zero emissions for the Salt Lake Games. The SLOC environment department joined forces with DuPont, Clean Air Conservancy, the Leonardo Academy and O2 Blue to help improve air quality through the Olympic Cleaner and Greener™ program.

The Olympic Cleaner and Greener program quantified all forms of energy used during the Games including the Torch Relay, transportation and operations. The program then solicited donations of verified emission reduction credits from local and national companies to offset the emissions produced by hosting the Games. The donated credits are then retired permanently, creating a positive effect on air quality.

“SLOC’s environment program has adopted a zero waste/zero emissions goal for Games-time,” said Diane Conrad Gleason, SLOC’s environment program director. “The Cleaner and Greener program has helped us reach one of our aggressive conservation goals for the 2002 Games.”

“SLOC’s goal of being the greenest Games ever is admirable and we are glad that we are able to help,” said Dave Findlay, global business director for emissions trading at DuPont.

DuPont donated enough emission credits of carbon dioxide equivalent, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming, allowing SLOC to achieve the zero emissions goal for the Games.

The SLOC environment program, along with their partners, are dedicated to protecting and enhancing the environment in every aspect of the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games. The Environment Program of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) for the Winter Olympics of 2002 ensures that SLOC displays environmental sensitivity in venue development and operation, educates both Utahns and their guests on sound environment practices, and leaves a legacy of improvement to the region. The SLOC Environment Program has been supported by the participation of several Environmental Champions: Anheuser-Busch, Utah Power/Pacificorp, the USDA Forest Service, the Environmental Protection Agency and Coca-Cola.

For more information, contact Jeanne Shaw in SLOC Media Relations at 801-212-4241, or visit www.saltlake2002.com.


KRCL Radio Walks the Talk With Blue Sky

KRCL community-supported radio in Utah often uses its airwaves urging listeners to get involved in environmental good works. Recently, the station (90.9 FM in Salt Lake City, 96.5 FM in Park City) seized its own opportunity to get involved in bringing new, renewable wind power generation on-line through Utah Power’s Blue Sky program.

Utah Power’s Blue Sky is a voluntary program where business and residential customers can help increase the demand for new, clean, renewable wind power generation. For an additional $2.95 per month, residential, business and industrial customers can purchase wind power in 100-kwh block increments. KRCL has signed up to purchase 27 blocks per month.

Renewable energy is generated from clean resources such as wind, solar and geothermal. It has little to no emissions and the supply is unlimited.

Regulatory authorities require that newly built resources included in rates be the “least costly.” Right now that does not include renewable resources. Therefore, customers who want to support the growth of new renewable resources sooner can participate in Blue Sky and can be sure that their money is going directly to developing new wind power. Not only is Blue Sky overseen by state regulators, it is certified by Renew 2000, an organization formed to ensure consumers get what they’re paying for when they buy renewable power products.

For more information or to sign up for Blue Sky, call 800-842-8458; e-mail bluesky@pacificorp.com; or visit the Utah Power Campaign Web site at www.utahgreenpower.org.

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