Waste Not

The latest in the growing number of efforts directed at reducing, repurposing and ultimately eliminating waste in all its forms.

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Interface to Use Food Waste to Power Dutch Plant

Global carpet-tile manufacturer Interface has announced it will switch to using 100 percent renewable gas at its manufacturing plant in Scherpenzeel, The Netherlands, beginning January 1, 2014. The company has signed a contract with sustainable energy supplier Eneco, which will supply the Interface plant with gas produced using certified 'green' waste from the food industry, provided by fish processor A. van de Groep.

How Phoenix Is Transforming Trash Into Resources

Phoenix, Arizona is a huge and growing city — the sixth largest in the U.S. — with a population of 1.4 million residents embedded in a metropolitan area of more than four million people. Because of its location surrounded by mountains in the hot and dry Sonoran desert, Phoenix has by necessity become a leader in the world of sustainability, with a plan focusing on the nexus of energy, water, population and waste. Waste value stream management is one of the most difficult — but potentially rewarding — challenge areas within the city’s strategy.

GM Global Headquarters Achieves Zero Waste

General Motors announced this week that its company headquarters in Detroit produces 5 million pounds of trash annually — the equivalent of 200,000 full garbage bags — which GM now diverts from the landfill. The automaker says the complex now recycles 49 percent of its total waste and converts the rest, including food scraps and used containers, to renewable energy that powers other nearby businesses.While GM already has more than 100 landfill-free sites, the Renaissance Center is the most complex, and is the only facility open to the public. Covering 5.5 million square feet, the building houses the Western Hemisphere's tallest all-hotel skyscraper, 11 other businesses, 20 restaurants and 27 retailers. It accommodates 12,000 office workers and 3,000 visitors daily.

Rethinking the Obvious: Lean and Sustainability

For those not already familiar with the term, "Lean" is a concept that started in manufacturing but is broadly applicable. It refers to a continuous improvement focus on waste reduction. Most notably, Toyota used Lean to attain world-class manufacturing status but the concept is an amalgamation of many schools of thought. For details, see an overview of lean manufacturing.

Helping PDP Engage Brands to Revalue Plastic

This post is part of a series written by MBA and MPA candidates in Presidio Graduate School’s Managerial Marketing course, examining the role of marketing in advancing sustainability across all sectors.

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Browns' Food Waste Program Helping Turn Cleveland Into 'a Green City on a Blue Lake'

Waste-to-energy is a trend we’re happy to see growing like wildfire, with new initiatives seeming to pop up weekly that turn waste generated by everything from food and alcohol to heat, humans and

Detroit Renewable Energy Steaming Up GM Assembly Plant

General Motors and Detroit Renewable Energy have announced a renewable energy project to turn solid municipal waste from the city of Detroit into process steam that will be used to heat and cool portions of GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant.When the project is operational, 58 percent of the plant’s energy needs will come from renewable energy, making Detroit-Hamtramck the top GM facility in the world by percentage of renewable energy used.

Sainsbury's Ups the Zero-Waste Ante with First 'Triple Zero' Stores

Sainsbury’s new supermarket in Leicester, opening Wednesday, November 27, is one of the British retailer’s two new “triple zero” stores. The 81,700 sq ft store will produce zero carbon emissions from all on-site energy used, send zero waste to landfill and have zero impact on the water usage of the local catchment area because of its water-neutral status.Neil Sachdev, Sainsbury’s Property Director, said: "We aim to be the UK’s greenest grocer and achieve our 20x20 target to reduce our operational carbon emissions by 30 percent absolute. To do this we’re now building and running highly sustainable, low-carbon stores.

Heat Generated by London Underground Trains Will Now Heat Homes Instead of Commuters

In the spirit of the just-wrapped SB London conference, the city has announced just the kind of ingenious, waste-to-resource solution that we love: Excess heat generated by London Underground trains will now be captured and used to help warm homes and cut energy bills in the Islington district.The project — the first of its kind in Europe — is a partnership between Islington Council, London Mayor Boris Johnson, UK Power Networks and Transport for London.As anyone who has ever ridden it knows, the Tube generates large amounts of heat; its capture and utilization through a nearby vent off the Northern Line will not only warm local homes, it could very well make the ride more comfortable for the millions of daily commuters.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Achieves 99.8% Waste Diversion

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is the first to receive the US Zero Waste Business Council’s platinum certification — the highest possible rating — for successfully diverting 99.8 percent of its waste.The company says its waste-management efforts also saved some $5,398,470 in avoided disposal costs and $903,308 in 2012 revenue, which we believe is called "proving the business case." By diverting 51,414 tons from landfill and incineration, Sierra Nevada avoided 11,812 tons of carbon dioxide, according to USZWBC.USZWBC audited the Zero Waste diversion processes at Sierra Nevada in Chico, Calif. and found that the facility is successfully reducing, reusing, recycling and composting at an unprecedented rate.

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Bureo Poised to Make Waves of Change in the Skateboard Industry

For Ben Kneppers and David Stover, the dream was always sun, sand and a great day of skateboarding and surfing. But their passion for sustainability and the environment made them keenly aware of plastic pollution in the oceans — when the two took on beach cleanups as a hobby, all it took was a brief epiphany that this plastic could be put to use, and Bureo Skateboards was born.

P&G Utilizes More Than 99% of Materials Entering Its Plants

Over the past fiscal year, more than 99.35 percent of all materials entering Procter & Gamble’s (P&G) plants were used in products and through recycling, reuse, and conversion of waste to energy, according to the company’s 2013 Sustainability Report.Additionally, more than 50 of the Company’s global sites now send zero manufacturing waste to landfill, including every site in Germany. Since 2010, P&G says it has reduced manufacturing waste by 56 percent per unit of production — more than double the company’s original goal.

New Wastewater Mining Tech Isolates Biosolids for Use as Paper, Pulp, Plastic, Fuel

A Dutch wastewater treatment facility (WWTP) and paper mill are testing out a new sewage recycling system that reduces sludge formation by half, cuts operational costs by 30 percent, significantly increases treatment capacity and yields biosolids that can be used in a host of applications.Developed in Israel, Applied CleanTech’s Sewage Recycling System (SRS) converts the bio-solids found in wastewater into Recyllose — a new sterilized product based on cellulose extracted from the wastewater, which is automatically packed into a reusable commodity and transported to paper, construction, plastic and energy industries.Allow us to provide a visual aid:

Safety-Kleen & Clean Harbors: Working Together to Keep Motor Oil in Cars, Out of the Environment

An old Chinese proverb says, “We are all born, grow old, get sick and die,” but those who are interested in sustainability would likely add that we are all then born again. Rebirth and recycling are two themes that have helped us to understand cyclical movement in the business world, and there are a few companies that exemplify those themes.

techfortrade Creating Standard for Eco-Friendly 3D-Printing Filament

techfortrade, a UK charity that aims to connect developing nations with emerging technology in order to facilitate trade, today announced the launch of the Ethical Filament Foundation (EFF). The EFF will collaborate with organizations around the world to ensure the availability and viability of ethically produced 3D-printing filament, made from recycled plastic waste.

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Sustainia Selects Groundbreaking Water Grid Solution as Best Innovation of 2013

Sustainability think tank Sustainia today presented TaKaDu, an Israeli company that produces technology that reduces water distribution losses, with an award honoring the world’s best sustainability innovation.In front of an audience of over 1,000 guests gathered in Copenhagen, TaKaDu was announced winner of the Sustainia Award 2013. TaKaDu was first chosen as the best solution for IT when Sustainia announced its top 10 innovations, out of more than 500 projects and technologies from 79 countries, in September.

Daniel Silverstein: Shifting Fashion's Focus from Waist Size to Zero Waste

Since appearing on season two of NBC’s Fashion Star, Daniel Silverstein has made a name for himself in the eco-fashion world. According to the New York Times, the fashion industry generally discards 10-20 percent of the fabric used to manufacture apparel, but Silverstein disrupts the paradigm, using design-driven innovation to create a fashion line without fabric waste. We chatted with Silverstein and brand manager Chris Anderson to see what inspires them about designing without waste and where the future of fashion is headed.

Interface Joins Initiative Turning Marine Plastic 'from Waste to Wear'

Innovative carpet-tile manufacturer and environmental pioneer Interface has announced its participation in 'Healthy Seas, a Journey from Waste to Wear' — a new initiative designed to address the growing environmental problem of marine waste. Interface is the first flooring company to participate in this global program, founded by yarn manufacturer Aquafil, conservation group ECNC Land & Sea Group, and Dutch manufacturer Star Sock, as part of Interface's long-term 'Mission Zero' sustainability goal.

Sainsbury's Introduces Its First Water-Neutral Store

Sainsbury's has announced that its new store at Weymouth Gateway will be water neutral — 100 percent of its water demand will be met through water-efficient infrastructure and offsetting partnerships in the local community, and the total water used within the local catchment area will not increase as a result of this new store. The grocery retailer says it will also replicate this approach at its new supermarket in Leicester, opening at the end of November.

Best Buy, Dell Win CEA’s First eCycling Leadership Award

Best Buy, Dell, HP and Samsung have won the Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) inaugural eCycling Leadership Award, which recognizes consumer electronics companies that recycle above and beyond levels mandated by government.In 2011, CEA announced the eCycling Leadership Initiative to increase the amount of recycled consumer electronics to one billion pounds annually by 2016, an effort known as the Billion Pound Challenge. CEA says the industry is on track to meet this goal by recycling 585 million pounds of products in 2012.

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