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1. INSIDER KNOWLEDGE 2015 INSIDER KNOWLEDGE 2015 Brought to you by 2. ©2015 Environmental Leader LLC, www.environmentalleader.com You may reproduce this report (in its…
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  • 1. INSIDER KNOWLEDGE 2015 INSIDER KNOWLEDGE 2015 Brought to you by
  • 2. ©2015 Environmental Leader LLC, www.environmentalleader.com You may reproduce this report (in its entirety, without editing or selecting individual pages or responses) for noncommercial purposes only, provided credit is given to Environmental Leader LLC, and includes this copyright notice. INSIDER KNOWLEDGE 2015 Brought to you by
  • 3. When it comes to building your energy and sustainability management strategy, how and where to begin can be unclear. Ecova’s solution set makes sense of your utility and resource data, and our team of experts defines clear strategies that create powerful change. To learn more about Ecova and our range of solutions, begin at more.ecova.com/clarity
  • 4. 2015 INSIDER Knowledge ©2015 Environmental Leader LLC, www.environmentalleader.com [ page 4 ] FROM THE PUBLISHER Dear Reader, The world’s business community faces ever-growing sustainability and energy management challenges, and rising to those challenges quickly and proactively is now more important than ever. While some of these challenges have been developing for many years -- even decades -- new challenges crop up every day, and along with them comes the need for businesses to adapt and evolve, with better approaches, new tactics, and smarter initiatives. While a seemingly infinite number of resources exist to help energy and sustainability managers understand the new landscape and to guide them through new processes, it can be difficult to predict which tactics and approaches will work best for a specific problem. And sifting through the wealth of information can be an intimidating challenge on its own. That’s why we began, several years ago, to publish the Environmental Leader Insider Knowledge Report: because even the most nimble companies -- those able to turn on a dime to adapt their business processes with ease and creativity -- can learn from others. In these pages, you’ll hear from a variety of sources: from the people at the operational level working in the trenches to managers to the C-suite. You’ll find answers to questions such as: »» How did other companies solve the problems we have, and how did the initiative perform? »» What steps did they take? »» What worked? And (equally important), what didn’t work? »» What partners did companies work with, and how did they approach the problems or challenges? »» What are the effects of environmental changes on a company’s business -- positive or negative -- and what are they tackling first? Here, you can randomly peruse the case studies, stories of success, and lessons learned, search through the table of contents for the specific problem you’re hoping to solve, or scroll to the end of the report to search by company name if you’d like to learn from a specific organization. We hope these stories will help you understand and solve the challenges you face in today’s competitive marketplace. Environmental Leader, along with sponsors Ecova and VF Corporation, are happy to bring you the Insider Knowledge Report and hope you will find it invaluable for the stories and tactics shared here. Sincerely, Paul Nastu Publisher
  • 5. 2015 INSIDER Knowledge ©2015 Environmental Leader LLC, www.environmentalleader.com [ page 5 ] INDEX OF CATEGORIES Alternative Energy Emissions Reductions and Climate Energy Management Leadership Reporting and Standards Supply Chain Sustainability Sustainability Programs Sustainable IT True Value of Sustainability Water and Waste Management
  • 6. 2015 INSIDER Knowledge ©2015 Environmental Leader LLC, www.environmentalleader.com [ page 6 ] Alternative Energy W hat began in 2006 as a project to explore energy capacity expansion for the Holland, Michigan Board of Public Works (HBPW) energy plant grew into a sustainability journey possibly unique in the municipal utility industry. HBPW began with a fairly conventional vision to expand the coal fired energy plant with newer energy generation technology. They began exploring technologies including algae biofuel, a circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler using coal, and carbon sequestration. By 2008-2009, HBPW was seeking two federal grants to study and implement a carbon capture and sequestration system (CCS). The goal was to capture CO2 from the energy plant and inject it into underground rock formations. Only one of the two grants was awarded, so carbon capture was scrapped. Meanwhile, HBPW and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources entered into an extended legal dispute over the approval of the air permit to expand the coal plant. HBPW prevailed and eventually was awarded the permit. An additional legal battle was ongoing between the HBPW and the Sierra Club over the existing coal plant. Legal costs were mounting, and the City was no closer to a decision on power generation. Although HPBW had a permit for a coal-fired energy plant, it became clear a different solution was warranted. In July 2011, the HBPW launched an exhaustive Sustainable Return on Investment (SROI) process with HDR (specialists in engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services) to study the financial, social, economic, environmental and health impacts of several new energy generation options. Also driving this sustainability focus is Holland’s Community Energy Plan, a 40-year framework for achieving more sustainable energy and reduced demand developed by the Holland Community Sustainability Committee with an outside consultant, Garforth International. The SROI process was also the trigger for the HBPW to pursue enhanced community and stakeholder communications. Power for the 21st century or “P21” became the communications theme. The P21 web site became a focal point (www.p21decision.com). Risk Analysis Process (RAP) sessions were set up with an assembly of community and regional stakeholders collaborating on the scope and categories of study for the SROI. Diane Haworth Vice Chair Board of Directors, Holland Board of Public Works www.hollandbpw.com
  • 7. 2015 INSIDER Knowledge ©2015 Environmental Leader LLC, www.environmentalleader.com [ page 7 ] HBPW hosted several informational sessions with experts speaking on topics critical to the generation decision and intended to educate the community on potential options. HBPW and HDR finally concluded the year-long SROI study. The results pointed to a natural gas solution with supplemental purchased power agreements (PPA) for renewable energy (wind). Once the city made the decision to pursue natural gas with wind PPAs other elements fell into place. A partial brownfield site was identified in a declining area of the city. The location was also a natural gateway into the city. HBPW assembled another community stakeholder panel to collaborate with HDR on architectural designs for the future Holland Energy Park. HBPW began planning for extensive materials reuse from the demolition site and collaborated with local charities to re-purpose building materials from vacated properties at the 26-acre site. The lawsuit with the Sierra Club was resolved. On April 21, 2015, a groundbreaking ceremony at what is now being called Holland Energy Park kicked off the project and Barton Malow, a Michigan-based firm began construction. When complete in 2017, the Holland Energy Park will include an architecturally distinctive energy plant with two state-of-the-art gas-fired turbines that significantly reduce the GHG emissions over the existing coal-fired plant. Walking paths through the park will connect to the Macatawa Greenway trail system. Environmentally sensitive landscaping and water retention features will also reduce runoff to the Macatawa River and wetlands surrounding the park. When it goes fully operational, the $200-million Holland Energy Park will showcase a variety of environmental and aesthetic considerations that include: »» A bold, modern building design that creates an attractive eastern gateway to the city; »» A 50 percent reduction in carbon emissions and the virtual elimination of solid particle pollutants; »» Double the fuel efficiency of Holland’s present power generation; »» The development of open, public space that will integrate with the Macatawa Greenway trail system; »» An expansion on Holland’s innovative snowmelt system and, potentially, district heating; »» The facility will use the latest combined-cycle natural gas generating technology to produce up to 145 megawatts of power to meet the needs of a growing community.
  • 8. 2015 INSIDER Knowledge ©2015 Environmental Leader LLC, www.environmentalleader.com [ page 8 ] This successful outcome could not have happened without public involvement and support that grew from the SROI process. A municipal utility is owned by the community and needs an engaged and involved community to be successful. O ur energy reduction strategy is comprehensive, focused on reducing overall consumption, implementing energy-efficiency projects at our facilities and developing renewable energy projects. In the past, we have done a number of projects specifically around solar. We currently have a 6,500 panel solar array that provides the Skillman campus with 48% of its annual energy use, and also have panels installed on top of our San Francisco office. The Sustainability Team, alongside Purchasing, Facilities and Legal, collaborated on a Remote Net-Meter power purchase agreement for a solar development on two warehouses in Queens, New York. “Remote Net-Metering” enables sites with poor solar characteristics but significant on-site load to benefit from a solar system on an alternative site with excellent solar characteristics. This project is expected to produce 1.7 Million kWh of clean energy annually and will eliminate 4,900 metric tonnes of CO2e over the 10-year contract. The project is being developed by a NYC-based solar developer, EnterSolar. The warehouses hosting the system are part of a broader real estate development project that will bring 135 permanent jobs to the local community. T he principals at Renova Partners LLC have successfully acquired, remediated, redeveloped and secured zoning and approvals for over 75 severely contaminated properties nationwide. As a company that focuses on brownfield redevelopment, we understand the importance of economic drivers through many years of experience. In a strong real estate market, these drivers often arise from the creation of land value through the resolution of environmental issues. At other times, redevelopment can be propelled by savings of anticipated remedial costs. We have also seen how time-consuming and unpredictable obtaining public incentives can be. The Lee Ballin Head of Sustainable Business Programs Bloomberg www.bloomberg.com/bcause Pete Pedersen Managing Principal Brightfields Development, LLC http://www.solarbrownfields.com/
  • 9. 2015 INSIDER Knowledge ©2015 Environmental Leader LLC, www.environmentalleader.com [ page 9 ] public process may subject a redevelopment project to the vagaries of the real estate market, where a negative price movement can dwarf the advantages of the available public incentives. Redeveloping a dormant brownfield is more desirable, for both developers and regulators, once a detailed end-use for the brownfield has been identified. This expedites the redevelopment process, as regulators are far more comfortable approving a remedial approach for a specific end use than for a conceptual future for a property. The collapse of the real estate market in 2008 presented an interesting challenge, as the lack of demand made it increasingly difficult to redevelop the brownfields after they had been remediated. However, as demand for renewable energy continued to grow, we saw solar farms as a viable land reuse option. We founded Brightfields Development LLC in 2009 as a vehicle for redeveloping mounted brownfields and landfills into solar energy projects. Brightfields owns and operates the solar project above the ground while Renova operates and manages the subsurface aspects of a property hosting a Brightfields project. This appeared to be an ideal solution for transforming an otherwise unused, contaminated property into inexpensive land hosting a renewable solar energy installation. We discovered that solar development is and remains an ideal use of dormant, contaminated or geotechnically suspect land, especially in an expensive real estate market where land is scarce. The solar market is thriving due in part to public incentives at the federal, state and local levels. SRECs, or solar renewable energy credits, have played an integral part in the solar market by increasing the economic value of solar investments and assisting with the financing of related projects. Massachusetts, where we are headquartered, is currently featuring the SREC II program, which requires a specific percentage of the renewable energy produced in the state to be derived from solar energy. This incentive has been crucial for solar developers in Massachusetts, which currently has installed over 800 Megawatts of solar energy, ranking it 4th in the nation. With rapidly declining capital and soft costs, and with enhancements in complementary technologies, especially batteries, solar will continue to supply a meaningful share of the electricity supply in this country for the foreseeable future. F aced with mounting fuel costs, New Jersey’s Hanover Township Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) has decided to use the biogas they were previously flaring to power a 100 kilowatt engine. Prior to injecting the flare gas into the generator, Hanover will condition the biogas to extend the life of the engine and avoid costly down time. My company, Clean Methane Systems (CMS), based in Tualatin, Oregon, was selected to provide the company’s patented conditioning technology. Tim Robinson President Clean Methane Systems methanesys.com
  • 10. 2015 INSIDER Knowledge ©2015 Environmental Leader LLC, www.environmentalleader.com [ page 10 ] As there is no natural gas line to Hanover’s WWTP, the facility purchased fuel oil to power their generators and fuel their boilers. This ongoing cost is about to be eliminated due in part to the biogas-conditioning technology. To remove the hydrogen sulfide, siloxanes and moisture, the biogas first enters a 10-foot by 4-foot vessel containing 6,000 pounds of SulfaTreat media, which is intended to reduce the hydrogen sulfide from 300 parts per million by volume to less than 150 parts per million by volume. The SulfaTreat media is only required to be changed every 48 months, adding to the cost savings, CMS reports. After the hydrogen sulfide is removed, the gas enters a compressor and moisture removal system before entering the siloxane removal vessels. For the project the two vessels are 8 feet high and 1.5 feet wide. They are set up in a lead/lag configuration with the biogas first entering one vessel and then on to the next. Each vessel contains 600 pounds of patented SAG/HOX media, which needs to be changed out about every eight months. The biogas project cost about $2 million and was part of a larger $6 million project aimed at ending the facility’s dependence on fuel oil. Even with a smaller biogas project, the Hanover WWTP estimates the payback for the biogas portion of the project is 15 years. W ithin the last year, General Motors has added nearly 3 megawatts of solar power to its facilities, announced a power purchase agreement that will add wind power to its renewable energy portfolio for the first time, and expanded the use of landfill gas at its Fort Wayne, Indiana assembly plant, which recently ranked No. 5 on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s list of top 30 generators of onsite green power. GM first started using renewable energy at its facilities in 1995 and launched its first solar project in 2005. To date, we have 46 megawatts of solar at our facilities worldwide. Procuring green power is not always easy. But we’ve been able to add renewable energy to our portfolio more frequently in recent years by applying lessons learned from past projects to new transactions. Because the market for renewable energy is still relatively new, standard transaction terms for financing and contracting are not in place. When large companies, like GM, want to add renewables to their energy portfolio, they’re met with hurdles like high investments and long contracts spreading payment over many years. Rob Threlkeld Global Manager of Renewable Energy General Motors gmsustainability.com
  • 11. 2015 INSIDER Knowledge ©2015 Environmental Leader LLC, www.environmentalleader.com [ page 11 ] Traditional utilities don’t always have enough renewable power available for companies to purchase, causing these buyers to work around them. Collaboration between buyers and energy suppliers is key to helping corporations source more “green power.” To encourage both companies and energy suppliers to continue to use renewable energy, GM and 11 other companies signed the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles in 2014 to better highlight the unmet demand for renewable energy and offer solutions to making this resource more available. Together with the World Wildlife Fund and the World Resources Institute, these companies developed six criteria that will help advance renewable energy procurement. These principles asked for longer and variable term contracts, streamlined third-party financing and access to new projects that significantly reduce emissions. The central ask: a collaborative process between all parties that makes using renewable energy not only desirable, but obtainable. Together with these companies we’re sharing best practices to using more renewable power and demonstrating that there is a strong demand that should be met. We’re also offering solutions for financing so these models and forecasts don’t have to be developed with every purchase of renewables. In February, GM became a co-founder of the Business Renewables Center, which aims to remove the obstacles that prevent corporations from using renewable energy. Members of the group benefit from the shared knowledge of the industries involved, bringing easily adoptable clean power solutions to every transaction. When our 34-megawatt Mexico wind project goes online in 2016, most of our Toluca Complex will be powered by renewable energy. We were able to lock in a price for years to come, knowing that the price of our “fuel” – clean wind energy – will never rise. We’re applying the success of this project to looking at opportunities to use wind in the US, and know our other member organizations can use the success of our project to grow their portfolio, too. Through these growing collaborations among buyers, developers, utilities and financiers, we can continue to grow the use of renewable energy among the world’s largest corporations, thereby driving growth and access to renewable energy markets around the world.
  • 12. 2015 INSIDER Knowledge ©2015 Environmental Leader LLC, www.environmentalleader.com [ page 12 ] T his year, Qantas has worked on a number of new environmental sustainability initiatives that demonstrate our commitment to sustainability. In 2013, Qantas constructed the largest commercial tri-generation (cooling, heating and electricity) project in Australia. The two power plants, constructed by GridX, use natural gas to produce more efficient, lower carbon energy powering the airline’s multiple multi-storey building headquarters, catering center and jet base in Sydney. The power plants will reduce CO2 emissions by 23,000 tonnes per year. Qantas’ Mascot headquarters achieved a five star NABERS rating as a result of this project. Between 2009/10 and 2013/14 we reduced total electricity consumption by 9.2% despite growth in our operations. By 2020 we aim to reduce electricity use by 20% compared to 2009/10 consumption. We anticipate our tri-generation fa
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