SPRING 2016

IN THIS ISSUE:

Meet Chuck Ruffing, the New Director of NYSP2I

Clean Business: How Companies Make $1 Billion through Sustainability

Case Study Highlights (MechoSystems, Inc.)

Announcement: Organic Resource Locator

WAVE Food Audit Program

Morning Salon

Imagine RIT

About NYSP2I

Welcome to the Spring issue of the P2I Bulletin. As the new director of NYSP2I, I am pleased and excited to be joining an organization committed to finding sustainable solutions for businesses and the community. I am pleased to announce that the final 2016-17 New York State Budget included unprecedented funding for critical environmental programs. With an increase of $123 million from last year, the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) is at a historic level of $300 million! As part of that funding, NYSP2I will receive $4 million dollars for our pollution prevention efforts. We commend Governor Cuomo for taking this monumental step toward a healthy and sustainable New York State. In this issue, we explore ways that businesses are increasing revenue through sustainability planning. We highlight a collaborative project that involved helping a NYS manufacturer meet customer demands for a more   traceable and transparent supply chain. Thank you for your continued support!  
-Dr. Chuck Ruffing, Director, NYSP2I  
ChuckMeet Chuck Ruffing, the New Director of NYSP2I

Dr. Charles (Chuck) Ruffing  was named the Director of the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute on January 25 th . Ruffing is a recognized leader and former Vice President of Health, Safety, Environment and Sustainability at Eastman Kodak Co.
At Kodak, Ruffing was responsible for coordinating sustainability initiatives across the company's multinational locations, including environmental compliance support to operations and products worldwide. He was responsible for effectively creating pollution prevention strategies related to business conditions while guiding significant reductions in safety incidents, greenhouse gas emissions and energy use at the company's largest manufacturing sites.
 
In his role with NYSP2I he leads a team of 21 engineers, technical staff, outreach specialists and students in delivering pollution prevention information, research, and direct assistance to NYS businesses and citizens.  State DEC Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos said NYSP2I, under Ruffing's leadership, is uniquely positioned to provide the necessary assistance to companies looking to reduce their environmental footprint.
"Charles Ruffing brings a wealth of leadership experience to the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute and I congratulate him on his appointment," Seggos said. "I look forward to working with him, Rochester Institute of Technology and NYSP2I to continue to drive innovation and foster real-world solutions in reducing pollution."
CleanBizClean Business: How Companies Make $1 Billion through Sustainability

For some, the rising importance of sustainability in the global mindset, accompanied by standardization, regulation, and uncertainty in material and energy costs, might quietly feel like a threat to business. NYSP2I aims to demonstrate that cutting energy costs, emissions, and waste with sustainable initiatives can create real bottom-line savings, but few organizations speak of sustainability as a means to increase profits directly. As global consumer perspectives on sustainability continue to evolve, however, the opportunities to create a profitable business with sustainable solutions rapidly grow.

In a January 2016 article, " Meet the nine billion-dollar companies turning a profit from sustainability," Guardian Sustainable Business writer Freya Williams identifies what she calls the "green giants;" corporations whose foray into sustainability has netted them each at least a billion dollars in annual revenue. The list includes industries from food to cosmetics, but highlights Tesla Motors, Toyota, Ikea, and General Electric. For these latter organizations, initiatives to make durable, high-performance goods while practicing sustainable design, supply chain management, manufacturing, and communication have recently shown impressive profitability.

The Tesla Model S, for example, is a zero-emission, all-electric vehicle that harnesses the instantaneous power of electric motors to offer both supercar performance and complete independence from gasoline. A radical idea with fears of inadequate infrastructure; yet, as Freya cites, it achieved the highest Consumer Reports score of any vehicle ever rated. Similarly, the 2013 Toyota Prius, a product line founded on sustainability principles, was the third bestselling car in the world that year. Ikea's sustainable designs for energy-saving LED lighting and water-saving faucets are some of its most popular products, and coupled with supply chain and end-of-life responsibility initiatives, the company is thriving. Similarly, General Electric's Ecomagination project is working to produce more fuel-efficient jet engines and wind turbines that harness more wind energy. Even Nike makes the list, with unprecedented supply chain transparency that makes its products more attractive to socially conscious consumers.

The critical characteristics that all these "green giants" share is an appreciation of evolving customer demands paired with a direct and meaningful response. As the realities of finite material supply, waste management inefficiencies, and carbon emissions-related climate change become clearer and closer to consumers, purchasing preferences change to reflect personal, social, and environmental concerns. Accordingly, consumers seek out products they can identify as sustainably sourced and produced, and that minimize environmental impacts.

In this economic climate now increasingly conscious of industrial sustainability, accurate assessment of consumer preferences is critical, as it allows companies to employ development, production, and marketing strategies that target these preferences directly. As a business practice, this can improve corporate image, granting forward-thinking companies an edge over industry competitors who rely solely on conventional business models. Ultimately, this increases market share and drives profits; Freya's research suggests that annual returns for publicly traded "green giants" have been nearly 12% higher than their leading industry competitors over the past five years. At a NYS scale, the implications are significant: conventional products and processes often fall short of modern consumer demands, leaving large potential for profits currently untapped. But from energy-efficiency to supply chain-analysis, opportunities to target those potential profits are increasingly cost-effective, making them worthy business investments on both short and long term timelines.
MechoProject Highlight:

MechoSystems Meets Customer Sustainability Demands

NYS­P2I's conducted a tracking assessment for MechoSystems, Inc., a window application manufacturer. While MechoSystems has been committed to sustainable practices for years, they found their customers increasingly wanted third party environmental certifications. These standards necessitated a new level of attention to detail. The team provided a guidance document, and identified modes to increase the company's traceability and transparency in tracking their supply chain. 


Live Comfortably with Keen Home's Smart Vent™ System 

Keen Home developed the Smart Vent™, a unique building control system targeting increased user comfort and energy savings through intelligent control of individual Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) room vents. Keen Home collaborated with NYPS2I's experts who conducted an independent third party assessment of the energy efficiency gains and occupant comfort associated with Keen Home's Smart Vent™ product. In addition to working with NYSP2I, Keen Home partnered with Robert Herjavec from Shark Tank to capitalize on their opportunity and achieve success with this product. 



NYSP2I received $500,000 from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to research areas of food waste reduction, diversion, and beneficial reuse. The first step for the project is auditing large food waste generators/institutions.  A food waste audit involves measuring food and organic flows through the kitchen, looking at the amount, type, and reason for the generation of wasted food. 

New York City, as well as a number of other US cities and states have recently adopted new laws restricting food and organic waste disposal in landfills. This trend is likely to continue as awareness of the cost and environmental impact of food waste increases.  A 2015 New York Times article  by Ron Nixon discusses how " the food discarded by retailers and consumers in the most developed countries would be more than enough to feed all of the world's 870 million hungry people, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations." Around one third of all food produced is wasted, and the cost to produce the waste could equal as much as $600 billion per year by 2030.  The environmental contribution of food waste in landfills is roughly 3.3 billion metric tons of methane greenhouse gas emissions per year.

The first step towards reducing this waste is awareness, and P2I is striving to get the word out. The most recent food audit from RIT's Grace Watson Dining Hall donated over 5,000lbs of usable food to FoodLink -a regional food bank in Western NY- and diverted 44 tons of food waste from the landfill between July and November of 2015. We are currently seeking large food generators and institutions to participate in a free food audit program. Email nysp2i@rit.edu for more information.
ORLAnnouncement: Updated  Organic Resource Locator (ORL) 
We are pleased to announce the  Organic Resource Locator  has been updated with improved functionality, more accurate waste estimates, and more data reflecting thousands of businesses in New York State. The Organic Resource Locator (ORL) is a web-based mapping tool that provides information on organic resources and utilization pathways in New York State.

The information provided in the ORL is intended to enable efficient and increased utilization of organic resources by connecting producers of organics with those who have a use for them, diverting a valuable resource from our landfills. This effort is meant to help reduce environmental impacts, promote economic development and encourage the development of green technologies.
  • Locations of producers and users of organic resources
  • Point and radius search
  • Downloadable datasets
  • Updated waste estimates for thousands of businesses
SalonMorning Salon in Review
On April 19 th Trish Donohue, our Senior Pollution Prevention Engineer & Sustainable Supply Chain Manager (SSC) spoke at the 2016 Salons at Earth Week in New York City.

Trish's presentation, Measuring Your Sustainability Journey , described the growing importance for companies to have a traceable and transparent supply chain. A company's journey to a sustainable supply chain will include setting goals, measuring performance, and integrating a sustainable strategy into their business planning. Companies with a sustainable supplier plan are experiencing new business opportunities, increased revenue and a piece-of-mind as they mitigate supply chain risk.
 
If you want to learn more about the benefits of a sustainable supplier plan, contact Trish Donohue at podasp@rit.edu .
ImagineImagine RIT Draws 30,000 to Innovation + Creativity Festival

Did you know about 40% of all food produced is never eaten? NYSP2I hosted an exhibit on food waste at this year's Imagine RIT Innovation + Creativity Festival. The event, held on Saturday, May 7 th , hosted over 30,000 attendees, and showcased student, faculty, and  staff  projects across all disciplines. 

This year's exhibit, "Diverting Food Waste in a Supply Chain" tested attendees on their knowledge about food waste from the farm, all the way to the disposal of food. They followed the supply chain while learning about the amount of waste created from one of our favorite activities-making pizza! Attendees also learned ways to sustainably dispose of food waste to further prevent environmental pollution.
AboutAbout NYSP2I

NYSP2I is your resource for a more sustainable New York State. Funded by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, NYSP2I provides a state-wide, program of research, technology development & diffusion, outreach, training, and education, aimed at making New York State more sustainable for workers, the public and the economy through:
  • Reductions in toxic chemical use
  • Reductions in emissions to the environment and waste generation
  • The efficient use of raw materials, energy and water
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