ISTC and Forest Preserve District of Cook County collaborate on sustainability master plan

ISTC and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County have a history of working together to improve sustainability.  Their latest partnership has resulted in the Forest Preserves’ Sustainability & Climate Resiliency Plan, in which they set a goal to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

The plan is divided into five priority areas:

Utilities & Emissions

  • Focus areas include GHG emissions measuring, reporting and reductions; green infrastructure integration; and water use tracking and efficiency
  • Major objectives include reducing energy consumption by 4.5 percent annually and developing green building and site standards for future projects

Preserve Operations

  • Focus areas include transportation and waste and recycling
  • Major objectives include reducing fuel usage by 4.5 percent annually and expanding recycling program to all FPCC facilities

Learning & Engagement

  • Focus areas include awareness and visibility, community engagement and employee engagement
  • Major objectives include promoting green practices with permit holders and enhancing Earth Day sustainability programming

Ecological Sustainability

  • Focus areas include natural resources management and practices
  • Major objectives include establishing Mitigating Impacts to Nature Policy as well as a Native Seed Policy outreach plan

Implementation & Advancement

  • Focus areas include green purchasing
  • Major objectives include establishing a Green Purchasing Policy, establishing and promoting a plastic reduction campaign, and increasing energy rebates and incentives with utilities

To learn more about the plan, visit the Forest Preserve District of Cook County or download the publication from IDEALS.

New Illinois Sustainability Awards case study: Aisin Manufacturing Illinois

ISTC’s latest case study features 2017 Illinois Sustainability Award winner Aisin Manufacturing Illinois, which is based in Marion. Aisin manufactures a wide variety of products for the automotive industry, including sunroofs, grill door shutters, back door components, center pillar garnishes, roof rails, and door handles. They serve various customers, including Toyota, General Motors, Lexus, and Subaru.

AMI utilizes several tools to continously improve on their sustainability efforts. These include:

  • An ISO 14000 Management System;
  • Employee opinions and improvement suggestions are incorporated into the environmental planning process;
  • Environmental “Go Green” incentives for employees that extend outside of the workplace;
  • Community outreach initiatives that promote a wider adoption of sustainability practices; and
  • Use of outdoor space around the facility to improve habitats for plants and wildlife.

As a result of these projects, Aisin:

  • Achieved $212,982 in energy savings from 2008-2013;
  • Avoided emitting 1,709 tons of carbon dioxide;
  • Diverted 12,040 tons of material from the landfill from 2009-2016;
  •  Recycled 2,214 tons of material in 2016; and
  • Paid $9,268 in incentives to employees for green purchases in 2016.

For more details on Aisin Manufacturing Illinois’ sustainability projects, read the case study.

 

#P2Week Day 5: Illinois Sustainability Awards

For over 30 years, the Illinois Sustainability Award has recognized private and public Illinois organizations that have demonstrated outstanding and innovative sustainability practices that reduce the use of raw materials; reuse and recycle what was once waste; and prevent toxic materials from entering the environment.

The 2018 Awards Ceremony and Symposium is scheduled for October 23, 2018 at the Union League Club in Chicago. The morning symposium will feature keynote speaker Jacob Madsen, director of sustainability at SC Johnson, as well as panel discussion focused on the water/energy nexus.

For more information about the awards, visit https://go.illinois.edu/sustainability-awards or explore case studies and summaries of previous award winners.

 

 

#P2Week Day 4: Essential pollution prevention publications for #ThrowbackThursday

This post originally appeared on the GLRPPR Blog.

Because today is also #ThrowbackThursday, I’m going to highlight some classic P2 publications. Although they were originally in the published in the 1990s through early 2000s, they contain a trove of useful information about implementing pollution prevention in today’s industrial facilities.

Want to learn more? Visit the Pollution Prevention 101 LibGuide for a comprehensive guide to pollution prevention and sustainable business resources.

EPA Sector Notebooks (U.S. EPA, late 1990s)
EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) developed the EPA Sector Notebooks to provide chemical profiles of selected industries. Each profile includes information about the processes conducted in the industry, chemical releases and transfers of chemicals, opportunities for pollution prevention, pertinent federal statutes and regulations, and compliance initiatives associated with the sector. Although these notebooks were published in the late 1990s, they still contain a wealth of information about the production processes, environmental impacts, and pollution prevention options for these sectors.

Facility Pollution Prevention Guide (U.S. EPA, 1992)
For those who are interested in and responsible for pollution prevention in industrial or service facilities. Summarizes the benefits of a company-wide pollution prevention program and suggests ways to incorporate pollution prevention in company policies and practices.

Guide to Industrial Assessments for Pollution Prevention and Energy Efficiency (U.S. EPA, 1990)
Presents an overview of industrial assessments and the general framework for conducting them.  It describes combined assessments for pollution prevention and energy and provides guidance for performing them at industrial or other commercial facilities.

The Industrial Green Game: Implications for Environmental Design and Management (National Academies Press, 1997)
This volume examines industrial circulation of materials, energy efficiency strategies, “green” accounting, life-cycle analysis, and other approaches for preventing pollution and improving performance. Corporate leaders report firsthand on “green” efforts at Ciba-Geigy, Volvo, Kennecott, and Norsk Hydro.

Organizational Guide to Pollution Prevention (U.S. EPA, 2001)
This Pollution Prevention (P2) Guide provides information to help organizations get P2 programs started or to re-evaluate existing P2 programs. It presents an alternative method for working on P2 projects and four approaches to implementing a P2 program in an organization.

Pollution Prevention : A Guide to Project and Program Implementation (Illinois Hazardous Waste Research and Information Center, 1993)
This manual serves as an overview for Illinois businesses of all sizes that have chosen to learn more about developing a pollution prevention program.

Searching for the Profit in Pollution Prevention: Case Studies in the Corporate Evaluation of Environmental Opportunities (U.S. EPA, 1998)
This research was initiated to more fully illuminate the challenges facing industry in the adoption of pollution prevention (P2) opportunities, and to identify issue areas that can be studied and addressed by policy-makers and industry. The case studies in this paper describe three P2 projects that were chosen/or analysis precisely because they were in some way unsuccessful. This analysis, based on a small and non-random sampling, is not necessarily representative of the experiences of all companies or all P2 investment possibilities.

#P2Week Day 3: The Library of Things

This post originally appeared on the GLRPPR Blog.

When most people think about things they can borrow from their local library, books and DVDs are most often what comes to mind. However, many libraries are going beyond their typical collections and lending a plethora of other things. Some of these include:

Science kits, toys, and games

At the Alaska Resources Library and Information Services, you can check out animal skeletons, pelts, and skulls—along with over 250,000 books, educational science kits, and environmental education materials. Within the Great Lakes Region, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources partners with libraries and other organizations throughout the state to lend resource trunks/packs that cover a variety of Illinois-specific topics.

The Chicago Public Library has a circulating collection of ScienceConnections Discovery Packs. And the Shirley M. Wright Memorial Library in Trempealeau, WI loans bird watching kits and metal detectors. Many libraries also circulate maker kits for kids.

Many libraries loan toys. Several of those, including the Zion Benton (IL) Public Library, loan American Girl doll kits.

Prom dresses/formal wear and interview clothes

The Gilbert (MN) Public Library loans formal dresses for four weeks at a time. The Schaumburg (IL) Public Library holds a Prom Formal Giveaway each spring. The New York Public Library’s Riverside Library’s Grow Up work accessories collection lends neckties, bow ties, briefcases, and handbags. Items have a one-time, three week lending period.

Image courtesy of Bartlesville (OK) Public Library

Home improvement and maintenance tools

Tools are handy to have around the house, but they can also be expensive and difficult to store. Tool lending libraries, which aren’t always affiliated with public libraries, are becoming increasingly common. Find one near you or start one if your community doesn’t have one already. Libraries throughout the country loan Kill-A-Watt power meters, which help you measure the efficiency of your appliances. Many libraries have also started loaning technology, including internet hot spots.

Cake pans, cooking tools, and maker/crafting kits

If you like to cook or bake, you may eventually run across a recipe that requires a special type of pan or kitchen tool that you may only use once. Libraries have you covered there too. The Northlake Public Library in Northlake, IL lends a wide variety of speciality kitchen equipment, including food processors, panini presses, and crepe pans. They also lend crafting tools like sergers and knitting looms.

Musical instruments

Musical instruments are an investment if you aren’t sure you’re going to continue playing.  Libraries have you covered there too. For example, you can borrow a Moog theremini and a wide variety of other instruments from the Ann Arbor (MI) Public Library.

Seeds

Seed libraries, often located in public libraries or other community gathering points, are institutions created for the purpose of sharing seeds. The idea is that a library patron can “check-out” seeds to grow themselves, let “go-to-seed”, and then return seeds to the library to share with other community members. Learn more about seed libraries here or find one near you.

The next time you need household tools, electronics, games, or even formal wear, check to see if your local library has you covered. You can save money and reduce your environmental impact at the same time.

#P2Week Day 1: Pollution prevention and resilience

This post was originally published on the GLRPPR Blog.

In 1990, Congress passed the Pollution Prevention Act. Pollution Prevention (P2) Week, celebrated during the third week of September each year (September 17-23, 2018),  highlights the efforts of EPA, its state partners, industry, and the public in preventing pollution right from the start.

This year’s theme, Pollution Prevention for a Resilient Planet, is especially timely as Hurricane Florence pounds the southeastern U.S.  As the storm neared landfall late last week, news outlets reported on the risks posed by coal ash ponds and pig waste lagoons in North Carolina and EPA’s evaluation of the vulnerability of Superfund sites in the storm’s projected path.

Pollution prevention is a cornerstone of community resilience. By reducing the use of toxic chemicals and eliminating waste, communities improve the health and welfare of their citizens and reduce their risk when natural disasters strike.

For more information on actions that cities can take to become more resilient, see the Resilient Cities LibGuide.

Sustainability from an intern’s perspective

During the summer. GLRPPR communications intern Trent Esker wrote a series of blog posts that looked at various sustainability topics from the perspective of someone who is completely new to the sustainability field. Check them out over on the GLRPPR blog.

Here’s the list:

Great Lakes Environmental and Economic Data Visualization Tool

The Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR)  is pleased to announce the release of the Great Lakes Environmental and Economic Data Visualization Tool, which was developed as part of an initiative to help pollution prevention technical assistance providers target their efforts by using public data. You can find publications from the initiative here.

The tool uses data from U.S. EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Inventory, as well as the Census Bureau’s County Business Patterns data set.

The web page for the tool includes links to downloadable data sets, additional tools for targeting technical assistance, and a user’s guide.

GLRPPR’s data initiative was funded by U.S. EPA’s Pollution Prevention Information Network grant program.

University YMCA announces August 2018 collection days for Dump & Run sale

The University YMCA has announced August 2018 collection days for its annual Dump & Run Sale.

Drop Off Collection Dates & Times

  • August 14, 15, 16, and 17 from 9am-3pm
  • late drop off day Wednesday August 15: 9am-7pm
  • Drop off hours Saturday August 18: 9am-noon

They do NOT accept TVs, non-working electronics, sofa beds, and any chemicals. See  https://universityymca.org/dump_and_run/ for full list. Free pick-up day for furniture and bikes: August 8 and 9 from 9am-4pm. Request a pickup.

Sale Dates

Located at the Stock Pavilion, 1402 W. Pennsylvania Ave.

Saturday, August 25, 2018
8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. $3 admission
International U of I Students get in free with ticket.

Sunday, August 26, 2018
11:00am – 2:00 p.m.: $3 bag sale and 1/2 price furniture
2:30-3:00 p.m.: “Free sale”

Want to shop early? Volunteer 6+ hours for first dibs during the August pre-sale! Sign up today.

Looking for more places in Champaign-Urbana that accept donations? See the C-U Donation Guide.