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
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
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
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.
The 2019 Emerging Contaminants in the Environment Conference (ECEC19) will be held on May 21-22, 2019, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Champaign, IL. The call for abstracts will open in mid-October and registration will open in February.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.