Archive for the 'Illinois' Category

Green Festival Chicago 2014

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by

America’s largest and longest-running sustainability event is coming to the Great Lakes Region from October 24-26 with the 13th Annual Green Festival. This event will be held at Navy Pier in Chicago for anyone interested in living a healthier, more sustainable life. Bringing together the world’s most innovative businesses, local artisans, and environmentally conscious consumers, Green Festival is an ideal place to promote the best in green living and offer a wide selection of products and services focused on fair trade, renewable resources, and organic foods. Attendees can enjoy vegan and vegetarian cooking demos, choose from a variety of inspirational speakers, and shop a unique marketplace of more than 250 sustainable businesses. Admission to the festival can be purchased online or at the door.

If you or your company has an interest in speaking at the festival, submit the application by early September to ensure consideration. Green Festival is also accepting applications for volunteers for the weekend. Volunteers must work at least one 4.5-5 hour shift and in return, they will receive free admission into the festival. For more information about the festival, please visit the website.

Climate Ride Midwest: September 6-9

Thursday, July 17th, 2014 by

In September, Climate Ride will be hosting their first-ever ride through the midwest. Climate Ride is a nonprofit organization that raises awareness for sustainability, active transportation, and other environmental causes with various bike ride fundraisers across the country. Starting in Grand Rapids, Michigan, this ride will wind its way along Lake Michigan, through the states of Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, coming to an end in Chicago. With Climate Ride carefully planning out the details of the route and the accommodations, participants simply have to focus on the riding portion. At 60-80 miles of riding per day, this ride will be a challenging, exhilarating way to contribute to a great cause.

For those who wish to participate in the ride or simply donate to the cause, visit the climate ride website. Each rider must raise at least $2800 by August 29 to secure their spot, along with paying the $100 registration fee. Spots are filling up quickly so register soon!

You can also follow the fundraiser progress on the website, to see how much has already been raised and how close the participants are to their goals.

Brewers For Clean Water

Monday, July 7th, 2014 by

With water being the main ingredient in beer, having clean water is crucial to the brewing process. Not only can the slightest of impurities throw off the flavor of the batch tremendously, but it can also become a health concern. Dozens of craft brewers, many of which rely on water from the Great Lakes, launched a campaign last year with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), advocating for the strengthening of water quality policies. Attempts to lower the regulations on water in recent years has not only put the beer industry in jeopardy, but also threatens public health for many other industries. Watch this video to hear from the participating breweries about the campaign.

The campaign also has created a Facebook page to keep supporters informed of all updates regarding the campaign. From hosting sustainability talks with the breweries to creating petitions to be sent to the EPA, those who wish to support the campaign will find everything they need to become a part of the cause.

For more information and a complete list of local breweries involved in the campaign, visit the NRDC website.

To learn more about sustainability in other food processing industries, please visit the GLRPPR Sector Resource for Food Processing.

Three Tips on the Road to a Great Governor’s Award Application

Monday, April 28th, 2014 by

This post, authored by John Mulrow, Business/Industrial Sustainability Specialist at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, originally appeared on the ISTC Blog. Although it is directed at Illinois companies that are applying for an Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award, its excellent sustainability reporting suggestions apply to any organiztion.

To learn more about the Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award, visit http://www.istc.illinois.edu/info/govs_awards.cfm. Also be sure to check out John’s recent P2 Impact column entitled “3 magic words to mute ‘sustainababble‘”, which offers examples of ways that organizations can make sustainability a meaningful word.

If your organization has done a lot in the name of sustainability – from projects that save money and resources to initiatives that strengthen the people and communities you work for – what are you waiting for? The Governor’s Sustainability Award provides a great opportunity for you to pull all of your sustainability work together into a single document: Your award application!

Because sustainability encompasses the triple bottom line – People, Planet, Profit – it can be tough to wrap one’s brain around all that should be included in your application. Our How To Apply page and FAQ’s will help you in that process, but we know that’s a lot to read! Here are three tips to help you cut to the chase, and get started on your application (due May 22).

1. Get key people on board

Governor’s Award Applications are typically a team effort, but there is often a single person or small team that drives the process forward. The application drivers can be anyone – from top management to employees who volunteer time on a Green Team. If you’re reading this, you may be the driver!

Send a note out to co-workers letting them know you’re preparing a Gov.’s Award application. Here are some key people to get on board early (positions vary by organization):

  • Top Management
  • Facilities/Operations Manager
  • Plant Manager
  • Sustainability Officer/Green Team Lead
  • PR Officer

 2. Read these two things

  1. Narrative Guidelines –You have up to six single-spaced pages to describe your sustainability accomplishments. These guidelines tell you how.
  2. Metrics Form Instructions – Download the Metrics Form (Microsoft Excel format) and read the Instructions tab.

 3. Check out the sample applications

ISTC provides sample applications that display best practices from past winners’ applications. Note that a good application typically includes a variety of projects touching on multiple impacts or aspects of sustainability. The project descriptions will also include some detail on how they were conceived and who was involved. We want to hear how your organization went from idea to implementation.

BONUS TIP: Consider normalizing your data

Normalized data is reported on a relevant per-unit basis. One of our 2013 award winners, Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, tracked their water use in this way before and after implementing water conservation measures in their wash bay. Instead of simply reporting total gallons of water consumed, they reported gallons per vehicle-hour, providing us with a water-use measure that can be compared across years, regardless of how many trips the buses make.  This type of measurement, a normalized metric, is extremely helpful for evaluating your progress – the true impact of a sustainability project.

Check out the Illinois Manufacturer Inc. sample application for more normalization examples and talk to your team about what per-unit measures you might use in your application.

If you still have questions about the process, contact John Mulrow for more information at jmulrow@illinois.edu or 630.586.9168.

Earth Day Festivities Become Week Long Celebrations

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 by

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

Every year, schools and universities across the nation participate in Earth Day activities. Many of the ‘Big Ten’ universities have extended Earth Day into a week-long series of events to create sustainable awareness across the student population.

INDIANA UNIVERSITY

Indiana University is hosting a week full of events and activities  to involve students  in the Earth Week Celebration. The Environmental Management and Sustainable Development Association (EMSDA) has planned an event each day, including presentations about sustainability and renewable energy, a documentary viewing about sustainable agriculture, and a bike ride to a  farm to learn about local organic farming practices, while promoting green transportation as well! To learn more about how Indiana University promotes Earth Week, please visit http://www.indiana.edu/~iuemsda/earthweek.php .

MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

One of the main events hosted by Michigan State University for Earth Week is the Greening the Supply Chain Conference 2014, which took place on Monday, April 21, 2014 at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center.  In addition to the conference, the annual Tri-County Environmental Leadership Awards will take place on Wednesday, April 23 to honor the sustainability leaders from Eaton, Clinton and Ingham counties. The University has also hosted a Spring Bike Sale to promote sustainable transportation and has several Community Reuse Days planned to encourage the community to reduce, reuse and recycle. A full list of events can be found here.

OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY

To celebrate this planet that we all share, Ohio State hosted many events in the past week leading up to Earth Day. The celebration has been a huge success,  with the popular Green Lunch Series events and the Sustainability Summit. Whether it was the Community Recycled Art Project, the Environmental Film Screening, or the many seminars about recycling and sustainability, there was something for every member of the Ohio State community to become involved in to celebrate Earth Week. More information and a full list of events can be found here.

UNIVERSITY OF IOWA

In efforts to accommodate all students’ busy schedules, the University of Iowa celebrates Earth Day with an entire month of sustainability and environmental activities, with events almost every day throughout the month of April. Although the month is coming to an end,  Earth Month has been a great success, and there are even more  excellent events to come! For a full list of upcoming events or to submit your own event, visit the University of Iowa sustainability page and check back often for updates!

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign  is currently celebrating Earth Week this week to promote awareness for the sustainable living and environmental appreciation. With a variety of events and activities, the students of the University, as well as the members of the surrounding community, are given a plethora of opportunities to become a part of Earth Week. From a Clothing Swap held at the University YMCA to the Sustainability Symposium held by the Institute for Sustainability, Energy & Environment, there is something for everyone to attend! More information and a full list of events can be found at the sustainability website.

O’Brien Appointed Illinois Sustainable Technology Center Director

Monday, December 2nd, 2013 by

Kevin O’Brien, Ph.D., has been appointed Director of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, effective Dec. 2, 2013. Most recently Dr. O’Brien served as president of Energy Commercialization, LLC, in the San Francisco Bay Area.

A technology expert and project manager with more than 20 years of experience, O’Brien has managed multi-million-dollar programs related to renewable and sustainable technologies and practices in the U.S. and abroad. His international project experience includes Europe, Middle East, and Asia. Among his professional awards are R&D Magazine’s R&D 100 award and a Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Technology Transfer.

He will lead an organization which for nearly 30 years has advocated and helped enable sustainable practices in industry and other organizations in Illinois. Effective strategies have included applied research, industry and government partnerships, technical assistance, technology demonstrations, and information dissemination.

O’Brien’s energy expertise encompasses both the supply side and demand side. He is experienced with projects involving both renewable energy as well as traditional fossil based fuels. His focus in renewables has been on the development of utility scale solar projects. As a project developer, he has brought together the necessary technical, regulatory, and financial considerations in order to move solar projects forward. He has also been involved with advisory services to the state of California and utility companies on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

O’Brien received his B.S. in Polymer Engineering, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Macromolecular Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio.

“Dr. O’Brien’s record of effectiveness at bringing together diverse stakeholders for the development and deployment of renewable and sustainable technologies and practices is an excellent fit for ISTC,” said Institute Executive Director William W. Shilts. “His experience in senior management and as a technology innovator will provide leadership to meet the range of sustainable technology challenges our society faces.”

“ISTC is well positioned to be a leader in building collaborative networks between business, government and academia,” O’Brien said. “Today sustainable technology is a growing cultural force which we can move forward to maximize economic and environmental benefits.”

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The Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois is the home of the State Scientific Surveys: Illinois Natural History Survey, Illinois State Archaeological Survey, Illinois State Geological Survey, Illinois State Water Survey, and Illinois Sustainable Technology Center. For over 160 years the Surveys have applied cutting-edge science and expertise to keep Illinois’ economy, environment and people prosperous and secure. www.prairie.illinois.edu

The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) was established in 1985 and joined the Prairie Research Institute with the other surveys in 2008.  Its mission is to encourage and assist citizens, businesses, and government agencies to prevent pollution, conserve natural resources, and reduce waste to protect human health and the environment of Illinois and beyond.  www.istc.illinois.edu

Register for GLRPPR/EPA Region 5 Webinar

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011 by

Join the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR) and U.S. EPA Region 5 for a webinar on May 12.  Space is limited. Reserve your webinar seat now at: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/440261202.  After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

The GLRPPR/EPA Webinar provides an opportunity to hear about P2 Programs in the region, ask questions and stay connected.

Agenda:

  1. Opening comments by Julie Guenther, Region 5 EPA
  2. Presentation by IL: a. GLRPPR – Bob Iverson; b. I-CORE – Mike Springman
  3. Presentation by MN – Phyllis Strong: a. P2 Grant work; b. Green Chemistry and Design program; c. P2 integration program
  4. Presentation by MI – Karen Edlin: a. Economy, Energy and Environment (E3); b. Michigan’s Sustainable Hospital Initiative; c. Advancing Green Chemistry
  5. Presentation by IN – Jennifer Schick

Title: GLRPPR/EPA Region 5 Forum
Date: Thursday, May 12, 2011
Time: 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM PDT  

System Requirements:

  • PC-based attendees–Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
  • Macintosh®-based attendees–Required: Mac OS® X 10.4.11 (Tiger®) or newer

Contact Bob Iverson, GLRPPR Executive Director, for further information or questions.

Our thanks to Donna Walden, Regional Coordinator at the Western Sustainability and Pollution Prevention Network (WSPPN), one of our sister P2Rx Centers, for assisting with the set up and administration of this webinar.

Free Seminar to Precede Illinois Governor's Sustainability Awards

Friday, October 15th, 2010 by

A nationally known speaker on Sustainability and a panel of experts discussing energy savings programs will be featured in an upcoming seminar.  The sustainability seminar will be Thursday, October 28 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Champaign, IL.   The seminar is sponsored by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC).

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ISTC Technical Assistance Program Director Moving On After 19 Years

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010 by

Dr. Tim Lindsey is leaving the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) to take another job with the University of Illinois.  Dr. Lindsey has been an Associate Director of ISTC and head of the Technical Assistance Program.

He now will be the Director of Energy and Sustainable Business Programs at the U of I – Business Innovation Services (BIS).  He will lead the State’s Green Jobs Initiative and will also direct the State’s efforts to create a stronger local foods industry. Business Innovation Services (BIS) provides customized consulting and training services, as well as public workshops and certificate programs.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Tim,” said Dr. Manohar Kulkarni, PE; Director of ISTC.  “Tim is an innovator; passionate about pollution prevention; and a gentleman.  While his daily presence at the center will certainly be missed, I hope to work with Tim on collaborative projects in his new role.  On behalf of the scientists and staff of ISTC, I wish Dr. Lindsey a roaring success in his future endeavors.”

Lindsey recently received a P2 Champion award from the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable.  He has been at ISTC since 1991 and has directed the program that included work in pollution prevention, green business, energy efficiency, alternative energy, carbon foot-printing, water foot-printing, environmental cost analysis, life cycle analysis, and systems engineering.  He is best known for his pioneering work in developing Accelerated Diffusion of Pollution Prevention Technologies (ADOP2T), a model for technology diffusion that speeds the transfer of better environmental technologies and processes from the bench to the plant floor. Lindsey is the driving force behind the Sustainable Electronics Initiative, and has been the leader in ISTC’s effort to promote and improve biofuels.  In recent years, Lindsey has applied his expertise and passion to address sustainability problems in Haiti.  He has worked with local farmers and non-government organizations to set up biodiesel processors and to train Haitians in harvesting a suitable crop like Jatropha, processing it, and operating reactors to produce a quality bio-fuel.

Lindsey was previously employed at Exxon and worked as an Environmental consultant.  He received his B.S. and M.S. in Environmental Science from Southern Illinois University and his Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois.

We offer Tim our congratulations and best wishes. Those of us at ISTC will greatly miss him!

ISTC Receives Pair of National Environmental Awards

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 by

The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) has received a pair of national environmental awards. Awards were received for the Sustainable Electronics Initiative (SEI) and by Dr. Tim Lindsey.

MVP2 Awards

The 2010 Most Valuable Pollution Prevention (MVP2) awards presented by the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) celebrate the successes of innovators in the areas of pollution prevention and sustainability. These prestigious awards were presented recently at a ceremony in Washington, DC.  ISTC is a unit of the Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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