Bridging the gap: Equitable investment in city greenspace

Read the full story from U.S. EPA.

Green infrastructure encompasses a variety of practices that use soil and vegetation including vegetated rooftops, roadside plantings, tree-lined streets with natural canopy cover, and absorbent gardens to capture, filter, and reduce stormwater. Manufactured materials such as porous pavement is another example of GI often used in sidewalks, parking lots and driveways to increase surface permeability. Porous pavement allows rainfall to seep through to underlying layers of soil that filter the surface water before becoming groundwater.

Creating more greenspace in urban areas not only adds natural beauty to the surrounding area but can also improve the health and well-being of its residents. The presence of parks, community gardens and other vegetation can create recreational spaces, revitalize ecosystems and boost the local economy – all of which are highly beneficial to people living within those urban areas. However, these services are not always distributed equitably and can result in or perpetuate environmental injustices in received benefits.

EPA actively supports the use of both constructed and natural GI as cost-effective alternatives to traditional stormwater infrastructure to help manage wet weather flows and conducts research to identify and quantify the effects of green infrastructure and urban greenspace.

As part of this effort, a team of EPA scientists led by Matt Hopton and Page Jordan focused on identifying benefits received from urban greenspace and supporting integration of these benefits into stormwater management planning. In 2019, Hopton and team began designing a framework to demonstrate a practical approach to help communities access benefits of greenspace while managing stormwater. This effort led to the team conducting a case study to test the framework and learn if those benefits could be used in underserved urban areas. 

Cooling system energy savings in three “easy” steps

Read the full story at Chiller & Cooling Best Practices.

An Illinois food service products manufacturer now saves nearly 60% of their base annual cooling energy costs through improvements made in three phases over several years. The plant, which has a 1200 ton chilled water plant, implemented upgrades including pump and tower fan VFDs and enhanced function controls, free cooling, and chiller compressor drive retrofits. The revisions built through successive phases to capture further benefits from more complete utilization of the preceding steps’ capabilities.

Packaging Recyclability & Design reports from RECOUP

RECOUP, a UK organization committed to securing sustainable, circular, and practical solutions for plastic resources, has released a series of reports related to recyclability and design of plastic packaging. The series includes:

Non-PFAS wetting agents for decorative chromium(VI) plating

Read the full story at Products Finishing.

This article is based on a presentation given at NASF SUR/FIN 2022, in Rosemont, Illinois, in Session 6, Responses to PFAS / PFOA.  It follows the case study of three facilities’ conversion from PFAS-containing wetting agents to non-PFAS equivalents, eliminating PFAS and moving forward with a smaller and more sustainable environmental footprint.  The journey of conversion from PFAS-containing wetting agents in both chromic-sulfuric etch and hexavalent decorative plating tanks can be complicated and winding due to deep rooted standard industry practices, as well as state and federal regulations.  Outlined here is a clear course of action that led to eliminating PFAS from the facilities’ wetting agent strategies.

Alternative Cleaner Trial: Island Dog Brewery in South Portland, Maine

Download the document.

The New England Environmental Finance Center (New England EFC), based at the University of Maine’s Southern campus at the University of Southern Maine USM), partnered with Island Dog Brewery located in South Portland, Maine, to trial an alternative cleaner highlighted in the Assessment of Alternatives to Cleaners and Sanitizers for the Brewing Industry by the Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI). Island Dog Brewery expressed interest in an alternative vat cleaner to limit exposure to harmful chemicals and to reduce operational environmental impact.

Innovation drives sustainability success at DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee plant

Read the full story in Chiller & Cooling Best Practices.

Innovation is at the core of virtually every initiative at DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, Inc. This includes a host of activities designed to allow the leading supplier of advanced automotive technology, systems and components, to realize its corporate vision of creating a sustainable automotive society.

Among key initiatives at DENSO’s Maryville, Tennessee, facility is the use of an innovative ice-storage system engineered to provide environmentally friendly comfort cooling to employees at the company’s main production facility. The system also allows Plant 101 to reduce cooling costs per ton by 44%, while providing a payback of less than four years. It also resulted in an annual carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction of 18,000 tons.

A circular model

Read the full story at Recycling Today.

DS Smith employs its circular approach to recycling and packaging production as a model for future North American growth.

Unilever ‘warms up’ ice cream freezers to help tackle emissions

Read the company news release.

Unilever is launching two pilots to trial warmer ice cream freezer cabinets with an aim of reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by approx. 20 – 30% per freezer*, whilst ensuring the same ice cream quality and consumer experience.

IHG Hotels & Resorts Green Engage Program

Read the case study from U.S DOE’s Better Buildings Program.

IHG Hotels & Resorts provides all its hotels with access to the IHG Green Engage system, a comprehensive online sustainability platform that allows hotels to track, measure, and report on their carbon footprint and utility consumption. The system also offers more than 200 “Green Solutions” to help hotels drive resource efficiency and reduce their environmental footprints, as well as detailed technical guidance that hotels can use to implement these solutions.

Piloted in 2009, the program’s initial successes and support from the independent IHG Owners Association led to the adoption of IHG Green Engage as a foundational standard for all IHG-branded hotels globally in 2015.

Cutting oil recovery: Are you in the 1%?

MnTAP engineer Daniel Chang details one company’s successful cutting oil reclamation project in this article for Precision Manufacturing (article on p. 18).