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Regional Roundtable 2013 Review

October 31, 2013

For those who missed our Annual Regional Roundtable, you missed some idea-loaded presentations and rich P2 networking opportunities. For pdfs of all our Roundtable Presentations, go to our Regional Roundtable 2013 Presentations page.

If you don’t have time to go through every presentation, here are a few highlights:

DAY 1

  • The first day started with E3 case studies from E3 providers around the Northwest. Lynn Coleman, with Impact WA, presented Impact’s work with Heath Tecna, which saved the company $35,000 per year in solid waste and $40,000 per year in hazardous wastes by making simple adjustments to their processes of cutting and chemical mixing.
  • Kim Kovol showed off the ways GreenStar Alaska is helping Alaksa micro-breweries reduce their environmental impact and continue to prosper in a beer-loving state. Many breweries have already achieved significant savings in waste, water, and energy. Many breweries were so appreciative of the E3 (Energy, Efficiency, and the Environment) assistance that they named small batch beers after it, such as Sleeping Lady Brewing Co’s “Easy Being Green IPA,” an IPA brewed from green mosaic hops.
  • John Andersen, with California Manufacturing Technology Consulting, presented case studies of two very different companies: Lekos Dye and Finishing, a textile dye and finishing company, and Pocino Foods, family-owned specialty meat producers. Working with Lekos Dye, which had utility costs that represented 25% of their annual costs, CMTC recommended upgrading dye tank water pumps and fixing motors with variable frequency drives. These upgrades allowed for savings of around $100,000 per year with a one-year pay back time. With Pocino Foods, CMTC helped implement changes to the process of washing meats (using pre-heated water and fixing leaks) that saved the company $20,000/yr in utility costs and paid back within a month.
  • Ben Jarvis, of Idaho’s Department Of Environmental Quality, went power-point-less, presenting from memory the department’s E3 assistance of the Pepsi Bottling Co. Jarvis highlighted the switch the company made from rinsing bottles with an acid wash to using hot water. The company enjoyed a savings of 300 gallons of acid.
  • PPRC’s own Michelle Gaither presented her work, in partnership with the Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Oregon State University Energy Efficiency program, on Fort George Brewery in Astoria, Oregon. The team recommended lighting retrofits and insulating steam pipes, two simple changes that promise to save the brewery thousands of kWh and millions of BTU’s per year.
  • Anna Mangum, from North Carolina’s Industrial Extension Service, showed why she is an E3 Rockstar. In describing how she has helped recruit over 200 businesses to make money-saving E3 changes, Mangum displayed her contagious passion for E3 and for forging productive partnerships with a range of service providers.
  • Dana Villeneuve, a sustainability generalist at New Belgium brewing company, displayed all the ways New Belgium has achieved success, “not in spite of sustainable efforts, but because of them.”
  • During Roundtable breakout sessions, E3 service providers uncovered some new opportunities to engage different types of businesses, like agricultural and rural manufacturers, which can often get ignored by urban-based technical assistance organizations.
  • All the while, Visual Facilitator Clare Bronson, created this masterpiece to illuminate successful and innovative approaches to  E3 work. What works and what needs more effort? It’s all here:
  •  The E3 Workshop finished with a tour of Precision Machine Works, a manufacturer of high end metal parts for the aerospace industry. Amidst massive metal gantry machines and wet vac systems, our tour group learned some of the finer points of custom metal shaping. The technical assistance experts among us compiled a list of potential improvements for PMW to consider.

 

DAY 2

  • Standup Economist Yoram Bauman kept the laughs rippling around the breakfast tables at the Business Leaders Breakfast. Between jokes, he managed to squeeze in a solid case for taxing harmful emissions while decreasing taxes on income or sales.
  • Next, Rhea Wallace, Director of Growth and Innovation at Impact Washington, described some of the ways Impact helps small businesses navigate the confusing and time-consuming world of fulfilling multiple-agency registration requirements. By providing businesses with the right resources (ie. the Roadmap to Register and License Your Business), Impact helps these businesses spend more time “focusing on opening doors” and improving their operations rather than slogging through paperwork.
  • Deborah Franco, the head of Harley Marine Service’s (HMS) environmental program, presented an info-packed summary of the environmentally conscious and cost-saving actions that the shipping company has taken over the last thirty years. HMS has installed a robust Environmental Management System, which has ensured compliance to the most rigorous ISO and ISM environmental and safety standards. The system has led to the company’s recent construction of a LEED Gold Certified Headquarters and re-use measures that save 834 billion gallons of water per year.
  • Julia Person of Craft Brew Alliance, outlined lean and green initiatives at CBA breweries like Red Hook and Kona. Participating in WA Ecology’s TREE program, which uncovered a number of air compression leaks, one brewery saved twenty thousand dollars that it was leaking into the air. In the brewer’s eternal quest to save both water and energy, Red Hook’s Portland brewery is experimenting with a Microbial Fuel Cell project, which aims to clean wastewater while also generating electricity.
  • Martin Singh, Director of Maintenance and Facilities with the Interstate Distribution Co., showed how commitments to safety and the environment have saved big bucks. At Interstate, which has a trucking fleet that logs 180 million road miles per year, operations improvements translate quickly to savings. For example, the company partners with a recycled oil supplier to use recycled oil at all IDC shops. This switch saves the company from purchasing 48,000 gallons of new oil per year.
  • Karl Ostrom, Founder of NBIS, gave a powerful lunch-time talk about how capitalism is in a crisis and requires an urgent re-framing of its goals and principles. He suggested that businesses, associations, and government need to collaborate across sectors to lobby for more responsibility, standards, and the “right incentives” in our economy. Markets, focused the right way, are positive tools for unlocking powerful innovations – like technologies for renewable energy and even new systems of commerce – necessary to climb “Mt. Sustainability.”
  • Our two afternoon speakers – PPRC’s own Brian Penttila and Seattle City Light’s Larry Garcia – brought fresh life to the push for safer chemical alternatives. Penttila showed why new state changes to Toxics Laws (especially in California) make it essential that businesses learn what’s in their products. Penttila displayed a host of chemical assessment tools that businesses and technical assistance providers can use to see into chemistry of their products and begin to make the right substitutions. Garcia displayed his impressive experience with making healthy substitutions in all kinds of City Light projects – from painting gigantic underwater pylons to arc welding. Garcia showed how the right substitution depends on what job you’re doing and where you’re doing it. What is right in one situation may be wrong in another.

For full pdfs of all our Roundtable Presentations, go to our Regional Roundtable 2013 Presentations page.

A Big Thanks to all presenters, attendees, sponsors, and the Hotel Murano for helping us put on the event.

For those who couldn’t join us, we hope we’ll see you next year. As any attendee can attest, nothing beats in-person P2 discussion.

 

Communications Manager

-Cyrus Philbrick

 

PS. This post was updated on 11/1/13 to include more information

 

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