ACF, Net Impact NYC, and Green Spaces at Brooklyn Brewery
We learned a lot about the Brooklyn Brewery during our previous visit with Eric Ottaway, General Manager of Brooklyn Brewery (check out our blog post!) but we had to see it (and taste it) for ourselves. On Wednesday, October 17 we teamed up with Net Impact New York City’s Professional Chapter and our friends at Green Spaces to tour the Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg, NY.
Tour leaders Erin and Justin greeted us at the big red doors and invited us to the tasting. As Erin poured samples of the likes of Brooklyn Defender and Big Bottled Local 1 in take home souvenir glasses, Justin peppered us with facts and anecdotes of the brew. They filled us in on sustainable components of the tasting room. For example, all cleaning agents used are green, the floors use atomized water in a small Zamboni rather than cleansers, and the cups are compostable. They also explained that our delicious, clean New York water makes for finer brew than other aquifers.
Acting sustainably seems to come naturally to Eric Ottaway, General Manager at Brooklyn Brewery, a privately owned craft brewery with manufacturing facilities in the heart of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York and in Utica, upstate New York. Eric Ottaway joined A Clean Future for our monthly webinar to discuss Brooklyn Brewery’s sustainability efforts and approach.
“Acting sustainably seems so obvious, we just do it. We don’t need a financial case to tell us that,” said Ottaway.
Because they are a privately-owned business, Brooklyn Brewery can examine their sustainability efforts from a long-run perspective. The potential to receive financial returns, or more generally benefit the community makes it worth the up-front investment.
As organizations begin to prioritize environmental performance of operations, particularly in industries such as manufacturing, publishing, technology providers, information management and process control, certain changes are critical to successful environmental performance – not only within the organization, but also throughout the value chain. Identifying what those changes should be, measuring, tracking, and improving performance can be challenging. The added layer of publicizing and reporting performance, as well as sharing insights with shareholders further contribute to the complexity of sustainability efforts.
WeSustain offers an integrated software solution to minimize the complexity of sustainability management. Sebastian Ungar, Vice President Sales at WeSustain shared with the A Clean Future an introduction to the Sustainability Enterprise Management system. He discussed its capabilities and how it covers multiple aspects of sustainability management: stakeholder engagement, materiality matrices, a balanced scorecard for managing sustainability performance, data management and reporting into different standards such as GRI, ISO and others.
The Carbon Disclosure Project is the largest collection globally of self-reported climate change data. Since 2000, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) has been working toward a vision of accelerating solutions to climate change and water management by putting relevant environmental information at the heart of business, policy and investment decisions.
Pamela Lilak, Advisory Manager in the Sustainable Business Solutions group at PwC in New York City, oversees the scoring and report-writing for the S&P 500 companies for CDP. During this month’s A Clean Future (ACF) Forum, Pamela provided an overview of the CDP, what it is like for companies to participate, and highlighted some best practices as presented at the annual CDP Spring Workshop in March 2012.
Composting in an office environment might sound taboo to some, but it provides a valuable opportunity to save costs, bring co-workers together for a common purpose, and cultivate resource-rich materials. The many benefits compost offers such as the satisfaction from cultivating it, and seemingly magical properties has earned compost the nick name “Black Gold”.
The accumulation of waste produced over the years has been growing to the extent that options to store trash in landfills and transport it from city centers are becoming very limited and extremely expensive. In 2010, over the course of just one year, Americans generated about 250 million tons of trash. Only 30% of this was recycled or composted, but there is potential for about 95% to be recycled or composted.
Jules Miller, a manager at Verdantix which is an independent analyst firm focusing on energy, environment, and sustainability is working to close this gap between the quantity of trash brought to landfills and the quantity that is composted and recycled. She shared with the A Clean Future network some of her experiences and lessons learned from working with New York City-based companies like Salesforce.com and Tiffany & Co. to implement office-wide composting programs.
Given our energy dependent lifestyles, the environment and much of our politics are affected by the availability and control of our Earth’s energy resources. Our mainstream energy sources involve highly invasive and polluting practices during extraction and refinement processes, and generate a great deal of pollution when burned. However, fusion energy, the energy source that drives the sun, is being researched as a large scale, and virtually nonpolluting energy technology. Unlike traditional sources of energy, one source of fusion fuel can be found in simple seawater and is virtually limitless. Though the solution may sound simple, scaling up the efficiency of fusion energy will require additional long-term research and stable financial support before it becomes a reality.
According to scientists, even if it takes another 50 years to develop and implement, fusion energy, it will still be worth the investment for to provide the planet with a clean, safe and nearly limitless source of power. Christopher Faranetta, Vice President of New Business Development at HyperV Technologies Corp. Corporation, shared his insights about the possibilities for fusion energy during A Clean Future’s March webinar.
Many individuals want to participate in environmentally-friendly activities, but most don’t know how. Ogilvy Earth’s Mainstream Green Report refers to this as the “Green Gap” in which people express intentions for sustainable consumption behaviors, but their actions do not necessarily measure up. It notes a survey by the Energy Savings Trust which found that 80% of the public believes that climate change is a major problem and wants the government to let them know what they can do to save energy, but only 60% of the respondents is actually doing something to reduce their eco-footprint. Companies see this as an opportunity to develop tools that can improve their environmental impacts, and are using games to help consumers change behaviors.
“Gamification” is a new term that describes the use of game mechanics such as rewards, competition, and reaching new levels to influence people’s behavior in the ‘real world’. Ashok Kamal is Co-Founder of Bennu, a green social media marketing company that works with clients such as Waste Management and green startups to develop and execute gamification campaigns that promote sustainability. Ashok shared his views about why gamification is such a fitting and rapidly growing trend for sustainability-minded consumers.
The commonalities between consumers of social online games and consumers who are environmentally minded are greater than most may realize. Read More