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Sustainable Solutions Post, May 2009

Vol. 2, Issue 5

Download this issue (PDF, 383 KB)Businesses are Committed to Energy Efficiency, but Investments Lag

State of the Used IT Equipment Market

Nation’s First Energy ‘Net Zero’ Public School under Construction in Warren County

Newsbits

Mark Your Calendar for these Upcoming Conferences and Events
 
Returns on Recycling Investment (Jobs, Revenue) Webinar – May 21, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. EDT
 
2009 Small Business Ombudsman/Environmental Assistance Program (SBO/SBEAP) National Conference – June 1-5 – Louisville

Indiana Recycling Coalition's 20th Annual Conference & Exhibition – June 2-4 – Bloomington, IN

SUR/FIN 2009 – June 15-17 – Louisville

Industrial Materials Recycling 101 Webinar – June 18, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. EDT

Download a copy of this issue (PDF, 383 KB)

Businesses are Committed to Energy Efficiency, but Investments Lag

Business leaders are more focused on energy efficiency today than they were a year ago, but are taking fewer steps to implement efficiency measures at their facilities. A research report released May 6, the 2009 Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI), finds that the lack of available funding, sometimes lengthy payback periods, uncertainty about changing regulations and energy prices and the economic downturn have contributed to reduced or delayed investments in efficiency. 

However, the importance of energy management in reducing an organization’s operating costs and improving its environmental performance is acknowledged by business leaders.  The EEI report sponsors predict that capital investments in energy efficiency will increase significantly in the next 18 months as the economic recovery continues and energy-based incentives take root.  The third annual EEI report was commissioned by Johnson Controls and the International Facility Management Association, and 1,422 business leaders and facility managers participated in the April 2009 survey.

In addition to getting a feel for future energy efficiency activities, the EEI report shows that most survey respondents have already implemented a number of energy efficiency measures at their facilities, including:

  • 77% switched to energy efficiency lighting
  • 64% adjusted HVAC temperature controls
  • 62% educated facilities operations staff
  • 38% installed lighting sensors

Some of these measures can be accomplished with minimal investments.

 

State of the Used IT Equipment Market

More than 75% of desktop and laptop computers are replaced every 3-5 years.*  Combined with other retired or replaced IT equipment like servers, mobile devices and other IT hardware, this means that tens of millions of pieces of equipment must be managed or disposed of each year. 

In deciding how to manage their replaced or retired IT equipment, companies must consider a variety of issues, including data security, software licenses, environmental regulations and public relations/philanthropic objectives.  Many turn to IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) service providers to manage these concerns for them.

ITAD vendors and equipment refurbishers are currently enjoying a slight uptick in demand for used IT equipment.  However, while demand is growing, the supply side of the market is constrained because companies are holding onto their equipment longer and delaying refreshes in response to the economic downturn. According to IDC, a market intelligence provider, this environment is likely to last for another two to three quarters as companies decide what course of action to take with regard to their refresh cycles. In short:

  • IDC finds that demand for used equipment is likely to expand, but will remain constrained by supply issues and related limitations.
  • In the mid-term, the supply side is likely to ease as companies will be able to deal with the decommissioning of orphan systems that stopped operating as a result of layoffs and bankruptcies.  The easing of the supply side will enable the used equipment market to grow faster.
  • In the long-term, IDC expects a substantial wave of hardware decommissioning, driven by the combination of economic recovery and the need for a new refresh cycle.

ITAD companies and recyclers are invited to participate in a survey by IDC and join a free telebriefing to learn about some of the latest developments, including trends in the industry and trends in business sectors relative to ITAD services.  The telebriefing is scheduled for May 21, 2009, but IDC has agreed to extend the survey and to share results with respondents who miss the May 21 telebriefing.  Take this brief confidential survey. (Details of the telebriefing will be provided following completion of the survey.)

* 2009 Converge IT Asset Disposition Trends Report, 2/09.

 

Nation’s First Energy ‘Net Zero’ Public School under Construction in Warren County

The Warren County Public School District has broken ground on what will be the first energy ‘net zero’ public school in the country.  The building will use no more energy than it produces on-site.  Architectural plans for the new school call for renewable energy and energy efficient features such as geothermal heating and cooling, Insulated Concrete Form construction, daylighting, occupancy and motion sensors and a 300Kw photovoltaic array. 

The new 72,000 square foot Richardsville Elementary School (architectural rendering by Sherman Carter Barnhart) will serve 550 students and be completed by Fall 2010.   A second ‘net zero’ elementary school in Warren County has been designed and is currently in the bidding process.

For more information, visit the WCPS Web site.

 

Newsbits

  • EPA’s Science Notebook Available to the Public
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has launched a new Web page to showcase the work of EPA scientists using blogs, podcasts, videos, interviews and more.  The Science Notebook page is meant to make EPA scientists and their research more accessible, understandable and interesting to the public.  This month, the notebook focuses on radiological emergency response.
  • Kentucky’s Commitment to Renewable Energy
    Governor Steve Beshear has announced that he is joining the U.S. Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition and endorsing the national 25x’25 Action Plan.
  • Research Funding for Kentucky’s Public Universities
    KREC has issued a Request for Proposals for its 2009 Competitive Grants Program.  Funding will support research projects in renewable energy and energy efficiency at Kentucky’s public universities. Awards will be announced in August.
  • Agricultural Plastics Recycling
    U.S. EPA Region 4 is gathering information on the use and recycling of agricultural plastics in the southeast.  Currently, much of the agricultural plastics used on farms today are burned or buried on-site. This project aims to inventory plastics usage and develop a strategy to implement/improve recycling of these materials.  Agricultural plastics recycling program coordinators are encouraged to contact Denise Tennessee of EPA at 404-562-8460 or tennessee.denise@epa.gov to include their programs in the initial inventory.

 

Mark your Calendar for these Upcoming Conferences and Events

Returns on Recycling Investment (Jobs, Revenue) Webinar – May 21, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. EDT

Sign up now for the U.S. EPA’s May Resource Conservation Challenge (RCC) Web Academy session.

2009 Small Business Ombudsman/Environmental Assistance Program (SBO/SBEAP) National Conference – June 1-5 – Louisville

State SBOs/SBEAPs and other small business environmental assistance providers will have the opportunity to network with peers from around the country and share their experiences in helping small businesses with environmental compliance, energy and pollution prevention issues.  Registration is $200; one day registration for Tuesday only is $75. Conference information and a detailed agenda are available online.  Contact Kenya Stump of the Kentucky Division of Compliance Assistance at envhelp@ky.gov with questions.

Indiana Recycling Coalition's 20th Annual Conference & Exhibition – June 2-4 – Bloomington, IN

Indiana’s premier waste reduction and recycling event, featuring educational sessions and exhibitors from around the country involved in all aspects of waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting.  Attendees include administrators, program directors, purchasing agents, sales representatives and educators from a wide variety of organizations. 

SUR/FIN 2009 – June 15-17 – Louisville

Organized by the National Association for Surface Finishing, SUR/FIN 2009 will explore state-of-the-art technology, offer insight on practical applications for surface finishing and evaluate means to improve surface finishing operations.

Industrial Materials Recycling 101 Webinar – June 18, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. EDT

Mark your calendar for the U.S. EPA’s June Resource Conservation Challenge (RCC) Web Academy session.

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