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Sustainability update 9.23.08

Marc Lefkowitz  |  09/24/08 @ 11:28am

  • The city of Cleveland is in the running to lure a company here that turns common trash into 'green' power. It could cost in the tens of millions to create the system, but the benefits include removing 80 percent of the city's waste from landfills.

    The city hired consultants to study the Princeton Environmental Group's system that creates fuel pellets from municipal waste through steam compression, says Cleveland Office of Sustainability director Andrew Watterson. It's similar to the fuel pellet project at Akron's municipal waste plant except at a much larger scale.

    Cleveland is an attractive site for the company because it never privatized its waste collection and storage like other cities, Watterson says. "And we own our power and water companies. The city needs to control all of these to make it work."

  • Cleveland is also in the running to lure a solar thermal manufacturer from Germany. Uwe T. Schmidt, CEO of German-owned MAN Ferrostaal Inc. sees Cleveland's manufacturing culture as ideal for his company's expansion into U.S. automotive and renewable-energy markets. Read more.
  • "Now that cities and states are regulating carbon, it's going to change our sourcing strategy," Betsy Blaisdell, manager of environmental stewardship for boot and apparel maker, Timberland, told an Entrepreneurs for Sustainability gathering last week. "The most effective way we've reduced our carbon footprint as a company is through simplifying the design of our products."

    To help reach a goal of carbon neutrality by 2010, Timberland removed 'heavy' adhesives, PVC and solvents while sourcing only organic textiles. They also built a LEED-Platinum manufacturing center (replacing coal with micro-hydro power) in Indiana. Blaisdell recommends companies get ahead of carbon legislation and calculate their ecological footprint. Climatecooler.org is a good economic model to estimate the greenhouse gasses of products over their lifetime, she says. Even in tough economic times, Timberland continues to make corporate social responsibility a core value. That helps the company retain employees and makes it, truly, a sustainable business.

  • The Cleveland Clinic is launching its Sports Health Center on October 11. The center will have a specific training program for cyclists. It's still looking for feedback to develop a 'periodized' training program just for cyclists. Share suggestions and experiences with training and coaching services, get some free post-ride carbs and show your support. Go here for more information.

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