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May/June 2010
Did You Know...?
New Metrics Feature
AllianceBernstein Hosts Environmental Event
Locally Processed Waste
Greener Workplaces in Demand
Q&A: Choosing the best recycling and waste bins

Compostable Packaging Increases Overall Composting Rates

Survey Shows NY Stores Complying With Bottle Bill

Alliance Wants to Add Recycling to American Cookbooks

Ball Sustainability Report: GHG Down 13%

ABCE: 6000 Companies Support Clean Energy Bill

Emissions Reductions is Top Environmental Concern for U.S. Businesses
Did You Know...?

     The Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989 is considered to be one of the most devastating human-caused environmental disasters ever to occur. An estimated minimum of 250,000 barrels of crude oil were spilled, and the oil slick eventually covered 11,000 square miles of ocean.

oil slick

     The Deepwater Horizon oil spill of late April has been spilling anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000 barrels of crude oil per day according to official estimates.

Great Forest Gives Back

Blacksmith Institute

Great Forest is a proud supporter of the nonprofit Blacksmith Institute, which works to solve life-threatening pollution problems in the world's worst polluted places. Blacksmith is currently engaged in over 40 cleanup projects in 19 countries.

Read the 2009 World's Worst Polluted Places report:  12 Cases of Cleanup and Success.
About Great Forest
Great Forest provides sustainability consulting and project management expertise
To date Great Forest has worked with more than half of all commercial office space and hotels in Manhattan and over 1,500 buildings across the country, covering approximately 350 million sq. ft.

Services include:
Contact Us

Great Forest, Inc.
2014 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY 10035
Ph: (212) 779-4757
Fax: (212) 779-8044

Improve Environmental Performance, Reduce Costs

We are sure many of you have heard about the recent and ongoing lead poisoning emergency in Nigeria, where over 150 children have died and many more are at risk. The nonprofit Blacksmith Institute is currently doing urgent cleanup in Nigeria. Please join Great Forest to help spread the word about this emergency situation.  Read this special alert for a news roundup on the tragedy.

Great Forest is a proud supporter of the Blacksmith Institute, which works to solve pollution problems in the developing world.

--The Great Forest Team

Metrics Gets More Visual with New Feature --
Bar Graphs

It is now easier to compare year-over-year performance with the intuitive bar graph function on the Great Forest metrics website.

The new visual feature will help make your data easier to interpret at a glance. 

This is an example of what a two year profile of electricity usage looks like.

Bar Graph

To generate your own charts, go to
and follow these steps:

1. Simply login and click on Charts
2. Select your location and the parameters you wish to chart.
3. Choose "monthly bar" instead of "history track" to create a bar graph.

If you are not yet signed up to use the Great Forest sustainability metrics, contact Nate Kimball at 212-779-4757.

We are continually working on adding useful new features to the metrics to help you track and benchmark all your sustainability goals in one convenient place.  After all,
what gets measured gets managed!
AllianceBernstein Hosts Environmental Event
AllianceBernstein recently held an environmental event at its offices at 1345 Avenue of the Americas to promote the firm's sustainability programs.

Anna Dengler and Nate Kimball of Great Forest were on hand to talk about energy efficiency and recycling. They also treated staffers to a recycling game -- players had to select items from a bag and place them in the correct recycling bins marked Paper, Glass/Metal/Plastic, or Trash.

"Everyone had a lot of fun.  The game was a good way to introduce a discussion of why we recycle some materials and not others," says Anna.


AllianceBernstein is also working on with Great Forest on benchmarking and measuring the success of their green efforts using the Great Forest sustainability metrics.

"We have been tracking their portfolio's energy, water and recycling data with the metrics for
over three years to help them keep tabs on the progress of their sustainability-related goals,"  says Nate.

Interested in organizing an educational green event at your building?  Call your Great Forest representative.
Behind-the-Scenes: Locally Processed Waste Reveals Value of Corporate Recycling Programs

MarcalPaperYou've heard of locally grown food.  But how about locally processed waste?

In early June, Great Forest accompanied clients on a tour of Five Star Carting's recycling facility in New York and the Marcal paper factory in New Jersey.  The visit offered a behind-the-scenes look at a "closed loop" recycling system, where NYC office paper waste is processed and sold locally, within a 500-mile radius.  The tour made clear the value of many of the city's corporate green programs.

"We saw that waste from office buildings do not have to travel very far to be given new life.  This local process means less emissions and energy wasted and a smaller corporate footprint, something our clients, their employees and tenants are very appreciative of," says Great Forest sustainability consultant Nate Kimball.

Five Star Carting's state-of-the-art facility handles waste from numerous NYC office buildings and recycling from the Department of Sanitation and the company itself, separating out paper by grade as well as glass, metal, and plastic beverage containers and bulk metal. All recovered paper is sent to recycled-paper products company Marcal Paper, where the group witnessed recycled paper become paper towels, napkins, toilet tissue, and face tissues.

Photo: Great Forest's Nate Kimball and Ken Richards with giant rolls of recycled paper that would stretch 30-miles long if unfurled. These rolls will be made into paper towels and other paper products.
Greener Workplaces in Demand

green officeA new report reveals that Gen Y workers are looking for a "green deal at work." A whopping 96% wanted an "environmentally aware or friendly workplace," while 57% said they wanted their employers to perform well above regulatory compliance.

Their demands included recycling (70.3% said there should be recycling bins in the workplace), and water and energy efficiency (47.4% wanted water-saving fixtures and devices).

The project queried over three thousand 18- to 25-year-olds in the United States, U.K. Germany, India and China.

The report recommended that employers prepare for the future by:
  • going beyond minimum environmental compliance
  • providing ample evidence of green solutions in the workplace, and
  • embracing green policies in day-to-day operations as well as through initiatives.
Interested in getting greener or taking a first step?  Here's a handy guide on how to create a workplace recycling program.  Need help or more tips?  Give your Great Forest representative a call.
Q: How do I choose the best recycling and waste bins for my building?

recycling binsA: Choosing the right bins will go a long way to make your recycling program successful. Some factors to consider: size, materials, and visuals.

Size: Bins too big will waste space and be hard to move when full. Bins too small risk allowing waste to overflow. Always keep collection and transportation in mind.

Materials: Recycling bins should facilitate sorting, if necessary, for your local recycling program. Using bins for recycling that have multiple compartments or shaped openings makes sorting easy.

: Use visual cues to make bins attractive and to educate about how to properly recycle. Consider using your company logo or other images on the bins to create a sense of community among users. Always have signs posted explaining the recycling program to those who are unfamiliar.

Before purchasing new bins, check with your recycling coordinator to learn about the specifics in your building.

Did you know that Great Forest can help you purchase bins and provide stickers and signs to label the bins appropriately?

Once you have the right bins, how do you know where to put them? Tune in next month when we will discuss how to choose the best location for your waste and recycling bins.