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In This Issue
New Metrics Features
Global Sustainability Trends Survey
New Rechargeable Battery Law
Pinnacle Award Nominees
A Greener 2011
Did You Know?
WASTE NEWS

Regional: E-Waste Recycling Spreads in the West

 

National: In 27 States, Don't Call Your Old Computer 'Trash' 

 

National: Freakonomics Radio - The Economics of Trash

ENERGY NEWS

  GREEN BUILDING NEWS
  SUSTAINABILITY NEWS
 GREAT FOREST GIVES BACK
Great Forest is a proud supporter of the nonprofit Blacksmith Institute, which works to solve life-threatening pollution problems in low and middle income countries.  Blacksmith is currently engaged in over 40 cleanup projects in 19 countries.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR
The year of benchmarking?

We predict that 2011 might be all about benchmarking as the need to measure and manage becomes more evident (see global sustainability trends report below). One of the biggest changes for the new year will be NYC's Local Law 84 regarding benchmarking. Look out for tips on getting ready for this milestone in the coming newsletters.  In the meantime, we have added new features to the Great Forest Sustainability Metrics system to help you track and interpret more of your usage data so you can be ready for benchmarking, wherever your offices and buildings are located.

 

Have a question?  Ask a Great Forest expert.

 

--The Great Forest Team

MetricsUpdateNew Features Added to the Sustainability Metrics  

 

MetricsWith benchmarking becoming more important, we are adding new features to the Great Forest Sustainability Metrics system to help you get more out of your usage data.   

 

Now the Metrics allows you to go deeper with your recycling data - just log in to your Metrics page and click on waste and recycling to see statistics for mixed paper, bottles and cans, and more. You can also track more material streams on recycling. Ask your Great Forest representative how to add Metrics for shredded paper, construction and demolition waste, bulk waste, electronics, batteries and lamps to your building data. You can now also sort your properties by state.  Simply click on the "state" heading to reorganize your properties.  

 

Coming soon - chart your material streams against each other and download Metrics data to excel files. 

 

If you are not yet a Great Forest sustainability client, you can learn more and try the Metrics.
 

ATTENTION NEW YORK CITY READERS: NYC's new benchmarking law (Local Law 84) comes into effect this May, requiring buildings over 50,000 square feet to document their energy and water usage. Are you ready?

kpmgreportGlobal Survey Shines Light on Corporate Sustainability Trends and Attitudes    


KPMG reportKPMG's recently-released report previews the results of an international research paper on corporate sustainability based on a global survey of 378 senior executives. The progress report "reviews the importance of sustainability within business today and executive attitudes towards this issue." Among the key findings:
  • Sustainability has moved up the corporate agenda in the past three years.
  • Cost reduction is becoming an important reason for undertaking sustainable practices.
  • 36% of companies have issued at least one public report on sustainability performance. 
  • The main challenges companies are encountering with regard to reporting relate to finding good data and relevant benchmarks.
The report also lists nine benefits of sustainability as identified by the executives polled.  These include cost reduction, better relationships with suppliers and clients, risk mitigation and improved investor awareness.

Download the report here.

New York State Adopts Rechargeable Battery Recycling Law
 
 

A new law requiring manufacturers of rechargeable batteries to finance and operate recycling programs for its products was just signed in late 2010 and will go into effect in New York State by June 2011.

 

Under the new law, manufacturers of rechargeable batteries will be responsible for financing the collection and recycling of the batteries, advertising this program to consumers, and reporting on the progress of this new program. Retailers that sell rechargeable batteries will be required to accept used rechargeable batteries back from individuals during normal business hours and to post signs informing consumers about these requirements.

 

Recycling rechargeable batteries mean that toxic components will not end up polluting the environment, and materials can be reused. Talk to your Great Forest representative about setting up a battery recycling program at your office or building if you don't already have one.

 

Congratulations! Great Forest Clients Nominated for Pinnacle Award    

 

Great Forest clients are once again among the nominees for BOMA/NY's 2010-2011 Pinnacle Award, honoring the most successfully run buildings in New York City. Winners will be eligible for the national TOBY (The Office Building of the Year) award. Great Forest is especially proud of our sustainability work with current nominees Boston Properties, CB Richard Ellis, Inc., Cushman & Wakefield, and Paramount Group, Inc. Congratulations to all. The winner will be announced on February 9.  


Tips for a Greener 2011 


Green earthHave you been sticking to your New Year's resolutions?  Here are eleven eco-friendly ideas to keep you on track for 2011:

  Use Less Paper - ALWAYS use recycled paper and reduce waste by printing on both sides. 

  Learn Recycling Guidelines - Take a moment to review the recycling guidelines for your office building in order to make sure that your paper, glass, metal, plastic and cardboard end up at a recycling sorting facility and not a landfill.

 Streamline Your Snail Mail - Most businesses and households alike receive unwanted junk mail on a daily basis. Go to www.catalogchoice.org to remove your business from mailing lists and set aside some time to call those catalogs and organizations directly to stop junk mail at its source.

  Say No To Paper Coffee Cups or Plastic Water Bottles - Use a reusable water bottle and mug to kick your paper and plastic habit. If you don't like the way your tap water tastes, consider using a water filter.

  Commute Green - Passenger cars are one of the LARGEST sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Use public transportation, carpool with a neighbor or co-worker, bike, walk or use a combination of all of the above. You will be surprised how much money you will save, not to mention how much you will reduce your carbon footprint.

  Eliminate Ghost Energy Usage - Ghost energy is caused when electrical devices and appliances (on or off) are plugged in, using unnecessary energy 24/7. Plug these devices into a power surge strip so that you can easily turn all of them on and off at your convenience to save electricity.

  Purchase Sustainable Office Supplies - Vote with your dollar and vote green in 2011. Choose eco-friendly products from your office supply store. Not only will this reduce your office's carbon footprint, but it will also educate employees and let them know that the company is moving with the times and becoming socially responsible.

  Reduce Daytime Electricity Usage - If you work in an office that gets lots of sunlight, try not to turn on unnecessary overhead lights. Use task lighting at your desk instead as needed. 

  E-Cycle It - Contact your building management office to see if they have an electronic/Universal Waste recycling program to properly dispose of your office's electronic gadgets. Reusing and recycling materials found in these items like copper, gold, and other heavy metals not only saves natural resources, but also reduces mining and processing.

  Send It Back - Send back printer toner cartridges through your office supplier's free recycling program. If you are in New York, rechargeable battery manufacturers are required to offer recycling programs for their products by June, and retailers are required to take batteries for recycling from the public. 

  Green Your Business Travel - If your budget allows, try to book a direct flight to your final destination to reduce your carbon emissions. Stay in "green" hotels that promote water and energy conservation. Use sheets and towels more than a night or two if you are staying for a while.  

Did You Know...?

 
Out with the old and in with the new is the motto this time of year, and that is especially true with electronic gadgets. The U.S. generates 3.16 million tons of electronic waste! Unfortunately, the majority of this is not yet being recycled, though recycling rates have been increasing in recent years.

 

Electronic recycling, or eCycling is far from a seamless process with the patchwork of laws and private plans in place, but increasingly, retailers and commercial offices are making it easier to recycle.  New York and 26 other states have e-waste recycling laws on the books. Click here to see list of electronic products that can be recycled in NYS. 

 

Because electronics such as old computers, cell phones, printers, rechargeable batteries and others can contain toxic components, eCycling helps reduce land, air, and water pollution by capturing and reusing hazardous materials such as lead and chromium.