What makes sense to do
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what makes sense to do?. Dr. Ron Lembke. What is “Sustainability?”. The ability to keep doing something for the indefinite future If it’s not profitable, it’s not sustainable What allows a company to survive? Meeting customer demands Developing new products Keeping costs low.

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What makes sense to do
what makes sense to do?

Dr. Ron Lembke

What is sustainability
What is “Sustainability?”

  • The ability to keep doing something for the indefinite future

  • If it’s not profitable, it’s not sustainable

  • What allows a company to survive?

    • Meeting customer demands

    • Developing new products

    • Keeping costs low

Different metrics
Different metrics

  • Dimensions of Environmental Sustainability:

    • Carbon: energy burned by us, by our suppliers

    • Water: water used

    • Paper and corrugated used

    • Solid waste generated

  • Costs and Revenues:

    • Lower electricity, gas and water bills

    • Lower garbage hauling costs

    • Better public relations

  • How much do customers care?

    • If it makes them feel closer, there’s likely monetary value?

  • How much is your competition doing?

    • Watch out for GREENWASHING!!!!

    • Trivial gestures: attention misdirection – ski passes, plastic bags

The Carbon Footprint of a plastic bag is 1/1000 that of the food in it!

Packaging reduction
Packaging reduction

  • Packaging redesign

    • 86% reduction in packaging weight

    • 42% more food per cubic volume!

  • Lower transportation costs

    • More food per truckload

    • Less packagin weight per unit of food

Leed leadership in energy and environmental design
LEED: Leadership in ENERGY and environmental design

  • US Green Building Council

  • Points system

  • Start with an architect that specializes in LEED

    • True believers who really know how to find cost-effective methods

  • No guarantee of savings



  • “‘Recycling is bullshit, in my opinion. What we should be doing is reducing’… reduce, reuse, recycle is meant to be taken in the order it’s presented in.” “Recycling is really your third and worst option.”

    • John Sagebiel, UNR Environmental Affairs Manager, UNR Sagebrush, May 2012

      Recycling Rate

      MaterialEnergy SavedNationalCalifornia

      Aluminum 96% 45% 99%

      Glass 21% 25% 84%

      Newsprint 45% 25%

      PET #1 (soda) 76% 31% 67%

      Polystyrene #6 88% <1% 10%

      Data: Popular Mechanics, CalRecycle.ca.gov

  • Aluminum is “congealed electricity”

  • Newsprint demand for corrugated boxes by China

  • Waste paper largest US export to China

  • Much “downcycling,” but we’re learning, markets are developing

  • Compostables

    • Great Basin Brewing Company

      • Compostable napkins, straws, silverware, boxes, etc.

      • Slightly higher cost

      • Vendors not even aware of their own products

      • Project lead by UNR MBA graduate

    • Waste hauled by Castaway Trash Hauling

      • Commercial composting

      • Landfills emit methane, a bad GHG, and usually don’t capture it

      • Composting emits less methane 30-70% less

    Commercial composting
    Commercial Composting

    • Look up impact of things

    Why worry about carbon
    Why worry about carbon?

    Carbon = Energy = Money

    Mckinsey study
    McKinsey Study


    Tools for finding carbon
    Tools for finding carbon?

    • Look for energy usage

      • What appliances use the most?

    You ve got to look at the details
    You’ve got to look at the details

    • 1kg of Tomatoes

      • 0.4 kg organic loose tomatoes, grown locally in July

      • 9.1 kg (20 lbs) average

      • 50 kg (110 lbs) organic, “on the vine” cherry tomatoes, grown in Ohio, in March

    • Wine Cal. vs. France

      • French wine comes on a boat

      • California wine comes on a truck

    • Flowers

      • Dutch greenhouses

      • Colombia – unheated greenhouses, but flown to Europe

    Books to consider
    Books to consider

    • Ecological Intelligence: The Hidden Impacts of What We Buy, Daniel Goleman

    • Force of Nature: The Unlikely Story of Wal-Mart’s Green Revolution, Edward Humes

    • How Bad Are Bananas?The Carbon Impact of Almost Everything, Mike Berners-Lee

    • Hot Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution – And How it Can Renew America, Thomas L. Friedman