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All Occasions works toward greener rentals

Among All Occasions Party Rentals' strategic initiatives are "go greener" and "increase efficiency."

President Terry Turner said in the past two years, he has found that the two go hand in hand.

"Almost every efficiency we create is green," he said. "We've eliminated road trips, chemicals we use, water, electricity, and all those things are green."

Turner said the greenest thing the company does, though, is in its name - rentals.

"Rental itself is inherently green, because of the reuse over and over and over of the same equipment," he said. "When you think about china, glassware and flatware that people use all the time at their events, this is less plastics, Styrofoam, paper plates that are going to landfills."

Going the extra mile

Being an "inherently green" company wasn't enough. Jason McClure, operations manger, said his promotion to operations manager aided in getting the conversation started about green practices.

"When I got back (into the warehouse) and started seeing with my own eyes the tremendous amount of cardboard, paper, plastic that was being thrown away, I thought, 'This is crazy,'" McClure said.

McClure expressed his concerns to Turner and a recycling plan was implemented shortly after.

All Occasions now recycles approximately the same amount of material that it throws away. McClure said recycling is a green effort that has become the norm in today's culture.

"With us hiring a younger generation, it's more of a lifestyle for them," McClure said. "It is a way of life. It's not just a one off. It's not a fad or a trendy thing to do. That's half the battle - implementing a plan where recycling is an option."

Turner said the more his eyes were opened to various ways the company could be more sustainable, the more sense it made.

Saving gallons, miles and cents

Until two years ago, All Occasions did not think twice about making multiple trips to an event site. If something was left behind, an employee would take a van or truck to save the day with the missing item.

To read the full story, visit http://www.knoxnews.com/story/money/business/journal/2017/05/01/all-occasions-works-toward-greener-rentals/100413584/.

 

Keep Knoxville Beautiful announces Orchid Award nominees

Keep Knoxville Beautiful will host its annual Orchid Awards dinner March 7 at The Standard to honor Knoxville properties, public spaces and public art. 

Awards will be presented to winners in the following categories: environmental stewardship, new architecture, outdoor spaces, public art, redesign/reuse and restaurant/café/bar/brewery. 

The nominees for new architecture are the Local Motors Microfactory, the Market Square Restroom Facilities, Mountain Commerce Bank, the Natalie Haslam Music Center and the Student Union at the University of Tennessee.

The nominees for outdoor spaces are the Baker Creek Preserve, the Blueberry Falls Extension at the University of Tennessee, Hank Rappe Playground at Lakeshore Park, the Old City Gardens, the Secret Garden at the Knoxville Botanical Garden & Arboretum and Suttree Landing Park.

The nominees for public art are the Alliance Brewing Company mural, the Chilhowee Park mural, the Jerry's Artarama mural, Pat Summitt Plaza, The Emporium Center Underground Mural and the Third Creek Greenway mural.

The nominees for redesign/reuse are Anderson and Rahman Dermatology, Geo Hair Lab, the Locust Street Pedestrian Bridge, Lululemon Athletica, Patricia Nash Designs, the Powell Airplane Service Station, the Depot at Powell Station, Premier Surgical Associates at Papermill, The Daniel, The Mill and Mine, the Kennedy-Walker-Baker-Sherill House, the 6th Avenue Warehouses and the 1894 Saloon Building.

The nominees for restaurant/café/bar/brewery are A Dopo Sourdough Pizza, Alliance Brewing Company, Balter Beerworks, J.C. Holdway, Juice Bar in Market Square, K Brew, Lonesome Dove, Remedy Coffee, Schulz Bräu Brewing Company and Wild Love Bakehouse. 

The Mary Lou Horner Beautification Award will be granted to a former Orchid Award winner those property remains Orchid worthy. 

The East Tennessee Community Design Center will serve as judge. All proceeds will benefit Keep Knoxville Beautiful's programs. 

To purchase tickets, visit www.keepknoxvillebeautiful.org/orchid-awards/.

GoGreenET Achievers nominations open

We're looking to tell the stories of companies that have made significant progress in recycling/waste reduction, energy efficiency, renewable energy and community outreach, or in another area we may not have even considered.


We're looking for a specific project, process change or initiative in each category that can be used as a model for other organizations.

The nomination form can be found here. The deadline to submit a nomination is March 20. 

Winners will be featured in the Greater Knoxville Business Journal's May issue.

 

2015 Green Achievers

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Congratulations to our 2015 Green Achievers! Their stories are featured in the May Business Journal and available at the links below.

Harrison Construction is putting 20,000 tons of recycled asphalt back on the road as part of its Western Avenue paving project. The company also keeps construction and materials out the landfill by recycling concrete, brick, and other demolition leftovers into base material for contractors, use in its own manufacturing or as landscaping material. As an added benefit, every bit of recycling means less rock that needs to be mined from the region's mountains.

See their story at Demolished buildings get new purpose as road material

Sunshine Industries provides jobs and services to Knox County adults with disabilities, but is also trying to better the community as a whole with its recycling programs. Now the agency is rolling out an e-cycling program with the additional benefit of certifying electronics as destroyed -- rather than resold -- so customers know their data is secure.

Read about the new effort at Social-service agency creates e-cycling advantage

Cool Sports knows running an ice rink in an East Tennessee summer takes a ton of power. It's reducing that need as much as possible by taking advantage of the season's abundant sunshine to power facilities. The company's solar array generates enough electricity to power 14 homes and helps the facility shave off costs. It also eliminates 222,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions among others.

Get the details at Solar power shaves off costs for ice rink, sports facility

La-Z-Boy knows you probably aren't thinking of the environment when you kick back in one of its recliners, but the company is working hard nonetheless to reuse and recycle as much as it can. It's been an ongoing effort. Last year the company recyled 93 percent of its materials. The facility marked Earth Day this year by achieving zero waste at its Dayton, Tenn. facility. 

Learn about the process at La-Z-Boy Tennessee reuses, recycles to avoid landfill

TWC.jpgTennessee Wesleyan College has earned 2014 Tree Campus USA recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation.

The program recognizes colleges and universities that maintain healthy trees and encourage conservation efforts on campus. 

The program requires five core standards for sustainable campus forestry, including an established tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated monies for the campus tree program, observance of Arbor Day and the sponsorship of student service-learning projects.

"The Tree Advisory Committee is a student-led committee," Mike Ingram, TWC director of physical plant services. "Their work this last year enabled us to receive this achievement. They planned and participated in Arbor Day and completed a service-learning project with Dr. Allen Moore."

Pictured from left: TWC Students Stephanie Franklin, Sarah Kilgore, Brook Fincher, Tim Wilson, Rachel Hull

 

 

The city of Knoxville, in partnership with other local organizations, seeks to improve area residents' energy efficiency in their homes as well as area schools and municipal buildings as part of a nationwide competition.

The goal is to win Georgetown University's $5 million Energy Prize.

The city is on track to improve its efficiency, says Brian Blackmon, project manager for the city of Knoxville's sustainability office, in a recent interview with Business Journal reporter Larisa Brass.

For residential users small changes like programmable thermostats and installing efficient light bulbs are recommended.

KUB will track overall residential energy usage for the program and has plans to launch a new program, Round It Up, which will round customers bills up to the nearest dollar and donate the extra to Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee to provide energy efficiency upgrades for low-income families.

TVA's new program, eScore, will provide free energy audits to homeowners with rebates available for recommended improvements.

Other partners include Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, the University of Tennessee, the Alliance to Save Energy, Tennessee Interfaith Power & Light, Harvey Broome Group (Sierra Club) and Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment.

Westminster Presbyterian Church in Knoxville is one of the first 20 congregations to be designated a Certified Cool Congregation by Interfaith Power and Light for its energy efficiency efforts.

The certification is a culmination of 20 years of effort in the church's "Creation Care" initiative to reduce its environmental impact, writes Larisa Brass in the Knoxville News Sentinel.

The congregation has upgraded the church's windows, lights and installed an energy management system that reduced its carbon emissions by 4.5 tons.

The church is also looking for ways to save energy that help it financially as well. A recent installation of a 5kw solar array added to the other upgrades mean the church saves about 30 percent on energy costs.

The solar installation was installed with a $16,000 grant through Knoxville's Solar America Cities program and offsets 5 percent of the church's electricity needs.

Lisa New hesitated to have the Knoxville Zoo take part in the GoGreenET Business Recognition Program because she, its board and staff have a lot they still want to accomplish to make the zoo sustainable.

Sustainability, however, for most of us is a journey. None of us have the resources to make improvements overnight -- it's generally one step at a time and those steps vary depending on the time, money and attention we can spend at any given time.

The GoGreenET program is about recognizing that all of us can play a role in making our community greener.

The program's Green Achievers have downloaded the survey form GoGreenET.com that outlines 100-plus ways organizations can reduce their carbon footprint. Each checked at least one item in each category and scored at least 30 points -- most many more.

More than 100 private companies, nonprofit organizations and government agencies have taken the GoGreenET challenge in the program's fourth year.

Thanks to sponsors KUB, the Knoxville Chamber and Thermocopy for their continuing support.

In particular, we've highlighted several organizations that have undertaken initiatives that others can model to create their own. Their stories are below.

Knoxville Locomotive Works - Startup manufacturer's locomotive powers efforts cut emissions

Gerdau Knoxville Mill - Steel rebar manufacturer aims for zero landfill waste

Knoxville Zoo - Zoo reduces its own energy use, footprint

Oak Ridge Associated Universities - Two-day event at ORAU collects 10,000 pounds of trash

A full list of participating organizations is below, or find them on our Green Achievers page.

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Elizabeth Eason, principal of Elizabeth Eason Architecture in KNoxville, has been named a 2013 LEED Fellow by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Eason was one of 51 honorees chosen worldwide.

The LEED Fellow designation is the highest awarded by the USGBC and recognizes LEED professionals who make significant contributions to green building and sustainability at a regional, national or global level.

The firm's local LEED projects include work on the Shelton Group's Knoxville office, a downtown building renovation that aimed for LEED Silver; the Blueberry Ridge senior housing development seeking a platinum or gold rating; and the Lonsdale Homes project which is being built to the LEED for Homes certification specs.

In case you missed it, here's a a glance at some energy-related kudos and events news for our area in the last couple of weeks:


--The city of Knoxville and contractor Ameresco celebrated the Knoxville Convention Center's achievement of LEED Silver certification on June 28.

The Knoxville Convention Center is the first convention center in Tennessee to receive LEED through its green initiatives.

Ameresco installed the convention center's 120-kilowatt rooftop solar photovoltaic system. Other energy efficiency efforts included new energy efficient boilers, a 30-ton air cooled chiller, window film, a new domestic hot water system and lighting systems to reduce the center's carbon footprint and make the building more sustainable.

"The Convention Center is committed to being a facility that takes the environmental impact of its operations seriously, and our sustainable practices are intricately woven into our everyday operations," said General Manager Mary Bogert in a press release.

--The Tennessee Solar Energy Industries Association continued calls for TVA to change how it handles solar incentives.

The organization urged changes after the early closure this year of TVA's solar rebate program. Discussion led TVA to add 2.5MW capacity to Green Power Providers effective August 1. TenneSEIA is asking for an additional 2.5MW to be added in October.

related:
http://www.solarindustrymag.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.12885


--Campbell County Schools plan to raise funds with solar panels on school roofs.
Campbell County school officials hope to generate $1 million over the next 20 years by installing solar panels on the district's 12 schools. The 50 kilowatt systems would sell power to TVA.
Solar installation company Efficient Energy of Tennessee developed the idea with the county's finance department.

--ORNL names Ramamoorthy Ramesh as new research chief.
Rammoorthy recently served as director of the SunShot Initiative, a federal program designed to make solar energy cost-competitive.
His research includes material studies of thin films, including those used in solar panels.

--Tennessee-based solar company Silicon Ranch has partnered with Germany's Phoenix Solar AG to build a 38MW solar farm in Georgia.

It will be the state's largest. Silicon Ranch is a solar energy company cofounded by former Gov. Phil Bredesen.

--Mary Shaffer Gill of ARiES Energy will speak to the National Association of Women Business Owners in Nashville on July 25.
She will discuss challenges and opportunities ingrowing an energy-related business. This luncheon will focus on energy efficiency, where leaders in business, energy and manufacturing sectors will discuss energy management best practices, experiences with renewable energy projects and the challenges and opportunities for energy-related businesses.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Cortney Roark published on May 11, 2017 2:22 PM.

Keep Knoxville Beautiful announces Orchid Award nominees was the previous entry in this blog.

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