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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


The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has received word from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency that its registration to import hemp seed has been approved.

This follows months of discussion between the two agencies about specificts of Tennessee's industrial hemp pilot program that have farmers unsure they'll get the hemp seed in time to plant a crop. The good news is no additional restrictions have been set on the program regarding acreage or number of participants, said Corinne Gould, TDA deputy director of public affairs.

Tennessee's initial applications totalled more than 2,100 acres by 53 growers, far exceeding those from nearby states like Kentucky that have launched similar programs.

It means planting is one step closer to reality, but more approvals wrangling is ahead.

TDA should receive its registration information in the next few days, but it still has to apply for specific import permits, which also must be DEA approved, said Gould. No time frame for that process has been given. The department plans to order seed from Canada and Australia, each of which must follow particular export rules for their country. 

As such, there's still not a firm date for when the seed will be distributed, and the clock is ticking. Farmers need to plant by late May or early June for the best crop.

Photo: In this May 19, 2014 file photo, a farmer holds a handful of hemp seeds, on a day of planting in Sterling, Colo. (AP Photo/Kristen Wyatt, File)

That state of Tennessee will now share costs for farmers here to earn the USDA organic certification

Certified organic producers can apply to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture for a 75 percent cost share up to a maximum of $750 to help defray costs related to receiving and maintaining organic certification, including inspection costs. Organic operations that have achieved certification since October 1, 2014 meet the time qualification to seek reimbursement, as do organic operations that become certified between now and September 30, 2015.

Organic certification typically costs small farm producers between $600 and $1,000 annually. Costs increase based on product and sales volume.

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



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 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.


Don't forget to register for the GoGreenET Business After Hours event at the UT Gardens from 5-7 p.m. tomorrow. The Greater Knoxville Business Journal will recognize companies who have earned Green Achiever status.Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for gogreenet business recognition2.JPG

Additional recognition will be given to organizations -- large and small -- that have made notable achievements in recycling/waste reduction; energy efficiency; renewable energy; and community outreach.

Come and support East Tennessee organizations that are improving their business -- and the bottom line -- by being more environmentally friendly.

The Business After Hours event recognizing Green Achievers will be 5-7 p.m. May 14 at the UT Gardens. Register at the Knoxville Chamber website.

The first annual GREEN + GO Sustainable Knoxville Green Tour will offer an inside look at some of Knoxville's high-performance buildings 9 a.m.-2 p.m. May 4.

The open house tours, organized by the East Tennessee Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, will present the features and benefits of sustainable construction. Participants can visit up to eight sustainable buildings in the Knoxville area that represent a variety of green design strategies. 

Sites on the tour include:

Scripps Networks Interactive Headquarters, rated LEED Gold
Knoxville Transit Center, LEED Silver
Three Rivers Market, Designed to meet 2010 LEED Retail NC
UT's Ayres Hall, Historic LEED Renovation at LEED Silver
UT's Living Light Solar Decathlon House 
Ijams Nature Center and solar array 
Sustainable Future's Net Zero Office
The Spectrum Solar Exhibit at East Town Mall. 

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GoGreenET is now accepting applications for the 2013 Green Business Recognition Program.

Each year we recognize area businesses for improving their sustainability through environmentally friendly practices and policies.

Green Achievers and Outstanding Achievements are noted in Recycling/Waste Reduction; Energy Efficiency; Renewable Energy and Community Outreach categories.  They will be recognized in the Greater Knoxville Business Journal's green issue in May 2013, at our website and at the Knoxville Chamber's Business After Hours program in May. Additionally, Outstanding achievements will be profiled in the Business Journal.

Has your company started or increased its recycling? Switched to energy efficient lighting? Formed a green practices committee? All these and more qualify -- and we want to hear about it!

Applications for the 2013 Green Business Recognition Program will be accepted through March 25. Download and start filling out the <a href="" target="_blank" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','Download','PDF',this.href]);">GoGreen Business Recognition Survey</a>&nbsp;now.

For some examples, check out all our previous honorees and Outstanding Achievement features at the GoGreenET Achievers page.

Still have questions? <a href=" Survey questions">Email us!</a>

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Nominations are open for the Governor's 2013 Environmental Stewardship Awards

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is seeking nominations for the Governor's 2013 Environmental Stewardship Awards. The awards recognize Tennesseans who go above and beyond to protect the state's diverse environment.

"The continued health of Tennessee's air, land and water is critical to keeping our communities strong," Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said.  "It is important to recognize the innovative efforts and unique projects that conserve and protect our natural resources because they provide economic benefits and boost Tennessee's overall sustainability."

Awards will be given in the following categories: 
Building Green
Clean Air
Energy and Renewable Resources
Environmental Education and Outreach (business category)
Environmental Education and Outreach (school category)
Land Use
Materials Management
Natural Heritage
Sustainable Performance
Lifetime Achievement. 

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Pellissippi State Community College got its first solar array this year thanks to the work of two electrical engineering classes headed by professor Ken Swayne.

Swayne's Applied Electricity class wired the six panels to an inverter located in a classroom in the McWherter Building on the Hardin Valley Campus. Then the Photovoltaics Alternative Energy class installed brackets and the solar panels on the roof of the building. 

The panels are expected to produce 324 watts of electrical energy under peak sun conditions.

"The system will be a great learning tool for our technology students," said Swayne. "I am very grateful to the college for supporting this project. I believe any contribution toward green energy production and training is a plus for Pellissippi State and the Knoxville community."

The college has previously installed electric vehicle charging stations on its campuses and also received the 2010 Governor's Environmental Stewardship Award for its collegewide sustainability and environmental efforts.

Pellissippi State Engineering Technology students Jeff Station (left) and Anthony Hudson install solar panels on the Hardin Valley Campus' McWherter Building as a class project earlier this semester. Photo courtesy of Pellissippi State.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2016 listed from newest to oldest.

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