Tag Archives: water conservation

Restaurants ready for a flavor of sustainability

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When it comes to dining out, most people have eyes bigger than their bellies. As a result, restaurants across the world are becoming hubs of food waste.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, nearly one-third of the world’s food goes to waste every year. That’s 1.3 trillion kilograms of food–enough to feed the 800 million people who go hungry worldwide, twice over. Further, when food rots it creates methane, which has 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.

The consequences of waste have been food for thought for the hospitality industry, which needs sincere involvement from restaurants and retailers to adopt innovative solutions, cut food waste and practice sustainability measures.

Sustainable thinking gathers steam

As consumers are becoming more aware of where their food comes from and where the waste goes, big food service brands are taking a greener approach.… Read More

Sustainability as disruptive innovation

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Disruptive innovation means applying a new vision and direction, which results in overtaking an existing market. Being green in a transparent way has become one of the most highly sought-after disruptive innovative forces. As a result, organizations compete to have the latest green technologies, facilities and products in their industry.

A classic case study of a sustainable disruptive technology is Interface Inc. A billion-dollar corporation, Interface is the world’s largest producer of modular floor coverings, and one of the first large companies to integrate sustainability in all of its operations. Interface credits its leading position to its vision:

‘To be the first company that, by its deeds, shows the entire industrial world what sustainability is in all its dimensions: People, process, product, place and profits — by 2020 — and in doing so we will become restorative through the power of influence.’

Every aspect of Interface operations is focused on this vision — from harvesting and recycling old carpets to workplace energy efficiencies such as lighting and equipment replacement, renewable energy, efficient distribution, and employee-led programs aimed at eliminating waste. Interface also reduces the environmental footprint of its physical locations by adopting best-in-class green building and operational standards. As a result, Interface has reduced its carbon footprint by 92 percent, and has reduced waste to landfill by 91 percent since 1996.Read More

Better design thinking to battle floods

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While the devastation brought by Hurricane Harvey grabbed international attention, other U.S. cities began to feel the pangs of nervousness as many of them are becoming more vulnerable to fiercer storms. In fact, New York City is already reviewing its plans for a massive rainstorm as the existing infrastructure cannot handle more than 1.75 inches of rainfall per hour.

High and fast water rising in Bayou River with downtown Houston in background under cloud blue sky. Heavy rains from Hurricane Harvey caused many flooded areas in greater Houston area.

In the U.S., the National Climate Assessment has observed above-average rainfall since 1991 with the greatest increase in the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains regions, which have seen a rise of over 30 percent compared to pre-1960 levels.

Going by recent reports, floods cause greater property damage and more deaths than tornadoes or hurricanes. And Houston’s flood was truly a disaster of proportions: the sky unloaded nine trillion gallons of water on the city within two days!

With cities continuing to grow upwards and outwards, the effects of heavy rainfall been compounded. “The more impermeable surfaces you have, the more you obstruct natural runoff,” says Franz Jenowein, JLL’s Director of Global Sustainability Research. “This translates to greater potential for excess water to negatively affect cities.”

It is equally a design problem as much as it is climate change. In the face of such natural calamities, better urban planning and city design can come to the rescue.

Build to suit?

Urbanization has been blamed for many modern day environmental disasters. However, there can be an exception. “Urbanization can be a problem—but it can also offer solutions,” says Jenowein, citing Singapore as a case in point.… Read More

A class act: Spalding University greens campus and community

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In an effort to improve its campus, Spalding University brought green and sustainable enhancements to the surrounding urban community.

In 2003 Spalding University, a private, liberal arts college located in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, committed to improving its campus and facilities. Spalding partnered with JLL’s Integrated Facilities Management service team to bring about the improvements, while controlling costs under the university’s tight budget. Over the years, Spalding has made environmental protection and sustainability a core part of its mission to not only enhance the campus, but also the surrounding community and neighborhoods.

Now, nearly 15 years into our partnership, Spalding’s mission has expanded far beyond original expectations. Working collaboratively, JLL helped Spalding achieve its ambition to become a sustainability leader in the community through the planning and renewal of Louisville’s South of Broadway “SoBro” neighborhood.

As part of the SoBro neighborhood development team, JLL uncovered opportunities for Spalding to contribute improvements to the community by transforming parking lots around the school into green spaces and parks. Spalding has more than doubled its acreage from 10.65 acres to more than 23 acres, adding almost three acres of green space to its campus and acquiring additional land for conversion into green space. While Spalding’s footprint has grown significantly, the facility management budget has not.… Read More

Get Yourself Out of Hot Water

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Bob BestPosted by:
Bob Best
Energy and Sustainability Services

About 5% of the energy used in buildings is for heating water.

So, if we are going to focus on water conservation, let’s start there.  You’re killing two birds with one stone … saving water and saving energy at the same time.  What magic!

And, water-saving solutions don’t need to be expensive.  Fix dripping faucets with washers… Read More