Nestle Waters Issues First Corporate Citizenship Report
Greenwich, Conn., Oct. 27 — Nestle Waters North America, the largest bottled water company in North America with headquarters in Connecticut, says the redesign of its half-liter bottle will cut the company's use of plastic by 140 million pounds and help it avoid 260,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
Projected environmental benefits from the introduction of the Eco-Shape bottle in 2007 — such as the estimated savings above that cover the current and prior fiscal year — are detailed in Nestle Waters' first corporate citizenship report.
The 44-page report, called "The Shape of Citizenship," highlights the company's efforts to be more more environmentally friendly in its use of water and energy and in packaging, production and transportation.
The report includes a snapshot of the environmental metrics used at the company's 24 plants in the U.S. and Canada and charts nine key performance indicators over a three-year period.
The company said its goals include reducing its carbon intensity by 20 percent throughout its value chain by 2013. The firm also intends to build all new plants to meet the green standards for LEED certification.
In a letter to stakeholders that opens the report, CEO and President Kim Jeffery enumerated his company's eco-friendly measures, its $4.26 billion in sales for 2007 and the 30 percent market share that enables the firm to rank No. 1 in the bottled water industry. He also acknowledged the sea change in the public's view of bottled water.
"As you are probably aware, over the past 12 months news coverage of corporate environmental activities and impacts has exploded, and our company has found itself on the front lines of society's emerging dialogue on sustainability," Jeffery wrote.
Nestle Waters North America's brands include Arrowhead, Calistoga, Deer Park, Ice Mountain, Nestle Pure Life (purified water), Ozarka, Poland Spring and Zephyrhills. It also imports Acqua Panna, Contrex, Perrier and S. Pellegrino.
Project Wins Awards for Use of Green Design
Stamford, Conn., Oct. 27 - Windermere on the Lake, the new eco-village featuring the Northeast’s first luxury U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC) LEED(R) certified home, has won six HOBI Awards from the Home Builders Association of Connecticut for its outstanding architectural design and innovative use of state-of-the-art green technologies.
Windermere on the Lake won in the following six categories: Best Energy-Efficient Green Home; Best Energy-Efficient Green Community; Best Detached Home Over 3000 Sq. Ft.; Best Option (for its custom English gardens); Best Green Product or Feature (for its geothermal heating and cooling system); and Best Website/Sales Brochure.
The prestigious HOBI Awards is a highly competitive program that recognizes builders and members of the housing industry for excellence in home design and construction, home technology and sales and marketing. The HOBI Awards will be presented at this year’s awards ceremony to be held November 4 in Southington, CT.
Windermere’s sweep of the HOBI Awards follows the recent announcement of LEED certification of Windermere’s Cumbria model home by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). It is the first luxury home in the Northeast to receive LEED certification and the first LEED certified home in Fairfield County.
The lakeside luxury homes at Windermere on the Lake feature the most comprehensive array of “green” energy-saving features to be found anywhere in the market today including: geothermal heating and cooling systems, paints and carpeting with extremely low VOC levels (volatile organic compounds), high performance windows and insulation, heat recovery ventilation systems and extensive use of sustainable building materials including Forestry Stewardship Council certified flooring. The homes are also Energy Star qualified, which means they exceed the efficiency guidelines set by the Federal EPA.
FuelCell Energy Opens Project in Canada
Waterbury, Conn., Oct. 27 - Danbury-based FuelCell Energy Inc. and a Canadian gas distributor have opened what they say is the world's first power plant to pair a fuel cell with an emission-free process that converts waste energy into electricity.
FuelCell Energy and Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. opened a $10 million plant in Toronto on Thursday powered by a DFC-ERG power plant that will produce 2.2 megawatts of electricity, or enough to meet the needs of about 1,700 homes. The plant contains the first multi-megawatt fuel cell to operate in Canada.
The power plant combines a FuelCell Energy fuel cell with a turbo expander, which harvests pressurized energy produced by the natural gas distribution process to generate power using a turbine.
R. Daniel Brdar, FuelCell's chairman and CEO, said the two companies will promote the technology to other gas utilities, and noted that the Connecticut Clean Energy fund has selected approximately 18 MW of DFC-ERG power plants for the state's renewable energy requests for proposals.
Source: Waterbury Republican-American
Bernie's To Sell Solar Panels
Bloomfield, Conn., Oct. 20 — Trinity Solar, headquartered in Freehold, New Jersey, announced last week that it will partner with select Bernie's stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island market and sell solar power systems. Bernie's is Connecticut’s largest independent TV and appliance retailer.
With in-store solar displays, informational material, and trained sales associates, Bernie’s customers can now learn about the advantages of a solar power system right in the comfort of a Bernie’s retail store. Bernie’s sales associates are available in the store to educate potential solar owners on how a system works and how they are now more affordable than ever. Customers can even sign up in the store for a no cost, no obligation in-home consultation with a Trinity Solar consultant.
“We are excited about delivering clean, renewable energy through our partnership with Trinity. Trinity’s professionalism, expertise in the retail space and dedication to the customer led to their selection as our partner” said Mike Honeyman, President and Bernie’s Chief Operating Officer. “Further, our society has to embrace new forms of energy for, at a minimum, the sake of our future generations and we believe there is no better way for homeowners and businesses to learn about solar power than through the comfort and safety of our Bernie’s stores.”
Bernie’s was recently ranked nationally as the 28th largest Appliance and 82nd largest Electronics retailer in the United States.
SMD Opens New Green Headquarters
Wallingford, Conn., Oct. 20 - Engineered and designed to serve as a role model for corporate eco-friendly construction, Strain Measurement Devices (SMD) has announced that it has completed its new green corporate headquarters at 55 Barnes Park North, Wallingford.
SMD's new 14,000 square-foot green headquarters incorporates an environmentally responsible and employee friendly design that provides recurrent cost savings through prudent use of green building techniques. Providing most employees with direct views of the outdoors, the building's green features include a sophisticated geothermal heating and cooling system, as well as skylights and exterior glass that will allow the company to operate with a large amount of natural light inside and help contribute to a pleasant working environment.
This has been a collaborative partnership between many entities, including the Connecticut Department of Economic & Community Development and the city of Wallingford.
The building also includes a sophisticated water conservation system in which roof water is routed into a 3,000-gallon cistern and into a man-made wet bottom wetland planting area across the entire front of the building. The wetland contains four different planting zones of wetland flora as well as aquatic and amphibian species. During abnormally dry periods, water is pumped from the cistern via a solar powered submersible pump.
SMD's new building was built to allow for expected growth in the medical sensor market over the next decade. The company has strong relationships with many of the world's leading medical device manufacturers and needs additional capacity to meet future demand.
Pepperidge Farm Dedicates Second Fuel Cell
Bloomfield, Conn., Oct. 20 - Last week, the Pepperidge Farm bakery in Bloomfield, dedicated it's second fuel cell installation. The new 1.2 megawatt DFC fuel cell power plant will produce 57% of the bakery's power. In total, the facility receives a total of 70% of its power from fuel cells.
Pepperidge Farm received a grant of $3.5 million from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund to help offset the cost of building the power plant.
So, enjoy those Goldfish crackers knowing they come from a company that is working to do things differently.
Citizens Bank Launches Green$ense
Providence, RI, Oct. 13 — Citizens Financial Group, with over 50 branches in Connecticut, has launched Green$ense, a program for customers to earn money for helping the environment. Citizens Bank and Charter One customers will earn money by reducing paper through an industry-first incentive program that pays customers cash for making electronic-banking payment transactions.
“At Citizens, we are committed to offering customers products and services that make a meaningful difference in their everyday lives,” said Theresa McLaughlin, Group Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Citizens Financial Group. “With Green$ense, we pay customers for changing their habits in a manner that not only makes banking more convenient and their lives more manageable, but also is beneficial for the environment. We are pleased to offer this first-of-its-kind program to our customers, and proud of the impact it will have on the environment.”
Green$ense rewards customers ten cents for each electronic payment they make, up to $10 per month and $120 per year. Unlike other incentive programs, Green$ense deposits cash directly into a customer’s checking account on a monthly basis, providing greater savings and spending flexibility. And, rather than limiting cash payouts to debit card transactions, customers enrolled in Green$ense earn money for debit card purchases (signature and PIN), online bill payments and recurring payments.
As an added perk, customers who enroll in the program will receive an industry-first Green$ense MasterCard debit card made from recycled plastic. Customers also will be enrolled automatically in online banking with free Bill Pay and receive paperless statements.
Pfizer Honored By EPA
Bloomfield, Conn., Oct. 13 - Pfizer, with facilities in Groton, New Haven and around the world, was recently honored by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for reducing total GHG emissions by 43 percent per million dollars of revenue from 2000 to 2007. The company also exceeded it’s original goal of 35 percent.
The company also pledged to reduce total global GHG emissions by an additional 20 percent from 2008 to 2012.
Pfizer surpassed its original GHG reduction goal by implementing more than 1,000 projects. These included installing a combined heating and power system at its Singapore facility; a geothermal system at its Freiburg, Germany site; a solar system at its LaJolla, Calif. facility; and boiler efficiency upgrades at its Kalamazoo, Mich. site, as well as many smaller projects.
State Ranks High In Energy Efficiency
Hartford, Conn., Oct. 13 - The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has released its 2008 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard and Connecticut took third place behind California and Oregon. The State Scorcard looked at building codes, transportation and land-use policies, utilities' efficiency programs, financial incentives and support for research.
In the previous edition, the 2006 Scorecard, California tied for first with Connecticut and Vermont. But in the latest edition it's the only state with first place. Among its programs, policies and goals, California was the first to adopt appliance and equipment efficiency standards.
“Connecticut continues to lead by example in our environmental and energy efficiency efforts,” Governor Rell said in a press release. “For many years I have pushed for our state to become more energy efficient. We are making progress, and we will continue to take the necessary steps to become less dependent and more efficient."
Other states making the top ten included Vermont, New York, Washington, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and New Jersey.
Global Private Equity Firm Acquires Eemax
Oxford, Conn., Oct. 6 —Eemax Inc.,a manufacturer of tankless hot water heaters used in industrial, residential and commercial applications and based in Oxford, Conn. has become the 25th acquisition this year for The Riverside Company, a global private equity firm.
Tankless electric water heaters provide on-demand hot water without continually storing and heating water. Eemax products are used in single and multiple hand-wash sinks, emergency eyewash and drench showers, dishwashers, whole homes, boosters for specific applications and other instances where water is heated at point of use. The company’s unique heating-chamber design is patented and its products are sold through independent representatives, plumbing wholesalers, original equipment manufacturers, modular building manufacturers, exporters and retail outlets. Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Oxford, Connecticut, Eemax sells to customers in 30 countries around the world.
“Eemax is an example of our emphasis on fast-growing companies,” said Loren Schlachet, Riverside Managing Partner. “Demand for tankless water heaters is on the rise due to their superior efficiency in the face of rising energy costs. Riverside plans to continue Eemax’s growth by expanding distribution, increasing the company’s product portfolio and broadening its customer base. In addition, the attractiveness of the device’s smaller size, longer life and ‘green’ efficiency allows Eemax to tap into the rising demand for tankless water heaters.”
Eemax joins several of Riverside’s portfolio companies that offer ‘green’ products, such as SIGG Switzerland, a manufacturer of aluminum drinking bottles. In addition, Riverside has recently added a sustainability consultant to its “Toolkit” of partners available to assist the firm’s portfolio companies in addressing these efforts.
“Tankless water heaters are poised to hit the mainstream, thanks to recent technological advances and industry dynamics,” said David Corrado, Eemax President and CEO. “We are looking forward to Riverside’s support to raise the profile of Eemax and increase market share via expanding the market.”
Working with Schlachet on the acquisition from Riverside were Alan Peyrat, Vice President; Jeff Tobin, Operating Partner; and Analysts Beth Lesniak and Kenny Shum. The transaction was sourced by Robert Landis, Partner, who leads the firm’s North American Origination team, and equity was provided by Riverside Micro-Cap Fund I (“RMCF I”). CharterOne financed the transaction and Consilium Partners advised the sellers.
Two Wind Projects Proposed
Bloomfield, Conn., Oct. 6 - According to a report in the Yale Daily News, the city of New Haven in cooperation with the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, will erect a wind turbine on the city’s Long Wharf. Up the road in Hamden, Quinnipiac University will also harness the wind and the sun to provide power for its new York Hill campus off Sherman Avenue.
These projects will serve as trials to determine the effectiveness and feasibility of wind technology in Connecticut, Giovanni Zinn, environmental consultant for New Haven’s City Plan Department, explained in a recent presentation. He said the upcoming turbines will be used to determine the best location and overall feasibility for the harvesting of wind energy in the Nutmeg State.
The turbines are only the latest step toward the city’s goal of deriving 20 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2010. Through the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, the city has already implemented photovoltaic cells — or solar panels — around Long Wharf, and Zinn said he hopes the city will be able to add wind energy in the near future.
“In these tough financial times, environmentally friendly measures not only protect the environment, but also help residents’ bottom line,” he said. soon have a wind turbine installed on Long Warf IKEA will soon be able to catch a glimpse of a new addition to the skyline: a wind turbine.
In addition to the New haven wind project, Quinnipiac University will also harness the wind and the sun to provide power for its new York Hill campus off Sherman Avenue.
The university announced its environmentally friendly plans Wednesday, including a "wind garden" of 42 wind turbines at the highest point on the campus, and 1,232 photovoltaic solar panels on the roof of a residence hall.
In a New Haven Register article, President John L. Lahey said that since the campus is being built from the ground up, it offers "really a unique opportunity" to incorporate "green" initiatives. Quinnipiac also plans to install a gas-fired microturbine to generate electricity, and to capture its waste steam to heat the buildings.
Lahey said the total cost of the wind and solar projects will be about $5 million, and the university is seeking $1 million in state subsidies for alternative energy.
The York Hill campus will include dormitories to house 2,000 students, a student center and a 2,000-car parking garage, which will be built into the hillside. The TD Banknorth Sports Center has already opened.
Tax Credit For Fuel Cell Manufacturers
Bloomfield, Conn., Oct. 6 - Last week the senate passed legislation that includes an eight-year extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) that will greatly benefit Connecticut fuel cell manufacturers. The long-term extension, approved as part of the comprehensive package of tax extensions, will provide these Connecticut companies with the financial security they need to make long range plans, increase their investments, and add even more well-paying jobs.
“Connecticut has been a pioneer in the advancement of fuel cell technology and stands at the forefront of a new 21st century energy policy,” said Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) in his offices press release regarding the ITC. “As many companies across America are eliminating jobs in the face of economic downturn, this tax credit will allow Connecticut companies to expand and create new green collar jobs for Connecticut workers. These clean and renewable energy sources can help end our dependence on foreign oil, reduce emissions, and clean up the environment.”
The following Connecticut companies will benefit from the ITC extension:
FuelCell Energy, Danbury/ Torrington
GenCell Corporation, Southbury
Proton Energy Systems, Wallingford
UTC Power, South Windsor
Infinity Fuel Cell and Hydrogen, LLC, Windsor
SUBWAY To Change a Light, Change the World
Milford, Conn., Sept. 29 —The SUBWAY(R) restaurant chain announced that it will participate in the ENERGY STAR Change a Light, Change the World campaign on October 1. 2008. Approximately 22,000 SUBWAY(R) restaurants in the United States, will replace an incandescent light bulb with one Philips, energy efficient, compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb.
The SUBWAY(R) brand has been committed to making its restaurants and operations more environmentally friendly. By partnering with Philips Lighting Company and Specialty Lighting to participate in the Change a Light, Change the World campaign, the SUBWAY(R) restaurant chain is trying to encourage Americans to help change the world, one light - one energy-savings step - at a time.
The participation by the largest franchise chain in the U.S. illustrates how each person can take small step and be part of a larger movement to make a positive impact on the environment. By changing just one bulb, each restaurant will reduce its annual energy consumption by 87.6 Kilowatt hours. Together, however, U.S. SUBWAY(R) restaurants will save 1,927,200 Kilowatt hours - which is the equivalent to almost 3 million pounds of greenhouse gasses or removing more than 275 cars from the road for one year.
"It's a natural fit for our franchisees to participate in the ENERGY STAR Change A Light, Change the World program as they can easily demonstrate the power just one person can have joining with others to create a significant global impact on the environment," said Bill Schettini, Chief Marketing Officer for the SUBWAY(R) chain.
The brand also joins ENERGY STAR, which is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy, in encouraging Americans to take the ENERGY STAR Pledge to Change a Light/Change the World. The Pledge will be available on the subway.com and subwayfreshbuzz.com web sites.
Taking part in the Change-a-Light/Change the World program is just one way the SUBWAY(R) chain is making its restaurants and operations more environmentally friendly. Working in partnership with the franchisee-run Independent Purchasing Cooperative (IPC), which sources product and negotiates contracts for SUBWAY(R) franchisees, brand representatives are reviewing everything from packaging materials to locations of product distribution centers.
The first SUBWAY(R) Eco-Store opened last year in Kissimmee, FL. Since then, four more have opened and there are many more in various stages of planning. The brand is working with the U.S. Green Building Council to earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for the Eco-Stores. The opening of the Eco-Store in Kissimmee also provides an opportunity to measure energy and water saving concepts against a standard SUBWAY(R) restaurant opening nearby.