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.
Two Area Firms Sign-on For EPA Program
Hartford, Conn., Sept. 29 - Stanley Works' New Britain plant and Covanta Mid-Connecticut of Hartford are among seven New England companies that have signed on to the federal Environmental Protection Agency's Performance Track program. The EPA program encourages businesses to set standards higher than the minimum for curbing "greenhouse'' emissions and other pollutants.
New England accounts for 61 of the 506 corporations and small businesses nationwide that have committed to the performance track program.
Source: Hartford Business Journal
VeruTEK Technologies Wins Green Award
Bloomfield, Conn., Sept. 24 - VeruTEK Technologies Inc., a Cleantech company, has won the Energy, Environment, Green Tech Company of the Year for 2008 presented by the Connecticut Technology Council (CTC) and the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technologies (CCAT).
Dr. John Collins, President and CEO of VeruTEK, said, "In much the same way pharmaceutical companies develop cures for human illnesses, VeruTEK is developing green, sustainable, and high-tech remedies for the environment. It is gratifying to see our unique vision validated by such great organizations as the CTC and CCAT."
VeruTEK is one of the few commercial research and development companies in the world focused on remedying toxic compounds in the environment. The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates there are 294,000 contaminated sites in the United States in need of remediation. Fortune 1000 companies have reserved between $250B and $1000B to clean up such sites, but many of these projects have been delayed due to a lack of effective cleanup technologies. As such, more than 50 percent of the remediation in the United States involves digging up soil and storing toxic waste in landfills. Technologies such as VeruTEK's remedy contaminants "in place" providing a far better and more cost-effective solution. VeruTEK is currently implementing seven projects in five states.
VeruTEK maintains a state-of-the-art laboratory and research and development facility in Bloomfield, Connecticut. The company has developed remediation technologies to treat sources of soil and groundwater contamination at industrial, utility, commercial and government-owned sites. VeruTEK's treatment processes enable controlled dissolution and desorption of organic phase chemical contaminants using plant-based, FDA-approved extracts along with simultaneous destruction of the toxic chemicals. The development of these technologies will eliminate the need for costly excavation and land filling, as well as incineration of wastes formerly used at many sites. The company implements site specific remedies with designer surfactant/oxidant combinations that are environmentally safe and non-intrusive to nearby communities.
Dominion Awards Grants To State Learning Institutions
Richmond, Va., Sept. 24 — Dominion, one of the nation’s largest producers of energy, has announced it is awarding nearly $320,000 in educational grants to 60 schools and institutions in eight states through its annual Educational Grants Partnership Program. Dominion, which operates the Millstone Power Station in Southeast Connecticut, awarded three state schools with a total of $15,000.
The program helps schools strengthen math and science skills for students in grades K-12 through energy and environmental education projects. The Dominion Foundation awards individual grants of up to $10,000. The foundation is the philanthropic arm of Dominion and is dedicated to the economic, physical and social health of the communities served by Dominion companies. Schools in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia will receive funding this year.
The three Connecticut learning institutions and their projects.
* Ella T. Grasso Technical High School, $10,000, to design and install a solar photovoltaic system for the Grasso Tech greenhouse. Students will participate in the design and the cooperative installation of the system, and conduct regular assessments of energy production and overall energy consumption of the greenhouse.
* LEARN/The Friendship School, Waterford, $6,500 to teach kindergarten children environmental stewardship by working with parents, community volunteers and a senior center to create and sustain container gardens.
* Tributary Mill Conservancy, Inc., in Old Lyme, $8,500, to develop on-line educational resources that support the Connecticut State Science Goals and Standards. Students will also participate with the Atlantic Salmon restoration efforts that include field trips to the hatchery, weekly incubator maintenance, stocking and population monitoring in brooks and specific fish ladders.
"Dominion has awarded more than $2.2 million in educational grants since the program began in 1996" said William C. Hall Jr., vice president-Corporate Communications & Community Affairs and president of the Dominion Foundation. "It is vitally important to support the development of new technologies and innovative conservation efforts for the future of energy in this country. That development and education begins in today’s classrooms."
NLR Announces Partnership With Whole Foods Store
East Windsor, Conn., Sept. 24 - NLR, Connecticut’s first and only permitted lamp recycling facility, has announced that Whole Foods Markets, one of the leading natural and organics retailers in the nation, has partnered with the East Windsor firm to provide free safe battery and CFL recycling to all of their customers at the West Hartford Blue Back Square location.
The self-service recycling centers offer customers a easy way not only to "Go Green" but to keep harmful material out of the environment. Customers simply walk up to the recycling centers and deposit their batteries and CFLs. All items are then delivered to NLR for permitted recycling.
As more and more businesses adopt green initiatives, NLR's recycling centers are fast becoming a easy and effective way for businesses to have an immediate impact. Not only do they allow businesses to offer a free service for their customers and communities, but they are also fulfilling their obligations outline in many of their sustainability plans.
Fund Advances Five Renewable Energy Projects
Rocky Hill, Conn., Sept. 18 — The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) Board has screened and selected five renewable energy projects to forward to the CT Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC) for consideration of a long-term Electric Purchase Agreement (EPA) under Round 3 of Project 150. Seven projects in total were reviewed and evaluated under a 4-step review process implemented by the CCEF. All seven projects will undergo additional evaluation by the state’s two electric distribution companies, the Connecticut Light and Power Company (CL&P) and the United Illuminating Company (UI). This was the third round of projects selected through Project 150, an innovative program created by the Connecticut General Assembly to develop not less than 150 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy generation in Connecticut. .
The following projects were selected to be recommended to the DPUC for approval of long-term EPAs under the Round 3 competition:
A 3.4 MW fuel cell/energy recovery generator project by FuelCell Energy in Bloomfield, Conn.
A 14.3 MW fuel cell/organic rankine cycle project by Bridgeport Fuel Cell Park, LLC in Bridgeport, Conn.
A 3.2 MW fuel cell/energy recovery generator project by FuelCell Energy in Trumbull, Conn.
A 3.2 MW fuel cell/energy recovery generator project by FuelCell Energy in Glastonbury, Conn.
A 3.2 MW fuel cell/ unfired gas turbine project by EPG Fuel Cell, LLC in Danbury, Conn.
In Round 1 of this program, one contract was approved for a 15 MW wood biomass project. Under Round 2, seven contracts were approved totaling 109.2 MW, of which 60 MW were from wood biomass projects, 3 MW from a digester biomass project, 30 MW from landfill gas and 16.2 MW from fuel cell projects. This round will add 27.3 MW of renewable energy.
The groundbreaking legislation that launched Project 150 was created because large renewable energy projects are difficult to finance without long-term contracts. Under the state’s energy policy, Connecticut’s two major utilities are required to enter into long-term power purchase agreements with developers to purchase not less than 150 MW of Class I renewable energy. In the implementation process, the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund is charged with issuing requests for proposals from developers as well as conducting the initial screening, evaluation and selection of projects to recommend to the DPUC that will best benefit Connecticut ratepayers. Once the DPUC approves projects, CL&P and UI will undertake contract negotiations for execution of the long-term EPAs. Those projects approved by the DPUC for a long-term EPA will receive funding from CCEF.
“Project 150 has put Connecticut on the map as being aggressive in taking the steps necessary for it to achieve energy independence,” said Timothy Bowles, chair of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund Board. “This round of recommended projects brings the state one step closer to achieving its goal of implementing 150 MW of clean, renewable energy electricity generation on a significant scale.”
CCEF implemented a thorough, 4-step review process to vet the projects submitted. The proposed projects were first assessed and scored by an Evaluation Working Group, consisting of two external renewable-energy consultants and two CCEF staff members with expertise in project development and power engineering. Evaluation Working Group members scored projects based on cost to ratepayers, benefit to ratepayers, feasibility and financial viability. Projects, along with their assessments and scores, were then reviewed by the 7-member Steering Committee, consisting of representatives from the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Connecticut Development Authority, Energy & Environmental Ventures and Connecticut Clean Energy Fund Board. Projects on a “short list” identified by this committee were then given a final review and authorization of funding by the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund Board.
Source: Clean Energy Fund
Trinity Partners With Zipcar
Cambridge MA, Sept. 18 - Trinity College and Zipcar, the world’s largest provider of cars on demand by the hour or day, have announced a joint partnership to provide Zipcars on campus to faculty, staff, and students as an environmentally friendly alternative to the costs and hassles of keeping a car on campus. The partnership continues Trinity’s commitment to invest in sustainable solutions on campus and marks Zipcar’s entry into Hartford, Conn., bringing its operations to more than 50 cities, including operations in London, England, and 28 North American states and provinces.
Beginning this month, two self-service Zipcars – both Toyota Matrixes – will be available for use 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The cars will be located in the parking lot adjacent to the Campus Safety Building and will be available to all faculty, staff and students aged 18+. Cars are available by the hour or day at low rates that include gas, maintenance, insurance and reserved parking. Zipcar was selected as Trinity’s car sharing partner based on Zipcar’s superior technology and operations, membership experience and track record of providing peer colleges and universities with a proven, cost effective, and environmentally-friendly transportation solution.
“The partnership with Zipcar will provide Trinity College students, faculty and staff with a convenient, economical, and environmentally-sound alternative transportation option,” said David Andres, director of strategic projects for Trinity College. “By bringing car sharing to campus, we can encourage students to leave their personally owned vehicles at home during the school year, while teaching them to make sustainable transportation choices that we hope will extend beyond their college years.”
Trinity’s relationship with Zipcar will reinforce its commitment to becoming an eco-friendly campus and reducing its carbon footprint. Trinity President James F. Jones, Jr. is a signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, which pledges to eliminate campus greenhouse gas emissions.
Faculty, staff, and students will be able to join Zipcar for $35 and will gain access to Trinity’s Zipcars for $8 per hour or $65 per day. Hartford resident ages 21+ can also join for $75 ($25 one-time application fee and $50 annual fee). All members 21+ will have access to Zipcar's network of more than 5,500 vehicles throughout the United Kingdom and North America.
Trinity College joins other Connecticut schools, Yale University and Post University, by bringing Zipcar to campus.
Source: Trinity College
New Leader At United Natural Foods
Hartford, Conn., Sept. 18 - Killingly-based United Natural Foods Inc. has named Steven L. Spinner president and chief executive officer.
UNF's current president and CEO, Michael S. Funk, will continue with the company as chair of the board and will remain involved in strategic growth initiatives and customer and supplier relations.
Prior to his appointment at United Natural Foods, Spinner, 48, spent 20 years at Performance Food Group Co., the third largest food service distributor in the United States. During that time, Spinner moved up the ranks and most recently served as PFG's president and CEO until May 2008, when PFG was acquired by a private equity consortium.
The company also announced that current chair of the board, Thomas B. Simone, was appointed vice chair of the board and will continue to serve as the company's lead independent director.
United Natural Foods is a leading independent national distributor of natural foods and related products including nutritional supplements, personal care items and organic produce, in the United States.
Source: The Hartford Business Journal
Iberdrola Accepts Energy East Buyout Terms
Albany, NY, Sept. 12 — Global energy company Iberdrola has accepted a series of conditions New York regulators placed on its buyout of Energy East and plans to go ahead with the $4.6 billion deal. Energy East is the parent company of Connecticut Natural Gas and Southern Connecticut Gas.
The approval of New York's Public Service Commission was the last obstacle Iberdrola faced in its bid for Energy East, which owns power companies in New York, Maine, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Regulators in the other states had already approved the plan.
Iberdrola,based in Spain, met stiff resistance in New York, where staff analysts at the PSC initially took a hard line against the buyout, citing concerns that it wouldn't be in the best interest of state consumers and businesses.
After more than a year of regulatory wrangling, the PSC endorsed the deal last week but imposed a series of conditions aimed at protecting those customers.
The conditions include requiring Iberdrola to put aside $275 million in a special fund to offset future rate increases and to sell the fossil-fuel power plants Energy East owns in New York to conform with a state policy that power companies shouldn't own both transmission lines and generating plants.
At the same time, the commissioners allowed Iberdrola to keep plants powered by wind and water. The company,one of the world's largest developers of wind power, with projects spanning from the Pacific Northwest to Europe, had threatened to nix the deal if state regulators blocked them from owning wind-energy plants.
"Iberdrola has helped countries around the world meet their green-energy goals while generating new investments and new jobs, and we're looking forward to adding to that record of growth in New York state," Ignacio Galan, the company's chief executive, said in a statement Wednesday.
Teddy’s Transportation System, Inc. Launches T-Green™
Norwalk , Conn., Sept. 12 - Teddy’s Transportation System, Inc., a global ground transportation company based in Norwalk, CT, is celebrating the launch of T-Green™, a comprehensive program of energy-saving initiatives, with a September drawing for a Trek 7.3 FX Bicycle.
“This summer we successfully rolled out our first hybrid chauffeured sedan, a milestone in Teddy’s ‘Travel Green’ commitment to replace part of our fleet with energy-efficient hybrid models,” noted Charles Wisniewski, President and Chief Executive Officer. “The 2008 Lexus RX400h, the world's first luxury utility hybrid, provides 50% better fuel ratings and 70% fewer smog-forming emissions than its conventional counterparts. It comfortably seats up to three passengers, and its reclining rear seats offer even more legroom than the Lincoln Town Car,” he remarked.
Teddy’s honored the hybrid sedan’s first four chauffeured passengers with donations in their names to Rainforest Alliance's Adopt-a-Rainforest campaign. These donations support the purchase and sustainable management of tropical forest lands, Mr. Wisniewski said.
To celebrate its green initiatives, Teddy's will enter each of its passengers from September 1-30, 2008, in a drawing for a new Trek 7.3 FX bicycle. Westport Bicycle is co-sponsoring the drawing, and a 1-year service contract is included. To enter, travelers can book their ride online at www.teddyslimo.com or call 800.88.TEDDY (800.888.3339). When the ride is completed, the passenger will automatically be entered in the drawing.
“As responsible corporate citizens, Teddy’s is continually looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint and provide ‘Travel Green’ ground transportation for our discerning clientele,” Mr. Wisniewski observed. “Three years ago, we incorporated technology to monitor and manage fleet engine idling times that has succeeded in reducing idling by two-thirds. We’ve passed along the cost savings to our customers, by keeping base executive sedan fares the same since 2004,” he stated.
“All of our vehicles have been equipped with GPS navigation devices since 2005, and Teddy’s recently added traffic receivers that integrate with the GPS. Drivers are alerted to upcoming traffic congestion and advised of the most efficient route, which conserves fuel and saves time for our clients,” he said.
Teddy’s incorporates green technology in managing its business operations, as well. More than 98% of its invoicing is paperless, and electricity for its office is sourced from sustainable suppliers, Mr. Wisniewski said.
SUEZ Energy Agrees To Acquire FirstLight Power
Hartford, Conn., Sept. 12 - SUEZ Energy North America and FirstLight Power Enterprises, Inc. today announced the signing of an agreement to acquire Hartford, Conn. based FirstLight from Energy Capital Partners. FirstLight owns and operates a unique portfolio of 15 power generation plants - primarily pumped storage and traditional hydro facilities - and has a state-of-the-art natural gas peaking facility in advanced development. Together, these 16 facilities have a combined capacity of 1,538 MW in Massachusetts and Connecticut. In addition, FirstLight has various expansion opportunities within its portfolio.
"The FirstLight portfolio offers tremendous scale to SUEZ Energy's power generation position in the critical New England market as the company's 16 plants, when combined with our own current assets, will make us the fifth largest generator in New England," said Zin Smati, president and CEO of SUEZ Energy North America. "Of equal importance are the high quality of the employees and the diversity of FirstLight's assets by generation type and by location as they are within Massachusetts and Connecticut, the two most populous states in the region."
"This transaction represents a win-win as it is beneficial to FirstLight's constituents and enhances an already strong business position for GDF SUEZ in North America," said Curt Morgan, President and CEO of FirstLight Power Enterprises. "We are very enthusiastic about our business combining with one of the world's preeminent energy companies."
New England, with a population of 14 million and 31,000 MW of electric generation capacity, is a core market for SUEZ Energy. The company currently has six renewable and natural-gas-fired power generation assets in the region; retail electricity sales to large commercial and industrial customers; and natural gas sales to nearly every gas utility in New England through its liquefied natural gas (LNG) business.
Taunton Press Acquires JunkMarket
Newtown, Conn., Sept. 4 — The Taunton Press, a privately held multi-media publishing company headquartered in Newtown, Connecticut and whose category-leading magazines, books and digital products in the House & Home market provide information and inspiration to millions of quality-minded people each year, has announced a partnership with JunkMarket, a successful 8-year old company that specializes in providing ideas, instruction and projects in the fast-growing area of creative and stylish refurbishing. The partnership gives Taunton Press an ownership stake in JunkMarket and gives JunkMarket the ability to reach a larger audience. The announcement was made by Taunton's President, Suzanne Roman.
According to Ms. Roman, "Taunton has always found its audience among people who are passionate, curious and inventive in celebrating creative pursuits that enrich their lives. With its unique twist on finding your own sense of style, JunkMarket encourages re-introducing the past to the present and recreating a legacy for the future. JunkMarket is a company and a phenomenon that fits well within the crafts and DIY sensibility that compliments many of our brands. Our recent purchase of "Building Green" adds another reason why this is a great fit with Taunton. We believe being environmentally responsible also includes valuing items to reuse and repurpose, and rejecting a throw-away culture."
"Taunton has been a great partner to work with as publisher of my book Junk Beautiful, Room by Room Makeovers (2008)," said Sue Whitney, JunkMarket's President. "I am so pleased that we're now coming under their umbrella and that JunkMarket is now a Taunton brand with opportunities and resources to grow in a distinct and vibrant market."
According to Janine Scolpino, Taunton's Senior Vice President, Enthusiast Group Publisher and Consumer Marketing, "You witness the passion of this audience when Sue addresses groups across the nation on how to find junk furnishings and accessories and transform them into treasured items that are hip, fun, functional, eclectic, elegant and inviting. It's a whole new way of thinking. With her newest Taunton book Junk Beautiful, Outdoor Edition coming out in spring 2009, with the launch of JunkMarketStyle.com, with new project videos and DVD's, events and print properties, Junk Market Style is a multi-media platform that's really taking off. In today's economy, the timing couldn't be more appropriate."
"Junk Market Style is for anyone and everyone willing to see the creative possibilities in renewed uses for recycled and re-purposed nostalgia as high-style one-of-a-kind furniture and accessories," added Whitney. "We're such a great fit withTaunton's vision of 'Inspiration for Hands on Living'. So many people tell me over and over how liberating it is to think out of the box and decorate with unique, reclaimed things that they love."
Earle Appointed Chair National Green Building Committee
Hartford , Conn., Sept. 4 - Comfort Systems USA Energy Services, based in Windsor and a leading provider of commercial, industrial and institutional heating, ventilation and air conditioning ("HVAC") services, has announced that W. Brewster Earle, President of Comfort Systems USA Energy Services, has been appointed the first chairman of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) newly formed National Green Building Committee. Brewster and his team, , provide support and resources to energy efficiency and green building initiatives at Comfort Systems USA's many local operations. Comfort Systems USA is a U.S. Green Building Council Member and an EPA Energy Star(R) Partner.
William D. Fairchild, National Chairman of ABC, officially appointed Brewster to the position of Chairman, National Green Building Committee on July 16, 2008.
"Brewster will be a great asset for this new committee and will play a key role with other members to help meet the challenges ahead," said Fairchild. "We look forward to his leadership to ensure that ABC remains in the forefront and our members continue to thrive in the green building industry."
Brewster stated: "I am pleased and honored to be appointed Chair of this important committee. Green building is one of our industry's most far-reaching and important topics. Since I joined Comfort Systems USA Energy Services in 2003 we have worked to ensure that Comfort Systems remains at the forefront of green building, and I will work harder than ever to serve ABC's members in this complementary position."
Brewster started with Comfort Systems USA Energy Services in 2003 as Director of Business Development, and in addition to his current position as President with Energy Services, he was recently appointed to the position of Senior Corporate Vice President Energy Services, responsible for corporate strategy and marketing for energy services. Brewster's primary expertise is in financial and economic modeling, and on a national basis Brewster leads Comfort Systems USA's energy project development, green building training, and green awareness efforts. Comfort Systems USA employs an increasing number of accredited green building professionals, including individuals at a majority of its locations across the country.
New Company Wants To Harness Connecticut's Wind
Torrington, Conn., Sept. 4 - A new wind energy company, Optiwind, has moved into Torrington highlighting their medium-sized wind turbines, which they say are perfect for the moderately windy Connecticut landscape.
Optiwind, located in the former Torrington Company building, wants to focus their efforts on providing suitable energy solutions for both public and private entities. Early next year, they are set to install one of their turbines at the Woodridge Lake Sewer District in Goshen. When this occurs, it will be the first commercial wind turbine in the state of Connecticut. Optiwind hopes to eventually bring wind energy to other locations, specifically schools, government buildings and businesses.
This new source would save costs on electric bills as well as produce energy that would not have to be obtained from other sources.
"Its the same as growing your own vegetables versus going to the store and buying them," said David Hurwitt, the company's vice president of marketing. "Because all that food at the store comes from some far off place whose location you don't know."
Hurwitt also cited how this would secure a greater sense of energy independence.
Their flagship product is called a CWAT - Compact Wind Acceleration Turbine. It is about 200 feet tall and 72 feet in diameter, half the height of a regular industrial turbine. It is constructed with a number of smaller turbine fans attached to a tall series of stacks which, according to Hurwitt, reduces noise levels substantially. The design is signficantly different from the general perception of wind turbines as a tall tower with a single giant fan on it.
Hurwitt noted that aesthetic reasons, as well as the noise issues, are some of the main "polarizing" concerns that generate opposition to wind turbines.