-by Ed Weisberg
Every year, to celebrate Earth Day, GXT Green recognizes leaders in sustainability. These include companies, organizations, individuals, and educational institutions. We are excited to proclaim the following list of nominees for 2015. The finalists for the 5th annual GXT Green Honor Roll will be announced for Earth Day, April 22, 2015
And the nominees are…
Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation:
The Blue Ocean Society, located in Portsmouth NH, offers boundless efforts to protect marine mammals in the Gulf of Maine through education, research and conservation. They run an educational facility in Hampton Beach NH which helps children learn about sea animals including a “touch tank” museum. In addition, their actions include regular volunteer beach cleanups along the NH coast. Since 1993, Blue Ocean Society has collected over 62 tons of debris from beaches! And just to be sure that they don’t make matters worse if some of their cleanup bags blow away, they use ECOgrade photodegradable bags for all of their cleanup sessions. http://blueoceansociety.org/
CIPET and LARPM (India):
CIPET is an accredited premier national Institution devoted to Academic, Technology Support & Research activities for the growth of Polymer & allied industries in India. Their Laboratory for Advanced Research in Polymeric Materials (LARPM), R & D group performs qualitative research in the emerging areas of polymeric Materials, focusing on
- Ecoefficient, Non-polluting Processing Technologies, Modification of Materials through Nanocomposites, Blends & Alloys
- Imparting Education to Scientific & Industrial Community
- Technology Transfer
- Recycling and Reuse of Plastics Waste
They are working hard to solve the problem of plastic and solid waste disposal in India. http://www.larpm.gov.in/
Since becoming a signatory of the Clean Air-Cool Planet Climate Action Plan in 2004 Colgate has been at the forefront of sustainability. Putting this into action, the university today derives 95 percent of its electricity from hydroelectric and other non-carbon emitting sources, and 75 percent of its heating needs from an on-campus, wood-fired boiler. Last year, this plant helped Colgate avoid consuming the equivalent of 1.2 million gallons of fuel oil and saved the university more than $1.8 million in heating costs. All new buildings and major renovations on campus must pursue a minimum of LEED Silver certification. Congratulations to Colgate for their initiatives. http://www.colgate.edu/distinctly-colgate/sustainability
Hannaford Foods philosophy states that “We are all connected. We are all linked by a shared concern for our earth and a desire to care for the diverse bounty it provides”. Sustainability practices are saving Hannaford Supermarkets around $15 million annually, while diverting 125 million pounds of waste from landfills and keeping more than 430 million pounds of greenhouse gases from being emitted. Among the efforts, documented by the Manomet Grocery Stewardship Certification program, are:
- Energy efficiency and waste-reduction efforts at the supermarkets reduced greenhouse gas emissions by as much as taking 41,892 cars off the road.
- Stores employ electric and natural-gas conservation practices that save the company more than $2 million a year.
- Water conservation efforts save at least 43.4 million gallons of water annually.
“Hannaford customers care about the environment and expect us to be good stewards on their behalf,” George Parmenter, manager of sustainability for Hannaford, said in a statement. “Certification of our stores demonstrates that our associates work every day on sustainability that is both good for the environment and good for business.” http://bit.ly/19nRvaz
The Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences:
Manomet is a nonprofit organization with more than 30 scientists and staff working from the north slope of Alaska to the southern tip of Argentina. Manomet’s mission is to conserve natural resources for the benefit of wildlife and human populations. Through research and collaboration, Manomet builds science-based, cooperative solutions to environmental problems. Among their prominent programs is their Grocery Stewardship Certification (GSC), a practical, proven environmental certification program to help grocery store leadership reduce their environmental footprint through continuous improvement and employee engagement. This group is actively educating grocers on how to become more sustainable in all of their practices. https://www.manomet.org/
Mass Sustainable Communities:
This grass-roots initiative brings together sustainable organizations and communities year after year. Their annual conference encourages communities and businesses to learn about and exchange best practices, research, products, and services. 2015 will mark their 5th year of organizing this program to spread the word on sustainable practices. http://masustainablecommunities.com
MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative:
The Sustainability Initiative at MIT Sloan is built on the promise of a new future. They believe that environmental, societal, economic, business, and personal wellbeing are parts of an interconnected whole. They are committed to creating a new vision for progress and prosperity and a world that will flourish and thrive for generations. They empower students, faculty, researchers, and business leaders to join together in this endeavor. http://mitsloan.mit.edu/sustainability/
Roche Bros is a perennial nominee on this list. Their continued initiatives to increase sustainability make them hard to miss. This year, they expect to fully adopt the ECOgrade degradable bags into their chain, creating a visible and proactive approach to eliminating plastic bag pollution. http://www.Rochebros.com
Tops Markets’ home base is in Buffalo, NY. According to ECOwatch, Buffalo is #6 and nearby Rochester is the #4 greenest city in the US. Tops is well integrated into this environment. To further their commitment, they are implementing an even more visible “green program” to increase their contribution to the sustainable efforts of their communities. http://www.topsmarkets.com
University of Massachusetts, Lowell:
According to the Boston Globe “UMass Lowell is among the nation’s leading centers for plastics technology, and its Plastics Engineering program…is helping to push new boundaries of how these versatile materials are used, produced and processed.” This includes experimentation on ways to improve the sustainability of plastics and development/enhancement of sustainable plastic replacements. We applaud their continued investment in developing sustainable solutions to plastic pollution and oil dependency. UMass Lowell is dedicated to making the world a better place. http://www.uml.edu/Engineering/Plastics/default.aspx
Wamogo Connecticut High school junior and senior Chemistry21 class, taught by April Devereux
This group of inquisitive students has taken on the task of promoting the use of photo degradable plastic bags and working to find a recycling bin that helps to start the decomposition process even sooner. Through a series of controlled experiments, they are testing their hypotheses, and will present their findings at the 2015 Connecticut Student Innovation Exposition. As stated by the class, “We believe that young people can make a dramatic difference in the condition of the environment. By seeking alternatives to using durable plastics and toxic chemicals we can positively impact our future and future generations.” http://solaccelerator.webs.com
Please join GXT Green in congratulating these organizations for their efforts.
To see the winners for previous years, please click on the links below:
GXT Green 2014 Honor Roll Winners (need the link)
Edward Weisberg is Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, GXT Green, Inc.