Sustainability101 Blog

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We’re Certified TRUE Zero Waste Experts!

In April 2018, it was announced that over 100 projects had been certified under the TRUE Zero Waste rating system by the GBCI, the same credentialing body that administers LEED. These projects reported up to $6.5 million in savings and more than 446,000 tons of waste diverted! Want to join these leaders? Talk to us. … Continue reading We’re Certified TRUE Zero Waste Experts!

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Attn: Dallas, TX – New Recycling Rules Will Impact More Than 90% Of Apartment Complexes

Dallas’ new Multifamily Recycling Ordinance mandates recycling for apartment complexes  with 8 or more units by Jan. 2020. Over 90% of the city’s apartment complexes have at least 50 units. This means that the majority of Dallas  apartment building owners and manager will be impacted by this new rule, so take note. Start preparing now to … Continue reading Attn: Dallas, TX – New Recycling Rules Will Impact More Than 90% Of Apartment Complexes

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Attn: Portland, OR – New Commercial Organics Mandate

On July 26, 2018, the Metro Council, the regional governing body for Portland, voted to put a new commercial organics ordinance in place. Establishments that generate 1,000 pounds or more of organics per week must comply by March 2020 Generators of 500 pounds or more would be phased in by March 2021 Those with 250 … Continue reading Attn: Portland, OR – New Commercial Organics Mandate

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How The China Ban Is Affecting Your Waste and Recycling Costs, What To Do

China Ban Summary:  A brief history: The China ban began in 2013 as the “Green Fence” policy, which stopped the flow of low quality recyclables at the Chinese border. This was followed in 2016 by their “National Sword” campaign, which continued the crackdown. In 2017, China announced a ban on 24 types of solid waste.  And … Continue reading How The China Ban Is Affecting Your Waste and Recycling Costs, What To Do

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Energy Alert:
Changes to LL84 (2009), LL133 (2016) and LL87 (2009)

Due to a glitch in data provided by utilities, New York City has pushed back the deadline for LL84 (2009) benchmarking data filing for 2017 from May 1 to December 31, 2018. LL84 (2009) requires large building over 50,000 square feet to annually measure and report water and energy consumption. The deadline for 2017 filings for smaller buildings … Continue reading Energy Alert:
Changes to LL84 (2009), LL133 (2016) and LL87 (2009)

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Order Of Australia Medal Awarded For Service To The Environment

Congratulations to Great Forest President Richard Fuller on being awarded the prestigious  Order of Australia Medal for his service to conservation and the environment. It is a well-deserved recognition for his work with Pure Earth, the nonprofit he founded, the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution, and The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health. Richard … Continue reading Order Of Australia Medal Awarded For Service To The Environment

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Energy Alert:
ENERGY STAR Scores Are Changing

July 2018 ENERGY STAR will be re-calculating almost all commercial building scores this summer, which will impact your properties’ standing.  All the changes in source data will result in lower scores generally across the US. ALL scores will adjust as of August 26th when updates to 1-100 ENERGY STAR scores launch. After August 26, buildings will have to … Continue reading Energy Alert:
ENERGY STAR Scores Are Changing

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Hotel Compliance Inspections: Most Common Violations Revealed

Hotel inspections are up in New York City. Violations are being issued for non-compliance. That is what we are hearing and seeing, following the expansion of regulations covering recycling and organics in the city. In some cases, such as with “persistent violators,” ballooning fines have been levied, as in the case of the hotel that was fined $750 for each … Continue reading Hotel Compliance Inspections: Most Common Violations Revealed

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$750 For Each Misplaced Strawberry? How NYC Hotels Can Avoid Ballooning Violations

Late last year, we received an email from one of our hotel clients that began: “FYI. The DSNY were here today.” Since the expansion of regulations covering commercial recycling and organics, the DSNY has been stepping up checks on hotels and other businesses to ensure compliance. Violations are being issued. We even heard of one hotel … Continue reading $750 For Each Misplaced Strawberry? How NYC Hotels Can Avoid Ballooning Violations

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How Businesses Can Say No To Plastic Straws, And Get Ahead of Bans Coming Their Way

“Businesses that respond appropriately can lead the way before they are forced to comply with bans and regulations. This is not only good for the environment, it is also good for business.” As reported in the New York Times, the U.S. uses millions of plastic straws every day!  After a few minutes of use, most end … Continue reading How Businesses Can Say No To Plastic Straws, And Get Ahead of Bans Coming Their Way

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Recycling Plastic Bags In San Francisco – W Hotel Shows How

While New York mulls a ban on single-use plastic bags, San Francisco just took another step forward.  Now in the West Coast city, which already has a bag ban in place, it is possible to recycle plastic bags and other clean, dry film and flimsy plastic such as plastic wrap! To help get the word out, … Continue reading Recycling Plastic Bags In San Francisco – W Hotel Shows How

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As More Cities Eye Zero Waste Goals, New Rules Could Be Heading your Way

Diversion initiatives such as recycling and composting mandates are popping up across the country as more and more local governments start to realize the value of zero waste. This is just the beginning. Once cities begin to ramp up their zero waste plans, we can expect to see other zero waste efforts that go beyond diversion … Continue reading As More Cities Eye Zero Waste Goals, New Rules Could Be Heading your Way

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Quick Tip:
Do The Eyeball Test – Assess Your Waste and Recycling Efficiency With Just One Look

Assess the efficiency of your waste and recycling program with just one look? Yes, it is possible. You can get an idea of what is happening by just glancing around you. Is your waste and recycling program optimized? Is it running as efficiently as it should be? Or are you paying too much and creating too … Continue reading Quick Tip:
Do The Eyeball Test – Assess Your Waste and Recycling Efficiency With Just One Look

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How To Optimize Your Waste Management? White Paper Offers Simple Solution

The future of office waste management is here, and it is simpler than you think. This white paper shows how you can optimize your waste and recycling program, and achieve multiple benefits, with one simple change — switching to a centralized waste bin system.  We’ve implemented the centralized waste bin system over the years with proven … Continue reading How To Optimize Your Waste Management? White Paper Offers Simple Solution

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Deadline Feb. 2: Apply Now To Jump Start Clean Energy Projects With Help From Climate Corps Fellows

The Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) Climate Corps is a terrific program that places trained fellows on staff at businesses over the summer to help jump start clean energy projects. Great Forest worked with EDF fellows on two projects last year with great success. The Climate Corps fellows took the burden of communicating with the utilities off … Continue reading Deadline Feb. 2: Apply Now To Jump Start Clean Energy Projects With Help From Climate Corps Fellows

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The Year In Sustainability: What Happened, What To Look Out For, What It Means For You

As we begin 2018, let’s look back on some highlights that made the news last year to see how it will affect your business this year.  Let’s continue doing great things together! 1) TRUE Zero Waste  In September 2017, the GBCI launched the TRUE (Total Resource Use and Efficiency) Zero Waste certification, designed to help … Continue reading The Year In Sustainability: What Happened, What To Look Out For, What It Means For You

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Happy Holidays! See What We Accomplished, Join Us To Make An Even Bigger Difference

Did you know a portion of Great Forest’s profits support cleanup work in some of the world’s worst polluted places?  We do this through the nonprofit Pure Earth, founded by Great Forest President Richard Fuller. And this year we joined the global #BeatPollution campaign to make an even bigger difference. GLOBAL MESSAGE REACHES 2 BILLION … Continue reading Happy Holidays! See What We Accomplished, Join Us To Make An Even Bigger Difference

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NY Incentives! Apply Now.

Microgrants for food waste reduction DSNY’s Foundation for New York’s Strongest has launched a Microgrant program to help NYC businesses take action to address food waste. Grants are worth up to $15,000 in funding and technical support. Applications are due Jan. 8, 2018. Grants are open to NYC NYC businesses that have 25 or fewer employees or earn net less … Continue reading NY Incentives! Apply Now.

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The Dirty Secret: Single-Stream’s Dilemma.
How to Really Increase (and Maintain the Value of) Your Recycling

How do you increase recycling and lower costs? By making recycling simple and convenient… at least that is the idea behind single-stream recycling’s popularity.  But the reality is more complicated. The number of communities and cities using single-stream recycling has reportedly increased from 20 to 64 percent between 2005 and 2010.  New York City is the latest  to announce that … Continue reading The Dirty Secret: Single-Stream’s Dilemma.
How to Really Increase (and Maintain the Value of) Your Recycling

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Designed For Waste/Recycling: AIANY’s Zero Waste Design Guidelines + Waste Calculator

First published Nov. 2017.   After a year of collaboration among architects and New York waste professionals (including Great Forest), AIANY/Center for Architecture has launched their Zero Waste Design Guidelines to encourage building design that facilitates recycling and waste diversion. The guidelines also include a handy waste calculator to help property managers calculate value of diversion. Designing … Continue reading Designed For Waste/Recycling: AIANY’s Zero Waste Design Guidelines + Waste Calculator

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Open Letter To The World: What We Do Next Matters

If you live and work in this world, this open letter is addressed to YOU.  The open letter–It is time to put pollution on the map–is an urgent plea from Richard Fuller, President of the nonprofit Pure Earth (and Great Forest), and Dr. Philip Landrigran, one of the country’s leading health advocates.  They are co-chairs of The Lancet Commission on … Continue reading Open Letter To The World: What We Do Next Matters

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Making A Difference:
Great Forest President Co-Chairs Landmark Pollution Report Reaching over 2 Billion 

Great Forest President Richard Fuller, in his capacity as President of the nonprofit Pure Earth, joined former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, former President of Mexico Carlos Salinas, and other leaders and experts on October 23 for the launch of The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health. The landmark report, with its shocking revelations about global pollution, has made … Continue reading Making A Difference:
Great Forest President Co-Chairs Landmark Pollution Report Reaching over 2 Billion 

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Reduce Your Waste Costs By 75%? Case Study Show How One Major Development Is On Its Way To Doing Just That

It is one of NYC’s most talked-about new developments with over 750,000 sq. ft of mixed-use commercial/industrial space. Following a waste audit investigation, Great Forest identified key problems with the waste and recycling program at one of its buildings. This flaw was preventing the building from operating efficiently, and costing it dearly. Not only was it paying far too much … Continue reading Reduce Your Waste Costs By 75%? Case Study Show How One Major Development Is On Its Way To Doing Just That

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Insight: Why Is D.C. Tops In LEED?

  Last month, Washington, D.C. became the first city in the world to receive a LEED for Cities Platinum leadership certification, the highest award bestowed upon cities by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). D.C. has 120 LEED-certified projects, with 29.04 square feet of LEED space per resident, far ahead of the top LEED state, … Continue reading Insight: Why Is D.C. Tops In LEED?

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How To Move Your Business Towards Zero Waste In 3 Steps

The cost of waste removal has been on the rise over the past decade, and the trend seems to be continuing upward. One study predicts waste disposal services to increase at an “annualized rate of 2%.”  Not only are waste costs increasing, but many businesses are paying more than they need to.  Why? Because over 77% of what … Continue reading How To Move Your Business Towards Zero Waste In 3 Steps

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What Is Zero Waste, And Why Is It Crucial For Businesses?

What Is Zero Waste? What is zero waste? A lack of clarity about what it means may be keeping some businesses from reaping the benefits of zero waste. Is zero waste the same thing as “zero waste to landfill”?  Does zero waste mean producing no waste? While exact definitions of terms related to zero waste may vary,  the … Continue reading What Is Zero Waste, And Why Is It Crucial For Businesses?

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REBNY President Pinpoints Benefits Of Recycling Law Now Being Enforced In NYC

REBNY (Real Estate Board of New York) President John Banks recently reached out to the industry about New York City’s updated commercial waste and recycling laws, which began enforcement on August 1, 2017. As the city with the biggest concentration of commercial buildings in the country, boasting some of the most expensive office spaces in … Continue reading REBNY President Pinpoints Benefits Of Recycling Law Now Being Enforced In NYC

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NYC Businesses: New Rules Being Enforced

Attention all NYC businesses. The warning period is over. Commercial waste and recycling law enforcement is underway. Are you ready? What should you do to be in compliance and avoid fines? Read our  Q&A On New Waste And Recycling Rules – What Should Businesses Do? Waste and Recycling: The updated commercial/business waste and recycling law began enforcement August 1, … Continue reading NYC Businesses: New Rules Being Enforced

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Awards:
Great Forest Wins Daylight Hour Award For Best Monitoring And Analysis

Did you take part in Daylight Hour 2017? This year, Great Forest joined clients and more than 820 offices around the world, turning off the lights in about 100 million square feet of office space, saving enough energy to power 9,400 homes for a day! And we were rewarded for it too! Not just for our … Continue reading Awards:
Great Forest Wins Daylight Hour Award For Best Monitoring And Analysis

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Insights From The WasteExpo – How Waste Management Trends May Affect Your Planning and Operations

Great Forest attended the Waste Expo in New Orleans in May to discuss trends with industry experts and get a peek into new innovations in the field. The event drew over 12,000 participants and 620 exhibitors. Here is our quick summary: High Tech: We saw lots of high tech trucks and equipment, such as self-cleaning … Continue reading Insights From The WasteExpo – How Waste Management Trends May Affect Your Planning and Operations

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#WeAreStillIn: The Team That Will Make Your Summer (And Beyond) Sustainable

This could be the summer of reckoning. Americans just learned that the U.S. is turning its back on the Paris Agreement. With that at the back of our minds, Great Forest team members from across the country gathered recently in Pennsylvania to discuss issues, swap solutions, and learn from each other. We are happy to report that team members … Continue reading #WeAreStillIn: The Team That Will Make Your Summer (And Beyond) Sustainable

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“Emergency” Waste Management Seminar To Help NYC Hotels Avoid Fines Being Issued

NYC hotels are being fined.  Now help is on its way. Join us for the upcoming HANYC Waste Management Seminar on June 29, organized by the Hotel Association of NYC with support from Great Forest. The event was organized quickly in response to the increasingly stringent waste regulations that are affecting hotels and their bottom … Continue reading “Emergency” Waste Management Seminar To Help NYC Hotels Avoid Fines Being Issued

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Case Study: Daylight Hour Adds Up For Easy Energy Savings Boost At Great Forest

We are thrilled to receive the Daylight Hour 2017 “Gear Head” award for best monitoring and analysis, as documented in our case study, which is also featured at the Building Energy Exchange. Thanks to the creative folks behind the annual Daylight Hour movement for continuing to push for energy savings in such a fun way.  Are … Continue reading Case Study: Daylight Hour Adds Up For Easy Energy Savings Boost At Great Forest

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Client Spotlight:
Fairmont Hotel Keeps Two Baby Grand Pianos Out Of The Landfill

The music will go on, at least for two baby grand pianos past their prime. The instruments came from the Grand Ballroom of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. Rather than disposing of the old pianos, the hotel worked with Great Forest to find new homes for them. While the pianos needed a refresh and repairs, … Continue reading Client Spotlight:
Fairmont Hotel Keeps Two Baby Grand Pianos Out Of The Landfill

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Reporting To You From The WasteExpo On Industry Trends, Insights

Great Forest will be in New Orleans for the WasteExpo, a key annual gathering of waste industry experts.  If you are attending, look for us.  We will be meeting with vendors and talking to industry insiders to keep you in the know about the latest solutions, trends, challenges, and news you can use. We will be sharing … Continue reading Reporting To You From The WasteExpo On Industry Trends, Insights

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Insight: Getting More Accurate Metrics From Your Hauler

Accurate metrics is key to a successful waste and recycling program.  It helps you evaluate the effectiveness of your efforts, and determine if changes are needed. The numbers also inform your overall sustainability reporting and affect your goals. But what happens when those numbers are not correct? Many businesses and organizations simply accept the metrics … Continue reading Insight: Getting More Accurate Metrics From Your Hauler

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“Further With Food” – Online Hub For Food Waste Solutions Features Resources From Great Forest and Others

With regulations targeting organics on the rise nationwide, a new online resource backed by the USDA, EPA, and other partners, aims to gather relevant material together in one place to make it easier for businesses and organizations looking for information and help addressing food waste issues. Great Forest’s guide to new and emerging food waste technologies is … Continue reading “Further With Food” – Online Hub For Food Waste Solutions Features Resources From Great Forest and Others

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Compliance Checklist – Your 5-Step Guide To Avoiding Fines

No matter where your business is located across the country, staying on top of new and updated regulations is key to avoiding fines, which can add up. Take note of the date a law goes into effect, and the date at which enforcement starts. Give yourself enough time to get ready to be in compliance. Here’s your … Continue reading Compliance Checklist – Your 5-Step Guide To Avoiding Fines

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Regulation Alert: Fines Being Issued To NYC Businesses

In NYC, inspectors are currently out in force issuing fines for non-compliance of the city’s new organics law, and gearing up to enforce updated waste and recycling rules in a few months. NYC hotels seem to be bearing the brunt of penalties issued as they are more likely to have food operations covered under the city’s … Continue reading Regulation Alert: Fines Being Issued To NYC Businesses

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Compliance Guide For NYC Hotels

ORGANICS  New rules began enforcement Jan. 2017. Fines are being issued now. The new business organics rule applies to hotels and businesses with food and beverage operations. Law includes hotels over 150 rooms with any size back-of-house food preparation and delivered provisions. Law does NOT cover retailers if their end product destination is the consumer. For … Continue reading Compliance Guide For NYC Hotels

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Here’s Your 5-Step Sustainability Checklist. How Many Have You Completed?

The beginning of a whole new year is a great time to review your sustainability strategy, and set the tone for the months ahead. What should you do? 1) Check on new and upcoming regulations Ensure you are in compliance to avoid fines.  Make sure your staff and tenants are aware of the changes. Take note … Continue reading Here’s Your 5-Step Sustainability Checklist. How Many Have You Completed?

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS! – See What We Accomplished Together in 2016

CONGRATULATIONS ON ANOTHER GREAT YEAR 2016 has been such an eventful year. What did we all accomplish together? Below is a short list of highlights. Happy holidays from the entire Great Forest team. The EPA incorporated Great Forest’s volume to weight (VTW) data into its updated industry standard for calculating waste and recycling weights from volume. For the first … Continue reading HAPPY HOLIDAYS! – See What We Accomplished Together in 2016

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EPA Incorporates Great Forest’s Metric Into Updated Industry Standard

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) recently incorporated Great Forest’s volume to weight (VTW) data into their updated industry standard for calculating waste and recycling weights from volume. These conversions can now be used across all industries to help standardize how waste and recycling is tracked. This is the first time an acceptable standard is available for calculating … Continue reading EPA Incorporates Great Forest’s Metric Into Updated Industry Standard

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