Sustainability101 Blog

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Climate Mobilization Act: How NYC Buildings Can Avoid Fines, Comply With New Standards

By now most of you will have heard of the Climate Mobilization Act (CMA), signed in May 2019 in NYC, also known as Intro 1253 or Local Law 97 of 2019. While NYC is one of the first cities in the world to put emissions limits on large buildings over 25,000 square feet, it likely won’t be … Continue reading Climate Mobilization Act: How NYC Buildings Can Avoid Fines, Comply With New Standards

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Food Waste: Facts and Solutions
Businesses Get High Returns For Addressing Organics

Around the world, businesses are increasingly being pressured by rising waste costs, public opinion, or by law to take action on food waste. Rather than seeing it as a problem, businesses should seize the opportunity to invest in food waste reduction efforts because the returns can be high. On average, businesses save $7 for every … Continue reading Food Waste: Facts and Solutions
Businesses Get High Returns For Addressing Organics

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Listen: Waste360s Nothing Wasted Podcast Talks To Great Forest’s Sarah Womer About Pedaling Her Way to Composting/Recycling Success

From Waste 360: May 6, 2019 |  Sarah Womer, Founder of Zero to Go & Sustainability Consultant at Great Forest Sarah saw a recycling problem in her hometown, which propelled her to take action, turning her biggest passion into a grassroots recycling business “Zero to Go”. Waste360 chats with Sarah about how she navigated through the … Continue reading Listen: Waste360s Nothing Wasted Podcast Talks To Great Forest’s Sarah Womer About Pedaling Her Way to Composting/Recycling Success

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VIDEO: Introduction to zero waste, understanding your waste stream

Want a primer on zero waste and understanding your waste stream? Watch these two videos below with your kids. Both are great introductions to the topic. We’d like to thank Planet Bonehead for these fun lessons in sustainability, which are distributed to schools across the country. Understanding zero waste and the waste stream What if we … Continue reading VIDEO: Introduction to zero waste, understanding your waste stream

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Earth Hour: What Can Businesses Do?

Earth Hour 2019 is on 30 March 2019, 8:30 pm. Earth Hour, which began as a lights out event in 2007, has grown to become an international movement encouraging individuals and businesses alike to raise the conversation and spark action about ways to protect the planet, with events planned in hundreds of countries.  Over the years, many … Continue reading Earth Hour: What Can Businesses Do?

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The Glass Recycling Problem: What’s Behind It, and What to do

Glass is infinitely recyclable without loss in quality. Recycling glass has many proven environmental benefits–it reduces emissions, saves energy, and reduces consumption of raw materials. And as a common household item, recycling the material maintains much public support. In fact, 93% of residents and consumers expect to be able to recycle glass, reports the Glass Recycling Coalition. So … Continue reading The Glass Recycling Problem: What’s Behind It, and What to do

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Waste Costs Expected To Keep Rising: Take Control in 2019

Waste costs have been rising and seem slated to continue its ascend.  Depending on where your business is located,  the forecast over a five-year period is an increase of between 4.8% to 10.7% in MSW tipping fees. Take a look at the table below from nrra.net to see the increases you may face.  What is causing prices to … Continue reading Waste Costs Expected To Keep Rising: Take Control in 2019

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Great Forest’s CEO Calls for Businesses To Take Control, Details 7 Ways A Waste Audit Can Help

* San Francisco businesses: Get 25% off until July 1. Learn more: info@greatforest.com  Why wait until you are fined or forced to do a waste audit? With rising waste costs, Great Forest CEO Ross Guberman tells leading industry news source Waste Dive that businesses should take control. This is in response to San Francisco passing an … Continue reading Great Forest’s CEO Calls for Businesses To Take Control, Details 7 Ways A Waste Audit Can Help

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How To Recycle Your Christmas Tree – Have You Heard About BioChar?

More than 27.4 million real Christmas trees were sold in the U.S. in 2017, according to the National Christmas Tree Association. What happens to them after the holidays is up to us! Remember, trees that end up in the garbage will take years to decompose because of the lack of oxygen in landfills. So recycle that … Continue reading How To Recycle Your Christmas Tree – Have You Heard About BioChar?

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The 3 Big Sustainability Issues Facing Every Business – What To Do

A version of this article was published in Environmental Leader. The conversations are getting louder — people and businesses are getting more concerned about waste, in particular food waste and plastic pollution, and also about recycling. Costs are rising. We’ve all heard the UN report that the world has just 12 years left to take action … Continue reading The 3 Big Sustainability Issues Facing Every Business – What To Do

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Regulations Alert: NYC Foam Ban Takes Effect Jan. 1, 2019

Effective January 1, 2019 businesses, nonprofits and agencies can no longer sell or use any expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam items, such as single-service items like cups, bowls, plates, takeout containers, and trays or loose fill packaging, aka “packing peanuts”.  See exceptions to the rule and more information at nyc.gov/foamban. Small businesses not part of a chain with less than … Continue reading Regulations Alert: NYC Foam Ban Takes Effect Jan. 1, 2019

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Q&A: Carbon Footprint Accounting and Reporting – Benefits For Small and Medium Businesses

A version of this article was published in Environmental Leader. Is it time for your business to take carbon footprint accounting and reporting seriously? Many small and medium-sized businesses have yet to calculate their impacts and risks. If you know your businesses’ carbon footprint, chances are you work for a Fortune 500 or S&P 500 company. … Continue reading Q&A: Carbon Footprint Accounting and Reporting – Benefits For Small and Medium Businesses

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NYC Regulations Reminder: Commercial Organics Rules

Are you in compliance? New York City businesses are required by law to separate their organic waste. Hotels and other businesses in the hospitality industry are most likely to be affected. In NYC, we’ve reported that inspections are up and that violations are being issued for non-compliance. Some fines have been as high as $750 for each … Continue reading NYC Regulations Reminder: Commercial Organics Rules

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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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Regulations Alert:
LL84 (2009), LL133 (2016), LL87 (2009), LL33 (2018)

NYC Benchmarking updates: LL84 (2009) deadline approaching Earlier this year, we reported that due to a glitch in data provided by utilities, New York City pushed back the deadline for LL84 (2009) benchmarking data filing for 2017 from May 1 to December 31, 2018. That deadline for compliance is now approaching.  Large buildings over 50,000 square feet … Continue reading Regulations Alert:
LL84 (2009), LL133 (2016), LL87 (2009), LL33 (2018)

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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?

  Sept., 2017. 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 … Continue reading Insight: Why Is D.C. Tops In LEED?

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Going Zero Waste in 3 Steps: A Strategy For Businesses To Combat Rising Costs

Going zero waste is a very achievable goal for businesses, despite misconceptions. And with the cost of waste removal rising over the past decade, moving  towards zero waste is increasingly becoming the only long term strategy for effective waste management.  One study predicts waste disposal services to increase at an “annualized rate of 2%.”  Not only are waste … Continue reading Going Zero Waste in 3 Steps: A Strategy For Businesses To Combat Rising Costs

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Zero Waste Business: What it Really Means, Why it Matters

What Is A Zero Waste Business? A lack of clarity about what zero waste really means may be keeping some businesses from reaping the benefits of going 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 … Continue reading Zero Waste Business: What it Really Means, Why it Matters

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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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