Sustainability101 Blog

Category : Great Forest Insights

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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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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How The Peninsula New York Topped the Hotel Category in the Zero Waste Challenge

Read the full story, which first appeared in Green Lodging News. The results of the New York City Mayor’s Zero Waste Challenge were recently revealed, with The Peninsula New York emerging tops in the hotel category. The Peninsula was able to double its diversion rate in just a few months during the Challenge, in the process, … Continue reading How The Peninsula New York Topped the Hotel Category in the Zero Waste Challenge

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The Economics Of Recycling: What You Should Know

Low oil prices, low commodity prices and the continued Green Fence in China are the three main factors that are affecting waste service costs across the country right now. In the current market with cheap oil, “virgin” plastic (a by-product of oil production), is cheaper than recycled plastic.  At the same time, slower growth in … Continue reading The Economics Of Recycling: What You Should Know

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Post COP21: A Look Ahead in 2016

In the final month of 2015, over 200 countries came together in Paris to agree on a global strategy to deal with climate change. Here in the U.S., New York, California, Minnesota, Vermont, and Oregon are among states that have pledged to support the COP21 agreement.  This may point to greater efforts by local governments to cut emissions in the … Continue reading Post COP21: A Look Ahead in 2016

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Industry Trends:
Save Billions By Cutting Food Waste

In 2016, an increasing number of businesses will be focusing on cutting food waste.  Why? Because businesses can save billions by doing so.  In the U.S., as much as 3000 pounds of food is wasted every second. During the holiday season, that figure is even higher.  The problem is estimated to cost the food retail industry almost … Continue reading Industry Trends:
Save Billions By Cutting Food Waste

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Insights:
Is America Recycles Day Obsolete?

What did you do for America Recycles Day this year? For nearly twenty years, Americans have been coming together each November 15 to mark America Recycles Day.  It is the one day dedicated to educating and motivating friends, family and colleagues about the importance and impact of recycling. Today, recycling has become such an integral … Continue reading Insights:
Is America Recycles Day Obsolete?

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Q&A: Brenda Pulley On America Recycles Day

Do we really still need one day set aside to promote recycling? Do we still need America Recycles Day? If you read John Tierney’s recent New York Times article “The Reign of Recycling” (and the enormous outcry that followed), you would know that the answer is yes.  We still need America Recycles Day because there are still a … Continue reading Q&A: Brenda Pulley On America Recycles Day

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A Conversation With The Waldorf Astoria On Sustainability

A Conversation With The Waldorf Astoria On Sustainability The Waldorf Astoria was one of three winners of the inaugural 2014 HANYC Sustainability Awards, given out by the Hotel Association of NYC. What have they been doing in the year since their win? How have their efforts made a difference in their operations? We found out: … Continue reading A Conversation With The Waldorf Astoria On Sustainability

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Corporate Sustainability Reputation Can Account For 11% Of Firm’s Value

Two new reports presented at the recent Commit Forum shed more light on the increasing value of sustainability to businesses. A news summary of both reports noted that companies with strong sustainability reputations benefit from: Increased company value. According to the report, an average of 33% of a company’s value can be attributed to its name, and … Continue reading Corporate Sustainability Reputation Can Account For 11% Of Firm’s Value

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The Reign Of Recycling Is NOT Over: A Roundup of Responses To John Tierney

Over the past week, the worlds of recycling and sustainability have been buzzing about John Tierney’s New York Times article “The Reign of Recycling.” Tierney’s piece, which restates an old argument he made in 1996 against recycling, prompted an outcry. In it he concludes: “… cities have been burying garbage for thousands of years, and it’s still … Continue reading The Reign Of Recycling Is NOT Over: A Roundup of Responses To John Tierney

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Trends: The Food Waste Epidemic – What Can You Do?

…we know that approximately a third of all food produced is discarded, and “whenever food is thrown out it is as if it were stolen from the table of the poor.” (50) — Pope Francis, Laudato Si. The topic of food waste has been in the news recently as New York and other cities across … Continue reading Trends: The Food Waste Epidemic – What Can You Do?

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A Conversation With The Carlton Hotel On Sustainability

A Conversation With The Carlton Hotel On Sustainability The Carlton hotel was one of three winners of the 2014 HANYC Sustainability Awards. What have they been doing in the year since their win? How have their efforts made a difference in their operations? We found out from General Manager Vic Freeman. Q: What did winning the first HANYC … Continue reading A Conversation With The Carlton Hotel On Sustainability

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Overview: A Guide To New And Emerging Food Waste Technologies

What is the difference between anaerobic or aerobic digestion?  What is thermal hydrolysis or pyrolysis? Great Forest has put together a detailed overview of various new and emerging food waste technologies that might be viable alternatives to the current practice of landfilling food waste.  The guide – “New And Emerging Food Waste Recycling Technologies” – will help you make … Continue reading Overview: A Guide To New And Emerging Food Waste Technologies

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When Hotels Redecorate, What Happens To Hundreds Of Old Items?

When hotels redecorate or upgrade, the question of what to do with old items like bulky furniture is multiplied by the number of rooms they have. What do you do with 200 bedding sets and coffee makers? Or 300 compendium boxes (those trays you find in hotel rooms to hold note pads, pens and keys)? Or … Continue reading When Hotels Redecorate, What Happens To Hundreds Of Old Items?

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Panel – Latest Sustainability Trends, Challenges

What are the latest sustainability trends and challenges facing buildings and businesses? A recent panel on the topic organized by the Apartment and Office Building Association (AOBA) and the Downtown D.C. Business Improvement District (BID) drew about 60 people from across the  industry, including representatives from local government and property management companies. Keynote speaker Brendan Shane, C40 Cities’ regional director … Continue reading Panel – Latest Sustainability Trends, Challenges

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Can Single-Stream Recycling Work in NYC?

Great Forest’s Amy Marpman recently spoke with City Limits about NYC’s current recycling system in a piece that explores the city’s single-stream recycling ambitions. There are many factors that can affect how well a recycling program is working. Single-stream recycling is more convenient for the average person and we know that making recycling easy to accomplish does work. … Continue reading Can Single-Stream Recycling Work in NYC?

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New Nationwide Study Reveals What Works in Workplace Recycling

A new Keep America Beautiful study produced in partnership with Great Forest, Action Research, and CBRE, and made possible by PepsiCo Recycling, helps to define some best practices for workplace recycling. Great Forest assisted with the waste audits for the study, provided typical office building waste profile data, and helped to confirm some of the findings. The study recommends several … Continue reading New Nationwide Study Reveals What Works in Workplace Recycling

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5 Things Every Building Manager/Owner Should Do

You have a large building to run and too many things to do.  Here’s a handy list of 5 actions you should do, at least once a year. 1) Renegotiate your contacts, competitively bid for crucial services especially waste hauling. Things change – market forces, regulations, tenants, etc.  Take the time to review and renew your contracts, … Continue reading 5 Things Every Building Manager/Owner Should Do

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How Green Are NYC Hotels? 10 Insights From The Sustainability Awards

Last year, Great Forest worked with the Hotel Association of New York City (HANYC) to develop and launch the very first HANYC Sustainability Awards. In the process of reviewing and judging the pool of applicants, we gained a unique first-hand look behind the scenes at what many NYC hotels are doing in terms of sustainability. … Continue reading How Green Are NYC Hotels? 10 Insights From The Sustainability Awards

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A Better Way to Pay For Solid Waste Management?

Here’s an interesting report from the Citizens Budget Commission. “The report recommends the City of New York charge a variable fee for residential trash removal as an economic incentive to reduce non-recyclable and non-compostable waste and lower taxpayer cost for the service. ” The report raises points for discussion. What do you think?

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Earn Extra LEED Credit For America Recycles Day?

Did you know that you can use events and outreach activities you are planning for America Recycles Day (which falls on November 15) to earn extra LEED credit for your building? This “design yourself” Innovation in Operations (IO) credit is not assigned to any one LEED category. Instead, it allows you the freedom to present “new and creative solutions to … Continue reading Earn Extra LEED Credit For America Recycles Day?

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Where Are You On The Sustainability Maturation Curve?

This post is from Great Forest consultant Jennifer Niklas, adapted from a piece she initially put together for the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University, where she worked on sustainability initiatives for dozens of campus facilities and campus offshoots in the Phoenix area. When sustainability was still just an emerging area of interest, we grappled … Continue reading Where Are You On The Sustainability Maturation Curve?

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Going Back to Basics Leads to Better Waste Management

This Great Forest case study was featured in Environmental Leader’s 2014 Insider Knowledge Report–Lessons Learned from Corporate Environmental, Sustainability and Energy Decision-Makers (download pdf). It documents the innovative Open Top Container Log (OTCL) system developed by Great Forest. Going Back to Basics Leads to Better Waste Management Waste costs can take up a substantial portion of a company’s … Continue reading Going Back to Basics Leads to Better Waste Management

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Countdown To Earth Day: There’s Still Time To Take Action

Great Forest talked to MediaPost’s Marketing: Green to offer their readers some quick tips on what their companies can do for Earth Day.  Click to see our answers or read on below: From Marketing: Green Much has changed since the first Earth Day (1970) in the U.S. – the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, the passage … Continue reading Countdown To Earth Day: There’s Still Time To Take Action

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Earth Day Events Organized Worldwide: Four Examples

March 25, 2014 This article first appeared in Environmental Leader How about breaking a world record for collecting and shredding paper, or filling the lawn of your office building with “sculptures” made of recyclable cups, or holding a haiku competition to promote your sustainability website? These are just some of the more creative ways companies have … Continue reading Earth Day Events Organized Worldwide: Four Examples

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Case Study: Centralized Vs. Traditional Deskside Recycling

What happens when waste and recycling bins are moved away from the deskside to a centralized location? Great Forest recently conducted a trial to find out. Read our one-page case study to find out the percentage of recyclables that ended up in the trash from the centralized versus the deskside recycling system in our pilot. Our results … Continue reading Case Study: Centralized Vs. Traditional Deskside Recycling

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White Paper: Volume to Weight Conversion Ratios for Commercial Office Waste in New York City

Calculating Commercial Waste:  Finally, A More Reliable Volume to Weight Conversion Ratio How much waste are you really generating? This is a question commercial businesses across the country have difficulty answering accurately. To address this problem, Great Forest conducted a study that was presented earlier this month at the International Conference on Solid Waste in Philadelphia. … Continue reading White Paper: Volume to Weight Conversion Ratios for Commercial Office Waste in New York City

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Get the Message with Big Green Statements

* Read the article in Environmental Leader No matter how many educational sessions you hold about recycling and conservation, and how many fact sheets you give out about sustainability, sometimes you just need to make a big visual statement to get the message across loud and clear. On Earth Day this year, tenants at a high-rise … Continue reading Get the Message with Big Green Statements

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Does Your Diversion Rate Really Reflect Your Recycling Efforts?

Read the article in Environmental Leader March 14, 2011 Does Your Diversion Rate Really Reflect Your Recycling Efforts? Are you being held hostage by your recycling diversion rate? As more and more companies begin to measure their recycling efforts, this figure is often used as the only performance indicator for recycling. A high diversion rate … Continue reading Does Your Diversion Rate Really Reflect Your Recycling Efforts?

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Using LEED as the Starting Point for Greater Sustainability

Read the article in Greenbiz.com By Richard Fuller and Anna Dengler, Great Forest Inc. Published December 17, 2010 Congratulations. You’ve been LEED certified.  Now what? That is the question facing the owners and operators of over one billion square feet of commercial space that have obtained LEED status under the U.S. Green Building Council‘s green … Continue reading Using LEED as the Starting Point for Greater Sustainability

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