Brown Bag Webinar Archives
Free Brown Bag Sustainability Webinars and Recordings
EarthShift Global presents a series of Free 'Brown Bag' sustainability webinars covering a wide range of topics that are delivered by industry leaders in their respective fields. For a full description of the webinar and speaker profile, please scroll below to view the list of topics with actual webinar recordings and slides.
Brown Bag Webinars
Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 1:00 ET
CO2 Sequestration by Methane-Eating Bacteria
Methane-oxidizing bacteria (methanotrophs) are a well-characterized and significant global sink for methane. Less appreciated is their capacity to assimilate CO2, yet both capabilities have significant implications for greenhouse gas models and biotechnology. By modifying their environments, these bacteria produce co-polymers, such as polyhydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate (PHBV), a biodegradable, nontoxic biocompatible plastic.Type II methanotrophs, in particular, have high CO2 requirements and multiple carboxylase activities. During periods of balanced growth, i.e., when nutrients are sufficient to satisfy requirements for cell division, these organisms assimilate carbon at the level of formate, funneling it through the serine cycle into biomass. During periods of unbalanced growth, carbon derived from methane or from both methane and carbon dioxide accumulates within polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) granules. When co-substrates such as valerate are present during this period, co-polymers, such as polyhydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyvalerate (PHBV), are produced. Here we report the stoichiometric and kinetic impacts of CO2 to CH4 input ratios on cell growth, accumulation of PHB and PHBV, and the fate of assimilated CO2-derived carbon in PHA granules. To assess these processes, we evaluated the effects of initial ratios of CH4 to CO2 in batch incubations. As the partial pressure of added CO2 increased, net CO2 production decreased. The PHB accumulation (% PHB) over a 10-12-hour time was limited by the moles of methane supplied. 13C-labeled CO2 was incorporated into PHB at the C1 and C3 positions. In unbalanced growth experiments with added valerate, an increase in the initial mole fraction of CO2 increased the hydroxyvalerate fraction of the polymer. This increase came at the expense of total PHBV produced when CH4:CO2 ratio decreased from 2:1 to 1:1. These results clearly establish a significant role for CO2 during growth and PHA accumulation, and suggest strategies for efficient use of methane and production of copolymer based upon manipulation of CO2 levels in the gas phase.
Presenter: Wakuna M. Galega, PhD Candidate in Environmental Engineering at Stanford University
Wakuna is a PhD student in the environmental engineering program working with Prof. Craig Criddle. Her research focuses on the microbial degradation of methane in mixtures (biogas and natural gas) for the production of biodegradable polymers called polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs). Wakuna is interested in understanding the impact these methane rich-mixtures have on microbial communities, the dynamics between the microbial interactions under certain complex conditions, while optimizing the polymer production process and bacterial growth rates.
Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 1:00 ET
Applying an Anticipatory Approach to LCA
So now you know what Anticipatory LCA is all about from Valentina Prado’s webinar. But how do you apply it? In this webinar, Lise Laurin, EarthShift Global’s CEO, will share how an Anticipatory LCA approach has been applied to support new innovations and ongoing development in the areas of sustainable hydrogen production, tire recycling and 3D printing. She’ll provide a few rules of thumb to get you started quickly on your own Anticipatory study.
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
Presenter: Lise Laurin, CEO, EarthShift Global
Lise is a pioneer in Sustainable Return on Investment (S-ROI) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). She founded EarthShift in 2000, adopting these methodologies to support North American industries’ early efforts at sustainability. Lise continues to develop and leverage EarthShift Global’s training, simplified LCA tools and S-ROI tools to build organizational capacity and drive large-scale change. Her unique skillset and knowledge base has put her in demand globally by companies, organizations and governments alike.
Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 1:00 EST
Anticipatory LCA 101
As the environmental impact of products and technologies becomes a design parameter, the incorporation of environmental aspects early in the development of products and technology is necessary. However, while the LCA framework which can quantify environmental impacts, typically this applies at the end of the design pipeline when all parameters are set. To use LCA more proactively in the design process, researchers have been working in several techniques, falling under an Anticipatory LCA, approach, which enables application of LCA early in the Research and Development (R&D) phases where uncertainty, but also potential for improvement is at the highest point.
This webinar covers the basic concept and exposes some research lines making advancement in the area of anticipatory LCA.
Presenter: Valentina Prado, Senior Sustainability Analyst, EarthShift Global
Valentina brings extensive expertise in developing decision analysis tools for life cycle assessments (LCA), and hands-on experience in the Sustainable Return on Investment (S-ROI) assessment methodology. Her research focus has been in the incorporation of decision analysis to the interpretation stages of comparative LCAs, and tackles issues of normalization, weighting and uncertainty.
Thursday, November 8, 2018 - 1:00 EDT
Eliminating the Idea of Waste with TerraCycle
A discussion around the current realities of post-consumer plastics recycling in the United States and introduction to TerraCycle — a highly-awarded and globally recognized recycling company operating in over 21 countries globally developing circular solutions for difficult-to-recycle waste streams & eliminating the very idea of waste altogether.
Presenter: Alicia Forero, TerraCycle
Alicia is a Business Development Associate on TerraCycle's Brand Partnerships team. She joined TerraCycle after completing her MBA and a research fellowship with the Villanova School of Business in Pennsylvania. She brings diverse experience to her role, with a background in the financial services, retail, and non-profit spaces. Alicia passionately believes the future of the private sector lies in purposeful, mission-driven enterprise.
Can We Reverse Climate Change?
Interface is a longtime leader in the sustainability movement. Theirr Mission Zero efforts and the evolution of the company from a corporate plunderer of the earth to one that is breaking the take-make-waste industrial cycle are well documented. This presentation will review their Mission Zero initiatives and progress. Recently they have looked beyond their 2020 goals and asked themselves, "What is next?" They have a developed a new mission that is as audacious as their first one and as terrifying to undertake as they have no idea how they will do it. They call it "Climate Take Back". Their idea is that if humanity has changed the climate by mistake, can we change it on purpose? At Interface they're convinced a fundamental change needs to happen in our global response to climate change. We need to stop just thinking about how to limit the damage caused by climate change and start thinking about how to create a climate fit for life. So why are they optimistic in the face of this seemingly impossible challenge? Two things are stopping us from having a climate fit for life – carbon in the atmosphere and our own denial, fears, apathy. Change starts in the mind with the power of ambitious and positive mindsets. Believing something is possible is the first step. Their mission platform is structured around:
2. Love Carbon – Stop seeing carbon as the enemy and start using it as a resource.
3. Let Nature Cool – Support our biosphere’s ability to regulate the climate.
4. Lead Industrial Re-revolution – Transform industry into a force for climate progress.
Presenter: Connie Hensler, Director Environmental Management and Product Stewardship, Interface
As Director of Corporate Life Cycle Assessment Programs at Interface, Ms. Hensler manages the use of LCA at Interface towards the company’s ultimate goal of sustainability. Ms. Hensler is a Life Cycle Assessment Certified Professional (LCACP) and has published research in the Journal of Industrial Ecology and the International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment. She is a member of the board of directors of the American Center for Life Cycle Assessment.
Goals and Tools to Drive Sustainability
The concept of sustainability is critical for businesses and individuals to understand and apply. Dow Chemical has pursued sustainability by having a clear corporate strategy, global accountability to goals, and a variety of tools to track and improve business performance. Dow Chemical has articulated aspirational goals for some areas and quantitative measurements for others. Concepts from life cycle assessment (LCA) and a business-focused Sustainable Chemistry Index tool have also been instrumental in positioning and quantifying sustainability as a target for innovation and a source of business growth. The development, application and use of these in Dow will be discussed.
Presenter: Rich Helling, Director of Sustainable Chemistry, The Dow Chemical Company
Dr. Rich Helling is Director of Sustainable Chemistry for The Dow Chemical Company, located in Midland, Michigan. Rich advises Dow businesses on the use of LCA and related tools to identify opportunities for innovation, differentiate products in the marketplace and create sustainable value for Dow. Rich has been with Dow for 31 years, in a variety of technical and managerial roles in R&D, Manufacturing and Sustainability, and has been based in Michigan, California and France. Rich holds a bachelors' degree from Harvey Mudd College with majors in Engineering and History, a masters' degree in Chemical Engineering Practice from MIT, and a doctorate in Chemical Engineering, also from MIT. He is a LCA Certified Professional.
June 14, 2018 - Thursday at 1:00 pm EDT
Waste Management Sustainability Services Consulting Overview
Presenter: LeeAnn Kruszynski, Senior Associate, Waste Management
LeeAnn Kruszynski is a Senior Associate with the Waste Management Sustainability Services Consulting group. In her six years with Waste Management, she has worked with a wide variety of organizations from manufacturers to universities to grocers and retailers to help create and implement sustainable solutions that drive value throughout the organization.
Supporting Central American Smallholder Growers Toward Better Futures: Sustainability Return On Investment (S-ROI) of Vista Volcanes's Capilla Malla Inocua program.
photo credit: Ernesto Samayoa
Caroline will discuss assessing the impact of investing in small businesses for sustainable development and social good as part of the large-scale US State Department investment in La Red de Innovacion e Impacto supporting Latin American micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) using Sustainability Return on Investment (S-ROI).
Developed by a mix of business people and researchers for use in the real world, S-ROI identifies and weighs an investment's critical potential economic, societal and environmental impacts, engaging stakeholders in a process of non-adversarial analysis and optimization. The rigorous, financially oriented framework combines well-established analytical techniques with a proven approach to collaboration and dialog to yield actionable quantitative impacts.
Focusing on the S-ROI of an investment in Guatemalan firm Vista Volcanes and their mesh greenhouse project for smallholder growers, the webinar will center around the actual and predicted socioeconomic and environmental impacts and aggregated monetary risks and returns (direct and indirect) to primary affected stakeholder groups. Caroline will share how the investment has contributed to dramatic increases in grower income, decreased crop failure, and significantly lower environmental impacts, along with improved food security, higher resiliency, and market-driven improvements in working conditions, all captured by the S-ROI metric.
Presenter: Caroline Taylor, PhD, Director of Research & Development, EarthShift Global
Caroline Taylor PhD, EarthShift Global’s Director of Research and Development, conducts and supports rigorous research and analysis for use in strategic sustainability decision-making at companies, governmental bodies and NGOs. Caroline has over 20 years of experience in modeling and analysis, a decade of it in energy and sustainability. She is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Global Change Biology: Bioenergy and holds a visiting appointment with Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California Berkeley. She has earned Bachelor’s degrees in Classics and Chemistry from the University of California at Irvine and a Doctorate in Chemistry (Chemical Physics) from the University of Chicago, and was a post-doctoral scholar at Cornell University.
#2 in the Trilogy Series
April 26, 2018 - Thursday at 1:00 pm EST
Accelerating Sustainable Economic Growth, Innovation and Job Creation Opportunities While Building Capacity of Organizations. A Review of Results Achieved by the Innovation Challenge and La Red de Innovación e Impacto.
People and economies thrive when micro, small & medium enterprises (MSME) are empowered to reach their full potential. The Innovation Challenge and La Red de Innovación e Impacto are a search to discover and reward organizations who partner together and are empowering MSMEs to grow and remain competitive in the global marketplace. This short presentation will go over some of the accomplishments of the Innovation Challenge and La Red since 2014 by looking at some of the organizations part of the network and what they do.
Presenter: Élodie C. Roy, Consultant- Results-based Management, Monitoring and Evaluation
Élodie (B.A. in International Studies and Modern Languages; Master's in Project Management) has been working for more than five years on monitoring and evaluation (M&E) mandates in the field of socio-economic development as well as contributing her skills and knowledge to Baastel’s results-based management (RBM) training team. She has worked for a variety of bilateral and regional agencies, foundations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), private sector organizations and international institutions such as the United Nations (UN), leading evaluations, developing M&E systems and tools, building capacity for RBM and M&E, implementing participatory workshops and generally offering M&E guidance and advisory services. She possesses experience working in Latin America and in the Middle East, where she worked with organizations specialized in the field of environment, mine action and human rights. Elodie speaks French, English and Spanish and has knowledge of Arabic.
Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
#1 in the Trilogy Series
March 15, 2018 - Thursday at 1:00 pm EST
Scaling home-grown innovation to spur sustainable economic development: La Red de Innovacion e Impacto
People and economies thrive when small, local businesses are empowered to reach their full potential. These businesses in particular can comprise up to 95% of jobs in Latin American countries. To survive and thrive, they need support and incentives to access new markets and customers, and grow sustainably. In 2014, the U.S. Department of State funded the World Environment Center (WEC) and its partners, Le Groupe-conseil baastel ltée (Baastel), Context Partners, and EarthShift Global, to select organizations who are able to access and accelerate business development and promoting sustainable economic growth in Latin America. Gwen Davidow of WEC, the lead organization for this project, will tell the story of why and how this initiative was created, and how it has grown over the past 3.5 years.
Presenter: Gwen Davidow, Acting President and CEO, World Environment Center (WEC)
Ms. Davidow has focused her career on international business with a concentration on collaboration with non-government organizations focusing on international development. She has directed marketing and strategy initiatives in the private sector, working in particular with industry in sectors such as IT services and consumer goods.
In her current capacity as Vice President of Corporate Programs & Operations for WEC, Ms. Davidow manages several membership-based projects, such as the Greening the Supply Chain initiative in China. She also oversees regional activities in Latin America, including WEC’s current State Department-funded projects in several countries in Central America on increasing the efficiency of local suppliers by implementing environmental improvements, and the Pfizer-funded Maya Rainforest Conservation project in collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance and The Nature Conservancy.
Ms. Davidow holds a B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Virginia and has an M.B.A. in International Management from the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird). She has lived in Chile, Guatemala, Italy, Mexico, South Africa, Venezuela, Zambia and Zimbabwe and is fluent in Spanish.
February 8, 2018 - Thursday at 1:00 pm EST
Discover AWARE, the Global Consensus on Water Scarcity for LCA
As water has become one of the international priorities from government and NGOs, metrics to quantify its optimal use have become the center of attention. A water footprint is one such metric, which started from the accounting of water volumes along the supply chain of a product and evolved into to a more complex assessment of potential environmental impacts associated with water, at each step of the life cycle of a product. These concepts are now framed in a first international consensus on the principles, requirements and guidelines: the international standard ISO 14046:2014.
At the core of this assessment, scarcity indexes are used to compare water consumption in different regions of the world facing different water situations. This webinar presents the additional consensus work from the UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative working group on Water Use in LCA (WULCA), which achieved an internationally recommended method to apply the ISO standard and perform a water scarcity footprint.
Presenter: Anne-Marie Boulay
Anne-Marie Boulay, graduated from Chemical Engineering at McGill University in 2006 and later on integrated CIRAIG’s team at École Polytechnique of Montreal as a Master student and finished her Ph.D. in 2013 on the assessment of water use impacts in LCA. She has become an expert on water footprint, providing water footprint training for UNEP and ISO in developing countries around the world and acting as the Canadian representative for the ISO Water Footprinting standard. It is for this work that she received the SETAC Europe Young Scientist Award in 2014. Now affiliated for her research with LIRIDE at Sherbrooke University, as well as acting as scientific coordinator at CIRAIG, she is currently chairing the WULCA working group on water use in LCA of the UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative and the LEAP working group of FAO on water footprint. These working groups are leading the consensus building process and the scientific work into achieving harmonized methods for assessing water footprint metrics, involving key method developers and stakeholders through an international collaborative effort.
January 25, 2018 - Thursday at 1:00 pm EST
Advanced Technology Reduces the Cost of Offshore Wind
This presentation covers the design, fabrication, deployment and testing of a grid-connected floating offshore wind turbine prototype, called VolturnUS, installed off the Castine, Maine coast in June 2013. The prototype is a 1:8 scale prototype of a 6MW commercial unit and serves to de-risk a planned full-scale deployment scheduled for 2020. VolturnUS utilizes innovations in materials, construction, and deployment technologies such as a concrete semi-submersible hull and an advanced composite tower to reduce the costs of offshore wind. The prototype unit was designed following the American Bureau of Shipping "Guide for Building and Classing Floating Offshore Wind Turbine Installations”. Froude scaling was used in designing the 1:8 scale VolturnUS prototype so that the motions of the prototype in the relatively protected site represent those of the full-scale unit in an open site farther offshore. A metocean buoy which measured wind and wave properties verified the validity of the scaled environment at the selected site. The model was designed to replicate the geometry, materials, construction, tow-out and anchoring methods which will be used at full scale. A comprehensive instrumentation package monitors key performance characteristics of the platform to verify the design assumptions and coupled modeling software. Data collected include: wind speed, turbine power, rotor angular frequency, blade pitch, torque, acceleration; tower bending moment, 6 DOF accelerations at tower top and base, mooring line tensions, and wave elevation at the platform. Analysis of the data collected during 1:8 scale 50 year extreme events show that the design behaves as predicted by numerical coupled modeling software.
(photo by Anne Berleant, Castine Patriot)
Presenter: Dr. Anthony Viselli, P.E.
Dr. Anthony Viselli, P.E., is the manager of offshore model testing and structural design at the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center with over thirteen years of experience in the research, design, testing, and construction of innovative structures.
Dr. Viselli currently leads design efforts for the Centers offshore structure design programs as well as the new Alfond W2 Ocean Engineering Laboratory in the center. Dr. Viselli has helped to develop several showcase programs at the UMaine Composite Center including secure hybrid steel-composite marine freight containers with funding from the Department of Homeland Security, the VolturnUS concrete floating foundation technology for offshore wind turbines funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the State of Maine, light-weight composite towers for floating offshore wind turbines funded by the DOE, rapidly deployable composite/concrete land-based wind turbine towers, and the DeepCLiDAR buoy funded by the Maine Technology Institute and DOE. He acted as lead design engineer in each of these programs and generated numerous publications and patents related to this work. Through this work, Dr. Viselli has helped to bring over twenty million dollars of R&D funding to the center.
Dr. Viselli received his doctorate from the University of Maine in Civil Engineering with a focus in offshore structures. His dissertation title was “Model Test of a 1:8 Scale Floating Wind Turbine Offshore in the Gulf of Maine” which resulted in the design, fabrication, and testing of the first grid-connected offshore wind turbine in the US. His technical expertise includes offshore structures design constructed from concrete and steel, analysis of metocean data collected in the Gulf of Maine to support offshore structure design, model testing, pre-stressed concrete design, steel design, wood design, advanced structural analysis, FEA, composite structure design and analysis, composite manufacturing, and structural testing.
November 9, 2017 - Thursday at 1:00pm EST
Evolution and Directions for Sustainable Manufacturing Standards
In this talk, we will explore the landscape of standards related to Sustainable Manufacturing and how these standards are evolving to better support an understanding the use of resources. Creating our sustainable future is a grand challenge for humanity and getting there will take all hands. Much effort has gone towards understanding and trying to quantify the environmental impact of products. Existing practices for measuring the impacts are still in a nascent stage. Life Cycle Analysis depends on exemplary data sets that don't always accurately reflect actual performance and do not motivate improvements in production processes. A variety of other programs focus on reducing impacts for specific target areas, such as Energy Star and Fuel Economy labeling from the EPA. These programs can create a bias in the use of resources that may result in sub-optimal system performance. Measurement systems for understanding resource use and the trade-offs are needed to optimize system level performance. In this talk we present recent developments towards Sustainable Manufacturing standards that address these aspects of the sustainability problem.
KC Morris leads the Information, Modeling and Testing Group in the Engineering Lab at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). She is a Computer Scientist with extensive expertise in standards supporting manufacturing systems integration. Currently, her work focuses on infusing smart technologies into the manufacturing sector while ensuring that new practices lead to more sustainable manufacturing. This includes identifying and developing techniques for designing, testing, and evaluating smart manufacturing systems and standards. She has worked on ISO 10303 (a.k.a. STEP) standards for product data definition and is currently the vice-chair of ASTM E60.13 on Sustainable Manufacturing working on standards for assessing and improving the environmental impacts of manufacturing processes.
Willam (Bill) Bernstien
Dr. William (Bill) Z. Bernstein, a Mechanical Engineer in the Life Cycle Engineering (LCE) Group in the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at NIST, focuses on the challenges of sustainable manufacturing through the application of information visualization to improve decision making by incorporating a knowledge feedback loop between manufacturing and product design. Dr. Bernstein is establishing a new visualization laboratory to support standards-based research on deriving actionable knowledge from manufacturing data. His work combines performance characterization for manufacturing systems and the integration of manufacturing with design knowledge to connect the “digital thread” between these two life cycles stages. Prior to joining NIST, Dr. Bernstein was a member of the C-Design Lab at Purdue University where he focused on establishing frameworks and methods to enable environmentally conscious product redesign activities by infusing principles from the fields of Information Visualization and Visual Analytics into sustainable design. Dr. Bernstein is a member of ISO committee (TC 184 SC5 WG10) working on standards for evaluating factors of a manufacturing system that influence the environment.
October 26, 2017 - Thursday at 1:00 pm EDT
How the LCA Capability Roadmap Will Enable More-Effective LCAs
Our Oct. 26 Brown-Bag Webinar features two distinguished LCA practitioners discussing their work on the LCA Capability Roadmap, and how the Roadmap effort can remove limitations in modeling, reproducibility and other areas of LCA.
This information-rich session will help any member of the LCA community work more effectively, and understand how the discipline of LCA is evolving towards a more robust and useful model.
Sponsored by the SETAC North America LCA Advisory Board, the LCA Capability Roadmap project has a mission of helping researchers, academics, and suppliers develop useful, usable and timely analyses that stand up to scrutiny. We will hear from SETAC LCA Steering Committee board member Lise Laurin, founder and CEO of EarthShift Global, and Brandon Kuczenski, a researcher and consultant in industrial ecology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, with David Meyer, the chair of the SETAC LCA Steering Committee and a chemical engineer at the US Environmental Protection Agency, serving as moderator.
LCA practitioners face many challenges in describing, sharing, reviewing and revising their inventory models, and reproducing the models and results of others, notes Kuczenski. Current LCA authoring techniques limit authors’ ability to convey details about model structures and selection of background data.
Kuczenski will report on progress of a Roadmap discussion group addressing the description and revision of LCA inventory models, in a way that is independent of the LCA software used to compute the results and does not infringe on any licensing restrictions. The group identified milestones in three different areas:
- Describing model contents
- Describing model structure
- Collaborative use of models
The talk will highlight key requirements and milestones, and review feedback from the community. The Inventory Model Description and Revision section has just gone through public comment and is now undergoing revision (current draft is available)
Laurin, who has almost two decades of experience in the sustainability sector, will share on two other roadmap topics. She will provide an update on progress, including time frames and milestones for cross-sector collaboration.
Topics will include:
- The Roadmap’s first section, covering support for decision-making, which has now been completed (text is available).
- A third section, currently in development, on Handling Ill-Characterized Uncertainty. Development of robust LCAs requires that uncertainty be assessed and reported on. Work to date with the pedigree matrix and Monte Carlo analysis has been helpful, but there is much more to be dealt with, including uncertainty in characterization factors and uncertainties added due to allocation methods used. Our tools can also be upgraded to do a better job of handling these levels of uncertainty.
Laurin notes that, in addition to providing background information on the importance of uncertainty analysis, the Roadmap will also define uncertainty quantities. These include data uncertainty, characterization factors, normalization factors, modeling, and choices. The resulting uncertainty needs to be communicated in a way that provides decision-makers with clearer understanding and results in better choices, to fulfill the overall mission of LCA.
At the end of the discussion, the three will discuss planned and potential next steps in the roadmapping effort and how others can get involved.
Presenter: Brandon Kuczenski
Presenter: Lise Laurin
Lise Laurin is CEO and founder of EarthShift Global, and a pioneer in Sustainable Return on Investment (S-ROI) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). She founded EarthShift in 2000, adopting these methodologies to support North American industries’ early efforts at sustainability. She is a driving force behind the LCA Roadmap, working with the SETAC North America Life Cycle Assessment Advisory Board. She was a member of the UNEP SETAC Life Cycle Initiative team working on Organizational LCA (O-LCA), and advocates for a balanced, holistic approach to LCA within the International Standards Organization (ISO) Technical Advisory Groups for LCA and Ecolabeling.
Sept. 14, 2017 — Thursday at 1:00 P.M. EDT - (will start promptly)
Overcoming Barriers to Incorporating Uncertainty in LCA
There are three main barriers to incorporating uncertainty into LCA:
1. there is limited guidance on how to conduct an uncertainty analysis,
2. characterizing uncertainty is difficult,
3. people have a hard time processing outcomes of uncertainty analyses.
Jeremy will describe each of these barriers and strategies to overcome them, including an approach to conduct streamlined comparative uncertainty analyses that includes structured under-specification and probabilistic triage.
Register Online for this Webinar Now:
Presenter: Jeremy Gregory
Jeremy Gregory is a research scientist in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Executive Director of the Concrete Sustainability Hub at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He studies the economic and environmental implications of engineering and system design decisions, particularly in the area of materials production and recovery systems. Research topics include product and firm environmental footprinting, manufacturing and life cycle cost analysis, and characterization of sustainable material systems. Jeremy has applied these methods, often with industry partners, to a range of different products and industries including pavements, buildings, automobiles, electronics, consumer goods, and waste treatment and recovery. He received his PhD and MS from MIT and BS from Montana State University-Bozeman, all in mechanical engineering.
Connect with Jeremy on LinkedIn
April 18, 2017 — Tuesday
at 10 AM, EST
ReCiPe 2016: a Harmonized Life Cycle Impact Assessment Method at Midpoint and Endpoint Level
Life cycle impact assessment is a fast evolving field of research. ReCiPe is a state-of-the-art Life Cycle Impact Assessment method used to convert life cycle inventories to a limited number of impacts, such as, global warming, human toxicity, acidification and eutrophication (Figure 1). ReCiPe was first introduced in 2008 and has since had a number of important updates. ReCiPe 2016 provides a state-of-the-art method to convert life cycle inventories to a limited number of life cycle impact scores on midpoint and endpoint level. This webinar provides an overview of the key elements of the ReCiPe 2016 method.
Department of Environmental Science
Institute for Water and Wetland Research Radboud University Nijmegen
Tel. ++31 24 3652835
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: Radboud University; Tuesday, Friday: Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
Biography: Mark Huijbregts is professor of Integrated Environmental Assessment at the Radboud University (Nijmegen, The Netherlands) and one of the developers of the ReCiPe method.
Your Employees Need Something Unexpected: Purpose
If your business is like most, 75% of your employees underperform -- even if you pay well, provide good benefits and manage superbly. What’s missing? Research finds they lack a sense of meaning. Fortunately, there is a solution: Expanding the social impact of their everyday work, or “job purposing.” Learn how the HP sales team helps small businesses be environmentally sustainable as part of the sales transaction, FedEx drivers restore the environment as they deliver packages and other innovative managers offer their teams to opportunity to serve societal causes as an integrated part of their workday. Leave with innovative actionable ideas to infuse work with fresh energy and make a positive social impact.
Presenter: Bea Boccalandro, President of VeraWorks
Biography: Bea helps people mess with their jobs for good. She increases the social impact of jobs and, therefore, makes work more enjoyable and fulfilling. "Job purposing," as this practice is called, has been shown to heighten employee engagement, performance and wellbeing — while alleviating hunger environmental degradation or other societal issues. Bea has helped Aetna, Allstate, Bank of America, Caesars Entertainment, Disney, FedEx, HP, IBM, Levi's, PwC, Toyota and many other companies develop ways to incorporate societal good into their day-to-day business and measure its societal and business impact.
February 14, 2017 — Tuesday
at 1 PM, EST
UNEP/SETAC Global Guidance for LCIA Indicators – Uncertainty and Beyond
Most LCIA results lack any quantitative uncertainty information. Reporting uncertainties along with characterization results facilitates a proper interpretation as basis for sound decisions and helps pinpointing uncertainty hot-spots, which defines the research agenda for further improving LCIA methods and tools across impact categories.
Within the UNEP/SETAC LCIA global guidance project, we aim at providing harmonization and practical guidance for selected LCIA impact categories, but also for cross-cutting issues including uncertainty. In this webinar, an overview of ongoing activities in the uncertainty task force will be presented along with a brief introduction into the UNEP/SETAC LCIA global guidance project aims and outcomes for the LCA community.
January 12, 2017 — Thursday at 1 PM, EST
Learn About 3Pillars, the Only General-purpose S-ROI Tool on the Market
Lise Laurin will demonstrate EarthShift Global’s groundbreaking 3Pillars S-ROI package.
And, enjoy a 30-day Free Trial, follow the link to Sign Up.
With 3Pillars, you can utilize a continually updated database of social and environmental costs and factor in uncertainties, such as the cost of energy in future years.
December 15, 2016 - Thursday at 1 PM, EST
Autocase: The Triple Bottom Line Business Case Software
Stéphane Larocque will demonstrate Impact Infrastructure’s new Autocase S-ROI software. Autocase provides an automated calculation of the value of sustainable projects by identifying their net financial, social, and environmental impacts measured in dollars. Autocase determines the costs and benefits of building and infrastructure project design alternatives using state-of-the-art economic techniques. Build upon your Sustainable Return on Investment (S-ROI) knowledge by seeing how it can be calculated on projects with an easy to use cloud-based software product.
November 17, 2016 - Thursday at 1 PM, EST
What is S-ROI? What is the Business Case for it?
Sustainable Return on Investment (S-ROI) is one of today’s hottest concepts in the sustainability world – an enabler for better decision-making and risk avoidance on large-scale projects like siting of major plants or civil infrastructure, and smaller decisions as well. Join us for the first of our FREE S-ROI Roundtables at 1pm Eastern Time on November 17, and you’ll hear from the CEOs of two of the world’s most advanced SROI practitioner companies, and get firsthand reports on how S-ROI has helped aerospace giant Pratt & Whitney and professional services leader Dewberry improve their projects’ chances for success.
Join this roundtable discussion, here's the Agenda:
- What is S-ROI?
- Lise Laurin, CEO of EarthShift Globaland author of a forthcoming book on S-ROI
- An S-ROI Case Study
- Stéphane Larocque, Chief Operating Office of Impact Infrastructure, and a 20-year veteran of triple-bottom-line analysis
- Why Pratt & Whitney Adopted S-ROI Analysis
- W. Terry Robinson, PE, LEP, Sustainable Factory Program Manager for Pratt & Whitney’s Global EH&S Department
- S-ROI as a Tool For Solving Our Most Complex Challenges
- Lidia Berger, MEM, ENV SP, LEED Fellow, LEED AP BD+C, LEED AP O+M, National Sustainability Director at Dewberry
October 20, 2016 (Rescheduled from Oct 11) at 1 PM, EST
Early Application of LCA to Lab Research to Enhance Technological Development
The tandem application of ex ante life cycle assessment and an exploratory scenario on an emerging technology is useful. Though challenging, it creates opportunities for gaining new insights on its potential development. A tension between rigour and relevance is implicit in the approach. Nonetheless, even with reduced rigour, the approach displays potential hot-spots of a product system, in spite of the conjecture and uncertainties. It also broadens the research scope early on bringing a systems approach, long term view, environmental aspects, and alternative perspectives on the novel technology to the research domain. The foresight of the practitioner(s) is increased at a timely moment so the approach is of great service as a developmental design tool. Though imprecise with much conjecture involved, the whole exercise can be considered a valid mock-up of a plausible future providing useful provisional insights to be built upon.
This webinar will show how the approach brings a systematic rigour and discipline to an ambiguous situation with scanty data, referencing a case study done on a promising biotechnology to recover metals from e-waste.View Recording
After a career in architecture, Marco did a joint Industrial Ecology MSc at Leiden University and TU Delft and specialized in LCA. He is most interested in combining an integrative exploratory design perspective with a rigorous scientific approach in a multidisciplinary context to derive new knowledge.
Exploring the application of LCA at the early stage of development of emerging technologies as an integrated design tool has been his focus in the assessment of the environmental impacts of:
- a novel pilot technology to dye synthetic textiles using supercritical carbon dioxide as a solvent instead of water.
- a lab scale bioleaching technology applied for selective recovery of metals to electronic waste.
September 20, 2016 - Tuesday at 1 PM, EST
Energy Reductions, Cost Avoidance and Net Zero Accomplishments through Occupant Engagement
Listen to Jeffrey Goetz of Fluor, as he outlines how corporations can engage the occupants of your facility to reduce energy consumption and promote landfill avoidance that will headline your next Corporate Sustainability Report. Learn how to use state incentives/rebates, along with the utility company programs to offset the up front costs of energy efficiency projects and make expenses into a revenue stream. These programs are the foundation of a Zero Waste and Net Zero program that gain corporate carbon offsets, reduce operating costs and boost shareholder trust.
Presenter: Jeff Goetz, PE, CEM, LEED AP and Director of Operations, Sustainability & Energy Management at Fluor Corporation
Connect with Jeff on LinkedIn
April 19, 2016 - Tuesday at 1 PM, EST
How Technology Democratized Sustainable Business Practices
Several new pressures are driving small and mid-sized businesses to track their environmental footprint.
- Financial Pressures: Reduce operating costs, increase profit
- Market Pressures: Customer demand for data, competitive edge
- Social Pressures: The right thing to do
Until now, most sustainability reporting platforms designed to help track, reduce and disclose environmental impact data have been financially out of reach. John Rooks, Co-founder of Rapport, is on a mission to democratize sustainability for millions of small and mid-sized business.
Join John as he discusses the challenges and opportunities for tracking your company’s environmental impact, provide insights into the state of managing environmental data, and demonstrate the Rapport platform. With his down-to-earth sense of humor, John easily blends theory and practice into fun, digestible nuggets of information.
John Rooks is the co-founder of Rapport, a SaaS company transforming the way companies report on and improve their sustainability performance. He is also the founder and President of The SOAP Group. Mr. Rooks has worked with Fortune 500 Companies, Federal Agencies, Start-Ups and International NGOs helping them understand sustainability imperatives, modern culture and to architect communication strategies. He focuses on Brand Strategy, Cultural Trends of Sustainability, and Language. John is also the author of, More Than Promote - a guide to authentic marketing, and a frequent speaker and guest writer on sustainability, marketing, language and culture.
May 11, 2016 - Wednesday at 1 PM, EST
How Sound Can Help Monitor Our Environment
In 2011, soundscape ecology emerged as a new scientific field that uses soundscapes to measure and monitor changes in our ecosystem. This field relies on interdisciplinary research to benefit conservation and sustainability programs using non-invasive recording methods. Kristen will talk about how to see the unheard part of sound by demonstrating an analysis of a soundscape recording. The resulting visual representations are quite beautiful. Her primary work is developing new metrics by investigation of patterns that may support future practices in design and development in this evolving field.
The Wilderness Act of 1964 expedited a paradigm shift in how we value and appreciate nature. Viewing beautiful scenery is how many people enjoy and participate in the natural world but, our planet’s acoustic heritage is a remarkable treasure that has yet to attain the equality of visual primacy. Soundscapes are sounds that connect us to a place — in nature, in our backyards, and in urban areas.View Recording"Like a marriage of music and math, Kristen Bellisario's work is a refreshing and transformative approach to understanding ecological changes through computational analysis of the natural acoustic environment."
Kristen is a classically-trained musician with specialized training in new music pedagogy and analysis. Environmental sounds impact how she connects with the world and creates music, so the study of soundscapes and its relationship to diverse ecosystems is a natural fit for her doctoral work. Working with our diverse ecosystem recordings, she uses computational musicology approaches to quantify environmental changes. In addition, her background includes multimedia development and so, assists in our scientific communication efforts and design of educational interactive devices.
Kristen is shown here in the field. Outside the lab, she spends time with her children and family — hiking and experiencing the beautiful American landscapes — and playing her flute.
June 2, 2016 - Thursday at 1 PM, EST
Evaluating Complex Decisions using GIS
Many decisions require consideration of geographic data, and always do so when the objective is the selection of a location. Some common examples are siting manufacturing facilities and warehouses, routing shipments of goods, selecting source locations for process raw materials, or establishing waste management facility locations.
Multiple criteria decision analysis, or “MCDA,” is an effective means to address complex decisions that often have multiple stakeholders with conflicting valuation of economic, environmental and social factors. There is a growing field representing the intersection of geographic information systems (GIS) and MCDA disciplines.
This webinar will provide an overview on GIS-based MCDA and will examine a case study in evaluating waste transfer station site decisions.View Recording
Presenter: John Cirucci, Geospatial Scientist and Process Technologist at Spatial Analytics, focused on Sustainability, Data Visualization, Geospatial Analysis
Connect with John on LinkedIn
John Cirucci is a process technologist and geospatial scientist, consulting in the field of geospatial analysis, decision support and data visualization. He is retired from Air Products where he most recently served as manager of corporate exploratory technology. John is a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He holds a BS and MS in chemical engineering from Penn State and Lehigh University, respectively, and a Master’s Degree in Geographic Information Systems from Penn State.
Past Webinar Event Recordings
Applying Bayesian Inference to the Analysis of a Comparative LCA — Matthew Pietrzykowski, GE Global Research Recorded webinar
NetPositive Sustainability: A Framework for Transformatively Sustainable Products, Companies, and Living — Greg Norris, Harvard Recorded webinar
Using Benchmarking to Evaluate Suppliers — Cynthia Figge, CSRHub Recorded webinar
Resources Conservation & Product Innovation — Tad Radzinski, Sustainable Solutions Recorded webinar