Paris climate agreement – Historic COP21 Reply

On Saturday night, December 12, 2015, an air of optimism surrounded the topic of climate change after 190 countries unanimously agreed on a unified effort to strategically address this challenge, forming the Paris climate agreement. This United Nations event, COP21, was attended by over 40,000 participants at the host location in Paris. Over 3,000 journalists reporting on the event ensured that the content and messages from COP21 were heard around the globe.

Receiving a unanimous agreement of a global warming temperature limit was the broader, long-term goal. Remarkably, what began as a 2 degree Celsius consensus global warming temperature limit, progressed to a 1.5 degree Celsius consensus limit. This ambitious goal is attainable, but emphasizes the need to implement significant efforts immediately.

The Paris climate agreement is just that, an agreement, and not a legally binding treaty. While this limits enforcement of the content, it allowed the process to be expedited, and not held up in legislation, as it would have been in the United States if presented as a treaty. An accountability system to review country progress every five years will be the alternative form of enforcement.

This agreement is unique in that it encompasses both developing and developed countries, holding them all to emissions reductions targets. Angst did surround the potential roadblocks that the role of developing countries could have posed at the event. One such concern being the cooperation of China and India, as both countries have significant development goals and outlooks. It was noted that the Obama administration played an important role in reaching out to these countries to shift their outlooks. An extra incentive for China was its realization of the opportunity that lies in the manufacture and production of renewables and energy efficient goods.

To support success of the event, despite the challenges mentioned, four pillars were established to guide the negotiations, including,

  1. Climate action plans or Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC’s) were required from each country prior to COP21,
  2. A strategy for financing the transition to disrupting the global carbon addiction would be developed,
  3. Engagement of civil society including cities, regions, farmers, energy providers, and energy users must be considered as vital to implementation; and
  4. Outreach to engage the creative community to deliver the positive message that this change is possible must be encouraged.

The agreement is not perfect, and certain timelines and specifics have yet to be sorted. Viewpoints from the scientific community span from full support to harsh critique, some calling the effort ‘too little too late’. However, with creative solutions and innovation as drivers of the movement, as opposed to pessimistic outlooks, the Paris climate agreement has succeeded in establishing worldwide awareness and action on the issue.

Greenhouse gas accountability is the focus in all participating countries, the U.S. being one of those key participants. As a result, tracking and reporting on this topic is very likely to increase in both the private and public sectors. Whether you are required to comply with annual greenhouse gas reporting, attempting to complete a Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) questionnaire, or would like to be proactive and take steps to evaluate and enhance your company’s sustainability program, we are here to help you on this journey by offering all of these services, and more. For more information, please contact Cristina Mendoza at 508-970-0033 ext.128 or cmendoza@capaccio.com.

CAPACCIO highlighted for sustainability efforts in Greenhealth Magazine Reply

CAPACCIO was recently highlighted an article in Greenhealth Magazine, the official membership magazine for Practice Greenhealth, for its work assisting MetroWest Medical Center’s two hospitals in Framingham and Natick with gathering their sustainability data. CAPACCIO also assisted with submitting their award application which earned them a 2013 Practice Greenhealth Partner for Change Award. “Data gathering can be very time consuming and involved,” said Bill Potochniak, PE, Senior Associate at CAPACCIO. “That’s where somebody like CAPACCIO can come in. We almost act like a contract sustainability director. We handle tracking all that data. We do all of the legwork of getting the data. Plus, we have the staff of scientists and engineers to make sense of the data, and we might see trends that the average person might not see or someone in a hospital setting might not see. We can help identify areas for improvement.”

Read the full article at:
http://greenhealthmagazine.org/enjoy-the-data-dividend/

For more information, please contact Bill Potochniak, PE, at 508-970-0033 ext. 134 or wpotochniak@capaccio.com.

Today is October 9th, is there food waste in your dumpster? Reply

On October 1, the commercial food waste ban went into effect for Massachusetts. It requires companies, businesses, hospitals, and universities generating more than 1 ton of organic material per week to make necessary reductions in their disposal. Such entities have many options to comply with the ban, including pre-consumer reduction, re-purposing usable food, donations, and composting.

The food waste disposal ban is part of a larger effort in Massachusetts to reduce the waste stream by 30% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner David W. Cash recently stated, “The food waste ban provides a win-win-win-win-win for residents and businesses in the Commonwealth. It will reduce waste, save money on disposal costs, create renewable energy, cut emissions from fossil fuel use, produce rich fertilizer for farm use, and grow jobs and stimulate the economy.” Read the full press release at the link below.

http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/news/releases/patrick-administration-kicks-off-statewide-commercial-.html

CAPACCIO recently had a webinar on this topic “Commercial Food Waste Disposal Ban Regulations – How will it affect your company?” Along with our guest presenter, John Fischer of MassDEP, the webinar provided an overview of the regulation, methods of how to determine how much waste you are generating, and ways to set and communicate goals and track your usage. To download and view the webinar, see the link below.

http://www.capaccio.com/Resources/Event_Recs.html

We also discussed ways this program can be incorporated into your new or existing sustainability program, to your benefit. Regardless of the stage you are in, CAPACCIO can provide assistance. Please contact Julie Muszalski at 508.970.0033 ext. 124 or jmuszalski@capaccio.com for more information.

MetroWest Medical Center Hospitals Receive “Greenhealth Partner For Change” Award Reply

The Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards were presented June 5 in Cleveland, Ohio, at the CleanMed Conference & Exhibition, the premier national environmental conference for leaders in health care sustainability. Among the winners were MetroWest Medical Center’s two hospitals, Leonard Morse Hospital located in Natick, MA and Framingham Union Hospital, located in Framingham, MA, who were formally acknowledged for their environmentally preferable practices with Practice Greenhealth’s 2014 “Greenhealth Partner for Change” award. The award is one of the environmental excellence awards given by the organization each year to honor outstanding environmental achievements in the health care sector.

Practice Greenhealth is the nation’s leading health care community that empowers its members to increase their efficiencies and environmental stewardship while improving patient safety and care through tools, best practices and knowledge. The “Greenhealth Partner for Change” award recognizes health care facilities that continuously improve and expand upon their mercury elimination, waste reduction, recycling and source reduction programs. At a minimum, facilities applying for this award must be recycling 15 percent of their total waste, must have reduced regulated medical waste, be well along the way to mercury elimination, and have developed other successful pollution prevention programs in many different areas.

In 2013, CAPACCIO joined the MetroWest Medical Center’s Green Team. On a monthly basis, CAPACCIO compiles and analyzes sustainability data from facility representatives and vendors and reports to staff on progress toward their goals. CAPACCIO was also responsible for gathering and summarizing numerous metrics and programmatic elements to complete the Practice Greenhealth Award Application. CAPACCIO continues to take the hospital to even greater heights by providing thought leadership and assistance with MetroWest Medical Center’s sustainability programs.

CAPACCIO is a women-owned environmental, health and safety consulting and engineering firm with a solid track record of assisting industrial and institutional clients toward sustainable growth. Our commitment to sustainability is embodied in our mission of “helping industry and the environment prosper.” Through our responsiveness, integrity and cost-effective solutions, we have enabled our clients to receive numerous awards and be cited among the leading greenest and financially performing companies.

For more information on CAPACCIO’s green team programs, please contact Julie Muszalski at jmuszalski@capaccio.com or visit http://www.capaccio.com. To learn more about Practice Greenhealth visit http://www.practicegreenhealth.org.