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MONTHLY LUNCH & LEARNS

With our monthly Lunch & Learns, you can network while you learn more about achieving the benefits from going green. Each month we will address one of the six main categories on the scorecard. Earn one scorecard bonus point for each Lunch & Learn you attend. All Lunch & Learns are scheduled for the 4th Wednesday of the month, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm.

Scroll down to see the schedule, month-by-month.  Missed a session?  See our notes and links to find What We Learned.

May 23 – Topic: Healthy Work Environment

Presenters: TJCOG Staff Brennan Bouma and Kelsey Kusterer

Sponsored by the United Soybean Board

Hosted by Triangle J Council of Governments
 
What We Learned: 
  • A healthy workplace:
    • is lead safe
    • is free of asthma triggers like mold, allergens and tobacco smoke
    • uses pesticides minimally, if at all
    • carbon monoxide and radon levels are closely monitored
    • has safe drinking water
    • has a workplace safety plan in place
    • utilizes energy safely and efficiently
  • Biobased products can be more effective than and are cost competitive to petroleum based products. Sustainable businesses should consider purchasing biobased cleaners, furniture, printer toner, etc. View the presentation here: Healthy Work Environment L&L Presentation-SoyBioBased

June 27 – Topic: Energy

Presenters:  Jeremy Morrison, Progress Energy & Len Hoey, Director of the Utility Savings Initiative, Energy Office, NC Department of Commerce
Hosted by Research Triangle Foundation

The Utility Savings Initiative is North Carolina’s lead-by-example program supporting energy efficiency in public buildings. This program was created to help North Carolina public facilities reduce their use of energy, water and other utilities. Find out how you can apply their experience to your business or organization.

What We Learned:
  • Jeremy Morrison from Progress Energy presented on their “Energy Efficiency for Business” program which gives significant incentives to any business in the Progress Energy service area that plans to upgrade their lighting, HVAC, appliances, or other electricity consuming devices. Please see the presentation for more details and then go to: www.Progress-Energy.com/Business
  • Duke Energy customers will find a similar incetives program here.
  • Len Hoey from the State Energy Office of the NC Department of Commerce then gave a lively presentation focused on the common ways that businesses waste energy and money, and the no cost or low-cost ways to implement changes to avoid them. No matter what sector of business you’re in, there is something for you in this presentation.
    Also, be sure to check out other energy efficiency incentives at: www.dsireusa.org/summarytables/finee.cfm

July 25 – Topic:  Transportation

Time:  11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Location: Triangle Transit, 4600 Emperor Blvd. Suite 100, Durham
Presenter: Shelly Parker, GoTriangle
 
GoTraingle is an organization allied with Triangle Transit that is committed to helping your employees save money and clean the air by commuting without their cars. Whether your business wants to reduce parking demand and expenses, improve employee productivity and job satisfaction, lower HR expenses, or have transportation as part of your robust sustainability plan, GoTriangle can give you tools and information to get started with a Commuter Benefits Plan (Scorecard item T-1). Their FREE programs reward employees and students for not driving alone and recognize employers that support sustainable travel.   
View presentation
 
What We Learned:
  • Shelly Parker took attendees through an engaging summary of GoTriangle’s alternative-commute benefits, which are free to any employer or employee in Durham, Orange, and Wake counties.
    • An alternative commute is any trip to work where you do not drive alone: carpool, bus, telework, walk, bike, etc.
    • Benefits: Pre-tax commuter savings accounts, avoided costs of parking lot expansion, active commutes can improve employee morale and retention rate, employees avoid higher and higher costs of gasoline.
    • GoTriangle will consult with your business one-on-one to help you determine what benefits will work best for your employees.

 

August 22 – Topic:  WATER 

Time: 11:30 am – 1:00 pmLocation: Wake Forest Town Hall,301 S. Brooks St.Wake Forest, NC 27587-2901
Presenters:
Lars Hanson, TJCOG Water Resources Program
Cinnamon Black, Raleigh’s Water Conservation Specialist
The TJCOG Water Resources Program is a home for regional partnerships and programs that help manage water supply and water quality in the region’s two main water supplies: the Cape Fear River Basin (which contains Jordan Lake) and the Neuse River Basin (which contains Falls Lake).

What We Learned:
  • Lars Hanson from TJCOG summarized where the Triangle’s water comes from and what you are getting when you pay your water bill. He also discussed how long it’s going to take our growing population to overtake our current water supply and what water efficiency can mean to your utility and your business. View Presentation
  • Cinnamon Black from Raleigh outlined the differences between water efficiency (through technology) and conservation (through behaviors) and then went on to discuss resources businesses can use to save water including:
    • Water Efficiency Check-ups
    • The WaterSense Label
    • Water Efficient Fixtures
    • The Energy Star Label & Products
    • City of Raleigh’s and Water-Efficient Projects

View Presentation

September 25 – Topic: WASTE

Time:  11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Location: Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, 104 S Estes Drive, Suite 102, Chapel Hill 
Presenter: Waste Reduction Partners and NC DEAO
 
Waste Reduction Partners, a team of highly experienced staff and volunteer retired engineers, architects and scientists, provides North Carolina businesses and institutions with waste and energy reduction assessments and technical assistance. WRP services are typically grant-sponsored or supported through technical service contracts to provide technical assistance to its clients at no-cost.  All services are nonregulatory and confidential
 
The Division of Environmental Assistance and Outreach (DEAO) is a non-regulatory agency within the Department of Environment and Natural Resources whose mission is to protect and improve North Carolina’s environment and economy through:
  • Providing customer-focused assistance,
  • Facilitating a greater understanding of environmental permitting and compliance,
  • Encouraging wider adoption of sustainable practices,
  • Promoting increased recycling and reduced waste disposal and,
  • Reducing impacts from resource consumption.
 What We Learned:

Tom Rhodes from NCDEAO discussed several programs that they run for the hospitality sector and other businesses and the environmental management systems that are at the center of those programs. He also let us know that throwing away recycleables in NC could get you a fine as landfills cannot accept solid waste with a certain percentage of things like aluminum cans and glass bottles. While NCDEAO has knowledge of these laws, they can provide governmental technical assistance grant funding to your business without any worry of governmental penalties since they are non-regulatory.

Ernie Swanson and Beverly Fermor from WRP then laid out the way their program creates individually tailored waste assessments for their clients that are in most cases done at no-cost to their client. They can also go a step further in finding markets for the waste products, turning a costly disposal issue into a new source of revenue! Contact them to find out how they are saving their clients over a million dollars a year across the state.
 
Check out their combined presentation and following links for more infomation:

Three NCDEAO waste reduction and recycling education campaigns. Each one has printable materials like signs for your recycle bins: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/deao/outreach/recycling-education-campaigns

 

 Link to our Banned Materials Legislation page: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/deao/recycling/banned-materials

October 24 – Topic:  Company Engagement

Time:  11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Location: Triangle J Council of Governments, 4307 Emperor Blvd. Suite 110, Durham
Presenters: Office Depot and Cascades
What We Learned:

Office Depot shared some of the expertise that has helped them lower their portfolio-wide energy consumption by over 30 percent and secured them the title of Newsweek’s  “#1 Greenest Large Retailer” three years running. They presented on the benefits to using green products from any part of the spectrum of sustainability. These products can now cost even less than their non-sustainable counterparts while still working just as well, and creating sustainability success stories that can help a company win business and keep pace with their competition. For an easy how-to guide for creating your own Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Policy, check out their presentation here.

Cascades is a multi-faceted international paper company that uses only 100% recycled content in every product they make. Cascades commitment to sustainability goes even further. In their 10 US factories, including one in North Carolina, they’ve made new efficiency investments to save fuels in their delivery trucks, installed wind energy generation, and created a new process to make tissue paper products that use 5 times less water than traditional processes. By 2014 all sales staff will be driving hybrid vehicles.

Cascades supplies many of Office Depot’s sustainable paper products and are a model of how profitable business sustainability can be! Any business that switches to their products can use their online calculator to determine how many trees and much water and energy they are saving. Click here for their presentation.

For questions, please contact bbouma@tjcog.org or 919.558.2710