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  • 25 Mar 2013 2:08 PM | Deleted user

    The following bills are those that the Green Chamber Public Policy group voted to OPPOSE this legislative session:

    SB1321 - Residential Energy Efficiency; Building Codes
    This bill prohibits municipalities, counties, or any other political subdivision from regulating residential energy consumption and energy efficiency.  Additionally, it establishes criteria for compliance with any regulation or legal requirement for residential energy consumption and energy efficiency.  

    SB1403 - United Nations Rio Declaration; Prohibition
    This bill prohibits the state and all other political subdivisions from adopting or implementing any tent of the UN Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and the Statement of Principles for Sustainable Development.

    HB2511 - Political Subdivisions; Energy Incentives; Prohibition
    This bill prohibits the state (agencies, boards and commission, public universities), and political subdivisions from claiming or accepting any public utility incentive or subsidy for the implementation and/or use of any renewable energy devices.

    The following bills are those that the Green Chamber Public Policy group voted to SUPPORT this legislative session:

    SB1313 - Tax Corrections
    This bill makes numerous corrections to the tax code, including simplifying and/or clarifying renewable energy tax incentives.

    HB2276 - Benefit Corporations
    This bill establishes new statutes regulating corporations that operate with the specific purpose of creating a material positive impact on society and the environment.

    Amanda A. Reeve
    Policy Analyst
    Polsinelli Shughart

  • 20 Mar 2013 11:37 AM | Anonymous
    Did you have just one too many green drinks while celebrating St. Patrick's Day? I know I did, even if they were just Shamrock Shakes!

    Surely you will have recovered by April 2, when the Green Chamber of Commerce invites you to join us at the FireSky Resort and Spa for an evening of sustainable networking.

    This month's Green Drinks is going to be very special as you will have the opportunity to learn about our Great Green Business Search on April 25 as well as an amazing event coming up on May 9!

    We'll also be holding several raffle drawings for both Members and soon-to-be Members, so please invite a guest to join you as we work together to Advance a More Sustainable Arizona Economy.  





    We invite you to register online now so we can heat up enough green hor d'ouvres, or you can just show up with your business cards and get connected!

    Please contact Andrew Kolikoff at 480.269.2759 or Bill Merrow at 602.821.7340 if you need additional information about Green Drinks, becoming a member of the Green Chamber of Commerce or know a business who could be the Great Green Business of 2013!



  • 04 Mar 2013 4:08 PM | Deleted user

    Ford’s recycling and remanufacturing program has kept 120 million pounds of damaged vehicle parts from landfills since 2003, effectively ending the days when the crack of a headlamp or crunch of a bumper would render useless such components.

    The Core Recovery Program oversees collection, remanufacturing and recycling of damaged parts – everything from small sensors and fuel injectors to large engine parts – from Ford vehicles that have been repaired through the company’s dealer network.

    In the last nine years, about 120 million pounds have been collected in the U.S. and approximately 3 million pounds can be attributed to the 36 Ford dealers who participate in the program in Arizona.

    “As a business operator, it is our responsibility to utilize our resources properly and maintain sustainable practices,” said John Bernath, director of fixed operations at San Tan Ford in Gilbert, Ariz. “We have been recycling oil and petroleum products for years and with the Core Recovery Program, we are changing the way we do business. One key benefit of the program is that parts can be inspected for failures and changes can be made to future products increasing the quality of the overall vehicle.”

    The list of parts recycled or remanufactured continues to grow. In the last two years, bumpers and headlights were added to the list. In the short time since, about 62,000 bumpers have been collected while about 26,000 headlights have been recycled.

    “Most parts that come back to us through the program still have a lot of life left,” says Kim Goering, manager of Ford’s remanufacturing and recycling programs. “That makes a strong business case to do whatever we can to extend the life of these components. Even more important, however, is that Ford strongly believes it’s just the right thing to do from an environmental perspective.”

    Remanufacturing history

    Ford has remanufactured parts for decades, but it formed the Core Recovery Program in 2003. The impetus was that there were too many different collection methods being used in various parts of the company, making it too hard and confusing for all the parties involved – from the dealers to those managing Ford’s supply chain.

    Other factors led to the creation of the Core Recovery Program: Vehicle components, for example, have become increasingly complex and expensive, making it more important than ever to recycle and reuse parts whenever possible. 

    Take the headlight portion of the program: As recently as 15 years ago, headlights were pretty basic and utilitarian – consisting mostly of a bulb, a glass lens and a reflector.

    Now, typical headlight assemblies are almost two feet wide and have become a major part of the vehicle, both in terms of design and function – consisting of not just a few parts, but expensive plastics, advanced bulb technology, additional wiring harnesses and more.

    The headlight portion of the program started in November 2011. In its first year alone, about 26,000 units were reclaimed and every single part of the headlamp is recycled.

    In fact, more than 85 percent of each Ford vehicle today is recyclable, with more and more parts being kept from landfills.

    Bumpers, for example, are now collected and sent to a third party where they are processed into pellets that can then be used to make brand-new products. Since 2010, about 62,000 bumpers have been recycled through the program.

    “These bumpers are typically between five and six feet long and can yield as much as 20 pounds of material after they have been processed,” said Goering. “That adds up fast and makes it pretty easy to see how much of an impact the program makes – and that’s with just one category.”

     

    How it’s done

    Dealers pay a core charge on each new part bought from Ford to replace a damaged one. When the original damaged part is returned to Ford, the dealer gets the money from the core charge back – operating exactly like bottle return systems do in some parts of the United States.

    San Tan Ford in Gilbert, Ariz., as an example, recycled 1,732 different core parts last year totaling more than $326,000 in core charges.

    To collect the damaged and broken parts from dealers, Ford works with distributors strategically located around the country, such as Guarantee Parts Distributor in Phoenix. The 32,000-square-foot center serves as the central collection point for all Arizona-based Ford dealerships.

    Ford uses a proprietary system involving bar codes and scanners to keep track of every single part collected. Once collected, each part is evaluated for either recycling or remanufacturing potential.

    Parts recycled are sent to third-party processors and the raw material is resold.

    When parts are remanufactured, they are cleaned, machined and tested to meet Ford quality standards. Like the raw material that comes from recycling, the parts that are remanufactured can then be sold or used in new applications. In the rare instances when recycling or remanufacturing is not an option, Ford ensures proper disposal.

    Goering says that whether parts are recycled or remanufactured, the Core Recovery Program has been profitable for Ford – and that it could grow even more.

    “As the vehicle population grows, so does our business,” she says. “We are always considering the business case for different products, which is quite a task when you think about the sheer quantity and complexity of the parts going into today’s vehicles.”

    More information about the Ford Core Recovery Program can be found in a video posted here. More information about Ford’s overall sustainability can be found here.

     

  • 25 Feb 2013 11:19 AM | Anonymous
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Phoenix, AZ (February 13, 2013) – The Green Chamber officially welcomed Amanda Reeve as the newest member of their Board of Directors for a two-year term at the most recent Board meeting.

    Ms. Reeve will bring significant experience to the Board as she served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 2010 to 2013. Prior to being elected in November 2010, she was appointed to replace outgoing Representative Sam Crump. Currently, Ms. Reeve is a paralegal for an Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources client-service practice group at Polsinelli Shughart, PC.

    Ms. Reeve grew up on The Reeve Hereford Ranch in LaPlata County near Durango, Colorado. She completed her undergraduate degree at California State University, Sacramento and moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 2000. She is currently finishing her Master’s degree in the Environmental Technology Management graduate program at Arizona State University. 

    Ms. Reeve Chaired the House Environment Committee and served as a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Higher Education and Innovation Reform Committee, the Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee (2010) and the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee (2010). Additionally, she was appointed by Governor Brewer in 2011 to serve as Chair of the Arizona State Agency Fee Commission through January 2013.

    As a result of Ms. Reeve’s legislative and regulatory work on behalf of Arizona businesses during the 50th Legislature, she received:

    ·         Representative of the Year by the Arizona Manufacturing Council

    ·         Representative of the Year by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industries

    ·         Representative of the Year by the Arizona Chapter, Solid Waste Association of North America

    ·         Sentinel Award from the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce 

    Additional recognition Ms. Reeve has receive includes:

    ·         Leadership Award from the Mesa Prevention Alliance in appreciation of her efforts to support Arizona’s local communities in preventing substance abuse

    ·         Hero of the Cities and Towns Award from The League of Arizona Cities and Towns as a result of working cohesively with the municipalities on various issues

    ·         Advocate of the Year by Arizona’s Game and Fish Commission in recognition of her contributions to wildlife

    ·         Arts Hero Award from the Arizona Action for Arts

    ·         Best Republican Representative – 50th Legislature by the Arizona Capitol Times’ 2012 Best of the Capitol

    Ms. Reeve was honored to be nominated by Leadership in the Arizona House of Representatives for the very prestigious 2011 Emerging Leaders Program, sponsored by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. She was one of only fifty state legislators selected to participate in the program from a nationwide pool of over 200 outstanding nominees.

    Board Chair, Michael Grossman, said about Reeve’s appointment, “We’ve taken a significant step forward in our long term plan to ensure sustainability and The Green Chamber will always be a part of the conversation in public policy circles and economic development discussions in the Valley with Amanda’s appointment. The legislature’s loss has been the organization and the region’s gain.”

    About The Green Chamber: Greater Phoenix:

     

    The Green Chamber: Greater Phoenix is a non-profit, volunteer organization focused on advancing a sustainable economy. Its mission is to discover, network, and promote green businesses in Arizona by serving as a central portal of information, resources and connectivity. The Green Chamber offers monthly networking and educational events in addition to sponsorship of the Great Green Business Search.

     

    For more information about The Green Chamber: Greater Phoenix membership and events, visit http://www.thegreenchamber.org and connect on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

  • 22 Feb 2013 12:42 PM | Anonymous

    WHAT'S THE DEAL?

     

    Employees and businesses get a chance to clean out that old drawer or back room of cell phones, computers and other electronics. Proceeds from items that can be refurbished and resold will go to benefit the Phoenix Green Chamber. All electronics that are no longer functioning will be responsibly recycled to ensure landfill diversion. 




  • 22 Feb 2013 12:22 AM | Anonymous

    A significantly under-reported headline in 2012 was the dramatic increase in U.S. solar installations: Americans installed over 3 gigawatts of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in 2012 undefined an unprecedented level, up 71 percent year-over-year. Can you name another industry that grew this much?

    America’s forecasted 3.2GW in 2012 is up from 1.9GW in 2011, and less than one gigawatt in 2010. The U.S. industry grew despite questions about economic recovery, limited financing opportunities, an abundance of “cheap” natural gas, and a presidential campaign that made energy independence a political hot potato. One or two high-profile failures brought skepticism on an energy resource that, by all accounts, is one of the most promising ever discovered. The reality is that 2012 was the biggest year ever for U.S. solar installations.

    American homeowners, businesses and utilities drove investments in solar energy. California, Arizona, and Colorado accelerated the uptake of solar energy systems to the point of decreasing their incentive programs significantly. The lack of low-interest financing from conventional banks encouraged third-party leases and “power purchase agreements” that enable homeowners to install PV with zero money down.

    Industry insiders will look back on 2012 as a year of consolidation. Several well-known brands actually pulled out of the U.S. solar market in 2012, including Sharp, Schott, Siliken and Uni-Solar. Further, the influx of PV modules from China drove prices down an astonishing 30 percent.

    While installations expanded, only industry stalwarts remained profitable within this tumultuous pricing environment.

    Some 2012 PV highlights included:

    • The National Solar Jobs Census reported that the industry enjoyed 13.2 percent year-on-year employment growth. The U.S. solar industry now employs more than 119,000 Americans.

    • Sempra U.S. Gas & Power completed construction of the first 92 MW phase of its Copper Mountain Solar 2 solar PV plant in Nevada using First Solar modules.

    • The NEDO Japan-U.S. Collaborative Smart Grid Project launched in Los Alamos, N.M., representing a landmark cooperative effort between top international researchers to develop the “smart grid” that will be instrumental for the further optimization of PV.

    • Kyocera celebrated its two millionth PV module produced in North America, with manufacturing plants that are generally running near capacity. It took Kyocera five years to produce its first million modules in North America undefined and less than two years to produce the second million.

    This is all good news for consumers. It means the initial questions regarding the cost and reliability of solar energy have now been completely overcome. While concerns remain about the reliability of low-cost imports, polycrystalline silicon PV cells now have four decades of successful field experience undefined and products from established producers represent a very reliable solution.

    Consumers must stay informed. In their frenzy to enter the industry, many new companies were founded in the past 10 years, and some undoubtedly rushed to market. When a product competes solely on price, there is a real risk that cost-cutting shortcuts will affect performance and reliability. In short: “You get what you pay for.”

    To minimize risk, check the PV module’s warranty. If the module is guaranteed for 25 years, and the manufacturer hasn’t been in business that long, the lower price may merely represent a higher risk.

    2012 was a year of solar revolution because, against the odds, Americans moved their solar market forward. We must recognize that the 30% federal investment tax credit helped accelerate the U.S. solar market, and that a growing number of states are encouraging solar adoption. Kudos go to the home and business owners who install and use solar energy, and to the utilities serious about building a sustainable energy portfolio.

    In 2013, many solar incentive programs will be winding down. With current low costs and more consumers installing PV, we will likely see more financing models including solar leases and loans, and “solar share” programs. One thing is certain: the new year brings new promise for America’s energy future. And there has never been a more exciting time for the U.S. solar energy industry.

    What's your view on the opportunities to
    Advance a Sustainable Arizona Economy
    with Solar in 2013 and beyond?


    Post your comments on the
    Green Chamber of Greater Phoenix's
    Facebook Page and tell us now!

    Cecilia Aguillon is the Director of Marketing and Government Relations for Kyocera Solar, Inc. She works with local, state, and federal governments across the United States , Canada and Mexico on designing and implementing solar energy programs and renewable portfolio standard programs. 

    Cecilia works with several solar trade associations around the United States . She currently serves as Vice President on the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CalSEIA) Board, on the TXSEIA board, and as member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Good Neighbor Environmental Board. In addition, she is involved in business development, marketing, advertising and public relations activities in the regions Kyocera has market presence. Cecilia has been with Kyocera since 1998.

  • 14 Dec 2012 12:23 AM | Anonymous

    Have you ever read the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams? If you ever need a really good laugh, please do.  Beyond the humor in this immortal and embarrassingly funny four-part trilogy of books, Adams also gave the world something profound. He gave us the answer to the ultimate question of life the universe and everything, and it is “42.” Ask Google the same question and you get the same response, 42.  The rule of 42 also holds true for this article, or more precisely, 42 x 102 or $4,200. This is the amount of money needed to lift a family from an all too common but largely unknown to the American public condition called “energy poverty.”

    In most of the world, “energy poverty” refers to the lack of access of underprivileged populations to clean affordable energy thus inhibiting their economic development. However, in the United States, the challenge of energy poverty is a bit different. Here it is where many Americans are severely impacted by increasing energy and energy related costs such as food, and its effects are insidious. According to the 2011 University of Arizona report,  “Making the link between energy and poverty” by Ardeth Barnhart, energy poverty is defined as households spending 10% or more of their income on fuel.

    The impacts of energy poverty are not as simple as having to cut down on the utility bill. It goes much further than that. According to the U of Az report, 21% or 1.4 million Arizonans now live in poverty. That’s an annual income of less than $21,954 for a family of four. We are ahead of only Mississippi in this statistic. This is where the rule of 42 comes in. $4,200 is about what many people pay annually in utilities, an average of $250/month for electricity and about $100/month for natural gas and water. For an impoverished family that’s 19% of their annual income or more, while this “energy burden” on the average American household is only 3%. If the December 14, 2011 Arizona Republic headline that 1 in 2 households in Arizona are in low income status is true (click here to read article: http://bit.ly/v7q3cP), then energy poverty may be far more common and hits far closer to home than even the U of Az numbers suggest.

    The impact of this condition can be devastating particularly on the children. When your disposable income is spent keeping the lights on and the roof over ones head, difficult decisions must be made.  You begin to make do and skimp. Now “making do” is a time honored American tradition. In some cases it stimulates innovation and the desire to make things better no matter what. However, all too often it begins a negative feedback loop that can lead to despair and desperation. One of the first things to go is watering the front lawn. I have seen this condition in many parts of our city, front lawns dead simply because the family can’t afford the water. This naturally depresses home and community pride as well as housing values by degrading the esthetics of the neighborhood. Frequently to save money poor nutritional choices such as fast food for the children predominate. It is much easier and takes much less expensive time to buy a TV dinner than to purchase the fixings and cook a good meal. This is likely a contributing factor to the epidemic of obesity and nutritionally related diseases we are now seeing such as diabetes. If you are sick you can’t work and the medical bills further exacerbate the situation. So much pain caused by the lack of so little money.

    So what to do? Government programs such as Energize Phoenix and The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) help some but there is just not enough money. So time for some ingenious thinking. Ingenuity is when you apply an idea to a problem. Sustainability (the ability to survive and prosper for the short and long term) can be created by harnessing and enhancing local social, environmental and economic resources to address a need. In other words, we can use what we know about sustainability from the bottom up to solve contemporary problems. This kind of thinking has given us a powerful new set of solutions to apply to this challenge and they go far beyond solar panels.

    Across our city there are growing numbers of sustainability-based programs that are directly or indirectly addressing the issues created by energy poverty. It is difficult to know of them for often not much is said. However, allow me to name a few that I am aware of or have been involved in. The 3000 Club’s Market on the Move for example rescues perfectly good inspected food destined to be wasted simply because it did not arrive to the right place on time or other trivialities and provides it to the public for only a donation to cover transportation. They are now working with the Chefs Association to insure that communities not only have access to this food but also know how to prepare it. The Green Revival program at Southminster Presbyterian Church of which Local First is now a contributor gives away to families in need an Energy Conservation Kit consisting of CFL light bulbs, low flow showerheads and other equipment that when used properly can reduce an annual power bill by $500, enough to reduce the energy burden on an impoverished family by 11%. Southminster will also be working with local home owners to demonstrate how to use now bare front lawns to grow food simultaneously addressing the nutrition, home value and community esthetics issues. With support from Audubon Arizona, a “Together Green grant” and others, Arizona Interfaith Power and Light (AzIPL), an ecumenical organization of faith based institutions fighting climate change works with congregations to reduce the power bills thus carbon footprints of their buildings in inner city areas through their “Footprints of Faith” program.

    The Gardens on Broadway in South Phoenix run by Mentor Kids USA and Tiger Mountain Foundation in association with local landowners such as Tanner Gardens are changing the nutritional availability of the area. As the final entry on this grossly incomplete list with a focus on Community Sustainability, add the reopening of the Rev. Dr. G. Benjamin Brooks, Sr., Academy (named after my father) by the Roosevelt School District as a “Community School” focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) at 32nd street and Wier. Equipped with a 13,000 square foot greenhouse the school will provide students of all ages with a strong learning experience pertaining to community health, well-being, culinary, sustainability and more. The greenhouse will be a learning lab growing seedlings, various herbs and seasonal crops through traditional gardens and aquaponics.

    Everyone must eat and healthy foods create healthy communities. With good food in their bellies children can think and better achieve in school while the opportunities for family productivity, self-sufficiency, community resiliency and thus sustainability also increase. Every dollar saved in energy conservation or home food production can go to offset the utility bill helping to tip the point back from disaster to hope. Sound Pollyannaish? No, all of these things are happening right now and are beginning to have real impact. The question that remains is, “what can you contribute?” The invitation is open.

    -George Brooks, Jr., PhD.

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