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Enviro-Stewards’ Campbells Project Selected as Top Sustainability Project in Canada & Enviro-Stewards receives UN Sustainable Development Goals Social Enterprise Award

At the conclusion of the Clean50 awards on September 28th, Enviro-Stewards Food Loss and Waste Prevention project at Campbell Soup was selected as the top Sustainability Project in Canada for 2018.   Campbells was already diverting 99% of its’ food waste to a biogas facility.

Even so, Enviro-Stewards Food Loss + Waste Reduction demonstration project through Provision Coalition identified practical opportunities to avoid creating almost 1,000 tonnes/year of food waste in the first place.  These opportunities will save Campbells $706,000 per year with a 6 month payback and avoid 4,000 tonnes/yr of (embedded) Greenhouse gas emissions compared to the already relatively responsible practice of diversion of food waste to make biogas.

Also at the Clean50 awards, Enviro-Stewards project for Southbrook Winery project received a national sustainability award and Enviro-Stewards’ founder, Bruce Taylor, was selected as the top sustainability consultant.  Southbrook had recently completed an energy conservation assessment that found their LEED gold certified organic & biodynamic winery could save an additional 5% of their energy with a 20-year payback.  Enviro-Stewards’ subsequent energy conservation assessment found that the facility could actually save 40% of their energy with a 4-month payback.  This resulted in Southbrook installing 1/3 less solar panels and hence conserving ½ acre of vineyard that would otherwise have been covered with solar panels (saving 50 cases per year of wine!).

Also on September 28th, Global Compact Canada selected Enviro-Stewards was awarded a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Award 2017 by the Global Compact Network Canada (the Canadian network of the UN Global Compact).  In 2004, Enviro-Stewards founded the safe water project.  This project trains and equips community groups in South Sudan and Kenya to sustainably provide safe water.  Enviro-Stewards collaborates with CAWST to provide train the trainer biosand filter implementer training.  They then provide the groups with social venture business training and sales training that helps residents understand how purchasing their own locally made biofilter is typically about 10 times less expensive than their family’s present expenditures on water related illnesses.  Although the primary focus is on safe water, the method that the projects are delivered also help the most of the other development goals.

Many of the South Sudanese project managers have lost everything and are currently refugees in Northern Uganda (in and around Bidi Bidi, which has grown to be the largest refugee camp in the world).  Even though the managers have lost all of their possessions, they have retained their capacity and are restarting safe water projects in Northern Uganda.  The teams have already provided more than 3,000 people in their host communities with safe water since February 2017.

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2018 Clean50 Projects Announced!

Enviro-Stewards has two Clean50 Top Projects this year!

Enviro-Stewards was retained to help craft a Food Loss + Waste Reduction Toolkit for Provision Coalition and then managed the initial pilot of the toolkit in an assessment with Campbell Company of Canada.  We are excited by this project as it demonstrates how prevention of food waste (rather than managing food waste after it is created) resulted in almost 1,000 tonnes per year of food waste being prevented with an annual savings of $706,000 and avoidance of 4,000 tonnes of GHG emissions compared to their current practice of diverting food waste for biogas production.

We are also excited by our project with Southbrook Winery.  If ever there was an obvious candidate for proceeding directly to renewables, it would be Southbrook. Their facility is organic, biodynamic, treats its wastewater onsite, is situated in a LEED gold certified building, and recently completed an energy conservation study that found that a further reduction in electricity of 5% would have an average payback of 20 years.

Even so, Enviro-Stewards assessment found and implemented practical measures to avoid an additional 40% of their electricity and natural gas consumption, with a payback of 0.4 years.  This avoided ½ acres of solar panels that would otherwise have been required to waste this energy.  Very rarely, can you see avoided energy.  In this case, you can drink some of the “preserved reserve” wine that would otherwise been plowed over to make way for solar panels.

Click the images below to read about our winning projects for Campbell Company of Canada and Southbrook Winery.

You can read about the other award-winning projects here.

“Best for the World” Recipients Speak at Ryerson University

On September 12, 2017, Bruce Taylor (Enviro-Stewards), Helmi Ansari (Grosche), and John Reimer (PeaceWorks) spoke together on a panel of “Businesses that are built to last – the return on investment of fair workplaces.”  Coincidentally, on the same day as the panel, each of their businesses were reported by B Lab to Best for the World Corporations for 2017 due to their overall impact.

Check out all the “Best for the World Corporations” by clicking here.

Enviro-Stewards Publishes Its 2016 Annual Public Benefit Statement

Enviro-Stewards is a certified B Corporation whose mission is to cultivate resilient businesses and improve lives in extraordinary ways.

As part of our B Corp recertification process, we must publish an Annual Public Benefit Statement. The document enclosed in this link presents our 2016 Statement.

Highlights from the statement include:

Enviro-Stewards Projects:

  • To date, Enviro-Stewards projects are estimated to have saved facilities $45 million with an average payback period of 0.9 years and saved:
    • 32 million m3 of natural gas,
    • 42 million kWh of electricity,
    • 5.5 million m3 of water,
    • 60 thousand tonnes of GHG emissions, and avoided
    • 48.5 thousand tonnes of waste

Safe Water Project:

  • To date, the Safe Water Project founded by Enviro-Stewards is estimated to have:
    • Installed 747 biofilters
    • Purified 42 million litres of water
    • Saved 3.7 thousand trees
    • Avoided 7.3 thousand tonnes of GHG emissions
    • Avoided 1,700 cases of typhoid
    • Created 17 jobs in developing countries, and
    • Injected $20,000 into the local economy
  • The civil war in South Sudan has reached a critical level which has necessitated each of the projects in that country to cease operations.  However, two of the managers have been successfully relocated to Northern Uganda, where they are establishing new Safe Water Projects to provide safe water and meaningful employment to the South Sudanese refugees there as well as the local Ugandan population.

Read our full Statement for further details.

If you would like to learn more about B Corporations or how your company could become one, please visit www.bcorporation.net.

Southbrook Vineyards unveils energy conservation project

Southbrook Vineyards has issued a news release about its recent energy projects, which started with an energy conservation assessment conducted by Enviro-Stewards. Our approach is to begin with energy conservation first before looking at alternative energy sources, such as solar, because of the strong environmental and economic benefits of the conservation-first approach. The slide below demonstrates one of the key benefits to Southbrook from taking this approach:

You can read Southbrook’s official news release by clicking the image below, and you can read through the rest of the project slides by clicking here.

Also, please check out Southbrook’s website to learn more about their mission and amazing biodynamic wines!

Remembering Don Bell

Don Bell and his daughter Angela, sunburnt & covered in dirt in a mud hut near Morrobo, South

I recently learned that a friend, mentor and champion passed away in a car accident on January 23rd, 2017.  I first met Don through our work with Tim Hortons’ Fruition Fruit and Fills plant in Oakville.  The previous plant manager had hired us to address an environmental compliance concern.  Halton Region was concerned that the thousand kilograms per day of organic material in the wastewater discharged from the plant could not be accommodated by the town’s effluent treatment facilities.

The problem could be solved with a conventional approach (a million dollar onsite biological treatment plant) or a preventative approach that would reduce ingredient losses in the first place while increasing net annual profits for the facility.  However, the plant manager rejected both options and insisted that the facility could not possibly be losing a thousand killograms a day of organic material.

A few months later, I received a call from Don, who let me know that he was the new plant manager for Fruition.  When I briefed him on the work to date, he immediately said great, where do we start.  I was very impressed by Don’s motivational and leadership capacity.  Together with his team, we implemented measures that cut ingredient losses to the sewer by 80%, even though production increased by 2/3 during this same period.  Collectively, the ingredient & water savings as well as the energy conservation measures identified by Don’s brother Peter, saved Fruition $490,000/yr with a payback period of 0.4 years (4.5 months).

From the savings, Don provided a bonus to every one of his employees of $4,000, which left $8,000/employee of additional profit for the corporation.  He also used 1% of the savings to sponsor the construction of 40 biosand filters in South Sudan through the Safe Water Project.

Don then asked me out for a beer.  He said that his daughter Angela has two degrees and is still wondering what to do.  Can we come with you to visit the biofilters in South Sudan? And so, after travelling as far as a 4 wheel drive van could go, then 25 miles on the back of motorcycles and waiting for a crew to remove landmines from the side of the road, the picture above was taken in a mud hut near a coffee plantation in Morrobo, South Sudan.  Today, Angela is President & CEO of Speedo Foods & Flavours.

The Fruition project subsequently won a national sustainability award.  Don subsequently moved on to Tradition Fine Foods, where he manged teams that improved and enhanced their production process.  Angela & her sister Melissa went on to start up an ingredient business with the guidance of Don.  And Tim Hortons hired Enviro-Stewards to revist the biofilters a few years later.  The revisits found that 39 of the 40 biofilters remained in active use.

Don’s sponsorship of biofilters and visit occurred during the foundational period of the Safe Water Project.  At the present time, all 4 of the biofilter construction projects in South Sudan have been put on hold due to civil war in each of their areas.  However, the South Sudanese project managers have retained their capacity and are presently starting safe water projects in Northern Uganda that provide local employment and affordable safe water for South Sudanese refugees as well the local Ugandan population.  In honour of Don’s passion and generosity, 10 discounted biofilters will be commissioned from these new projects in memory of Don.  These discounts allow families with limited financial resources to purchase biofilters to provide safe water for their families for about 25 years.

Enviro-Stewards’ Project with Dextran Featured in Manufacturing Automation

Partners in Project Green (PPG) has been working with businesses in the Greater Toronto Area to showcase best practices in water efficiency. PPG partnered with Enviro-Stewards, who are part of PPG’s vendor network, to conduct a water efficiency assessment at Dextran Products Ltd., who manufacture bulk dextran products for international export.

Enviro-Stewards’ work identified potential water savings of $109,760/year (45,450 m3/year) and an additional $10,600/year in natural gas and cooling tower treatment chemical savings. Additionally, there is the potential to sell $8,800 of sugar (fructose) if it can practically be filtered from Dextran’s process water.  And the measures at Dextran have an average payback period of 0.3 years!  The work was completed using Enviro-Stewards innovative shared savings approach (which was also used on Andrew Peller’s Award Winning project).

This project was featured in Manufacturing Automation. Please click the image below to read the full feature.

Enviro-Stewards’ Safe Water Project Featured in UW’s “Waterloo Stories”

Our Safe Water Project was featured on the University of Waterloo’s website today. Please click here or on the image below to read the full article!

PPG and Enviro-Stewards’ Project with Dextran Featured in ESE Magazine

Partners in Project Green (PPG) has been working with businesses in the Greater Toronto Area to showcase best practices in water efficiency. PPG partnered with Enviro-Stewards, who are part of PPG’s vendor network, to conduct a water efficiency assessment at Dextran Products Ltd., who manufacture bulk dextran products for international export.

Enviro-Stewards’ work identified potential water savings of $109,760/year (45,450 m3/year) and an additional $10,600/year in natural gas and cooling tower treatment chemical savings. Additionally, there is the potential to sell $8,800 of sugar (fructose) if it can practically be filtered from Dextran’s process water.  And the measures at Dextran have an average payback period of 0.3 years!  The work was completed using Enviro-Stewards innovative shared savings approach (which was also used on Andrew Peller’s Award Winning project).

This project was featured in both the print and online edition of Environmental Science & Engineering (ESE) Magazine’s February 2017 issue. Please click the image below to read the full feature.

A Better Way to Bigger Profits: Enviro-Stewards Best for the World Award Featured in AFPA in Action Magazine

In September 2016, Enviro-Stewards was selected by B lab as one of the best businesses for the world.  The enclosed article (on page 22) by the Alberta Food Processors Association (AFPA) outlines why.

Enviro-Stewards’ integrated assessments average more than $250,000 of savings per facility, a 90 per cent implementation rate, and a one year payback period.

Enviro-Stewards’ projects have helped facilities identify practical opportunities to save:

  • $42 million of additional profit
  • 29 million cubic meters of natural gas (which is enough to heat 10,000 homes for a year)
  • 37 million kilowatt hours of electricity (equivalent to the output of 145 acres of solar panels)
  • 5 million cubic meters of water (enough to fill tanker trucks half way across North America)
  • 45,000 tonnes of solid waste generation (enough to fill a football field 50 feet high), and
  • 53,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

The development work that Enviro-Stewards initiated in South Sudan is the Safe Water Project (www.thesafewaterproject.org). So far, it has purified 39 million litres of water, avoided the deforestation of 3,000 trees that would have otherwise been needed to boil water to make it safe to drink, avoided 6,000 tonnes of GHG emissions in developing countries, as well as avoided about 1,450 cases of typhoid.

According to B lab, best for the world businesses are “in our opinion, the best businesses in the world. More certainly, they have subjected themselves to a strict assessment that indicates that they are the best for the world.”

The B Impact Assessment gives companies a score based on how they perform on metrics for impact on their communities, the environment, workers, and customers.  The 1,800-plus businesses around the world that have undergone the B Impact Assessment and certified as B Corporations are all leaders demonstrating the many ways businesses can be a force for good in the world. The Best for the World list highlights businesses that B Lab has determined to have scored in the top 10 percent of all Certified B Corporations on the assessment.