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Dr. Zeneli has led various projects in his home country, including the Albanian National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan 2014-2020 and the Annual Environmental Performance Audit of the Natural Resources Development Project. He has published and presented more than 70 articles and scientific papers in the field of forestry and environment (including publications in Tree Physiology and Oecologia).
He will be presenting a public lecture at the Clinton School on September 3 at 12 noon. His talk will center on the question of “Is there hope for the global environment in the long run?” and focus on EU policies and laws related to global ecological changes. Other visits, meetings and presentations are being planned in collaboration with the University of Arkansas Monticello’s School of Forestry and Natural Resources, the Arkansas Forestry Commission, and Arkansas Forestry Association, the USDA Forest Service, and the Nature Conservancy.
“’Having Dr. Zaneli represents a unique opportunity for Clinton School students, faculty, and staff, as well as others throughout Arkansas,” said Dean Skip Rutherford. “I am grateful to Dr. Christy Standerfer who has been instrumental in both arranging his visit and establishing the faculty exchange program with University Marin Barleti.”
Dr. Zeneli received a Ph.D. in Ecology from Friedrich Schiller University in Jena (Germany) after several years of research at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena (Germany). Prior to that, he earned a M.Sc. in Natural Products Chemistry from Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (Greece) and a degree of Diploma Engineer in forestry from Faculty of Forestry Sciences in Tirana (Albania).
He has served as Dean of Faculty of Integrated Studies with Practice in Durres, Albania; acting Director of the Barleti Institute of Research and Development in Tirana; and acting Dean of Faculty of Applied Sciences at University Marin Barleti.
About the Clinton School of Public Service
The first school in the nation to offer a Master of Public Service (MPS) degree, the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service gives students the knowledge and experience to further their careers in the areas of nonprofit, governmental, volunteer or private sector service. The school embodies President Clinton’s vision of building leadership in civic engagement and enhancing people’s capacity to work across disciplinary, racial, ethnic and geographical boundaries. More information about the Clinton School is available at www.clintonschool.uasys.edu.
About University Marin Barleti and Albanian Institute of Public Affairs
Universiteti Marin Barleti is a private institution of higher education in Albania named after the 15th-century historian/humanist, Marin Barleti, author of the historic account on the Skanderbeg epics. The university was established in 2005 by Marin Barleti Ltd., which is part of DUDAJ Group. Its mission is to raise the standards of a higher level of education within Albania. The university is governed by a board of some of the most respected names in Albanian, including the former president of the country, Rexhep Mejdani.
The Albanian Institute for Public Affairs, housed within University Marin Barleti, is a recently established (2011) non-for-profit institution, that doesn’t pursue any political, commercial, business or religious agenda. AIPA is committed to making a real impact on the democratization process of Albanian society, through improving the process of policy-making in Albania at a local and central level, enhancing capacity-building and strengthening public participation in all social activities with a public interest.
More information about University Marin Barleti and Albanian Institute of Public Affairs is available at http://www.umb.edu.al
Elston Forte came to the 2015 Social Entrepreneurship Boot Camp with a lot of passion. He left with a lot of focus.
Forte, who leads the Young Intellectual Active Minds (Y.I.AM) Project, was one of 22 participants at the boot camp, which paired aspiring social entrepreneurs with mentors from Arkansas, the United States and abroad to develop skills and knowledge needed to launch and/or scale a social enterprise. The boot camp, held July 17-19 at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, was a partnership between the Institute, the Clinton School of Public Service, the University of Arkansas Office of Entrepreneurship and the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub.
Each team opened the boot camp by pitching their social enterprise to the panel of mentors. Forte was nearly overcome with emotion and energy as he talked about Y.I.AM, a program designed to reduce recidivism and increase positive outcomes for young African-American males.
“Your energy is great,” said Permjot Valia, the London-based CEO and founder of MentorCamp, “but it’s really getting in the way of your message. You need to find that balance between having enough emotion to keep us engaged and not having so much that your point gets lost.”
That and other feedback Forte and his team received in the next 48 hours proved to be invaluable. When he presented his revised pitch to the panel of mentors, and under the observance of Clinton School Dean Skip Rutherford and Institute Executive Director Dr. Marta Loyd, he was poised, passionate and on point.
“The ability to break down and pinpoint the message for our organization was really valuable,” Forte said. “As a result of the boot camp, we’re going back and looking at our five-year business plan to make it a seven-year plan. We want to capitalize on all of the revenue streams we learned about.”
The progress made by each group was obvious, and they were each commended by the mentors for their hard work.
“The transformation and focus that they showed in the final presentations was truly remarkable,” Loyd said. “We saw that progress from every team, and it speaks directly to their character and perseverance and to the quality of the mentors at the boot camp.”
Joining Forte on the Y.I.AM team was Edward Roberts, Haley Shelton and Patrice Bax. Other social entrepreneurship groups participating were Kids Cook!, represented by Anaya Faith; USTED Corp., represented by Reginald Brown; Arkansas STEM Coalition, represented by Walter Burgess, Katherine Prewitt and Allison Nichols; Tesseract Studio, represented by David Fredrick, Keenan Cole, Chloe Costello, Taylor Yust, Hailey Ray and Gregory Rogers; Olive Loom, represented by Leah Garrett; Sweet, represented by Stephanie Harris; Support Groups United, represented by Jordan King and Danny Duong; Words to Grow On, represented by Dr. Peggy Sissel; Gabr Summer Institute, represented by Nathan Thomas; and Volunteer Network, represented by Natalia Topete.
The teams heard presentations from mentors and others, including an opening night interview of Steve Clark, founder of Propak, Inc. and co-founder of Rockfish and Noble Impact. They were also able to hear a social enterprise success story from Shea Halligan of Westrock Coffee. The rich content and variety of perspectives were part of what made the boot camp so valuable to the participants.
“The high-level work that the participants achieved in one weekend shows the importance and value of social entrepreneurs in Arkansas in solving our most pressing social issues,” said Nikolai DiPippa, director of public programs and strategic partnerships at the Clinton School of Public Service. “I look forward to watching the participants become thought leaders in this field and creating positive social impact.”
DiPippa and Valia were joined in serving as mentors by Phyl and Jeff Amerine, co-founders of Startup Junkie Consulting; Dr. Carol Reeves, associate vice-provost of entrepreneurship at the Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas; Dr. Cynthia Sides, associate director for the Office of Entrepreneurship and the director of the IGNITE (Industry Generating New Ideas and Technology through Education) program at the University of Arkansas; Trish Flanagan, co-founder of Picasolar and Noble Impact; Ben Kaufman, research officer for the Walton Family Foundation; and John Montgomery, chairman emeritus and senior legal advisor at Montgomery & Hansen, LLP in California.
Montgomery gave a presentation Saturday night about benefit corporations, a legal standing for companies so they can be measured both by profit growth and by social impact.
“One of our takeaways is we’re going to explore the benefit corporation status,” Forte said.
Reeves told the participants at the end of the boot camp that she felt energized by the work that had been done, and that she looked forward to future work in the area of social entrepreneurship in Arkansas.
“The participants came in with open minds, a willingness to learn and a strong work ethic, which made it possible for them to accomplish in 48 hours what would normally take months of work,” Reeves said. “All of the participants came in with passion; they left with a much better understanding of what it will take to make their ideas a reality and how to inspire others to join them in their efforts. The world-class mentors were blown away by the progress the participants made during the weekend, and they are anxious to see how these social entrepreneurs will transform the state.”
About the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute
In 2005, the University of Arkansas System established the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute with a grant from the Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust. By integrating the resources and expertise of the University of Arkansas System with the legacy and ideas of Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller, this educational institute and conference center creates an atmosphere where collaboration and change can thrive.
Program areas include Agriculture, Arts and Humanities, Civic Engagement, Economic Development, and Health. To learn more, call 501-727-5435, visit the website at www.rockefellerinstitute.org, or stay connected through Twitterand Facebook.
About the University of Arkansas Office of Entrepreneurship
The mission of the University of Arkansas’ Office of Entrepreneurship is to catalyze entrepreneurial activities and innovation across the university and throughout the state in order to build Arkansas’ knowledge-based economy. Established in 2011, the Office of Entrepreneurship has led commercialization retreats for faculty from the research universities in the state, supported student and faculty commercialization activities, integrated University of Arkansas research with demand-driven innovation needs in the state through the IGNITE program, and hosted several social entrepreneurship events.
University of Arkansas students have led the world in national and international business plan competitions since 2009, winning almost twice as many competitions as the next closest competitor. Students have won over $2.3 million in prize money, established 13 high-growth businesses, and raised almost $30 million to build their companies. Visit. http://entrepreneurship.uark.edu for more information.
About the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub
The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub (www.arhub.org) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing innovative and entrepreneurial activity in Arkansas by creating a collaborative ecosystem and pipelines that mobilize the resources, programs and educational opportunities necessary to develop, attract and retain talent and to build the state’s economy.
Fort Smith business leaders, working with the Fort Smith Public School District and the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, are moving forward with a plan to open by August 2016 a public charter school for students in grades 10-12.
Trish Flanagan, founder of the effort to create Future School of Fort Smith, said the group has planned public meetings from 6 to 7:30 p.m., July 9, 16 and 28, at the Elm Grove Community Center. The group is encouraging students, parents and educators to attend.
Info from Flanagan shows that they hope to have the charter application to the Arkansas Department of Education’s (ADE) Charter Authorizing Panel by the end of this summer. They plan to complete presentations to the ADE and get the charter approved by the end of 2015. If all goes well, student recruitment would begin in the spring/summer of 2016.
According to the Arkansas Public School Resource Center there are 20 open-enrollment public charter schools in Arkansas with more than 4,000 students.
“As a cross-sector partnership between the Fort Smith Public School District, the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith and local businesses, Future School will be a tuition-free, public school determined to embolden students to identify interests, cultivate relevant skills and connect to real world learning, graduating with three years of workforce experience,” noted a statement from Flanagan. “As the first Big Picture Learning school in Arkansas, our Learning Through Internship (LTI) model, guides students to develop their strengths and passions while also preparing for in-demand employment opportunities.”
Flanagan said the proposed school would be a unique asset for Fort Smith.
“We will be one of the only charter schools across the nation to partner with the local school district, higher education and business to support our students. Building on a solid foundation provided by local schools, we strive to be an example of cooperation, innovation and champions of student voice,” she said in a statement.
Flanagan has experience also in connecting education to the business and entrepreneurial worlds. She has 14 years experience working as an educator working with communities around the United States and abroad. She is the co-founder of Noble Impact, a K-12 education initiative integrating public service with an entrepreneurial mindset. Noble Impact is supported by Steve Clark, founder of Fort Smith-based Propak Logistics.
Prior to starting Noble Impact, Flanagan led the University of Arkansas’ Social Entrepreneurship Pilot Initiative.While completing a concurrent master’s degree at the Clinton School of Public Service and the Walton MBA Program, she co-founded Picasolar, an award-winning (MIT-DOE Clean Energy Prize) solar company.
School benefits touted by the group include:
• Partner with local schools to build and improve new instructional approaches like project-based classrooms and integrated technology to offer a diverse range of options for students and families;
• Students work with advisors and mentors to identify their unique interests and design internships with local businesses and community organizations to explore potential careers;
• Help students to build “a real-world tool box” to be better positioned for career, vocational and college pathways; and
• Students work on standards‐based team projects to develop problem‐solving and communication skills as well as necessary mindsets such as empathy, determination, curiosity, and resilience.
Sam Sicard, president and CEO of Fort Smith-based First Bank Corp., said the school will create a “problem solving” learning environment.
“Future School of Fort Smith will provide a unique learning environment, fostering critical and creative thinking skills, as well as entrepreneurial and independent thought. The School will enable high school students to engage in real-world problem solving through partnerships with all community stakeholders. These are the skill sets our employers need, and these are the same skill sets needed for those who aspire to be job creators,” Sicard said in a statement.
Partnership with the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith provides a dual credit option for students of the proposed school.
“As an active partner, we are eager to help them incorporate college level dual credit so that students will graduate from Future School with both practical knowledge and a University of Arkansas – Fort Smith college transcript in hand,” said UAFS Chancellor Dr. Paul Beran.
The group is looking for a temporary building to lease for 1-2 years that is preferably near UAFS. The space should house about 100 students the first year, with growth up to 300 students by year three.
Link here for a two-page flyer from Future School of Fort Smith about their proposed new public charter school.
The Center on Community Philanthropy at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service has received a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation titled, “Building Capacity for Community Philanthropy that Strengthens Sector Effectiveness for the Benefit of Vulnerable Children.” This comes as a part of the ongoing efforts to prioritize the needs of vulnerable children in the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta Region.
“The work of our Center aligns perfectly with the mission of the Kellogg Foundation to support vulnerable children, families and communities in the Delta region,” said Charlotte L. Williams, associate professor and director of the Center on Community Philanthropy. “We are grateful to the foundation for its continued support and we look forward to putting these funds to work for communities in need.”
The Center plans to promote community philanthropy by forming new models, innovations, and collaborations that improve nonprofit sector effectiveness. Efforts include hosting research scholars from around the country to learn from their expertise and working in target communities to develop leadership capacity to tackle high priority issues.
“We very much appreciate Kellogg Foundation’s continued support for our Center on Community Philanthropy,” said Clinton School Dean Skip Rutherford. “Regardless of income, everyone can give in her or his own way and the work of our Center educates and inspires individuals and communities on how to do that. This grant will enhance our community philanthropy initiatives to help children.”
The Center on Community Philanthropy will be hosting a national conference on Community Philanthropy and Public Service on April 7-8, 2016 in Little Rock. The theme of the conference is Elevate Children, in which participants will address and discuss investing time, talent, and treasure for the cause of eliminating disparities in the lives of children and families in the Delta Region.
About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Established in 1930, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and southern Africa. For further information, please visit the Foundation’s website atwww.wkkf.org.
About the Clinton School Center on Community Philanthropy
Launched in 2007, the Clinton School Center on Community Philanthropy was created to focus its teaching, research and policy-making exclusively on the emerging field of community philanthropy, the idea of giving and sharing time, talent, and treasure from within one’s own community. For further information, please visit the Center’s website at www.clintonschool.uasys.edu/community-philanthropy.
Hundreds of Little Rock’s most impassioned TEDx enthusiasts will come together on Friday, July 24th for a day of networking and dialogue around the theme Little Rocks Create Avalanches. The event will take place at the Ron Robinson Theater, in Little Rock, Arkansas and will feature an incredible line-up of speakers on topics ranging from innovations in education to health to technology and the arts. An art show will be held concurrently with the conference in the atrium of the Ron Robinson Theater. Attendees will also have an opportunity to network at an on-site lunch event and off-site dinner event. The event will be on live webcast as well. Also, people can watch from satellite locations set up in Little Rock.
“The combination of a diverse group of speakers and high calibre art show will form a mix that is sure to lead to exciting new ideas” said Salil Joshi, TEDxMarkhamSt founder and organizing committee member. “The event will offer the Little Rock community an opportunity to share its passion and ideas with communities in the United States and the world”.
The independently produced event, operated under a license from TED, was organized by community volunteers and is aimed at creating dialogue as well as giving people a forum to share their passions, ideas and experiences. Event sponsors will be officially released on a later date.
Speakers and performers include:
Tickets are $20 for students and $25 for general admission. Tickets will be sold at the door for $30. Those who wish to attend can purchase tickets at www.tedxlittlerock.org starting June 15th, 2015.
For more information about the event; how to volunteer; how your company can sponsor, visit www.tedxlittlerock.org.
Media Contact: Salil Joshi – firstname.lastname@example.org
Little Rocks Create Avalanches
LITTLE ROCK –
Facebook- Search: TEDxMarkhamSt, https://www.facebook.com/TEDxMarkhamSt
Class of 2014 graduate John Delurey proposed and designed the “solar mamas” training center for Barefoot College for his final Capstone project. The article below, originally featured on PRI’s website, talks extensively about the “solar mamas” program and how it helps rule families in Zanzibar.
Take a step back from Zanzibar’s white sand beaches and big hotels and you’re in a very different world. One where the island’s dusty, inland villages largely go dark once the sun sets. This is when the differences between people who have electricity and those who don’t are most pronounced.
Kasia Hassan is one of those without. The mother of nine lights her home in the village of Matemwe with tiny kerosene lamps. They’re barely brighter than a candle and fill her house with a thick black smoke. Hassan thanks God that one of her kids hasn’t knocked over a lamp and started a fire, something that happens a lot here in Tanzania.
But she says having electricity is something she’s never really considered. It’s a decision for men, she says, something for her husband to decide.
Just a few doors away it’s a very different picture. Instead of sitting in a dark, smoky room, Kanao Sharif Haji is weaving reed mats under bright LED lamps running off a battery charged by a small solar panel on the roof.
For this brighter, cleaner and safer system, Haji pays less than half of what her neighbor does for kerosene. But that’s only the beginning of her savings. Haji says the work she does at night has raised her family’s income by up to $15 a month — a huge sum in these parts.
The prospects for her eight children are also brighter, especially for her 14-year-old daughter, Nuru Sheha, who studies beside her. Haji says Nuru is doing well in school and dreams of someday becoming an English or math teacher.
Haji’s family has benefited from a simple fix to a vexing problem. In sub-Saharan Africa electricity is still a far off dream for most. With the lowest electrification rate in the world and less than 10 percent of the rural population having access, Africa has been called the “society in eternal darkness.”According to the International Energy Agency, closing that gap with conventional power would cost an estimated $19-billion a year in investments over several decades.
Even solar panels are out of reach for poor families like Haji’s, if they have to buy them outright. So instead, they hired a group of local solar engineers to install and maintain their new system, for about three dollars a month.
That by itself is a big change in this isolated and very traditional place. But who those solar engineers are represents an even bigger change. They’re Zanzibar’s 13 new “solar mamas” as they call themselves — all illiterate mothers from villages like Matemwe, who were quietly recruited and trained by an Indian NGO called Barefoot College.
So far these “solar mamas” have electrified more than 600 households on the island.
The system Mize Juma Othman was installing recently on a metal roof included the photovoltaic panels, a battery, an inverter, three LED lamps and a phone charger. It took half an hour to complete and once the power was switched on the owner of the house plugged in her phone, a new convenience she used to pay someone else to do.
It was a moment when everything changed for her family, something Othman says she relates to.
She recounts her own journey to becoming a solar engineer, a choice that cost her her marriage. Othman says when she decided to go to India for the six month training program her husband was supportive at first. But then other men convinced him that her new knowledge would make her promiscuous. So he divorced her.
Othman says she’s now remarried, to a man who isn’t bothered by her career. Her salary of $60 a month doesn’t hurt.
She says she knew money before she knew men and hopes to pass that strength and knowledge on to her young daughter, and to women from all over Africa, something she’s about to get a chance to do. Othman and Zanzibar’s 12 other female solar engineers will be sharing her skills with other local women at a new solar training center funded in large part by the government here.
The new center “will bring us to the reality that once women are empowered, they can do anything,” says Asha Abdallah, with Zanzibar’s Ministry of Empowerment, Social Welfare, Youth, Women and Children.
Abdallah adds that many solar projects failed here because they were run by outsiders who never trained local people to take care of the equipment. But she says this one’s different because it’s involving the communities themselves. The center will train two dozen women a year, each of whom will install and maintain 50 systems a year. It’s the first of six solar training sites Barefoot College plans to build in Africa, from South Sudan to Senegal.
And with prices for solar equipment falling fast, this community-led model is spreading quickly and changing minds in even the most traditional villages.
In Zanzibar’s Kandwe village, shopkeeper Pandu Matti Salum now stays open late because of his new solar system. Salum says his shop has become a gathering place for the village after dark, which also means more business for him. He says he now plans to expand his store, all thanks to the female solar engineers, who he says he supports 100 percent.
Salum acknowledges the changing role of women in this conservative Muslim society, but the changes the solar mamas are bringing to his life only go so far. He says he has two wives and eight children, and with the growing success of his shop, he hopes to marry a third wife and have more children.
The strength of tradition is evident after dark in Kandwe, when only village men gather to pray at a small Mosque, lit by kerosene lamps, and there are no women on the streets. It’s a reminder that change takes time.
But as one of the solar mama’s put it, “we are 13 now, and when we are old, we will be many, many more,” bringing light, and change, to Zanzibar and beyond.
This article was written by Clinton School alum Kellen Utecht, director of sustainability with Phigenics. This article originally appeared in EDF’s blog.
Famed economist Adam Smith once said, “Nothing is more useful than water; but it will purchase scarce anything; scarce anything can be had in exchange for it.”
With California facing its worst drought conditions in its history, toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie, and water costs rising 33 percent since 2010, water’s value — both its actual costs and our perception of it — has been transformed since Smith’s time.
Companies today have a vested business interest in managing their water consumption. Since 2011, businesses globally have invested $84 billion in water management projects.
Given that water for cooling makes up a significant portion of a building’s water use, adopting a portfolio approach to cooling water management program is one way companies can make meaningful impacts in reducing water consumption and improving energy efficiency.
In one powerful example, Walmart — with a portfolio of stores spread across the U.S. — made significant reductions in its water use and utility expense by implementing such a program.
In 2008, Walmart found an opportunity to improve the performance of its 180 water-cooled U.S. stores. These stores had no engineering support on-site and no remote monitoring of cooling system performance.
In addition, it had 15 water treatment service suppliers, each with their own vendor report forms, chemical strategies and proprietary equipment.
Assessing its portfolio of stores, Walmart found a lack of both vendor oversight and a standardized approach to cooling water management.
This resulted in excessive water consumption due to low reuse of water and slow response time to leaks, decreased energy efficiency and decreased useful life of assets. Furthermore, because of lack of a reporting system and access to real-time data, labor was being spent on maintenance issues as opposed to optimization.
In 2008, Walmart partnered with Phigenics to develop a new approach to cooling water management.
Recognizing that developing a strategy to reach water reduction and costs goals at each individual site would be both time and resource-intensive, Walmart took a portfolio-based approach. In an effort to create a company-wide impact and greatly improve the efficiency of water use across its water-cooled facilities.
For companies seeking to optimize the performance of its cooling tower operations, the below framework has been a winning approach for designing and implementing a portfolio cooling water management program.
“We understand water is intrinsic to our mission of helping our customers save money and live better,” said Walmart‘s Global Responsibility Report.
The operation of cooling towers involves many departments; without buy-in from a company’s leadership, getting support for a water management program may prove difficult. Corporate sustainability managers frequently cite two reasons to help build support for the design, investment and implementation of a program:
Once a team secures buy-in from management, the program champion assembles a cross-functional cooling water management team. A team should include oversight by an independent water management expert and coordination with the local water treatment service representatives and water testing laboratories.
Initially, the team develops an implementation plan based on the following steps and should meet quarterly to review progress. The program champion coordinates quarterly team meetings, monitors overall program progress and liaises with internal and external stakeholders.
The program team’s first task is to develop program objectives and key results (OKRs). Some examples of OKRs used in Walmart’s program and those of other leading companies are:
Once the program’s OKRs have been set, the team creates a corporate cooling water system performance specification, which entails setting engineering and operational requirements for your facilities personnel and contractors.
Developing the specification enables the team to standardize operating practices and water treatment services. Key sections of a performance specification include:
A key step in launching a successful water management program is the development of verification and validation strategies.
Verification is the evidence that the plan is implemented accurately. For instance, if an organization wants to free up staff from some routine tasks so they can focus on higher-value activities, it can install water meters on its cooling water make-up and blow-down lines, to enable automatic monitoring of water consumption, which will inform your team if the plan is being implemented accurately.
Validation provides quantitative evidence about the effectiveness of the program. For example, take an organization seeking a quarterly snapshot assessment of its cooling water treatment plan. A team wanting highly accurate data and a minimum impact on labor would hire a credible third-party laboratory to benchmark its KPIs by conducting tests for typical cooling system efficiency metrics, such as cycles of concentration.
At this point, companies need to evaluate whether to make the program “smart” (providing remotely accessible, real-time data). A smart program may include investment in:
By making the system smart, critical system sensor data is accessible and available to the team and other approved stakeholders through any Internet-connected device. The real-time data empowers the team to respond quickly to leaks and changes in water quality, while allowing it to use data analytics to enhance decision-making.
It also assists in helping the team track progress towards operational OKR’s. For these reasons, Walmart made one of the largest investments in real-time monitoring equipment and software for cooling water systems.
With the rise in awareness of water scarcity and the impact water has in people’s lives, an equally important step in this process is taking the time to engage with key internal and external stakeholders about the importance of managing water use.
Quarterly milestone meetings, your company’s blog and social media channels are great opportunities to let others know about successes from your cooling water management program as well as highlight other opportunities for them to conserve water.
Going back to our key example, Walmart, this portfolio approach represented a clear shift forward for cooling water management. Walmart is using data analytics to enhance its decision-making and drive accountability across its water-cooled facilities.
Through the development and implementation of the approach outlined above, Walmart reduced water consumption by 25 percent per cooling tower, which equates to 660 million gallons of water and $4.4 million in total water and sewer savings portfolio-wide over the six years of the program. In addition, this approach increased the energy efficiency and useful life of Walmart’s assets.
Other companies can apply this proven approach to more responsibly manage facility water use across their portfolio of properties.
This approach will help your company cut costs, reduce risk from shortages in water-stressed areas and further your company’s role as a water steward through communicating water and energy efficiency gains and best practices in smart cooling water management.
This article originally appeared in EDF’s blog.
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service alum, Read Admire, is launching The Urban Food Loop, a new Little Rock-based startup focused on reducing residential and commercial food waste through a weekly urban composting service, education initiatives, and policy advocacy. The Urban Food Loop kicks off at Heifer International on May 30th.
The Urban Food Loop’s i-Compost! Service will recover local food waste by offering Little Rock residents a home composting bin in exchange for a monthly fee. Residents toss food scraps and leftovers into their i-Compost! bin weekly. The Urban Food Loop team will exchange full bins with clean ones and compost the food waste.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans are throwing away the equivalent of $168 billion each year by wasting 40% of food produced for human consumption. That translates to 34 million tons or 680 billion pounds of food wasted annually in the U.S. Every pound of food waste results in 3.8 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions, and less than 3% of national food waste is recovered or composted.
In response these issues, the United Nations General Assembly recently declared 2015 the International Year of Soils. The IYS aims to be a platform for raising awareness of the importance of soils for food security and essential eco-system functions. Chris Hiryak, founder of the Southern Center for Agroecology and director of Little Rock Urban Farming believes that, “Access to high quality mature compost (stable humus) is key to the successful development of our food system.” Food waste is a valuable natural resource perfect for making stable humus.
By participating in The Urban Food Loop’s i-Comoost! Service, customers earn compost, which can be requested for drop off at their home gardens or donated, to community partners like Little Rock Urban Farming or The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance Gleaning Garden. Last year the Gleaning Garden grew and harvested over 8,000 lbs. of fresh local produce at Western Hills Park, all of which was donated to local food pantries in efforts to fight food insecurity in central Arkansas.
The Urban Food Loop is kicking off its urban composting services by ensuring Heifer International’s Feast in the Field is a zero waste event. This unique farm-to-fork gathering celebrates building local economies, family farming around the world, and raises funds to benefit Heifer projects in the United States. The Urban Food Loop will compost all food waste created at the event. “You can help close the food loop by composting your food waste into locally made fertilizer for local growers while also fighting climate change and food insecurity,” Admire said. Individuals and businesses can sign up to compost food waste at TheUrbanFoodLoop.com
About The Urban Food Loop
The mission of The Urban Food Loop is to advance local food culture by making communities compostable. The Urban Food Loop engages and educates citizens about local and sustainable food systems while advocating for sound public policies that foster accountable and responsive institutions. The Urban Food Loop offers central Arkansas residents and businesses urban-composting services as well as community food systems education programs.
About Heifer International
Heifer International’s mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. For 70 years, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer is currently working in more than 30 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant.
For more information, visit www.heifer.org, read our blog, follow us on Facebookor Twitter, or call 1–888-5HUNGER (888–548-6437). For more information about Beyond Hunger: Feast in the Field 2015, visit http://www.heifer.org/beyond-hunger/feast-in-the-field.html
Dean Skip Rutherford will be honored by Arkansas Commitment at its 2015 Bow Tie Bash Wednesday, June 3. Founded in 1999, Arkansas Commitment assists in leadership development of academically talented African American high school students. The organization currently works with students from over 25 high schools across Central Arkansas and the achievements of the 2015 class will be highlighted at this year’s Bow Tie Bash.
Arkansas Commitment students have included National Merit and Gate Millennium Scholars and have received scholarships to the nation’s top colleges and universities. During the 2014-2015 school year, a team of Clinton School students completed a feasibility study for expansion into more Arkansas schools.
The event honoring Dean Rutherford and recognizing the 2015 graduates will be held on June 3 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Center. More information about Arkansas Commitment and the Bow Tie Bash is available at www.arkansascommitment.org