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LETTER TO STAKEHOLDERS
Welcome. On behalf of our team here at Opportunity Green, I’m proud to present our 2010 Sustainability Report.
With this report we’re inviting you to look inside our 2010 conference environmental sustainability program. We want to show you what thve numbers look like and share a bit about what’s going well and where we’ve been challenged and are looking to grow. We’ll also present some exciting plans for our 2011 conference. We’re encouraged to see a growing business interest in sustainability across industries and cultures as additional thought and resources go into programs, processes and reporting. Implementing well thought out sustainable business systems through partnerships and across supply chains are an opportunity for us as executives and professionals to be good citizens. They’re an opportunity for our businesses, to reduce risk and improve image, to reduce waste and improve profitability. Today with an ever growing body of knowledge and resources at hand, reducing harmful impacts that were once considered business-as-usual are finally becoming possible. We are proud to support the commitment of forward-thinking executives, managers and professionals like yourself toward the lofty goal of leaving the world in a better place than we found it! Like you, we’re faced with difficult choices. We don’t have unlimited resources and it can be difficult to know what to prioritize and what to take on next. As with any organization, how to take on new initiatives in a cost-effective manner is of the utmost importance. Thus we’ve decided that our own path to sustainable business best practices will include looking at our impacts – both beneficial and harmful - and report those to you, our stakeholders, in a clear and concise manner. We believe sharing our experiences will help us get better, and will be beneficial for you too.v Finally, one of the accomplishments we’re most proud of that you won’t be able to see in this report (at least not directly) – is the passionate commitment of our team, the fun we had brainstorming and testing our ideas, and the bonds we’ve built by rolling up our sleeves (and pant legs!) to develop and implement processes that allow us to make this report meaningful. We’re not perfect – no one is – but we commit to you, and to everyone in our community, that we’ll keep on doing our very best to listen, analyze and improve every step of the way. Enjoy Our Report, Karen Solomon CEO, Opportunity Green
Karen Solomon CEO
INPUTS & OUTPUTS
During the 2010 conference, attendees1 tossed 3,200 pounds2
Los Angeles Center Studios is designed to be a film and television production facility that also provides on-site office space to production companies and other tenants. Metering
of material into our resource recovery bins. That’s two-times what we recovered in 2009. Compared with a 12% increase in attendance it becomes a telling statistic. We attribute this jump to clearer communication with vendors and sponsors regarding how to handle their pre- and post-conference waste. Our Diversion Rate this year was 96.3% percent -- a 12.5%
improvement from 2009. This initiative was a focus for us in 2010 so we’re happiest to see that improvement. Diversion Rate is easy to measure, is ‘material’ to our Materials Management effort (a little Global Reporting Initiative humor there), and its lets us compare year-to-year performance in a straightforward manner. Compostable materials recovered went down to 400 pounds in 2010 from 520 pounds in 2009. We attribute this decrease to better pre-event management and serving meals with less associated waste and better-trained volunteers. We captured paper in the same bin as bottles and cans, which helped to limit the number of recycling bins needed on-site. Since wet paper can’t be recycled we asked attendees to empty beverage containers before binning the bottle or can. We captured 175 gallons of this ‘beverage remainder effluent’ (or backwash). Could backwash be converted into a biofuel? At this point that backwash is pure waste, but we’re hoping that one of you enterprising entrepreneurs will turn it into a byproduct in 2011.
utilities on their campus is configured to serve those business requirements. Sub-metering electricity and water, in a configuration that suits the interest of this report, serves no practical business purpose for them, so the spaces we use for the conference do not have dedicated sub-metering. This means that we can produce only very rough estimates of how much electricity and water we pull during the conference. With all of this in mind, our apparent electricity consumption in 2010 was not measurable (to estimate from scratch will take time). Our apparent water consumption was 1822 cubic feet. Because the common areas we occupy at Los Angeles Center Studios don’t use natural gas we’ve stopped reporting our consumption of it. We’re looking closely at ways to improve our accuracy around monitoring our consumption of these resources in 2011.
1 We define “attendees” to include staff sponsors, speakers, volunteers and paid attendees. 2 Weights are accurate to the nearest 10 pounds. 3 Diversion Rate formula: ((Total Materials Recovered – Material Landfilled) / Total Materials Recovered) 4 Products, byproducts, and waste are the three outputs of any business process.
INPUTS & OUTPUTS
us 414 tons of CO2 or 381.5 tons after offset from their travel to and from the conference. Things we could do to improve for next year would be to incorporate estimates of how much carbon was probably emitted for the energy and materials need for various other activities, services and products our attendees and staff engaged in throughout the conference. Like how much greenhouse gas is emitted through our electricity consumption, or to produce the various ingredients in our organic cocktails at the after-party.
Formula for Calculating Total [estimated] CO2 Emissions from Travel for the 2010 Conference
A = (total miles traveled by survey respondent using each given mode) * (average CO2 emitted per mile from each given mode), or CO2 Emissions for Survey Respondents for Each Travel Mode B = (A / Number of Survey Respondents), or Average CO2 Emissions per Survey Respondent C = (B * Number of Attendees) = Total [estimated] CO2 Emissions from Travel for the While we understand that CO2 emission is produced by many conference activities other than travel, we choose to focus on attendee travel because it is a large contributor, and we can make a reasonably educated estimate of what it might be. Our process for calculating CO2 from travel begins with a survey sent via email to all attendees. We ask attendees where they came from (using their ZIP Code) and ask how they got here through any mode of travel e.g. combination of rideshare, solo car, bike, airplane, walking, etc. This gives us a rough idea of how many miles each respondent traveled for each type of transportation. 124 people filled out this transportation survey. We used the information provided and multiplied the emissions caused by each mile car travel, for instance, times the miles driven, and did that for each type of transportation used by each person. This gave us the total emissions per person. After offsetting, our estimated average CO2 emissions per person was 940 pounds. Multiplying by 798 attendees, that gives Through sponsorship we offset 32.5 tons of CO2, or 8% of the estimated CO2 that attendees emitted from traveling to the conference. This offset was produced by generating 59,000 kWh of renewable energy. After this offset, we estimate CO2 emitted per attendee to be .47 tons. 2010 Conference
INPUTS & OUTPUTS
Stakeholders are the most important part of any business. They’re the customers, the vendors, the staff – everyone who touches or adds value to a business. That makes you one of our stakeholders. The question we continuously ask ourselves in this regard is, , “How do we engage our large attendee, sponsor and partner community in a dialogue that is both practical and mutually beneficial?” In the last two years we’ve run online surveys, onsite whiteboards, Linkedin & Facebook threads, callin hotlines, and had face-to-face dialogue before, during and after the conference. You’ve pointed out areas where we can improve specific aspects our corporate sustainability program. You’ve shared lots of interesting ideas. And some of you have even volunteered to help us implement those ideas. Measuring success regarding our stakeholder engagement process has been one of our most interesting challenges. Resource-based initiatives have more easily quantifiable targets, like boosting return-on- investment by 10%, or reducing consumption by 10,000 units, We’re still exploring which metrics make the most sense - for us and for you. So keep your ideas coming! The best way for you to keep an eye on how well we’re engaging with you is to watch how our sustainability program changes based on your input. Send your thoughts and ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line “stakeholder feedback”.
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SUSTAINABILITY REPORT NUMBERS
(GLASS, PLASTIC, ALUMINIUM, PAPER)
83.8% DIVERSION RATE
(RECYCLED + COMPOSTED)
(NOT RECYCLED OR COMPOSTED)
96.3% DIVERSION RATE
(RECYCLED + COMPOSTED)
DIVERSION PER ATTENDEE (POUNDS)
(2010) (2009) ?* (2010)
CO2 FROM TRAVEL (TONS OF CO )
.47 PER ATTENDEE ?
414 (2010) NOT MEASURED (2009)
*see Metering on page 3 for apparent discrepancies
IN 2010 OUR DIVERSION RATE WAS
In just one year, LACS’s recycling initiatives saved an estimated: 2,640 trees 159 tons of paper and plastic 1,000,000 gallons of water $450,000 For more… http://portal.lacenterstudios.com/SUSTAINABILITY/MonthlyEnergyGraphs/ tabid/100/Default.aspx Now, on to the 2010 conference…
First, a little backstory on our new home, Los Angeles Center Studios. In 2005 the executives of Los Angeles Center Studios purchased the headquarters of a defunct petroleum exporter and marketer, and began retrofitting the campus into a film and television production facility. Their makeover included installing VFD-Tower Fans (variable-frequency drive), a boiler retrofit, lighting controls in offices, replacing carpet with recycled carpet tiles, installing low-flow water faucets and toilets and waterless urinals, launching a recycling program that includes paper, plastic bottles, cans, glass and e-waste. Low-water landscaping was planted and composting initiatives were added. Flix Café, the studio’s on-site commissary, features organic produce, uses compostable and recycled materials in food production, and recycles fryer oil into fuel. Their efforts resulted in a: 68% reduction in fuel consumption 32% reduction in electricity consumption 26% reduction in water consumption
WHAT WENT WELL
The experience we’ve gained since launching our corporate sustainability program in 2008 has greatly increased our team’s efficiency, so in 2010 we needed 20% fewer volunteers we did than 2009. This meant that our volunteer training went smoother and that the front line G-Team was generally better informed. After three years of managing our conference footprint, there were no big surprises - we’ve already experienced a lot of the gotchas. We’re pleased to have comparison data from 2009 and 2008, and even though the comparison is a bit apples-to-oranges, having that data makes it easier to get new partners up-tospeed and focusing on how to help us do better. And we’re especially pleased that our diversion rate went from 84% in 2009 to 96% in 2010. That’s the equivalent of more than 3000 pounds of materials kept out of a landfill in 2010 alone.
WHAT NEEDS WORK
The accuracy of our meter readings is a big question that we’d like to resolve for 2011. Because our spaces don’t have dedicated
sub-metering, lots of other people outside of the conference wind up impacting our apparent usage. That means we’re stuck trying to unravel who used what and when, which is extra tricky on a lot that has top-secret productions running on it. We’ll do our best to do better but for this year we were stuck using a less-than-perfect methodology. Another place we can make improvements is a deeper coordination and understanding of heating/ventilation/air conditioning in a major motion picture sounds stage! Being in the sound stage in 2010, we learned there are two settings for A/C, “on” and “off ”. Since typical lighting for a movie shoot produces a lot of heat, our situation was a bit different. In the future we would work to make sure we could have a way to throttle the A/C more effectively, for comfort and energy savings. We received responses that our public transportation information could be better. So if you know of a transit expert that would like to help us improve our means of communicating mass transit options in LA, drop us a line at email@example.com. And a favorite story of ours came from our volunteer Jared, who was part of the GTeam front line. Jared shared with us that “…when we were pouring-off the ‘beverage remainder effluent’ we realized that the drains weren’t handling our capacity very well, and suddenly I found myself shin deep in a blend of cold coffee, tea, and soda.” After he dried off, Jared kept right on with his duties. He learned first-hand that proper disposal of our waste liquids will require a larger drain. Thanks for being such a good sport Jared! And thank you to all our volunteers as well.
First we’d like to announce a leadership transition on our team. As of June 1, 2011 Jeff Hayes stepped down from our top sustainability post, with Natacha ArnaudBattandier taking on the role of Sustainability Director. Welcome Natacha! And thanks Jeff, for all the hard work you put getting our program off the ground. Jeff will stay on the team, in the newly created role of Reporting Manager. For a couple years we’ve been exploring how to apply the Global Reporting Initiative framework (GRI) to our conference. We’re in the discovery phase of this large and complicated undertaking, and we’re hoping to produce 2011’s report using the GRI format. We’ll share more on our Coffee? progress with GRI once we’ve moved out of discovery and into implementation. As of this report’s publication our corporate sustainability goals for 2011 are still being finalized. They will be available soon, stay tuned!
Opportunity Green’s Corporate Sustainability program is a collaboration that includes many individuals and several key organizations. Without the thousands of man-hours they contribute, and the materials and resources they provide, this effort would stall very quickly. Let us begin by offering a huge Thank You to all our G-Team volunteers. We rely on you and appreciate your energy, commitment, and your great ideas. Our staff is top-notch. Some are mentioned in the box to the right. Many others also made significant contributions. We gratefully acknowledge the passion that you bring to the G-Team, and we appreciate you more than we can express in words. Our sponsors provide us with many key resources. Thank you, each of you, for all that you bring to the table. We’ll look forward to seeing you in November for the 2011 conference! Yours very truly, The G-Team
Sustainability Director: Jeff Hayes Sustainable Event Director: Edward Pakdaman Sustainable Event Coordinator: Neha Sharma Materials Recovery Manager: Ruth Grant Photos: Adrian Sidney, Geoffrey Nicholson Report Layout & Inforgraphics Design: Barbara Astrini
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