First Annual Earth Month Conference to be hosted April 7th in Memphis

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First Annual Earth Month Conference for AK-MI-TN Region to be hosted April 7th in Memphis

Memphis, TN, March 30, 2015 – The First Annual Earth Month Business Conference (EMBC) of Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee will be hosted April 7th in Memphis, Tennessee. The EMBC is jointly presented by CRG Sustainable Solutions (CRGss), the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP), and The Sustainability Consortium (TSC), along with corporate title sponsor FedEx.

Says Mary Singer, the CEO of CRGss and the conference’s initiator, “This is not just another conference, not just another ‘environmentalist’ effort. It’s all about sustainability—the idea that good environmental sense is good business sense, and, ultimately, means more profit for business, more benefit for consumers and our culture at large.”

Uniquely, Singer explains, the EMBC will bring together leaders and technical specialists from big business in the AK, MI and TN region —FedEx, International Paper, Buckman International, Brother International and others —with representatives of small to medium sized businesses, municipal governments, and non-profits. “Forging fresh relationships and collective impact is our primary objective”, she says. “The conference will feature not only speakers, but panel discussions and exercises designed to bring broad cross sector people together who don’t usually communicate. How can we help you? How can you help us? We need to reach across traditional boundaries to learn, so that we can preserve resources and grow the bottom-line. . That’s our theme, and it’s all about improving both business and life.”

The conference will address sustainability as smart business and moving away from “business as usual,” including: conducting business in an efficient manner, using intelligent design, minimizing waste and “end of the useful life” disposal.

“The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) is proud to join ISSP and CRGss in presenting this inaugural conference and to help drive the mission of more sustainable business,” stated Dr. Sarah Lewis, Managing Director, Research and Integration of TSC.  “The foundation of TSC is global collaboration across sectors and industries, including large and small organizations, and this conference echoes the same commitment in the AK, MI and TN region.”

The conference will feature more than a dozen corporate and institutional sponsors, including title sponsor FedEx. Among the others: The University of Memphis, The University of Arkansas, Christian Brothers University, RockTenn, The Memphis and Shelby County Office of Sustainability, Leadership Memphis, Viridian, the Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas Recycling Coalitions, and more.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell will open the conference. Speakers and panelists will cover a wide range of topics including:

  • “Sustainable Packaging: Unpacking Hidden Value in Your Busines”
  • “Waste & Recycling: From Burden to Benefit”
  • “Green your Supply Chain—Green Your Bottom Line”
  • “Sustainability Reporting—Challenges, Trends and Opportunities”
  • “Leading Green Cities—Where to Begin”
  • “Exploring Benefits of Sustainable Built Environment”

“It’s a cradle-to-grave thing,” Singer says. “For a healthy earth and healthy profits, we need to bring together people representing every point along the way from sourcing resources through end-of-life disposal of everything we produce. We’re going to be issuing some tough challenges at this conference, and offering some creative opportunities to interact in new ways and think new things.”

The capstone of the EMBC will be the inaugural meeting of the Tennessee-Arkansas-Mississippi chapter of the ISSP.  Since 2007 the ISSP has been the premier organization serving sustainability professionals worldwide. Says ISSP director Maureen Hart, “I’m delighted to see Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi forming a regional ISSP chapter. These three states stand at the center of so much we’re concerned about, and at the center of so many opportunities to affect positive change.” Representatives of businesses, governments, non-profits, individual professionals, and all interested persons are invited to this inaugural meeting of the regional ISSP chapter.

The conference and the inaugural ISSP chapter meeting will be held April 7th at the Holiday Inn, 3700 Central Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee 38152.

AGENDA: http://sustainability-leadership conference.snack.ws/schedule.html

OVERVIEW: http://sustainability-leadership-conference.snack.ws/

REGISTER: http://conta.cc/1Acf5Nm

ISSP: www.sustainabilityprofessionals.org

About ISSP

The International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP) is the world’s leading professional association for sustainability professionals. ISSP is a member-driven association committed to moving the profession of sustainability forward through building strong networks and communities of practice. Webinars, online courses, a sustainability certificate, sustainability professional’s body of knowledge, special reports, resource directories, and salary surveys are just a sampling of the rich content offered to members. Formed in 2007, ISSP boasts almost 1000 members from every region of the world. Members share resources and best practices, and develop themselves professionally. For more information about ISSP and its offerings, please visit www.sustainabilityprofessionals.org.

About The Sustainability Consortium

The Sustainability Consortium® (TSC®) is a global nonprofit organization working at the intersection of science and business to enable the consumer goods industry to develop, produce and sell more sustainable products. TSC creates tools, strategies and services that are based in science, informed by stakeholders and focused on impact across the entire lifecycle of consumer products, including environmental, social and economic imperatives. The Sustainability Consortium is comprised of more than 100 members, including manufacturers, retailers, NGOs, civil society and corporations that work collaboratively on innovation for a new generation of products and supply networks. The Sustainability Consortium is jointly administered by Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas, with additional operations at Wageningen UR in the Netherlands and Nanjing University in China.. www.sustainabilityconsortium.org

About CRG Sustainable Solutions

It is the mission of CRG Sustainable Solutions (CRGss) to help organizations create innovative and long-term sustainable business practices. It is based in Memphis, Tennessee with clients across the United States.  CRGss is dedicated to helping organizations create innovative and long-term sustainable business practices that will help them better achieve a triple bottom line – people, planet and profit.  CRGss provides a variety of consulting services which includes risk management, risk assessment, sustainability audits, materiality mapping assessments, sustainable supply chain consulting and others.  www.crgss.com

Contact Information

Mary Singer

CEO

CRG Sustainable Solutions

Email: msinger@crgss.com

Tel: (901) 277-4500

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CRG Sustainable Solutions begins offering the QuickStart Sustainability Tool

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Memphis, TN., – December 2, 2014 – CRG Sustainable Solutions begins offering the QuickStart sustainability tool. QuickStart provides businesses with exactly the information they need to know in order to either create a new sustainability program or to improve an existing one. The tool is able to achieve this in a fraction of the time and the cost of a long, expensive consulting engagement.

The QuickStart Process

The QuickStart process begins by conducting a sustainability audit. The sustainability audit provides a snapshot of all current sustainability policies, practices and procedures of an organization across over 20 different sustainability categories. The audit acts as both a ‘gap analysis’ (identifies what things are being done or not done) and a ‘maturity analysis’ (identifies to what extent efforts are being conducted).

Once the audit information has been submitted, a comprehensive Findings Report is prepared. The Findings Report provides grades for an organization’s sustainability performance across all of the sustainability categories. This is calculated by comparing current performance to industry best practices. The report lists specfic quick wins, recomendations and analysis for each category.

Finally, the tasks identified in your Findings Report are put into an Implementation Plan. The Implementation Plan includes all tasks, resource requirements and cost estimates. The plan can be based in either Microsoft Excel or Project. The plan is a ready-to-implement roadmap for improving the sustainability performance across an entire organization.

More information about QuickStart can be found at the CRGss website. http://crgss.snack.ws/quickstart.html

10 Green Tips to Prepare Your Plumbing for Winter

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Water can freeze and break pipes, causing significant damage to walls, ceilings, floors and personal possessions stored in the basement or crawl spaces. By disconnecting hoses, shutting off valves and insulating you pipes, you can avoid this costly damage.

✔ Drain and disconnect your hoses – Be sure to drain all garden hoses and disconnect them from your home. If hoses are left connected, water can freeze in them and bust your outdoor pipes.

✔ If you leave your home, set your thermostat to 55 F – If you are leaving your home for more than a couple of days, make sure that your thermostat is set to no lower than F 55. This will insure that your pipes, will have adequate heat to keep from freezing.

✔ Avoid frozen pipes – Exposed pipes represent the largest water threat to your home during the winter months. When water freezes it expands and can bust or crack your pipes, sending thousands of gallons of water into your home. Walls, ceilings, floors and personal possessions stored in the basement or crawl spaces can all be ruined.

Be sure to first identify, and then properly insulate any exposed pipes that may be in crawl spaces, basements, garages or on the exterior of your house. You can insulate your pipes with foam-rubber pipe insulation to protect exposed pipes from cold. The insulation process is straightforward. Simply slip foam-rubber insulation over pipe, peel away backing strips, then press the adhesive surfaces together.

Another option is to wrap your exposed pipes with electrical heating tape. These tapes are specifically designed to wrap around water pipes and act like a little electric blanket preventing the pipes from freezing. Be sure any heating tapes you buy have been approved by Underwriters Laboratories and have the UL symbol on them.

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5 Green Tips for Drafts & Insulation

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Identifying drafts and ensuring you home has proper levels of insulation are two ways to reduce your home heating expenses. Weatherization incentive programs sponsored by the government could also save you thousands of dollars when you make insulation upgrades.

Identify your drafts – According to the US Department of Energy, drafts can waste 5% to 30% of your home energy use. Finding the sources of your drafts is the first step in addressing them. Simple things such as a candle or incense can help you determine the source. If the source is a crack in a wall or around the baseboards, seal these. If the draft is coming from a door or a window, read the ‘Doors & Windows” section of this guide for suggestions.

Use a draft snake – If you have a drafty door, use a draft snake to stop the flow of air. These can be purchased at a DIY store, or made from an old bath towel.

Inspect and Increase your insulation – Increasing your insulation is one of the best ways to save on your home heating expenses. You will want to inspect the level of insulation you have in your walls, your attic, around your ducts and in your basement.

The federal government will reimburse you for 30% of the cost (up to $1500) for highly efficient insulation. Additionally, low-income households can qualify for an average of $6500 worth of weatherization improvements to their homes through government programs administered by each state. To find the government incentives for your region, read the “Rebates, Tax Credits & Financing” section of this guide.

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How to measure the environmental impact of your home

Two popular methods of measuring your home’s ecological impact are the Ecological Footprint (EF) and the Household Carbon Footprint (HCF).

Ecological Footprint (EF) – The EF has emerged as a leading measure of humanity’s (and your personal) demand on nature. It measures how much land and water area a human population requires to produce the resources it consumes and to absorb its wastes, using prevailing technology. Your EF is broken into Consumption Categories and Biomes.

• Consumption Categories – Consumption Categories show where you consume resources and generate waste. The categories include Carbon Footprint, Food Footprint, Housing Footprint and Goods & Services Footprint. This is usually represented in a percentage breakdown, all categories together adding up to 100%.

• Biomes – Biomes describe how many ‘global acres’ are required to support your lifestyle. Biomes include energy land, crop land, grazing land, forest land, built-up land and fishing grounds.

There are many EF assessment tools available online that can help you determine the EF of your home.

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CRG Sustainable Solutions Leads by Example through Carbonfree® Business Partnership

Our newest Carbonfree® Business Partner, CRG Sustainable Solutions (CRGss) of Memphis, Tennessee, spends each day helping their client organizations create innovative and long-term sustainable business practices.  According to the CRGss website, “Sustainability is about the resources we use every day, and the future that each of us will face. The fate of our earth is up to each of us individually, so every choice we make, we should have tomorrow in mind.” 

CRGss was attracted to the Carbonfree® Business Partnership program as a simple, affordable step they could take as an organization to enhance their own operational sustainability. By neutralizing their estimated annual carbon emissions from general business operations, CRGss is leading in the same area of sustainability on which it advises and guides its clients.   

“We believe that we must begin to respect the planet, and live and conduct business in a manner that does not harm the environment,” explains Anthony Gilbreath, Director of Sustainability Solutions at CRGss, about the decision to become a Carbonfree® Business Partner.  Continue reading

2014 Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Reporting Deadlines are Quickly Approaching

The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) is an international, non-profit organization providing the only global system for companies and cities to measure, disclose, manage and share vital environmental information. They work with market forces to motivate companies to disclose their impacts on the environment and natural resources and take action to reduce them.

If your organization has been invited to report to CDP, you will received an information request and an invitation to activate your online account. All responses to the CDP questionnaire must be submitted through the CDP online response system.

Climate Change Program

CDP’s climate change program works to reduce companies’ greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change risk. CDP believes that improving corporate awareness through measurement and disclosure is vital to the effective management of carbon and climate change risk.

They request information on the risks and opportunities of climate from the world’s largest companies on behalf of 767 institutional investor signatories with a combined US$92 trillion in assets. CDP then provides this information to its 767 institutional investor signatories, as well as distributing it throughout the global market place to increase transparency around climate-related investment risk and commercial opportunity, and drive investments towards a low carbon economy. Continue reading

DW Morgan – On the Path to Becoming a Sustainability Leader

Pleasanton, Calif., April 29, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Transportation and logistics service provider D.W. Morgan (DW Morgan) recently completed a CurrentState sustainability audit and the findings were impressive.  “DW Morgan is on the path to becoming a true sustainability leader in their industry,” commented Anthony Gilbreath, a sustainability specialist at CRG Sustainable Solutions. “The audit results revealed they have many sustainability initiatives in place and ambitious plans for the future.”  

CurrentState™ is a sustainability audit designed to help organizations understand how they can improve sustainability performance across all their operations. It is a ‘best practices gap analysis’ and a ‘business practices maturity analysis’ combined into one tool.  Once completed, the client receives a Findings Report that contains quick win opportunities, recommendations and analysis across over 20 different sustainability categories.  The report provides a comprehensive list of specific tasks that need to completed in order to excel in sustainability.

“It wasn’t until we received the findings report when we realized the true value of the CurrentState sustainability audit.  It not only provided us with an unbiased overview of where we rank today with our current sustainability program, but it also provided as a guide in developing a sustainability plan for both short term and long term objectives,” commented Suriati Cevallos, Director of Quality, Compliance and Sustainability.  “The audit questions were well organized and the process was simple enough for even a novice to the sustainability world.”

Morgan has long seen sustainability as a strategic priority—as well as a key value of its offerings to clients. “Morgan’s mandate is to optimize operations for our customers,” said Cevallos. “We focus on key manufacturing locations worldwide, coordinating critical flows of inventory, consolidating ground movements, reducing necessary trips, shifting transportation modes and eliminating miles driven without cargo. So, our solutions create a win-win: Substantial cost and time savings for the customer, along with improved sustainability.”

In 2010, Morgan took a leadership role in manufacturing supply chain operations by beginning to voluntarily measure its global carbon emissions and report gains to customers. Since then, Morgan has joined such initiatives as the EPA SmartWay program, the Carbon Disclosure Project, Transporte Limpio, PG&E ClimateSmart Program, Shred-it Recycling Program, ISO 9001:2008, C-TPAT and others. The company has been recognized multiple times by Supply & Demand Chain Executive’s “Green Supply Chain Partner” awards and was featured as a whitepaper case study by the Environmental Defense Fund.

About DW Morgan 

D.W. Morgan Company helps the world’s top manufacturers provide Supply On Demand® for their clients. By combining transportation management and logistics services with coordinated, real-time information and strategic consulting, Morgan dramatically improves efficiency and reduces costs—while maximizing flexibility. Since 1990, Morgan has served a Who’s Who of leading businesses, including Cisco Systems, Ericsson and Thermo Fisher.  Morgan has received numerous industry awards and has been named a Cisco Systems Supplier of the Year three times. Morgan is certified as a National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) Corporate Plus™ minority-owned business. The company’s headquarters is located in Pleasanton, Calif., and it maintains operations offices around the world. To learn more about Morgan’s  products and services, please visit www.dwmorgan.com

About CRG Sustainable Solutions

It is the mission of CRG Sustainable Solutions (CRGss) to help organizations create innovative and long-term sustainable business practices. It is based in Memphis, Tennessee with clients across the United States.  CRGss is dedicated to helping organizations create innovative and long-term sustainable business practices that will help them better achieve a triple bottom line – people, planet and profit.  CRGss provides a variety of consulting services which includes risk management, risk assessment, sustainability audits, materiality mapping assessments, sustainable supply chain consulting and others.  www.crgss.com

7 Green Tips for your Garden

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The following tips are from “The Ultimate Guide to Greening your Home”.

There are several benefits of gardening.  In addition to producing nutritious, organic food for you and your family, gardening can also save you money and provide you with a relaxing, rewarding hobby.

✔ Select the location carefully – Selecting the location of your garden is one of the most important decisions you will make during the planning process.  When choosing a location, keep these factors in mind:

  • Select a location that gets several hours of direct sunlight every day.
  • Make sure the location has access to a water hose. Your plants they may need additional watering, especially when they are young.
  • Try to choose a location where the ground is level (not on a gradient), but also drains well).

✔ Grow foods to replace supermarket food – The most direct way to benefit from gardening is to replace the food that you usually buy in supermarkets with food that you grow in your own garden.  The food that you produce can be grown in an organic manner, will be more nutritious and better tasting and will save you money.

✔ Avoid using weed killers – Weeds can be an eyesore as well as a persistent source of additional work.  Although, the use of weed-killers should be avoided in almost all circumstances, especially in the presence of your garden.  Weed-killers contain toxic chemicals that cannot only kill your vegetables, but could find their way into your food and water supply.

To stay on top of your weed situation, consider the following:

  • Don’t disrupt or till unused ground – This will bring seeds to the surface, which given a bit of water and sunlight, will bloom into weeds.
  • Cover bare ground with mulch – Mulch not only helps keep moisture in the soil, but it also helps keep the sun away from the seeds that become weeds.
  • Weed by hand, often and early – By weeding often, you will catch weeds before they have an opportunity to flower (creating more weeds), and you catch them when they are young and easier to remove.

✔ Use organic pest and disease control – There are several effective organic pest and disease control option available at lawn and garden stores.  By using these, you again avoid the use of toxic chemicals.

✔ Grow plants suitable for your climate – Plants suitable for your climate will require less water and fertilizer than nonnative varieties.

✔ Use your own compost – Creating your own compost will not only reduce your household waste stream, but will also provide nutrients for your plants which will help them grow strong and healthy.  The following items can be used to make compost: kitchen waste, lawn clippings, chopped leaves, shredded branches, disease free garden plants, shredded paper, weeds (before they go to seed), straw, hay, newspaper, tea leaves, and coffee grounds.

Creating your own compost is a rather simple process.  You can purchase composting bins at lawn and garden stores, or make your own. Start with a layer of chopped leaves, grass clippings and kitchen waste. Keep adding materials until you have a six-inch layer, then cover it with three to six inches of soil, manure, or finished compost. Alternate layers of organic matter and layers of soil or manure until the pile is about three feet tall. A pile that is three feet tall by three feet square will generate enough heat during decomposition to sterilize the compost.

When your compost is ready, it can be mixed into the soil before planting or applied to the surface of the soil as a mulch. Keep the pile in a semi-shaded area to keep it from drying out too much. Keep it moist, but not wet. Beneficial organisms cannot survive in soggy conditions.

✔ Use organic soil amendments and fertilizers – Use of organic soil amendments and fertilizers avoids the use of toxic chemicals and provides a use for home compost materials.  Organic fertilizers can be found in most lawn and garden stores.

Showcasing our book “The Power of Collaboration in Business” at ‘Business Over Coffee’ this morning

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BOCI SHARE hosted by Carolyn Bendall on BOCI TV; President of Fashion Academy, Monthly contributor to The Commercial Appeal, BOCI Executive Council and collaborative author of “The Power Of Collaboration in Business.”

RELEASE published by BOCI and BOOK SIGNING will feature the following collaborative authors:

  1. Sherri Henley
  2. Shelley Baur
  3. Jana Cardona
  4. Jo Garner
  5. Carolyn Bendall
  6. Mary Singer
  7. Debra Norwood
  8. Terri Murphy
  9. Delmar Johnson

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BOCI SHARE is filmed in front of a live and virtual audience. First time guest are welcome at no costs.  Professional members attend free.  $10.00 entry fee for all others.

Please call our office with any questions you may have at 901.820.4469

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