Ohio EPA Announces Launch of New Online Materials Marketplace

New circular economy program connects businesses, organizations and entrepreneurs to uncover and implement new creative solutions for hard-to-recycle wastes and by-products

Sandusky, Ohio - April 4, 2017: Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler today announced the launch of a new online platform that allows continuous reuse of products and materials that might otherwise be destined for disposal in landfills. Through the cloud-based Ohio Materials Marketplace, traditional and non-traditional industrial waste streams are matched with new product and revenue opportunities, ultimately enabling the culture shift to a circular, closed-loop economy. 

With statewide access to thousands of Ohio’s businesses, communities and other organizations, Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental & Financial Assistance (DEFA) is well positioned to bring members together in this modern online marketplace,” Director Butler said. “This new service positions Ohio as a leader in the circular economy, helping remove materials from the waste stream, promoting jobs and allowing for better efficiency and savings in the processes of creating goods and services.

Ohio is the first state in the US to adopt a circular economy program of this scope and scale. This leadership from the Ohio EPA is paving the way for other states - through a new public-private partnership between the US Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD) and the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) - to launch state-level programs modeled on the Ohio Materials Marketplace.

The Ohio Materials Marketplace also allows for collaborations to be made between Ohio’s larger manufacturers working towards zero-landfill and highest and best use of materials like General Motors, and agile and innovative small and medium-sized businesses. 

John Bradburn, Global Manager of Waste Reduction at General Motors notes, “The Ohio Materials Marketplace provides a great opportunity to utilize materials in a sustainable way, while enabling business and job development and profitability to a very diverse group of participants.

The Ohio State University’s Sustainable and Resilient Economy (SRE) program will be engaged in this initiative, and has assembled an outstanding group of interdisciplinary experts to address key challenges in both technology and governance.

According to Dr. Joseph Fiksel, Executive Director of SRE, “Through our engagement with US BCSD, as well as other business and government partners, we are able to integrate and apply the latest scientific methods to support circular economy practices in the real world. It has been an exciting journey.

Over the past 20 years, Materials Marketplace projects spearheaded by the US BCSD and scale-up partner Pathway21 have engaged hundreds of companies - large and small - academic institutions, nonprofits and entrepreneurs around the world. Andrew Mangan, Founder and Executive Director of the US BCSD, says “This partnership is a breakthrough alignment between business and state government leaders on circular economy objectives.

For more information on the Ohio Materials Marketplace and to get involved, visit the program’s website at http://ohio.materialsmarketplace.org.

Materials Marketplace awarded Environmental Leader Project of the Year

Andrew Mangan, US BCSD and Paul Nastu, founder, Environmental Leader

Andrew Mangan, US BCSD and Paul Nastu, founder, Environmental Leader

The Materials Marketplace was awarded "Top Project of the Year" by Environmental Leader at a ceremony in Denver, CO on June 22, 2016. The program recognizes excellence in the fields of environmental, sustainability and energy management.

The judging panel said, “This could be an extremely impactful project and it addresses a space that is of utmost importance, supply chain and material use. This is a very innovative program and great to see support from large companies in the pilot project. This is a very innovative program that has great collaboration with partner companies.”

Learn more about the awards program at environmentalleader.com.

 

 

Sustainability Experts Gathering at Yale University Next Week

We are excited to share an updated agenda for Pathways to Impact, complete with speakers, facilitators and new pre-event activities. We'll hear from Tata Group, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Ingersoll Rand, Monsanto, Nasdaq, Deloitte, JP Morgan, Bloomberg, IBM and more! Partners from Impact 2030, ACCO, CDP, Corporate Eco Forum, and others will bring topical expertise related to employee engagement, ratings & rankings and the circular economy. And Yale University faculty will link the latest academic research to corporate sustainability solutions. 

Check out the agenda at http://impact.usbcsd.org and if you have not already registered, please do so today.

Better Business, Better World: Mainstreaming the Circular Economy

US BCSD Executive Director Andy Mangan presented the Materials Marketplace platform at the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation's "Better Business, Better World: Mainstreaming the Circular Economy" event on May 16, 2016. Watch Andy's presentation in the recording above, courtesy of the USCCF.

Andy makes a "call for action" at the end of the video, inviting companies, organizations and government entities to get involved in our efforts. If you're interested in learning more, join us at "Pathways to Impact: Driving Scale & Aligning Values" this June at Yale University. Four sessions and workshops will focus on the Materials Marketplace and Sustainable Materials Management; and you'll also be exposed to a number of other exciting projects and programs happening at the WBCSD, US BCSD, and Yale University. Learn more at impact.usbcsd.org.

Materials Marketplace, Circular Economy Highlighted in GM’s 2015 Sustainability Report

General Motors recently released their 2015 Sustainability Report. GM's Director of Sustainability, David Tulauskas, has a fantastic Q&A feature in the report - discussing SDGs, climate, renewable energy, circular economy, and a range of other topics. The U.S. Materials Marketplace was also highlighted as a key supply chain sustainability initiative at GM:

Pathways to Impact: Driving Scale & Aligning Values

2016 is the year of implementation. Companies are putting into place the ambitious commitments they made in Paris during COP 21. They are scaling initiatives that succeeded in pilot trials last year. Businesses are figuring out what the Sustainable Development Goals mean for their industries, and aligning their sustainability objectives with these global priorities. Momentum grew during 2015 and, now in 2016, we – business leaders, financiers, risk auditors, government officials, conservationists, academics – have our boots on the ground and we’re working together to implement and scale sustainability solutions.

Multiple factors contributed to the momentum of 2016 – circular economy, climate action, climate risk & adaptation, and systemic transparency & reporting – and more will emerge over the course of this year. The 2016 US BCSD-WBCSD-Yale University Summer Conference, Pathways to Impact: Driving Scale & Aligning Values, will dive into these drivers, looking at what caused the sustainability sea change of 2015 to swell and how the big ideas are being put into action and brought to scale. We will look carefully at the hard work of 2016, with a lens toward each sustainability driver and how we expect it evolve over the next year.

June 14-15, 2016 at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

GM Recycles Water Bottles to Make Chevy Equinox Part

GM Global Manager of Waste Reduction John Bradburn demonstrates the Chevrolet Equinox engine insulation made from used water bottles from several GM facilities. (Photo by Santa Fabio for General Motors)

GM Global Manager of Waste Reduction John Bradburn demonstrates the Chevrolet Equinox engine insulation made from used water bottles from several GM facilities. (Photo by Santa Fabio for General Motors)

Material also is transformed into coat insulation for the homeless, air filters

General Motors is turning its employees’ recycled water bottles into a new life: noise-reducing fabric insulation that covers the Chevrolet Equinox engine. The bottles – collected from five of its Michigan facilities – are also being turned into air filtration components and insulation in coats for the homeless community.

Given its drive to zero waste, all of GM’s global facilities recycle their water bottles. However, the bottles collected at the five locations are now funneled into its “Do Your Part” project, where 11 businesses collaborate to give them a second life.

The air filtration components are used in GM facilities to protect air quality; and the insulation goes into Empowerment Plan coats that transform into sleeping bags.

Some of GM’s water bottles are recycled into insulation for Empowerment Plan coats that turn into sleeping bags for the homeless community. (Photo by Santa Fabio for General Motors)

Some of GM’s water bottles are recycled into insulation for Empowerment Plan coats that turn into sleeping bags for the homeless community. (Photo by Santa Fabio for General Motors)

Some of GM’s water bottles are recycled into air filters for 10 of its facilities. (Photo by Santa Fabio for General Motors)

Some of GM’s water bottles are recycled into air filters for 10 of its facilities. (Photo by Santa Fabio for General Motors)

“Recycling is good, but viewing waste as a valuable resource that can be plugged into your operations or products is even better,” said John Bradburn, GM global manager of waste reduction. “It’s about rethinking the process and finding more sustainable ways to manufacture products and contribute to our communities.”

GM pursued this project after analyzing its impacts from a holistic business case:

  • Sourcing recycled material costs the same while saving energy and reducing waste.
  • Engaging a network of companies to process the material in North America strengthens the economy.
  • Donating 24,000 yards of insulation – enough to make 6,500 coats – helps the homeless.

“Many of today’s businesses are challenging the take-make-dispose model and seeing the benefits of a more circular economy,” said Andrew Mangan, executive director of the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development. “From closed-loop recycling to helping launch material reuse networks, GM is thinking differently and getting other companies to join in.”

GM demonstrates how a supply chain can become a supply web where business opportunities stem from an original project, furthering the mission and driving more social and economic impact.

Each partner engaged in this initiative brings specific capabilities. Hamtramck Recycling bails the plastic bottles collected from GM’s world headquarters at the Renaissance Center, Warren Technical Center, and Orion Assembly, Flint Tool and Die, and Flint Engine plants. Clean Tech Inc. washes the bottles and converts them to flake. Unifi, Inc. recycles the bottle flake into resin. Palmetto Synthetics processes the resin to create fibers and William T. Burnett & Co. processes the fibers into various forms of fleece, serving all three applications.

  • Rogers Foam Corp. die cuts the fleece and EXO-s attaches it into the nylon cover for the Chevrolet Equinox V6 engine. The part helps further dampen engine noise to deliver a quiet ride.
  • Filtration Services Group works with New Life Center, a nonprofit jobs development and training mission in Flint, to make the panels for the air filtration fleece, which is then sent to 10 GM facilities.
  • The coat insulation is sent to Carhartt, a workwear company established in Detroit in 1889, who cuts it to size for The Empowerment Plan.

GM also is working with various organizations such as Schupan Recycling in Flint to collect additional water bottles to plug into the project.

GM uses recycled content in many of its vehicles. Cardboard from various GM plants is recycled into a sound-dampening material in the Buick Verano headliner; plastic caps and shipping aids from its Fort Wayne facility are mixed with other materials to make radiator shrouds for the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra; and test tires from Milford Proving Ground are shredded and used in the manufacturing of air and water baffles for a variety of GM cars.

GM has 131 landfill-free facilities around the world and recycles the equivalent of 38 million garbage bags of byproducts each year. For more information on GM’s environmental commitment, visit its sustainability report and environmental blog.

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.

(Article Source)

From the World Economic Forum Blog

Is ‘materials matching’ the new weapon in the climate war?

General Motors has generated nearly $1 billion in annual revenue by reusing and recycling its materials. Image: REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

General Motors has generated nearly $1 billion in annual revenue by reusing and recycling its materials. Image: REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

For corporate leaders who view the carbon-reduction goals of the Paris Agreement as an opportunity rather than a mandate, a new materials marketplace offers the chance to shrink environmental footprints while bolstering bottom lines.

If we’re going to reduce average global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, we’re going to need more efficient material flows. Material reuse and recycling offer additional strategies for reducing carbon, in part by reducing the emissions involved in extracting and transporting raw materials. If the United Nations Framework on Climate Change were to adopt material reuse as a carbon-reduction strategy, it would greatly accelerate interest from all sectors in establishing the circular economy/industrial ecology approach. Read more on the World Economic Forum website...

Q1 2016 Update

Niall Dunne, BT Group, presents the award to Andrew Mangan, US BCSD and Peter Bakker, WBCSD.

Niall Dunne, BT Group, presents the award to Andrew Mangan, US BCSD and Peter Bakker, WBCSD.

Momentum Builds Post-Davos

As you've probably seen by now, the U.S. Materials Marketplace was recognized with a prestigious "Circulars" Award at this year's World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in January, kickstarting a considerable amount of momentum for the project both in the US and around the world. Scroll down through our past postings to see recent news articles and social media activity.

Share the News

This award is unique in that it's shared not only by our three organizations; but also by each of you as project participants and supporters. We want to help you share this achievement both within your organization and externally through your media channels and CSR reports. Contact us for a press package with badges and a brief description of the award.

Project Sponsorship

We're asking all companies participating in the US Materials Marketplace to help offset costs for project administration, data analysis, ongoing software improvements, and program expansion with a participation fee. Three tiers of sponsorship are outlined on our website - click here for more information.

New Reuse Ideas Emerge from GreenBiz Conference

PVC anti-chip paste: GM has a good amount of unwanted PVC paste materials from their manufacturing processes, and Armstrong is interested in exploring the possibility of reusing this material in various flooring products (such as vinyl composition tile). 

Limestone powder: Automobile manufacturers generate a paint overspray byproduct and use limestone to absorb extra paint. This byproduct is 90-95% limestone and 5-10% paint overspray. Armstrong flooring is exploring the possibility to feed this material into their production process to replace virgin filler for their flooring products.

Save the Date: June 14-15 at Yale University

Move 'Ideas to Action to Scale' this summer with the US BCSD, WBCSD and Yale Center for Business and the Environment. Open up your calendars now and add June 14-15, 2016 in New Haven, Connecticut; and stay-tuned for more information as the date gets closer.

Call to Action: Add New Materials & New Locations

We're looking to significantly increase the number of materials and locations in the Materials Marketplace database, which will in turn allow our team to identify more opportunities and create a greater impact. Adding new materials information and bringing more facilities online is a fairly straightforward process, and we've put together this quick tutorial to make it even easier.

We’re also moving forward toward a goal of having 100+ companies participating in the US Materials Marketplace by this time next year and will be updating you as new companies sign up.

Materials Marketplace Software Developments

The Materials Marketplace software will be getting some improvements this summer as it moves ahead on a continuous improvement path. We will be in touch to invite your contributions as the software improves and evolves.

G7 Alliance on Resource Efficiency

The Materials Marketplace is being recognized during a G7 Alliance on Resource Efficiency Workshop in Washington, DC on March 22-23, hosted by the US EPA. The event theme is the Use of Life Cycle Concepts in Supply Chain Management to Achieve Resource Efficiency. This workshop offers US Marketplace exposure at the ministerial levels in all G7 countries and will help foster dialogue about innovative practices, key challenges, and highlight areas of opportunity related to life-cycle based approaches. Stay tuned for key outcomes and action items.

From the Guardian: Big companies turn trash to treasure in the circular economy

When participating in the circular economy, businesses use leftover materials and byproducts from their own manufacturing – or from other companies, obtained in an increasingly popular process called ‘materials matching’.

To understand the circular economy, think of the old saying: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Only imagine that idea scaled up – way up – to apply to big businesses.

When taking part in the circular economy, large companies use leftover materials and byproducts from their own manufacturing – or from other businesses, obtained in a process called “materials matching”. Thanks to a greater demand for climate change solutions spurred by the Paris agreement and the evolution of intelligent software, the need for materials matching is greater than ever, according to Andrew Mangan, executive director of the US Business Council for Sustainable Development.

The Materials Marketplace is one example of how cloud-based data and software is enabling the waste-sharing economy. This online database lists unwanted products ready to find second uses. Companies can view and purchase scrap materials like textile scraps or off-spec wood flooring. Ultimately, businesses save money and byproducts are diverted from landfills. Read more...

Some of our favorite tweets

Follow @USBCSD, @wbcsd and @CEFecoforum for more.

U.S. Materials Marketplace Wins Prestigious “Circulars” Award at World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

US BCSD, Corporate Eco Forum and WBCSD partnership recognized for “disrupting business as usual by enabling the circular economy with data driven technologies”

20 January 2016/Davos, Switzerland: Selected from an impressive group of more than 200 entrants, the U.S. Materials Marketplace was recognized with a prestigious “Circulars” Award at this year’s World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. The Circulars, the world’s premier circular economy award program, is a collaboration between the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders and Accenture and recognize individuals and organizations from commerce and civil society that have made a notable contribution to driving circular economy principles – where growth doesn’t depend on the use of scarce natural resources. 

Niall Dunne, BT Group, presents the award to Andrew Mangan and Peter Bakker.

Niall Dunne, BT Group, presents the award to Andrew Mangan and Peter Bakker.

Awarded the BT Award for Circular Economy Digital Disruptor, the Materials Marketplace is a joint project of three business organizations that together represent hundreds of companies worldwide: the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD), the Corporate Eco Forum (CEF) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Andy Mangan, Co-founder and Executive Director of the US BCSD, and Peter Bakker, President and CEO of the WBCSD accepted the award yesterday evening at an event in the UN World Food Programme Tent.

“While materials matching has been tried many times before, several developments make now a good time for tipping it toward normal business practices,” said Mangan, who has decades of experience working with businesses on sustainable materials management. “These include the growing corporate buy-in, the evolving sophistication of intelligent software and the momentum for climate change solutions coming out of the Paris Agreement.”

Participants in the Marketplace work with materials experts to comb through an online database seeking ways to reuse or exchange unwanted materials, from textile scraps to hydrochloric acid to off-spec wood flooring. Companies not only save money as they acquire cheaper raw materials and dispose of less waste, but also use significantly less energy and emit lower levels of greenhouse gases.

MR Rangaswami, Founder of the Corporate Eco Forum, praised the companies who led the charge: “The Materials Marketplace is an amazing example of what companies can do when they collaborate. The pioneering companies who sparked this initiative have paved the way for hopefully hundreds of more companies to reduce their footprints and move toward more circular business models.”

The Marketplace is developing a tiered cooperative model that would allow for big and small marketplaces to share their outcomes. As other countries implement their own marketplace programs, this co-op structure would connect them while allowing participants to retain control and ownership of their country’s data and activities. WBCSD’s Global Network, comprising of 70 national business councils would help facilitate the expansion.

Peter Bakker, President and CEO of WBCSD, sees enormous promise in the Materials Marketplace model: “Business has a critical role in making the transition to a sustainable and thriving economy. New business models based on the principles of circular economy will accelerate this shift allowing companies that use them to capitalize on new economic opportunities. The Materials Marketplace is a clear demonstration of this potential as it turns waste into an engine for creating value. With support from WBCSD’s Global Network, we will work towards replicating this model around the world.

Founding companies in the Marketplace include Alcoa, Armstrong World Industries, BASF, CH2M, Dow Chemical, Essroc, Fairmount Santrol, General Motors, Goodyear, Greif, LafargeHolcim, Nike, Novelis, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, Swisstrax, Tetra Pak, Veolia and Waste Management. 

For more information, visit https://thecirculars.org

From Brink News - Finding Value in Discarded Materials: Innovative Business Opportunities

Andrew Mangan writes in Brink,

"For corporate leaders who view the carbon reduction goals of the Paris Agreement as an opportunity rather than a mandate, a new materials marketplace offers the chance to shrink environmental footprints while bolstering bottom lines.

Participants in the United States Materials Marketplace work with materials experts to comb through an online database seeking ways to reuse or exchange unwanted materials, from textile scraps to hydrochloric acid to off-spec wood flooring. Not only do they save money as they acquire cheaper raw materials and dispose of less waste, but they use significantly less energy and emit lower levels of greenhouse gases." Read more.

U.S. Materials Marketplace selected as a finalist for The Circulars Awards 2016

Nationwide, December 1, 2015: The United States Materials Marketplace project, a groundbreaking company-led “waste-matching” initiative led by the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD), Corporate Eco Forum (CEF) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), was selected as a finalist in The Circulars Awards 2016 under the “Circular Economy Digital Disruptor” category. The Circulars, the world’s premier circular economy award program, offers recognition to individuals and organizations from commerce and civil society across the globe that have made a notable contribution to driving circular economy principles.

The project, piloted in the summer of 2015, sought to assess the feasibility of a national “Materials Marketplace” to match traditional and non-traditional industrial waste streams with new product and revenue opportunities. 23 major companies participated in the first phase of the pilot, representing 78 industrial facilities across the U.S. The project plans to expand to over 100 participating organizations in the US, and scale to other regions through combined organizational networks by the end of 2016.

The results reveal significant opportunities to eliminate corporate waste and by-product streams. From June through August 2015, participants uploaded 2.4 million tons of underutilized materials to the marketplace, and sought 59 materials via a unique “wishlist” function. The Marketplace team, leveraging more than two decades of experience, recommended 68 matches and initiated 19 transactions.

A comprehensive report presenting the outcomes, challenges, lessons learned and path forward for the U.S. Materials Marketplace pilot is available at http://materialsmarketplace.org.

By participating in the Materials Marketplace, companies can lower operational costs and waste disposal expenses while reducing energy consumption and GHG emissions. Additionally, they will spend less for raw materials, create new business opportunities and jobs to implement them, and join a respected collaborative network of diverse like-minded companies that are eager to explore new pathways to more efficient production and environmental protection.

Companies participating in the 2015 U.S. Materials Marketplace pilot project include: Armstrong World Industries, CH2M, BASF, Dow Chemical, Essroc, Fairmount Santrol, General Motors, Goodyear, Greif, LafargeHolcim, Nike, Novelis, Procter & Gamble, Swisstrax, Tetra Pak, Veolia, Waste Management, and others. In 2014, these companies accounted for over $600 billion U.S. in revenue, operated over 600 facilities in the U.S., and employed over 1.7 million people worldwide.

Pilot project implemented in the US by 23 leading companies reveals promising opportunities to eliminate industrial waste

New report details early results and outlines a path forward for a national-scale Materials Marketplace

Today, the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD), Corporate Eco Forum (CEF) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) announced the results of a groundbreaking company-led “waste-matching” initiative. The project sought to assess the feasibility of a national “Materials Marketplace” to match traditional and non-traditional industrial waste streams with new product and revenue opportunities. 23 major companies participated in the first phase of the pilot, representing 78 industrial facilities across the United States.

The results reveal significant opportunities to eliminate corporate waste and by-product streams. From June through August 2015, participants uploaded 2.4 million tons of underutilized materials to the marketplace, and sought 59 materials via a unique “wishlist” function. The Marketplace team, leveraging more than two decades of experience, recommended 68 matches and initiated 19 transactions.

A comprehensive report presenting the outcomes, challenges, lessons learned and path forward for the U.S. Materials Marketplace pilot is available at http://materialsmarketplace.org.

Andrew Mangan, founder and Executive Director of the US BCSD, likens the process to pulling open curtains that have long been closed. He summarizes the vision of the project, “The increasing pressure on our natural resources sends a clear message: we need to find value in discarded materials. Growing cross-industry collaboration for the efficient use of our resources opens up new business opportunities while creating economic, environmental, and societal benefits.”

Added Amy O’Meara, Director of the Corporate Eco Forum, “The pilot clearly demonstrated that an expanded U.S. Materials Marketplace with hundreds of companies reusing their material flows could significantly reduce the waste currently going to landfills. With increasing numbers of companies aspiring to more circular business models, the Marketplace also plays an increasingly important convening role for likeminded business leaders.”

Peter Bakker, President and CEO of the WBCSD, said “The Materials Marketplace project pilot has revealed major economic opportunities for companies to close material and waste loops. In collaboration with our 70 Global Network Partners across the world, we will identify ways to bring these projects to scale and accelerate the transition to a circular economy.”

The project received a major boost from the early and enthusiastic enlistment of General Motors and Nike. In recent years, General Motors has generated nearly $1 billion in annual revenue through reuse and recycling of its by-products, which enabled the corporation to avoid releasing 10 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions in the atmosphere.

In January 2016, the pilot will be extended for another three months to finish transactions in progress and recruit additional companies. By participating in the Materials Marketplace, companies can lower operational costs and waste disposal expenses while reducing energy consumption and GHG emissions. Additionally, they will spend less for raw materials, create new business opportunities and jobs to implement them, and join a respected collaborative network of diverse like-minded companies that are eager to explore new pathways to more efficient production and environmental protection.

Companies participating in the 2015 U.S. Materials Marketplace pilot project include: Armstrong World Industries, BASF, CH2M, Dow Chemical, Essroc, Fairmount Santrol, General Motors, Goodyear, Greif, LafargeHolcim, Nike, Novelis, Procter & Gamble, Swisstrax, Tetra Pak, Veolia, Waste Management, and others. In 2014, these companies accounted for over $600 billion U.S. in revenue, operated over 600 facilities in the U.S., and employed over 1.7 million people worldwide.

ABOUT THE US BCSD: The US BCSD is an action-oriented and member¬-led business association that harnesses the power of collaborative projects, platforms and partnerships to develop, deploy and scale solutions to ecosystems, energy, materials and water challenges. US BCSD activities are designed to generate economic returns and address environmental and societal challenges. The US BCSD is one of 65 national councils affiliated with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

ABOUT THE WBCSD: The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a CEO-led organization of some 200 forward-thinking global companies, is committed to galvanizing the global business community to create a sustainable future for business, society and the environment. Together with its members, the council applies its respected thought leadership and effective advocacy to generate constructive solutions and take shared action. Leveraging its strong relationships with stakeholders as the leading advocate for business, the council helps drive debate and policy change in favor of sustainable development solutions.

The WBCSD provides a forum for its member companies – who represent all business sectors, all continents and a combined revenue of more than $8.5 trillion, 19 million employees – to share best practices on sustainable development issues and to develop innovative tools that change the status quo. The council also benefits from a network of 70 national and regional business councils and partner organizations, a majority of which are based in developing countries.

ABOUT THE CORPORATE ECO FORUM: The Corporate Eco Forum (CEF) is an invitation-only membership organization comprised of Fortune and Global 500 companies from 18 industries with combined revenues of over $3 trillion. CEF’s mission is to help accelerate sustainable business innovation by creating a neutral “safe space” for influential business leaders to strategize and exchange best-practice insights. Participants are exclusively top-level executives, including chief sustainability officers, chief financial officers, and chief technology officers, and other VP-level executives with responsibilities affecting the supply chain.

From Waste to Opportunity: Over 20 Companies Launch New Project to Scale Up Material Reuse across US Facilities

Online marketplace allows companies to exchange underutilized materials, turning one company’s waste into raw material for the other

Geneva, San Francisco, Austin, July 8, 2015: The National Materials Marketplace is a new joint pilot project led by the Corporate Eco Forum (CEF), US Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD), and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). Bringing together more than 20 major companies with operations in the United States, the project will help participants identify ways to reuse or exchange undervalued materials via an online database, and establish new circular supply chains.

“The increasing pressure on our natural resources sends a clear message: we need to find value in discarded materials. Growing cross-industry collaboration for the efficient use of our resources is promising. This opens up new business opportunities while creating economic, environmental, and societal benefits,” says Andrew Mangan, Executive Director of US BCSD.

“The Materials Marketplace project is a key step towards the shift to a circular economy – one where waste becomes the new engine for creating value,” says Peter Bakker, President and CEO of the WBCSD.

“Unlocking business-to-business reuse opportunities ensure effective waste management and deliver integrated benefits.”

The potential benefits of matching material and by-product waste streams with opportunities for reuse are massive. In recent years, General Motors has generated nearly $1 billion in annual revenue through reusing and recycling its by-products. By finding reuse and recycling options for this material, GM avoided over 10 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions in 2014.

“Material management is a business opportunity, not just a cost-reduction strategy,” adds John Bradburn, GM’s Global Manager of Waste Reduction. “We have to reach the stage where by-products are viewed the same way we view product development – part of constant improvement and innovation.”

The Marketplace is a unique collaboration among the three business associations. Originally conceived at a CEF member meeting, the idea gained momentum with the support of early advocates including GM and Nike. The national pilot builds upon a similar regional project in Austin, Texas, as well as other “by-product synergy” projects in North America, China and the United Kingdom over the past 20 years.

Amy O’Meara, Director of the Corporate Eco Forum explains: “US BCSD’s expertise and software were exactly what our members were looking for. And joining forces with US BCSD and WBCSD was a natural fit, given the significant complementarity of our memberships. By leveraging each of our organizations’ strengths, we can deliver increased value to participating companies.”

By joining the pilot, participating businesses benefit from:

  • Lower operational costs due to cheaper feedstock and reduced waste disposal costs
  • Reduced carbon footprint owing to major cuts in energy use and GHG emissions
  • Reduced environmental footprint by avoiding waste disposal and raw material purchase
  • Enhanced social and economic impact through new business opportunities and jobs
  • Improved corporate reputation through the reporting of reuse activities and diversion of waste streams for productive purposes
  • A collaborative and dynamic business network allowing for exploration of new pathways for materials with other like-minded colleagues.

Lessons learned from the pilot will be used to scale up materials reuse projects worldwide, notably through the WBCSD’s Global Network of national business councils.

Participating companies include: 3M; Armstrong World Industries; CH2M; Eastman Chemical; Essroc – Italcementi Group; Holcim-Geocycle; Goodyear; Fairmount Santrol; General Motors; Nike; Novelis – Aditya Birla Group; The Dow Chemical Company; Tetra Pak Inc.; Swisstrax; Systech; and many others.

About the US BCSD
The US BCSD is an action oriented and member-led business association that harnesses the power of collaborative projects, platforms and partnerships to develop, deploy and scale solutions to ecosystems, energy, materials and water challenges. US BCSD activities are designed to generate economic returns and address environmental and societal challenges. The US Business Council is one of 70 national councils worldwide associated with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, a network of 200 companies with members drawn from 30 countries and 20 major industrial sectors. http://usbcsd.org

About CEF
The Corporate Eco Forum (CEF) is an elite, invitation-only membership organization comprised mainly of Fortune and Global 500 companies from 18 industries with combined revenues of over $3 trillion. CEF provides a year-round safe, neutral space for influential executives to exchange best practice, collaborate, and innovate. Participants are almost exclusively VP and C-level executives across multiple business functions including CSOs, CTOs, CIOs, CFOs, CMO, and VPs for Supply Chain. The diversity of executives, coupled with the cross-industry nature of CEF, creates a world-class platform to accelerate sustainable business problem solving and innovation. http://corporateecoforum.com

About the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a CEO-led organization of some 200 forward-thinking global companies, is committed to galvanizing the global business community to create a sustainable future for business, society and the environment. Together with its members, the Council applies its respected thought leadership and effective advocacy to generate constructive solutions and take shared action. Leveraging its strong relationships with stakeholders as the leading advocate for business, the Council helps drive debate and policy change in favor of sustainable development solutions. The WBCSD provides a forum for its member companies – who represent all business sectors, all continents and a combined revenue of more than $8.5 trillion, 19 million employees – to share best practices on sustainable development issues and to develop innovative tools that change the status quo. The Council also benefits from a network of 70 national and regional business councils and partner organizations, a majority of which are based in developing countries. http://wbcsd.org