Four Years After Fukushima, Japan Looks For Answers

Posted by Lee Drever on Mar 13, 2015 11:46:00 AM

It has been four years since Japan was hit with the most powerful earthquake in its recorded history.
Tsunami Devastation
 Octaform customers, Hayashi Trout shared this shot of the devastation in Ongawa, Japan

In March of 2011, just 45 miles east of the Oshika Peninsula of Tohoku, a 9.0 magnitude undersea megathrust earthquake triggered a wave of destruction unlike anything in Japan's recorded memory. The quake and subsequent tsunami washed over coastal ports and towns, claiming over 18,000 lives, destroying over one million buildings and triggering a nuclear meltdown.

Four years later, Japan continues to deal with the aftermath of the disaster. The almost 83,000 residents living closest to the Fukushima nuclear plant were evacuated and radiation levels have kept them from returning home. Cleanup continues and researchers and analysts have now ruled local dairy, produce and seafood to be safe. 

Trout Grow-Out Tanks Are Stocked
  Hayashi Trout stocks the Octaform tanks at their park near Fukushima.

However, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, fears persist. As Wired reports, locals are slow to return to locally grown food even in the face of positive data.

Understandably, these fears are also affecting Japan's energy infrastructure. The Fukushima plant and all 48 of the nation's nuclear facilities have remained closed since the events of 2011, leaving utilities scrambling for energy. Forced to rely heavily on fossil fuels, like coal and natural gas, leaders have worked to find cleaner sources like solar. 

Driven by political and popular will, solar use in Japan has grown dramatically in the last two years. Clean and renewable, it represents an about-face from atomic energy but as the New York Times reports, this may be too good to be true. Utilities are now rejecting solar, complaining that it can't reliably support the demands of the country.

Many argue that the solution, to reducing Japan's now high greenhouse gas emissions, is actually a return to atomic power. The long term effects of the world's worst nuclear meltdown since Chernobyl remain to be seen but the reality is that there have been no fatalities directly linked to the Fukushima accident.

Japan's struggle is a microcosm of our global struggle. 'Answers' are few and far between and, as they are learning, 'solutions' are often trade-offs. 

These issues around sustainability, unfortunately, are easily politicized. It seems tough, however, to take issue with the Portland Cement Association's basic sentiment on the topic:

"We believe the most sustainable building is the one still standing.” David Shepherd, PCA

Each year in the United States alone, more than $35 billion in direct property loss is caused by natural disasters.  States and municipalities are seeking to adopt ordinances that require “green” or “sustainable” construction, yet as the PCA points out, they are overlooking disaster-resistance construction. 

There is now a call for making enhanced resilience of a building’s structure to natural and man-made disasters the first consideration of a green building.  Increased longevity and durability, combined with improved disaster resistance, results in the need for less energy and resources. This is not only the case for repair, removal, disposal and replacement of building materials and contents due to disasters, but for routine maintenance and operations as well. 

Concrete Trout Tanks Under Construction
 Formed and protected with Octaform, Hayashi's aquaculture tanks survived the disaster unscathed.

“Integration of durability and functional resilience into sustainability codes, standards and programs is long overdue,” David Shepherd, director of sustainability for the Portland Cement Association (PCA) said. “Some say the most sustainable structure is the one that isn’t built. We believe the most sustainable building is the one still standing.”

Functionally resilient buildings place less demand on resources and allow communities to provide vital services, even after a natural disaster.  For example, resilient construction allows businesses to continue operations, providing municipalities with a consistent tax base. Emergency recovery, the PCA reminds us, costs money. These funds are often reallocated from other community economic, societal and environmental initiative. The ripples can last for generations.

The question of sustainability is complicated and rife with misinformation, trade-offs and unforseen consequences but building better, it seems, will always be the right choice.



Topics: Aquaculture, Agriculture, Sustainability, Concrete, Concrete Construction, seismic, disaster, energy, Agri-Food, Renewable Energy

New CEO For Harvest Power

Posted by Lee Drever on Jan 10, 2014 10:18:00 AM

Organic Waste Conversion
describe the image
Harvest Power is a leader in the North American organics-to-energy industry.

Kathleen Ligocki to lead as new CEO; 
Paul Sellew to shift to Founder, Executive Chair of Board

WALTHAM, Mass - Harvest Power, a North American developer of organics-to-energy plants and compost production facilities, will have a new CEO as of January 13.

Kathleen Ligocki, an operating partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (early investors in Harvest Power), will take over for founding CEO, Paul Sellew. The founder will remain with the company, shifting to Executive Chair of the Board.

Kathleen Ligocki - Harvest Power CEO
Kathleen Ligocki takes the helm next week.

This announcement, said Sellew, comes at an important juncture for Harvest Power. “The directors and I determined that we need to invest in and increase the leadership capacity of the organization so that we can successfully navigate the next phase of our growth plan,” said Sellew, “Kathleen Ligocki brings the right combination of bold strategic insight, broad operational expertise across a number of industry sectors and financial acumen that will propel Harvest to the next level.”

Harvest Power, according to Ligocki, is already poised for some significant growth, “In North America, over the next few years, heightened consciousness about the alternatives to dumping organics wastes in landfills will drive tremendous opportunities for companies able to recycle organic wastes into clean energy for our communities and soil enhancement products for our gardens and agricultural land.”

describe the image
Founded in 2008, Harvest Power

  • employs more than 600 people at nearly 40 sites;  
  • has built and operates three anaerobic digesters; 
  • processes over 2 million tons of organic wastes per year; 
  • sells 33 million bags of soil and mulches through 1200 locations across North America


About Harvest Power

Harvest creates a more sustainable future by helping communities better manage and beneficially re-use their organic waste through the production of renewable energy and soils, mulches and natural fertilizers.

Harvest’s vision is to find the highest and best use for the 500 million tons of organic materials produced in North America each year. The company operates organics facilities in the Mid-Atlantic and West Coast of the U.S., and in Ontario and British Columbia, Canada.

Harvest has grown rapidly since its founding in 2008 and has garnered awards for its business of energy generation and soil revitalization. The company has been named to the Global Cleantech 100 four years in a row and received Bloomberg’s 2013 New Energy Pioneer Award. 



Your Next Digester Can Be Better Click Here & Find Out How

Topics: Anaerobic Digestion, Sustainability, Biogas, Waste, Harvest Power

Woody Harrelson Is Turning Waste Into Paper

Posted by Lee Drever on Dec 6, 2013 11:52:00 AM

Woody Harrelson
Woody Harrelson is a co-counder of a company producing high quality paper from left over wheat straw.

With the proliferation of e-readers, tablets and smartphones it certainly feels like the world is printing less but are we? 

The paper industry will tell you that, despite downward trends in certain categories, the global consumption of paper products is actually rising. Whether it is growing or not, our global appetite for paper products is still massive with over 400 million metric tonnes (3 billion trees worth) of paper consumed annually.

The numbers are staggering and with 1.6 billion people around the planet depending directly on natural rainforests food, clothing and shelter, can we continue to cut down 3 billion trees per year for paper?

Actor and activist, Woody Harrelson is the co-founder of a company that hopes to reduce this impact on the planet by producing high quality paper from straw left over from the production of wheat. Step Forward Paper, made with 80 per cent wheat straw, is the first paper of its kind to hit shelves in North America. 

Two boxes saves one tree:

“Almost half the world’s forests have been cut for paper products,” said Harrelson, “Step Forward Paper is great for our forests, our farmers and our future.”

Harrelson is partners with entrepreneur, Jeff Golfman and former Manitoba finance minister, Clayton Manness in this project that after 15 years of research and development was made available through Staples stores (and online) across Canada and the United States last summer. 

Step Forward Paper buys wheat waste from farmers after it is harvested for food, providing the farmers with an extra diversified income. 

The paper is currently made in India from straw sourced nearby but the long-term goal for the team is to build a "state-of-the-art, off-the-grid, eco pulp and paper mill" in North America.

Step Forward Paper is an 8.5" X 11", 80% tree-free paper sheet made from wheat straw waste and bleached using an Elemental Chlorine-Free sequence (ECF). The paper is FSC certified by the Rainforest Alliance. It 
is currently available in North America exclusively from Staples.

DISCLOSURE: Octaform President, David Richardson is a member of the board of directors for Prairie Paper, manufacturers of Step Forward Paper.

Topics: Agriculture, Sustainability

Greenbuild Comes To Europe

Posted by Lee Drever on Nov 28, 2013 1:05:00 PM


(Washington, D.C.) – The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced last week that Greenbuild for Europe and the Mediterranean region will launch in Verona, Italy in 2014.

“Greenbuild for Europe and the Mediterranean region is part of the global expansion of the successful Greenbuild Conference & Expo brand,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S.Green Building Council. “USGBC and Hanley Wood entered into a strategic partnership earlier this year with plans to expand the conference and the Greenbuild brand. This new experience will serve as a platform for green building knowledge and shared expertise across continents, while scaling the breadth and reach of global market transformation.”

Other Greenbuild Firsts

1st Greenbuild to be hosted outside of the U.S. was Toronto in 2011; 

1st West Coast Greenbuild was Phoenix in 2009;

1st Residential Summit was held in Chicago in 2007;

1st Green Jobs Fair was held in Phoenix in 2009;

1st show was held in Austin, Tex. in 2002 and hosted 4,189 attendees.

Greenbuild is the largest event dedicated to green building education and features extensive educational programming, a vast expo hall, top notch inspirational speakers and the best in-person networking opportunities an event has to offer.

Greenbuild 2013 marks the 12th anniversary of Greenbuild, and the 20th anniversary of USGBC. Greenbuild for the U.S. will be held in November 2014 in New Orleans, in addition to Greenbuild for Europe and the Mediterranean region in Verona, Italy.

"Greenbuild for Europe and the Mediterranean region will be all about green building,” said Rick McConnell, President, Hanley Wood Exhibitions. “Combining the resources of GBC Italia, USGBC, Veronafiere and Hanley Wood to deliver cutting edge education, the conference will feature top speakers in sustainability and combine the live event experience of Veronafiere and Hanley Wood. This indeed is going to be a game changer."

“Green building is not new to Europe and the Mediterranean region. With its rich history in architecture and building design, this area of the world is naturally focused on sustainable buildings,” said Mario Zoccatelli, President of GBC Italia. “LEED, as a global system, provides unique opportunities for us to advance green building in a completely new way. Greenbuild will serve as a mechanism to promote LEED and other green building tools across the continent. We are excited about creating the Greenbuild conference in the European and Mediterranean region.”

“We are honored to have been chosen as host for Greenbuild for Europe and the Mediterranean region,” said Veronafiere’s CEO Giovanni Mantovani. “For over a century, we have been organizing trade shows here in Verona, Italy, and are now considered a leader within the European trade show sector. Veronafiere has a close, longstanding partnership with Hanley Wood and is a member of the Italian GBC. We have recently added Smart Energy Expo, a show focusing on energy efficiency and the white-green economy to our long established fairs in the construction sector, Marmomacc and Samoter. Verona is a beautiful city, with a rich history and culinary tradition, well-connected by air, rail, and highway. We look forward to hosting Greenbuild in 2014.”

Topics: Sustainability, Concrete, Construction

Cleveland Browns Going Green With Biogas

Posted by Lee Drever on Nov 22, 2013 4:21:00 PM

Stadium Turning Food Waste Into Biogas

The NFL Franchise will be the first in the country to divert food waste to an Anaerobic Digestion facility, turning the scraps into energy and fertilizer.

This Sunday, the Cleveland Browns and FirstEnergy Stadium will showcase a new system that aims to recycle stadium food waste into renewable energy and fertilizer sources. The effort is expected to annually divert 35 tons of food waste from landfills to facilities producing sustainable, natural resources for Cleveland residents.

"Creative solutions to food waste provide communities with renewable energy opportunities and environmental benefits through reduced greenhouse gas emissions." said Secretary Vilsack. "We must better educate folks about the problem of food waste and utilize partnerships like the one in Cleveland to begin to address the issue of food waste nationwide."

The program is
expected to:

Divert 35 tons of food waste from landfills every season

Reduce CO2 emissions by 28,000 pound per year

Generate enough electricity to power a single-family home for a year and a half

Produce enough natural gas to heat 32 homes for an entire month

Recover enough nutrients for 3 football fields of new crops

This initiative is part of the U.S. Food Waste Challenge, a joint USDA and EPA effort, calling on others across the food chain—including producer groups, processors, manufacturers, retailers, communities, and other government agencies − to join the effort to reduce, recover, and recycle food waste. 

The Browns are the first professional franchise to implement this kind of system in their home stadium. Using the Grind2Energy™ system from InSinkErator, food scraps are collected and ground into a slurry, which is transported to an anaerobic digester operated by quasar energy group at The Ohio State University's Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC).

At the anaerobic digester, which periodically adds dairy cow manure to lower acidity and boost the methane, quasar produces biogas for energy and fuel uses in addition to vital nutrients and fertilizer that can be reused for farming.

"Digester systems are something this country's dairy farms have used for years," said Tom Gallagher, CEO of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. "But we have just begun to tap what is possible. Through new partnerships – whether it's with a stadium, or a hospital or a chain of supermarkets – dairy farms in all 50 states are able to house this type of system and turn food waste into food value for local communities. This proposition is just one of the goals that the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy is setting for the immediate future."

"Cities and local communities really identify with their professional teams, so when we see franchises make these partnerships and these commitments, we think there's a potential multiplier effect for every fan that's going to walk through those turnstiles," said Allen Hershkowitz, Ph.D., the director of the Sports Greening Project at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). "We think there's just an incredible amount of potential for sports teams and venues across the country to really act as leaders when it comes to changing the national conversation around food waste."

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Topics: Sustainability, Biogas, Waste

Making an 'Impact' with Bioenergy

Posted by Lee Drever on Oct 4, 2013 9:49:00 AM

Impact Bioenergy AD Facility
 Facility rendering of an Impact Bioenergy anaerobic digestion system.

Industry Profile: 
JAN ALLEN, Impact Bioenergy  

Jan Allen, Impact Bioenergy

Jan Allen has been involved in design, construction, and operation of organics facilities since 1989, at Cedar Grove Composting, CH2M HILL, Concept Kinetics, and Harvest Power.

Jan is president of IMPACT BIOENERGY. Formed this year, they intend to empower communities with the best bio-conversion technologies and services available to recycle organic materials into renewable energy and soil products.

He sat down with Octaform this week to talk anaerobic digestion and some of the hurdles it faces in North America.


How did you get into biogas?

My first experience was at Purdue University – we were allowed to do an undergraduate thesis – I chose methane potential via pig waste biogas. My second experience was designing mechanical piping for wastewater digesters. The concept has always been at the forefront of my engineering ideas but it has not always been economically feasible.

The economics have shifted into a much more favorable position. This is partly due to rising costs for alternatives like long distance disposal or recycling at distant composting facilities. It is also partly due to more domestic technology choices that don’t have to be imported from Europe.


A growing number of organizations and cities are aiming for zero waste as a goal. How does anaerobic digestion help accomplish this?

Anaerobic digestion is ideally suited to wet, high-calorie food wastes. These are precisely the same feedstocks that cause operational challenges for composting operations – too much water, not enough pore space, and too much oxygen demand at the beginning of the process. So for multifamily organics and commercial organics especially anaerobic digestion can extract energy and reduce the odour potential of the remaining digestate that goes to composting. College campuses are a great case study in both zero waste and self-generation of energy.

Many campuses and communities have taken the bolder step to both move past 50% diversion and to develop micro-grid power stations on-campus. Even if recycling goals are achieved they don’t account for the environmental impact of exporting waste. Today there are opportunities to avoid the fuel use for hauling and offsite disposal of these materials by creating energy locally from waste streams that would otherwise be wasted.

Converting organic materials into energy and soil on-campus is not only possible, it is more cost-effective and sustainable. With much of the district power and heating infrastructure built into their initial construction, college campuses across North America are moving to micro grid power systems. 

For example UC San Diego's 42-megawatt micro grid has a master controller and optimization system and uses different generator sources - photovoltaic solar panels, fuel cells, and natural gas generators - that enable it to cover more than 90 percent of the power requirement at the 1,200-acre campus. The micro grid saves the university some $800,000 a month in energy costs.

Biogas E-Book

 Free Download 

Compared to Europe, North America has been slow to adopt biogas as a means of energy generation. What factors are holding back growth in North America?

In North America we generally operate on a market-driven system where lowest cost is overwhelmingly the decision criteria. In Europe the decision criteria was more about EU directives to reduce landfilling and produce renewable energy. These were policies adopted by counties and the European Union.

Renewable energy is tariff-driven in Europe where biomethane power is worth three times as much per kWh ($0.20/kWh in EU vs. $0.07/kWh in US). There are a number of variations on this concept including low-technology need for cooking and lighting fuel - used mainly Asia, India, and Africa; and environmental-control used mainly in North America for wastewater facilities.

The good news is that the supply chain and design/build industry for biogas is starting to grow in North America. That will drive down capital cost. We are still struggling with weak central policy and low energy tariffs but those may be the next barriers to address.


What areas of North America do you foresee growing in AD?

Those areas where there are high waste disposal costs or high electricity prices.


Over the last decade, Cow Power programs in Vermont and BC have attempted to help biogas become economically feasible. Do you believe that AD in North America can be feasible without subsidies or programs?

Yes if the current economics show high waste disposal costs or high electricity prices. It is really site-specific so each project has a unique economic situation. We created two self-evaluation models to help customers evaluate their specific economics (see here). In these tools there is a ‘project specifics’ tab to help collect the data to make a wise decision.


What services does Impact Bioenergy provide? How is Impact Bioenergy different from other firms involved in biogas?

IMPACT BIOENERGY was launched in Seattle in July 2013. We have created a unique business model focused on selling small-scale organic waste energy waste solutions to communities of 5,000 to 50,000 people for the production of renewable energy and valuable, carbon-rich by-products. Our products are pre-fabricated, modular, quickly deployed, and here in Pacific Northwest.

The centerpiece of our game-changing business model is the IMPACT BIOENERGY TECHNOLOGY SUITE: three separate but complementary organics recycling technology modules designed to operate independently or together. 


• Biomethane production via anaerobic digestion (AD)
• Soil and heat production via composting
• Charcoal, biochar, syngas, and heat production via gasification

The trends and convergence of the global issues we can address underscores the relevancy and timeliness of this offering. Every day, each resident in campus and urban area sends two pounds of valuable organic material to disposal.

IMPACT BIOENERGY is different than other technology providers because it focuses on small scale, standardized, simple, pre-fabricated assemblies to drive down the capital cost of renewable energy systems. Delivery and installation can be accomplished in about 6 months vs. typical concept-to-startup development cycles that require 2-4 years in the industry today. Operating costs are low with near zero inputs of chemicals and consumable materials.

The ultimate success of Impact Bioenergy’s plan lies in our ability to deliver systems that will create “communities” from our customers who enjoy information sharing in the areas of purchasing, operations, and marketing.

Impact Bioenergy

have professionals located on the West Coast and East Coast, and in the United States and Canada. The corporate home town is Seattle, Washington

Topics: Agriculture, Anaerobic Digestion, Sustainability, Biogas, Industry Profile, Bioenergy

Quality or Quantity - Can Agriculture Have Both?

Posted by Thomas Belsheim on Aug 9, 2013 3:06:00 PM

Science, without question, has helped farmers to dramatically increase their crop yields over the last century. Some argue, however, that this has come with significant decline in quality. California-based Water Right Technologies (WRT) is hoping to change this.

 corn by Alternative Energy resized 600

Photocredit: Alternative Energy 

With a few process improvements, Water Right Technologies aims to enhance crop yield and quality.

As mentioned in a recent article by the Worldwatch Institute, today's farmer can grow two to three times as much food as they could on the same plot of land 50 years ago. While crop yields have increased, nutritional quality doesn't appear to have followed suit. 

In Still No Free Lunch, a report by Washington State University, researchers found that wheat cultivars grown between 1842 and 2003 had an "11% decline in iron content, a 16 percent decline in copper, a 25 percent decline in zinc and a 50 percent decline in selenium." Chemical inputs have drastically increased the yield of farming over the past 5 decades, while at the same time, robbing produce of its essential nutrients. 

With an ever-increasing demand for food, producing the highest possible yields has become central to conventional agriculture. Many farmers, struggling to keep up, have not been eager to change their crop management practices. This is where WRT hopes to come in. 

Water Right Technology aids farmers in rebuilding the quality of their soil. As the fundamental aspect of healthy crop growth, soil quality is most negatively affected by regimented chemical inputs. WRT's process begins with a full-spectrum analysis of the current state of soil conducted on the farm in question. The process goes even further by including samples of the water that is being used for irrigation, which is then mixed with collected soil samples. Without realizing, a farmer may conduct their own soil testing but not account for salts or bicarbonates that are present in the irrigation water being used. Crop management programs are then customized based off of the acquired results, and are fitted to improve upon preexisting practices. WRT utilizes the best natural soil amendment products on the market to restore nutrients and microbial communities into the earth. 

Backed by more than 40 years of applied agriculture experience WRT has tested many natural soil amendment products, and the two companies they distribute for deliver the most impressive and consistent results when used together. Baicor and Bio S.I. Technology manufacture an extensive line of organic soil amendments to meet the needs of any farmer, and WRT will educate their clients specifically on how each should be used. There have even been cases where farmers have experienced considerably better yields after the complete replacement of chemical inputs with these two brands, and proper implementation. WRT is working to change the way farmers think about producing quality over quantity.

Renew And Protect Your Barn Walls. Click Here To Find Out How!

Topics: Agriculture, Sustainability

New Biogas Technology Aims to Make Digesters More Profitable

Posted by Lee Drever on Apr 5, 2013 3:27:00 PM

A Wisconsin biogas facility is about to get into another green business: algae. 

Canadian company, Solutions4CO2 has just inked a deal to bring its proprietary Integrated Biogas Refinery (IBR) system to Vir-Clar Farm Power's already operational biogas facility in Wisconsin. The new system promises to increase the concentration of methane output while adding a new potential revenue stream to the mix: algae.

With slow returns and a tough regulatory climate, biogas has fought an uphill battle in North America. “Solutions4CO2 provides AD developers with real solutions to these economic and environmental challenges,” said Douglas Kemp-Welch, S4CO2’s Chief Executive Officer. 

Intergrated Biogas Refinery

Integrated Biogas Refinery by Solutions4CO2 Inc.

The process of anaerobic digestion traditionally produces gas containing roughly 60% methane, 39% Carbon dioxide (CO2) and 1% hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Solutions4CO2's Integrated Biogas Refinery separates CO2 and H2S from methane by dissolving it into solid form, benefitting the system in two ways.  First, it allows for a more concentrated methane stream, resulting in increased power generation. Second, the newly separated CO2 and H2S are used to produce algae biomass, whose by-products are sold on the open market. 

Algae's future as a biofuel may still be up in the air but as many producers already know, there is a growing market for its nutraceutical and pharmaceutical co-products. If all goes as expected, this increased efficiency coupled with the new revenue will cut average new project payback times by more than half.

Solutions4CO2 Inc. (S4CO2) is a Canadian company that develops innovative Waste to High Value Co-Product solutions for waste gas, water and biomass streams. 

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Topics: Agriculture, Anaerobic Digestion, Sustainability, Biogas, Algae

Durability Drives Denver Builder

Posted by Lee Drever on Jan 25, 2013 2:21:00 PM

With the construction of a state-of-the-art vehicle wash in Stapleton, a Colorado company is bringing a new way to build to the Mountain States.
Car Wash Walls

Denver builder, ASLAN Companies is using Octaform, a PVC stay-in-place concrete forming system, to build and finish the walls of a Stapleton vehicle wash.

Not content to rely only on traditional construction methods, it was ASLAN’s spirit of innovation and sustainability that led them to this unique concrete forming technology. “Octaform,“ explained Aaron Voorhees, President of ASLAN, “offers us a way to build better, faster and stronger for our clients.”

With Octaform, ASLAN assembles PVC walls on site and fills them with concrete. The built-in finish eliminates the need for further cladding, protection, or paint and protects the concrete from the corrosive chemicals, moisture and heat of a modern car wash.

“The watertight finish,” says Voorhees, “gives an unprecedented level of protection to the walls.”

Project Participants

Design Manager and General Contractor:
ASLAN Companies, Littleton,Colo. 
Excavation, Concrete, and Walls
ASLAN Companies, Littleton,Colo. 
Wash Equipment:
ComTec Systems, Arvada,Colo. 
Metal and Roofing:
Project 6, Aurora,Colo. 
Michael T’s Plumbing and Heating, Centennial,Colo. 
Carry the Light Electric, Englewood,Colo. 
Marxaire, Inc., Denver, Colo.

By protecting the integrity of the walls, Octaform also extends the life of the structure, reducing its long-term carbon footprint.

“Durability might not scream ‘green design’ like solar panels or reclaimed lumber but for us, it is huge,” explains Voorhees, “The most sustainable building, after all, is the one still standing.”

Octaform’s ‘green’ benefits don’t stop there. Concrete walls are already known to be very energy-efficient. Octaform reduces the usual carbon footprint of building them by shipping efficiently and eliminating the need for heavy equipment or steel forms.

Add to this a bright finish that reduces lighting requirements and LEED points start to add up. The bright finish of the Octaform wall system appealed to Voorhees on a business level too.

“A dark, dingy wash bay is just not going to attract customers,” he explains, “With Octaform, those bays will look great for a long time.”

"AutoWash@Stapleton" is expected to be open first quarter 2013.

ASLAN Companies, Inc. is a Colorado general contractor / design builder. ASLAN brings special expertise using alternative wall systems to Car Washes, Hardened Homes, Bomb Shelters, General Commercial Buildings, and Thermally Efficient Residential “Green” Homes. 

Topics: Sustainability, Truck Wash, vehicle wash, Concrete Construction

Sustainable Seafood Commitment on Track for Loblaw

Posted by Lee Drever on Jun 19, 2012 3:54:00 PM

BRAMPTON, ON, - Canada's largest food retailer reported this week that they are on track to meeting their 2013 commitment to 100 per cent responsibly sourced seafood.

22074 284418674793 6025989 nLoblaw instore signage highlights the impact that sourcing 100% sustainable seafood has on retail.

A step forward in this progress for Loblaw involved a membership in the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organisation (IFFO). This move will require all supplying farms to use only IFFO Responsible Supply standard fish meal and fish oil in their feeds.

Formed in 1959, the IFFO is the international non-profit organization which represents fishmeal and fish oil producers and related trades throughout the world.  One of the key objectives of IFFO certification is a commitment to responsible fishery management, quality control and assurance, including the traceability of fishmeal and fish oil from the producer to the user. The commitment also includes transportation and storage to ensure safety and to avoid endangered and illegal unreported species.IFFO

"Responsible fish farming needs responsible feed," says Andrew Mallison, Director General, IFFO. "By supporting the IFFO Responsible Supply standard, Loblaw is giving their customers the assurance that the fishmeal and fish oil used as feed ingredients are from well managed fisheries and is produced in safe and well managed factories. We are also delighted to welcome them as our first retail member."

Members of the IFFO share a commitment to setting a standard for the aquaculture value chain through the promotion of high-quality, certified fish meal and fish oil into the diets of both aquatic and land animals. Loblaw joins producers and trade associations from around the world representing nearly two-thirds of the world's production of fish meal and fish oil.

"By becoming members of the IFFO, Loblaw has made strides in moving closer to our goal of sourcing 100 per cent of the seafood sold in our stores from sustainable sources by the end of 2013," says Paul Uys, vice-president, sustainable seafood, Loblaw Companies Limited. 

"As Canada's largest food retailer, Loblaw will play a key leadership role in bringing these responsibly farmed seafood practices to the wider marketplace."

"WWF recognizes the importance of engaging with multiple stakeholders to develop environmental and social standards and voluntary certification schemes for a range of commodities," says Dr. Robert Rangeley, vice-president, WWF-Canada, Atlantic Region. "We see Loblaw's membership in IFFO as an example of this and another important step in their commitment to responsible sourcing and traceability of seafood in Canada."

As one of its 2012 Sustainable Seafood Commitments, Loblaw has committed to begin the conversion to 100 per cent of fishmeal and fish oil used in feed to be certified against the IFFO Responsible Supply standard for all control brand responsibly farmed seafood programs. This commitment extends into Loblaw control brand products where there are feeding regimes, such as the PC® Free From products.

Topics: Aquaculture, Sustainability, Recirculating Aquaculture Systems, WWF, Loblaw, IFFO