AWARD CRITERIA:A qualified Nominee is a COMPANY that has EITHER: Developed a Green product or service that is commercially available and in production, and is in use with at least one customer/client; OR Applied or implemented a technology or process change that has a net positive impact on the environment, such as, decreasing energy consumption as compared to conventional operations, decreasing regulated air or water emissions, decreasing solid-waste as compared to conventional operations, or some other environmentally significant described impact.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2011 TECHCOLUMBUS INNOVATION AWARD WINNER!
Owens Corning Blowing Agent (BA) Conversion: A GREEN Innovation
Owens Corning (OC) is a world leader in building materials systems and composite solutions. Our products range from insulation and roofing used in residential, commercial and industrial applications, to glass fiber for reinforced composite materials used in transportation, electronics, marine, wind energy and other high-performance markets. OC extruded polystyrene (XPS) FOAMULAR products are produced by extruding polystyrene resins and additives with a blowing agent (BA) into insulating board product. OC used to use hydrochlorofluro carbon HCFC-142b (CH3 CF2Cl) as the BA. This molecule is an ozone depleting agent (ODP = 0.06), with high global warming potential (GWP = 2310, carbon dioxide = 1). OC successfully converted all foam manufacturing lines across the United States and Canada (all 4 plants) to a more environmentally friendly BA, 2009 - 2011. The new BA not only has zero ODP, but carries a combined GWP of 780. This is a 70% reduction in GWP from the base line. The zero-ozone-depleting formula is a significant improvement in the global warming potential than the previous system -- a level unmatched by competition.
American Electric Power
Emeka Okafor, Engineer
American Electric Power is an electric utility that serves over 5 million customers and its service territory covers approximately 200,000 square miles. AEP Ohio, a subsidiary of American Electric Power provides electricity to nearly 1.4 million customers in Ohio and West Virginia. The green innovation of the year product, Community Energy Storage (CES), is deployed in Columbus, Ohio.
CES is a 25-kW battery-based energy storage system that provides 25kWH of energy to the electric grid. Individual CES units can be aggregated through communication and control to act as a fleet and provide multi-megawatt benefits to the electric grid. CES is the result of a specification that was developed and written by AEP and now used by the international community.
CES systems can be deployed to solve a variety of electrical system problems that include renewable resource integration, capital deferral for upgrade and replacement of electrical equipment, increased service reliability by providing backup power to customers and optimal utilization of electric grid infrastructure.
Community Recycling Campaign
Sachin Rudraraju, Founder & President
Four years ago, I started an effort to spread awareness about the dangers of e-waste. It was a grassroots effort, just kids going door-to-door giving out brochures and bugging our neighbors. I found out many companies that offer recycling-options for electronics aren’t free. At the community level electronics-recycling is still relatively new in many cities. We offered a free-service to collect old computers to recycle or, if possible, to fix any minor-issues and donate them to local-charities. So far we safely diverted nearly 50,000lbs of e-waste for proper recycling. I also started an ADOPT-A-SCHOOL program in India to raise recycling-awareness in public-schools. So far we adopted 20 high schools to set up recycling knowledge centers. We donate $250 to each school in addition to match grants from adopted school and other local organizations. What was a small effort is now a legitimate non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. My goal is to expand this project concept to many schools, nearby cities, and encourage more children to participate. Each and every time I am reminded of what I can achieve with only determination.
Gordon Scherer, CEO
As a facilities based provider, DataCenter.BZ places special emphasis in the design of its building, infrastructures and operations. DataCenter.BZ is the only purpose-built, carrier-neutral data center in Central Ohio. Due to its unique facility design and operations, DataCenter.BZ has the ability to create significant energy efficiency advantages thus decreasing maintenance and operating costs. Municipal and corporate users, in turn, locate their ever-increasing data, applications and IT equipment at DataCenter.BZ not only for performance and uptime reasons, but also to leverage DataCenter.BZ’s energy efficiencies. In particular, those customers who make energy efficiency and environmental responsibility high priorities utilize DataCenter.BZ to reduce operating costs and substantially reduce the carbon footprints associated with their IT operations.
Eco Ohio LLC
Brian Thomas & Derek McKean, Owners
Eco Ohio is a locally owned and operated Renewable Energy Provider. We install Solar Sytems and Wind Turbines for residential and small commercial clients.
Matthew S. Hollis, President
Elytus Ltd. is an environmental software-as-a-service (SAAS) firm founded in January 2007 and headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. Elytus products, including WInStream and WInStream|RFP, assist our clients in assembling a more sustainable solid waste and recycling program from procurement to payment. As an agent for our clients success, Elytus web-based software platforms help our clients reduce the amount of waste generated while also reducing their costs. We service companies who operate multiple locations throughout the United States and Canada and are themselves involved in the retail, restaurant, hospitality, grocery and industrial markets. Our solutions allow clients to effectively manage their solid waste employing proprietary smart decision making technology in the areas of solid waste, recycling and environmental sustainability.
Hull & Associates, Inc.
Environmental Engineering and Project Development Consulting
Founded by John Hull in Toledo, Ohio in 1980, Hull & Associates, Inc. is a project development and engineering company that helps business and government solve complex challenges related to land, energy, and the environment transforming undervalued resources into viable community assets. We leverage our expertise in property redevelopment, waste management, industrial applications, energy, and environmental engineering to design creative solutions to technically-challenging projects.
Hull specializes in developing and managing renewable energy projects from concept through operation using solar, biomass, landfill gas, hydro and wind energy technologies. We specifically work with landfills, waste management, and industrial operations to evaluate the potential to generate renewable energy and improve energy efficiency, while using our financial and utility expertise to provide in-depth economic analysis and implement investment structures to maximize project returns. Hull is also uniquely positioned to help minimize client risk and capital requirements by becoming the owner and operator of the renewable energy facility -- a competitive specialty that is specifically demonstrated in our nominated Pilkington North America Solar Field Project.
Scott White, President & CE
IGS Energy is a family-owned natural gas and electricity supplier headquartered in Dublin, Ohio. Founded in 1989, IGS currently employs nearly 300 professionals, and operates in nine states with 850,000+ residential/small commercial customers and 4,500+ large commercial/ industrial customers.
To accommodate our growth and reaffirm the value we place on energy efficiency and energy solutions, we began construction on our new headquarters. Upon completion, it achieved the status of a Platinum LEED NC Certified building, the only facility of its size and scale in Ohio, resulting in a nomination for TechColumbus’ Green Innovation Award.
Careful consideration was placed when choosing each aspect of the building, allowing all of the renewable energy and latest technologies to be 50% more efficient than a LEED standard baseline ASHRAE 90.1 2004 code building. We are the first and only building of its size in Ohio to achieve Platinum LEED NC Certification enabling us to set an example for other companies to follow suit, demonstrating that an award like this is certainly reachable for other buildings of our size.
InnovaGreen Systems, LLC
Blake Burich, Founder, President & CEO
InnovaGreen Systems holds several utility patents (Patent # 7560059) for processing and recycling cigarette butts. InnovaGreen Systems’ founding partnership created a dynamic team of professionals with a wide-range of complementary business experience. We are the solution to the growing problem of cigarette litter. InnovaGreen Systems is developing collection strategies and processing efficiencies to turn cigarette litter into useful and affordable products. InnovaGreen Systems is a green company that is committed to providing a solution to cigarette butt litter and improving our environment. Our commitment creates raw materials as feedstock for waste-to-value manufacturing, which ultimately helps eliminate this litter.
Mark A. Schuetz, President
Since its founding in 1991, Replex Plastics has grown to $3MM in sales with 22 employees. In 2006 Replex purchased and successfully renovated a dilapidated building into a 100,000 sq.ft. energy-efficient manufacturing facility for producing high optical quality plastic domes and mirrors. The renovations reduced gas usage by 90% over the previous tenant. Process improvements have since reduced electricity consumption by 30%. Replex continues to identify and implement changes to further reduce energy use. In 2008, Replex was awarded an Ohio Third Frontier grant to develop mirrors for concentrated solar power, and has been building on that success ever since. Sales of Replex manufactured components for solar applications have exceeded $200,000 to date and continue to grow. Replex is now integrating mirrors into Photovoltaic (PV) modules to supply a complete solar product line, expected to be launched over the next 18 months.
Jeff Myers, Founder & President
Terracal delivers thermal storage systems for commercial buildings based upon Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES). We have developed a method for immobilizing a portion of an aquifer, allowing us to use it to store lots and lots of cold. We then use this cold in the summer to cool your building. Our simple controls, easy to use interface, and novel approach to aquifer management allow our system to be used all over the United States.
This high efficiency, sustainable cooling system competes effectively with conventional fossil fuel systems, providing a cost-effective alternative for new commercial buildings and buildings where cooling systems are being replaced.
It provides the lowest cost of ownership in comparison to all technologies currently available in the cooling market; in many cases, even the initial cost for a Terracal system will be lower than comparable conventional systems.
Our system provides a means for businesses and institutions to reduce energy costs, meet sustainability goals, reduce peak electricity demand, and obtain LEED certification without paying a premium for these advantages.
Third Sun Solar
Michelle Greenfield, CEO
Third Sun Solar is a fast-growing design/build solar contractor serving Ohio and the surrounding states. Founded in 2000 and based in Athens, Ohio, Third Sun Solar has regional offices in Columbus, Cincinnati and Akron. Third Sun Solar manages solar energy system design and installation for commercial, non-profit, institutional, municipal and residential customers across the Midwest. Third Sun Solar founders Geoff and Michelle Greenfield began working in solar installation in 1997 when they built their own 100% solar powered home. They have grown the Third Sun Solar business through their passion for the environment, commitment to promoting clean energy, and excitement in providing high quality jobs and a great place to work. Third Sun Solar employs a team of nationally-certified NABCEP installers along with design engineers, financial analysts, grant specialists, and support staff. As of mid 2011, Third Sun Solar has installed over 300 projects with a total generating capacity nearing 3 megawatts in pursuit of the goals of bringing solar energy into the mainstream and accelerating the growth of clean energy.
Tipping Point Renewable Energy
Eric Zimmer, Founder
Tipping Point Renewable Energy has formed the Ohio Solar Communities Consortium to help school districts, municipalities and non-profit organizations to secure financing for solar power purchase agreements that would otherwise not be feasible.
There are over 2 Million hybrid and electric vehicles on the roads today. By 2020 hybrid and electric vehicles will soon account for as much as 11 percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S.
Toxco Inc. is a leading resource recovery company that utilizes innovative approaches for recoverable valuable, non renewable resources from spent energy systems. Toxco has developed a unique approach for the recovery and recycling of these resources from a variety of battery materials. Most notably, Toxco has developed technology to recover valuable rare earths from large nickel metal hydride batteries, and high energy cathode materials from lithium ion batteries, that are used in hybrid vehicle applications.
White Castle System, Inc.
Shannon Tolliver, Social Responsibility and Sustainability Manager
White Castle has exhibited a spirit of innovation since first opening its doors in 1921. Today that focus on innovation increasingly considers how to actively impact in a positive way the “triple bottom line” of people, profits and our environment. This has led to company-wide efforts to educate team members and to elevate consideration of environmental impacts into every aspect of the decision making process. A recently launched communications campaign has translated to modifications in behavior, and identified simple adjustments which have consequently had notable impact. The “Naturally Focused” campaign is a great example of targeting communications not just at groups of people, but rather at key “moments of truth” which can translate to an exponentially bigger effect. (For instance - “To print one sided or two sided, that is the question” type moments which, while perhaps not rivaling the drama of Hamlet, do lead to dramatic results.)