Sustainability Initiatives Enhance Corporate Productivity
Written by Jones Lang LaSalle
As commercial real estate leaders pursue strategies to enhance sustainability through building performance, corporations and other organisations that own and lease space are making sure their employees are aware of the benefits and engaged in making sustainability programs successful.
"Numerous studies have shown that employees enjoy work more and are more productive when they see their companies acting in a socially-responsible manner," said Dan Probst, Chairman of Energy and Sustainability Services at Jones Lang LaSalle. "Companies can improve their bottom line by showing employees how they can participate in sustainability programmes, and by seeking employee input on ways to continually enhance those programmes."
The Global Sustainability Perspective report distils the employee engagement process to three essential phases—raising awareness, building engagement and maintaining commitment. It also features three real-world examples from well-known organisations that have tackled the challenge of engaging employees in developing meaningful and ambitious sustainability programmes where passions, ideas and experiences of staff are woven into the company strategy to achieve measurable results:
Grainger plc, a leader in UK residential property, raised awareness of its leadership in corporate responsibility by hosting a half-day seminar for 10 percent of its employees that discussed the company's efforts at resilience in the face of potential adverse housing trends. One hundred percent of participants surveyed after the seminar said they would like to continue to stay engaged.
Bank of America's My Environment employee initiative grew to 12,000 active employee participants in 26 countries, and 1,445 ambassadors in 11 countries, within two years of its inception. In that time, the initiative has helped build engagement by expanding from an employee education focus to an action-oriented global community, with members dedicated to helping the bank meet its environmental operations goals.
CA Technologies has maintained employee engagement by establishing pilot projects to measure and improve repeatable processes that can then be applied broadly. Its Green Teams drove colleagues in Paris to reduce paper consumption by 10.5 percent and measured the waste stream in Sydney to raise the percentage of recycling/reuse to between 85 to 90 percent of overall waste.
"Owners and managers of multi-tenant office buildings should be aware of the employee engagement strategies of their major tenants, so that they can show how initiatives at the building are in alignment with tenants' corporate values," said Jones Lang LaSalle Executive Vice President Bob Best. "Building management and leasing professionals need to stay abreast of these issues to remain competitive for high-quality tenants."
"It's ironic that a building's occupants are often overlooked as key players in sustainability initiatives, when they are the ones using energy and benefiting from a healthier workplace," Probst said. "By making employees aware of their effect on the environment, and what they can do to make a positive change, companies can not only meet their sustainability objectives but enhance job satisfaction as well."
SOURCE Jones Lang LaSalle
Itronics successfully tests manganese recovery process
Itronics - a Nevada-based emerging cleantech materials growth company that manufacturers fertilisers and produces silver - has successfully tested two proprietary processes that recover manganese, with one process recovering manganese, potassium and zinc from paste produced by processing non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. The second recovers manganese via the company’s Rock Kleen Technology.
Manganese, one of the four most important industrial metals and widely used by the steel industry, has been designated by the US Federal Government as a "critical mineral." It is a major component of non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, one of the largest battery categories sold globally.
The use of manganese in EV batteries is increasing as EV battery technology is shifting to use of more nickel and manganese in battery formulations. But according to the US Department of Interior, there is no mine production of manganese in the United States. As such, Itronics is using its Rock Kleen Technology to test metal recoverability from mine tailings obtained from a former silver mine in western Nevada that has a high manganese content.
In a statement, Itronics says that its Rock Kleen process recovers silver, manganese, zinc, copper, lead and nickel. The company says that it has calculated – based on laboratory test results – that if a Rock Kleen tailings process is put into commercial production, the former mine site would become the only primary manganese producer in the United States.
Itronics adds that it has also tested non-rechargeable alkaline battery paste recovered by a large domestic battery recycling company to determine if it could use one of its hydrometallurgical processes to solubilize the manganese, potassium, and zinc contained in the paste. This testing was successful, and Itronics was able to produce material useable in two of its fertilisers, it says.
"We believe that the chemistry of the two recovery processes would lend itself to electrochemical recovery of the manganese, zinc, and other metals. At this time electrochemical recovery has been tested for zinc and copper,” says Dr John Whitney, Itronics president.
“Itronics has been reviewing procedures for electrochemical recovery of manganese and plans to move this technology forward when it is appropriate to do so and has acquired electro-winning equipment needed to do that.
"Because of the two described proprietary technologies, Itronics is positioned to become a domestic manganese producer on a large scale to satisfy domestic demand. The actual manganese products have not yet been defined, except for use in the Company's GOLD'n GRO Multi-Nutrient Fertilisers. However, the Company believes that it will be able to produce chemical manganese products as well as electrochemical products," he adds.
Itronics’ research and development plant is located in Reno, about 40 miles west of the Tesla giga-factory. Its planned cleantech materials campus, which will be located approximately 40 miles south of the Tesla factory, would be the location where the manganese products would be produced.
Panasonic is operating one of the world's largest EV battery factories at the Tesla location. However, Tesla and other companies have announced that EV battery technology is shifting to use of nickel-manganese batteries. Itronics is positioned and located to become a Nevada-0based supplier of manganese products for battery manufacturing as its manganese recovery technologies are advanced, the company states.
A long-term objective for Itronics is to become a leading producer of high purity metals, including the U.S. critical metals manganese and tin, using the Company's breakthrough hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, and electrochemical technologies. ‘Additionally, Itronics is strategically positioned with its portfolio of "Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies" to help solve the recently declared emergency need for domestic production of Critical Minerals from materials located at mine sites,’ the statement continues.
The Company's growth forecast centers upon its 10-year business plan designed to integrate its Zero Waste Energy Saving Technologies and to grow annual sales from $2 million in 2019, to $113 million in 2025.