6 Strategies for
Making Green Happen

I participated in a session organized by Dianne Cunningham, Director of the Lawrence National Centre for Policy and Management about policy and priorities for green energy. The final report came up with six strategies for positioning agriculture and natural resources as net producers of energy by 2010. As I reread this document recently, I recognized that with a little restructuring these strategies fit perfectly for a green and sustainable "hybrid" chemical industry for Ontario and Canada.

These strategies restructured would be:

1. Setting the tone for the future -
- Markets Assign a value to carbon by assessing the true cost of green house gases (GHGs).
- Link policy to economic activity and move forward with opportunities.

2. Developing the sources of green and hybrid chemistry - Chemical Inputs
Determine the green potential. Identify and utilize purpose grown crops for biochemicals and sustainability.
- Recognize and understand how climate change is altering agricultural conditions and adapt to take advantage of it.

3. Taking the necessary steps to engage and build a green hybrid chemical industry - Development and Infrastructure
- Invest in research and development, demonstration and deployment.
- Invest in appropriate infrastructure to handle biomass and other biomaterials for integration into a chemical system.

4. Promoting an Investment Friendly Environment - Addressing Barriers
- Address regulatory barriers to investment and green chemistry development.
- Provide incentives for green and sustainable hybrid development.
- Support the development of new infrastructure funds that allow farmers and entrepreneurs to invest in and borrow, to build a hybrid chemical industry.

5. Reaching "Hybrid" markets - Distribution
- Accelerate the transition to green sustainable systems.
- Provide streamlined, fast and efficient agreements to SMEs (producers and entrepreneurs) for developing green chemistry.

6. Building the Foundation for the shift to a hybrid chemical industry - Creating a Supportive Environment
- Invest in research and commercialization of green technologies.
- Invest in and develop educational programs and develop human resources for green sustainable jobs.
- Support the movement to hybrid chemistry by showing the long term benefits and savings associated with the shift to sustainable and green.

This is an attempt to capture some existing strategies in a broader aspect without reinventing the wheel. Green and sustainable are key focuses of the SCA and moving to a hybrid chemical model. I would like to have your feedback on these strategies - their feasibility, are we missing things, should we push forward to develop more detailed recommendations as done for energy? See the detailed report at: http://www.ivey.uwo.ca/Lawrencecentre/green/report.htm

Murray McLaughlin, PhD is President & CEO, Sustainable Chemistry Alliance
Email: murraym@suschemalliance.ca

 

 

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:

SNC-Lavalin: Delivering Sustainable Projects Globally
The year 2006 marked a turning point in the way SNC-Lavalin promotes awareness of and active support for its core values. Under the banner WE CARE, it enhanced its corporate social responsibility (CSR) program by introducing a strategy that unites employees with a common vision.

BIC Gets Major Tenant in Woodland Biofuels
Construction is expected to begin this fall on an ethanol facility at the Bioindustrial Innovation Centre (BIC), located at the Sarnia-Lambton campus of the University of Western Ontario Research Park. Toronto-based Woodland Biofuels Inc. says the advanced technology that will be tested at its new pilot plant is designed to convert biomass, such as wood waste or crop waste, into fuel-grade ethanol and other high value chemical products.

SCA has Roots with Economic Partnership
The Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership has a long association with the Sustainable Chemistry Alliance, dating back to its origins with the Ontario Chemistry Value Chain Initiative (OCVCI) in 2002. The initiative was originally focused around improving competitiveness for Ontario’s chemical and refining industry with a major focus on the Sarnia-Lambton complex.



SNC-Lavalin:
Delivering Sustainable Projects Globally

By Cameron Harris

The year 2006 marked a turning point in the way SNC-Lavalin promotes awareness of and active support for its core values. Under the banner WE CARE, it enhanced its corporate social responsibility (CSR) program by introducing a strategy that unites employees with a common vision.

Like many organizations, SNC-Lavalin had put a CSR policy and supporting strategies in place before. However, its employees – dispersed all over the world – were not called upon to make regular contributions to the program; as a result, they did not necessarily feel they were an integral part of it.

WE CARE summarizes – and publicly confirms – the company’s commitment to sustainable development. It promotes proactive participation by employees in all its offices around the world, and clearly identifies employee well-being, health and safety, quality, and the sustainability of communities and the environment as the cornerstones of the company's daily work.

With its global vision, core values and credible programs, SNC-Lavalin has thus brought its commitment to sustainability to life. Sustainability is a core objective in all its sectors of activity. Its sustainable solutions include photovoltaic solar and solar thermal power, biomass, geothermal power, landfill gas, clean coal, hydroelectric power, waste-to-energy, waste–heat-recovery and waste-gas–recovery, LEED buildings, and carbon capture and sequestration, to name just a few.

SNC-Lavalin believes that sustainable development means a better future for everyone, and that sound environmental management is one of the pillars of a good project. Every employee, from the CEO down, is responsible for helping the company meet its sustainability commitments to its clients and to the communities where it operates.

Cam Harris is a Sustainable Chemistry Alliance director, and Vice-President, Technology in SNC-Lavalin’s Mining and Metallurgy Division in Toronto. He has spent his career in the non-ferrous metal smelting business, renowned for its heavy metals and SO2 emissions. The majority of Dr. Harris’ work has been on the development and implementation of technologies and projects that have brought about a significant reduction in pollutant emissions in the environment on a number of different continents.



 

SNC-Lavalin is one of the leading engineering and construction groups in the world. Founded in 1911, the company has offices across Canada and in over 35 other countries around the world. It has over 21,000 employees working in some 100 countries delivering projects in the fields of power, infrastructure, transport, chemicals & petroleum, mining & metallurgy, operations & maintenance, pharmaceuticals & biotechnology, agrifood, agriculture and other industries. www.snclavalin.com.




BIC Gets Major Tenant in
Woodland Biofuels

Construction is expected to begin this fall on an ethanol facility at the Bioindustrial Innovation Centre (BIC), located at the Sarnia-Lambton campus of the University of Western Ontario Research Park. Toronto-based Woodland Biofuels Inc. says the advanced technology that will be tested at its new pilot plant is designed to convert biomass, such as wood waste or crop waste, into fuel-grade ethanol and other high value chemical products. Ontario has approved a $4 million investment in Woodland Fuels through the Innovation Demonstration Fund.

The demonstration plant will use gasification to convert wood residues to synthesis gas, which through a series of patented catalytic conversion and recovery steps produces ethanol and other chemical products.

Joel Adams, executive director of the research park campuses in London and Sarnia and also an SCA director, says the BIC has the capabilities to support the technologies of Woodland Fuels. The company will locate in the recently renovated laboratory and pilot facilities at the centre.

The BIC was set up with $15 million from the Network of Centres of Excellence program. This new Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research resides in Building 1010 at the Research Park. It bridges the gap between research and the marketplace by providing laboratory and pilot plant space for commercialization and scale-up of new technologies, offering assistance in getting funding for new ventures, access to business advisors and connections to the large pool of technical research at the University of Western Ontario.

"A major objective of the BIC is the development of bio-based and sustainable industries for the future," says Managing Director Don Hewson. "The Sustainable Chemistry Alliance is part of that mandate."

The innovation centre is playing a major role in utilizing Ontario's strengths in agriculture, chemical and automotive production in new, sustainable bioproducts and renewable energy. It is creating North America's first biotechnology laboratories and shared pilot plant facilities for gasification, pyrolysis, fermentation and bio-conversion – key technologies involved in converting agricultural and forestry by-products into fuels, chemicals, products and materials.

Funding for the BIC also supports the commercialization activities of the SCA.

www.researchpark.ca




SCA has Roots with Economic Partnership

By George Mallay

The Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership has a long association with the Sustainable Chemistry Alliance, dating back to its origins with the Ontario Chemistry Value Chain Initiative (OCVCI) in 2002. The initiative was originally focused around improving competitiveness for Ontario’s chemical and refining industry with a major focus on the Sarnia-Lambton complex. The OCVCI vision evolved to making Ontario a global leader in innovative, environmentally sustainable, chemical products, technologies and processes. It was chaired by Steve Bolt, former site manager for Dow Chemical Canada, and by Bernard West, former President of Canada Colors. Both are current co-chairs of the new Sustainable Chemistry Alliance, which evolved from OCVCI.

The major thrust of the Sarnia-Lambton economic development strategy is focused on leveraging the strengths of the area in agriculture, automotive, energy and process industries to position Sarnia-Lambton as a key player in industrial bio/petro products and clean energy technologies. These industries are expected to experience growth rates of over 20% over the next decade. Local initiatives are focused on expanding existing operations and attracting new manufacturing, support services and research and development. Local and regional agricultural, industrial and government organizations have been working co-operatively to strengthen existing infrastructure, develop new product platforms, improve access to capital, develop and promote the integration of traditional chemistry with bio-based processes. A major strength of the area is the ability to be able to move from bench scale to full scale commercial plant activity within a few city blocks.

The new Bioindustrial Innovation Centre is located at the University of Western Ontario Research Park, Sarnia Campus offers the best wet lab space available in Canada, including high bay areas. With nearly 300,000 square feet of constructed space and over 250 acres of land available for development, the Research Park in Sarnia offers tremendous opportunities. High quality agricultural land enables test plots for bio-based feedstocks right on campus. The park also offers three master of engineering programs in collaboration with University of Western Ontario main campus in London. Located across the road is Lambton College, which houses some of North America’s most highly regarded industrial process technology programs. Recently, the college opened a new advanced materials engineering research lab, which can handle bio-based feedstock.

Within a 10-minute drive, firms can access large chemical and refining sites. The Bio-Industrial Park Sarnia is ideally suited for pilot scale, demonstration or full scale operations. Home of firms that include LANXESS, TODA and H.C. Stark, the park offers fully zoned sites with rail, docking, high and low pressure gases, waste water treatment and a host of other services. The nearby TransAlta site offers similar benefits. Locating on these types of sites, a company can expect to save in the order of 20% more than in locating on a traditional greenfield site. With one of the largest concentrations of chemical and refining companies, there is a strong cluster of engineering, fabrication, logistics, testing and environmental services firms in the area.

With strong market access from its location on Lake Huron an hour's drive north of Detroit, along with availability of feedstock locally and within the Great Lakes Region, the Economic Partnership looks forward to working with the Sustainability Chemistry Alliance to develop the new chemistry opportunities..

SLEP General Manager George Mallay is a director of the SCA.



ABOUT SLEP

With public and private sector participation, SLEP coordinates community-based economic development initiatives. Business leaders, educational institutions and municipal governments work together to foster new business creation and help ensure that established firms remain and grow in Sarnia-Lambton. www.sarnialambton.on.ca