Sustainable Manufacturing Workshop & Tour Was a Hit With Attendees

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Leaders in Energy’s inaugural workshop on “Sustainable Manufacturing: Building a Circular Economy in the DC/MD/and Northern VA Region”, co-hosted by Alexandria Emerging Technology Center,  took place at Alexandria Renew Enterprises on March 19, 2015.

The Tour

Alexandria Renew Enterprises tour leader and facilitators welcome workshop attendees and explain tour.

Alexandria Renew Enterprises tour leader and facilitators welcome workshop attendees and explain tour.

Workshop attendees put on their protective gear prior to the beginning of the tour.

Workshop attendees put on their protective gear prior to the beginning of the tour.

Attendees, considered the “Founding Circle” of circular economy participants, kicked off the workshop with a tour of Alexandria Renew Enterprises (Alexandria Renew) waste management facilities which is a marvelous example of a circular economy pertaining to water. During the 45 minute tour, attendees learned about the new technology being used ranging from UV light for a disinfectant to the potential use of the ANAMMOX bacteria to remove nitrogen from the water, reducing energy and chemical needs. They also learned about the new line of business Alexandria Renew has developed for reclaimed water.

Attendees walk the facilities as part of the tour at Alexandria Renew Enterprises.

Attendees walk the facilities as part of the tour at Alexandria Renew Enterprises.

They also noted a waste management facility in construction at any given time is a good thing because it indicates the management team is planning for the future needs of the community.

Many of the attendees who attended said “WOW!”, when they described the tour. It shed a new light on a service we take for granted.  If you want to take a tour of the facility, you may want to make your appointment to do so on Earth Day.

Guest Speakers
Janine Finnell, Clean Energy Ambassador and Founder of Leaders in Energy welcomes workshop attendees and introduces guest speakers.

Janine Finnell, Clean Energy Ambassador and Founder of Leaders in Energy, welcomes workshop attendees and introduces guest speakers.

City of Alexandria's Mayor William Euille welcomes attendees.

City of Alexandria’s Mayor William Euille welcomes attendees.

Janine Finnell, Clean Energy Ambassador and Founder of Leaders in Energy, welcomed the City of Alexandria’s Mayor William Euille. He spoke to workshop attendees about continuing efforts the City of Alexandria has underway to integrate sustainability practices into the way the city is run. The focus on sustainability has included exploring the efforts of the City of Alexandria’s sister city, Caen, France, and the sustainability efforts of the Netherlands.

Karen Pallansch, CEO, Alexandria Renew Enterprises speaks to workshop attendees.

Karen Pallansch, CEO, Alexandria Renew Enterprises speaks to workshop attendees.

Following Mayor Euille, Karen Pallansch, CEO, Alexandria Renew Enterprises, spoke to attendees about the long-term investments they’re making to ensure the waste management needs of the City of Alexandria are aligned with the growth in residents. She highlighted the partnership Alexandria Renew has engaged in with a local developer to ensure the new condominiums, built in the Eisenhower Valley, can comfortably coexist with the  new nutrient management facility, and the local parks and recreation facility. (Click here for full remarks from Pallansch.)

The Workshop
Barbara Englehart, Director of Sustainable Business, Leaders in Energy, discusses what is a circular economy and the benefits to businesses.

Barbara Englehart, Director of Sustainable Business, Leaders in Energy, discusses what is a circular economy and the benefits to businesses.

Silvia Leahu-Aluas, Director, Sustainable Manufacturing, Leaders in Energy, discusses product design and process.

Silvia Leahu-Aluas, Director, Sustainable Manufacturing, Leaders in Energy, discusses product design and process.

In the workshop, we heard about what the circular economy is and how product design and process are impacted. Workshop attendees also began discussions on how to build it in our area through our collaborative exercises, and how these practices can be useful in your business or household.
Happy Hour
Professional happy hour speakers are (l-r) Ken Alston, Skip Laitner, and Devashree Saha.

Professional happy hour speakers are (l-r) Ken Alston, Skip Laitner, and Devashree Saha.

After the workshop, workshop attendees joined others for the professional happy hour at Connect113.  They heard speakers Ken Alston, CEO, McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry,  Skip Laitner, Senior Fellow and former Director of the Economic and Social Analysis with the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, and Devashree Saha, Associate Fellow, The Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Program, discussed how the impact of the circular economy on the development of green jobs.
The workshop was co-hosted by the Alexandria Emerging Technology Center and held at Alexandria Renew Enterprises. Sponsors included Alexandria Renew Enterprises, Biogas Researchers, Inc., SoapBox Soaps, Terrapass, and WindRose Media. Supporters included Eco Caters.
We view this first workshop which took place in Alexandria and we plan to continue our efforts around the region moving next to Maryland, perhaps to Baltimore/Johns Hopkins University and/or Montgomery County and the District.

 

One Response to Sustainable Manufacturing Workshop & Tour Was a Hit With Attendees

  1. Smithf383 says:

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