The US BCSD is a member-led nonprofit business association that harnesses the power of collaborative regional projects to develop, deploy and scale solutions to ecosystem, energy, materials and water challenges. Its mission is to show firsthand the benefits sustainable development can provide to a company’s triple bottom line — generating economic returns while improving the environment and society.
- 60 companied and 6 academic institution partners.
Shared Members with WBCSD
- (6) Alcoa, ArcelorMittal, ERM, Greif, Holcim, Lafarge, Shell, Veolia.
Building the Business Case
- Current activities are centred on five main areas: materials, water, energy, ecosystems and youth education.
- Action2020-related Activities
National Action2020 Plan
- The US BCSD’s annual meeting in February 2014 leveraged the Action2020 framework to bring members and colleagues together to create real action and build real momentum around the concept of scale. A report from the meeting can be found at http://usbcsd.org/scale-up/.
- Works with the WBCSD Energy Efficiency in Buildings project to bring a comprehensive toolkit to a pilot US city.
- Part of that will be the innovative Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing mechanism that US BCSD has been developing across the United States for the past several years.
- PACE enables property owners to overcome market barriers, such as extended payback periods and lack of access to capital, that discourage investment in energy efficiency and water conservation improvements. PACE provides the property owner with upfront financing for 100% of the cost of a qualified improvement and allows the property owner to amortise the debt over the useful life of the improvement.
- The US BCSD is working with 21 diverse companies in the lower Mississippi River Basin to address a range of water supply, water quality and stormwater issues.
- Coca-Cola is working with Mosaic Fertilizer to address water quality concerns.
- Valero Energy and Nucor Steel have explored new options for wetlands restoration through changes in water management.
- Projects and policy recommendations have emerged that have been greeted with high interest by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and from a concurrent public sector regional water planning effort.
- The US BCSD Water Synergy Project provides a business solution for improving watershed collaboration among all stakeholders to reduce shared water risks.
- Focused on identifying and implementing member-led projects to conserve or enhance ecosystems while creating new business value and benefit to communities where the member companies operate.
- US BCSD is currently exploring a new participatory simulation game in which a number of member companies, the University of Virginia, the University of Texas and Yale University will serve as a shared virtual laboratory for collective action. The goal is to develop an engaging and credible multiplayer computer-based strategy game that simulates Common Pool Resource / Public Goods dilemmas of land use planning for the competing interests in food, feed, fibre, fuel and flora and fauna. The intent is to incorporate realistic ecosystems behaviour, economics, regulations and policy options to enable players (stakeholders, regulators, obligated parties and financially involved concerns) to reach an understanding of the issues as part of consensus building.
- The US BCSD has applied ecosystem valuation methods to synergy projects, enabling a numerical accounting of ecosystem values related to material reuse and recycling.
Skills and Employment
- Building on the US BCSD’s gaming work with companies and academicians, the US BCSD has begun working with high school teachers using gaming techniques to engage students with learning disabilities to understand complex science and math skills.
- Maintains an ongoing partnership with Yale University School of Management and the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies to conduct research, education and project activities.
- By-product synergy (BPS) turns one company’s waste into another company’s resource, creating a circular economy in which materials are reused to their fullest potential. Since 1995, US BCSD has launched or helped launch BPS projects in Houston, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; the central Gulf Coast; Central Ohio; Kansas City, Missouri; and Seattle, Washington. The US BCSD is currently working with a coalition of companies, universities, governments and foundations to expand the BPS methodology across the United States by 2020.
- Collaboration between the US BCSD, PepsiCo and the City of Austin is likely to boost recycling rates to 21st century levels.
- Both public and private sector leaders are committed to designing a new recycling model at the municipal level that incorporates market drivers, business leadership and flexibility to give recycling an adrenaline boost to move the needle on recycling rates from 40% to 70% and beyond. A team from the Yale Center for Business and Environment will be supporting this three- to-five year effort.
- The US BCSD has developed a new online materials marketplace for companies and municipalities to post, seek and exchange underutilised materials more effectively. In addition to these standard functions, the software is designed to guide network participants through the synergy process from start to finish, including analysis, negotiation and implementation stages.
- Collaboration with Global Network Partners
- Materials Marketplace: The US BCSD and the China BCSD initiated the Bohai By-Product Synergy Project under the U.S. – China Strategic Economic Dialogue’s EcoPartnership programme in May 2012. This project is designed to produce cross-industry material reuse opportunities that ultimately bring a circular economy network to the Bohai Sea region in China.
- US BCSD is presenting the By-Product Synergy approach to colleagues in the Argentine BCSD in April 2014.
Global Network Collaboration