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Spring 2021

Message from the Chair

by Laura Henne

It’s Spring, which means Earth Day is almost here! The theme for Earth Day 2021 is “Restore Our Earth.” is calling for three days of climate action (April 20-22), culminating in its second Earth Day Live digital event. It also coincides with the Biden Administration’s convening of a global climate summit on Earth Day.

I urge you to check out their website for local events and actions you can take NOW to combat climate change. Let us know what pollution prevention activities you did for Earth Week this year and we will include them in our next newsletter.

Submit your Earth Day activities

NPPR seeks organizational support contractor

Join our team

NPPR seeks a contractor to provide virtual, part-time (10-20 hours/week), entry-level organizational assistance.

Contract period

The contract will be effective in six-month increments, renewable thereafter. Estimated term to start is May 1-October 1. Start date will be negotiable upon final contract award date.


The primary tasks will include webinar support and calendar development and management for NPPR’s workgroups and P2U training series.

Secondary tasks include assisting NPPR Board members with:

  • management of NPPR’s website
  • social media
  • membership

Other tasks may include assistance with P2 Week, MVP2 Awards, and newsletter formatting, as well as administration of periodic member surveys. For a detailed list of tasks, email

Key skills

  • Relevant experience with national networks or organizations                      
  • Data management                         
  • Webinar delivery                            
  • Facilitation                         
  • Development of workflows/processes                   
  • Providing data analysis and interpretation                           
  • Database/web design savvy (familiarity with Wild Apricot, preferred)
  • Strong understanding of P2 (preferred)

Proposal guidelines

  • Provide itemized cost and estimated time for each task.
  • Send proposals to with “NPPR Organizational Support Contract Proposal” as the subject line.
  • Proposals are due by 4/23

Questions related to this proposal should be directed to Laura Henne, NPPR Board Chair (

Apply now!

Meet the MVP2 Award Winners

2020 P2 Ambassador: Mark Rossi, Executive Director, Clean Production Action

Mark S. Rossi, PhD, was one of the first employees of the pioneering Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute, where he authored studies and policy recommendations that helped shape the way pollution prevention has been pursued in the United States.

His achievements since leaving TURI are considerable. He is one of the creators of the Chemical Footprint Project (CFP), which worked with manufacturers and retailers to benchmark their progress in chemicals management performance by reducing the use of hazardous chemicals. The CFP is now used by investors as well as companies.

He founded BizNGO, a collaborative of businesses, NGOs, and governments working on safer chemicals and sustainable materials. In addition to popularizing the idea of collaboration for these purposes, BizNGO developed tools like the Chemical Alternatives Assessment Protocol and the Plastics Scorecard

Mark may be best known for his work as co-creator of the GreenScreen® for Safer Chemicals, an easy-to-use tool for comparing chemicals for their environmental health and safety, which is now used worldwide by both governments and businesses to identify safer alternatives. Mark also led the development of the product certification program GreenScreen Certified

Mark is currently Executive Director of Clean Production Action, an organization that designs and delivers strategic solutions for green chemicals, sustainable materials and environmentally preferable products.

His nominator notes that “Mark’s remarkably positive personality and strong vision are infectious. He projects confidence in the idea that we can do this – we can stop poisoning ourselves. It’s entirely doable.”

Applications for the 2021 awards are now being accepted

Nominate someone today!

Workgroup updates

About NPPR Workgroups

NPPR's workgroups bring together P2 professionals from across the country to share ideas, information, and deliverables. The topical areas coincide with EPA national emphasis areas and other areas of interest to the P2 community.

NPPR currently hosts six active workgroups. They are:

Food & Beverage

The NPPR Food & Beverage Workgroup met in February to discuss current F&B projects, ask questions of each other, and generate a list of topics of interest for future meetings.

In March, the workgroup hosted two speakers on PFAS in Food Packaging. 

Sue Chiang, the Pollution Prevention Director at the Center for Environmental Health spoke about their work to help take PFAS chemicals out of food packaging. Susan Koehler from Footprint spoke about how they are designing, developing and manufacturing alternatives to plastic and PFAS used in food packaging. 

The recording is available on the F&B Workgroup Resources webpage (NPPR members only).

Look for information on an April meeting coming soon!

Contact Joy Onasch at for more information on this workgroup. 

From the states

Region 1

TURI seeks new director

The Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI), a world-renowned research, practice, and education institute located at UMass Lowell, is looking for a Director and experienced researcher to provide strategic, organizational, and fiscal leadership to the Institute.

The successful candidate will split their time between Institute Director responsibilities and research and scholarship activities. Research leadership and grant funding are an important component of this position.

Applicants will be considered for Research Professor status as part of the interview process. The TURI Director is expected to support half of their salary through external funding.

Learn more and apply

TURI grants help Massachusetts companies minimize use of toxics

Two Massachusetts companies used TURI grant funds to help them minimize their hazardous chemical use.

River Street Metal Finishing, located in Braintree, received a grant to purchase a new acid filtration system that filters the dissolved aluminum out of the tanks and returns the filtered solution back to the tank. As a result, the company has maintained a more consistent quality of its acid bath, reduced its use of sulfuric acid and its costs after installing an acid filtration system on three anodizing tanks. Watch a brief video and read the case study to learn more about the project.

Workshop Auto, an auto shop in Lowell, replaced its aerosol degreaser with an aqueous engine cleaning machine with the help of a TURI small business grant. Without factoring in grant funds, the return on investment is three years. The case study includes a detailed analysis of the environmental, health and safety profiles comparing the original cleaner with this new system.

Learn more about TURI's grant programs

TURI information assists communities with selecting safer alternatives for athletic fields

In response to community requests for information about chemicals in and safer alternatives to artificial turf, TURI developed a list of answers to frequently asked questions. They have also published a guide to safer options, as well as case studies of projects in Springfield, Marblehead, and Martha's Vineyard, MA.

Region 3

PennTAP helps construction tool manufacturer make process improvements

Bon Tool is a professional hand tool manufacturer and supplier in Allegheny County, PA. While planning for process improvement projects, Bon Tool reached out to PennTAP for energy assistance. 

During the site assessment, PennTAP identified and quantified air leaks found in the compressed air system, which is used for a variety of purposes including tooling and machining. The advisor recommended Bon Tool implement a compressed air preventative maintenance plan to periodically review the tools, regulators, and air lines for potential leaks. PennTAP also provided Bon Tool with estimates for implementing solar panels at its facility. 

Bon Tool has repaired all confirmed compressed air leaks, tesulting in approximately 15,302 kWh saved, equivalent to $1,108 saved. The company has also implemented a compressed air preventative maintenance plan. It is estimated that a compressor will experience a minimum loss of 5% if a preventative maintenance plan is not in place. A savings of 5% is equivalent to 1,677 kWh saved, or $121 saved.  

Read the full case study

Region 5

ISTC hosts sustainability seminar featuring MVP2 Award winner Mark Rossi

The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center recently hosted an online sustainability seminar entitled Tools for Safer Chemicals - from Chemicals to Products to Organizations, which featured Mark Rossi, Executive Director of Clean Production Action and 2020 MVP2 Award winner.

His presentation explored how to use GreenScreen to identify chemicals of concern, safer chemicals, and products made with safer chemicals. He also discussed how to use the Chemical Footprint Project Survey to create organizational capacity to move ahead of regulatory compliance in chemicals management.

View the webinar recordings

ISTC is hiring an Environmental Analyst

The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), part of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, seeks to hire an Environmental Analyst to compile and analyze research data for studies of material waste streams that have been identified as emerging waste concerns.

The successful candidate will evaluate innovative technologies, programs, policies, and market trends on topics related to renewable energy infrastructures.

Applications must be received by April 23, 2021. 

Apply today

ISTC identifies renewable energy opportunity at BEER NUTS

ISTC's Technical Assistance Program engineers and their partners at the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence CenterEnergy Resources Group, and IL-Solar, Inc. conducted an assessment at BEER NUTS, a nut roasting facility in Central Illinois.

They found that a rooftop solar PV installation would put the company on the path to achieving net zero electricity. On-site solar yields cost savings, environmental leadership and competitive advantage, and is a technology that can be implemented in most manufacturing facilities.

    Read the full case study

    Industrial Refrigeration Consortium releases best practices document for reducing fugitive emissions from industrial refrigeration systems

    The Industrial Refrigeration Consortium, a collaborative effort between the University of Wisconsin-Madison and industry, recently published a best practices document for reducing fugitive emissions from industrial refrigeration systems.

    It provides methods for establishing the design or intended inventory of refrigerant for a given industrial refrigeration system. It also explains how to dynamically track the refrigerant inventory to alert plant personnel about refrigerant losses in real-time. Finally, it provides approaches to find the locations of ammonia leaks in refrigeration systems.

      Download the manual

      U.S. EPA webinar features University of Wisconsin-Madison work with food & beverage companies

      P2 practitioners at the the University of Wisconsin-Madison discussed their work funded by Region 5’s Pollution Prevention Grant Program at a recent U.S. EPA-sponsored webinar. The speakers provided:

      • An overview of the sources of emissions of ammonia from the industrial refrigeration systems commonly used in food and beverage processing facilities;

      • A summary of refrigerant inventory determination methods for industrial ammonia systems, including an Ammonia Inventory Calculator (Dynamic Charge Tool), which is a new online resource to estimate the operating charge of existing systems; and,

      • The use of dynamic charge calculations for flagging refrigerant losses from systems that would otherwise go undetected.

      They also discussed applications of these methods, along with best practices for identifying and eliminating fugitive ammonia leaks identified during field work in Wisconsin food and beverage plants.

      View the webinar recording

      Region 10

      Making food packaging safer with alternatives to toxic chemicals

      Consumers in Washington may soon see safer food packaging. The Washington State Department of Ecology recently published a report identifying alternatives with fewer toxic chemicals. The assessment studied safer options to replace per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging.

      The report fulfills the requirements of RCW 70A.222.070, which restricts the manufacture, distribution, and sale in Washington of “food packaging to which per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemicals have been intentionally added in any amount” if safer alternatives to PFAS in food packaging are identified.

      Submitting this report begins a two-year timeline that will restrict PFAS in four types of food packaging beginning in early 2023.

        Download the report

        U.S. EPA news

        EPA awards grants to 32 student teams for innovative technology projects

        In December, U.S. EPA announced $792,036 in funding for 32 student teams through its People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) grant program. Each team will receive funding to develop and demonstrate projects that help address environmental and public health challenges.

        The Phase I teams will receive grants of up to $25,000 each which serve as their proof of concept. This year’s winners will address a variety of research topics including:

        • efforts to reduce microplastics waste and food waste,
        • creating innovative and solar-driven nanomaterials,
        • building a stand-alone water treatment system that can provide potable water for indoor use in single family homes, and
        • removing PFAS from water using liquid extractions.

        These teams are also eligible to compete for a Phase II grant of up to $100,000 to further implement their design in a real-world setting.

        Learn more about the Phase I teams

        EPA welcomes members of the Biden-Harris leadership team

        The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced key members of the agency’s incoming leadership team. They will advance the Biden-Harris administration’s agenda, which includes to tackling the climate crisis, advancing environmental justice, and creating clean energy jobs.

        In the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, Michal Ilana Freedhoff now serves as Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator and Catie Diaz serves as Special Assistant.

        Read more about the administration's new EPA appointees:

        U.S. EPA webinar highlights lessons learned from P2 technical assistance providers in the food & beverage sector

        U.S. EPA recently hosted a webinar that highlighted lessons learned in the field from delivering pollution prevention assistance to food and beverage manufacturers.

        The speakers discussed what has worked – and what hasn't – in driving sustainability improvements in this diverse sector.

        View the webinar recording

        New publications

        P2 101 LibGuide: Focus on energy

        The Pollution Prevention 101 LibGuide offers links to a wealth of information for P2 technical assistance providers.

        The energy page is a first-stop guide to energy efficiency. It includes links to information on:

        • federal energy efficiency programs
        • E3
        • energy audits and assessments
        • compressed air and other equipment
        • calculators
        • building energy use
        • lighting
        Visit the P2 101 LibGuide

        50001 Ready Navigator

        The 50001 Ready Navigator is an online application developed by DOE's Advanced Manufacturing Office that provides step-by-step guidance for implementing and maintaining an energy management system in conformance with the ISO 50001 Energy Management System Standard.
          Access the tool

          A Circular Economy for Solar Photovoltaic System Materials: Drivers, Barriers, Enablers, and U.S. Policy Considerations

          This DOE report analyzes drivers, barriers, and enablers to a circular economy for PV system materials in the United States. It includes a discussion of:

          • federal, state, and local requirements that apply to the reuse, recycling, and disposal of PV modules and BOS equipment, as well as the legal liability associated with non-compliance;
          • state policies and initiatives in the United States that expressly address reuse, recycling, and disposal of PV system equipment;
          • case studies of U.S. business models for the repair, reuse, recycling of PV modules and BOS equipment.
          Download the report

          BPF Eco Design Guide Database

          The British Plastics Federation (BPF) has launched the Eco Design Guide Database, an interactive hub featuring a searchable collection of sustainable design tools and guides from around the world.

          The new online resource includes numerous design guides for making plastic packaging more recyclable, guides for incorporating recycled content in products, general guides about sustainability, as well as interactive tools such as carbon calculators. The searchable database presents a wealth of insight into plastic packaging design at a variety of technical levels, which can ultimately help to reduce the overall environmental impact of products.

          Use the tool

          Facility Decarbonization Playbook

          The focus of the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable's Facility Decarbonization Playbook is to provide guidance to less mature facilities to accelerate the journey from negative to positive impacts with regards to emissions. The Playbook provides concise and focused key point for decarbonization through a methodical structure aligned with four pillars:

          • Reduction – decreasing emissions by increasing energy efficiency
          • Elimination – avoiding emissions by changings processes or technology or switching power or fuel source
          • Capture – removing and sequestering emissions (carbon) by industrial or natural techniques
          • Compensation – balancing emissions through carbon offsets, insetting, and credit
          Download the publication

          Food & Nature Digest: Accelerating the Green Recovery

          Bringing together expertise in nature and public trust, TNC and Edelman Data x Intelligence have launched the Food & Nature Digest—a global market analysis series about the current state of sustainability in the food, beverage and agricultural sectors.

          Download the publication

          Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking Index 2020: Carbon, Energy, and Water

          The seventh annual Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking study includes data from considerably more hotels than last year. More than 18,000 hotels, both from the U.S. and other countries, contributed information regarding their energy and water usage, as well as their greenhouse gas emissions.

          Download the index

          Navigating Plastic Alternatives In a Circular Economy

          This report from Closed Loop Partners provides a guiding framework for innovators, brands and investors and calls for more research and rigorous testing to avoid unintended consequences.

          Download the framework

          Plastics Innovation Challenge Draft Roadmap

          With a concerted and coordinated research and development effort, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Plastics Innovation Challenge aims to transform the approach to plastic waste and develop new classes of plastic that are recyclable and upgradeable by design.

          This roadmap identifies key research needs and opportunities for DOE-sponsored research and development and catalogs challenges and opportunities facing Plastics Innovation Challenge efforts.

          Download the roadmap

          Universal Circular Economy Policy Goals: Enabling the Transition to Scale

          The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has set out five universal circular economy policy goals that provide a framework for national governments, cities and businesses to create a transition that fosters innovation and decouples growth from finite resource consumption and environmental degradation.

            Read the policy goals

            US and Canada Recycling Infrastructure and Plastic Waste Map

            Using plastic packaging as a starting point, this tool developed by Closed Loop Partners guides investors, brands, entrepreneurs and policymakers to make data-driven decisions that drive toward a circular future. The map brings to light the diversity of plastic waste, breaking down the volumes of plastics by type and the flows by country, state and province.
              View the map

              Submit a story 

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              Share it in the newsletter!

              Upcoming events

              Beneficial Re-use of Industrial CO2 Emissions Using Microalgae
              Apr 8, 2021, 1 pm EDT

              Register today

              Virtual FOG Forum 2021
              Apr 14-15, 21-22, 2021

              Register today

              2021 Emerging Contaminants in the Environment virtual conference
              Apr 27-28, 2021

              Register today

              Virginia Green Travel Virtual Conference & Travel Star Awards
              Apr 28-29, 2021

              Register today

              Better Buildings, Better Plants Virtual Summit
              May 17-20, 2021

              Register today