City of Phoenix, Arizona State University to Partner on New Regional Resource Innovation Center

City of Phoenix, Arizona State University to Partner on New Regional Resource Innovation Center

Annual savings expected from regional public/private waste reduction collaborative

PHOENIX – The city of Phoenix took another substantial leap forward as a global sustainability leader Tuesday afternoon as its city council gave policy approval of a four year agreement to work with Arizona State University to establish a ground-breaking public/private sustainability incubator focused on converting waste and other resources into economic value.

The Center for Resource Intelligence (CfRI) will be a network of public and private entities that provides a wide array of research, development, education and solution services to more effectively manage resources and create economic value. Industries ranging from energy, water, resource extraction, product development, manufacturing and recycling will collaborate in this effort that city staff project could result in $1-3 million of savings annually.

“This is about turning trash once destined for the landfill into business opportunities and jobs for our community,” said Mayor Greg Stanton. “With this effort, Phoenix can lead the way to discover how to reduce our waste in a way that spurs innovation and advances our economy.”

CfRI will be managed by the Sustainability Solutions Services (S3), a program within the Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives at ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability, in collaboration with the city, private sector affiliates and other municipalities and institutions. The city’s investment will initially focus on creating value, economic opportunity and jobs out of waste streams.

“Sustainability is the ‘low-hanging fruit’ when it comes to identifying new ways to save taxpayer dollars and generate new revenue to run our city,” said Vice Mayor Bill Gates, chairman of the City Council Finance, Efficiency, Economy and Sustainability Subcommittee. “This public-private partnership will maximize our efforts by
encouraging green entrepreneurs to bring their businesses and ideas to life right here in Phoenix.”

The center will work with various businesses and government entities to address types
of waste streams including food scraps, recyclables and yard waste using a project oriented collaborative model. Center collaborators will be able to introduce and sponsor projects while taking advantage of the knowledge base and synergies present within the CfRI’s network.

“The city of Phoenix is leading the way in supporting green entrepreneurs and reducing our solid waste,” said Councilwoman Kate Gallego. “Sustainable businesses are the future of Phoenix.”

The CfRI resulted from a series of stakeholder workshops conducted by S3 in collaboration with Phoenix’s Public Works Department to facilitate a regional partnership that will develop technologies and markets and create economic opportunities.

“This seed investment from the city of Phoenix will allow the Center for Resource Intelligence to develop a large network of organizations in the Valley and potentially around the globe that can collaborate to help achieve the levels of resource effectiveness required for 9 billion people to live well on the planet by 2050,” said Dan O’Neill, general manager for S3. “We appreciate the leadership of John Trujillo and the team in the city’s Public Works Department for having the vision to find solutions to our Valley’s – and planet’s – sustainability challenges.”

City staff estimates an additional 10 to 25 percent diversion of solid waste from landfill to other uses through the research and development of the CfRI and partnerships with the private sector.

The Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives are the result of a $27.5 million investment in Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability by the Walton Family Foundation. Within the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, diverse teams of faculty, students, entrepreneurs, researchers, and innovators collaborate to deliver sustainability solutions, accelerate global impact, and inspire future leaders through eight distinct initiatives. For more information visit

MEDIA CONTACTS:

ASU Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives

Jason Franz, 480-727-4072

City of Phoenix

Yvette Roeder, 602-495-0189

ASU report: City of Phoenix reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 7.2 percent

According to a new report compiled by Arizona State University’s Sustainability Solution Services , the city of Phoenix achieved a 7.2 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions, exceeding it goal by 2.2 percent three years ahead of schedule. In 2008 the city council adopted a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from city operations to five percent below the 2005 levels by 2015. The city met and exceeded that objective within four years.

The most recent greenhouse gas emissions report , was compiled by Sustainability Solution Services , a program within the Global Institute of Sustainability’s Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives , and states that in 2012, the city achieved a 7.2 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by emitting 629,504 metric tons of carbon dioxide and carbon dioxide equivalents.

“By already reaching its 2015 target for emissions reduction, the City of Phoenix has demonstrated its commitment to sustainability practices and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Rajesh Buch, practice lead for the Sustainability Solutions Services at ASU. “Continuing these practices and adopting the recommended actions should not only double emissions reductions by 2015, but also create a more resilient metropolitan region.”

With support and guidance from the mayor and city council members, the city was able to reduce greenhouse emissions through the use of sustainable infrastructure and programs, including advanced methane capture systems at city-owned landfills; biodiesel and ethanol alternative fuels; energy-efficient streetlights, traffic signals, water and wastewater upgrades; energy efficiency measures in more than 45 city buildings; and various city solar power projects.

ASU helped assess and verify the results of the greenhouse gas emissions report by comparing the city’s emissions in 2005 and 2012, and evaluating the progress made toward the Climate Action Plan. With support and guidance from the mayor and city council members, huge improvements and changes were made by Phoenix since 2005, particularly in the use of sustainable infrastructure and programs including advanced methane capture systems at city-owned landfills, biodiesel and ethanol alternative fuels, energy-efficient streetlights and traffic signals, water and wastewater upgrades, energy efficiency measures in more than 45 city buildings, and various city solar power projects.

The findings of the 2012 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions Report was released by the Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton on Dec. 3 at the third annual Go Green Conference hosted by the city of Phoenix and the Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives.
For more information on Phoenix’ greenhouse gas Inventory, contact Raj Buch, rbuch@asu.edu

For information on undertaking a greenhouse Inventory for your community, contact Mick Dalrymple, mick.dalrymple@asu.edu

Recommended links
City of Phoenix 2012 Emissions Reduction Summary Report