Past Sustainability and Pollution Prevention Projects and Work
The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) has worked with hundreds of businesses, municipalities, and communities across New York State. Each project our team of engineers and sustainability specialists draws on our expertise spanning multiple industrial sectors and focus areas.
NYSP2I enables startups and mature companies working within the sustainable technology sector to assess the viability of new technologies, products, and processes. We’re a trusted, independent third party specializing in sustainability assessments and technology validation.
Sector / Market:
Renewable energy, solar power
"The data […] provided important design validation in terms of both ease of installation and actual energy performance, both important milestones as we prepare to go to market with this product."
- Stephen P. Shea, CEO; Tyll Solar, LLC
A photovoltaic (PV) solar panel gets very hot as it collects sunlight during the day. Stephen Shea, CEO of Tyll Solar and his team, wondered if it were possible to convert that heat into energy, increasing the overall output of power from a single panel. They estimated that standard PV panels on the market are just 15–22% efficient on account of the loss of latent heat. Tyll Solar saw this as an opportunity and designed a solar panel that incorporates a heat-collecting system that could raise that number to 80% by capturing thermal energy along with solar. Tyll Solar came to NYSP2I for an independent, third-party performance evaluation of their prototype thermal-PV solar panel to support their research and development.
NYSP2I developed and installed a roof-mounted solar test bed to test the energy efficiency of twelve different panels, including a mix of panels with and without Tyll’s prototype coolant flow system. Once the unit was active, our team monitored key data points, including environmental conditions, panel temperatures, pressures, electrical output, and system flowrates.
NYSP2I’s test produced a dataset that allowed Tyll Solar to further develop, optimize, and commercialize their coolant-enabled PV solar panel. Ultimately, the prototype system produced both solar and thermal power as predicted by Tyll Solar’s design models.
NYSP2I engineers provide our clients in the manufacturing sector with practical, cost-effective solutions that they can implement to maintain or improve the quality of their process and output, realize a competitive edge, or avoid costly downtime.
Sector / Market:
"NYSP2I provided Staach with a comprehensive set of services to prepare for a significant expansion […]. Their team provided exceptional services, and wealth of resources with key insights to elevate our brand position—which relies on high performance in environmental practice—and internal efficiency."
- Anne Sherman, Director of Sustainability; Staach, Inc.
Staach prides itself in being proactive about ever seeking ways to improve how it works and its impact on the environment. One such improvement followed from its customers, who expressed a desire that they engage LEED and Living Building Challenge standards in their manufacturing processes. Staach was readying for an expansion, and decided to take advantage of the opportunity to better meet the needs of the market and to operate more sustainably. The handcrafted furniture company came to NYSP2I to assess their current supply chain process in order to identify clear, actionable ways to progress towards their sustainability goals.
The NYSP2I team designed a supply chain sustainability assessment to
- - minimize the environmental impact of Staach’s supply chain;
- - provide recommendations for enhanced sustainability practices, and;
- - create a plan for improved product and process flow, leveraging lean manufacturing practices to reduce material use and waste generation.
The NYSP2I sustainable supply chain team, using our proprietary supply chain assessment tool, provided Staach with insights and recommendations to allow them to continually improve their positioning as a sustainable supplier and to minimize their environmental impacts while expanding into a new facility. Highlights of our recommendations included:
- - a report identifying critical gaps in its sustainable supply chain
- - a code of conduct and scorecard to ensure material traceability and conformance to green building standards among suppliers
- - a benchmark summary of competing furniture manufacturers’ sustainability commitments and practices
- - a series of “ecomaps” for evaluating the environmental health and safety of Staach’s current and future operations
New York State Grocery Stores
The NYSP2I Sustainable Food Program partners with the businesses who make up New York State’s food system, including food retailers like grocery stores, food producers and distributors, and restaurants.
Sector / Market:
Grocery / Food retail
Food retailers contribute 13% of the total amount of food waste generated in the United States. Not only does that waste stress our environment, it is also a financial burden for the businesses who need to handle and dispose of it. Grocery stores experience the challenges of food waste each day, but often lack the resources or expertise to tackle them.
NYSP2I’s Food Sustainability Program was created to meet this need through site assessments, action plans, and resource provision. We were contracted to help three New York State grocery stores to measure the amount of edible and inedible food waste they were producing, to understand how it was being generated, and to put into place strategies for reducing, diverting, or eliminating it.
A one-day food waste assessment was performed at each grocery store. We collected and measured food waste on-site, evaluated results, and produced a summary that outlined key findings and improvement opportunities. Through this study, we developed a toolbox that other grocery stores can use to self-assess their food waste production. By creating a standard method that documents requirements at each step of the assessment (i.e., methods for collecting waste and noting what information to record), meaningful and actionable data can be gathered quickly.
The results of the assessments offered substantial data with which to launch a practical, cost-effective food waste diversion program within each grocery store. Key features of that program included:
- - increasing data-driven decision-making to forecast food waste production
- - using irregularly shaped or discolored produce in prepared foods
- - donating food to local food banks and food pantries
- - implementing a multi-faceted food diversion strategy
- - developing relationships with an organic waste haulers and rendering service providers (for fats and oils).