Importance of Data Tracking to get to Circular Economy

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Importance of Data Tracking to get to Circular Economy 2016-06-15T12:41:16+00:00

5th Annual National Zero Waste Business Conference
Importance of Data Tracking to get to Circular Economy
Friday, June 3rd, 2016
11:00 am to 12:15 pm

Panel Description: Tracking diversion and financial metrics is critical to realizing the goals of Zero Waste and getting to a Circular Economy. By not accurately estimating, measuring, and managing their waste streams, American companies of all sizes and types are throwing away significant opportunities for profit and increased efficiency. This panel will present the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation new Report Trash to Treasure: Changing Waste Streams to Profits Streams and the newly released Austin 2015 Community Diversion Study, which includes a call for an improved national data collection system to better measure waste diversion in the future. Steps that are being taken to improve waste diversion data gathering and reporting will also be discussed.



Gary Liss photo 2013

Gary Liss has over 40 years of experience in the solid waste and recycling field. Mr. Liss is now President of Gary Liss & Associates. Mr. Liss is a leadingadvocate of Zero Waste and has helped more communities develop Zero Waste plans than anyone else in the U.S.

Mr. Liss is Vice President of the US Zero Waste Business Council. He helped develop theUSZWBC Certification Program and National Conferences and participated in the first audit under its comprehensive points system of Sierra Nevada Brewery. He helped develop and is an instructor for the USZWBC training for Zero Waste Business Associates. He was a founder, past President and now serves on the Board of the National Recycling Coalition. He is a founder and Boardmember of the GrassRoots Recycling Network/Zero Waste USA, a Boardmember of the Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA), and a leader of the Zero Waste Brain Trust. Mr. Liss went through extensive training with Gunter Pauli in Zero Emissions Research & Initiatives and is a Certified ZERI System Designer. He served on Town Council in his hometown of Loomis, CA and was Mayor in 2010. He has a Master in Public Administration degree from Rutgers University and Bachelor in Civil Engineering (Environmental Engineering major) from Tufts University.


Jennifer Gerholdt_sm

Jennifer Gerholdt is the Senior Director of the Environment Program at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center. In her role, Jennifer directs high quality programming for business leaders to help them maximize their positive contributions to society’s challenges. This includes developing and executing the strategy for CCC’s engagement with the private sector on issues including the circular economy, the energy-water-food nexus, and water stewardship. Jennifer directs CCC’s signature sustainability conference, workshops, trainings, roundtables, business delegation tours, case study reports, and research.

Prior to CCC, Jennifer was Senior Manager of Conservation International’s Business & Sustainability Council (BSC), a forum for influential companies that are committed to business and environmental leadership. In her role Jennifer managed corporate partnerships, planned and executed BSC’s annual event and oversaw delivery of additional membership benefits, and directed BSC marketing and communications efforts.

Prior to Conservation International, Jennifer was the Program Officer with WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network-North America program, working with global companies including Avon, Capital One, Domtar, Johnson & Johnson and Tetra Pak on responsible wood and paper sourcing issues. In her role, Jennifer assisted these companies in understanding the sources of their forest products, developing and implementing responsible purchasing policies, and increasing the proportion of credibly certified material in their supply chains. Jennifer also managed special projects and events, communications products, research and reporting.

Prior to WWF, Jennifer served as the Outreach Coordinator for Green America’s Better Paper Project, providing technical assistance and expertise to U.S. magazine industry leaders to help them incorporate credibly certified and post-consumer recycled content sources into their magazines to drive responsible paper industry best practices.

Jennifer previously served as a Member, Board of Directors, of the U.S. Water Alliance, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit working to advance holistic, watershed based-solutions surrounding complex water sustainability issues.

Jennifer holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Sciences and Policy from The Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from New Mexico State University.

To learn more about CCC’s environment program and how you can get engaged, contact Jennifer at



Aiden Cohen currently serves at the City of Austin as the Program Manager for Austin Resource Recovery’s Business Outreach Team. Aiden has the enviable job of leading a dedicated team of professionals focused on new initiatives to help Austin’s business community make significant progress towards Zero Waste. Current job responsibilities include the full spectrum of budgeting, staffing, media and public presentations, coaching/mentoring and long-term planning. Aiden is responsible for fulfilling the City’s Universal Recycling Ordinance (URO) and helping companies save money by implementing zero waste programs and other sustainable activities.

Aiden earned a bachelor’s degree in Supply Chain Management from Michigan State University and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. In the past 20 years, Aiden’s professional experience includes the aerospace, commercial real estate, and government service sectors.

In the community, Aiden supports several non-profits including the Austin Children’s Museum “Thinkery”, several Alzheimer’s research organizations, and others community groups that provide development opportunities for children.


MathyStanislaus-thMathy Stanislaus was nominated by President Barack Obama for the position of Assistant Administrator in EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM) on March 31, 2009, and began his service on June 8, 2009, after confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

As Assistant Administrator for OLEM, Mr. Stanislaus leads EPA’s programs that revitalize communities through the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated sites under Superfund, Brownfields, and Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) programs. OLEM also oversees other federal agencies cleanup of contaminated properties, and it advances hazardous and solid waste materials management under RCRA, chemical plant safety, oil spill prevention, underground storage tank program, and emergency response.  He regularly testifies before Congress regarding aspects of these programs, including rules and budget.

He is leading the effort to advance the transition to a circular economy through a life-cycle based sustainable materials management approach. This effort involves his representing the U.S. at G7 deliberations and in the G7 Alliance for Resources Efficiency to promote best practices and foster innovation to address the challenges of resource efficiency. This alliance provides a forum for businesses and stakeholders from the public sector, research institutions, academia, and consumers to exchange information on resource efficiency.

He has focused on continuing the innovation of the Brownfields program to advance the revitalization of communities. Recognizing that successful, sustained community revitalization – particularly in communities facing economic distress/disruption – is achieved from inclusive revitalization planning among neighborhood groups, local governments and the private sector, he established the innovative Area Wide Brownfields grant program.  This tool enables the development of a plan for community-wide improvements such as infrastructure investments that catalyze redevelopment on brownfield sites, equitably revitalize communities, and meet the community’s needs for affordable housing, jobs and open space. To align local planning efforts with sustainable economic development, he has advanced the innovative preference and priority concept of infrastructure and other economic resources for communities that have established inclusive area wide plans, such as in the DOT Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery or TIGER Discretionary Grant programs.  He has furthered the continued alignment of EPA resources with private financing by clarifying brownfield revolving loan fund requirements to accommodate financing structures used in the affordable housing industry. He was recognized by the Council of Development Finance Agencies for his efforts to align EPA’s Brownfields resources with local development finance, and he was awarded a 2014 Excellence in Development Finance Award.

He leads EPA’s efforts to advance the Obama Administration’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership, a key aspect of the effort to expand middle class job opportunities.  He served on the White House Council on Auto Communities and Workers, which led the effort to assist local leaders to transition closed auto plants to productive reuses.  He is a tri-chair of the Obama Administration Chemical Facility Safety and Security Working Group,  which is leading efforts to assist state and local emergency preparedness organizations, policy changes to improve the safety of chemical plants and other actions set forth in “Executive Order 13650: Actions to Improve Chemical Facility Safety and Security – A Shared Commitment.  Report to the President May 2014.”  Through the Community Engagement Initiative, he has focused on open government, expanding transparency, and empowering local communities. He leads the Agency’s efforts to support community based actions to address environmental justice under Plan EJ 2014.  He led the finalization of the Definition of Solid Waste rule to enhance protection of vulnerable communities from the mismanagement of recycling facilities and increasing the recycling of recovered materials. He also led the finalization of the first national rule to safely manage coal ash disposal.

He is leading OLEM’s actions to advance the President’s Climate Action Plan including the implementation of OLEM’s adaptation plan (PDF) (41 pp, 452 K, About PDF).  He serves on the interagency working group for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.  Following the Deep Water Horizon BP Spill in 2010, he led EPA’s response and served for weeks in Unified Area Command. He also served on Department of Interior’s Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee, which was charged to provide critical guidance on improving offshore drilling safety, well containment, and spill response, in support of the exploration of new energy frontiers.

Mr. Stanislaus is a chemical engineer and environmental lawyer with over 20 years of experience in the environmental field in the private and public sectors. He served as senior environmental counsel at a law firm, and director of environmental compliance for an environmental consulting firm. He started and operated a small business providing consulting services to local governments and local communities on projects ranging from the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties, the proposed siting and expansion of power plants, solid waste facilities and large highways. He has worked in the not-for-profit sector, co-founding and co-directing New Partners for Community Revitalization, a NY not-for-profit organization whose mission is to advance the renewal of New York’s low and moderate income neighborhoods and communities of color through the redevelopment of Brownfields sites. He also is former counsel for EPA’s Region 2 Office.

Mr. Stanislaus was an advisor to other federal government agencies, Congress, and the United Nations on a variety of environmental issues. He chaired an EPA workgroup in 1997 that investigated the clustering of waste transfer stations in low income and communities of color throughout the United States. He served on the board of the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance. In June 1994, as a member of United Nations Environment Programme – Environmental Advisory Council, he served as counsel to the United Nations’ summit that examined environmental issues affecting New York’s indigenous communities of the Haudaunosaunee Confederacy, as part of the United Nations’ International Year of the Indigenous Communities. He received his law degree from Chicago Kent Law School and Chemical Engineering Degree from City College of New York. He was born in Sri Lanka, and his family immigrated to this country to seek freedom and opportunity.