Policy & Community Engagement

Session Title

Ethics & Sustainability

BONITZ BPR Amherst October 14 2013.pdf (1234 kB)
John Bonitz presentation

Harvesting Hope.pdf (2495 kB)
Karen Ribeiro presentation

Location

CC 165

Start Date

15-10-2013 10:00 AM

End Date

15-10-2013 11:20 AM

Session Description

Biochar and the Sustainability Imperative. Now marks a critical time: as biochar comes of age and markets begin to develop, this young industry is attracting naysayers, doubters and get-rich-quick-schemers. Ethical biochar production and use is of paramount importance as we continue to lay the groundwork for biochar as a model for carbon neutral/negative business, landscape restoration and truly green technology. Shortcuts, poor quality product and unsustainable use of biomass could bring biochar to its knees before it gains the traction necessary to fulfill its promises. This discussion will explore opportunities and pitfalls in feedstocks sustainability, production integrity and ethics in our information to consumers.


John Bonitz of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy will present the Southeast regional woody bioenergy inventory and industry assessment study which was first motivated by sustainability concerns and the question, "Is woody biomass utilization in the Southeastern US proceeding too rapidly or too slowly?" The study encompassed all woody biomass technologies including wood pellets, biomass electricity, combined heat and power (CHP), biomass heat, and cellulosic biofuels. Observations relevant to the biochar industry can be found in our forecast of likely and unlikely developments. Those projects which are succeeding in greater numbers are ones with exceptionally low capital costs or those with multiple revenue streams, such as combined heat and power (CHP).

Karen Ribeiro will present Harvesting Hope & Sustaining Passion for your Business based on tools she has developed in her coaching practice, Inner Fortune, and her experiences starting three businesses and supporting the biochar movement. Basic premises offered include recognizing that we are all recyclers of ideas and inspirations, that launching a business is extremely challenging and that launching a biochar business adds another layer of challenge in establishing a frame of reference for stakeholders. Fortunately there are a number of proven disciplines that can sustain the energy, focus, commitment and passion for the work at hand and this presentation will delve deeply into a few of them.

Bio and Photo

Gloria Flora, founder and Executive Director of Sustainable Obtainable Solutions (SOS) - since 2001. Last century she served 23 years in the U.S. Forest Service, working in a variety of positions throughout western states, including as the Forest Supervisor on the largest national forest in the continental U.S. An exemplary public servant and steward, her career highlights include banning oil and gas leasing on the Rocky Mountain Front to protect its unique biodiversity and cultural significance. She was a leader in establishing the human dimension as a component of USFS ecosystem management decision-making. Her current mission through SOS is ensuring the sustainability of public lands and of the plant, animal and humans who depend on them. SOS’s major projects focus on large landscape conservation strategies; national and international climate change action planning (mitigation, adaptation and ecological carbon sequestration); and, promoting the sustainable production and use of biochar as Director of the U.S. Biochar Initiative, a project of SOS. Flora’s won multiple awards for her leadership, courage and environmental stewardship, including having a new species of a Tanzanian toad named after her.

John works with farmers, woodland owners, and other rural interests in NC, SC, and TN, providing information about bioenergy. John’s work promotes sustainable utilization of biomass for electricity and fuel production, with an emphasis on state and federal policies. He serves in an advisory capacity to the Steering Committee of the Southern Agriculture & Forestry Energy Resources (SAFER) Alliance, on the Communications Council of the NC Biofuels Center, and is an active member of the Biomass Councils in North and South Carolina. John joined the SACE staff in April 2007. The son of a dairy farmer, John previously worked for the RuralAdvancement Foundation International (RAFI-USA), Piedmont Biofuels Cooperative, Chatham Marketplace Cooperative Grocery, the NationalRenewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the NC Department of Environmentand Natural Resources (NC DENR), and in the environmental consulting field. During his tenure with Piedmont Biofuels Cooperative the group received the 2005 Sustainability Award for work in cutting-edge technologies that build the infrastructure for sustainable products or services by Sustainable NC.

Karen Ribeiro is a successful, wealthy social entrepreneur with an abundance of peace, love and joy in her family and community. As an environmental life and business coach she invites clients to push their edges of understanding wealth and peace in their work and life. Karen is the 2013 USBI North American Biochar Symposium conference director and has had meaningful careers in advertising, banking, renewable energy and consulting. She sustains a daily practice of mindfulness and writes a blog on Inner Fortune.

Book and Other Details

John Bonitz, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) - John has 25 years of experience in non-regulatory environmental policy, advocacy, and social entrepreneurship. He organizes and advocates for the promotion of farm-to-energy projects and policies.

Previous Versions

Oct 25 2013

 
Oct 15th, 10:00 AM Oct 15th, 11:20 AM

Ethics & Sustainability

CC 165

Biochar and the Sustainability Imperative. Now marks a critical time: as biochar comes of age and markets begin to develop, this young industry is attracting naysayers, doubters and get-rich-quick-schemers. Ethical biochar production and use is of paramount importance as we continue to lay the groundwork for biochar as a model for carbon neutral/negative business, landscape restoration and truly green technology. Shortcuts, poor quality product and unsustainable use of biomass could bring biochar to its knees before it gains the traction necessary to fulfill its promises. This discussion will explore opportunities and pitfalls in feedstocks sustainability, production integrity and ethics in our information to consumers.


John Bonitz of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy will present the Southeast regional woody bioenergy inventory and industry assessment study which was first motivated by sustainability concerns and the question, "Is woody biomass utilization in the Southeastern US proceeding too rapidly or too slowly?" The study encompassed all woody biomass technologies including wood pellets, biomass electricity, combined heat and power (CHP), biomass heat, and cellulosic biofuels. Observations relevant to the biochar industry can be found in our forecast of likely and unlikely developments. Those projects which are succeeding in greater numbers are ones with exceptionally low capital costs or those with multiple revenue streams, such as combined heat and power (CHP).

Karen Ribeiro will present Harvesting Hope & Sustaining Passion for your Business based on tools she has developed in her coaching practice, Inner Fortune, and her experiences starting three businesses and supporting the biochar movement. Basic premises offered include recognizing that we are all recyclers of ideas and inspirations, that launching a business is extremely challenging and that launching a biochar business adds another layer of challenge in establishing a frame of reference for stakeholders. Fortunately there are a number of proven disciplines that can sustain the energy, focus, commitment and passion for the work at hand and this presentation will delve deeply into a few of them.