Business and Industry Leaders Discuss Waste Reduction

Contact:  Christine Donhardt, ASLA



September 14, 2015


Business and Industry Leaders Discuss Waste Reduction


This morning, leaders in business and industry met to discuss “circular economy” in which waste materials or by-products can be reused in the manufacturing process of another business.  Memphis-Shelby County Office of Sustainability and TN Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) convened 24 business leaders from across Shelby County at International Paper’s Global Headquarters for a round table discussion on working together to address waste stream challenges facing all organizations large and small. 

Businesses in attendance included International Paper, FedEx, Valero, American Snuff, Flextronics, Nucor Steel, NSK Steering Systems America, Cummins, Marvin Windows and Doors, RAPAC, Sharp, CRG Sustainable Solutions, and Rainmaker Strategic Management.  

US Business Council for Sustainable Development of Texas addressed the group about forming a business-to-business material reuse program in Tennessee.  Currently, the US BCSD is facilitating or developing regional networks in Texas, Michigan, Ohio, and Colorado (for example:, as well as a national-level Materials Marketplace (  

“Bringing companies together to share information about internal material flows opens the door to tremendous business opportunities,” said US BCSD Executive Director Andrew Mangan. “The growing wave of interest in circular economy solutions, where materials are repurposed, reused and recycled, is scaling up around the world, and Memphis is positioned to help lead this wave.”

The US BCSD is a non-profit association of businesses launched in 2002 whose purpose is to create and deliver value driven sustainable development projects in the United States. Projects are member-led and designed to create value through economic returns and environmental and social benefits.

Christine Donhardt, Senior Planner of the Office of Sustainability added that the office “looks forward to hosting future roundtable discussions with business and industry on waste stream, energy and water efficiency, and other environmental topics.” 

Vaughn Cassidy, TDEC representative with the Office of Sustainable Practices, is credited with elevating the awareness of the need of a material recovery program in Tennessee and bringing US BCSD to the table.  He added that “it has been my passion for many years to find ways to reuse by-products in a business-to-business format.”