Team Gemini

Addressing Challenges of Inclement Weather and Population Growth, Indoor Farming Operations Can Provide Sustainable Solutions

Addressing Challenges of Inclement Weather and Population Growth, Indoor Farming Operations Can Provide Sustainable Solutions

Indiana warehouse farming operation offers context for what’s possible, produces variety of goods around the year.

By Mathias Haugner

Farmers are very familiar with the impact weather can have on the food they produce each year. From droughts or heavy rain, to freezing temperatures and other extreme weather occurrences, many food production operations are at the mercy of nature’s forces. And results can be catastrophic to food supplies on which so many people depend. But that doesn’t have to be the status quo, especially with innovative projects moving food production forward in various ways.

A vertical farm warehouse operation in Portage, Indiana, showcases one such project, and it benefits from growing and harvesting produce year-round—“taking the weather out of the equation.” But there’s more, as methods and resources used in food production help create better output. “Researchers believe plants respond best to the blue and red colors of the spectrum, so the densely-packed plants are bathed in a pink and purple haze. They’re moistened by recycled water; bolstered by nutrients; and anchored in a special mix of ground Sri Lankan coconut husks.”

Team Gemini takes sustainable food production a step further, enhancing the processes and resources involved in food creation, not to mention implementing it on a substantial scale. With partner companies like Artigianfer, AKVA group, 2G CENERGY, and A3, among others, Team Gemini takes a holistic approach to growing all kinds of vegetables, herbs, medicinal plants, and fish.

Team Gemini’s sustainable agriculture is set up through a combination of aquaponic and aquaculture technologies—no soil media is used, removing the occurrence of any potential pests, and maximizing the production area by incorporating several growing levels. Furthermore, the fish water is particularly nutrient-rich, which is a direct benefit to growing plants. Resource conservation includes water treatment and recycling, and renewable-energy-based electricity and heat are generated from different sources (including food waste, where possible) to power the operation. Mass-automation and monitoring applications are incorporated to maximize quality control and minimize the occurrence of human error that might jeopardize output.

These are just some of the technology highlights incorporated by our team, and the result is that Team Gemini project solutions can create millions of produce every year in ways that are reliable, sustainable, and economical.

To learn more about Team Gemini’s innovative agriculture solutions, visit http://teamgemini.us/sustainable-agricultural-technology/.

To learn more about the project in Indiana, visit http://www.cbsnews.com/news/making-nature-better/.

Team Gemini

With a Call to Protect Drinking Water, Technology Becomes Key Component

With a Call to Protect Drinking Water, Technology Becomes Key Component

EPA article highlights algal bloom incident of Toledo, Ohio, and how nutrient measurement technologies help maintain safe drinking water vital to economic and environmental health.

By Mathias Haugner

In the summer of 2014, a harmful algal bloom triggered a state of emergency being declared in the Toledo, Ohio area. On a scale that drives home the point of how water impacts communities, half a million people were told not to drink the water coming out of their taps for several days because the bloom released toxins into the water that could have made many people ill.

Algal blooms like the one near Toledo are partly caused by an excessive amount of nutrients in the water – specifically, nitrogen and phosphorus. These nutrients are essential for ecosystems, but too many of them in one place is bad news. Not only do harmful algal blooms pose huge risks for people’s health, they can also cause fish and other aquatic wildlife to die off.” Around the country, the implications of this in terms of costs are significant—tourism-related activities alone incur losses upwards of $1 billion each year because people avoid fishing, boating, and visiting areas affected by such blooms.

A new innovation challenge was announced, and it’s devoted to bringing new, affordable [nutrient-level] sensors to the country’s waterways. These will help in pointing out at-risk areas, and should facilitate improved warnings to communities about the quality of their water.

But measuring nutrient levels in water is just one component of the puzzle. What about actually treating dangerous levels of nutrients so water may be safe to use again? That’s where water treatment and filtration technologies do their part. Team Gemini and its partner company A3-USA, Inc. provide robust, modular treatment technologies that are among the most efficient on the market. From Membrane Bioreactors to Ultrafiltration and Reverse Osmosis systems, these components are able to retain suspended matter, bacteria, and viruses (pathogens), and can even remove carbon, phosphorous, nitrogen, certain toxins, and bio-accumulative micro-contaminants. Water quality doesn’t need to suffer because technology isn’t ready—it is ready, and communities must find ways of implementing effective treatment methods more widely for the sake of the environment, economy, and people’s health.

To learn more about A3’s innovative solutions, visit http://teamgemini.us/a3-usa/.

To read the EPA’s full article, visit http://blog.epa.gov/science/2014/12/new-challenge-put-technology-to-work-to-protect-drinking-water/.

Team Gemini

EPA Rule Promotes Responsible Hazardous Materials Recycling

EPA Rule Promotes Responsible Hazardous Materials Recycling

Rule helps protect communities from the impact of mismanagement of hazardous waste, validating Team Gemini’s efforts in treating waste for the benefit of communities.

By Mathias Haugner

Safeguards that promote responsible recycling of hazardous secondary materials are one of the components that will be part of a larger movement to evolve the waste-handling-and-treatment industry in the U.S. Chief among the rule’s tenets is that it seeks to implement both resource conservation and economic benefits, while strengthening protections for environmental justice communities.

“This important rule gives communities a voice in the decisions that impact them, promotes safe and responsible recycling of hazardous secondary materials and conserves vital resources, while protecting those most at risk from the dangers of hazardous secondary materials mismanagement. This innovative rule demonstrates that protecting communities and leveraging economic advantages for sustainable recycling and materials manufacturing can go hand-in-hand,” notes Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response.

The Center of Resource Recovery & Recycling (COR3) is one of Team Gemini’s technology offerings in handling waste effectively. From separating valuable recyclables for sale as commodities, to diverting unusable or hazardous waste for further processing, different configurations can be implemented to address different needs of communities around the country.

Among other details, the EPA rule re-affirms the legitimacy of in-process recycling and of commodity-grade recycled products, such as metal commodities. The EPA estimates that if 31 states and territories adopt the 2014 Definition of Solid Waste (DSW) rule, it will have an annual regulatory cost savings of $24 million as compared to baseline cost savings in the 8 states and territories that have adopted the 2008 DSW final rule.

To learn more about Team Gemini’s solutions in waste management and use of waste, check out http://teamgemini.us/resource-recovery/ and http://teamgemini.us/bio-refinery/.

To read more details about the EPA ruling, you can view this page.

Sustainable Business

The Importance of Sustainability as a Core Business Value

The Importance of Sustainability as a Core Business Value

By Andres Goyanes, MBA | Team Gemini Marketing and PR Advisor

Becoming a sustainable company is an integrative strategic approach where every employee, division, strategic partner, vendor, and client should be aligned under a common effort to make decisions that can positively impact the Triple Bottom Line: People, Planet and the Profit that leads to prosperity.

In recent years the concept of sustainability has been publicized and politicized as a critical element of business future-proofing, yet no true standards have been set—except for independent organizations and activist groups that have their own agenda.

So how do we become more sustainable and actually mean it?

As a competency, sustainable business exists today because mankind has had a somewhat parasitical existence on our planet. Our decisions over the past 150 years—mostly made in the name of progress and the advancement of industry and technology—were made initially with an inherent ignorance of the lasting effects of overuse and aggressive consumption of our natural resources.

The industrial revolution is considered by many the culprit of today’s sustainable woes since this milestone in human history prompted companies and governments to jump into a race for control of profits and achievement—all at the expense of the environment and the people who must now suffer the consequences of this great leap in mankind achievement.

So what are the consequences of poor decision making, from a business perspective? Here are some consequences to create a point of reference:

  • Health-related issues as a result of pollution and the use of food preservatives, which lead to higher healthcare costs and increased use of medicines—which in turn have filled our bodies with antibiotics and chemicals that become ineffective over time
  • Lower-quality foods since crops must be managed using harmful chemicals and inefficient processes, including the failure to recapture biofuels from organic waste and other renewable energy resources
  • Higher prices on resources that have been mined and depleted to keep up with consumerism and companies seeking to make a profit—despite generating millions of tons of waste from unsold produces that have not been consumed
  • A lack of focus on community and environment-centric strategies that could potentially reduce costs in the long-run, while increasing the quality of life which can lead to reduced crime rates, increased enjoyment of common areas, lower consumption of energy, eating better food, and ultimately ensuring the wellbeing and future of humanity at the street level—not from a board room.

In the past few decades, access to information via the Internet and the media has led to increased awareness by Corporate America, government and the public about sustainability—and slowly but surely that awareness has led to a more conscious approach to doing business without creating additional burdens or causing more harm that what has already been done.

Sustainable Business

Sustainable Business is an available option, not just a choice.

Many companies have chosen the more difficult path to achieve sustainability by investing, strategizing and developing plans of action ranging from the creation of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives to the development of recycling campaigns and conservation efforts.

The most important takeaway from sustainability as we enter the middle of the second decade of the new millennium, is that companies must learn to manage resources, take the environment into consideration, live up to their accountability claims, and ultimately bring people together so that the community as a whole can contribute to their success.

With so many eyes watching the daily operation of companies and the advent of social media as a way for people to shed light on the failure to act with good corporate governance, the need to be sustainable is not just a necessity—it can have a lasting impact in the future of Corporate America.

A report covered by Harvard Business Review in early 2014 discovered that less than 10 percent of U.S. companies have dedicated resources such as committees to managing their sustainability or CSR efforts. This clearly points to a need for more companies to see the benefit of communicating value on the basis of sustainability using accountability, transparency and their effective management of their resources.

Team Gemini has been one of those companies that not only has created a blueprint for sustainable business development, but has also integrated sustainability into every one of its projects.

With a goal to partner and work with organizations, communities and governments seeking its expertise in green competencies such as sustainable agriculture, recycling and waste-to-energy, Team Gemini plans to be a common denominator for sustainable industrial development—and help companies align with the Triple Bottom Line.

 

Andres Goyanes

Andres Goyanes is a member of Team Gemini’s Board of Advisors in the area of Marketing and Public Relations and holds an MBA with a concentration in Sustainable Business. He is Executive Director at Fuego Communications, a marketing and PR firm working with industrial companies and the growing opportunities of the green economy.

Andres GoyanesExecutive DirectorFuego Communications

 

Team Gemini

Amidst Challenges of Small Water Systems, Team Gemini offers Solutions

Amidst Challenges of Small Water Systems, Team Gemini offers Solutions

EPA article reflects on Safe Drinking Water Act anniversary, and highlights challenges smaller communities face in maintaining the systems that maintain their safe drinking water.

By Mathias Haugner

“Today, more than 94% of the country’s 156,000 drinking water systems are small, serving fewer than 3,300 people. But maintaining those systems can be a real challenge. Having such a small customer base can make it tough to pay for needed repairs, hire and retain qualified operators or plan for future needs. Also, a large number of small water systems are actually schools, campgrounds or restaurants, so water service is not their primary function.”

The challenges become clear—in small communities, water treatment systems that are unwieldy, require great maintenance efforts and expenses, and take a large construction footprint (in other words, most standard systems) offer antiquated solutions to persistent needs. Water treatment and conservation are vital parts of any sustainable community, helping maintain its citizens’ health, creating food sources, and more.

Team Gemini and its Partner Company A3-USA, Inc. provide innovative technologies that can treat waste water and allow stakeholders of many sizes to make the most of their water needs. To learn more about A3’s innovative solutions, visit http://teamgemini.us/a3-usa/.

To read the EPA’s full article, visit http://blog.epa.gov/blog/2014/11/40-years-of-the-safe-drinking-water-act-the-small-systems-challenge/.

Team Gemini

Food Waste Diversion is Key to a Sustainable Community

Food Waste Diversion is Key to a Sustainable Community

Article highlights prevalence of food waste in the nation, calling out for more sustainable ways of using food.

By Andrés Goyanes and Mathias Haugner

Restaurants, cafeterias and food vending venues all over the nation end up with thousands of pounds (if not tons of waste) that go into the trash every day. Would you consider it to be organic waste or organic treasure?

For far too long, communities have limited themselves in their approach to treating unused food, often discarded as simple waste into trash containers, only to end up in landfills. Most of it goes to waste, thereby causing more harm not only to the environment, but also to the bottom line of consumers. Instead, food waste diversion channels can be built and supported that would treat waste as something from which to gain.

Methane gas—one of the byproducts of organic waste—is seen as a harmful substance, but it also serves as fuel for technologies like Combined Heat and Power Systems, which can treat and channel that gas through an engine to create electricity and thermal energy. Furthermore, the anaerobic digestion process also yields valuable soil amendments like compost and fertilizer, depending on the makeup of the waste. Don’t think there’s enough to make a big deal out of it? The fact is that there is a lot of fuel since food waste tipped the scale at 35 million tons in 2012, according to the most recent year estimates available.

The EPA article also features useful steps to follow: “Communities should start by contacting their local landfill to see what options are available for organic waste diversion in their region. Schools, restaurants and businesses should then educate students, employees and consumers about the benefits of composting before implementing a diversion program. If a compost facility is unavailable in a region, communities can still divert organic waste by showing families how to create backyard compost piles and compost their home food and yard scraps.”

Team Gemini can help companies, communities and cities regain control of the way they manage their waste and help them convert this organic treasure into energy and other sustainable benefits. To learn more about Team Gemini’s solutions in waste management and use of waste, check out http://teamgemini.us/resource-recovery/ and http://teamgemini.us/bio-refinery/.

To read the EPA’s full article, visit http://blog.epa.gov/blog/2014/12/food-waste-diversion-is-key-to-a-sustainable-community/.

Team Gemini

Team Gemini Proudly Recognizes A3-USA, Inc. for its Invaluable Water Treatment Solutions

Team Gemini Proudly Recognizes A3-USA, Inc. for its Invaluable Water Treatment Solutions

With water resources being challenged, and economic as well as environmental ramifications affecting an increasing number of groups, Team Gemini works with A3-USA to offer immediate solutions

Team Gemini, LLC has been collaborating with A3-USA, Inc. to provide relief for communities and businesses facing challenges with water treatment. The company is the sole distributor of A3-GmbH’s ultrafiltration plate membranes and nrw Anlagentechnik GmbH‘s CONTEC coarse & fine screens for the North American market. These technologies, along with components like Ultrafiltration and Reverse Osmosis systems, and liquid manure Pre- and Post-Treatment, provide comprehensive solutions for a large variety of needs.

Declining fresh-water resources—with one comprehensive report illustrating the challenges we face—and more restrictive municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plant regulations require improved water and wastewater treatment methods. A substantial portion of the United States has adopted stricter wastewater effluent regulations and the remaining areas are soon to follow. The effluent quality leaving wastewater treatment plants usually influences the quality of local groundwater and drinking water as well. As many Americans voice concerns about the quality of their household drinking water, authorities, industries, and developers seek alternatives to treat water, wastewater, and process water.

team-gemini-a3-water-treatment

“Water is one of our most precious resources as it affects many areas of all-around living, including food and energy,” remarks Richard Haugner, Chief Technical Officer at Team Gemini. “We’re implementing methods of minimizing environmental and economic impacts of water use.” As the costs of using water increases, businesses who require intensive use of this resource can greatly improve their bottom line by implementing more effective water remediation and treatment solutions. Modular MBR plants that feature a small footprint and minimal maintenance needs offer ideal solutions.

Learn more about A3-USA at http://teamgemini.us/a3-usa/ or visiting their main site at http://www.a3-usa.com/.

Team Gemini

Team Gemini Proudly Offers UDR MonoTube Systems for Small-Scale Biogas Solutions

Team Gemini Proudly Offers UDR MonoTube Systems for Small-Scale Biogas Solutions

With compact anaerobic digesters that have been designed for use on livestock farms and food production sites, Team Gemini and their partners offer solutions for a larger variety of communities

Team Gemini, LLC works closely with its partner company enCO2 and others to provide UDR MonoTube options for small-scale farming and other operations. Benefits of this system are unique to those clients who may not have enough feedstock to run a large Biogas plant, but who have enough to still warrant turning their waste into valuable commodities like energy or even compost and fertilizer.

The UDR system is a biological method for anaerobic fermentation plants. Its main technique is based on the bionic system of microorganisms settling onto special surfaces. The MonoTube takes this process and reduces it to a smaller space.

The new fermenter, which is only around three meters (10 feet) in diameter and approximately 15 meters (49 feet) high, features a built-in gas pressure accumulator and benefits from an exceptionally compact design. All other necessary components, such as pumps, heat distributors, controllers and the co-generator are installed on a 4 x 10 m (431 ft2) base.

The system benefits from taking only around two weeks to construct; being able to use a substrate of up to 100% liquid manure; and offering optimum efficiency with low-maintenance operation.

To learn more about Team Gemini’s offerings in UDR MonoTube Digesters, please visit our Bio Refinery and enCO2 pages, or download the UDR brochure.

Team Gemini

Team Gemini Offers Innovative and Sustainable Packaging Solutions by eggbox GmbH

Team Gemini Offers Innovative and Sustainable Packaging Solutions by eggbox GmbH

Advocating innovations in different industries, Team Gemini provides solutions for packaging manufacturers to become more sustainable and competitive

team-gemini-eggbox-logo

Team Gemini, LLC met with business leaders of eggbox GmbH (http://eggbox.de/) to now offer their innovative packaging products on the North American market. Providing sustainable source material and a pioneering design platform that are superior to standard products, eggbox cartons are another example of Team Gemini’s efforts to make businesses and communities around the country more environmentally and economically prosperous.

eggbox is a product that’s 100% recycled, and goes one step further: it is the first and only manufactured commodity of machine processible egg cartons that can now even offer clients FSC®-certified quality on request. Made of corrugated cardboard, it gives clients considerably more usable space to present their brand message – in clear offset colors. eggbox is also much more break-proof and superbly stackable.

team-gemini-eggbox-sample

“We appreciate the opportunity of offering a variety of solutions of sustainable products,” explains Team Gemini President Douglas Haughn. “Sustainability isn’t just a matter of renewable energy, but also offering more subtle and impactful ways in which we treat our environment and conduct business. eggbox is a great example of something that is applied on a large scale, and serves the principles of the Triple Bottom Line.”

eggbox is just one component of a larger range of food processing projects in which Team Gemini is engaged. The company is also working with select food processing companies around the country to provide a revamped operational model based on renewable energy and waste remediation.

Team Gemini

Team Gemini Receives Special Mention in the December 2014 Newsletter for the World Preview Center

Team Gemini Receives Special Mention in the December 2014 Newsletter for the World Preview Center

Central Florida organization of ambassadors aids Team Gemini in communicating its sustainability initiatives and solutions for the region

By Andrés Goyanes

Team Gemini received a special mention in the December 2014 newsletter for the World Preview Center, a networking organization represented by Ambassadors from a diverse group of backgrounds, nationalities and industrial expertise. The organization is based in Kissimmee, Florida, and has the mission to connect people, companies and industries for benefit of sharing ideas and business development opportunities.

team-gemini-wpc-logo

Download a copy of the newsletter here, or learn more about the World Preview Center by visiting http://worldpreviewcenter.com/.