EvCC Inventors Eligible for Prizes in Sustainability Competition


Jim Hanna (center) speaks with EvCC President David Beyer (right) and Diane Kamionka before Hanna’s presentation, Business Driver’s for Sustainability, on March 3. Hanna is Starbucks Director of Environmental Affairs, and helping kick off NW Innovation Resource Center’s second annual NW Washington Sustainability Challenge. //courtesy of Katherine Shiffner

Stephanie Davey, Staff Writer

Cash, inventions and competition may sound like a making good time to some on EvCC’s campus. Make those inventions sustainable, now there’s a challenge available to students, staff, faculty and alumni of the school.

On March 3, EvCC helped the NW Innovation Resource Center kick off their second annual NW Washington Sustainability Challenge. Jim Hanna, Starbucks Coffee’s Director of Environmental Affairs, was the keynote speaker at the event held in Henry M. Jackson center.

Molly Beeman, EvCC’s Resource Conservation Manager, held the presentation while EvCC’s President David Beyer introduced Hanna, who has been with Starbucks since 2005.

Hanna’s presentation, ‘Business Driver’s for Sustainability’, focused on topics such as Starbucks carbon footprint, where 75% comes from store operations and the other 25% from roasting operations, refrigerants, aircraft and nitrous oxide.

Hanna asked the audience, “Where (Starbucks’) nitrous emissions come from?” The answer is whipped cream, which makes more nitrous oxide “than all of our roasting plants combined,” said Hanna. “Think about that the next time you have whipped cream on your drink.”

EvCC freshman Student Ambassador Joseph Strazl attended the event and said, “sustainability is by no means my specialty, but I’d say I’m interested.” He came to the event because “it was interesting today to have a speaker from Starbucks,” and “to see their perspective.”

Competitors in the NW Washington Sustainability Challenge were also in the audience, one being Kobin Nuss, a sophomore at Edmonds Community College. “The opportunity arose and I was really excited about it,” said Nuss of the competition.

The competition will be held on May 8 in Bellingham, with a final venue to be announced on a later date.

Students, faculty, staff and alumni from EvCC and seven other colleges in Washington may participate.

Ideas submitted to the competition should be “products that will create positive sustainability impact and show high potential for commercialization,” according to the website.

The challenge has two types of teams, student and business, and each team must have at least three members. If someone is interested in participating but needs teammates, the NWIRC is willing to match people up.

Awards for winners of the competition include cash prizes and business support from the NWIRC.

Diane Kamionka, executive director of the NWIC, said that the organization works with five NW counties of Washington, and finds a way to help make things possible for inventors and entrepreneurs.


Competitors must register by April 1 online at nwsustainabilitychallenge.com, where entry is free of charge.