Former Mayor Daley leads new company

WGN-TV

Aug. 1, 2013

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Former mayor Richard Daley is leading a new company designed to help cities save money on investments in infrastructure.

It’s called “The Sustainability Exchange.” His investment firm, “Tur Partners,” launched the business. T.S.E. will give cities that participate a free analysis of their assets and potential projects, and will alert vendors when a city is planning a request for a proposal.

Daley says the company is looking at energy efficiency, water treatment, waste management, and transportation.

Five cities have already signed up to join.

Original article can be found online

New collective targets would-be green cities

Government Technology

Aug. 1, 2013

The Sustainability Exchange is offering services to mayors around the country who want an edge on their environmental projects.

Cities at a loss on how to tackle elements of an environmental project may have a new resource to tap into — The Sustainability Exchange (TSE).

TSE launched on June 24 and is led by former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and Lori Healey, his former chief of staff. The organization’s goal is to provide solutions to many of the problems that cities face when trying to deploy new sustainability projects involving waste, energy, water or transportation.

The Exchange helps cities become more efficient with environmental tasks by enabling collaboration between them, establishing best practices and connecting municipal leaders with technical, legal and financial experts. Cities can take part in TSE at no initial cost and seek advice on projects in the areas of energy efficiency, water and wastewater treatment, waste management and public transportation.

Healey said procurement regulations that cities have in place are ornery and while bidding on commodities such as paper towels or pencils is fairly easy, it’s not as straightforward for environmental technology purchases.

For example, if a city needed to purchase LED bulbs for its streetlights, Healey said a city would put out an RFP to attract a consultant for the project, because most cities don’t have an LED expert.  That selection process could take months, followed by a study on the project that could last more than a year. Once recommendations from the study are received, it could take another couple of years to put together a second RFP and find an LED vendor that could take on the contract.

“So you’re basically three to four years down the trail from the time you decided you wanted to switch out your LED streetlights and you’re eight technologies behind by that point,” Healey said.

The procurement process for sustainability projects also can be problematic for businesses. Healey said there are only a few large companies with the resources to dedicate to large municipal contracts because of how long and time-consuming the process is. That can lead to smaller companies sometimes getting left out and cities having fewer options to choose from.

TSE is in discussions with more than 50 cities in 12 states about joining the partnership, Healey said. According to TSE’s website, the mayors from New Orleans, Phoenix and other cities have expressed their support for the organization’s ideals.

Healey added that two cities near Boston are looking at solutions for anaerobic digestion in their waste management plants, but don’t know where to start. TSE may be able to help those cities work together.

TSE is developing a platform that should assist municipalities get to market faster on sustainable projects. Over time, Healey believes TSE will develop a suite of solutions where a mayor can come to the organization with an idea and use the group’s industry connections to get the project done faster and more efficiently.

“The great thing about our platform is it does not cost cities anything until the time there’s a financeable project or transaction they want to do, in which some of the savings the city realized … goes back into the exchange to help finance the best practices library we want to bring to a national level,” Healey said.

Original article can be found online

Meet and greet the mayor

The Austin Chronicle

July 8, 2013

Although City Council is informally on hiatus until August – and several members annually spend at least a couple of weeks in cooler climes – the work goes on in steamy Austin. This week features a Council “meet and greet” with former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley: Tuesday, Council Chambers, 1pm

Daley is now executive chairman of Tur Partners LLC, whose cryptic name, according to its web site, designates “an investment and advisory firm that partners with global businesses to drive expansion into new and existing markets.” But Tur apparently has its fingers in a number of municipal pies, and elsewhere is described as sometimes engaged in consulting on “sustainable development.” That’s its current task in Austin, where it was hired to help the Parks and Recreation Department develop a “long-term plan” for the city’s Downtown parks. Daley is in town to mark the release of the first fruit of that project, a report titled “Town Lake Metropolitan Park Redevelopment Study.”

According to the report, the “Auditorium Shores Improvements Project will be led by PARD, actively coordinated with the Austin Parks Foundation and C3 Presents, the organizer of the Austin City Limits Festival, and also outside consultants. … APF is current working with advisory firm Tur Partners LLC, in close connection with PARD and the City of Austin, on a comprehensive analysis of city plans, policies and initiatives relating to Austin’s Public Park System, with a particular focus on long-term redevelopment plans for Town Lake Metropolitan Park.”

The project, which begin in late 2012, is intended to help create “a long-term vision and execution plan for developing Town Lake Metropolitan Park.” The current report provides “preliminary findings”; the final report, to be issued in April of 2014, “is intended to act as a suggested road map for the city of Austin in developing Town Lake Metropolitan Park into a best-in-class facility that serves as a parks centerpiece for the city as a whole.”

NewsDesk expects we’ll learn more this week during the meet-and-greet, and we’ll have more to say about the report in due course. But it already raises one question: Shouldn’t the former Democratic Mayor of Chicago know that the name of that body of water in the middle of Downtown Austin is “Lady Bird Lake”?

Original article can be found online

Updated article can also be found online

Sustainability Exchange for cities to collaborate on best practices

Energy Manager Today

July 11, 2013

Sustainability Exchange logo

Former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has launched The Sustainability Exchange, a partnership for municipalities to efficiently study, design and implement clean and sustainable technology projects in collaboration with technical, legal and financial experts. Mayors of cities like New Orleans and Phoenix have announced their support for the initiative.

Daley’s idea was that since cities across the country face the same challenges, they need not face it alone. The exchange aims to unite cities in an innovative partnership for the adoption of best practices in sustainability, and the delivery of measurable, data-driven results.

He launched it in June with his investment firm Tur Partners and has begun discussions with several cities on signing up.

It will focus on four areas – energy efficiency, water and wastewater treatment, waste management, and public transportation. By sharing information among participating cities and leveraging guidance from academic institutions, think tanks and technology experts, the exchange plans to help cities identify and implement best practices in these areas.

After analyzing the data and operations for different cities, potential projects will be identified. The exchange will help with local procurement processes by providing cities better information for adopting solutions, and enabling cities to tell vendors what they need, rather than asking vendors what they can provide.

It will help raise awareness among potential project vendors and financing partners across the nation, which it says will increase competition among technology and service providers and financial institutions, creating a more efficient, less expensive procurement process.

Cities that invest in smart-grid technology and infrastructure, called “connected cities,” experience an annual GDP growth rate that is 0.7 percent higher, an unemployment rate that is a full percentage point lower, and office occupancy rates 2.5 percent higher than less advanced cities, according to a 2012 study by Jones Lang LaSalle.

The financial services firm says this correlation between smart grid applications and cities’ economic performance underlines the strong relationships between public sector infrastructure custodians and power suppliers.

Original article can be found online

Daley, investment firm offer cities advice on cost-savings upgrades

The Chicago Tribune

July 5, 2013

Las Vegas Begins Replacing 6600 Streetlights With LED Fixtures

Former Mayor Richard M. Daley and his investment firm Tur Partners have started another company, The Sustainability Exchange, to advise cities on how best to squeeze savings out of infrastructure retrofits and upgrades.

Daley and Tur’s chief executive, Lori Healey, have organized the exchange as a social enterprise known as an L3C, or a low-profit, limited liability company. It operates much like an LLC but adds one key advantage: Grant-making nonprofits can invest rather easily. (Typically private foundations only make grants to other charities.)

Daley and Healey launched the company last week and have yet to ink their first client. But Healey and Tur principal Michael Reinhold, the exchange’s president and chief operating officer, said they are in discussions with several cities, and they explained the problem they want to solve.

“We went to a medium-sized city who prides themselves as doing very well in sustainability,” Healey said. “And they were on their third consultant who was evaluating what type of system they should use for converting their streetlights to LEDs,” lights that use less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. Healey added: “And one of the mayors we talked to didn’t know which consultant to believe because he felt they were always trying to sell him something from their own stable of (LED) products.”

Reinhold added that in Massachusetts the streetlights are owned by utilities, further complicating upgrades.

“So the first thing a city has to do is buy back the streetlights from the utilities,” he said. “They have to model out what the expected costs of that are, go through a whole analysis, and once they do that, they have to decide what kind (of LED) to use, what other features to put on it, what hours the lights will stay on, and so on and so forth.”

The exchange would help cities make all of those decisions and solicit bids from vendors to do the job — at no charge. The exchange would make money by taking a cut of the cost-savings from the new bulbs over several years.

“Why we think this makes sense — not necessarily for the Chicagos, New Yorks and LAs, but for smaller cities — is that by joining together on these projects they can drive down individual costs,” Healey said. “Financing becomes cheaper by bundling things together, and you get much bigger interest from bigger sources of capital.”

Daley’s name and network are opening doors to city officials and experts. In addition to LED lighting, Reinhold said, he envisions the exchange consulting on retrofits for government buildings; fleet conversions to electric and hybrid vehicles; anaerobic digesters, which convert waste to energy; upgrades to wastewater treatment facilities; and recycling programs.

Cities nationwide are moving to cut costs through more energy-efficient operations — and have succeeded to varying degrees, depending on political will, budget considerations, and staff interest and expertise. New York, for instance, is moving to require composting of food scraps. And while Chicago has a plethora of green roofs, it struggled for years to expand recycling citywide.

On the business end, small, venture-backed technology companies lack the lobbyists needed to persuade city officials to adopt new technologies, and they don’t have the money to wait out long procurement decisions.

“So much money is stuck in clean tech (startups), and venture capital firms can’t get it out,” Healey said. “You know why? Because they can’t get the technology adopted at the municipal level.”

Original article can be found online.

Chicago’s Richard Daley starts urban partnership

Crosslands Bulletin

July 1, 2013

Cities can share information and explore alternative financing for sustainable infrastructure projects.

Five city mayors, all Democrats, have come out in support of a new for-profit social enterprise aiming to finance sustainable technology projects.  The chair and leading force behind The Sustainability Exchange (TSE) is the former, six-term mayor of Chicago and Democratic party boss Richard M. Daley.Daley is affiliated with the Katten Muchin Rosenman law firm.  He is also a senior advisor to JP Morgan Chase where he will be chairing a joint project with the Brookings Institution called the Global Cities Initiative.  Daley is executive chairman of Tur Partners, the investment and advisory firm where TSE’s Vice Chairman Lori Healey is CEO.  Both TSE’s COO and vice president are former employees at Tur.Helping to launching TSE are mayors of New Orleans, Phoenix, Parma, Ohio, Newton, Massachusetts, and South Bend, Indiana.  TSE will focus on four areas: energy efficiency, water and wastewater treatment, waste management, and public transportation.  It is a designated low-profit limited liability company, or L3C.  The structure allows foundations and other socially responsible and impact investors to support TSE’s operations though debt and equity investments, as well as grants.“The L3C is the natural legal platform for TSE.  It preserves the financial advantages and governance flexibility of the traditional limited liability company while placing social mission ahead of profits,” say Marc Lane, the author of the L3C law in Illinois.

There are 850 L3Cs according to interSector Partners, an L3C consulting firm.

For information contact TSE, 900 North Michigan, Suite 1730, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.  Tel: +1 312 768 4795; Fax: +1 312 212 3001; E-mail:info@TSEcities.com.

Original article can be found online

Mayors Across the Country Announce Support for New Sustainability Initiative – The Sustainability Exchange

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 24, 2013 

Media Contact: Ashleigh Wayland

Ashleigh.Wayland@resoluteconsulting.com

O: 312-768-4764 / M: 703-582-2231

Enabling partnership provides the ability to efficiently study, design and implement comprehensive clean and sustainable technology projects

LAS VEGAS – Today, Mayor Greg Stanton (Phoenix, Ariz.), Mayor Mitch Landrieu (New Orleans, La.), Mayor Setti Warren (Newton, Mass.), Mayor Tim DeGeeter (Parma, Ohio) and Mayor Pete Buttigieg (South Bend, Ind.) announced their support for and their community’s potential relationship with The Sustainability Exchange (TSE). TSE is an innovative new partnership that enables municipalities to efficiently study, design and implement clean and sustainable technology projects in collaboration with technical, legal and financial experts.

Developed under the leadership of former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, and informed by discussions with mayors nationwide, TSE unites cities in an innovative partnership for the adoption of best practices in sustainability and the delivery of measureable, data-driven results.

“Healthy cities require a partnership between government, the business community, and a vibrant non-profit sector. Cities around the world share similar challenges. Making our infrastructure more efficient and reliable, reducing operating costs and protecting our environment are goals we all share. Cities should not have to face that challenge alone. TSE is a resource that brings these groups together and helps cities with sustainability at every stage. By working together, cities are more effective,” said former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, chairman of The Sustainability Exchange.

TSE is built to help municipal governments solve a daunting challenge: developing a more sustainable, modern infrastructure in a difficult budgetary and political environment. As many cities struggle with dedicating the time, expertise and resources necessary to evaluate and implement cutting-edge solutions, TSE will provide a dedicated bridge between complex private sector technological innovation and public sector needs.

“Cities are continually facing challenges in finding solutions to improve sustainability and efficiency,” Mayor Greg Stanton said. “As a Mayor who is deeply concerned about long-term sustainability I am always looking for ways to address Phoenix’s needs. The Sustainability Exchange is an exciting possibility which could offer a new approach. This is why I have instructed my Senior Policy Advisor for Sustainability to lead further discussions with The Sustainability Exchange. We are always searching for ways to improve Phoenix’s quality of life, and I am enthusiastic about the possibilities a collaboration with The Sustainability Exchange has to offer.

TSE will focus on four areas: energy efficiency, water and wastewater treatment, waste management, and public transportation. By sharing information among participating cities and leveraging guidance from academic institutions, think tanks and technology experts, TSE will help cities identify and implement best practices in these areas.

“The City of New Orleans is always working with a singular focus; to facilitate, link and leverage all available resources in order to increase efficiency and address our most pressing needs,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “I am excited about The Sustainability Exchange and their commitment to engage mayors and cities in creating sustainable, creative solutions. This type of collaboration has great potential to provide innovative, intriguing and worthwhile opportunities for municipalities big and small.”

TSE’s internal structure will reflect its innovative approach to delivering sustainable solutions and its mission. TSE is a designated low-profit limited liability company, or L3C. An L3C combines aspects of traditional businesses with the mission-oriented, educational and social improvement purposes of TSE.

The structure allows foundations and other socially responsible and impact investors to support TSE’s operations though debt and equity investments, as well as grants. Through the L3C, TSE is able to dedicate resources, such as in-depth data analysis and best practices review, to cities at no initial cost and share information with cities nationwide.

“The L3C is the natural legal platform for TSE. It preserves the financial advantages and governance flexibility of the traditional limited liability company while placing social mission ahead of profits,” said Marc J. Lane, author of Illinois’ L3C law.

After analyzing cities’ data and operations, potential projects are identified. TSE will enhance local procurement processes by providing cities better information for adopting solutions – allowing cities to tell vendors what they need, rather than asking vendors what they can provide. TSE will help raise awareness among potential project vendors and financing partners across the nation, boosting competition among technology and service providers and financial institutions and creating a more efficient, less costly procurement process.

“It’s fitting that during Sustainability Month that we’d take another step in advancing our goal of making Newton a leader in environmental sustainability. I am proud to join with former Chicago Mayor Richard

M. Daley and the current mayors of a select group of cities including Phoenix, New Orleans, Parma and South Bend in launching The Sustainability Exchange (TSE). We’re proud of Newton’s record as a sustainability leader. But there’s always more we could be doing. TSE offers municipalities the opportunity to invest in proven clean and sustainable technologies without the considerable time and resources now necessary to get a project off the ground. As a mayor, I’m thrilled to connect with my colleagues across the country and work together to solve our shared sustainability challenges,” said Newton Mayor Setti Warren.

TSE’s Best Practice Partners will ensure that any project proposed by TSE reflects feedback of the best and brightest minds and most respected institutions in sustainability. TSE’s Independent Review Board will provide an additional layer of resources for participating cities. Comprised of experts in the fields of urban planning, sustainable infrastructure, emerging technology, public service and project finance, the Independent Review Board will review all recommendations to provide objective analysis, ensure projections are data-driven, and outline strict accountability.

“Cities across the country are trying to provide better services while saving taxpayer dollars. To meet that challenge, municipalities must find ways to operate more efficiently and effectively to improve the quality of life for residents. The Sustainability Exchange offers intriguing possibilities in meeting that challenge by working with cities to find creative approaches toward increasing sustainability efforts while reducing long-term costs,” said Mayor Tim DeGeeter, Parma, Ohio.

TSE’s ultimate goal is the wider adoption of sustainable practices by America’s cities and towns.

“I’m excited to begin working with The Sustainability Exchange. South Bend has made tremendous strides in adopting more sustainable practices and policies, and TSE offers us ways to do more for less. By connecting us with private sector experts and greatly reducing the cost and time it takes to undertake projects, TSE can help keep South Bend on the cutting edge of municipal sustainability. South Bend is already the economic engine of northern Indiana. Through our collaboration with TSE, South Bend has the opportunity to connect with businesses and entrepreneurs from across America and throughout the world,” said Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

***MEDIA NOTE: Can coordinate direct conversations with Mayors from participating cities.

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About The Sustainability Exchange

The Sustainability Exchange (TSE) is a partnership that enables municipalities to efficiently study, design and implement clean and sustainable technology projects in collaboration with technical, legal and financial experts. By sharing information among participating cities and with guidance from academic institutions, think tanks and technology experts, TSE will help cities identify and implement best practices in energy efficiency, water, waste management, and transportation. TSE is a designated low-profit limited liability company, or L3C. An L3C combines aspects of traditional businesses with the mission-oriented, educational and social improvement purposes of TSE. Through the L3C, TSE is able to dedicate resources, such as in-depth data analysis and best practices review, to cities at no initial cost and share information with cities nationwide. TSE unites cities in innovative partnership for the adoption of best practices in sustainability and the delivery of measureable, data-driven results. TSE’s ultimate goal is giving every community in America the opportunity to invest in its own future by harnessing the benefits of proven clean and sustainable technologies. For more information visit, www.TSEcities.com.