The TreeZero News September 17-23, 2018

Photo: Fort Frederica, St. Simons, GA

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Interface unveils goal of becoming carbon negative by 2040 – The new aim will apply to Interface’s supply chain as well as its direct operations, with the company claiming that it will “innovate” its approach to emissions across its raw material sourcing, supply chains and direct operations in order to remove more carbon from the environment than it generates. The company notably unveiled of its first carbon-negative carpet tile prototype in 2017. Earlier this year, the firm announced that it would only offer carbon-neutral products as standard to buyers, after its entire product range achieved Carbon Neutral Floors certification.  https://bit.ly/2poIqcb

Video – How big is the energy efficiency resource? – Amory B Lovins – “Oil deposits and ore bodies are finite assemblages of atoms; mining and dispersion deplete their negentropy…but energy efficiency resources are infinitely expandable assemblages of ideas that deplete nothing but stupidity — a very abundant if not expanding resource.” https://bit.ly/2NXnQNX

Reaching for a Zero-Emission Goal – The numbers behind Costa Rica’s progress. https://nyti.ms/2MSdHh1

Shell and NREL Launch Cleantech Incubator: the new Shell GameChanger™ Accelerator Powered by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) (GCxN) will initially focus on technologies enabling the grid of the future through long-term energy storage and controls, leveraging the resources available through both Shell and NREL to help de-risk emerging technologies and accelerate their path to market.Upon successful application and review, companies selected for participation will be eligible to receive up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding in the form of technical support and validation from both NREL and Shell GameChanger™ Accelerator experts, with the opportunity for future follow-on funding and beta testing with a strategic program partner. http://bit.ly/2xx6DS1

Boston University says it will buy power from a South Dakota windfarm to offset its carbon emissions in Massachusetts. The school announced Tuesday it will buy wind power for 15 years starting in 2020 as part of a plan to reduce its carbon emissions to zero by 2040. Although the power will be used in the Midwest, the school will receive legal credits proving it bought renewable power. https://bit.ly/2OGUNLI

Alliant Energy adding more wind in Iowa as it moves toward eliminating coal by 2050 – Alliant will invest more than $2 billion on renewable energy sources, doubling its Iowa-based wind sites from 6 to 12. The new wind farms will be owned by the utility and funded by rate basing. The farms will connect to existing transmission lines. Alliant notes that the moves will enable the firm to exceed voluntary goals for carbon reduction laid out by the United Nations Paris Accords but economic issues are also guiding the policy. While the accord calls for reducing carbon 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, Alliant’s plans are expected to result in a 40 percent reduction by that time. https://bit.ly/2NrQx67

31 Percent Of U.S. Households Have Trouble Paying Energy Bills – Nearly a third of households in the United States have struggled to pay their energy bills, the Energy Information Administration said in a report released Wednesday. About one in five households had to reduce or forgo food, medicine and other necessities to pay an energy bill, according to the report. “Of the 25 million households that reported forgoing food and medicine to pay energy bills, 7 million faced that decision nearly every month,” the report stated.  https://n.pr/2QN5kGM

SEMINAR: A Virtual Energy Audit for Commercial Building Energy Savings – October 3 Noon to 1 Pacific – Seminar Abstract – Conventional energy audits typically require invasive, expensive, and time consuming methods. In contrast, a virtual energy audit that conducts a robust analysis without setting foot in the building would bring the industry significant value. Join via web: Meeting ID: 420377542 https://bit.ly/2PT5CdD

In U-turn, Exxon, Chevron to join industry climate initiative – Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Occidental Petroleum are joining a group of major international oil and gas companies in an initiative aimed at curbing carbon emissions in the sector, they said in a statement on Thursday.  The OGCI created a $1 billion fund to develop technologies to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the sector as the world aims to shift toward a low-carbon economy.  https://reut.rs/2NZdhtH

Toyota enters $82 million partnership to roll out hydrogen trucks in Los Angeles port – The updated model can go 300 miles between hydrogen refills, rather than 200 for the initial truck.  https://bit.ly/2NrqdZW

Arctic’s strongest sea ice breaks up for first time on record – The oldest and thickest sea ice in the Arctic has started to break up, opening waters north of Greenland that are normally frozen, even in summer. This phenomenon – which has never been recorded before – has occurred twice this year due to warm winds and a climate-change driven heatwave in the northern hemisphere.  https://bit.ly/2nRSGc6

Solar Energy Largely Unscathed by Hurricane Florence’s Wind and Rain – In North Carolina, the #2 solar state, Florence was the first extreme weather test for much of its renewable energy.   “What we’ve done this week just underscored what we’ve known for decades: generating assets are never the main vulnerability,” said Chris Burgess, projects director for the Rocky Mountain Institute, a research and consulting firm that specializes in clean energy issues. The most breakable parts are “the wires themselves, the overhead lines,” he said.”I know sometimes we think, ‘Oh it’s the wind, it’s the panels flying around.’ But we haven’t found that to be the case,” said Randy Wheeless, a spokesman for Duke, the largest electric utility in the state. “Our bigger worry usually is flooding.”  https://bit.ly/2pscIef

What If You Could Pick Your Renewable Power Source And Pay Less For It? – Imagine if you could buy your power directly from a renewable power plant of your choice and pay less for it than you currently pay for electricity from the grid. No longer would you need to install solar panels on your roof, or buy nonspecific green energy credits to get your renewable power. Instead, you could point to a specific wind farm or solar array and say conclusively that your power was purchased from that plant. It’s possible. And it’s happening right now in Texas, where a startup called RPD Energy connects local renewable plants with commercial customers. RPD has partnered with Intuit (maker of TurboTax, QuickBooks, ProConnect and Mint) and a retail energy provider—Just Energy—to make it happen. The program, launched earlier this summer, is called Purely Green. By leveraging Intuit’s larger, corporate wind power procurement, the program will allow tens of thousands of residential and small business customers to purchase power from a specific wind farm—EDP Renewables’ Lone Star II wind farm located near Abilene, TX—at prices that are generally below prevailing market rates.  https://bit.ly/2Dh618i

Global Fossil Fuel Demand Could Peak In Only Five Years, Studies Find – Fossil fuel demand could peak as early as 2023, according to a pair of studies released this month.  Overall, Carbon Tracker expects a 1 to 1.5 percent annual growth rate in global energy demand over the next decade, while the global deployment of wind and solar power increases by 15 to 20 percent each year. If that happens, “fossil fuel demand will peak between 2020 and 2027, most likely 2023,” according to the study.  https://bit.ly/2QN5kpW

Toyota to chip in for $270m renewables fund – The Mirai Renewable Energy Fund will aim to raise 30 billion yen ($267 million) in capital, with Toyota supplying 10 billion yen. Sparx will manage the fund from November and solicit other investors.The fund will target a variety of facilities, such as solar, wind, biomass and geothermal power plants.  https://s.nikkei.com/2NXDTv8

Reducing Embodied Carbon and Operational Emissions in Buildings – Microsoft announced it is the first large corporate user of a new tool to track the carbon emissions of raw building materials. Microsoft is piloting the tool, called the Embodied Carbon Calculator for Construction, or EC3, in the remodel of its 72-acre Seattle campus. The open-source EC3, which is running on Microsoft Azure, was developed by Skanska with the University of Washington Carbon Leadership Forum, Interface and C-Change Labs. https://bit.ly/2xq3JP8

 

RECYCLING

California passes law barring restaurants from automatically offering plastic straws– California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law (AB 1884) barring full-service restaurants throughout the state from providing plastic straws, unless a customer asks for one. The law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2019. Restaurants that violate the law will be given two warnings before being fined. Levied fines will be capped at $300 per year. https://bit.ly/2OJPBqi

Lord Deben: Businesses must avoid ‘knee-jerk’ plastic phase-outs – Specifically, Deben argued that sustainability professionals were likely to replace their company’s plastic packaging ranges with “potentially disastrous” alternatives due to a lack of clear policy guidance on the best solutions to the plastic problem. “Even the best of Governments is never properly joined up and always has to be dealt with in bits, which we tend to forget,” the former Environment Secretary said. “Without an integrated answer, people go rushing after what seems to be an easy solution. They think there is a silver bullet when, of course, it isn’t like that.” “It’s very easy to make knee-jerk decisions and to catch the headlines and, therefore, to decide to do things that simply don’t work. Plastic and packaging, on the whole, are there for a reason and have been an essential part of the overall change that we have seen in our lifestyles.” https://bit.ly/2MOR64Y

This Is the World’s First Flat Wine Bottle – Garçon Wines has developed a cool-looking flat wine bottle. The U.K. brand designed its wine bottles this way so they could easily slip through a letterbox slot; wine delivery is big thing in Britain, but problems like missed deliveries and smashed or stolen bottles persist.  “Using 100 percent post-consumer recycled [plastic] instead of glass significantly reduces shipping weight and cost, eliminates potential breakage in transit and offers a more eco-friendly packaging material solution than regular plastic or glass,” Dow wrote of the product. The brand is currently only available at a handful of retailers in the U.K. https://bit.ly/2ODu96w

Daily Digest: BioHiTech’s landfill alternative moving forward in New York – The Rensselaer City Planning Commission in New York recently gave unanimous approval for BioHiTech Global’s new $35 million High Efficiency Biological Treatment (HEBioT) facility. As described by the company, this process can convert about 40% of MSW into a solid recovered fuel for use in cement kilns, steel mills, power plants and “other industrial applications.” https://bit.ly/2xEdCI3

Research provides higher U.S. disposal estimates – A study published by the Journal of Industrial Ecology pulls from multiple data sources to calculate weights of different materials landfilled. It was conducted by Jon T. Powell and Marian R. Chertow, both from the Yale Center for Industrial Ecology. The researchers’ total 2015 landfill calculation, 230 million metric tons of municipal solid waste, is far larger than the EPA’s number for 2015: 124 million metric tons. For their study, the researchers used a new model to estimate disposal weights. According to their report, it triangulates measurements spanning 1,161 landfills and 15,169 solid waste samples collected and analyzed at 222 sites across the U.S.“The model provides major advances in the accuracy of estimates of just what types of waste are being created and where they end up,” said Reid Lifset, industrial ecology research scientist at Yale and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Industrial Ecology. In contrast, the EPA uses what’s called a materials flow methodology that relies on a mass balance approach. It relies on data gathered from industry associations, businesses and government agencies, supplemented by waste characterizations and research reports from governments, industry or the press. The researchers estimated total landfill costs at $10.7 billion, or about $47 a metric ton. They put a number to how much the lost paper, plastic and metal commodities may have been worth: $1.4 billion. And they estimated landfill methane emissions were 14 percent greater than the U.S. government’s estimate.  https://bit.ly/2NX6hNW

Global Waste to Grow by 70 Percent by 2050 Unless Urgent Action is Taken: World Bank Report —according to the World Bank’s new What a Waste 2.0: A Global Snapshot of Solid Waste Management to 2050 report. Driven by rapid urbanization and growing populations, global annual waste generation is expected to jump to 3.4 billion tonnes over the next 30 years, up from 2.01 billion tonnes in 2016, the report finds. https://bit.ly/2DrBl4e

A new textiles economy: Redesigning Fashion’s Future – This report outlines a vision for a new textiles economy based on the principles of a circular economy.   Globally, customers miss out on USD 460 billion of value each year by throwing away clothes that they could continue to wear. Less than 1% of material used to produce clothing is recycled into new clothing, representing a loss of more than USD 100 billion worth of materials each year. https://bit.ly/2PV9drR

Coffee cup recycling firm wins entrepreneurs’ award – Carbogenics uses an old technique called pyrolysis which involves heating such products to very high temperatures in the absence of oxygen. The cups can be broken down into gas and bio-oil which can be used to produce energy. It also leaves behind a carbon-rich solid, known as CreChar which can also be used as a fertiliser. https://bbc.in/2DkC5Iq

Wrangler Adopts the Denim Industry’s First ‘Dry-Dyeing’ Process – Mary Mazzoni – Wrangler confirmed an agreement to implement a new foam-dyeing process to give its jeans the same classic blue color without the water waste. The company will be the first to use the technology, which it says can eliminate 99 percent of the water typically used in the dyeing process. Researchers at Texas Tech University developed the new dyeing system thanks to early-stage funding from Wrangler and the Walmart Foundation.  https://bit.ly/2OI1MUJ

Two brothers want to revolutionize the food industry with maggots – The two brothers own a company in South Africa that gets flies to lay hundreds of millions of eggs on food waste every day. The larvae are then sold as animal feed. The Drews’ company, AgriProtein, says its maggot meals are an environmentally friendly alternative to fish meal, a widely used animal feed made with ground dried fish.  “We take waste and convert it into our three products — one of which is protein,” Jason Drew, the company’s CEO, told CNN. The others are an animal feed made using oil extracted from larvae, and a fertilizer made with a blend of larvae and garden compost.  Today, AgriProtein has fly factories in Cape Town and Durban. Each factory contains 8.4 billion flies, and takes in 276 tons of food waste every day. The company plans to roll out facilities in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the United States.  https://cnnmon.ie/2I8KsFG

Lagoons of Pig Waste Are Overflowing After Florence. Yes, That’s as Nasty as It Sounds – Because of the storm, at least 110 lagoons in the state have either released pig waste into the environment or are at imminent risk of doing so, according to data issued Wednesday by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. That tally more than tripled the Monday total, when the department’s count was 34. When a pig in a large-scale farm urinates or defecates, the waste falls through slatted floors into holding troughs below. Those troughs are periodically flushed into an earthen hole in the ground called a lagoon in a mixture of water, pig excrement and anaerobic bacteria. The bacteria digest the slurry and also give lagoons their bubble gum-pink coloration. North Carolina has 9.7 million pigs that produce 10 billion gallons of manure annually, mostly on large-scale farms and primarily in low-lying Sampson and Duplin counties. Both counties were affected by Florence. When storms like Florence hit, lagoons can release their waste into the environment through structural damage (for example, when rains erode the banks of a lagoon and cause breaches). They can also overflow from rainfall or be swept over by floodwaters.  https://nyti.ms/2D8h2c9

Most shoppers think supermarkets should do more to reduce food waste –  More than nine in 10 shoppers think supermarkets should play a larger role in reducing food waste, according to research commissioned by operational improvement specialists Newton. The YouGov survey of 4,000 consumers revealed that 92% of respondents felt that supermarkets can do more to combat food waste, with 69% of respondents citing the sale of imperfect fresh produce as the top method of preventing produce from being thrown away.  https://bit.ly/2xt417E

2018 G&S Business Communications Sense & Sustainability Study – Public perspectives on corporate social responsibility, environmental stewardship and institutional accountability.  After declining for several years, there is a considerable increase in the number of Americans who rely on news media for information about corporate social and environmental responsibility (49 percent in 2018; up from 43 percent in 2017, the five-year low). For the fourth consecutive year, the news media remains the top source, ahead of word-of-mouth (34 percent) and social media and blogs (33 percent). Significantly fewer Americans are staying uninformed (25 percent in 2018; down from 34 percent in 2017). There is a five-year peak among those who read sustainability reports (18 percent in 2018; up from earlier highs of 16 percent in both 2017 and 2014).   Conserving natural resources (57 percent), providing goods or services that are certified (53 percent), creating local jobs (52 percent) and supporting environmental or social causes (51 percent) are the top business attributes or activities that contribute to a company’s positive reputation for sustainability.  https://bit.ly/2OCBHpW

 

DEFORESTATION

Wildlife Works Elephant Protection Trust – In partnership with Wildlife Works, The Elephant Protection Trust raises funds to support the 100+ rangers who protect a vital area of 500,000 acres between Tsavo East and West National Parks called The Kasigau Wildlife Corridor in Kenya.. There are over 11,000 elephants and other endangered species in our eco system threatened by human-wildlife conflict.  The Kasigau Wildlife Corridor is located between Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Park and covers 200 square kilometers.The 14 group ranches that collectively make up this corridor provide an important habitat and dispersal area for wildlife between these two protected areas.There are approximately 11,000 elephants in the Tsavo ecosystem and roughly 2,000 of them rely on the corridor as part of their movements in search for food and water between the two national parks.The Kasigau Corridor is part of the protection area covered by Wildlife Works’ REDD + Project (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), which covers over 500,000 acres of dry land forest.  https://bit.ly/2IIVyjZ. Learn more about REDD+ and Wildlife Works at www.wildlifeworks.com

Greenpeace links forest destruction for palm oil to brands – Greenpeace says global consumer brands continue to buy palm oil from companies that are cutting down Indonesia’s rainforests despite repeated pledges to clean up their supply chains. The environmental group said in a report released Wednesday that 25 palm oil producing groups it has investigated destroyed more than 130,000 hectares of natural forest in Indonesia since 2015. It says that’s an area nearly twice the size of the island nation of Singapore. The report said all but one of those producers had supplied palm oil to consumer companies that are household names around the world in the past year. They include giants such as Nestle, PepsiCo, Unilever and Colgate-Palmolive.  https://bit.ly/2DhXORg

Rwanda Eyes Biogas to Help Curb Deforestation – In Rwanda, a small nation of about 12 million people, 82 percent of the population relies on charcoal or wood for cooking. “By promoting alternative cooking energy, the government of Rwanda hopes to halve the dependence on biomass,” or energy from plants and plant materials, “as the main source of cooking energy by 2024,” said Oreste Niyonsaba, manager of social energies at the Energy Development Corporation, the government agency leading efforts to promote alternative fuels. Much of sub-Saharan Africa relies on wood and charcoal, which is made by slow-burning trees in dirt-covered pits. The process has led to severe deforestation as growing populations boost the demand for cooking fuel.  https://nyti.ms/2NuDuRD

Mars aims to tackle “broken” cocoa model with new sustainability scheme – Under the new sustainability scheme – which will cost the company $1 billion over 10 years – all the cocoa it buys will be responsibly sourced by 2025, Mars said. This means the cocoa will fit the company’s internal criteria – including full traceability to ensure it doesn’t contribute to deforestation – and carry a stamp of approval from a third-party verifier. Mars had previously committed to buying 100 percent certified cocoa by 2020.  https://reut.rs/2pnrW3V

 

WATER STEWARDSHIP

The Coca-Cola Company Signs Ocean Plastics Charter at G7 Meeting – Recognizing the threat of marine plastic litter, The Coca-ColaCompany joined with government representatives and industry leaders from around the world to sign onto the Ocean Plastics Charter in Halifax.  Originally adopted by Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the UK and the EU at the 2018 G7 Summit, the Ocean Plastics Charter calls on governments, industry and the public to rethink their relationship with plastics. By advocating a lifecycle management approach to this valuable resource, the Ocean Plastics Charter aims to prevent waste and ensure plastics are designed to be recovered so they can be reused or recycled. https://bit.ly/2NxRkTh

 

SUSTAINABILITY

Wealthy U.S. Investors Slow to Adopt Sustainable Strategies – Most wealthy investors say that doing good for society and the environment are practices they live by, but only 39% globally are investing in sync with these values, according to survey results published early Wednesday by UBS. The real stunner in the UBS research: Just 12% of wealthy individuals in the U.S. have at least 1% or more of their portfolio assets in sustainable investments versus a majority of the wealthy surveyed in China (60%), Brazil (53%), and the United Arab Emirates (53%). For a copy of the survey: https://bit.ly/2xHOSP1 https://bit.ly/2xyg4Qc

How one beer company is ditching plastic six-pack rings – If you buy a six-pack of Carlsberg beer in a U.K. supermarket this week, it will no longer come with standard plastic six-pack rings. Instead, the cans will be held together with a new kind of glue. The company estimates that the switch will reduce plastic waste by more than 1,200 metric tons a year, or the equivalent of 60 million plastic bags. It can also help address the problems that the packaging causes when plastic rings end up in the ocean, potentially choking wildlife or breaking down into pieces of microplastic that can enter the food chain.  https://bit.ly/2NWtsrO

The Gates Foundation just released its Goalkeepers Report.  By one estimate, someone escapes from extreme poverty roughly every second.  To put it bluntly, decades of stunning progress in the fight against poverty and disease may be on the verge of stalling. This is because the poorest parts of the world are growing faster than everywhere else; more babies are being born in the places where it’s hardest to lead a healthy and productive life. If current trends continue, the number of poor people in the world will stop falling—and could even start to rise.  https://bit.ly/2PVx9eB

Is Tesla or Exxon More Sustainable? It Depends Whom You Ask – As investors back more companies based on social factors, questions arise about how to grade them.  The problem here isn’t the ESG ratings, but that they are used as though they were some sort of objective truth. In reality they are no more than a series of judgments by the scoring companies about what matters – and investors who blindly follow their scores are buying into those opinions, mostly without even knowing what they are.  The explanation comes down to what is measured, and how the measurement is affected by disclosure.  https://on.wsj.com/2MQCC4m

By 2050, Auburn will be climate neutral — or at least that’s the Office of Sustainability’s goal. Auburn University’s Office of Sustainability is making waves of green around campus as they lead the eco-friendly charge, and that’s a positive thing. Their quest is about more than just the environment; instead, their approach is an all-encompassing approach based on a four-point sustainability compass with nature, well-being, economy and society representing each direction. The office hosts initiatives and events on campus, usually raising awareness of various issues, but most of its efforts involve enabling other offices, departments, entities or groups on campus to succeed with their sustainable initiatives. This approach allows the campus’ green headquarters to have further reach and more favorable outcomes.  https://bit.ly/2Dq7Ik5

The TreeZero News September 10-16, 2018

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

The case for renewables has never been stronger, says Deloitte study – In the US, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory estimates that once the United States reaches Denmark’s penetration levels of 40–50 per cent renewables, some states will see the dawn of “energy too cheap to meter.”  https://bit.ly/2MuUMbD

US Voter Poll on Attitudes Related to Climate Change – 73.8% concerned about climate change; 63% think their state should put more emphasis on producing domestic energy from renewables sources such as wind and solar; 72% support their state government committing to 100% renewable energy by the year 2050; 80.8% support their state government requiring businesses and industry in their state to become more energy efficient.  https://bit.ly/2NKr7zT

Lyft: “We are now a fully carbon-neutral company”– “We’re now a fully carbon-neutral company,” says Sam Arons, Lyft’s director of sustainability. Lyft’s offsetting efforts, which total over 1 million metric tons of carbon, are equivalent, according to the company, to taking hundreds of thousands of cars off the road. https://bit.ly/2Mz0NnT

144 RE100 companies have made a commitment to go ‘100% renewable’. Read about the actions they are taking and why.  http://there100.org/companies

Starbucks brews a greener plan for 10,000 environmentally friendly stores – Among the goals of the program, is for the company to generate enough energy by solar and wind power to offset all the electricity needed to run the chain’s stores in U.S. and Canada. Working with environmental verification firm SCS Global Services, the World Wildlife Fund and other experts, https://usat.ly/2NgrHpV

How Accounting Can Save The Planet | Arnaud Brohé | TEDxColumbiaUniversity – In this talk, Arnuad Brohé, CEO of CO2logic, discusses the staggering benefits of carbon accounting in a global effort to save the planet from warming. https://bit.ly/2Mjz0rA

UN Secretary-General Urges Leadership to Face “Direct Existential Threat” of Climate Change – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that “we face a direct existential threat” as “climate change is moving faster than we are,” and the world risks crossing “the point of no return” on climate change, with disastrous consequences for people across the planet and the natural systems that sustain them.  https://bit.ly/2xbW1YL

These jackets are made from wool that fights climate change – Two-thirds of the wool produced by a flock of sheep at Bare Ranch, a large ranch in Northern California, is now going to The North Face. The ranch was the first to adopt a so-called “carbon farm plan” to change its practices to help reverse its own emissions, sequestering more carbon in the soil than it produces. Native plants and trees are being planted to restore the ecosystem around a stream. In total, all of the changes are estimated to help the ranch sequester more than 4,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, or the equivalent of taking 800 cars off the road .https://bit.ly/2NKwJKM

Restaurants Can Slash Energy Use With Electric Induction Technology – Testing confirmed a steam-based system with 18 to 23 pans consumed 10,500 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. But a replacement electric induction system consumed just 5,100 kilowatt-hours. Beyond avoided food waste, the induction warmers deliver an average of 65 percent electricity savings.  https://bit.ly/2Mlj5J0

Kaiser Permanente to become carbon neutral in 2020, signs PPA for 180MW of clean energy – As part of the deal, Kaiser Permanente has signed off on a power purchase agreement for 180MW of clean energy that will see the construction of numerous utility-scale PV and wind farms. These renewable-energy projects will be built and operated by NextEra Energy Resources. Most of the projects will be developed in Riverside County, California, while the wind farm will be developed across the border in Arizona. These projects are all expected to come online in 2020 and 2021.  https://bit.ly/2MmYPHj

CA Gov. says 100% clean electricity not enough, state must go carbon neutral –  California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill mandating that the state’s utilities move to 100-percent zero-emission electricity generation by 2045.  Brown also issued an executive order requiring the state to become carbon neutral by 2045, that is, mandating that the state remove as much greenhouse gas from the atmosphere as it puts into the atmosphere. https://bit.ly/2OaYcSz

Sony lays out plans for 100 percent renewable electricity use – Sony wants to use 100 percent renewable electricity for all its business sites by the year 2040.  https://cnb.cx/2MhI53P

Bloom Energy (NYSE:BE) will preview a new Server-based solution for generating clean electricity from waste biogas – https://bit.ly/2x4sAH3

 

RECYCLING

Coca-Cola CEO, James Robert B. Quincey, sees solutions in plastic recycling, sugar reduction – “The good news about plastic is it’s a completely solvable problem, especially PET, because PET is fully capable of being collected, recycled and turned back into bottles,” “By 2030, we want to make sure we recover a bottle or can for everyone we sell, and we want to be able to use as much as possible, recycle back into our own bottles and cans, no new technologies ultimately needed,” Mr. Quincey said.  https://bit.ly/2x7yPd1

 PepsiCo joins Nestlé and Danone’s bottle research alliance – PepsiCo has joined the NaturALL Bottle Alliance, a research consortium formed by Danone, Nestlé Waters and Origin Materials to accelerate the development of 100% renewable and sustainable bottles. The overall goal of the alliance is to create packaging solutions which significantly reduce the carbon impact of plastic beverage bottles, and the alliance is currently attempting to produce a PET bottle made purely from bio-based materials such as cardboard and sawdust. https://bit.ly/2wY8z4W

The new iPhone Xs and iPhone Xr will use recycled tin in their logic boards, preventing 10,000 tons of tin ore from being mined per year. The phones will also use 35% post-consumer recycled plastic in their speaker enclosures, and 32% bio-based plastic for the frame around the cover glass.  https://bit.ly/2xckXhE

Project probes recovered film market potential – The Plastics Industry Association recently released the results of Phase I of a project to find new end markets for mixed PE film. https://bit.ly/2x6YAev

‘REVERSE-ENGINEERING’ THE RECYCLING PROCESS: MONDI TO INTRODUCE 100% RECYCLABLE POUCH –  https://bit.ly/2MnyWqA

Industry insiders reject dual-stream switch – https://bit.ly/2OfFfy7

23 Cities and Regions Commit to Pathway Towards Zero Waste – Leaders from 23 cities and regions have signed C40’s ‘Advancing Towards Zero Waste Declaration.’ The Declaration commits signatories to reduce the amount of waste generated by each citizen by 15%, reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills and incineration by 50% and increase the diversion rate to 70% by 2030. https://bit.ly/2OpKcof

WasteNot App campaign launched on Indiegogo. WasteNot is a mobile app designed to help reduce food waste at home by tracking inventory and providing rewards for reducing individual and household food waste. WasteNot is hoping to raise more than $50,000 over the next 35 days to complete the app http://igg.me/at/WasteNotApp https://prn.to/2Mz6fa8

Waitrose steps up action to remove plastic bags – Bags for fruit and veg to be replaced by compostable versions and 5p bags to be axed.  https://bit.ly/2OpYV2o

Champions 12.3 is a coalition of executives from governments, businesses, international organizations, research institutions, farmer groups, and civil society dedicated to inspiring ambition, mobilizing action, and accelerating progress toward achieving SDG Target 12.3 by 2030. Executives preside over institutions that have the ability to impact food loss and waste reduction at scale and that are dedicated to meeting Target 12.3.  https://champions123.org/about/

 

DEFORESTATION

18 Foundations Pledge Nearly $500 Million to Support Forests, Rights, and Lands for Climate   https://bit.ly/2N4Ydv9

Join Dogwood Alliance for a screening of BURNED: Are Trees the New Coal? – followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Chris Hardee. The award-winning documentary film takes a hard look at the latest false solution to climate change: woody biomass. Wednesday, September 26th Midtown Art Cinema 931 Monroe Dr Atlanta, GA 30308 The doors open at 6:30pm. Screening at 7:00pm. https://bit.ly/2NLs9M3

Effects of the sustainable forestry initiative fiber sourcing standard on the average implementation rate of forestry best management practices in Georgia, United States – by Puneet Dwivedi – Our results suggest that the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard affects 80% or more of total forestland in Georgia. We also found that the average BMP implementation rate on harvested sites located within the sourcing radius (about 65 km) of certified mills is about 2% higher relative to harvested sites located outside the sourcing radius of such mills over time. Our results indicate that the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard is helping in ensuring sustainability of forestlands in Georgia, as forestry BMPs are an important indicator of sustainable forest management. https://bit.ly/2D4syp4

Walmart and Unilever made big news at this week’s Global Climate Action Summit. At the center of their commitments are critical actions in support of jurisdictional approaches, which encourage companies that source deforestation-related agricultural commodities to collaborate with local governments, communities, and producers in their sourcing region. https://bit.ly/2NdLfeD

A new map reveals the causes of forest loss worldwide – Of the roughly 3 million square kilometers of forest lost worldwide from 2001 to 2015, a new analysis suggests that 27 percent of that loss was permanent — the result of land being converted for industrial agriculture to meet global demand for products such as soy, timber, beef and palm oil. The other 73 percent of deforestation during that time was caused by activities where trees were intended to grow back, including sustainable forestry, subsistence farming and wildfires. https://bit.ly/2xjs8oD

As Colombia battles deforestation, other post-conflict regions show there’s hope for conservation  https://nbcnews.to/2wXXZeV

Apple is investing in a huge mangrove forest in Colombia – The coastal forests suck up a huge amount of carbon from the air. Protecting them and growing them could be a key to help stop climate change.    https://bit.ly/2Mwpb9E

Nestlé accelerates No Deforestation commitment by implementing 100% satellite monitoring coverage of its global palm oil supply chains –  https://bit.ly/2MBWQyG

Leading Global Investors Managing $6.4 Trillion Call on Companies to Eliminate Deforestation in South American Cattle Production https://bit.ly/2CYPHJb

 

WATER STEWARDSHIP

Traditional top loaders use a lot of water during the wash and rinse cycles — 20 gallons or more per load. More importantly, HomeAdvisor’s smart home strategist Dan DiClerico points out, “they don’t do a great job extracting that water during the spin cycle, so your clothes spend more time in the dryer, the most energy-intensive phase of the laundry process.” High-efficiency, front-load washing machines use less water to get clothes clean—as little as 7 gallons per load. Plus their fast-spinning drums are better at extracting water, which shortens your drying time. “Replacing a 10-year-old top-loader with a new front-loader could save you upward of $200 a year,” says DiClerico. https://bit.ly/2D0m8Hj

 

SUSTAINABILITY

Dow Jones Sustainability Index 2018 Roster Announced – https://bit.ly/2cktPd3

DWS, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank AG, launched the first money market fund in the United States, the DWS ESG Liquidity Fund, that utilizes environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria to select its holdings.  https://bit.ly/2Qq8UXd

Big Law Donates $15 Million to Global Environmental Pro Bono Effort – Seven firms—Arnold & Porter Kaye ScholerCooleyDentonsHolland & KnightLatham & WatkinsMorrison & Foerster and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati—said they would contribute $2 million apiece by 2020. Two others, Hogan Lovells and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, will contribute $500,000 each. https://bit.ly/2xdbdoi

H&M has launched a new childrenswear collection made entirely of sustainable materials. The collaboration includes everything from cosy sweatshirts and soft leggings, to fun hooded dresses made from organic cotton. The best bit it is that 10 percent from the sale of each item will be donated towards WWF’s conservation work.  https://ind.pn/2p7H1GC

Commodity Mapping Tool – The Sustainability Consortium (TSC’s) Commodity Mapping Tool is designed to help members visualize and communicate the risks present in their product supply chains.  https://bit.ly/2NJZN56

The TreeZero News September 3-9, 2018

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Curbing carbon emissions could boost the economy way more than doing nothing – In a more than 200-page report released Wednesday, the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate projected that a set of policies aimed at combating global warming could yield $26 trillion in economic gains through 2030 if governments and businesses get busy enacting them in the next two to three years.  https://cnnmon.ie/2CCJlz7

What Is Energy Star? –  It is a voluntary program the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) started to help both individuals and businesses save money by using less energy throughout their homes. An actual Energy Star rating can appear on anything from televisions to windows — as long as it meets or exceeds the minimum federal efficiency standard. That standard varies depending on the specifics of the device. Refrigerators need to be at least 15 percent more efficient than the minimum federal standard. Televisions need to consume three watts or less when switched off, while non-energy star TVs consume nearly twice that. Even upgrading your light bulbs to CFL or LED bulbs can help make your home a little bit more energy star-friendly — these light bulbs use two-thirds less energy than standard incandescent bulbs.  https://bit.ly/2oQLPAi

What is Old Is New – Norsepower Oy Ltd., together with project partners Maersk Tankers, Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) and Shell Shipping & Maritime announced that the Maersk Pelican – an oil tanker – has been retrofitted with a pair of Norsepower’s 30 foot high rotor sails providing auxiliary wind propulsion for the vessel. The rotor sails are expected to harness sufficient wind power to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by up to 10 percent, according to the joint press release.  https://bit.ly/2oDctwr

A survey of UK attitudes towards climate change and its impacts by the charity ClientEarth – More than three in five feel the government is not doing enough in preparing for and adapting to climate impacts; Seven in ten believe fossil fuel companies should help pay for damage caused by extreme weather events; Three fifths would be interested in a pension fund or financial institution that considers climate change impacts of the companies it invests in; Two thirds thought investing in fossil fuel companies is a risky strategy for the long term; A majority of consumers would like to install both solar panels and a home energy storage device for their homes, if greater assistance was available.  https://bit.ly/2MORVyQ

The Bugs Are Coming, and They’ll Want More of Our Food – Worldwide, insect pests consume up to 20 percent of the plants that humans grow for food, and that amount will increase as global warming makes bugs hungrier, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science. The amount of wheat, corn, and rice lost to insects will increase by 10 to 25 percent, the study says. Temperate agricultural regions, like those in the United States and Western Europe, would be particularly hard hit. https://nyti.ms/2wyzu7b

General Motors has developed a relationship with EV charger builders Delta Americas to build Extreme Fast Charger stations with the capability to add 180 miles of range in just 10 minutes. https://bit.ly/2PYQqMZ

The European Commission has announced it will end punitive tariffs on solar panels imported from China, five years after they were put into place. The Commission announced on Friday it will end those tariffs, from today. “The trade measures have made solar much more expensive than necessary in Europe, by removing them, solar will now be cheapest form of electricity in many E.U. countries.  https://bit.ly/2Q1HMxh

UC sets higher standards, greater goals for sustainability – The University of California will aim for 100 percent reliance on clean electricity supplies across its campuses and medical centers by 2025.  https://bit.ly/2ClScFh

Nanoparticles for Improving Smart-Window Energy Efficiency – U.S. buildings leak an estimated 30 percent of their energy through inefficient windows, costing consumers an estimated $42 billion annually. But that could begin to change if efforts by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory are successful in commercializing a patented new process for synthesizing vanadium dioxide nanoparticles that makes manufacturing energy-efficient ​“smart windows” economical. The conventional windows must reach 154 degrees Fahrenheit before they begin to block infrared heat. Windows containing vanadium dioxide nanoparticles that include tungsten achieve this critical transition temperature at 77 degrees Fahrenheit.  https://bit.ly/2wTNIQc

Two million risk hunger after drought in Central America – Poor harvests caused by drought in parts of Central America could leave more than two million people hungry, the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday, warning climate change was creating drier conditions in the region. https://bit.ly/2QhbY7J

Greenhouse gases aren’t just warming the planet. They’re also acidifying our oceans – Since the first coal-burning fires of the Industrial Age, about 30% of the atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by humans has been absorbed by our surging seas. When carbon dioxide combines with seawater, it undergoes a series of chemical reactions that increase the acidity of the water. https://lat.ms/2NvzSxL

RST Cleantech to debut its automated solar panel cleaning system for the US at SPI Studies have demonstrated that dust accumulation, bird droppings, and other pollutants can reduce the output of solar panels by up to 35%. Current methods of cleaning and maintenance are often inefficient and labor-intensive. Some may lead to voiding the solar panel manufacturer’s warranty. At Solar Power International this year, RST Cleantech says it is introducing a new method of cleaning solar arrays in the U.S. that will be low-cost, fully automated, low-maintenance, highly efficient and fully compliant with solar module warranties. https://bit.ly/2MfToJR

A solar-paneled German car aims to make your daily commute free – A car that runs on sunshine is in the works from German startup Sono Motors. The company is testing what it says will be the first affordable electric car with a battery that gets an added boost from sunlight, acting as a sort of self-charging power pack. The Sion electric vehicle is the brainchild of Laurin Hahn and Jona Christians, who together with Navina Pernsteiner founded Sono Motors in 2016. The car, which will cost €16,000 ($18,300), plus €4,000 for the battery, is scheduled to hit the streets in 2019. It features a lichen air-purifying system, and is covered with 330 integrated solar cells on its roof, sides, and rear. It promises a range of 250 kilometers (155 miles) on a fully-charged battery, and claims the solar panels will give it an added boost of up to 30 km.  https://bit.ly/2wV5ofi

The world’s largest operational offshore wind farm in the UK has been officially opened in Cumbria. The 659-megawatt (MW) Walney Extension project takes over the top spot from the London Array. Walney Extension’s 87 turbines are capable of generating enough green energy to power almost 600,000 UK homes. Covering an area of 145km2 in the Irish Sea, the project becomes Danish company Ørsted’s 11th operational offshore wind farm in the UK. https://bit.ly/2NZq6B6

New York Announces $15 Million For Clean Energy Workforce Programs – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, D-N.Y., has announced $15 million in support of two initiatives that will promote clean energy workforce development and training programs on State University of New York (SUNY) campuses. Nearly $6 million was awarded to SUNY campuses to train more workers in the clean energy sector. In addition, a request for proposals (RFP) was made available to all SUNY campuses for grants totaling $9 million to provide apprenticeships, internships, and educational programs and support through industry partnerships across the state. These initiatives are part of Climate Jobs NY, a component of the Clean Climate Careers initiative.  https://bit.ly/2Q4ddXL

 

WATER STEWARDSHIP

The World Bank to launch world’s first sustainable water bond – aimed at advancing water and ocean stewardship and has priced the first bond at SEK1bn (£85m).  The seven-year bond, announced on Friday (31 August), is the first in a new series of Sustainable Development Bonds that aim to raise at least $3bn for projects that improve sanitation, water access and marine protection efforts.  The series of bonds form part of The World Bank’s ongoing efforts to engage investors with the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Specifically, they have been created to encourage investment in achieving the aims of SDG6, clean water and sanitation, and SDG14, life below water. https://bit.ly/2NdYF9A

Pani, a smart-home IoT company building consumer products that help people understand their water usage, incentive water conservation and reduce water bills, has raised $1M in seed round financing. Pani’s new capital will fund hiring, product development, and strategic initiatives with key go-to-market partners.  https://bit.ly/2N0tgIs

ASEAN banks need to better manage climate risk to ensure region’s food and water security – The report finds that ASEAN banks are not disclosing how they manage climate risks in line with the recommendations of the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Of the 34 banks assessed, only four disclosed that senior management has oversight of climate change risks and opportunities, a key recommendation of the TCFD. Meanwhile, no banks disclosed whether they review their portfolio exposure to climate risks nor disclosed their portfolio alignment with the Paris Agreement or the SDGs.  https://bit.ly/2NARzMF

A 28-year-old MIT graduate has created a leak-detecting robot that could eliminate some of the 2 trillion gallons of wasted drinking water annually – You Wu, MIT graduate has developed a robot to find leaks in water pipes. As the robot moves with the water through a pipe, its “hands” touch the pipe and feel the suction forces caused by leaks, Wu told Business Insider. The robot is designed to inspect pipes without interrupting the water service, and it can be put into pipes in hydrants and in three-way junctions.  “My eventual goal is to put our robotic tools into the hands of field technicians in every single city around the world, so that every single city in the world can have less water loss due to leaks and support more population growth,” Wu said.  https://read.bi/2NA2m9S

Atlanta’s ‘Riverwalk’ along the Chattahoochee gets major boost Invest Atlanta, at its meeting on Aug. 29, voted to approve a pivotal land swap between the city and the development group of Chattahoochee Trails LLC and Kovach Development.  In the swap, Atlanta will receive 22 acres while the developers will get about 8 acres. That will give the city the ability to build nearly one mile of trails along a 200-foot buffer along the Chattahoochee River and a 75-foot buffer along a portion of Proctor Creek. https://bit.ly/2wCGOiQ

Coca-Cola Water Stewardship – Projects implemented by the end of 2017 are replenishing an estimated 248 billion liters per year through community and watershed projects globally. You can learn more about some of these projects through our Water Map. In 2004, we were using 2.7 liters of water to make 1 liter of product. At the end of 2017, we were using 1.92 liters of water to make 1 liter of product, with the goal to reduce it to 1.7 liters of water by 2020.  https://bit.ly/2NMsknp

 

DEFORESTATION

Deforestation in South America causes extinction of 8 bird species – The Spix’s Macaw is officially extinct. The macaw has been listed among eight bird species that have gone extinct in South America in the last decade in a new study conducted by BirdLife International. Stuart Butchart, a scientist who lead the BirdLife International study, said that the extinctions in South America indicates a rise in extinction events on large continents that are “driven by habitat loss from unsustainable agriculture, drainage and logging.”  https://bit.ly/2MhwH8a

California sets stage for global forest protection through state’s cap-and-trade program – A draft standard proposed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) sets out comprehensive requirements for credits from large-scale reductions in emissions from tropical deforestation to be considered for inclusion in California’s cap-and-trade program. https://bit.ly/2wYx4Py

 

RECYCLING

Google Launches Interactive Site to Fight Food Waste – Google has introduced “Your Plan, Your Planet”—an interactive web app intended to help people understand the impact of their waste.  For its app, which can be found at g.co/yourplanyourplanet, Google partnered with the California Academy of Sciences to present information on three common types of waste: food, water, and electricity. https://bit.ly/2CwFHXG

US recycled pulp mill purchased by paper giant – Nine Dragons announced Aug. 30 that it will purchase a Fairmont, W.Va. recycled paper mill from Resolute Forest Products. The mill produces air-dried recycled pulp and has a capacity of 240,000 short tons per year. The product from the Fairmont mill is a bleached pulp, said Brian Boland, vice president of government affairs and corporate initiatives for ND Paper, Nine Dragons’ U.S. subsidiary. Feedstock is sourced from sorted office paper, newsprint and other grades, and some of the material comes from recycling programs in the region. “The end uses into which the pulp is sold are anything from printing and writing papers to tissue products,” Boland said.Financial filings show that the Fairmont mill produced about 152,000 short tons of pulp in 2017, meaning it was running at 63 percent utilization. Boland noted that Nine Dragons is looking to ramp up production, although he noted it’s too early to announce any specific plans on that front.

“The mill has a lot of potential,” he said.  https://bit.ly/2wVN6un

Food Recovery Network is the largest student movement against food waste and hunger in America.  Today, we’re the largest student movement against food waste and hunger and have recovered and donated more than 2 million pounds of food that otherwise would have gone to waste. That’s more than 1.8 million meals that’s gone to those in need.  https://www.foodrecoverynetwork.org/aboutus/

North Texas Retiree ‘Can’t Stand to See’ Food Wasted After Cowboys Games, Delivers to Mission Arlington – 90 year-old Clarence Fink has collected stadium food donations for 20 years.  https://bit.ly/2oRdMrN

New pet food packaging initiative utilizes sustainable sugarcane – Only Natural Pet is integrating at least 30% bioplastic packaging material into every bag of its recently launched line of Mindful Meals dry dog food. The new sustainable pet food packaging utilizes Braskem’s sugarcane-based I’m greenTM biopolymer and supports Only Natural Pet’s ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability and carbon reduction. Braskem’s I’m greenTM polyethylene (PE) is a bio-based resin made from ethanol, a renewable and sustainable resource produced from Brazilian sugarcane. The cultivation of sugarcane utilized in the production of I’m greenTM PE captures carbon dioxide (CO2) and releases oxygen (O2), which means Braskem’s bioplastic has a negative carbon footprint. According to Braskem, from a cradle-to-gate life-cycle perspective, every ton of I’m greenTM PE used in the production of packaging equates to 3.09 tons of CO2 captured from the atmosphere. https://bit.ly/2oV5sr0

Baltimore and Denver each receive $200,000 grants from the Rockefeller Foundation as part of the “Food Matters” pilot project.  https://bsun.md/2CKIaOm

The food waste calculator, created by food tech company It’s Fresh!, lets you work out the financial cost of the fruit and veg you throw away. Users can input how often they buy fresh fruit and veg – from avocados and raspberries to asparagus and spinach – and estimate how much of this ends up in the bin each month. The tool then works out the environmental impact as well as how much damage it’s doing to your bank balance. https://r29.co/2wZdqCX

Defining Sustainable Materials Management for Local Communities – In 2009, the US EPA introduced a framework policy called Sustainable Materials Management (SMM).  SMM focuses on the value of using and reusing of materials in the most productive and sustainable ways across their entire lifecycle.  The idea behind SMM is to minimize materials use, thereby minimizing associated environmental impacts.  SMM can replace the antiquated weight-based recycling and diversion model with goals that prioritize environmental impacts using the concepts of lifecycle thinking. By looking at our world from a lifecycle perspective, we can have frank discussions about the true costs and benefits of recycling. The information arms us to make smart choices.  https://bit.ly/2NaREGl

 

SUSTAINABILITY

Cleantech Stocks in OZ Outperform ASX200 – Last month, the Advisory Australian CleanTech released a report claiming that ‘cleantech’ companies outperformed the ASX200 for the fifth year running.  The index returned 13.9% in the year to June 2018, and 13.1% for the prior year.  https://bit.ly/2Q0t4qc

A complete guide to buying ethical clothes on a budget – To help you in your own ethical shopping adventures, I’ve compiled a list of brands that will allow you to shop responsibly, while still keeping an eye on your budget.  https://bit.ly/2LVIKaY

NAEM’s EHS & Sustainability Management Forum Oct 23-26 Louisville, KY – is the largest annual gathering for environment, health and safety (EHS) and sustainability decision-makers. This year’s program will offer attendees 5 tracks of breakout sessions emphasizing alignment of EHS and business strategy, leadership excellence, and tools and tactics for day-to-day EHS excellence. Check out the preliminary agenda now!  http://ehsforum.naem.org/index.php

RayDay will be at Serenbe on Sunday, October 14, 2018. REGISTER HERE. RayDay celebrates bringing people together, encourages conversations and connections, and continues to spread the word about sustainability. Imagine a one-day course on sustainable living, outdoors in a Serenbe country meadow with over 1,800 other classmates. It was Ray Anderson’s tireless efforts to make this a better world for Tomorrow’s Child that inspired the creation of RayDay.  https://bit.ly/2wV85gF

Socially responsible investments are at a ‘tipping point’ says Triodos Bank – New research by Triodos Bank has found that the UK market for socially responsible investments (SRI) has reached a tipping point of growth. In its annual Impact Investing survey, it says SRI is set to increase by 173% and will be worth £48bn by 2027 – driven by a new socially conscious group of younger investors, 47% of whom say they are planning an ethical investment.  https://bit.ly/2Nwt1Ej

Financing the Sustainable Development Goals: Impact Investing in Action – The GIIN’s 2018 Annual Impact Investor Survey revealed that more than half of impact investors surveyed reported tracking some or all of their impact performance against the SDGs, showcasing the potential for impact investing to catalyze progress towards the goals. The GIIN’s latest report, Financing the Sustainable Development Goals: Impact Investing in Action, reiterates the need for impact investors to raise and direct new capital to help meet the SDGs by 2030 and showcases how select impact investors are taking action. https://bit.ly/2wXkLUp

ESG Investing: A Blue Ocean For Corporate Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans – The $28.0 trillion U.S. retirement market offers opportunities for growth in environmental, social and governance (ESG) assets under management (AUM), particularly among corporate-sponsored retirement plans. 60% of corporate plan sponsors that participated in a recent NEPC survey indicated that they were not interested in incorporating ESG investing, which means considering ESG factors in both investment decisions and ownership policies and practices. Of plan sponsors that incorporated ESG investing, 70% were defined contribution plans, or plans in which benefit payments to retirees depend on investment returns. Nevertheless, fewer than 10% of 401(k) plans—a type of defined contribution plan—offer ESG investing options. An even smaller 6% of defined contribution plan sponsors, or those promising a specified monthly benefit at retirement, incorporate ESG. Accordingly, corporate-sponsored retirement plans are a relatively uncontested market space, or blue ocean, for ESG fund managers.  https://bit.ly/2MkUp3G

The TreeZero News August 27 – September 2, 2018

First row center, my first cousin 3x removed, Arthur Havard age 13 in 1910.

LABOR DAY – On June 28, 1884, The US Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday. According to the US Department of Labor, “Labor Day is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”

During this Labor Day weekend, I have been reflecting on the hard work of long-gone family members that helped build a better world and whose labor surely improved the quality of life as a legacy they bequeathed to future generations.

A large portion of my ancestry hail from Northeast Pennsylvania, Wales, Scotland and Ireland where many of them worked in the coal mines or associated businesses – from miners and teamsters to managing director at Atlas Powder Company. Both of my grandfathers worked for Orange & Rockland, an electrical and gas utility in Upstate NY now owned by ConEdison.   One of my great-great grandfathers, Evan Havard, was the Barn Boss at No 6 Colliery Pennsylvania Coal Company and his cousin, Arthur Havard, pictured here at 13 years of age, worked as a miner his entire career.

The energy industry is undergoing an amazing transformation.  Increasingly, the present and promisingly, much of our future power needs will be met by energy efficiency and clean renewables.  Nationally, clean energy jobs outnumber fossil fuel jobs by more than 2.5 to 1, according to a new Sierra Club analysis of Department of Energy jobs data.

I am thankful to all of those who toiled to power our world; and I am very optimistic that collectively, we can inspire an efficiency and clean power revolution that Arthur and Evan Havard and so many other miners and fossil fuel veterans would be proud of.

Enjoy your Labor Day.

Video Headlines week of Aug 27 – Sept 2 – https://youtu.be/J5qRmnBH2Sk 1 minute, 26 seconds

 

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Inspiring Energy Efficiency – People.Power.Planet, a component of McKinstry’s powerED program, educates building occupants about the importance of energy efficiency and challenges them to take actions that reduce their energy use to better the planet. powerED is a systematic program designed to improve operational efficiency, save energy, track results, and drive sustainable behaviors within your facilities. https://www.peoplepowerplanet.com

Deadline extended for Atlanta solar installation program – The sign-up deadline for a solar bulk purchasing program sponsored by several local nonprofits and solar installers is being extended. The new sign-up deadline is Oct. 31. The programs uses bulk purchasing and a streamlined process over four months to cut the cost of solar by up to 25 percent for Atlanta residents.  https://bit.ly/2wm2or7

Europe To Ban Halogen Bulbs in September – LED’s are five times more energy efficient than halogens and last 15 to 20 years compared with the average two-year life cycle of a halogen bulb, a recent Forbes article says the European Commission estimates consumers will actually enjoy a savings of 115 Euros over the lifetime of an LED bulb, or close to $150.  https://bit.ly/2PV1MSe

How Much Hotter is Your Hometown Than When You Were Born?  As the world warms because of human-induced climate change, most of us can expect to see more days when temperatures hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) or higher. See how your hometown has changed so far and how much hotter it may get.  https://nyti.ms/2N58JBr

Nation’s 1st Pollinator-Friendly Right-of-Way Solar Project Moves Forward in Georgia –  Last week, the Georgia Public Service Commission (Georgia PSC) authorized the funding for Georgia Power to construct, own and operate a one-megawatt solar array on Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) property at Exit 14 off Interstate 85, which is known as “The Ray.” This unique project will pilot the use of native flowering plants as ground cover in test plots within the solar array, making Georgia the first in the nation to pilot pollinator-friendly, right-of-way solar.  https://bit.ly/2NFPw6A

A New Kind of Solar Cell Developed at UCLA Just Broke Efficiency Records – By adding a new layer to common solar cells, the researchers estimate they can reduce solar energy costs by about a fifth, in a relatively simple process that can easily be incorporated into mainstream solar cell manufacturing. Instead of 18.7 percent, these new cells were able to capture 22.4 percent of the sunlight’s energy, an increase of around 20 percent. https://bit.ly/2PoLyja

Question Of The Week: Has Your ENERGY STAR Score Changed? – As of August 26, 2018, facility managers and building owners who benchmark one or more properties in Portfolio Manager should be aware that their buildings’ 1–100 ENERGY STAR scores and other source energy metrics have been updated across all time periods to reflect the latest performance metrics. https://bit.ly/2Npoxfu

Exxon Seeks Wind, Solar Power Delivery in Texas – The largest U.S. oil company sent out a request for proposals with a June 8 deadline, inviting solar or wind power suppliers to pitch contracts that would last 12, 15 or 20 years. https://bloom.bg/2Nh5Avm

What is the Global Cooling Prize? – a global competition to spur development of a radically more energy efficient cooling technology. The task, designing a room air conditioner for a typical tropical or sub-tropical home that consumes five times (5x) less grid-supplied electricity, per unit of cooling, than a typical unit in operation today. The prize will be launched in November 2018 and will be open for a period of two years. https://bit.ly/2NEaWBd

Could EVs Be the Secret to a 100% Renewable Grid? – Using real-time rates, utilities could encourage EV owners to charge up during the day, when there is excess (and therefore cheap) solar energy and sell back to the grid during times of high demand. https://bit.ly/2C6wHrZ

Facebook Pledges to Buy 100% Renewable Energy by 2020 – https://bit.ly/2Nxpylv

Pearl’s certification system enables home buyers to see and understand the value of a home’s high-performing assets when the home is sold. Research from across the U.S. shows that third-party home performance certifications like Pearl’s add an average of 4% to the sale price of high-performing homes, compared to similar homes lacking these assets. https://bit.ly/2wu8fvg

Salesforce Announces Largest Renewable Energy Agreement to Date, on Path to Achieving 100 Percent Renewable Energy – https://bit.ly/2opvBOe

California Assembly Passes 100% Renewables by 2045 Mandate – The bill now heads to the state Senate for a vote.   https://bit.ly/2wv1B8g

Xcel to Replace 2 Colorado Coal Units with Renewables and Storage – https://bit.ly/2C80CQr

 

WATER STEWARDSHIP

FAO Report Presents Global Baseline Data for Monitoring Water-use Efficiency – https://bit.ly/2PRXkDG

Study: Meeting Paris Climate Accord goal would result in 217m metric tons more fish – The world’s oceans could produce 217 million more metric tons of fish, 25 billion additional servings of seafood, and $14 billion more in profits to the seafood industry if the goal of the Paris Climate Accord was reached and good fishery management practices were maintained, finds a study published in Science Advances.  https://bit.ly/2wzUCtK

Ocean and climate change: Time for a new wave of energy – by Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries – https://bit.ly/2LOJ7V3

Measure home water use and detect leaks – Phyn Plus Smart Water Assistant + Shutoff Phyn Plus measures tiny changes in water pressure — 240 times a second — to alert you the moment a leak is detected, mitigate costly damage through automatic shutoff, and diagnose potential plumbing problems before they become an issue. https://bit.ly/2wynCD6

World Water Week: Seven ways businesses are progressing water stewardship – https://bit.ly/2MIXfEn

More crop per drop: How UGA is redefining water sustainability in agriculture  Researchers at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences are aiming to help farmers make smarter decisions about their water use through advancements in irrigation techniques. The project aims to combat the looming water crisis that plagues the South and Southwest. “Everybody’s using the water, and the resources are getting depleted very quickly,” UGA CAES professor George Vellidis said. Vellidis and a team of graduate students and researchers are seeking to increase agricultural sustainability and productivity through their research project. The project aims to use fresh water resources more sustainably in order to optimize crop yield for Georgia’s largest commodities, such as peanuts and cotton.  https://bit.ly/2MEDIFj

Ceres’ Assessment of S&P 500, MSCI World, MSCI Emerging Markets (EM) and Russell 3000 – shows more than 50 percent of the four indices holdings were found to be exposed to medium to high water risks, showing that water can be a very material issue for portfolio managers. https://bit.ly/2wCg55r

 

DEFORESTATION

Is Nigeria Losing War Against Deforestation? – While it is estimated that Nigeria loses 1.5 million trees daily due to illegal logging, the rate of deforestation pegged at 3.5 per cent annually is considered as the highest globally. https://bit.ly/2MPo09F

 

RECYCLING

Cobb County, GA conducts survey on plastics recycling – Keep Cobb Beautiful staff is asking Cobb residents, who want to participate in the Hefty EnergyBag program, to sign up as soon as possible. Survey: CobbCounty.seamlessdocs.com/f/HEBprogram Information: hefty.com/hefty-energybag/hefty-energybag-program  https://on-ajc.com/2wjhKxo

Government Regs and Consumer Awareness Drive Bioplastic Packaging Market – Government regulations and rising awareness of sustainable packaging solutions among both consumers and manufacturers will drive significant growth of the bioplastic packaging market, according to a new report. The global bioplastic packaging market is expected to grow at a pace of 18.1% between 2017 and 2025, the report from The Insight Partners. Bioplastics are plastics made from plants rather than fossil fuels.  Coca-Cola has sold more than 50 billion of its bioplastic-based PlantBottles. But the food and beverage industry can’t drive the market alone, the company says: retailers need to increase demand for bioplastics to really make the market thrive. “It won’t ever work if there’s just one big consumer company like a Coca-Cola trying to drive suppliers,” said Ben Jordan, head of environmental policy at Coca-Cola. “You need more demand out there in industry.” While bioplastics currently make up just 1% of the plastics market.  https://bit.ly/2C7Xc03

U.K. Considers Doubling Levy on Plastic Bags to Tackle Waste – The U.K. is proposing to double the mandatory charge for single-use plastic bags dispensed by retailers to 10 pence (13 cents). https://bloom.bg/2PqNCHA

Earth911 Quiz #25: Recycling Changes Build Momentum – This week’s quiz challenges your knowledge of recent recycling changes in Asia and the U.S. recycling industry. https://bit.ly/2MJlP8m

Registration for 2018 America Recycles Day Now Open – America Recycles Day, which takes place on and in the weeks surrounding Nov. 15, educates people about the importance of recycling to our economy and environmental well-being, and helps to motivate occasional recyclers to become everyday recyclers. Registration for Recycle-Bowl is also open at http://www.recycle-bowl.org.  https://bit.ly/2PaQMPj

Video – Canadians get creative in solving food waste problem – CBC News spoke to several businesses to see how they’re developing creative solutions and technology to reduce the tons of food that end up in landfills.  https://bit.ly/2MDAvFO

Webinar: How brands can drive sustainable innovation in plastics and packaging – Thursday 6th September at 9am EDT / 2pm. You can sign up here: https://bit.ly/2okCHUf

 

SUSTAINABILITY

How to fight modern slavery: question company supply chains – Today, there are more than 40 million people suffering in some form of modern slavery. Modern slavery is a lucrative, US$150 billion industry. And it’s hidden in plain sight. While most firms mandate formal anti-money-laundering training, they’re far less likely to do so for identifying slave labour and human trafficking.  https://bit.ly/2MRaORy

SIERRA CLUB Annual Cool School Ranking – Our annual Cool Schools Rankings assess colleges’ performance in everything from what they teach to how they obtain their electricity to their sources of cafeteria food and how they manage their water.  https://bit.ly/2wttxbB

This Company Is Making Footwear Out of Wool, Sugar and Trees – https://bit.ly/2My2Ttd

Quantis and EIT Climate-KIC Launch the GeoFootprint Project to Develop a Tool to Measure and Monitor Environmental Impacts of Crops https://bit.ly/2BMbKlX

How Can Retailers Keep Ugly Produce Out of Trash? Paying You A Compliment Helps, Study Finds https://bit.ly/2C5L9QM

Turning Haiti’s mountains of plastic garbage into high-tech printer gear – Last June, HP started selling the first ink cartridges made from Haiti’s bottles.  https://bit.ly/2CQ1Zjo

Fledge is a global network of conscious company accelerators and seed funds, helping entrepreneurs create impactful companies and co-ops at scale through intense, short programs filled with education, guidance, and a massive amount of mentorship.  http://fledge.co/about/

Impact Investing Market Map – PRI launched the Impact Investing Market Map. Its goal is to bring more clarity to the process of identifying mainstream impact investing companies and thematic investments so that asset owners and fund managers can better assess opportunities in this market.  https://www.unpri.org/download?ac=5292

How Do You Assess a Fund’s Carbon Risk? – The Carbon Risk Score is a new metric that is based on underlying information from Sustainalytics, our ESG data provider, that is trying to assess a company’s risk in relationship to the transition to a low carbon economy. It primarily focuses on carbon emissions in a company’s operations and in its products and tries to assess what kind of financial risk does this company face in a transition that would cause them to have to reduce emissions significantly. About 100 out of 500 funds in the large-cap blend category get a low carbon designation, meaning, on average, their portfolios have low carbon risk. https://bit.ly/2ox2VTA

Now Available: 6-Pack Rings Touted as Eco-Friendly & Safer for Wildlife – Eco Six Pack Rings (E6PR), are made with all-natural ingredients, including straw and wheat fiber. https://bit.ly/2PXh4Wr

Member Spotlight: Stephanie Valdez Streaty of Cox Automotive wants to talk with you about recycling car floor mats and other ways to achieve zero waste – https://bit.ly/2MK6Uur

From the deforestation of the Peruvian Amazon to a ‘lake of toxic sludge’ in China: How building a smartphone devastates planet Earth – https://dailym.ai/2Nb78ds

The TreeZero News August 20-26, 2018

In Memory of Senator John S. McCain III – I had the pleasure of meeting Senator McCain at a dinner given in his honor in Washington, DC. Several colleagues from the beverage industry including the late Harry J. Ott, JR of The Coca-Cola Company and I were seated at a table five or six rows from the stage. When Senator McCain arrived, he stopped at several tables including ours. As Harry Ott was introduced to the Senator, Harry mentioned the army unit he belonged to when he served in Viet Nam and the Senator stopped and looked at Harry and said, “You looked for me when I was a POW. Thank you.” Harry smiled and said, “yes we did.” After the Senator received his award and was leaving the event, he walked right up to our table, shook Harry’s hand again and said, “Thank you” and walked out without speaking with anyone else. While the world lost a great statesman and leader in Senator McCain this weekend, I am comforted to know that two outstanding men, Harry Ott, JR and John McCain III are meeting again in Heaven.

Here is a link to a speech by Senator McCain from October 30, 2003 in support of action against climate change. https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=y5pyzAoir9E

 

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

19 Global Cities Commit to Make New Buildings “Net-Zero Carbon” by 2030 – 

mayors, representing 130 million urban citizens, committed to significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions from their cities by ensuring that new building operate at net zero carbon by 2030.   https://bit.ly/2LjhLGc

Proscriptions and prescriptions for the next wave of cleantech investments, new Stanford-led analysis finds – “The next cycle will be much more productive,” said Stanford professor of management science and engineering John Weyant, who co-authored a new book outlining the findings.  https://stanford.io/2Nk9Qdp

US DOE 2017 Wind Market Reports Indicate Strong Wind Power Installation Trends and Falling Prices – https://bit.ly/2o9o1ac

 Cost of new EPA coal rules: Up to 1,400 more deaths a year – https://nyti.ms/2wtpXOX

Big oil asks government to protect its Texas facilities from climate change https://cbsn.ws/2P0FrS4

Over Fifty Percent Less CO2 from New Bulk Carrier – ESL Shipping has taken delivery of the bulk carrier Haaga – an LNG-fuelled vessel the company says will cut carbon dioxide emissions by over 50 percent compared to earlier vessels. https://bit.ly/2N82iKO

Definitive Answers to 5 Pervasive Renewable Energy Myths – https://bit.ly/2PBx80e

Clean-Energy Powerhouse Lines Up $1.2 Billion to Buy Renewables – Capital Dynamics, one of the biggest buyers of U.S. solar farms, closed a $1.2 billion fund to acquire even more clean-power plants. https://bloom.bg/2PtOmfY

Contemporary Global Warming placed in geological context  https://bit.ly/2MxRj1e

The manufacturing of cement, according to the CICERO Center for International Climate Research, is the third largest source of carbon dioxide emissions behind fossil fuels and land-use. One Canadian company, CarbonCure, has discovered a way to reduce CO2 emissions through the production of concrete itself. CarbonCure’s solution is to capture CO2 and then inject it into the concrete during the mix process. The CO2 is sequestered forever because it reacts with concrete to become a mineral. So even if the concrete is demolished in the future, it’s not released back into the environment. https://bit.ly/2BvM50x

Business Leadership in the transition to renewable electricity – The paper provides specific recommendations, informed by the RE100 Technical Advisory Group, that guide corporate buyers on how to have as much impact and influence as possible. https://bit.ly/2MnqSeh

 

WATER STEWARDSHIP

‘Hunger Stones’ With Ominous Messages Emerge in Drought-Parched Czech River –   https://bit.ly/2MAgfou

Harnessing Data Science to Solve Apparent Loss – Every day, U.S. water utilities lose an estimated six billion gallons of water, or 30 percent of the water they provide. This translates to a $8.76 billion annual loss in the United States. https://bit.ly/2LiuWHx

2017 Infrastructure Report Card – According to the American Water Works Association, an estimated $1 trillion is necessary to maintain and expand service to meet demands over the next 25 years.   https://bit.ly/2scTQnf

What is a Water Footprint? The water footprint is a measure of humanity’s appropriation of fresh water in volumes of water consumed and/or polluted. Do you know your water footprint? Calculate it here.

https://bit.ly/2MvKBbZ

WWF – Water Stewardship Revisited – While the briefing is aimed primarily at companies who have already begun their water stewardship journey, companies new to the space, fellow NGOs, funders, public sector agencies and others may also find it useful. https://bit.ly/2BAKRRG

 

DEFORESTATION

Snapshot of the World’s Forests – View the high resolution version of today’s graphic by clicking here. Forests cover over 30% of the world’s land, but human activity is chipping away at the tree line. At the outset of the 20th century, there was approximately 31 million square miles (50 million square km) of forest around the world. Today, that number has shrunk to less than 25 million square miles (40 million square km). http://www.visualcapitalist.com/human-impact-on-forests/

China Will Plant 32,400 Square Miles of Trees to Combat Air Pollution – Currently, China has roughly 208 million hectares of forested area. Throughout 2018, the country hopes increase its total forest coverage from 21 percent to 23 percent, and tasked roughly 60,000 soldiers to handle the job, according to Asia Times. https://bit.ly/2Cvzs0F

Weekly podcast: changing corporate deforestation commitments, and impact of slavery sanctions – Ian Welsh and Toby Webb – This week: Mickael Blais from the French Alliance for Forest Protection talks to Toby Webb about how company commitments on deforestation across different commodities are changing.  https://bit.ly/2NneF5M

Seeing REDD: a database of forest carbon emissions reduction projects – A searchable database of initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) is now available through the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).  https://bit.ly/2wa0yKq

Jungle Book Characters Face Homelessness in This Bleak Spot About Deforestation –  https://bit.ly/2PFECPM

 

RECYCLING

 Quantifying environmental benefits of recycled plastic – using RPET may generate half the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) of virgin plastic, according to preliminary data released by Franklin Associates. https://bit.ly/2MtAfJw

 Video – Recycling crisis causes mountains of waste at Marin Recycling Center – https://abc7ne.ws/2MojwqU

 Tacking Food Waste with LeanPath CEO Andrew Shakman – LeanPath tries to provide a complete food waste prevention platform, including data collection hardware tools, cloud-based waste analytics, and expert coaching. LeanPath now works with more than 1,200 kitchens, in more than 20 countries with clients including IKEA, Aramark, Sodexo, and Google. https://bit.ly/2MEYX92

 Scandinavian dairy company Arla is introducing a new food labelling system on a range of products like milk, yoghurt and cream in a bid to reduce food waste –  https://bit.ly/2vZ4r4Q

Massachusetts awards $2.6 million to increase recycling – https://bit.ly/2MH24xm

`Shocking´ amount of fruit and veg wasted, researchers say – A university study estimated that over 50 million tonnes of fresh produce grown across Europe is discarded annually, mainly because it does not meet supermarkets’ and consumers’ standards of how it ought to look. https://dailym.ai/2vZqUyS

UK government considers tax options to tackle plastic waste –  https://bit.ly/2o1Wacd

BioLogiQ develops Marine Biodegradable Plastic using PBAT –  https://bit.ly/2o4Ohmr

Recycling Is Crashing? Far from It – Sorting materials at curbside is the best method for educating households, since non-recyclable items are returned in the recycling bin. https://bit.ly/2vYPb84

Hitachi is partnering a hospital to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to monitor food waste. https://bit.ly/2BFm0fS

Restaurant & Foodservice Food Waste Action Guides Webinar – We got your #foodwaste advice this Tuesday Aug. 28 at 11:00 AM EST! @Aramark@BlueCartHQ@ChickfilA Sign up here: http://bit.ly/2OXa9eC 

Radio – Massachusetts – Facing Higher Costs, Cities Enforce ‘Cleaner’ Recycling

https://wbur.fm/2N4ujTq

Pepsi Co Recycling – PepsiCo Recycling puts a new stake in the ground by launching an updated website and a revised call to action–Simple Acts. Big Impact. Recycle Rally will help boost the excitement and provide an array of tools to make recycling a big deal in your school.    https://bit.ly/2mLR0hw

Hoffmaster acquires paper straw manufacturer Aardvark Straws https://bit.ly/2P5iDke

A Coordinated Global Offensive Can Reduce Annual Food Loss and Waste by $700 Billion – https://on.bcg.com/2Bzn9Wf

“Whitworms” help Whitworth University cut back on waste by 70 percent – When school gets back in session, they expect their worm to be churning out more than 200 pounds of worm castings every few days, as the worms can eat their weight in compost. https://bit.ly/2wnX5Yi

She got $8.5M in funding to save ugly produce – Founder and CEO Christine Moseley said in a statement that Full Harvest, a business-to-business marketplace for surplus and imperfectly-shaped produce, will use the investment to expand nationally and get more produce directly from farms to food and beverage makers. The startup focuses on vegetable farms greater than 1000 acres and fruit farms larger than 100 acres and connects them with customers.  https://bit.ly/2N9Avtr

Schoolgirl invents gadget to prevent food waste – Rumaan Malik, a pupil at Grasby All Saints Primary School in Lincolnshire, invented a fruit bowl called the Alarm Cup that alerts its owner when food is about to expire. https://bbc.in/2BIMnBp

Chipotle Announces New Accelerator For Ventures That Are Changing The Food Landscape To Make The World Better – Companies interested in submitting an application for the Chipotle Aluminaries Project can find more information and apply HERE starting September 12. https://chip.tl/2MyDnnx

 

SUSTAINABILITY

Kroger announces it will drop plastic bags by 2025 https://2wsb.tv/2MNXYDq

The 2018 Sustainable Campus Index (SCI) recognizes top-performing colleges and universities overall by institution type and in 17 sustainability impact areas, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). https://bit.ly/2MLqZzI

A question for Georgia voters: set aside money for land stewardship? – “Amendment one” would take part of the sales tax on “outdoor recreation equipment” — think a fishing pole or a mountain bike — and earmark it for things like land acquisition and improving the parks Georgia already has. Funding would start at about $20 million per year starting in July, 2019, if voters approve it. It’ll appear as amendment one on ballots, beginning “Without increasing the current state sales tax rate, shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to create the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Trust Fund …”  https://bit.ly/2nT4ivx

How can materiality drive sustainability reporting and strategy? The webinar will take place on Wednesday 29th August at 10am EDT / 3pm BST. If you can’t make that time, register anyway and we’ll send you a recording. You can sign up here: https://bit.ly/2nTBa7d

Fortune – Change the World – More companies than ever are using the profit motive to help the planet and tackle social problems. Here’s our fourth annual list of the best of them.   http://fortune.com/change-the-world/

Study: $3.5 billion in benefits created by open space in New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley – The researchers placed the value of the protected lands at more than $3.5 billion, considering what municipalities would otherwise spend to provide similar services. The report, “Adding Value: Open Space Conservation in the Mid-Hudson Valley,” is part of the urban advocacy organization’s Fourth Regional Plan. The report found that two-thirds of open space in the four counties is not protected and, therefore, at risk of development. “We will continue to see increased development pressure in our region that will impact the quality of our land, air and water,” said KT Tobin, the lead researcher on the project from SUNY New Paltz. “If we are to continue to benefit from open space and ensure future lands are protected, we need to raise awareness of its substantial value.”  https://bit.ly/2w7gXiN

How a Big Bank Fueled the Green Energy Boom https://for.tn/2PshsfG

Green Building Certifications at All Time High in Nation’s Largest Metros Chicago Repeats, Widens Lead as Nation’s Greenest City – https://bit.ly/2MR0wRC

The Circularity GAP report – Over the last four decades, the global use of materials almost tripled, from 26.7 billion tonnes in 1970, to 84.4 billion tons in 2015.  The 92.8 billion tonnes of resources (excluding water) entering the global economy annually equates to almost 34.4 kilograms of raw materials per person per day.  That is 76.83 pounds per person per day.  Our world economy is only 9.1% circular, leaving a massive circularity gap.   https://www.circularity-gap.world/report

Every Day, This Satellite Company Takes A Snapshot Of The Entire Planet –  https://bit.ly/2jLQpQO

The International Coffee Organization (ICO) publishes new guide to unlock green and climate funding – https://bit.ly/2BE9qNB

American Century Investments Research Shows the Appeal Of ‘Impact Investing’ Growing, With Millennials Taking The Lead – The “appeal” of impact investing reached 49 percent among 2018 survey participants, compared to 38 percent in 2016. https://prn.to/2Mx3lrB

Donor-Advised Funds Are an Untapped Source of Impact Capital – The National Philanthropic Trust’s (NPT) 2017 Donor-Advised Fund Report found that the capital housed in donor-advised funds (DAFs) across the United States exceeded $85 billion in 2016. This represents an almost 10-percent increase since 2015 and a 28-percent increase since 2012. https://bit.ly/2oaVVM9

C&A Releases First-Ever C2C Certified™ GOLD Denim Garment, Shares Recipe – C&A’s new Cradle to Cradle Certified™ denim garment release is accompanied by the toolkit, Developing Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Jeans.  https://bit.ly/2wbbUxP