ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Planet has only until 2030 to stem catastrophic climate change, experts warn – Governments around the world must take “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” to avoid disastrous levels of global warming, says a stark new report from the global scientific authority on climate change. The report issued by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), says the planet will reach the crucial threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by as early as 2030, precipitating the risk of extreme drought, wildfires, floods and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people. Global net emissions of carbon dioxide would need to fall by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 and reach “net zero” around 2050 in order to keep the warming around 1.5 degrees C.  https://cnn.it/2C4SVsS

Climate Crisis Spurs UN Call for $2.4 Trillion Fossil Fuel Shift – The world must invest $2.4 trillion in clean energy every year through 2035 and cut the use of coal-fired power to almost nothing by 2050 to avoid catastrophic damage from climate change, according to scientists convened by the United Nations.  The $2.4 trillion needed annually through 2035 is also an almost sevenfold increase from the $333.5 billion Bloomberg NEF estimated was invested in renewable energy last year.  https://bloom.bg/2y6ZTuz

Half a Degree of Global Warming Is a Big Deal – The Earth has already warmed 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) since the 19th century. Half a degree may not sound like much. Half a degree may mean the difference between a world with coral reefs and Arctic summer sea ice and a world without them.  https://nyti.ms/2RyQYtU

“Time’s up” – diesel bans must take effect in Berlin, rules German Judge – Berlin’s administrative court has ruled that the German capital must restrict the movement of diesel vehicles in the city to bring dangerous air pollution down and protect residents’ health.  Bans on diesel vehicles up to and including the Euro 5 standard must be active in Berlin by the end of March 2019. https://bit.ly/2Ef4MHr

Analysis: How well have climate models projected global warming? Scientists have been making projections of future global warming using climate models of increasing complexity for the past four decades.  These models, driven by atmospheric physics and biogeochemistry, play an important role in our understanding of the Earth’s climate and how it will likely change in the future.  Carbon Brief has collected prominent climate model projections since 1973 to see how well they project both past and future global temperatures, as shown in an animation.   https://bit.ly/2yy0pRx

CARB awards BNSF Railway $22.6M for clean technology pilot program; battery-electric locomotive  BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District were preliminarily awarded a $22.6 million Zero and Near Zero Emission Freight Facilities grant from the California Air Resource Board to pilot several emissions reducing technologies in and around railyards. BNSF will collaborate with various industry partners to test the feasibility of these technologies. BNSF will partner with GE Transportation on a battery-electric locomotive that will be paired with diesel locomotives to power a freight train traveling from Stockton to Barstow. https://bit.ly/2PwiTcj

Worldwide training in CO2 refrigeration – As retailers look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint, CO₂refrigeration systems are rapidly emerging as alternatives to traditional HFCs. That’s why Danfoss launched the Mobile CO₂Training Unit in September 2016 to provide accessible knowledge and training to thousands of installers, service technicians and OEM engineers worldwide.We are thrilled to bring the Mobile CO₂Training Unit back to the United States for you to learn how to take advantage of the full potential of this natural refrigerant.  Trainings in Dallas take place Oct 22-Nov 1; in Atlanta Nov. 13-29.  https://bit.ly/2NkCAGf

Report: Audi e-tron GT electric sport coupe will fast-charge in 12 minutes – Although that model isn’t likely to be produced until 2020, at the earliest, it’s shaping up to be one of several game-changing vehicles in terms of charging time—because, as the company recently disclosed exclusively to Autocar, it will be able to take full advantage of 350-kw DC charging hardware and charge to 80 percent in just 12 minutes.  https://bit.ly/2NEUiQR

Nobel Memorial Prize In Economics awarded for research “about innovation, climate and economic growth.”  Yale University’s William Nordhaus was named for integrating climate change into long-term macroeconomic analysis and New York University’s Paul Romer was awarded for factoring technological innovation into macroeconomics.  They will share the 9-million-kronor ($1.01 million) prize, announced Monday.  https://bit.ly/2C3VviL

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has issued a statement calling for a “step change” in investments, claiming that renewables are now often, the cheapest source of energy, due to significant cost reductions. https://bit.ly/2QHuPbG

E.P.A. to Disband a Key Scientific Review Panel on Air Pollution – The 20-person Particulate Matter Review Panel, made up of experts in microscopic airborne pollutants known to cause respiratory disease, is responsible for helping the agency decide what levels of pollutants are safe to breathe. Agency officials declined to say why the E.P.A. intends to stop convening the panel next year, particularly as the agency considers whether to revise air quality standards.  https://nyti.ms/2CgUMuo

General Motors will soon use wind power to build pickups and SUVs – GM wants to power all its global facilities with 100-percent renewable energy by 2050. https://bit.ly/2yvwUQd

 

RECYCLING

The Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM) in Atlanta – Is a permanent drop-off facility that aims to improve our environmental health buy encouraging reuse and diverting thousands of pounds of household hazardous waste, bulky trash and other hard to recycle items from Metro-Atlanta landfills and water systems.  http://livethrive.org/charm/

BIR launches Global Recycling Foundation to champion worldwide initiatives – The Foundation will use funds from donors and partners across the globe to foster promotional and educational campaigns which highlight the vital role of recycling in creating a sustainable future for the planet. Donations may be eligible for tax benefits and donors will be able to build their involvement into their Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes. https://bit.ly/2QDf6dD

A recent study points to three key strategies for getting people to participatein recycling programs – The most effective strategy for enhancing municipal recycling rates was having a pay-as-you-throw trash (PAYT) program within a community. With PAYT, residents pay a fee either per trash bag or per bin of waste disposed, but are not typically charged for recycled materials. In our study, communities implementing PAYT demonstrated an average of 8 percent greater rates of municipal recycling compared to municipalities without PAYT. https://bit.ly/2y4eI0M

Call to action as Australian recycling rates ‘stagnate’ – The Australian Council of Recycling is calling for an increase in landfill levies, a $1.5 billion investment into recycling in Australia and lower taxes for products with recycled materials, in a 10-point plan aimed at “rebooting” domestic recycling. The federal government is poised to announce six national targets – including the diversion of 80 per cent of waste from landfill by 2030 – to tackle the crisis precipitated by China’s import restrictions on recyclables. https://bit.ly/2RCgXk3

How this 32-year-old makes 6 figures selling other people’s stuff on Amazon and eBay – Mark Meyer buys abandoned stuff, estimates his business spends roughly $5,000 buying inventory every month — mostly through police auctions, liquidations and abandoned storage sales — that he’s able to turn around for nearly $15,000 on average per month.  https://cnb.cx/2pV5lfA

P&G joins Circular Economy 100 to accelerate closed-loop transition – Procter & Gamble (P&G) is among four new corporate members of the Circular Economy 100 (CE100), the innovation platform launched by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to accelerate circular economy ambitions. P&G has pledged to ensure all packaging is 100% recyclable or reusable by 2030.  https://bit.ly/2Oi8Jzz

PepsiCo agrees sustainable packaging supply deal with Loop – PepsiCo has signed a multi-year supply agreement with sustainable packaging producer Loop Industries, and PepsiCo says it will begin incorporating Loop’s plastic into its product packaging by early 2020. Loop’s PET plastic is made from 100% recycled materials, and the company’s technology allows it to convert no- and low-value plastics into virgin-quality PET plastic, allowing plastic bottles and packaging of any colour, transparency or condition to be converted into food grade packaging which meets FDA requirements. https://bit.ly/2ONGUP8

PepsiCo Recycling Offers Sustainability Funding to Colleges and Universities – Through the Zero Impact Fund, schools can submit ideas to accomplish their environmental, economic and social goals, with winning applications receiving up to $10,000 each from PepsiCo Recycling. In its first two years, the Zero Impact Fund received applications from more than 100 different campuses and awarded grants to 27 schools. For the 2018-2019 school year, colleges and universities interested in submitting project proposals for the PepsiCo Recycling Zero Impact Fund should complete an application at PepsiCoRecycling.com on or before December 21, 2018. Schools selected to receive funding will be notified in February 2019. https://bit.ly/2yCFop1

Nestlé Australia Adds New Recycling Labels To Locally-Made Products – Nestlé Australia has committed to adding the Australasian Recycling Label to all locally made products by 2020. The new labels from the Australian environmental organization Planet Ark aim to help businesses in Australia and New Zealand reduce consumer confusion about recycling. Planet Ark says that the Australasian Recycling Label is an evidence-based system that provides easy-to-understand recycling information. Each label indicates if the packaging can be placed in curbside recycling, is conditionally recyclable, or is not recyclable. For conditional recycling, the label shows instructions.  https://bit.ly/2pK2tlo

Solve recycling chaos in the UK with traffic light labels on supermarket packaging, Government told – traffic light system should be introduced on food and household goods packaging to end recycling chaos, the Government has been told by the recycling industry. Under plans being considered by Ministers, manufacturers would be forced to carry red, yellow and green symbols on packs to show consumers whether or not they can be recycled. Alongside traffic light colours they would also carry numbers, which could be cross checked with a recycling key provided by local councils. It comes ahead of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ Resources and Waste Strategy which is due to be published over the coming weeks.  https://bit.ly/2ypI8pH

In Search of the Plastic Holy Grail– Procter & Gamble is actively engaged in the task of driving up recycling of the 15 million tonnes of plastic packaging waste the EU produces annually – only 30 per cent of which is currently recycled. At the Sustainable Packaging Summit at Gothenburg’s Scanpack on 23 October P&G’s principal scientist – packaging R&D, Gian De Belder, will introduce the pioneering ‘Holy Grail’ project, which is developing an industry-wide programme for tracer and watermark technology.  https://bit.ly/2PnW9LP

Oregon State University Students to Sort Trash and Recycling– Two dozen students from an Oregon State University sustainability assessment class will sort through garbage from across campus on Oct. 12 as part of the second annual waste audit. The students will be divided into six teams and will sort and weigh waste from different areas of campus, including residence halls, academic buildings and dining centers. Trash and recycling will be sorted, weighed and documented, and all eligible items will then be recycled.  This audit will also raise awareness about how to effectively and correctly recycle on campus. The kinds of items accepted in recycling bins on campus has recently changed, meaning that some items previously accepted are no longer recyclable. These changes were instituted to meet requirements of Oregon State’s haulers and regional recycling markets. Everyone is affected by these changes, so staying up-to-date on which items are recyclable is integral to becoming a more sustainable university.  https://bit.ly/2IKNOPH

 

DEFORESTATION

Reducing Emissions From Deforestation And Forest Degradation (REDD) Plus Strategy To Be Implemented Across Pakistan– https://bit.ly/2yaj8Di

Biodiverse forests store double the carbon of monoculture forests – Not all tree stands are created equal. Forests rich in species diversity store twice as much carbon as monoculture forests, according to new analysis by climate scientists in Germany, Switzerland and China. To better understand the carbon cycle, researchers planted a variety of tree stands in China in 2009. The experimental forests included stands of a single tree species, as well as more diverse plots. The most diverse stands featured 16 species spread across an area of 7,000 square feet. After almost a decade of maturation, scientists measured the carbon absorption and storage abilities of the different tree stands. The miniature forest with the most diverse mix of trees stored twice as much carbon as the least diverse, the stand with only a single species. When forests take-up more carbon, it is a sign of greater productivity and health. A diversity of tree species provide food and shelter for a wider variety of animals.  https://bit.ly/2A3Nd98

Conflicting Data: How Fast Is the World Losing its Forests? There are two main data sources for tree loss, and they are increasingly contradictory. One, the Global Forest Watch (GFW), is compiled from satellite images by the World Resources Institute, a Washington think tank. It paints a gloomy picture, putting the decline in tree cover last year at 72.6 million acres, almost 50 percent more than in 2015. That analysis is supported by on-the-ground observations, especially in Southeast Asia, where forest continues to be converted to oil palm.  The other main source for deforestation data, the Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA), which is compiled from government inventories by the Rome-based UN Food and Agriculture Organization, is less bleak. It estimates the annual net loss, once forest regrowth is taken into account, at barely a tenth as much: just 8.2 million acres. And it says deforestation rates have declined by more than 50 percent in the past decade.  https://bit.ly/2RI1grB

 

WATER STEWARDSHIP

Innovative tool allows continental-scale water, energy, and land system modeling – A new large-scale hydroeconomic model, developed by the Water Program at IIASA, will allow researchers to study water systems across whole continents, looking at sustainability of supply and the impacts of water management on the energy and agricultural sectors.  https://bit.ly/2yFT82l

How Accumulated Fertilizers Cause Water Problems Decades Later – Fertilizer can ​accumulate over ​time, causing ​environmental ​damage several ​decades later. ​ In a new study,​ scientists ​quantified the ​maximum amount ​of nutrients ​land can hold ​before ​fertilizers ​overflow into ​downriver ​ecosystems. ​Their analysis ​suggests an ​average square ​mile of land ​can hold 1,800 ​pounds of ​phosphorus — 2.​1 metric tons ​per square ​kilometer. ​”Beyond this, ​further ​phosphorus ​inputs to ​watersheds ​cause a ​significant ​acceleration of ​phosphorus loss ​in runoff,” ​researchers ​wrote in their ​paper, ​published this ​week in the ​journal Nature ​Geoscience. ​ https://bit.ly/2yeBD9R

How Does Drought Impact CO2 Levels? – A new study from researchers at the ETH Zurich university in Switzerland have found that the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere increases during periods of excessive dryness caused by drought. This is because plants tend to conserve water and tissue by breathing less when the climate is drier and hotter, meaning that they absorb less carbon from the environment. Indeed, the results of the study show that water scarcity caused by droughts has such a large impact on the ability of plants to absorb carbon that the phenomenon must be factored in to future projections of climatic behaviour, and indicate that state-of-the-art air quality monitoring networks should not be the sole point of call when it comes to quantifying carbon in the air.  https://bit.ly/2OKFMvH

 

SUSTAINABILITY

Patagonia – The Footprint Chronicles – Includes an interactive map of sustainability efforts Textile mills, Factories and Farms in the Patagonia supply chain. https://www.patagonia.com/footprint.html

The Jewelry Industry Prepares for Supply Chain Traceability – Block chain technology is coming to the jewelry industry, and it’s coming fast. Ultimately, this means absolute trace-ability of every element in the jewelry supply chain; from the mine, to the refinery, to the alloy manufacturer, to the production company, the retailer, and on to the consumer. https://bit.ly/2E3LVz2

Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Designation Now Available From College for Financial Planning – The Chartered SRI Counselor™ (CSRIC™) designation, a groundbreaking certification in the fast-growing field of sustainable, responsible and impact investing (SRI), is now available from the College for Financial Planning (CFFP). Acclaim for the new CFFP program – developed in collaboration with industry-group leader US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment – has been swift and widespread, indicating a strong demand for the designation among innovative financial planners and corporate partners. The seven modules in the new chartered counselor program move from the Foundations and History of SRI through Portfolio Construction, ESG Performance and Risk, Fiduciary Standards, and Future Opportunities.  https://bit.ly/2Oj8iVz

Charting a Sustainable Advantage – RBC Global Asset Management’s 2018 Responsible Investing Survey found that at a global level, 72% of respondents either somewhat or signifcantly use ESG principles as part of their investment approach and decision making, up from 66% last year. The percentage of respondents who do not adopt ESG principles at all fell globally to 28%, down from 33% in the 2017 survey. Institutional investors in the US continue to view the application of ESG principles more cautiously, but the percentage who reject ESG outright shrank dramatically year over year, from 51% to 34%. The fact that the number of respondents who do not apply ESG principles fell by a third indicates that resistance is rapidly eroding at the same time that signi cantly more investors are adding elements of responsible investing to their toolkits.  https://bit.ly/2QHoOeR

The World’s Most Reputable Companies for Corporate Responsibility 2018 – https://bit.ly/2CbtQMV

Scriptation Launches #PledgePaperless Campaign – Scriptation, the script-reading and annotation app used on thousands of film and television productions worldwide, teamed up with environmentally conscious companies in the entertainment industry to promote the paper-free initiative, including Green Spark Group, Creative BC, Reel Green, AdGreen, Earth Angel, Wrapal and Studio Binder.  “I’ve been making movies and TV shows for over 25 years, and on some shows we’ve used a million sheets of paper in a year,” said “Billions” actor Rob Morrow in a video to promote the campaign. “I’ve gone paperless and it’s more convenient and so much better for the environment. The campaign’s goal is to establish a digital standard on set and encourage policies where receiving scripts electronically is the default option. #PledgePaperless aims to eliminate the use of 10 million sheets of paper by the end of 2018.  https://bit.ly/2NAqntj

Photo Ark – SAVING SPECIES THROUGH THE POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHY – The interaction of animals with their environments is the engine that keeps the planet healthy for all of us. But for many species, time is running out. That’s why National Geographic, along with photographer Joel Sartore, is dedicated to finding solutions to save them. With your support, we’re documenting every species in human care to inspire people to care and help protect these animals. You’re also helping fund on-the-ground conservation projects focused on those species in most critical need of protection, as well as education programs that are fostering a real connection with, and appreciation for, our fellow creatures. This multiyear effort will create intimate portraits of an estimated 12,000 species of birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. Once completed, Photo Ark will serve as an important record of each animal’s existence, and a powerful testament to the importance of saving them.  https://bit.ly/2Eo9sux

Snapcrap app aims to provide exposure to San Francisco’s public poop problem – The free app, which launched last week for iOS users, allows people to take photographs of feces on sidewalks and streets and deliver an alert to the city’s Public Works Department. The app uses cellphone GPS to track the specific location of the mess and creates a ticket so that users can keep tabs on their complaints. San Francisco leaders have been grappling for years with its dirty streets. The city receives roughly 1,300 requests each month for human and animal waste cleanup, said Rachel Gordon, a spokeswoman for the Public Works Department.  This comes at a time when San Francisco, like other major metropolitan cities in California — including Los Angeles — are struggling with staggering numbers of homeless individuals in their communities.  San Francisco’s point-in-time count identified 7,499 homeless individuals in 2017, a number that has remained fairly steady the past five years. https://lat.ms/2IPYkFz

Jeff Foote

Jeff Foote is Executive Vice President, Sustainability at TreeZero. He’s also an investor. He has helped hundreds of organizations, both large and small, successfully incorporate sustainability strategies into core business functions. Jeff has traveled to all seven continents working to protect and preserve the environment. Jeff’s mission is to help organizations and individuals use fewer resources to sell more, more profitably.