The TreeZero News August 6-12, 2018

VIDEO – TreeZero Sustainability Headlines – https://youtu.be/uRCdbqjfD6o 1 minute 25 seconds

August 12 – World Elephant Day – http://worldelephantday.org/about

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

One-third of the world’s energy is consumed by buildings, but most are inefficient. “Just implementing today’s best practices could cut global energy demand by one-third by 2050” https://bit.ly/2vq0cPs

US Renewables Are Closing In on Nuclear Generation – Renewables produced more electricity than nuclear for the first five months of 2018  https://bit.ly/2nwHv8p

Carbon Offsetting: The Basics – https://bit.ly/2Mca9KO

Asia, where coal consumption grew by 3.1% a year from 2006 to 2016, accounting for almost three-quarters of the world’s demand for the most polluting fossil fuel.  BP notes that coal’s share of global electricity generation—by far the largest source at 38%—has not shrunk in over 20 years, despite the rise of gas and renewable energy.  https://econ.st/2Omrk99

Researchers at Syracuse University are looking to the geologic past to make future projections about climate change.  Christopher K. Junium, assistant professor of Earth sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) says, “the past enables us to test and hone models on which future projections are based. It also helps us determine what processes are missing from our current Earth system models,” he says. “These things combined help us understand and prepare for what is on the horizon.”  https://bit.ly/2MGVyDi

The UK and Ireland arm of Aldi is planning to go carbon neutral by next year.  https://bit.ly/2B0ocOq

Ball Corp. sets emissions reduction target – Ball has committed to reducing scope one and two greenhouse gas emissions by 27 percent and scope three emission by 25 percent by 2030 https://bit.ly/2vYEamC

Energy-Efficient LED Lighting Provider Orion Lighting Q1 Revenue Rose 10% to $13.8M – https://read.bi/2MeiInR

Harley-Davidson® to commercialize electric motorcycle, LiveWire™ in 2019. https://bit.ly/2mUpeBC

The global wind and solar power capacity has reached 1 terawatt (TW) at the end of June and is expected to double by the middle of 2023, Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) said last week.   https://bit.ly/2LUCSE7

Here’s how community solar works.   https://bit.ly/2LYwco8

 

WATER STEWARDSHIP

International Coastal Cleanup – September 15th, 2018 – Volunteers from states and territories throughout the U.S. and more than 100 countries come together each year and participate in a Cleanup event near them.  Next time you’re headed out to the beach or a nearby park, download Ocean Conservancy’s app, Clean Swell and take along a trash bag to collect and document the debris you find. https://bit.ly/2s2rKu0

Microfibers shed from your clothing are polluting our oceans – https://bit.ly/2B07AGE

WKU developing statewide drought warning system – Western Kentucky University is developing a statewide drought warning system with the help of a $200,000 federal grant. Officials will use the money to install soil moisture and temperature probes at 10 sites within the Kentucky Mesonet, a network of 69 weather monitoring stations across 67 counties.  https://bit.ly/2MjyopD

 

DEFORESTATION

Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index – an assessment of how 60 global livestock and aquaculture companies disclose and manage key ESG risks, including deforestation and biodiversity loss. 84% of the land-based protein companies in our Index – suppliers to some of the biggest food brands in the world – do not have targets or policies to address deforestation risk.  https://bit.ly/2MDUYWW

Iceland’s Comeback Story – In this wonderful short film, Throstur Eysteinsson, director of the Icelandic Forest Service and EUFORGEN National Coordinator, speaks about the work he’s doing to bring the forests back to Iceland.  https://bit.ly/2nvqnjx

Despite Deforestation, Earth Is Gaining Trees As Land Use Changes – analyzing 35 years of satellite data to determine the changes in land cover. While deforestation remains a major problem in the tropics, global tree cover area increased by 870,000 square miles (2.25 million square kilometers), a 7.1 percent change from 1982. https://bit.ly/2w0BXa3

 

RECYCLING

China to enact tariffs on OCC and other recycled paper –  https://bit.ly/2MjmHPM

A Twist On Recycling: Retailers Rebuying Their Merchandise For Resale – Staples accepts any brand and type of electronic at its stores for free recycling.  https://bit.ly/2Mk0Ac4

CRISPR licensing deal could lead to better traits in food, reduce waste – Simplot, which provides fresh, frozen and chilled products including potatoes, avocados and strawberries, said it plans to use the technology to develop desirable traits in certain fruits and vegetables and bring those products to the U.S. market to benefit farmers and consumers.  https://bit.ly/2npvf9Y

Video – Obaggo explains its revolutionary solution for recycling your plastic bags and packaging film. https://youtu.be/xs9Elk0u–E

Worst types of litter: Plastic straws not even in the top 5 – top five most common forms of litter, according to Keep America Beautiful’s latest national study. Cigarette butts, paper, food wrappers, confections and napkins/tissues topped the list. https://usat.ly/2MCQj7R

City of Enterprise to end curbside recycling program –  https://bit.ly/2vANU7b

Whole Foods’ Walter Robb Is Taking on Food Waste – Robb joined the board of FoodMaven, a digital platform and logistics company that sells oversupplied and imperfect food to restaurants and institutional kitchens at a significant discount. Last week, he also became a board member and investor in Apeel Sciences, a company that extends the shelf life of produce through a naturally derived coating. https://bit.ly/2MydLmC

Seventh Generation Reaches Packaging Milestone – introducing its new green cap for its Natural Dish Liquid, marking the first 100% post-consumer recycled plastic cap on the market.  With this innovation, Seventh Generation has converted nearly 85 percent of their packaging to virgin petroleum free materials. https://bit.ly/2vuQLP2

CHEP Supply Chain Solutions – Discover how by sharing and reusing our equipment throughout the supply chain we can help reduce our customers’ environmental footprint and encourage circular economy.  https://bit.ly/2Ou6Jjr

Indorama Ventures Expands PET Recycling Capabilities with Acquisition of Sorepla –   https://bit.ly/2vQ59AP

Webinar on Steel Recycling: Tuesday, August 21, 2018 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm EDT, Speaker: David Keeling, Director, Recycling, Steel Recycling Institute. REGISTER NOW! Click Here

Video – Piling up: Drowning in a sea of plastic – https://cbsn.ws/2MlfdIX

Sonoco set out key commitments for more sustainable use and increased recyclability of packaging by 2025 – https://bit.ly/2OTWN3K

MAKING CRUDE OIL FROM PAPER PULP? VERTORO CREATES THIS ‘GREEN GOLD’ https://bit.ly/2vCWOkt

Reduce food waste? There’s an app for that – Steve Hamilton, professor of economics at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, has studied a number of different possibilities that have the potential to impact food waste. Companies he studied include: Imperfect Produce; Food CowboyWaste No Food and Food Rescue US.  https://bit.ly/2AZv8vp

 

SUSTAINABILITY

The EPA Is Making It Easier to Use Asbestos Again. Why Is It Dangerous?- https://bit.ly/2nnYQk5

What New EPA Rulings on Asbestos Mean for Consumers and Business – https://bit.ly/2nsVzQj

HSBC, one of the largest banks, issued an alarming warning that Earth is running out of the resources to sustain life https://read.bi/2M4ykdz

Mastercard Commits to Science-Based Emission Targets – https://bit.ly/2AXqNsH

New database highlights benefits of integrated reporting – The database, which is a freely available resource, can be accessed at: http://www.iracademicdatabase.org.  https://bit.ly/2OtwXCC

Majority of impact investors satisfied with investment performance:  https://bit.ly/2B1bWx5

What are Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? – 17 Global goals include eliminating poverty, protecting the environment, reducing economic inequality and ensuring peace and justice for all. New topics such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace, and justice have been added.  https://bit.ly/2MyG3xc

Video: Interface CEO: We’re Going Green By Using Other People’s Waste – https://for.tn/2P1AN71

ESG adoption gaining among U.S. asset owners – More than 40% of U.S. asset owners have incorporated environmental, social and governance factors into their investment decisions, up from 37% in 2017 and 22% in 2013, said Callan‘s annual ESG survey report.   https://bit.ly/2nrY3yx

LOLIWARE is the first and only edible disposable cup that provides a completely new drinking and eating experience.100% plastic-free, gluten-free, gelatin-free, BPA-free, non-GMO, all natural, non-toxic, safe, and FDA approved. https://www.loliware.com/pages/about-us

How advisers can capitalize on impact investing – A recent report from Morningstar and WSJ shows that funds focused on sustainable investments have offered superior performance to non-sustainable investments over periods of one, three, five, and 10 years.  https://bit.ly/2Mf4XVZ

Coast to Coast Sustainability Tour Summer 2018 – https://bit.ly/2vJTunZ

 

 

THIS COMING WEEK IN HISTORY…

August 13, 1913 – Invention of stainless steel by Harry Brearley, Sheffield, England

August 14, 1980 – 17,000 workers go on strike at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk, Poland, marking the beginning of the Solidarity movement

August 15, 1248 – Construction of Cologne Cathedral begun

August 16, 1954 – “Sports Illustrated” magazine begins publishing

 

Weekly Round-Up: Water Stewardship – Some, for all, forever

Access to clean water and sanitation services are human rights.  And, yet, according to Water for People, 1.8 billion people around the world still don’t have access to safe water. 2.4 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation, and more than 840,000 people die each year from water-related diseases.

Each of us lives in a watershed.chickencreek watershed sign The US Geological Survey defines a watershed as the area of land where all of the water that falls in it and drains off of it goes to a common outlet. Watersheds can be as small as a footprint or large enough to encompass all the land that drains water into rivers that drain into a bay, where it enters an ocean.

Often it seems we waste water by design.

We flush our toilets with drinking water.

54% of urban water use in the US is for landscape irrigation1.

Water lost due to aging infrastructure in the US is 1.7 trillion gallons annually2.

The estimated cost of upgrading infrastructure: $2 trillion over 25 years2.

As much as 70% – 90% of the world’s fresh water is contained in the ice that cover the Antarctic continent.

As much as 43 gallons of water is used to produce a pound of paper3.

A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. That’s the amount of water needed to take more than 180 showers4.leaky water faucet

Fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners about 10% on water bills4 .

The Food Service Technology Center has tools and calculators to help estimate the cost of leaks in restaurants and food service operations.

Stormwater pollution is the #1 source of water pollution in the United States; and the # 1 pollutant in stormwater by volume is sediment.  One gallon of motor oil can contaminate one MILLION gallons of water.

Thirsty business: CDP 2016 Annual Report of Corporate Water Disclosure.  The report and underlying data analysis aim to shine a light on the linkages between water, energy and private sector efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The report, written on behalf of 643 investors with $67 trillion in assets, revealed water-related impacts cost business $14 billion, a five-fold increase from last year.  Additionally, 24% of greenhouse gas reduction activities depend on a stable supply of good quality water with 53% of companies reporting that better water management is delivering GHG reductions.

Liquidity crisisAs water becomes ever more scant the world needs to conserve it, use it more efficiently and establish clear rights over who owns the stuff . “NOTHING is more useful than water,” observed Adam Smith, but “scarcely anything can be had in exchange for it.” The father of free-market economics noted this paradox in 18th-century Scotland, as rain-sodden and damp then as it is today. Where water is in ample supply his words still hold true. But around the world billions of people already struggle during dry seasons.

Drought and deluge are a costly threat in many countries. If water is not managed better, today’s crisis will become a catastrophe. By the middle of the century more than half of the planet will live in areas of “water stress”, where supplies cannot sustainably meet demand. Lush pastures will turn to barren desert and millions will be forced to flee in search of fresh water. But putting food on their tables requires floods of the stuff. Growing 1kg of wheat takes 1,250 liters of water; fattening a cow to produce the same weight of beef involves 12 times more. Overall, agriculture accounts for more than 70% of global freshwater withdrawals. And as the global population rises from 7.4bn to close to 10bn by the middle of the century, it is estimated that agricultural production will have to rise by 60% to fill the world’s bellies.

This will put water supplies under huge strain.  Overall about 41% of America’s withdrawals go towards cooling power stations. Climate change will only make the situation more fraught. Hydrologists expect that a warming climate will see the cycle of evaporation, condensation and precipitation speed up. Wet regions will grow wetter and dry ones drier as rainfall patterns change and the rate increases at which soil and some plants lose moisture. Deluges and droughts will intensify, adding to the pressure on water resources. Late or light rainy seasons will alter the speed at which reservoirs and aquifers refill. A warmer atmosphere holds more moisture (the water content of air rises by about 7% for every 1ºC of warming) increasing the likelihood of sudden heavy downpours that can cause flash flooding across parched ground. This will also add to sediment in rivers and reservoirs, affecting storage capacity and water quality.

US Drought Monitor.  Established in 1999, the US Drought Monitor is a weekly map of drought conditions produced jointly by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The map, which comes out every Thursday based on data through the preceding Tuesday, is based on measurements of climatic, hydrologic and soil conditions as well as reported impacts and observations from more than 350 contributors around the country. Eleven climatologists from the partner organizations take turns serving as the lead author each week. The authors examine all the data and use their best judgment to reconcile any differences in what different sources are saying.

Watering Restrictions Currently in Effect in Atlanta Area – Drought conditions across Atlanta and most of Georgia have worsened.  52 counties have moved from Level 1 to Level 2 Response, requiring outdoor water use restrictions. In the City of Atlanta, outdoor landscape watering is only allowed two days a week, determined by odd- and even-numbered addresses. Even-numbered addresses and properties without numbered addresses may water on Wednesday and Saturday before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. Odd-numbered addresses may water Thursday and Sunday before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. Even on allowable days, it’s encouraged that watering be limited to when plants are showing stress.

Drought and forest loss cause vicious circle in the Amazon – If dry seasons intensify with man-made climate change, the risk for self-amplified forest loss increases even more and could put the Amazon rainforest further at risk, an international team of scientists found. Researchers at the German Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) found the Amazon rainforest could be exposed to higher risks of dieback if dry seasons intensify and rainfall decreases. This could lead to a vicious dieback circle, they said in a study published in Nature Communications.

no water - drought

The dramatic effects of drought.

“The Amazon rainforest is one of the tipping elements in the Earth system,” said lead-author Delphine Clara Zemp, who conducted the study at PIK. “We already know that on the one hand, reduced rainfall increases the risk of forest dieback, and on the other hand, forest loss can intensify regional droughts,” she said.  “So more droughts can lead to less forest leading to more droughts and so on.” The researchers found the close relationship between deforestation and drought could put the Amazon further at risk. When it rains, trees absorb water through their roots and then release it back to the atmosphere. Tropical forests produce most of the water they need themselves: they pump moisture which then rains back to them.

ISCIENCES: Global Water Monitor & Forecast monitors fresh water resources worldwide and forecasts changes with their Water Security Indicator Model.  Each month they document current anomalies and provide forecasts with lead times from 1-9 months.

The Coca-Cola Company is the first Fortune 500 Company to replenish all of the water it uses globally. Being a steward means holding something in trust and taking care of it. And that’s really what everyone does with water. Water is a finite resource, but it’s infinitely renewable. And that’s where stewardship becomes very important. At the end of 2015 Coke met its 2020 goal to replenish 100% of the water used across its entire system by replenishing 337.78 billion liters of water to nature and communities. Working with a whole host of different charities and conservation organizations, Coke supported 248 community water partnership projects in 71 countries and over 2,000 communities, which focused on safe water access, watershed protection and water for productive use. In many cases, these projects also provide access to sanitation and education, help improve local livelihoods, assist communities with adapting to climate change, improve water quality, enhance biodiversity, engage on policy and build awareness on water issues.

Beer giant AB InBev’s former water guru offers some advice – By Hugh Share – There’s no single definition of “water stewardship.” My view is that it is something to be continually strived for, not something that can be simply achieved, and I’d challenge any company that claims to have achieved it.  When the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) talks about stewardship, it uses the words progression, improvement, direct operations, value chain and commitment. The Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) states that its members are aiming to continually improve and to act, engage and influence on matters related to water stewardship. Much like our health, we can’t simply lose weight or apply an intervention and declare we’ve achieved “health.” We must continue to eat well, exercise and maintain ourselves if we’re to stay healthy.  We need more pragmatic thinking that generates real-world results. I’ve seen the same case studies for years, examples that are force-fitted into different guidance documents, over and over again. The bottom line is we all need to talk less, act more and work together — quicker, more efficiently and to scale. See the great tips on water stewardship Hugh has for NGOs, businesses and governments.

Sources:

  1. Hydro Point Data Systems
  2. US Council on Competitiveness: Leverage: Water and Manufacturing.
  3. Environment Canada
  4. US EPA