The TreeZero News October 15-21, 2018

Red Top Mountain State Park, Bartow County, GA

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Phaseout of HFC’s from refrigerators and air conditioners could deliver half a degree Celsius of global warming by the end of the century – hydrofluorocarbons, better known as HFCs including HFC-134A – used in most American refrigerators traps 1,300 times more heat than carbon dioxide does. Another, 410a, used in most American air-conditioners, is worse. An international agreement known as the Kigali Amendment will begin phasing out HFCs in 2019. Though the United States, the biggest emitter of the chemicals, has yet to ratify the treaty, 53 parties, including Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico and the Maldives have already done so. With American participation, the agreement is expected to prevent half a degree Celsius of global warming by the end of the century.  Already, there is plenty of support for the Kigali Amendment not just from environmental groups, but, critically, also from many Republicans and from the HFC manufacturers themselves.  https://nyti.ms/2QUihgT

Energy efficiency is the cornerstone for building a secure and sustainable energy system – Energy Efficiency 2018 examines the opportunities for improving global energy efficiency to 2040, and finds that efficiency gains alone could allow the world to extract twice as much economic value from the energy it uses compared to today. Doing so would reduce energy bills for consumers by more than $500 billion dollars per year, lower energy imports and cut air pollution in cities – a key issue for many countries. https://bit.ly/2RYIgFs

Properties participating in Greenprint are well ahead of schedule in their goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030, regularly achieving reductions topping 3 percent annually and demonstrating what is possible for the broader real estate industry.  https://bit.ly/2S54ndq

When, why and how is the global energy transition going to happen?  By 2035, close to 20% of global power needs will be met by solar or wind. Similarly, upwards of 20% of all miles traveled globally by cars, trucks, buses and bikes will use electric motors rather than gasoline or diesel. After 2035, we expect to see adoption rates for renewable generation and electrified transport increase rapidly as they become the default choice across many energy systems around the world. So much so that half of all new power plants constructed globally are either solar or wind, or a hybrid combination with storage. Plus, half of all additional miles traveled by road will use an electric vehicle. https://bit.ly/2CvPTxP

Renewables meet 19% of Estonia’s Q3 power – Renewable power generation in Estonia totaled 402 GWh in the third quarter of 2018, covering 19% of the country’s total demand, shows data by transmission system operator (TSO) Elering. The output of Estonia’s renewable energy facilities was almost 20% higher than in the year-ago period. https://bit.ly/2PaD0A0

By suing U.S. government over climate change, young people ‘take some of that control into our own hands’– The lawsuit, originally filed in 2015, is scheduled to go to trial in federal court on Oct. 29.  On Monday, U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken ruled that the lawsuit could proceed after the federal government’s attempt to halt the case last week. https://bit.ly/2ymXVGz

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has released its 2018 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard. For the second year in a row, Massachusetts is ranked number one and California number two. https://bit.ly/2CZ9tni

 

RECYCLING

Istanbul Vending Machines Offer Subway Credit for Recycled Bottles and Cans  The city is installing “reverse vending machines” at metro stations that allow passengers to add credit to their subway cards simply by inserting a plastic bottle or aluminum can into the machine. Once a value has been assigned to the recyclables, the machine will crush, shred and sort the material. A commuter would need around 28 1.5-liter bottles to buy a single-journey ticket. https://nyti.ms/2CT1eJl

Weekend Without Waste: Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages Teams Up With Keep Texas Beautiful to Educate Texans About Recycling – Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages (CCSWB) and Keep Texas Beautiful helped create a “Weekend Without Waste” during one of the biggest sporting and festival event weekends in Texas. Volunteer recycling teams roamed stadium stands and parking lots from Oct. 4-6 with signs and recycling bins to remind Texans to recycle their bottles and cans when they’re finished. https://bit.ly/2QSjRzX

Amazon Primes Recycling Pump, Betting Market Will Bounce Back – Amazon will invest $10 million in Closed Loop Partners, a $100 million fund focusing specifically on municipal recycling programs and technologies aimed at eliminating packaging waste. “This investment will help build the local capabilities needed to make it easier for our customers and their communities to recycle and to increase the amount of material recycled across the country,” said Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations. “We are investing in Closed Loop Fund’s work because we think everyone should have access to easy, convenient curbside recycling.”  https://bit.ly/2PL8R7i

Trump Administration Launches “Winning on Reducing Food Waste” Initiative – The agreement is aimed at improving coordination and communication across federal agencies attempting to better educate Americans on the impacts and importance of reducing food loss and waste. Signing the joint agency agreement were U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. https://bit.ly/2S4j1l3

ZERO WASTE GROCERY GUIDE – A list of stores throughout the country that will allow you to purchase unpackaged staples in your own containers. You can use this list to help you find bulk goods while traveling, or if you’re just starting your transition to a zero waste lifestyle. https://www.litterless.com/wheretoshop/

Major companies join platform to fight food waste in Latin America – Some of the world’s largest food companies have joined an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) initiative to combat food loss and waste in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Called #SinDesperdicio, the platform brings together businesses such as The Coca-Cola Company, Nestlé, Grupo Bimbo, Oxxo and Dow Chemical. The platform will promote four areas of activity: innovative projects, national and local public policies, knowledge generation, and responsible consumer habits. In the field of innovation, processes and technologies throughout the production chain will be promoted – from infrastructure that improves logistics, to novel food recovery and donation models. The platform will also foster public policies in areas such as adoption of labelling standards, norms and incentives for food donation, and support for national and municipal food loss and waste reduction. In the area of knowledge, efforts will be made to enhance the existing data on food loss and waste levels and their causes. https://bit.ly/2NYTyXf

Tesco Set To Pay Customers For Recycling Plastic Bottles – Tesco is trialling a series of in-store recycling bins that will pay customers 10p for every plastic bottle handed in. The Independent reports that the trials are currently taking place at selected stores in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, Swansea, Manchester, Edinburgh and Birmingham and will be rolled out across the UK if deemed a success.   https://bit.ly/2S62Zav

CREATING A FULL-USE KITCHEN – The James Beard Foundation is proud to introduce Creating a Full-Use Kitchen, an online course by the James Beard Foundation—created with founding support from the Rockefeller Foundation, served up by Morton’s Salt®, and with our Food Waste Tracking partner, LeanPath—and designed to introduce food waste reduction methods into the culinary school classroom. Over the next year, we will be taking this course on the road in the form of culinary labs across the country. At these labs, we’ll walk you through the course platform, facilitate a training session, and give a hands-on demonstration of two of the course activities.

  • November 2nd, 2018 — Brightwater, Bentonville, AR
  • January TBD, 2019 — Seattle, WA
  • February TBD, 2019 — Miami, FL

https://bit.ly/2z1fnjt

Sodexo Announces Plastics Reduction Policy Balancing Inclusion and Environmental Impact –  The North American Single-Use Plastics Reduction Plan that will eliminate single use plastic bags and stirrers by 2019, polystyrene foam items such as cups, lids and food containers by 2025, and shift straws to a “by request” item that will still be available to customers who need them while moving toward more sustainable materials. More details about Sodexo’s Single-Use Plastics Reduction Plan are available on SodexoUSA.com. https://bit.ly/2PH5q1G

 

DEFORESTATION

Nestlé ready to share evidence of deforestation in palm oil supply chain – From March 1, 2019 onwards the company intends to make its suppliers’ adherence (or non-adherence) to Nestlé’s no-deforestation policy external link available to the public on a Transparency Dashboard published on its website. https://bit.ly/2EBEoHK

Forests Emerge as a Major Overlooked Climate Factor – New work at the intersection of atmospheric science and ecology is finding that forests can influence rainfall and climate from across a continent.  https://bit.ly/2pSdSzP

Missing Pathways to 1.5°C The role of the land sector in ambitious climate action – THIS REPORT PROVIDES AN ALTERNATE RESPONSE TO THE – UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s request to the IPCC to analyse impacts of warming to 1.5°C and related greenhouse gas emission pathways. Prepared by representatives of the Climate Land Ambition and Rights Alliance (CLARA), a consortium of advocates, faith-based organizations and scientists concerned with climate mitigation and adaptation, the report responds speci cally to the concern that many IPCC pathways rely heavily on untested mitigation approaches such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). CLARA supports the IPCC’s objective of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change while meeting sustainable development goals and reducing poverty.  https://bit.ly/2NKnExt

 

WATER STEWARDSHIP

A device that can pull drinking water from the air just won the latest XPrize – The design, from the Skysource/Skywater Alliance, just won $1.5 million in the Water Abundance XPrize. The competition, which launched in 2016, asked designers to build a device that could extract at least 2,000 liters of water a day from the atmosphere (enough for the daily needs of around 100 people), use clean energy, and cost no more than 2¢ a liter. The new system, called WEDEW (“wood-to-energy deployed water”) was created by combining two existing systems. One is a device called Skywater, a large box that mimics the way clouds are formed: It takes in warm air, which hits cold air and forms droplets of condensation that can be used as pure drinking water. The water is stored in a tank inside the shipping container, which can then be connected to a bottle refill station or a tap. Because the process uses a large amount of electricity, designers paired it with a biomass gassifier, a low-cost source of energy. When the gassifier is filled with wood chips, coconut shells, or whatever biomass is locally available, a process calls pyrolysis vaporizes that material. That makes the system hot and humid, the ideal environment to run the air-to-water machine. As it generates power, it also produces biochar, a charcoal that can be added to soil to store carbon and help plants grow. https://bit.ly/2yu1tqk

AB InBev teams up with WWF to champion supply chain water stewardship – The first phase of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s (AB InBev) partnership with TNC will see the organisations collaborate to launch a series of four new Water Funds in Colombia, El Salvador, Argentina and Mexico. These Funds will be used to unite water catchment stakeholders in developing nature-based solutions and sustainable watershed management models. It is hoped that the move will help to bolster the climate resilience of catchments while creating jobs for local people. Meanwhile, AB InBev will work with WWF to develop “blended finance” approaches to catchment management in Bolivia and Africa. https://bit.ly/2R3vNza

 

SUSTAINABILITY

Fairtrade ready to help food firms move to self-certification – The Fairtrade Foundation said on Wednesday it wanted to help food companies create their own schemes to ensure farmers in developing nations were treated fairly, even if the firms want to drop the Fairtrade mark.Fairtrade said it championed what it termed authentic and transparent self-certification and said it was ready to support companies in their efforts to develop robust in-house schemes.“We’re not abandoning certification – far from it,” Fairtrade CEO Michael Gidney said. “What we are doing is we’re developing new ways of working with companies, large and small.”  https://reut.rs/2yK8y5k

Interface’s futuristic Midtown ‘Base Camp’ is complete – With water filtration system and green roof, company’s West Peachtree Street headquarters is designed to refresh. From the exterior, the forest motif is designed to allow for natural light, reduce heat, and reflect Interface’s commitment to sustainability, officials said. The building uses 48 percent less energy than city code requires, with a 15,000-gallon water collection system for flushing. The company is applying for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) v4 Platinum certification. “Every aspect of the building’s design, seen and unseen, is collaborative and restorative in nature,” Jay Gould, Interface CEO, said in a press release. https://bit.ly/2PEGJ5U

Sustainability Certification Program for Industrial and Commercial Uniforms – Clean Green certified linen, uniform and facility services operations meet quality standards for effectiveness in conserving resources and minimizing environmental impact. Customers that use Clean Green certified companies to supply, launder and maintain linens, uniforms, mats and other reusable textiles can be assured that their provider maximizes sustainable practices.  https://bit.ly/2PaDwxP

How To Choose Eco-Friendly Fabrics – Follow this eco-friendly textile guide to make more informed purchases. Here are the top green textile choices to seek out in your next wardrobe.  https://bit.ly/2R2mqiS

Only 6% of Older Investors Are Familiar With ESG Investing: Survey – Only 40% of investors older than 60 were familiar with values-based investing, compared with 84% of millennials, and a mere 6% of senior investors knew what environmental, social and governance investing involved, versus 80% of millennials. The survey also found that as investors grow older, their financial advisors speak with them less about these various forms of investing. Only 25% of senior investors’ advisors were discussing options for portfolio construction around values-based investing, versus 85% of millennial investors’ advisors.  https://bit.ly/2J9vVKE

Impact Shares Receives $1 Million in Additional Funding from The Rockefeller Foundation – Impact Shares, the first 501(c)(3) nonprofit exchange-traded fund (ETF) platform, has secured an additional $1 million grant from The Rockefeller Foundation to expand its partnerships with leading nonprofits and help translate their social values into investable products. Impact Shares’ goal is to build a capital markets bridge between leading nonprofits, investors and corporate America to direct capital and social engagement on societal priorities. impactetfs.org.

Yale May Consider Exiting Private Funds in Social Investment Shift – Yale University, facing pressure to address ethical issues like gun violence, may consider exiting private equity and hedge fund investments that it deems socially irresponsible. Yale, which has about 60 percent of its $29.4 billion endowment in such alternative assets, made the statement as part of its ethical investment policy. The Ivy League school said it will work with its outside managers to adhere to its standards. https://bloom.bg/2EBJJim

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded $450,000 to the Rutgers Institute for Corporate Social Innovation (RICSI) to further its mission to prepare the next generation of business leaders by integrating social innovation, sustainability and shared value creation into Rutgers Business School’s curriculum. The funding will support curriculum development by building collaborative networks between corporations and faculty committed to providing students the education, skills and will to drive sustainable and socially responsible enterprises to create healthy communities across New Jersey, the country, and beyond.  https://bit.ly/2S3jx2J

Smart Catch is a sustainable seafood program created by chefs for chefs – the program provides training and support to chefs so they can serve seafood fished or farmed in environmentally-responsible ways. If you would like to join this initiative, please take a look at this summary, complete this form, or email smartcatch@jamesbeard.org.  Suppliers: If you are a supplier and are interested in working with us, please complete this Supplier Interest Form.

See a map of current Smart Catch Leaders.

For a list of restaurants Committed to the Smart Catch program, click here. https://www.jamesbeard.org/smart-catch

Why General Mills Is Turning to ‘Throwback’ Farming to Fight Climate Change – To fight climate change, General Mills is looking to its past. The 152-year-old food company is turning to “a throwback of classic, old farming practices” combined with new methods to contribute to a more sustainable future for the food industry, according to Carla Vernón, president of its natural and organic operating unit. That means expanding its organic acreage and implementing regenerative farming practices with perennial grains, cover crops, and pollinator habitats.  https://for.tn/2R5gCFo

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 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 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

 

The TreeZero News July 23-29, 2018

VIDEO – TreeZero Sustainability Headlines – https://youtu.be/bQW1gyoWHk81 min 46 sec.

BACKYARD COMPOSTING – by Jeff Foote – There is no waste in nature.  As plants and trees die, they decompose and provide nutrients that help new flora sprout and prosper.  The same can come true for organic material generated where you live – including scraps from meal prep, food waste and grass clippings and leaves.  Do you compost? If not, why not give it a try?

By weight, food waste is the largest component of household waste going to landfills.  Together, food waste and yard trimmings make up as much as 30% of the waste stream.  16% of all methane gas emitted comes from rotting wasted food in landfills.  Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 21 times more potent than CO2.

Your plants and yard need food – why not feed them your leftovers.  Make your own NPK – Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium are key nutrients vital to healthy soil and productive plant growth.  Compost can be a great and free source of each.  Compost also helps retain moisture in soil, while reducing methane emissions from landfills, and can help you save money on disposal, fertilizers and mulch.

Composting is easy to do.  It is a natural process where micro-organisms and or worms break down organic materials. It is recommended that you use a 5 to 10 gallon container with a lid to collect prep waste, peelings and plate scrapings in your kitchen.  You will also need a larger container for the composting process.  Commercial bins are available from local hardware stores and online.  For example, Amazon has dozens of options from wire mesh for just under $60 to large barrels or bins from more than $200.  You can also build your own bin or pile out of chicken-wire or old wood pallets.  It is recommended that you don’t add meat or bones to your compost – they can attract rodents and other animals.

Each time you add materials to your bin or pile, it is recommended that you turn – mixing the materials, moisture and oxygen helps facilitate the composting process.  You can expect as much as a 90% reduction in as soon as 14 days.

No backyard or limited on space?  Consider Vermiculture – A form of composting that uses red wiggler earthworms to breakdown food waste.  The end result – worm pooh – natural form of plant food.  For additional resources checkout the following: http://whatcom.wsu.edu/ag/compost/easywormbin.htm

https://www.atlantarecycles.com/composting.html

https://www.georgiarecycles.org/tools-resources/citizen-resource-guides/composting-in-georgia/

 

RECYCLING

Delta upcycling 350k pounds of ‘retired uniforms’ into travel bags, passport covers – https://bit.ly/2vgJUIa

Chinese mills face shortages RISI reported last week that six major Chinese mill operators will take downtime on more than 40 recycled paper and board machines during the coming month. https://bit.ly/2NULNSu

Eco-tip: Tossing toner cartridges wastes resources and money, so consider recycling – Of the 500 million printer cartridges sold each year in the United States, 350 million are disposed of in landfills, according to Earth911.org. Each toner cartridge is worth a credit of about $2 in the largest retailer trade-in programs at Staples and Office Depot. https://bit.ly/2sVxDHI

Artificial Intelligent (AI) Recycling Sorting Robot – SumurAI – Video from manufacturer claims up to 70 picks per minute vs 30-50 picks by manual sort; up to 95% efficiency of targeted product recognition. https://bit.ly/2KNdgEM  Chicago-based Lakeshore Recycling Systems recently became the first company in the U.S. to install.  Each of the bots will reportedly replace two full-time staff members  and translate to about $120,000 to $130,000 in annual savings.  https://bit.ly/2uRMqFk

Dell is using ink made from smog to print some of its packaging – The ink is made from the exhaust of polluting diesel generators. https://bit.ly/2LHFtNh

This London Lab is Using Technology to Help Feed the Planet – Green Lab has created cost-effective animal feed by taking waste from common businesses such as restaurants and bars, feeding that waste to insects, grinding the fast-growing insects down into a protein powder, and then creating a protein-dense bar that can feed both livestock and pets in a healthier way and for less cost.  https://bit.ly/2uSbPhc

Rutgers University nixes dining hall trays – Instead, students carry their food to the table with their hands. The results: 14 to 22 percent reduction in what students tossed after they ate and going trayless saves Rutgers about $30,000 a week.  https://njersy.co/2Ol16Vh

The Dirty Truth Is Your Recycling May Actually Go To Landfills – municipalities — from Sacramento, California, to Hooksett, New Hampshire — have canceled or significantly curtailed their recycling programs, leaving residents with no choice but to throw their recyclables in the trash.  https://bit.ly/2uRVGt4

A 2,000-sq-ft home can generate more than a ton of the gypsum board product – A team from Washington State University has designed drywall bricks, made from 80% drywall waste and a binder from industrial products to make blocks, lighter than earth blocks, bricks or concrete blocks come waterproof and fire resistant. Now the researchers want to partner with local contractors to get additional waste and use architecture students to use a press to build the blocks, which look similar to masonry bricks. In the next year, reports WSU, the researchers will test the blocks to meet building, seismic and fire codes. They also aim to build a 160-sq-ft demonstration structure. https://bit.ly/2mQkehJ

Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new material made from crab shells and tree fibers. Researchers hope the material will serve as a more sustainable replacement for flexible plastic packaging used to keep food fresh. https://bit.ly/2M11uXO

UK theme parks to offer half-price entry in exchange for used plastic bottles Legoland and Thorpe Park among the attractions that have joined Coca-Cola in a trial offering instant incentives for recycling  https://bit.ly/2LvwCSf

Costco Taps Zest Fresh to Improve Produce Supply Chain – The solution helps reduce waste. Initial work is underway to provide analytic insights on the supply chain to help better manage freshness.  https://bit.ly/2AsDeMX

 

DEFORESTATION

Video: Wildlife Works Kasigau Corridor REDD+ Project, Kenya – Founded in 1997, Wildlife Works has been a pioneer in market based solutions for conservation for 21 years.  https://bit.ly/2AeykmA

17 Companies, Including TreeZero, Call for Protection of Canada’s Boreal Forest – Seventeen companies representing a range of sectors have urged Canada’s federal and provincial officials to implement safeguards around industrial activities that threaten species and landscapes in Canada’s boreal forest. The company letter can be found here.  https://on.nrdc.org/2uVT0dQ

Kenyan Company Using Slingshots to Plant Trees and Fight Deforestation – The initiative by the SeedBalls Kenya company, which makes and sells seedballs globally, is meant to encourage children have slingshot competitions using charcoal covered seeds instead of stones. About 2 million seedballs have been planted in Kenya alone in the past year and a half in what has been called “guerrilla gardening”. The company recycles coal dust collected around Nairobi and buys the seeds from the Kenya Forest Research Institute.  https://bit.ly/2AeDfny

The first database of primary forests in Europe – The map, which first appeared in the journal Diversity & Distributions in May, identifies more than 3.4 million acres in 34 European countries. According to their research, 89 percent of the primary forests fall under protected areas, but only 46 percent fall under what the team considers strict protection. That means that the other areas, despite being designated sites, can still be used for legal timber harvesting or salvage logging. https://bit.ly/2OpecB3

The southeastern U.S. is losing trees fast – Between 2000 and 2012, trees in the region were cut up to four times faster than in South American rainforests.  https://bit.ly/2LBYHr2

Rivers in the sky – Every tree in the forest is a fountain, sucking water out of the ground through its roots and releasing water vapor into the atmosphere through pores in its foliage. In their billions, they create giant rivers of water in the air – rivers that form clouds and create rainfall hundreds or even thousands of miles away. https://bit.ly/2K4w9S5

 Deforestation skyrockets in the Amazon rainforest – Imazon, an NGO that independently tracks forest trends in Brazil, this week released its monthly deforestation alert, which pegged June’s forest loss in the Amazon at 1,169 square kilometers, an area 343 times the size of New York’s Central Park. That represents a 108 percent increase over last June and tops the previous record of 1,112 square kilometers, which was set back in September 2007.  https://bit.ly/2LHzAmA

 

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

2018 is on pace to be the 4th-hottest year on record – https://cnn.it/2NUnPqs

 Shrink Your Dorm Print – Check out shopping guide and tip sheethttps://bit.ly/2OlymvL

BROKEN: Costs to Operate, Maintain Electrical Generation Facilities Have Soared Over Two Decades – From 1998 to 2017, non-fuel related operational and maintenance costs rose 74 percent.  https://bit.ly/2v75tdO

The Southern Ocean sucks up 40 per cent of the CO2 that humans send in to the atmosphere – but for how much longer? https://bit.ly/2mNdhxI

Coastal cities are already suffering from “climate gentrification” https://bit.ly/2uOW8re

Can Atlanta Run Entirely on Renewable Energy by 2035? https://bit.ly/2LfAHum

Environment Massachusetts Releases ‘Roadmap’ To 100 Percent Renewables https://bit.ly/2OsvFbN

A Century of Global Warming, in Just 35 Seconds – https://bit.ly/2uL2bOd

A Troubling Look at the Human Toll of Mountaintop Removal Mining – Heart defects were the most common – the risk for these was 181 percent higher in mining areas. https://bit.ly/2Bkxn7O

The Curbelo Carbon Tax Bill: A Breakthrough GOP Proposal on Climate Change? – Curbelo’s carbon tax bill visit here and herehttps://bit.ly/2mJixCD

Bloom Energy Rocks Into IPO – https://bit.ly/2LDhKkM

 Renewable energy is way too expensive, right? Global Weirding with Katharine Hayhoe – Renewable energy is a nice fad and all, but it’s way too expensive. What about poor people? Find out in this all new episode of Global Weirding. https://bit.ly/2OjzVu5

Baltimore Lawsuit Blames Oil and Gas Companies for Climate Change https://bit.ly/2mQhfpx

This eco-friendly concrete traps CO2 forever while being stronger – Thomas Concrete is using carbon cure on a mixed-use development which will be the largest building ever made with carbon cure concrete. https://bit.ly/2Oqt0zB

Britain to hand out 557 million pounds of renewables funding via auctions https://reut.rs/2Ak6bdI

Food Processing Grants Available to Help Improve Energy Efficiency – The state of California will be offering $57 million in food processing grants in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The grant funding will allow food processors to save money as well as conserve energy. https://bit.ly/2LZ33Wa

 

WATER STEWARDSHIP

Oceans cover approximately 70 percent of the earth’s surface and just 13.2 percent of the world’s seas remains truly wild.  https://bit.ly/2Ah50vI

What is your Flood iQ? Are You at Risk from Tidal or Hurricane Flooding? – Will you be at risk in five years as sea levels continue to rise? Enter your address or city to find out. Currently they have data for addresses and cities in: FL, GA, SC, NC, VA. Flood iQ is a nonprofit focused on empowering homeowners to protect their property from flooding. It was created using the most advanced open source data from partners like:  NOAA; USGS; National Weather Service; US Army Corps of Engineers; and Columbia University.  https://www.floodiq.com

 

SUSTAINABILITY

Webinar – Understanding ESG as an Investor Relations Professional – Aug 23, 1 PM EST – This 30-minute webinar will focus on understanding how disclosed environmental, social and governance (ESG) data is leveraged by IR departments and investment professionals. We’ll cover the state of industry disclosure, materiality, peer analysis, supply chain, and UN Sustainable Development Goals, in addition to addressing some of the implications for investment research.   https://bit.ly/2JTKxww

ESG / Sustainability – Are Companies Realizing Real ROI? –  https://bit.ly/2uH2zxa

Staples and Jessica Alba Team Up – to help students succeed in the upcoming school year with a scholarship sweepstakes and in-kind donations to support classroom projects on DonorsChoose.org. Together, Staples and DonorsChoose.org have funded more than 700,000 classroom projects for teachers and positively affected more than 18 million students across the country. Parents, students and teachers can visit local Staples stores or Staples.com to support a classroom project or enter to win the scholarship today. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180724005499/en/

Time is running out for the tropics: Extinction of hundreds of species due to deforestation, over-fishing and climate change is ‘imminent’ unless we act NOW, new research warns.  https://dailym.ai/2AnSLgC

New app to help consumers track where, how garments are made – Shoppers will soon be able to scan a barcode on a item of clothing to trace its origin. Ethical clothing advocate Samantha Jones is developing an app which allows consumers to find out where and how their clothing is made. https://bit.ly/2AoDAEi

The Consumer Goods Forum’s Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI) has opened the global public consultation of its first set of benchmarking criteria. https://bit.ly/2veEhtF

 

THIS COMING WEEK IN HISTORY…

July 30, 1960 – President Johnson signs Medicare into law

July 31, 1965 – J.K. Rowling born

August 1, 1914 – First World War erupts

August 3, 1823 – Union General Thomas F. Meagher is born in Ireland

The TreeZero news June 25 – July 1, 2018

JOIN THE CLIMATE FORCE CHALLENGE

I recently had a wide-ranging conversation with Robert and Barney Swan, of The Climate Force Challenge, discussing polar expeditions, climate change, inspiration and the importance for individuals and businesses to work towards carbon neutrality.  Below are highlights and a few of my observations from that conversation.

In the early 1980’s, the famed French Oceanographer, Jacques Cousteau, personally inspired a young English Cab Driver, Robert Swan, to adopt a long-term vision to preserve Antarctica.

Monsieur Cousteau convinced Robert that humankind still had a chance to leave one continent natural and unspoiled.  There was just enough time to ensure that the home of 70% of the world’s freshwater, millions of penguins, whales and seals would not be exploited, but could be preserved and conserved for the good of all, if people were inspired to take action.

Antarctica could be forever dedicated to advancing science and education.  No bloody mining, no colonization, no war.  Full stop.

To achieve this vision, Cousteau inspired Rob to create a series of expeditions and to engage thousands of young people, businesses and industries to become part of the story.  Connecting Cousteau’s advice to their recent ground-breaking South Pole Energy Challenge (SPEC) expedition, Robert said, “The basis of success is to have a great story.  In a world of over communications and too much information, what people actually want today is inspiration not more information.”

Rob went on to say, “What young people, corporate leaders and educators need to do is show leadership.  Inspire.  Take a risk. In the Antarctic, we are in a survival situation.  A survivor does not see a problem and do nothing about it.  Leaders need to take risks to solve problems and do things that captures their people’s imagination.  Take bold action that creates inspiration, not more information.”

Driven by mission madness, Rob became the first person to walk to both the South and North Poles, earning him the Medal of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).  For more than 35 years, Rob has hatched and successfully completed a series of missions, inspiring thousands of diverse individuals across the globe to raise awareness and help save Antarctica.  With each new far-flung adventure propelling Rob’s vision for saving Antarctica into clearer focus – to leverage his efforts to safe Antarctica to inspire others to take action.  “The Greatest Threat to Our Planet Is the Belief That Someone Else Will Save It.”

I first met Rob in June of 2002 and later that year helped staff his Mission Antarctica exhibit at the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa.  Shortly thereafter, I had the honor of helping organize and participate in the first two of ten annual, Inspire Expedition Antarctica (IEA) leadership and teamwork missions, partly sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company.

Now, at the age of 61, Rob, this time inspired by his 23-year-old son Barney, decided to see if it could be possible to walk across the Antarctic continent without using fossil fuels for cooking or heating.  Why?  To set an example for the world, that if a small group of explorers could survive a 600-mile trek to the South Pole relying solely on renewable fuels, people back home surely could successfully transition from fossil fuels.

Dozens of sponsors, large and small, helped outfit, orient, fuel and feed the team.  With the help of NASA, build solar devices to melt snow, bio-fuel made from waste materials from Shell and tons of intestinal fortitude, Rob, Barney, Kyle O’Donoghue and Martin Barnett set out on the South Pole Energy Challenge on November 15, 2017.  One interesting culinary innovation was a tasty energy bar made by Atlanta based CSM Bakery.  Packed with 1,000 calories and designed to stay soft even at minus 40 degrees C, the CSM bars were a safe and convenient snack, providing a blast of energy without risk of a broken tooth from biting a frozen slab of nutrition.

The first fortnight or so of the journey was typical Antarctic stuff.  Minus 45-degree Celsius temperatures, frequent wind blasts of over 50 miles per hour, hauling 300-pound sledges 8-9 miles per day under a night-less sky, touches of frostbite, and massive chafing that comes from enduring ice in your underpants.

But as the days rolled on, the team was falling behind their hard and fast goal to cover at least 10 nautical miles per day, due to a nagging hip injury that reduced Rob’s speed and endurance.   Rob knew physically and mentally, he could make it to the Pole, but deadlines would be missed, supply lines strained and an important rendezvous with several expedition sponsors, scheduled to march the final 60 miles with the SPEC team to the Pole, would be blown.

Rob was forced to make a key leadership decision.  “I realized I was becoming weak, because of a hip injury, I was slowing the team down.  I came to the conclusion that making it to the South Pole was not about me, it was about the team being the first expedition attempting an assault on the South Pole surviving solely on renewable energy.”

So, Rob flew back to base camp to rest and recuperate for several weeks before rejoining the team and sponsors for the final 60-mile push to the Pole.  “While this was the hardest decision of my life, I realized this was now becoming Barney’s story, not mine.  At the time it felt like failure.  But now, reflecting on it, clearly, it was the best decision I ever made.”

Rob added, “The lesson for corporate people and NGOs is you don’t always have to lead.  Sometimes you have to support.  Sometimes you have to be a servant leader, not the leader that’s out there.  The impacts of climate change are creating risks to business and commerce and corporate leaders are starting to get that we are facing a survival situation.  Customers are beginning to truly make some choices.  Reducing your carbon footprint, using renewables is now a serious business opportunity.”

Two years of maniacal physical, mental and operational preparation by the SPEC team enabled them to successfully reach the South Pole on January 15, 2018.  I asked Barney if there was any key decision they made that ensured success.  “In our planning, not leaving anything up to an assumption was the rule.  We tried to avoid as much assumption as possible.  Relentlessly double and triple checking systems, supplies, savage organization and to do lists was key to making it all happen.”

Looking back on the journey, Barney pointed to: Day 45, as a pivotal moment.   “It was the toughest day of my life.  I had frost bite on my feet and face, mega bleeding in my crotch from chafing.  It was minus 45 degrees C.  But I realized I was there by choice, not circumstance.  This was my idea.  I chose to walk to the South Pole using only renewables and I was going to finish it. People in life forget that they are often in their situation by choice.  I was thinking of all of those people that suffer hunger, homelessness, or dehydration, due to circumstance, and don’t have a safety net.  Focusing on the bigger purpose of fulfilling promises to sponsors and completing mission got me through.  The greater goal drove me – and has now become the spring board for the next seven years.”

Barney added, “I am really proud we designed and made this expedition net positive from an emissions standpoint.  It is a model I want to help adventurers, small business, and families replicate.  People need to feel like they can have attainable solutions to balance out their emissions and work toward a carbon neutral future.   We really need to make it happen a lot faster than 2070 if we want to have any hope of keeping our planet’s temperature rise under 4 degrees.”

I asked Barney what was next for Climate Force Challenge? “We proved it was possible to survive with renewables to get to the South Pole.  Now we are setting out on a journey to scale what we achieved.  Over the next seven years, we are going to create and promote a series of projects and convenient solutions, that added together, will be responsible for cleaning 326 million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere.”

“We are working with individuals and organizations to set goals to reduce their carbon footprints.  First step is to identify and commit to a series of simple changes to reduce your footprint.  Like using efficient light bulbs, planting trees, reducing consumption of meat, carpooling or purchasing paper made from sugarcane waste.  Then progressing to more difficult and impactful efforts, such as buying green power from utilities, installing renewable energy systems, starting kelp and algae farms.”

“During the summer of 2019, we will be taking 90 people from around the world to the Arctic.”  Base camp will be Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole.  “We will take Industry leaders, blend them with a mix of students and educators, and create a shared vision of doing a bit more for the planet.  Integrating an experience with commitments – inspiring folks to become ambassadors – creating an incubator to bloom and scale.  Two weeks of leadership, teamwork and setting goals for sustainable solutions.”

“We want to help folks set and achieve goals. Promote sustainable business solutions that make meaningful contributions to reducing CO2.  If you can’t join us in the Artic, we will be visiting many locations across the US over the next seven years where you can join us in setting convenient goals and implementing simple solutions and impactful innovations to save our planet.”

For more information on SPEC checkout this CBS documentary:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/expedition-antarctica-cbsn-originals/

 

DEFORESTATION

Meet Mike Nilan of TreeZero – http://voyageatl.com/interview/meet-mike-nilan-treezero-vinings/

CDP’s 2017 Global Forests Report – Up to US$941 billion of turnover in publicly listed companies is dependent on commodities linked to deforestation, including soy, palm oil, cattle and timber. https://www.cdp.net/en/research/global-reports/global-forests-report-2017

Urban trees can store almost as much carbon as tropical rainforests  https://bit.ly/2yL4ghG

2017 Was the Second-Worst Year on Record for Tropical Tree Cover Loss – according to new data from the University of Maryland, released today on Global Forest Watch. In total, the tropics experienced 15.8 million hectares (39.0 million acres) of tree cover loss in 2017, an area the size of Bangladesh. That’s the equivalent of losing 40 football fields of trees every minute for an entire year. Colombia faced one of the most dramatic increases in tree cover loss of any country, with a 46 percent rise compared to 2016, and more than double the rate of loss from 2001-2015. https://bit.ly/2KifxLH

 Going green with Wildlife Works! – As part of Wildlife Works’ commitment to increasing the forest cover, Wildlife Works has been providing local farmers with tree seedlings and potting bags. This provides a valuable source of income for some community members and also reduces the tendency to exploit forests and animals for economic gain. https://bit.ly/2MkwvWi

International Day of the Tropics is observed on June 29 – According to the UN, the tropics account for 40 per cent of the world’s total surface area and are host to approximately 80 per cent of the world’s biodiversity and much of its language and cultural diversity.  https://bit.ly/2MCENsI

 

ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

CDP – 115 organizations, including CVS Health, Target Corporation, Tesco and Walmart representing over US$3.3 trillion of spend, request environmental data from more than 11,500 global suppliers to cut supply chain emissions. https://bit.ly/2N1dpFF

 Allergies, Glaciers, Pikas: Climate Change in Action – Seas rising, wildfires spreading, allergies increasing: Climate change is measurable globally.  https://bit.ly/2tBtclS

Bloomberg’s annual New Energy Outlook (NEO) report has been released, and projects that the global energy mix will be 50% renewables by 2050 https://bit.ly/2KwuyFE

US Renewables Nearly Tied with Nuclear At 20%, Coal Falls To 27% Renewable energy sources accounted for a fifth of US power generation over the first third of 2018 according to new figures from the US Energy Information Administration ‘Electric Power Monthly‘. https://bit.ly/2MxIgJ8

Land O’Lakes, Inc. and California Bioenergy, LLC (CalBio) have launched a first-of-its-kind collaboration to support the financing, installation and management of on-farm methane digesters to generate renewable compressed natural gas (“R-CNG”) fuel in California. https://prn.to/2tMag4T

Volvo Trucks and FedEx Successfully Demonstrate Truck Platooning on N.C. 540 (Triangle Expressway) – The tractors and trailers traveled at speeds of up to 62 mph while keeping a time gap of 1.5 seconds, maintaining a closer distance than what is typical for on-highway tractors. Drag accounts for up to 25 percent of a truck’s total fuel consumption, and the closer the trucks drive to each other, the greater the fuel-saving potential. Reducing the traveling distance between vehicles also allows for greater highway utilization, helping alleviate traffic congestion.  https://bit.ly/2KhD9zQ

Housing and car industries should be ‘ashamed’ of climate record – according to Lord Deben, chair of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC). The CCC’s annual report, published on Thursday, found the UK is on track to miss its legally binding carbon budgets in 2025 and 2030, due to lack of progress in cutting emissions from buildings and transport. https://bit.ly/2KdEIih

Climate predictions should include impacts of CO2 on life –   https://bit.ly/2NdBKbJ

 

RECYCLING

Beyond 34: Recycling and Recovery for a New Economy is a first-of-its-kind multi-stakeholder pilot project aimed at increasing the current EPA-reported 34% recycling rate in the U.S. https://bit.ly/2yIHFSQ

New Polymer Ups the Ante for Recycling  A team of chemists have produced a polymer that apparently has all the benefits of today’s plastic but can be recycled an immeasurable number of times. https://bit.ly/2NdbXA2

Morrisons Supermarkets to reintroduce paper bags for fruit and veg –  https://bit.ly/2KoeRn2

China’s Recycling Ban Costing North Texas Cities Millions – Last year The City of Fort Worth’s recycling program netted $999,000. This year Fort Worth’s program is projected to lose $465,000, and next year the recycling program is expected to cost the city $1,668,000.  https://cbsloc.al/2Kzoxs1

Think you know how to recycle? Take the quiz – https://bit.ly/2IGQYSX

 

WATER STEWARDSHIP

MillerCoors, Global Water Center achieve firsts in water stewardship – SCS Global Services (SCS), a leading international third-party certifier of environmental claims, has certified that MillerCoors Milwaukee Brewery and the Global Water Center conform with the requirements of the Alliance for Water Stewardship International Water Stewardship Standard (AWS Standard), the first-ever comprehensive global standard for measuring responsible water stewardship across social, environmental and economic criteria. https://bit.ly/2yKVLDb

The World Heritage Committee decided to remove the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System from the List of World Heritage in Danger.   https://bit.ly/2tQebfU

Argentina’s economy shrank 0.9 percent in April from the same month the year before – Treasury Minister Nicolas Dujovne has said the drought will reduce 2018 growth by 1.5 percentage points of gross domestic product (GDP) and reduce the country’s exports by hundreds of millions of dollars. https://bit.ly/2lFOqvj

Federal report: Americans conserving water like never before – In per capita terms, domestic water use has plummeted from 112 gallons per day in 1980 to just 82 gallons in 2015, a 27 percent decrease. https://bit.ly/2Kwwhyc

 

SUSTAINABILITY

The Chartered SRI Counselor (CSRIC) designation is ideal for financial professionals seeking fundamental knowledge and pertinent skills related to SRI investing and impact portfolios, in order to serve a broader network of clients as well as strengthen existing client relationships.  http://www.cffpinfo.com/web/csric.html

Will ESG Die with the Bull Market? – https://bit.ly/2lBnXiq

HOK Partners with BRE to Launch BREEAM New Construction Standard in USA – https://bit.ly/2Kkj3o0

Webinar: Reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals Thursday July 12th | 2pm BST | 3pm CET – http://events.ethicalcorp.com/reporting/webinar/

Office Depot launched their 2018 Sustainability report – Sustainability A Way of Business for Us A Resource for You.  https://bit.ly/2MssAXm

The GRI Standards on occupational health and safety (OHS) and water and effluents have been updated – https://bit.ly/2KxqfNM

Weekly Round-Up: Combatting Deforestation

What do you think about when you think of trees?

Technology usually isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.

You think of them for the shade they offer, the fruits they bare or even as a raw material for paper! But UK company BioCarbon Engineering recently revealed how quickly hundreds of trees could be planted – how entire ecosystems could be restored – with the use of drones.

Competing in the Drones for Good Competition, they utilized technology as an enabler showing how to reach difficult places and plant trees where they are needed.

The results are a brilliant and creative way to combat deforestation.

Feature Story

Oxford Based Company Plans to Use Drones to Plant One Billion Trees Per year (BioCarbon Engineering)

Can you plant a billion trees in a year? Oxford-based company BioCarbon says it’s not just possible – it’s already under way.

The company’s system works in two stages: first, a drone flies about and maps out the land, gathering intel on terrain, nutrients, and biodiversity.

Next, a planting drone fires biodegradable seedpods at targeted positions. Multiply that by 150 swarms of 6 drones each, BioCarbon believes it could eventually scale to 10s of billions of trees planted each year. (Click to Tweet)

Highlighted Stories

Additional News

Important Resources

Recent Posts

See you next week!

Jeff Foote

Pedaling to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint: Bike to Work Day

Friday, May 19th is Bike to Work day. It’s time to swap out your car keys or subway card for two wheels. Will you be a participant?

Why Should You Bike to Work?

There are many reasons including staying fit, saving money, or avoiding traffic delays.  The reason we at TreeZero like best is that it helps reduce your carbon footprint.  According to The League of American Bicyclists, 40% of all trips in the U.S. are less than two miles, making bicycling a feasible and fun way to get to work. biking to workWith increased interest in healthy, sustainable and economic transportation options, the number of bicycle commuters in the U.S. more than doubled since 2000.

You can do it
It sounds simple because it is. Whether you’re an experienced cyclist or a beginner, Bike to Work Day is your chance to give it a try. In fact, many of the largest U.S. cities will host Bike to Work Day events.  Your effort make a difference. Many people who participate in a Bike to Work Day promotion as first-time commuters become regular bike commuters. Everyone’s commute is improved when people ride a bike. 

Do it for fun
Leave the car at home and dust off the bike. Enjoy your commute for once. Notice the people, the buildings, the trees and much more.family biking together Then you don’t have to limit yourself to just bicycle commuting to work. Try riding your bike whenever possible. Ride with  your entire family. Maybe it’s a trip to a local farmer’s market or just exploring your city – just remember to have fun!

3 Things to Know About Our Partnership with Wildlife Works

We’ve been working hard since 2009 to make a positive impact on the world through innovation and sustainability. Because we want to keep driving progress, we’ve recently partnered with Wildlife Works to help preserve threatened forests. With the support of TreeZero and other sustainability-focused companies, Wildlife Works is:

  • Protecting 1.2 million acres of forest in Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Preserving habitats for more than 300 wildlife species
  • Bringing sustainable development benefits to more than 200,000 locals

We are excited about this partnership and our goal is to share the benefits with you.

We’re Increasing the Sustainability of our Products

Through our partnership with Wildlife Works, our multipurpose paper is now carbon neutral. What does that mean? It means we’re cutting greenhouse gas emissions. We went back and purchased carbon offsets for every ream of paper distributed by TreeZero since the inception of the company. We’re committed to meeting the highest sustainability standards and will continue purchasing carbon offsets for future sales. 

We’re Helping the Environment

Saving the environment is no easy task and we understand people want to get involved. To continue moving the needle, our partnership with Wildlife Works is helping to provide training and employment opportunities to villagers near these forests. And by working together, Wildlife Works is helping to protect local wildlife, including elephants, giraffes and cheetahs.

 

 

We’re Advocating for Continued Change

It’s important to speak up and show the world you stand for something. We offer thanks to our customers – the thousands of companies and individuals who use TreeZero’s multipurpose paper every day. Together with Wildlife Works, we’ll continue to help preserve threatened forests and habitats.

This upcoming weekend, I’ll be at The Rethinking Animals Summit in New York speaking on the “Business for Sustainable Solutions” panel with Wildlife Works founder Mike Korchinsky. We’re sharing how businesses can be profitable while protecting the environment. We hope to inspire other businesses and more consumers to make sustainable choices – because every decision makes a difference.

Additional Resources

Arbor Day: A Celebration and Appreciation of Trees

Let’s celebrate trees this Arbor Day. Trees do so much for us.  They provide shade, reduce energy costs and increase our property values. Along our streets, they reduce storm water runoff that can carry pollutants to our waterways. Throughout our communities, they improve the mental and respiratory health, break up heat islands, create jobs and boost the economy.

In forests, they restore critical wildlife habitat, provide opportunities for recreation and maintain healthy watersheds to protect drinking water resources.  And no matter where they’re planted, trees are working hard to combat climate change, clean the air and shield us from ultra-violet rays.  Trees filter pollutants out of our air and water. They absorb CO2, removing and storing the carbon while releasing oxygen back into the air.  Trees provide food for humans, birds and wildlife, alike.  One apple tree can provide 15 to 20 bushels of fruit a year.

Trees provide immeasurable beauty and serenity that feed the human soul. At times, they can take our breath away.  This Friday, April 28th, is Arbor Day.  Take notice. Observe. Celebrate and be grateful for the trees around you.  TreeZero invites you to plant a tree and make a positive impact in your community.

Visit us at TreeZero.  Learn more about how choosing our tree free paper helps the environment and your business or organization to be more sustainable.

Ready to go tree free? Email us and we’ll get you started.