ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

How Scientists Cracked the Climate Change Case – Without human activities the planet would not have warmed over the past century. When scientists include all of the effects that humans have had on the climate system, they can match them with many independent and varied observations. Our best assessment is therefore that humans, at least the ones responsible for the bulk of carbon dioxide emissions, have been responsible for all of the recent trends in global temperatures. The forensics have spoken, and we are to blame.  https://nyti.ms/2CNQXgv

Home energy efficiency ratings explained – Mike Ross gives us an inside-look at energy efficiency and the ways in which a home’s efficiency rating is assessed. First Choice demonstrates a few of the efficiency tests which are used to gauge an overall home efficiency score, a score which can have a direct impact on client utility costs. https://bit.ly/2OcqnQm

Curve Ahead: The Future of Commercial Fleet Electrification – A 2018 UPS/BreenBiz Research Study – The primary motivators for electrifying fleets are achieving sustainability goals (83 percent of respondents) and lowering total cost of ownership (64 percent).  The top barriers are a prohibitive initial purchase price (55 percent), lack of EV charging infrastructure at facilities (44 percent) and lack of product availability (35 percent). 92 percent of GreenBiz web survey respondents indicated that their organization is not well- equipped with onsite EV charging infrastructure for commercial vehicles.   https://bit.ly/2yhWPvA

Carbon Lighthouse and Generate Capital Close $65 Million in Financing for Commercial Energy Efficiency Projects – Carbon Lighthouse, a clean energy services company, and Generate Capital, a leading financier, owner and operator of distributed energy and resource infrastructure, today announced the close of a $65 million project finance fund to support the rapid growth of Carbon Lighthouse’s clean energy and efficiency business. Carbon Lighthouse will use the funds to help more building owners and investors across the United States turn energy waste from existing assets into guaranteed, bankable revenue streams. https://prn.to/2R8UJ8k

EU and Gates agree green energy fund – The European Commission has signed an agreement with the Bill Gates Foundation’s Breakthrough Energy to establish a joint investment fund called Breakthrough Energy Europe (BEE).  The European research and innovation investment firm InnovFin and Breakthrough Energy will each provide half of the funding.  The European Union’s executive branch said the US$100-million fund would help “innovative European companies develop and bring radically new clean energy technologies to the market”. https://bit.ly/2EMiemn

Members of the UN’s Green Climate Fund (GCF) have this week approved more than $1bn of funding for 19 projects supporting climate action in developing countries. https://bit.ly/2EXZjVw

Winds of change: Shell joins Global Wind Energy Council – Oil giant Shell has moved to expand its influence in the green energy space by joining the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) as a board level member. The move, announced late last week, will bring Shell closer to an industry it is investing heavily in around the world. https://bit.ly/2CZpYj5

US Tests Electric Bikes for Urban Delivery – The cargo eBikes will operate in the historic Pike Place Market and downtown Seattle area on sidewalks and in designated bike lanes. UPS started in Seattle in 1907 as a bicycle messenger company. Developed in collaboration with Silver Eagle Manufacturing using Truck Trikes. It will be able to make deliveries to areas conventional delivery trucks can’t access directly and currently require that trucks be parked on the periphery for long periods of time. This will reduce congestion in these areas by reducing truck dwell time, instances of double parking and other unintended consequences associated with downtown deliveries. https://pressroom.ups.com/pressroom/ContentDetailsViewer.page?ConceptType=Media&id=1540480005328-674https://bit.ly/2D5ot2Q

 

RECYCLING

Kellogg updates packaging aims and seals Pringles recycling deal – Kellogg’s will aim to use 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by the end of 2025, as part of new sustainability targets. The goals build on the company’s current sustainable packaging commitment to continue to ensure 100% of all timber-based packaging is either recycled or certified as sustainably sourced. Consumers in the UK will also now be able to recycle their Pringles’ cans thanks to a new deal struck between the Kellogg’s-owned crisp brand and recycling company TerraCycle. https://bit.ly/2yE95GX

Poll: Americans Value Curbside Recycling Programs But Seek Improvements – A new study among over 2,000 Americans conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) reveals nearly 8 in 10 Americans have curbside programs where they live (79%). Of those with programs, almost 9 in 10 find the recycling services to be valuable (88%). Detailed results are available online. https://bit.ly/2PoLjs4

Charlotte is the first city in the United States to make a commitment to adopting the circular economy as a public sector strategy. In its circular future, all of the material resources that now end up in landfills will be the basis for Charlotte’s next industrial revolution: the foundation for an era of green manufacturing that unlocks new technological advances, increases local resilience, and supports workforce development.  https://bit.ly/2Pt10hK

The 5 Weirdest Things You Can Recycle Through TerraCycle – Writing Instruments – recycle your old pens, pencils, and markersrecycling your corksPersonal Care Accessories Zero Waste BoxBaby Food Pouches Zero Waste Boxrecycling your cigarette waste; And get this: TerraCycle is changing with the times. It now offers a recycling box for electronic cigarettes.  https://bit.ly/2ELNsKg

European Parliament calls for single-use plastics ban by 2021 – The parliament’s new measure would also go after products made of oxo-degradable plastics, which include bags, packaging and fast food containers made from polystyrene.  The parliament statement said member nations will create plans to reduce other single-use items not made of plastic by at least 25 percent by 2025, including sandwich boxes, as well as food containers for fruits, vegetables, desserts, and ice cream. https://bit.ly/2D6NWsC

EUROPEAN COUNTRIES AT RISK OF MISSING 2020 RECYCLING TARGET – Eunomia’s new report, produced for the European Commission Directorate-General for Environment, reviewed how all member states are progressing towards the EU’s 2020 recycling target of 50 percent. Over a dozen countries are at risk of not accomplishing this goal. The countries at risk are: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Spain.  https://bit.ly/2D8LXEy

What’s plaguing glass recycling in the Northeast – The Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) recently released results of the glass survey in the 11-state NERC region. Of the 34 MRFs that answered a question on the quality of their glass product, 24 of them – or 70 percent – said their glass had at least 15 percent non-glass residue and fines. Only six said it was 10 percent or less non-glass residue and fines, and another four marked “not applicable.” “From the perspective of the MRFs, the primary issues with recycled glass are wear and tear on equipment, lack of markets, contamination and cost.” In June, the Glass Recycling Coalition released the results of its nationwide survey, which also touched on the handling of glass at MRFs. https://bit.ly/2qfmZe9

The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) recognized innovators and leaders in the industry at its annual Executive Leadership Roundtable (ELRT). The 2018 Sustainability Partnership Game Changer Award was shared by Florida Recycling Partnership (FRP), Waste Management, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Beverage Association. The 2018 Construction and Demolition Debris Recycler of the Year went to Waste Connections of Rhode Island. The 2018 Best Recycling Public Education Program Award went to Waste Management for its Latino Outreach Study and Campaign for its Odas al reciclaje (Odes to Recycling) outreach campaign, inspired by the work of Pablo Neruda and Odes to everyday items. The 2018 Recycling Facility of the Year Award went to Dem-Con Companies for its materials recovery facility (MRF). The 2018 Organics Recycler of the Year Award went to Vanguard Renewables.  https://bit.ly/2NZjgLa

PepsiCo Announces New Packaging Goal For 25% Recycled Plastic Content By 2025 – The goal includes an aim specific to PET (polyethylene terephthalate) beverage bottles to achieve 33% recycled PET content by 2025.  https://bit.ly/2yDNNck

The James Beard Foundation announced the launch of Waste Not, a multiyear campaign – The campaign will urge Americans to start with small changes just one day a week—on Waste Not Wednesday. If all Americans eliminated food waste on Waste Not Wednesdays, more than 7.8 million tons of food would be saved each year—enough to provide almost 13 billion meals to the hungry. Through both the ‘Waste Not’ book and ‘Creating a Full-Use Kitchen’ curriculum, more than 70 chefs are bringing inspiration as well as creative and practical ideas for chefs and home cooks to have an impact on food waste reduction.  https://bit.ly/2pLwfWU

Nat Geo, Wattpad Call for Stories About Global Plastic Crisis – National Geographic has joined forces with Wattpad — a global multiplatform entertainment company for original stories — to raise further awareness of the global plastic crisis through a creative storytelling challenge. National Geographic and Wattpad are asking writers to explore the alarming impact of plastic on the environment, with the aim of inspiring the next generation to do their part to protect the environment through creative storytelling and artistic activism. By sharing stories with the hashtag #PlanetOrPlastic, Wattpad users will be able to inspire others to take the pledge to reduce the amount of single-use plastic in their lives. Participants in the contest will also get the chance to have their stories featured on NationalGeographic.com.  You can find the new National Geographic profile at www.wattpad.com/user/NationalGeographic, and join National Geographic’s efforts by pledging your commitment to reduce their use of single-use plastic at natgeo.com/plasticpledge.  https://bit.ly/2RgIcj6

The National League of Cities Report – Rethinking Recycling: How Cities Can Adapt to Evolving Markets– Provides an overview on China’s regulations impact on cities; short-term responses and strategies; city profiles; and a list of recommendations that can help city leaders to boost the resilience of local recycling systems and achieve long-term sustainable waste management goals. https://bit.ly/2ICtvDR

Former Mayors Goldsmith and Nutter Join the Rubicon Family in Key Board Roles – Rubicon Global announced significant smart city and sustainability expertise was being added to its Board of Directors and Advisory Board. Former Indianapolis Mayor and internationally recognized sart city expert, Stephen Goldsmith, has joined Rubicon’s Board of Directors and former Philadelphia Mayor and sustainability policy champion, Michael Nutter, has joined Rubicon’s Advisory Board. Both roles are effective immediately. The former mayors will work with the Rubicon executive leadership team in key advisory roles, specifically around technology adoption and the growth of Rubicon’s smart city offering. The RUBICON Smart City platform provides comprehensive waste, recycling and community infrastructure data that enables cities to reduce operating expenses, divert waste from landfills, implement and improve recycling programs, track metrics, and work towards long-term sustainability and quality of life goals.  https://bit.ly/2qd2zm5

Japan’s Ministry of the Environment has for the first time specified numerical targets on reducing single-use plastics, aiming for a 25 percent reduction by 2030 through such measures as requiring retailers to charge for plastic grocery bags.  The targets were included in a preliminary draft of a strategy for recycling and reusing plastic products, which the ministry submitted to the Central Environment Council on Oct. 19. In addition to a reduction of single-use plastics, the draft specifies the introduction of 2 million tons per year of animal and plant-derived biomass plastic by 2030 — about 50 times the current amount. It also sets forth a plan to recycle or reuse 60 percent of all plastic containers by 2030 and to effectively use 100 percent of such plastic products by 2035, partly by burning plastic waste to produce thermal power.  https://bit.ly/2Peo5EY

The Legal Guide to the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act – Unfortunately, many in the retail food industry are not aware of the Bill Emerson Act and the protections that it provides donors; some potential donors even believe it is illegal to donate food and grocery items. The primary purpose of this paper is to inform those involved in the retail food industry of the Bill Emerson Act and how it operates.  Although risk is inherent to operating in the food industry, those participating in food recovery programs have their risks greatly reduced for the qualified donations they make. The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act removes the risk of liability associated with food and grocery item donation and makes food donation a viable and beneficial business practice.  https://bit.ly/1ww1zc4

Singapore startups are coming up with innovative ways to tackle the country’s growing food waste problem. Leftovers are going to those who need them and are even being turned into products like essential oils. https://bit.ly/2OPZ0kp

Check Out the Top 10 Best Food Waste Apps in the UK – https://bit.ly/2Sot9pa

Georgia Tech start-up uses food waste to create sustainable, insect-based animal feed – Grubbly Farms takes pre-consumer food waste from bakeries, breweries and restaurants and feeds it to black soldier grub flies, which are then dehydrated and packaged as Grubblies chicken feed. According to co-founder Patrick Pittaluga, it’s the only chicken snack completely farm grown in the U.S., making it an attractive option for regional farmers in search of a nutritional, sustainable and local product. Grubbly Farms received support from CREATE-X, a student start-up accelerator at Georgia Tech. The program allows students to explore entrepreneurship through hands-on experience, including launching their own companies, and provides seed funding, legal assistance and intensive mentorship. Grubbly Farms recently closed a $1.5 million seed round of funding and has sold over 80,000 pounds of feed over the past two years. The start-up is now partnering with EnviroFlight, a Kentucky-based company that plans to open the first U.S.-based dried black soldier fly production facility.  https://bit.ly/2CM2OMr

 

DEFORESTATION

Declaration to halt expanded use of biomass – More than 100 organizations from across the globe have published a joint declaration calling on governments, financiers, companies and civil society to halt the expansion of the biomass-based energy industry and to move away from its use.  Bioenergy (energy from the burning of biological materials, mostly wood) has long been mistakenly regarded as a renewable and carbon neutral form of energy, like solar and wind. However, growing awareness of the actual climate impacts of burning forest biomass and related social and environmental impacts have radically changed this view. We now know that burning forest wood for large-scale energy production threatens biodiversity and climate resilience. Indeed, using forest biomass for energy can entrench, intensify and expand logging. Crucially bioenergy is not a climate solution as it is definitely not a carbon neutral form of energy and can even result in higher climate-changing emissions than fossil fuels. Protecting and restoring the world’s forests is a climate change solution, burning them is not. https://bit.ly/2yxSvsp

Radio – Why forests are crucial for reining in climate change – https://bit.ly/2OVuiXb

Stand4Forests – The movement for forest protection in the name of climate justice – More than 25 environmental organizations and climate justice leaders have worked together to collaboratively create the Stand4Forests platform. Stand4Forests endorsesseek a world where we value forests more standing than logged. We stand in solidarity to call for forest protection, climate action, and justice for all.   https://stand4forests.org/our-story/

 

WATER STEWARDSHIP

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President Signs America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 Formally Authorizing EPA’s WaterSense Program. Under the WaterSense program, plumbing manufacturers have developed more than 27,000 models of WaterSense-labeled products, including showerheads, toilets, urinals, faucets, faucet accessories, and commercial pre-rinse sprays. 1,900 WaterSense partners – including manufacturers, water utilities, building groups, retailers, associations and communities – collaborate on the program. https://bit.ly/2PUMFI1

California approves Ocean Acidification Action Plan – the action plan calls for a comprehensive assessment to identify the current and future risk to valuable fisheries like Dungeness crab and salmon, as well as California’s ocean-dependent tourism industry.  https://bit.ly/2yBNzlY

 

SUSTAINABILITY

Deloitte’s 2018 retail holiday survey – Two thirds of shoppers are willing to pay extra for sustainability, a trend driven by younger shoppers. https://bit.ly/2AwPr0T

The Coca-Cola Foundation Announces $1 Billion Giving Milestone – The Coca-Cola Foundation has given back more than $1 billion to communities worldwide since its inception in 1984,  In addition to serving its hometown of Atlanta, The Coca-Cola Foundation has reached more than 655 million people worldwide over the last 30-plus years through its support of more than 2,400 organizations with a focus on protecting the environment, empowering women, education, and enhancing communities.  https://bit.ly/2CYRsoS

Buy Me Once tries to find the longest-lasting version of everything – Buy Me Once promotes and sells over 2000 items longest-lasting products. https://buymeonce.com/pages/about-us

In numbers: The state of corporate sustainability reporting – 89% of businesses are acknowledging the SDGs in reports; However, just 15% are measuring contributions to the Goals; Combined reports increased by 11% last year; Four in 10 businesses call their CSR documents ‘sustainability reports’; 53% have interactive websites for sustainability; There are 10 times as many reporting requirements now compared to 1992.  https://bit.ly/2qaU9eD

Changing The Status Quo: How Women Are Leading the Charge On Impact Investing – One of the biggest drivers of the growing interest in impact investing and ESG data is the fact that women are gaining access to significant capital and want to invest that capital into financial opportunities that align with their values.  “It’s the first time in history that women in the U.S. control more assets, or are allocating more assets, than men,” said Kiersten Barnet, deputy chief of staff and manager of the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index. Stephanie Luedke of Citi Investment Management said, “We are absolutely seeing that the demographics of our client base are shifting. 90% of women surveyed have indicated that they want to invest at least a portion of their wealth in a manner that aligns with their values, and women are more inclined than our average investor to do this.”  https://bit.ly/2CDmORc

Ways to Create a Climate Change Investment Strategy – Since 1995, assets in sustainable and responsible investments have grown 18-fold, to more than $11 trillion, according to US SIF, a membership organization of sustainable investors.  There are two main approaches to creating a climate change investment strategy. One is investing in alternative energy. This can be done in a variety of areas, including solar, wind or geothermal production and distribution, or companies that make the infrastructure, like battery cells that power electric cars.The other way is what some call climate-proofing a portfolio. The premise is that a warmer Earth will create economic disruption and that companies need to prepare for this.  https://nyti.ms/2yCdJp3

BlackRock Bets Big on ESG Investing – The world’s largest asset manager has bundled six existing ESG ETFs plus a new bond ESG ETF into a core portfolio lineup, called iShares Sustainable Core, and it has introduced an ESG Portfolio Analyzer that advisors can use to score entire portfolios for their environmental, social and governance metrics. https://bit.ly/2yxL6co

Impact investing: Good Returns helps companies do more with their philanthropy – The social enterprise concentrates on mobilizing money donated by companies to benefit the most people possible. It has a distinct model that marries finance and success stories to tackle some of society’s most pressing problems. Good Returns uses a process it calls “the cycle” that connects impact organizations to capital provided by companies. For example, if an impact organization’s primary purpose is to bring solar energy to remote locations, Good Returns offers capital in the form of a one-year interest free loan. At the conclusion of that year, the organization then repays its loan to Good Returns, which then determines how much impact the money had and whether the scale of investment should be increased to that organization.  https://bit.ly/2OMHJsl

Te Responsible Endowments Coalition (REC) works to build and unify the college and university-based responsible investment movement, both by educating and empowering a diverse network of individuals to act on their campuses, and by fostering a national network for collective action. We empower young people to defend human rights and the environment while making both corporations and universities accountable to global stakeholders. Our goal is to foster social and environmental change by making responsible investment common practice amongst colleges and universities, and to support the next generation of activists.  http://www.endowmentethics.org/about

IOC PUBLISHES SUSTAINABILITY REPORT – With the publication of the “Olympic Agenda 2020 – The New Norm”, which, through 118 reforms, re-shapes the way the Olympic Games are planned and delivered, sustainability principles are now present throughout the entire lifecycle of the Olympic Games – from the earliest stages of the candidature process through to the handover to legacy bodies. The reforms aim to ensure the Games are affordable, beneficial and sustainable by reducing their cost and complexity, minimising risks, resource consumption and waste, and – consequently – lowering their environmental impacts and carbon emissions. Read the full report here. https://www.olympic.org/news/ioc-publishes-sustainability-report

Impact Investing Case Study – The Russell Family Foundation developed a case study that outlines key learnings from their comprehensive journey in impact investing, including our 4-year path from 7% to almost 75% mission-aligned investments. The portfolio has also outperformed its blended benchmark by nearly 3 percent. An executive summary on the report can also be found herehttp://www.trff.org/impact-investing/

Xerox 2018 Global Corporate Social Responsibility Report Show cases Commitment to Sustainability, Social Investment, Governance – Xerox’s Global CSR report focuses on the company’s initiatives in sustainable services and products. One example features a program “You print one, we’ll plant one”; through a partnership with PrintReleaf, Xerox customers can reduce their overall environmental footprint and help global reforestation.  https://bit.ly/2yFJg9p

Waynesburg University, Chevron launch corporate social responsibility center – Waynesburg University and Chevron Corp. on Tuesday unveiled the Chevron Center for Corporate Social Responsibility, thanks to $250,000 in initial funding from the oil and gas company. The center, which will be housed at Waynesburg’s facility at Southpointe, will work on building social responsibility initiatives among southwestern Pennsylvania’s corporate world. https://bit.ly/2Jk5Kkl

The Green White Paper: Sustainability in Meetings and Events – This paper investigates what has happened in the meeting and event industry since the adoption of event sustainability standards in 2012. Asking how the scope of sustainability has changed, and who in the supply chain has taken the lead for upholding key principles. https://bit.ly/2yGC50C

Why women give so much more to charity than men – Women give more than men, with 93% of high net worth women — defined as those earning more than $200,000 or having a net worth greater than $1 million minus the value of the home — giving to charity, 56% volunteering, 6% participating in impact investing and 23% serving on non-profit boards, according to a 2018 U.S. Trust study of high net worth philanthropy published in partnership with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. That’s compared to 87% of male donors and 41% of men who volunteer. And it’s not just rich women who give more, research shows. Last year, the UK-based Institute of Fundraising conducted a survey that revealed 54% of women had given to charity in the past year compared to just 40% of men.  https://bit.ly/2qdxnTo