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