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News Archives

August 21, 2014

Circular economy to get boost from consumers with first online shop

Paul Capel and business partner Brendan Rowan has set up an online store that sell goods that support the circular economy. The result is Cradle to Cradle Marketplace, which sells only Cradle to Cradle (C2C) certified products ? that is, products that have been designed with their entire lifecycle in mind.

The start-up venture has the approval of MBDC, the company set up by Braungart and McDonough to provide certification. C2C-certified products all go through rigorous tests for material reuse, renewable energy use and carbon management, water stewardship and social fairness.

C2C Marketplace’s next move is to launch online clothing made by German manufacturer Trigema. It will also supply Method cleaning products as well as a range of products it describes as “C2C inspired”. These are from companies that cannot afford to go through the certification process but are making things from C2C certified materials.

Read more at The Guardian.

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category : Topics

August 19, 2014

Waste-to-energy could supply 12% of US electricity

If all of the municipal solid waste (MSW) that is currently put into landfills each year in the US were diverted to waste-to-energy (WTE) power plants, it could generate enough electricity to supply 12 percent of the US total, according to a study conducted by the Earth Engineering Center (EEC) of Columbia University.

According to the study, this shift also could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 123 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year.

Sponsored by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the study is based on data obtained in Columbia University’s 2014 Survey of Waste Management in the US, which looked at waste management statistics during 2011, and from MSW characterization studies in several states.

Read more at Environmental Leader.


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category : Topics

August 19, 2014

China looking to connect green entrepreneurs from around the world at cleantech ‘match-making’ summit

Next month global investors and clean technology companies from around the world will meet in Beijing, China, for the Global Cleantech Summit 2014, a new event which aims to connect low carbon business pioneers to drive a global ‘clean revolution’.

Global Cleantech Summit 2014 is the first of what could be an important annual event to boost the rapidly growing low carbon markets around the world, but it comes at a particularly critical time for China. The Summit offers the clean technology perspective as a key solution to meet China’s fast-growing energy demands and gives new business leaders from other nations a chance to obtain insight on entering Chinese markets to provide their services.

As well as bringing together key experts and speakers from finance, industry and business, government leaders will also join the Summit to show their political support for low carbon growth.

Read more at The Clean Revolution.

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category : Topics

August 14, 2014

ICLEI and WBCSD announce collaborative partnership

Advanced technology and innovation are urgently needed to ensure sustainable urban development. Sustainable and efficient solutions for urban transport and mobility can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and noise, improve air quality, and help to create high-quality public spaces. Technological solutions can contribute to enhancing and sustaining healthy ecosystems and ecosystem services, for example by reducing water consumption.

Business is a key provider of solutions to these complex urban sustainability challenges. The main infrastructure, technology, services and financing solutions that will support the sustainable visions and strategies of cities are predominantly developed, designed and implemented by the private sector. It is crucial that cites and business develop new models for strategic engagement to realise the full capability of business to deliver innovative solutions. Unfortunately, institutional and perception barriers can limit city-business engagement where it is most critical - early in the planning process.

ICLEI ? the world's leading association of cities and local governments dedicated to sustainable development ? and the WBCSD ? the leading global business organization promoting action for sustainability ? have been working together to overcome these barriers and demonstrate in practice the real value of early strategic collaboration. Key examples of this collaboration include the WBCSD’s Urban Infrastructure Initiative (UII), the ICLEI Global Town Hall in Hannover (Germany) and a global survey of city leaders in early 2014, exploring barriers and opportunities for scaling up city collaboration with private sector solutions providers.

Read more at ICLEI Europe.

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category : Topics

August 13, 2014

Architects commit to carbon neutral built environment

The International Union of Architects has unanimously adopted a declaration committing to the phasing out of carbon dioxide emissions in the built environment by 2050, presented to it by Australian Institute of Architects chief executive David Parken.

The 2050 Imperative, which was presented last Friday at the UIA World Congress in Durban, recognises the urgency of the UIA and its member organisations in committing to a sustainable, equitable future.

“Urban areas are responsible for over 70 per cent of global energy consumption and CO2 emissions, mostly from buildings, and over the next two decades an area roughly equal to 60 per cent of the world’s total building stock is projected to be built and rebuilt in urban areas,” the declaration states.

Read more at Eco-Business.

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category : Topics

August 8, 2014

ISO Publishes Water Footprint Standard

The International Organization for Standardization has published a water footprint standard to help businesses and other organizations measure their potential environmental impact of water use and pollution.

ISO 14046, Environmental management ? Water footprint ? Principles, requirements and guidelines, is based on a life cycle assessment and can assist in:

- Assessing the magnitude of potential environmental impacts related to water,

- identifying ways to reduce those impacts,

- facilitating water efficiency and optimization of water management at product, process and organizational levels, and

- providing scientifically consistent and reliable information for reporting water footprint results that can be tracked over time.

Read more at Environmental Leader.

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category : Topics

August 7, 2014

Construction begins on world’s largest geothermal plant

Construction will finally begin in the world’s largest geothermal power plant ? the Sarulla Geothermal Power Project in Indonesia. In the works since 1990, the $1.2 billion, 330 megawatt (MW) project is about to break ground, with the first phase online by 2016, and the entire project by 2018.

It’s been delayed by many factors, such as the 1990s Asian financial crisis, complex regulations and difficulty in finding financing for geothermal. One constraint has been an Indonesian law that lumps geothermal energy extraction in the same category as strip mining which was finally corrected by Parliament last year.

Although Indonesia is geothermal-rich, with about 40% of the world’s reserves, it currently taps into only 4-5% of that even with geothermal tariff. At 227 MW, Wayang Windu Geothermal Power Station in West Java is the largest project to date.

Read more at Sustainable Business.

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category : Topics

August 6, 2014

Beijing aims to ditch coal use by 2020

Beijing is set to ban coal sales and use across its six main regions by the end of 2020 in a bid to cut air pollution, Chinese state media has reported.

The Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau announced that the districts of Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai, and Shijingshan will stop using coal and its related products, and close coal-fired power plants and other coal facilities.

Electricity and natural gas will replace coal for heating, cooking and other uses, the bureau said, with other fuels, such as fuel oil, petroleum coke, combustible waste and some biomass fuels, also likely to fall foul of the new regulations.

Currently, pollution from coal-burning combines with vehicle exhaust and industrial production to account for almost 72 percent of the PM 2.5 soot particles blamed for city-wide smogs that have choked Beijing and other cities across China.

Read more at GreenBiz.

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August 4, 2014

UN agency pushes use of bioenergy crops in Asia

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is working to promote the use of bioenergy crops in Southeast Asia so that the region may be able to balance the growing need for food and fuel.

Hiroyuki Konuma, FAO assistant director general, said in a statement that such balance is achievable by sustaining the production of both food and bioenergy crops like sugarcane, tapioca and corn.

“Bioenergy can contribute towards achieving wider and more sustainable energy access,” said Konuma. “The key is to develop bioenergy options sustainably, with the inclusion of small holders and without competition with resources for food production.”

Read more at Eco-Business.

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category : Topics

August 1, 2014

$100 million for Singapore’s road to energy efficiency

The Singapore government is investing $100 million into research to make buildings and data centers more energy efficient. It also released detailed plans to deploy technology to promote industrial energy efficiency, solar energy, and carbon capture technology.

The plans were developed as part of the government’s Energy National Innovation Challenge set up in 2011 to identify energy solutions that were cost-competitive and could be implemented within 20 years.

Read more at Eco-Business.

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category : Topics

August 1, 2014

National Grid awards crucial CCS pipeline contract

The UK’s nascent carbon capture and storage (CCS) industry has taken another step forward, after National Grid confirmed it has awarded a development contract for its planned pipeline to link the White Rose demonstration project in Yorkshire with a storage site under the North Sea.

The pipeline is expected to have the capacity to transport up to 17 million tons of CO2 a year, with the White Rose project requiring about two million tons. The extra capacity is being included in the design as it is hoped that the North East can establish itself as a CCS hub with a host of power stations and industrial sites in the region eventually making use of the pipeline and storage network.

Read more at Business Green.

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