WALKING THE TALK -
London’s Heathrow International Airport has chosen the winners of its inaugural Centre of Excellence Sustainable Innovation Prize, which were judged as the best solutions to some of the sustainability challenges facing airports and the aviation industry more widely.
Launched in January, the competition challenged entrants to focus on three areas as part of Heathrow’s Centre of Excellence for Sustainability work:
It is possible to unlock a 100 percent renewably powered grid — without any coal, nuclear or gas storage baseload — within the next several years. And any driver or homeowner could contribute to the solution by using electric vehicles (EVs) as mobile batteries that charge at one location when there’s a surge of renewable energy and deliver it back to the grid at another when it’s needed.
MARKETING AND COMMS -
According to a new survey from UK-based environmental law charity ClientEarth, the British public wants urgent action on climate change and strongly supports holding fossil fuel companies and the UK government accountable for the negative effects of climate change.
After a record heatwave in the UK and northern Europe, the majority of Brits surveyed think fossil fuel companies, whose products contribute directly to climate change, should be made to pay damages for their role in contributing to global warming (71 percent), and that the UK government must do more to help prepare for and adapt to climate change (62 percent).
PRESS RELEASE -
Dalton, Ga. – August 30, 2018 – The 2017 sustainability report released today by Shaw Industries Group, Inc. (Shaw) focuses on the company’s continued efforts to “Create a Better Future” through a focus on safe, sustainable products and operations that contribute to healthier environments and preservation of natural resources.
“2017 was a positive year for Shaw, as we continued to accelerate the evolution of our company,” said Vance Bell, Chairman and CEO, Shaw Industries. “As we continue to grow and work to ensure that our people thrive and our processes evolve, Shaw’s dedication to Cradle to Cradle design philosophies is unwavering and a guidepost for both human and environmental health considerations.”
PRESS RELEASE -
Access to safe drinking water and sanitation is everyone’s right. Just like the right to liberty or the right to a fair public hearing. There’s not a drop of difference.
But in the real world, it doesn’t always work that way. This isn’t down to a lack of effort. Every year, billions of dollars are ploughed into projects to improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services – many of which are exemplary.
Yet, progress remains stubbornly slow. Clearly, some fresh thinking and new ways of working are needed. But where to look?
Enter the impact entrepreneurs
WASTE NOT -
The latest plastic product to come under fire is plastic straws. Before that, it was bags; and before that, foam foodservice items. Have you ever stopped to ask, why do we use so much plastic, especially plastic packaging? The answer depends on the type of packaging, but one of the overriding answers is that plastic is more resource efficient than its competing materials. In other words, it takes less energy (a key resource) to do the job.
Last year, the leading economies in renewable energy investment growth were not to be found in North America or even Europe — the leaders in growth were countries often described as developing, such as China, Brazil, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Argentina.
These big shifts in renewables investment have, in fact, been emerging since 2004, and portend a strong outlook for continued growth in global renewable energy investment and reaching carbon-reduction targets.
WALKING THE TALK -
News stories that praise Costa Rica’s use of ‘100 percent renewable energy’ for a growing number of days on end are focusing on the fact that the nation laudably generates a great deal (and sometimes all) of its electricity from wind, solar, hydro and sugarcane. As I discovered during a recent visit, the equivalence of ‘electricity’ with ‘energy’ is often made, but make no mistake — for some uses (i.e. cooking/heating) and transportation, natural gas and/or propane or conventional combustion engines are still the norm. A fair number of the diesel-powered buses and trucks are clearly (or rather not clearly) running on older engines.
PRESS RELEASE -
Some businesses like hotels face more than challenges than others when it comes to saving energy and resources. Radisson Hotel Group has discovered efficient ways to work with key businesses and organizations to generate value not just within the business but on a global scale.
Radisson Blue cuts energy bill by $100,00 over 3 years
PRESS RELEASE -
Rheem® has announced the launch of the new EcoNet® Smart Thermostat, the latest innovation in the company’s EcoNet enabled product line. Designed to optimize the performance of Rheem communicating HVAC and water heating systems, this new thermostat includes intelligent management features for both homeowners and contractors.
The ultra-thin programmable thermostat has a full-color glass touchscreen and is equipped with features modern homeowners expect, such as local weather, one-touch away mode, motion activation, and integrated Wi-Fi, in addition to being compatible with Rheem’s EcoNet mobile app. It also works with Amazon Alexa for convenient hands-free voice control. Just say “Alexa, set home to 72 degrees” or “Alexa, make home warmer” to an Alexa-enabled device.
Kingfisher plc, the international home improvement company, has unveiled plans to install energy storage batteries at B&Q’s Swindon distribution center. The installations form a key part of Kingfisher’s aim to reduce grid energy consumption across its UK property portfolio, and are the latest milestone in Kingfisher’s strategic roadmap for sustainable growth to 2025, moving the company towards its goal of becoming net positive by 2050.
MARKETING AND COMMS -
In the true spirit of coopetition, 17 of New York’s top marketing, advertising and communications agencies have partnered with leading climate scientists and non-profits to harness consumer insights and creativity to motivate urgent and collective action to address climate change, starting with Gen Z — an estimated 17 million soon-to-be-voters citing a deep passion for climate change and other societal issues.
Levi Strauss & Co. (LS&Co.) today announced a new climate action strategy, which sets aggressive targets for reducing carbon emissions across its owned-and-operated facilities and global supply chain by 2025; among its goals are using 100 percent renewable electricity in its company-owned facilities.
When multiple layers of the supply chain work together, transformation is most effective. At Archer Daniels Midland Company, we have seen this firsthand, through providing financial and other support to improve the lives of quinoa farmers in Bolivia. Together with our partner, Andean Naturals; and our customer, Kashi, we have been working to promote sustainable quinoa and improve the welfare of the farmers and their families by empowering women farmers, improving access to education, and increasing quinoa productivity.
THE NEXT ECONOMY -
To understand, and report on, an organization’s carbon footprint is a complex undertaking — to say the least.
PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION -
Can market solutions and innovative technologies help the world solve its growing ocean crisis? That’s what the nonprofit Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) hopes, as it recently launched a new startup incubator program in Silicon Valley, the Ocean Solutions Accelerator, with five companies in the initial cohort.
Innovation in the capital goods sector is driving a low-carbon industrial revolution, according to a new report from CDP. Released today, Bridging low-carbon technologies finds that demand for transformative technologies such as electrification, digitization and automation are growing significantly.
CHEMISTRY, MATERIALS & PACKAGING -
Amidst the anti-plastic frenzy dominating corporate sustainability news lately, adidas and Neste have announced plans to increase their efforts to utilize more waste plastic.
What will ultimately push fossil fuels back the way of the dinosaur? Purely and simply, is it our ethics and our resolve as consumers and brands that will end our dependence on dirty energy.
The response to Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement — in which business and civic leaders vowed to continue working towards clean energy, anyway — is easily part of the mix. The response demonstrated a deep level of commitment.
FINANCE & INVESTMENT -
On Wednesday, 16 banks, the UN Environment Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and climate risk advisory firm Acclimatise published new methodologies that will help banks understand how the physical risks and opportunities of a changing climate might affect their loan portfolios. The methodologies are designed to enable banks to be more transparent about their exposure to climate-related risks and opportunities, in line with the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board's (FSB) Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).