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The latest products, services and cleantech applications and how they are tackling some of our most pressing social and environmental issues.

Most Advanced High-End Prefab Smart Home to Be Built in California Wine Country

American Modular Systems (AMS) has started production on River Vine Vineyards, a new Gen7 Concept Home to be sited on a 50-acre working vineyard along the banks of the Mokelumne River Watershed in Lodi Wine Country.Designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification, AMS claims River Vine will be one of most advanced, high-end prefabricated residences ever constructed — a state-of-the-art smart home that will take sustainable prefabricated design and construction to the next level.

Silicon Valley Hackathon Seeks Smart City Solutions

TiE Silicon Valley, a not for profit organization dedicated to "fostering entrepreneurship in the Bay Area and globally," has announced an upcoming hackathon event focused on tackling three real-world issues within the “smart city” space: smart parking, waste disposal management and water access management.The event will begin in January 2016 and will last for two weeks. Winners will be invited to attend TiECon 2016, TiE's largest annual conference, and will also have an opportunity to win prizes and publicity.

New Startup Accelerator Will Catalyze Cleantech in the Middle East

Renewable energy company Masdar kicked off its Innovation Week activities by announcing the Middle East’s first startup accelerator focused on sustainability and clean tech.

AT&T to Enable Carbon Savings 10 Times the Footprint of Its Operations by 2025

On November 18, telecommunications company AT&T announced goals for 2025. The goals represent the company’s first long-term roadmap for its citizenship and sustainability work, and focus on three areas: networks and customers, supply chain, and communities.The three corresponding goals for 2025 are:

Religious Fervour, 'Green Giants,' Heartfelt Communication Abound on #SB15London, Day 2

On Tuesday, BBMG co-founder Raphael Bemporad hosted the second morning’s plenaries at SB ’15 London. He began by highlighting the transitionary power of sustainable brands.“As we begin the conversation today, I’d like us to think about the privileged position we occupy as a force for societal and market transformation,” he said. “We are uniquely placed: We can harness the emotional power of brands to convey stories and to channel aspirations, but we also embody sustainability — we’re system thinkers, we’re innovators. When we bring these two things together, we have the power to shape culture and shape the market.”

Telecom Firm Invests in ICT Education in the Philippines

Telecommunication company Globe Telecom is advocating responsible use of mobile devices in school campuses in the Philippines to leverage advancement in information and communications technology, according to a recent announcement.While government learning institutions are now adopting the use of ICT materials, the use of digital technologies as a learning tool is not as widespread as it should be, Globe Telecom said.However, even if technology is available in the schools, children increasingly are gaining access to some devices, as internet-enabled smartphones abound.

GRI Tool Enables Greater Corporate Transparency on Human Rights

GRI, developer of one of the world’s most widely used sustainability reporting standards, has launched its latest Linkage Document at the Fourth United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights.Linking G4 and the UN Guiding Principles highlights the connections between the GRI G4 Reporting Guidelines (G4) and key concepts of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These include due diligence, grievance mechanisms and impact assessments — undertaken both for operations and suppliers — which are also recurring concepts throughout G4.

Whole Foods Customers Cut Carbon With EV Fast Charging

A detailed analysis of 10 electric vehicle (EV) fast charging NRG EVgo Freedom Station sites at Whole Foods Market locations in the San Francisco Bay Area shows a 191 percent increase in EV charging over the last year.EV drivers also show a significant preference for DC fast charging, 12 to 1 when comparing the number of charging sessions to the Level 2 charging also available at those locations. In September 2015 alone there were nearly 6,900 DC fast charge sessions at those stations.

Report: Carbon Capture Could Help Bridge Climate Gap

Up to 28 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions will be captured by existing operational carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects this year, according to a new report launched today by the Global CCS Institute.Now in its sixth year, the Global Status of CCS 2015 profiles two large-scale CCS projects: the Canadian Quest project and the Uthmaniyah CO2-EOR Demonstration Project in Saudi Arabia. Uthmaniyah is the first large-scale CCS project in the Middle East.At the launch of this year's report, the number of operational projects stands at 15, with another seven projects in various stages of construction and due to come online in the next 18 months.

Goldman Sachs to Invest $150B in Clean Energy by 2025

On Monday, The Goldman Sachs Group released its ambitious new Environmental Policy Framework, which includes bold targets and initiatives related to climate-change mitigation, adaptation, risk management, and operational impact. The company reports it is on schedule to be the first U.S. investment bank to be carbon neutral across its operations and business travel by the end of 2015, and has already invested $37 billion in clean energy since setting its $40 billion capital deployment goal in 2012.

Google-Backed Database Promotes Sustainable Building Design

Google, along with thinkstep, architecture and engineering tech company Flux and nonprofit Healthy Building Network (HBN), last week launched a new collaborative open data initiative to combine health and environmental impact data on building materials that empowers the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry to achieve greater sustainability.

Schneider Electric's 'Life Is On' Campaign Showcases Its Impact on Customers' Sustainability, Efficiency

Schneider Electric, global specialist in energy management and automation, announced the launch of a new brand campaign in North America to showcase the business and societal value of sustainability and efficiency. The brand campaign executes on the company's newly launched global brand strategy, Life Is On, which aims to clearly articulate how the company helps customers around the world transform the way they access and consume energy.

EDF Climate Corps Helps Businesses and Governments Uncover $90M in Energy Savings

Fellows from the Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) Climate Corps program this summer helped more than 90 organizations in the United States and China identify energy efficiency and clean energy opportunities that could decrease energy usage by 134 million kWh per year, according to a recent announcement. These energy savings could help cut these organizations’ collective energy bills by $90 million dollars, and reduce carbon emissions by 130,000 metrics tons per year — equivalent to the annual emissions of 27,000 cars.

Toyota Sets Goals for Better Cars, Manufacturing and Communities

Toyota recently announced a set of goals to be achieved over the next 35 years, which address key global environmental issues such as climate change, water shortages, resource depletion and degradation of biodiversity.The Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 aims to reduce the negative impact of manufacturing and driving vehicles as much as possible. The challenge is composed of six individual challenges across three areas: Ever-better cars, ever-better manufacturing and enriching lives of communities.Ever-better cars

Q&A: Gliimpse Wants to Translate Your Medical Records Into Actionable Data

Medical records, electronic or otherwise, might as well be Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics to, well, just about anyone other than a medical professional. This makes it next to impossible for us to make sense of our personal health data.But a startup called Gliimpse says it has developed the “Rosetta Stone” for medical records, which helps translate the esoteric information into fluid, actionable data. I recently caught up with Gliimpse co-founder and CEO Anil Sethi, and co-founder and president Karthik Hariharan.

#BusinessCase: Why Renewable Energy Will Make or Break Business Success

World leaders have shaken hands on the new Sustainable Development Goals that will hopefully be shaping global and local agendas and policies over the next 15 years. The UN Sustainable Development summit coincided with the 7th edition of Climate Week, which was jam-packed with well-timed announcements and strong messages in favor of a low-carbon economy.

Report: Solar+Storage Can Increase Energy Resiliency in Affordable Housing

Solar combined with energy storage systems (solar+storage) can help protect vulnerable populations during power outages in multifamily affordable housing and provide an economic return to building owners, according to a new report by nonprofit Clean Energy Group.

Tesla Battery Packs to Power World’s First Hybrid Electric Buildings

Tesla “Powerpack” battery systems will be used to power part of 24 office buildings in California, according to a recent announcement, as reported by Edie.Real estate firm The Irvine Company, which has properties throughout California, will install Tesla battery systems the size of five parking spaces. It is expected that these will reduce peak grid energy consumption across the company's entire portfolio by 25 percent.

Climate-Smart Tech Improving Livelihoods of Kenyan Women Farmers

Equator Kenya, a food-processing company that produces African Bird’s Eye Chilies for export, has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to provide climate-smart technologies, training and market linkages to 8,000 smallholder farmers along the Kenyan coast.This business is designed to reduce the crop risks posed by climate change, which will help increase incomes among the farmers — 6,000 of whom are women — as well as improve crop yields and quality.

U.S. Renewable Energy Rises to Historic Levels While Coal Use Sags

U.S. reliance on wind, solar and other renewable sources of energy has reached historic levels and is poised to make even greater gains in the near future, according to new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).A Tectonic Shift in America's Energy Landscape finds that the energy sector in the United States emitted less dangerous carbon pollution last year than in 1996, with a full 10 percent reduction over the past decade. Meanwhile, coal and electricity consumption are down nationwide, while oil use today is lower than in the early 1970s, the report shows.

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