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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.

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.

Solar, Wind Now Cheapest Electricity to Generate in Germany and UK

Wind power is now the cheapest electricity to produce in both Germany and the U.K., even without government subsidies, claims a new analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). This is the first time that threshold has been crossed by a G7 economy.Much of this is due to wind and solar power’s improving capacity factor, or the percentage of a power plant's maximum potential that's achieved over time.

IoT: The Solution to Sustainably Feeding 9 Billion?

A 2014 National Geographic article, “One-Third of Food Is Lost or Wasted,” reported that 3.5 billion acres of land, an area larger than Canada, was plowed in 2007 to grow food, support livestock and dairy production that was never consumed. As for water waste, nearly 70 percent is consumed by agriculture, more than twice that of industry at 23 percent, and municipal use bottoms out at 8 percent.As UNEP’s Nick Nuttall acknowledged in the piece: "Food waste is a stupid problem. But people love stupid problems because they know they can do something about it."

Report: 91% of Top Firms View Climate Shocks as Business Risk

Ninety-one percent of companies in the S&P Global 100 Index see extreme weather and climate change impacts as current or future risks to their business, but many struggle to translate long-term, global climate data into short-term and local risks, according to a new report by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES).Despite growing access to climate-related data and tools, companies say they need “actionable science” that helps them to understand locally-specific risks or risk scenarios.

Forbes Names 6 Social Entrepreneurs Finalists in Under 30 $1M Change the World Competition

More than 2,500 young social entrepreneurs applied to the Forbes Under 30 $1M Change the World Competition. Six finalists will compete on the main stage at Forbes’ second annual Under 30 Summit for a portion of the $1 million prize money.

New Tool Helps Businesses Act on Sustainable Development Goals

GRI, the UN Global Compact and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) have launched a new tool to help companies navigate and contribute to a new set of global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations last week.The SDG Compass is a guide that companies can use to align their strategies with the relevant SDGs, and measure and manage their impacts. It is supported by a live and constantly updated inventory of business indicators and tools.

GE's Energy-Neutral Wastewater Treatment Technology Could Save Municipalities Millions

Water and wastewater treatment typically account for 35 percent of a municipality’s energy budget, which would mean big savings for local governments that can make the facilities energy neutral — that is, increase energy production to a level equal to or greater than the amount of energy it consumes.

CDP, We Mean Business Launch Toolkit to Aid Large-Scale Decarbonization

CDP and We Mean Business, a business and investor coalition focused on transitioning to a low-carbon economy, have launched a new set of tools aimed at changing the conversation about effective carbon pricing policies globally, according to an announcement made on Thursday at Climate Week NYC.The Carbon Pricing Pathways Toolkit presents analysis on ways that carbon pricing levels could be ramped up over time to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, drive innovation in new technologies and transform countries’ energy use.

Climate Week: Climate Neutral Now, RE100 Initiatives Recruit Fortune 500 Companies

Two initiatives for reducing businesses’ impacts on the environment have attracted globally recognized brands this week at Climate Week NYC.On Tuesday, the United Nations (UN) announced a new initiative to help businesses and individuals reduce their carbon footprints, Climate Neutral Now. An online platform will facilitate the measurement, reduction, and offset of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

BASF’s Creator Space Tour Heading to Shanghai to Explore Future Urban Living

Leading scientists and urban planning experts will gather at BASF’s Creator Space™ Science Symposium on November 10 and 11, 2015, in Shanghai, China to share the latest insights into the area of sustainable urban living. The symposium is part of the worldwide Creator Space™ program for the 150th anniversary year of BASF.

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