Cleantech

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

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Report: Industry Energy-Efficiency Programs Cut Costs, Improve Productivity

Energy-efficiency programs are helping industry achieve higher energy savings, cost savings and productivity improvements, according to a new report by the SEE Action Network and the Institute for Industrial Productivity (IIP).The report, Industrial Energy Efficiency: Designing Effective State Programs for the Industrial Sector, investigates successful and well-designed industrial energy efficiency (IEE) programs in the United States. The results provide a strong case for industry participation in statewide programs.IIP says it is clear from the research that state energy-efficiency programs are helping both industry and ratepayers save money and cut energy use.

PURE Energies Infographic Highlights Water Usage by Power Plants

Water is the word of the month — as California suffers through one of the worst droughts in its history, Silicon Valley-based tech companies are innovating to reduce their water consumption and brands from Coke to Levi’s raising consumer awareness of water usage and conservation leading up to

The Future of Driving? Hydrogen Cars Have 3 Times the Range of EVs, Emit Only H20

Hydrogen fuel cell cars have more than three times the standard range of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs), can be refueled in minutes rather than hours and look and handle more like traditional cars — so why are there still only a few hundred hydrogen-powered vehicles on the road? The answer is a lack of hydrogen refueling stations, according to a new segment released today by QUEST, an Emmy Award-winning multimedia series with a new focus on exploring the science of sustainability. See the segment below:

Boeing, South African Airways Helping Smallhold Farmers Grow Biofuel Crops

Boeing has launched an initiative with South African Airways (SAA) and the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) to expand opportunities for “smallhold” farmers in Southern Africa to grow crops that produce sustainable fuels.Boeing says the program builds on a global effort alongside RSB and other partners to help farmers with small plots of land gain access to markets for sustainable biofuels and biomaterials. In the coming months, Boeing and RSB will work with Southern African stakeholders to create pilot programs to build knowledge and skills among groups of farmers who want to certify their crops as sustainable.

Nestlé, Sainsbury's, GSK Adopt Holistic Framework for Carbon-Water Management

Businesses and governments must tackle energy and water use in tandem or risk major disruption, according to research released this week by sustainability specialists Anthesis in association with the Water Footprint Network. And 15 leading businesses from 11 different sectors, including Sainsbury’s, Boots UK, GlaxoSmithKline, Nestlé and Nokia have committed to looking at their carbon-water management holistically.

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GE Renews Ecomagination Initiative, Commits $25B to CleanTech R&D by 2020

GE has announced the renewal of its ecomagination commitment, the company’s sustainability initiative that seeks to find technology solutions that save money and reduce environmental impact for its customers and operations.Since its 2005 launch, GE says ecomagination has generated more than $160 billion in revenue. The company’s own operations have seen a 34 percent reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions since 2004 and a 47 percent reduction in freshwater use since 2006, realizing $300 million in savings.

Google, eBay, Adobe Innovating to Save Water in California Drought

Amid one of the worst droughts in California history, Google, Adobe, eBay and several other technology companies are embracing innovation to reduce water consumption, the Guardian reports.Google is considering installing new technology such as urinal cakes containing enzymes that calcify urine so that toilets only have to be flushed a few times each day. This could save around 500,000 gallons of water a year.

Chevy Carbon Credit Initiative Helps US Colleges Earn Money for Reducing Footprint

Chevrolet has helped develop a formula where US colleges and universities can earn money for certain upgrades that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as part of a new voluntary carbon-reduction initiative.Through this initiative, Chevy will buy and retire carbon credits resulting from some campuses’ GHG reductions from either their LEED-certified buildings or other campus-wide energy-saving initiatives. The program is part of the company’s voluntary goal set in 2010 to prevent up to 8 million metric tons of carbon emissions from entering the earth’s atmosphere.

Interface Europe Achieves 90% Carbon Reduction

Interface announced this week it has reached a series of major sustainability milestones at its European manufacturing facility in Scherpenzeel, The Netherlands. As of January 2014 the plant has been operating with 100 percent renewable energy, using virtually zero water in its manufacturing processes and has attained zero waste to landfill. This is a key achievement for the facility and a significant step forward for the company as it strives towards Mission Zero — Interface’s pledge to eliminate any negative impact it has on the environment by 2020 and by doing so, become a restorative enterprise.

Volvo Production Plant Achieves Carbon Neutrality

Volvo Construction Equipment’s Braås site in southern Sweden has become its first carbon-neutral facility and is claimed to be the first construction equipment production plant in the world run entirely on renewables.The 45,000 m2 site, which specializes in the design and manufacture of articulated haulers, is now powered entirely by renewable energy sources — including wind, biomass and hydropower.The move follows in the footsteps of sister company Volvo Trucks, whose Ghent facility set the standard for emissions-free industrial manufacturing in 2007.

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National Council of Chain Restaurants Urges Further Reductions to Corn Ethanol Mandate

This week, the National Council of Chain Restaurants (NCCR), which represents just about every US quick-service and table-service chain you can think of, submitted comments to the EPA on its proposal to reduce the levels of corn ethanol mandated under the embattled Renewable Fuel Standard.

New York Offers $21M to Help Dairy Farms Convert Waste to Energy

New York recently made available $21 million to help the state’s dairy farmers convert farm waste to energy.Most of the funding — $20 million — is available through New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to install anaerobic digester technology that produces renewable biogas used to generate electricity and heat from organic wastes. Food processing manufacturers, farms or municipal wastewater sites would be eligible for up to $2 million per project.

Sprint Takes HFC Technology to Rooftops with Help from Department of Energy

Sprint announced today it will deploy hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) technology as backup power to its rooftop network sites thanks to a grant from the Department of Energy (DOE). The solution should allow for lower site maintenance and cleaner network energy sources and will increase network survivability during power outages.

EOS Climate Helping DuPont Reduce Refrigerant GHG Emissions

EOS Climate on Tuesday announced it will provide the DuPont refrigerant distributor network access to its Refrigerant Asset System (RAS) to help curb greenhouse gas emissions generated by refrigerants.Launched last November, the RAS software and systems make the existing refrigerant supply chain more efficient, enabling users to track every pound of refrigerant from purchase through to recovery, reclamation and its eventual end-of-life.

Boeing Joins Abu Dhabi Team to Grow Biofuel Supply Chain in UAE

Boeing has announced it will join with Etihad Airways, Takreer, Total and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology to collaborate on a new initiative to develop a sustainable aviation biofuel supply chain in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).The initiative, BIOjet Abu Dhabi: Flight Path to Sustainability, will engage a wide range of stakeholders to develop a comprehensive framework for a UAE biofuel supply chain by focusing on research and development and investments in feedstock production and refining capability in the UAE and globally.

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Blue Sun First to Commercialize Enzymatic Biodiesel Process at Scale

Blue Sun Energy, a transportation fuel technology commercialization company, has implemented its enzymatic biodiesel processing technology at its 30 million gallon per year biodiesel production facility in St. Joseph, Missouri, making it the most advanced in the world.Blue Sun says it has fully commercialized the enzymatic process technology and the St. Joseph plant is operating at full scale, which will give it a clear competitive advantage in the biodiesel market. The process at the St. Joe refinery produces high-quality biodiesel, which is further improved by the state-of-the-art distillation system installed last year at the refinery.

Bear Republic Brewery Unveils Energy-Positive Wastewater Treatment System

Sonoma County-based Bear Republic Brewing Company and Cambrian Innovation, a water and bioenergy technology provider, have unveiled an EcoVolt water treatment system at Bear Republic’s brewery in Cloverdale. The EcoVolt system uses a proprietary bioelectric technology to treat wastewater and generate biogas.Bear Republic, known for its Racer 5 IPA and commitment to environmental stewardship, is the first brewery to purchase the energy-positive EcoVolt system, which will cut its water treatment costs, generate clean water and energy for use onsite, and significantly reduce the brewery’s CO2 footprint.

New Philips TLEDs Could Save Offices $55 Billion Worldwide

Royal Philips has introduced a new InstantFit LED T8 that reduces the cost for facility managers replacing fluorescent tube lighting with energy-efficient LED technology, known as LED tube lamps (TLEDs).Philips estimates that the installed base for fluorescent tube lighting today amounts to 12 billion (lamp) sockets globally. Linear fluorescent tube lighting with instant start ballast is one of the most common types of general lighting used in shops, offices and industrial spaces. If all current fluorescent lighting was replaced by TLED lamps, Philips says it could result in savings of over $55 billion in energy costs — the equivalent of energy generated by 210 medium-sized power plants.

Medical Marijuana Farm Recovering 97% of Its Wastewater Through Reverse Osmosis

Kind Love, a state-licensed medical marijuana grower in Denver, Colorado, is improving the operational efficiency and environmental sustainability of its grow operations by installing a closed-circuit desalination (CCD) reverse osmosis (RO) system. The system, which will produce up to 22,000 gallons of purified water per day, is being supplied by Desalitech, a provider of high-efficiency water production and wastewater treatment solutions.

Energy-Generating Floor Tiles Make US Debut at NYC Prep School

“Imagine if children running, playing and walking could help power the lights in their school corridors or the applications in their classrooms. This is the first step towards Pavegen’s vision of a more sustainable tomorrow.”So said Pavegen CEO and founder Laurence Kemball-Cooke in September, upon installing his innovative, energy-harnessing floor tiles at his alma mater, the Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys in Kent — where 24 tiles, covering 12 meters of a corridor, now harness and convert kinetic energy from students’ footsteps into a sustainable energy source.

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