Today, in response to a petition by 19 environmental and open-government groups, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released proposed regulations that will require natural gas processing plants to start publicly reporting the toxic chemicals they release.
Whether it be turning food scraps into cold-pressed juices or transforming PET waste into raw materials or converting beer waste water into batteries — just a few of the latest examples of the circular economy at work — companies are increasingly finding unique ways to transform and repurpose their waste, byproducts and emissions.
With its potential to combat global climate change, the clean energy industry has experienced significant — and rapid — growth over the last decade. And according to the World Economic Forum, things are only looking up. As it stands, renewables, more specifically wind and solar, are fast becoming just as competitive as fossil fuels, and businesses have been taking note.
The Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) has awarded 2015 SBIO winner LanzaTech, a carbon-recycling company, $4 million to design and plan a demonstration-scale facility using industrial off gases to produce 3 million gallons a year of low-carbon jet and diesel fuels.
Every 15 years, the United Nations gets together to determine its next steps in bettering the earth and the people on it. In late 2015, this took the form of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
The SDGs focus on climate action, decreasing poverty, increasing access to health, reducing inequality, and increasing sustainable development, in both rural and developed areas, over the next 15 years. Although the goals appear broad and ambitious, the UN aims to further the advancement of people while protecting and fostering the health and wellbeing of the planet.
A number of data platforms have emerged in recent months that aim to help give organizations an eagle-eye view of issues such as deforestation and climate resilience, but one startup is using the power of data to engage individuals who have yet to understand how global environmental problems may be affecting them personally.
Siemens and New York-based startup LO3 Energy have announced that they are partnering up to make the energy-sharing economy a reality through the development of microgrids that use blockchain technology to enable local energy trading.
French engineering giant Bouygues Group is making a convincing case for reinventing the wheel, rolling out four new solar road projects across four continents that could change the way we drive by 2018.
Colas SA, a subsidiary of Bouygues Group, has designed solar panels that are rugged enough to withstand the weight of an 18-wheeler truck — and are currently building them into road surfaces in France. Colas has been performing research and laboratory tests over the past five years and now plans to construct 100 test sites to further test the new technology before commercializing it in 2018.
The UK, Denmark and Germany are leading the clean energy transformation in Europe. Since 1990, the UK has reduced its CO2 emissions by 25 percent, while other wealthy countries such as the US and Norway have increased their emissions of greenhouse gases.
World's biggest fleet of offshore wind turbines
One of the reasons for the UK’s leading role in the clean energy transformation lies off of its coasts, where enormous offshore wind farms convert high-speed ocean winds into sustainable energy. And the development of offshore wind power has only just begun.
Transparency is the new normal, driving an unprecedented need for the integration of sustainability into all aspects of business.
It took activists only a few days to plaster the Internet with pictures of the collapsed Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh in 2013 that buried hundreds of workers under rubbles of concrete. Through social media and the Internet, it was possible to inform the world before companies such as Walmart and Mango, which sourced from the factory, learned of the disaster.
This year, the U.S. election fell in the midst of the United Nations climate negotiations (COP22). While the results have led to some unease and uncertainty, they certainly haven’t halted commitments and funding for renewable energy and other climate change solutions.
An association of global electricity companies, the Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP), is offering their expertise to development finance institutions and other international organizations to jointly identify electricity technology investments that can help countries reduce their carbon emissions on schedule in accordance with the Paris Agreement goals.
If there’s any force greater than whatever propelled Donald Trump into the Presidency, it’s economics. Nobody, not even a President Trump, can stop all movement toward the clean economy. The reason is simple: It’s now cheaper to cut carbon and use renewable energy than to keep the status quo.
Don’t get me wrong. Today is a very hard day for many Americans. I know I am fearful about our democracy and threats to human rights of all kinds. I also believe some critical structural problems in our system badly need to change (like the electoral college, profit- and clicks-driven news media, and money in politics).
Two startups are advancing their solar power solutions in big ways: Arcadia Power, an online renewable energy company, has launched the first nationwide community solar program in the United States; and solar lighting and power systems provider d.light has secured a total of $30 million in funding this year for off-grid solar.
Habit, a new startup at the intersection of nutrition, technology and food delivery, will offer personalized nutrition solutions for the likely millions of Westerners who have yet to find a 'diet' that works for them.
Smart thermostat company ecobee has launched a first-of-its-kind program inviting its customers to voluntarily contribute their home heating and cooling data to advance energy and climate change science.
Historically, studies using home energy use data have been limited to small groups of homes, but smart homes could allow far more information to become available for research. With over one million customers, ecobee is hoping many of them will opt-in to sharing their data, anonymously and securely, to advance innovations in energy efficiency.
Airbnb has formed another strategic partnership aimed at increasing the environmental benefits of home sharing: Airbnb and SolarCity, the nation’s largest solar power provider, have joined forces to connect Airbnb hosts and guests with an affordable and sustainable way to power their homes with solar energy.