Mike Hower

Managing Director, Sustainability & Social Impact
thinkPARALLAX

Mike Hower is tagged in 832 stories. Page 3 of 42.
Automakers Beat GHG Standards for Third Year Running
Automakers Beat GHG Standards for Third Year Running

New Metrics / Vehicle manufacturers have surpassed the more stringent 2014 standards for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the third consecutive year, while model year 2014 fuel economy remains steady at the highest level ever recorded, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).The findings were included in two reports the agency released last week: the annual report on fuel economy trends and a report on the auto industry’s progress toward meeting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for cars and light trucks. - 3 years ago

Report: Mobile Tech Helping Save 180 Million Tons of CO2 Each Year
Report: Mobile Tech Helping Save 180 Million Tons of CO2 Each Year

Cleantech / The use of smartphones in the United States and Europe is helping to save more than 180 million tons of carbon emissions a year — an amount greater than the total annual emissions of the Netherlands — according to a new report released this week by the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), authored by The Carbon Trust. - 3 years ago

White House Taps Private Sector for ‘Moonshot for Water’
White House Taps Private Sector for ‘Moonshot for Water’

Leadership / The White House on Tuesday announced a new public-private water innovation strategy aimed at addressing the impacts of climate change on the use and supply of the nation’s water resources.The strategy, known informally as the “moonshot for water” calls for an aggressive two-part approach led by federal agencies, and enlists the private sector and other stakeholder groups to help significantly scale up research and investment in water efficiency solutions. - 3 years ago

SolarCity Urges Congress to Extend Solar Investment Tax Credit
SolarCity Urges Congress to Extend Solar Investment Tax Credit

Cleantech / SolarCity is calling on Congress to swiftly pass comprehensive legislation that includes an extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar.The ITC, which was set to expire at the end of 2016, is a 30 percent federal tax credit for businesses and homeowners to incentivize installation of solar energy systems, fuel cells, combined heat and power systems, microturbines, small wind systems and geothermal heat pumps.Since its creation in 2006, the ITC has helped deliver job growth, cost reductions and domestic energy deployment across the country, SolarCity says. - 3 years ago

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NASA: El Niño Could Provide Some Relief to California Drought
NASA: El Niño Could Provide Some Relief to California Drought

Cleantech / Atmospheric rivers — significant sources of rainfall — tend to intensify during El Niño events, and this year's strong El Niño likely will bring more precipitation to California and some relief for the drought, according to new satellite research from NASA.Duane Waliser, chief scientist of the Earth Science and Technology Directorate at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and his colleagues analyzed the historical record of atmospheric rivers. These concentrated rain bands account for 40 percent of California's water supply. Their results suggest the number of atmospheric rivers California receives will remain the same, at an average 10 per year, but they will be stronger, warmer and wetter. - 3 years ago

COP21 Agreement Makes History, But Not Everyone Is Happy
COP21 Agreement Makes History, But Not Everyone Is Happy

Leadership / Over the weekend, 195 nations reached a landmark agreement at COP21 in Paris to fight climate change and unleash actions and investment towards a low carbon, resilient and sustainable future.The Paris Agreement, for the first time, brings all nations into a common cause based on their historic, current and future responsibilities. Its main aim is to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The 1.5 degree Celsius limit is a significantly safer defense line against the worst impacts of a changing climate. - 3 years ago

Startup Upcycling Plastic Bottles into Construction Tiles
Startup Upcycling Plastic Bottles into Construction Tiles

Product, Service & Design Innovation / Humanity has a major math problem: Its population is growing, global demand for new products is swelling and the waste is mounting — all while natural resources and space remain constant. I’m no math wiz, but it seems like this isn’t the most sustainable of equations.Rather than working to balance each variable of the equation, many are working to rewrite it altogether by eliminating the very concept of “waste” through circular economic thinking. This involves recycling, but also taking it a step further, to upcycling. - 3 years ago

IBM Leverages Internet of Things to Tackle Air Pollution in Johannesburg
IBM Leverages Internet of Things to Tackle Air Pollution in Johannesburg

Cleantech / IBM Research has announced a collaboration agreement with the City of Johannesburg and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to apply advanced technologies to help the city deliver on its air quality management plan.Johannesburg is the economic hub of South Africa, generating 17 percent of the country's GDP. Originally established as a mining town, the city's mine dumps, residential and traffic emissions generated by the city's population of approximately 4.5 million people are largely responsible for the city's air pollution, IBM says, which includes ultrafine particulate matter particles — the most harmful to human health. - 4 years ago

SunPower, SolarWorld Lead 2015 Solar Scorecard
SunPower, SolarWorld Lead 2015 Solar Scorecard

Cleantech / SunPower, SolarWorld and Trina earned top marks in the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition’s 2015 Solar Scorecard, which ranks manufacturers of solar photovoltaic modules according to several environmental, sustainability and social justice factors.REC, Yingli, JA Solar, AUO, LG, First Solar and Upsolar rounded out the top ten performers. JA Solar showed the most improvement from the 2014 Solar Scorecard — moving from a total score of 10 out of 100 in 2014 to 77 in 2015. - 4 years ago

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Trucost and TruValue Labs Partner to Provide Enhanced ESG Data for Investors
Trucost and TruValue Labs Partner to Provide Enhanced ESG Data for Investors

Cleantech / Trucost and TruValue Labs have announced a partnership to provide investors with enhanced, real-time, environmental, social and governance (ESG) data. The market for responsible finance has grown rapidly over the past 20 years, driven by awareness of the risks and opportunities of climate change. There is a growing divestment movement among investors wanting to reduce exposure to polluting, carbon-intensive business activities. But investors need good quality, up-to-date ESG data to engage with companies and inform investment decisions. - 4 years ago

Economists Say Climate Impacts Will Be Worse Than Previously Believed
Economists Say Climate Impacts Will Be Worse Than Previously Believed

New Metrics / Experts on the economics of climate change have revealed concerns that damages from climate change impacts will be larger and more immediate than previously estimated, according to a new survey from The Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law.The survey’s respondents were limited to those who have published an article about food production, climate adaptation, energy economics and other topics related to climate change in a highly ranked, peer-reviewed economics journal since 1994. - 4 years ago

New Tool Measures Upstream Global Supply Chain GHGs
New Tool Measures Upstream Global Supply Chain GHGs

Supply Chain / The international climate negotiations currently underway in Paris at COP21 are focused on commitments by national and subnational governments to gradually reduce emissions, primarily from direct downstream sources — things like power plants, energy-intensive manufacturing and vehicles. Meanwhile, upstream emissions typically are ignored. - 4 years ago

Report: Cities Can Help Close COP21 ‘Emissions Gap’
Report: Cities Can Help Close COP21 ‘Emissions Gap’

Leadership / If cities around the world take aggressive climate change action, they can help cut global emissions by 3.7 billion tons a year by 2030 — helping to close the “emissions gap” between what countries have promised to do before the COP21 climate talks, and what is needed to avoid a rise in temperature above 2 degrees Celsius, according to a new report by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) on behalf of C40.The emissions gap amounts to around 15 billion tons of carbon dioxide a year. - 4 years ago

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

Cleantech / 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. - 4 years ago

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Heineken First Brewer to Join National Effort to Increase Curbside Recycling
Heineken First Brewer to Join National Effort to Increase Curbside Recycling

Waste Not / Heineken has become the first alcohol company member of the The Recycling Partnership, a national nonprofit committed to improving curbside residential recycling, according to a recent announcement.As a leading sponsor, the brewer will provide industry expertise to help improve consumer education, elevate the quality of curbside recycling and drive increased recovery of recyclable glass in communities nationwide.The Recycling Partnership works to improve recycling in communities across the country. - 4 years ago

Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo Join Banks Cutting Out Coal
Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo Join Banks Cutting Out Coal

Behavior Change / Ahead of the UN 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21), Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo became the latest major banks to pledge to eliminate their support for the coal industry in favor of reducing carbon pollution associated with the industry.Morgan Stanley said that it “recognizes that climate change poses significant risks to the global economy and that reducing carbon emissions is critical to our success in addressing the challenges presented by a changing climate.” - 4 years ago

Silicon Valley Hackathon Seeks Smart City Solutions
Silicon Valley Hackathon Seeks Smart City Solutions

Cleantech / 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. - 4 years ago

Study: Developing Countries Will Need $270B to Adapt to Climate Change
Study: Developing Countries Will Need $270B to Adapt to Climate Change

Leadership / Developing countries will need to pay an additional $270 billion more each year to adapt to the impacts of climate change if COP21 fails to elicit increased global pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new report by Oxfam.Game-changers in the Paris climate deal warns that developing countries’ economies face being crushed under the double burden of climate change adaptation costs of almost $800 billion and more than twice that in economic losses every year by 2050 if pledges to cut emissions are not improved. - 4 years ago

BASF Marks 150th Anniversary With ‘Smart Energy Solutions’ Tour
BASF Marks 150th Anniversary With ‘Smart Energy Solutions’ Tour

Collaboration / To mark its 150th anniversary, German firm BASF is hosting a ten-day program in Ludwigshafen focusing on one of the most pressing global challenges: Given the limited resources, how can we secure our energy supply also in the future?By 2050, global energy demand is forecast to rise by more than 50 percent, BASF says, and new solutions will have to be developed in order to secure the energy supply in the future.Germany, in particular, is in the midst of an energy transition: Electricity generation is becoming increasingly decentralized. As a result, electricity grids and energy markets will have to change and become more flexible. That’s why BASF says it chose to make “smart energy” the theme of the tour stop in Germany. - 4 years ago

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Here's What Stands In the Way of a COP21 Climate Treaty
Here's What Stands In the Way of a COP21 Climate Treaty

Leadership / Despite the recent horrific acts in Paris, next week world leaders will converge on the city for the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference — otherwise known as the Conference of the Parties (COP) 21 — to achieve what many hope will be the first legally binding and universal agreement on climate change. - 4 years ago

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