8 ripple effects of the circular economy in 2017

December 29, 2017 by  
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From Apple to Cremona, Italy, to Unilever, here’s how industry, agriculture and cities cleaned up their acts this year.

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8 ripple effects of the circular economy in 2017

The sustainability year 2017 in review, in haiku

December 29, 2017 by  
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This Year of the Rooster was stressful for those devoted to sustainability. It may help to take one syllable at a time.

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The sustainability year 2017 in review, in haiku

Why private ‘actors’ are taking center stage on climate change

December 9, 2017 by  
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What other businesses can learn from Walmart, Walkers, Apple and other corporate sustainability leaders.

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Why private ‘actors’ are taking center stage on climate change

Foster + Partners Apple Park Visitor Center opens to the public

November 22, 2017 by  
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Apple fans and architecture buffs can now sneak a peek at Apple’s massive spaceship campus at the new Apple Park Visitor Center, opened Friday. As with all the campus buildings and the new Apple stores, Foster + Partners led the design effort at the new Visitor Center, wrapped in a transparent envelope below an incredibly thin floating carbon-fiber roof. The combination of glass and carbon fiber is becoming a hallmark of Apple architecture and stores, including the campus’ Steve Jobs Theater that boasts the world’s largest carbon-fiber roof. Set within an olive grove and positioned for sweeping views of Apple Park, the 20,135-square-foot Visitor Center comprises an Apple Store, cafe, Apple Park exhibition area, and a roof terrace . A model of Apple Park that illustrates the massive scale of the 175-acre campus , as well as the undulating artificial landscape, first greets visitors. The full-height glazing and floating roof makes the building appear weightless and blurs the line between indoors and out. Related: Apple’s stunning “spaceship” campus revealed in new drone footage The furnishings and materials mimic those at Apple Park to give visitors a taste of the main building. The Visitor Center’s small cafe echoes the campus’ restaurant in the timber furnishings and marble countertops. The staircases are also clad in the same quartz stone used in the main building. “The idea was to create a delicate pavilion where visitors can enjoy the same material palette and meticulous detailing seen in the Ring Building in a relaxed setting, against the backdrop of Apple Park,” said Stefan Behling, Head of Studio, Foster + Partners. + Foster + Partners Images via Nigel Young / Foster + Partners

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Foster + Partners Apple Park Visitor Center opens to the public

This Arctic Apple has been genetically engineered to never brown

October 16, 2017 by  
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The Arctic Apple, a variety of fruit that has been genetically engineered to never brown, even when cut into pieces, may be coming to a grocery store near you. The fruit was first envisioned as a means to increase apple consumption among picky consumers while decreasing food waste. “There’s an awful lot of apples that go to waste,” said Neal Carter, president of Okanagan Specialty Fruits, which designed the Arctic Apple. “We were looking for ways to rebrand apples to make them more convenient.” Starting in November, the Arctic Apple will be sold in approximately 400 supermarkets throughout the United States . Carter estimates that this year’s harvest of 180 pounds of apples will be on the market for about 12 weeks; the first variety of Arctic Apple available will be Golden Delicious, followed by Granny Smith in 2018. Okanagan hopes that this novel approach will catch on among the fruit-consuming public “We’ve seen apple consumption decline on a per capita basis over the last few decades, because they’re not seen as convenient,” said Carter. “When they started selling cut baby carrots, it more than doubled consumption.” Just like baby carrots , the Arctic Apple will be sold pre-sliced. Related: 5 Mouthwatering plant-based fall recipes Apple flesh begins to turn brown when it’s cut or bruised because of enzymes that turn copper upon oxidation. Although the bite-sized, forever-unblemished Arctic Apple may appeal to those who can’t stand to see an apple “go bad,” its status as a GMO may turn off some concerned consumers. “There are certainly people against what we do,” said Carter. “But there are less people against it than two years ago or five years ago. Once people experience the apple, generally they say, ‘Hey this is just an apple.’” Via Gizmodo Images via Wikimedia and Okanagan Specialty Fruit

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This Arctic Apple has been genetically engineered to never brown

Oil rig explodes in the middle of Lake Pontchartrain, injuring several near New Orleans

October 16, 2017 by  
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An oil rig on Lake Pontchartrain exploded on Sunday night in Kenner, Louisiana , home of the Louis Armstrong International Airport and only a few miles from New Orleans . Authorities began receiving calls about the explosion around 7:18 PM on Sunday; although no official explanation has been offered, authorities on the scene believe the explosion was caused by flammable cleaning chemicals on the oil rig’s surface. At least seven people were injured in the blast and, according to initial reporting, one person is missing. Many of the injuries were serious and authorities expected more to be reported in the near future. Lake Pontchartrain is a brackish body of water that is about 12-14 feet deep, though some shipping channels are dredged deeper, and covers 630 square miles to the north of New Orleans. The exploding rig in the Lake is owned by Clovelly Oil Co., which uses the structure for transferring oil . It is possible that oil is still leaking into Lake Pontchartrain, though this will not affect local drinking water, which is sourced from the Mississippi River. Local residents report having their homes rattled when the explosion occurred. “My house actually shook,” said Andrew Love, who lives in the area. “At first I thought it was a sonic boom or something, I had no idea what was happening.” No damage to homes has yet been reported. Related: New NASA study reveals just how fast New Orleans is sinking George Branigan was sitting at home with his wife and stepdaughter when the explosion happened. “We heard something blow up and it sounded like it was in my backyard ,” Branigan said. After going outside to investigate, Branigan heard what sounded to him to be small pebbles, likely debris from the explosion, falling on his home. Branigan was still watching the flames from his porch several hours after the explosion. Via the New Orleans Advocate and San Francisco Gate Images via  City of Kenner Government

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Oil rig explodes in the middle of Lake Pontchartrain, injuring several near New Orleans

Leveraging Leadership & Transforming Markets with Lisa Jackson of Apple

October 2, 2017 by  
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A conversation with Apple’s visionary sustainability executive on the company’s commitments on renewable energy, circular materials and other topics.

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Leveraging Leadership & Transforming Markets with Lisa Jackson of Apple

The transformational power of corporate clean energy purchasing

September 18, 2017 by  
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From China to Mexico, from Apple to Walmart and beyond, WWF finds businesses embracing this global movement.

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The transformational power of corporate clean energy purchasing

IKEA’s new augmented reality app could totally change the way we shop

September 13, 2017 by  
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Ever purchased a piece of furniture, only to find out later it didn’t fit the style or size of the room? Swedish furniture maker IKEA is tackling this problem with a free augmented reality (AR) application that utilizes Apple’s new ARKit technology . The app will let users experience how sofas, armchairs, coffee tables and other furnishing items will fit into their homes in augmented reality. According to the IKEA press release, all products experienced through the app are 3D and true to scale. This ensures “every choice is just the right size, design and function.” Said Michael Valdsgaard, Leader Digital Transformation at Inter IKEA Systems, “IKEA Place makes it easier to make buying decisions in your own place, to get inspired and try many different products, styles, and colors in real-life settings with a swipe of your finger. Augmented reality and virtual reality will be a total game changer for retail in the same way as the internet. Only this time, much faster.” Users will also have the option of capturing the setting in the app and sharing it as an image or a video with friends. Related: IKEA’s SPACE10 lab is bringing a pop-up vertical farm to London IKEA is the first home furnishing company to build on Apple’s new technology to create an AR app that ensures customers are confident with their purchases. Reportedly, the app has a 98 percent accuracy as it scales products based on room dimensions. “The AR technology is so precise that you will be able to see the texture of the fabric, as well as how light and shadows are rendered on your furnishings,” says the press release. “ARKit gives us the opportunity to help shape the development of AR as an accessible tool for real-life decision making,” added Valdsgaard. “ARKit gives us the opportunity to help shape the development of AR as an accessible tool for real-life decision making,” added Valdsgaard. Beginning late-September, users with an iOs 11 may download and enjoy the app. In total, 2,000 IKEA products will be available to experiment with. The first release will focus on larger furniture products, including all sofas, armchairs, footstools, coffee tables and top-selling “storage solutions” that can be placed on the floor.  Data collected from the application will also play a role in the launch of new product lines. “Now, technology has caught up with our ambition. AR lets us redefine the experience for furniture retail once more, in our restless quest to create a better everyday life for everyone, everywhere,” said Valdsgaard. To use the IKEA app, all one needs to do is: upgrade their device to iOS 11, download the IKEA Place app for free from the Apple store, scan the floor in your home, browse the list of available products in the app, select a chosen furniture item to experience, and move and place the product into the space. It is that simple! + IKEA  Images via IKEA

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IKEA’s new augmented reality app could totally change the way we shop

How collaboration inspires sustainability heroes

August 15, 2017 by  
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Global results need collaboration, trust and communication. Just ask companies such as Apple and NGOs such as the EDF.

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How collaboration inspires sustainability heroes

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