How Microsoft computes the business case for water stewardship

January 22, 2018 by  
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Microsoft is at the beginning of a journey towards better water management, responding to increasing global water stress due to climate change, population increases and economic development. “How do we bring better orchestration and a more formalized approach to water stewardship for Microsoft data centers, manufacturing sites and real estate offices around the world?” said Josh Henretig, senior director of sustainability at Microsoft. 

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How Microsoft computes the business case for water stewardship

What does it look like to embed sustainability across an organization?

October 10, 2017 by  
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Hiring a chief sustainability officer is only the beginning of a journey.

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What does it look like to embed sustainability across an organization?

Sustainable development and the end of history

September 11, 2017 by  
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Are we experiencing the end of an era — or the beginning of a new one?

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Sustainable development and the end of history

Airbnb plans to house 100,000 refugees in the next five years heres how

June 7, 2017 by  
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Shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump issued a ban on travel from six predominantly Muslim countries, the founders of Airbnb announced a bold plan to provide short-term housing to 100,000 refugees over the next five years. Until recently, no one knew how exactly how that feat would be accomplished. Today, however, the company announced that it will connect seven nonprofit organizations devoted to assisting those who are fleeing their homelands through a new Open Homes platform. After the ban was issued, the three founders of Airbnb championed the hashtag #WeAccept and said, “To help people around the world facing displacement, we’ll work with our community of hosts to find not just a place to stay, but also a place to feel connected, respected, and a part of a community again.” For months, employees and volunteers have used a highly inefficient system to connect nonprofit organizations with volunteers through emails, phone calls, and spreadsheets. “Dozens of man hours to settle one family in one place,” Airbnb cofounder Joe Gebbia told Fast Company . “Highly inefficient and highly unscalable.” Now that the process is automated, a total of seven nonprofits may easily connect with volunteers to provide short-term housing to refugees who are in need of a secure, safe place to stay. Some of the organizations that have partnered with Airbnb include the International Rescue Committee , Singa Quebec , the Inland Refugee Society of British Columbia, and SolidarityNow. After volunteers sign on to the Open Homes platform, they’ll be able to specify the cause they would like to donate their room or home to. Nonprofits that seek to set up a family or an individual with temporary housing will then be able to view lists of potential volunteers. Related: Sweden lists entire country on Airbnb because ‘roaming should be free’ This isn’t the first time Airbnb has partnered with home owners to help displaced individuals. After Hurricane Sandy left thousands of people stranded, Airbnb launched a platform which now connects people in need with short-term shelter. To date, the company’s efforts have placed 1,900 people worldwide – including around U.S. cities such as Dallas, New York , Oakland, and Sacramento. Additionally, 290 refugees have found short-term housing since the beginning of 2017. Considering 65 million people are still displaced, this number is quite low. However, Airbnb is optimistic many more people can be assisted through the Open Homes platform. + Open Homes Via Fast Company Images via Pixabay

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Airbnb plans to house 100,000 refugees in the next five years heres how

The dawn of architectural solar

January 3, 2017 by  
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Sponsored: Since the beginning of the modern architectural era, humankind has dreamed of self-sustaining buildings that generate their own power

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The dawn of architectural solar

How the Fed joined the fight against climate change

January 3, 2017 by  
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The Fed does not influence the opportunity cost of carbon — and whether companies account for it — it does influence the opportunity cost of financial capital.

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How the Fed joined the fight against climate change

Trump, COP22 and asking the hard questions on climate change

November 21, 2016 by  
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Why Paris was just the beginning — and a Trump presidency can’t be the end — for global climate action.

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Trump, COP22 and asking the hard questions on climate change

The new green grid: utilities deploy ‘virtual power plants’

November 21, 2016 by  
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How companies in the U.S. and Europe are helping utilities supply targeted areas with renewable electricity.

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The new green grid: utilities deploy ‘virtual power plants’

BONE Structure breaks ground on first net-zero residential project in California

June 13, 2016 by  
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Thanks to the off-site manufacturing process, the house is easy to outfit with all the electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilation systems , which can be inserted into precut openings. An air-tight envelope ensures stable interior temperatures, with insulation panels clipped into place between steel columns and polyurethane foam insulation. Related: Stanford’s Start.Home is Built Around a Next-Gen Prefab Core at the Solar Decathlon 2013 The Jacobson Residence is only the beginning for BONE Structure. The firm plans to replicate the concept and build 50 new homes in California in 2016. Meanwhile, if you’re interested in visiting the Stanford house, the property will be available for tour on June, 24, 25 and 26. + BONE Structure

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BONE Structure breaks ground on first net-zero residential project in California

Blind "bird man" of Uruguay recognizes 3000 unique bird songs

June 13, 2016 by  
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In the warmer seasons and biomes of the Earth, birds envelop the sonic landscape with uniquely composed songs and calls that identify the species present, even if unseen. Bioacoustics and ornithological expert Juan Pablo Culasso has so refined his ability to recognize these sounds that he is now able to differentiate between 720 species of birds by ear. 29-year-old Culasso was born blind, though able to sense changes in light, and has always relied on his ears to explore the world around him. Culasso also possesses the rare gift of absolute, or perfect, pitch, which enables him to identify a particular note simply by hearing it. Through his unique abilities, Culasso can identify over 3,000 unique bird sounds. Perfect pitch is less about the ear than it is about the brain’s capacity for identification and interpretation. “It’s not that these people hear more, they hear the same as anyone else,” says Alicia Munyo, head of the phonology department at Republica University in Montevideo, Uruguay. “It’s that their brain has a great capacity to interpret sounds and their nuances, much more than normal people do.” Culasso recalls his perfect pitch in childhood, in which he could identify the musical note for sounds made by stones tossed into the water. His father introduced his young son to the world of birds by reading aloud encyclopedia articles that were accompanied by audio cassettes of bird sounds. Related: Shocking study reveals 90% of seabirds have eaten plastic Culasso, encouraged by field work with an ornithologist, began recording bird sounds as a teenager. “At that moment, I felt as if I had been doing this forever without knowing it. I fell in love with that task,” he says. Culasso has used his skills to produce nature documentaries, assist scientific studies, and in 2014, was granted a $45,000 prize from Nat Geo TV. Most of this money was invested in audio equipment, so that Culasso can better complete his work. He also recently completed a two month expedition in Antarctica. “I keep adding sounds to my list,” he says. “In Antarctica, I recorded sea lions, seals and a melting iceberg.” Via Phys.org Images via Juan Pablo Culasso  and Flickr

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Blind "bird man" of Uruguay recognizes 3000 unique bird songs

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