Pressure on creatives: PR, advertising firms targeted by fossil fuel divestment movement

November 30, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Pressure on creatives: PR, advertising firms targeted by fossil fuel divestment movement Michael Holder Mon, 11/30/2020 – 01:00 As fossil fuel companies’ social license to operate becomes increasingly frayed, more industries in their orbit are getting entangled in the reputational quagmire that is now part and parcel of any activity that exacerbates the climate crisis. Airlines have faced “flygskam” — or flight shame — which has seen some travelers shun air travel, heightening pressure for the sector to demonstrate that it can develop a flight path to net-zero emissions. Similarly, carmakers around the world are racing to develop fully electric models in response to escalating consumer and regulatory pressure. And energy providers the world over are rushing to slash their reliance on fossil fuels as the clean energy transition gathers pace.  Now advertising and public relations companies, it seems, are also feeling the pressure from the societal drive for a rapid net-zero transition — and it is posing difficult questions for an industry far more used to pushing messages from behind the scenes than being front and center of the story itself. Yet that is precisely where the industry has found itself, after a new grassroots campaign — Clean Creatives — launched this month in the United States, aimed at pressuring advertising, PR and public affairs agencies to end what it regards as “greenwashing and misinformation campaigns that help delay climate action.” We can’t let these major oil companies that are spending most of their capex on oil and gas run a bunch of advertising pretending they’re renewable energy companies. Anyone doubting the seriousness of the campaign needs only look at the team behind it. Clean Creatives is backed by the same organizations and individuals that helped trigger the fastest divestment movement in history, convincing thousands of investors to ditch fossil-fuel assets and arguably doing more damage to fossil-fuel companies’ license to operate than any other campaign. Backed by climate activist and journalist Bill McKibben — who wrote an article in the New Yorker titled ” When creatives go destructive ” calling on major advertising and PR firms to stop working with oil, gas and coal companies that are not taking concerted action to decarbonize — the campaign aims to shine a spotlight on the scale of money being poured into boosting fossil-fuel firms’ reputations. It is a big business. Between 2008 and 2017, fossil-fuel industry trade associations in the U.S. spent almost $1.4 trillion on public relations, advertising and communications, according to Clean Creatives. Since the 1990s, the world’s top five public oil companies alone — Exxon, BP, Chevron, Shell and ConocoPhillips — have spent over $3.6 billion on reputational advertising, much of it centered on projecting an environmental and socially responsible image, according to a Brown University study . Yet the actual figure could be even higher, as it is difficult to lift the bonnet on the often private relationships between PR firms and their clients. Campaigners have long argued that while major fossil fuel companies are spending big sums on publicly pushing messages that suggest they are committed to decarbonizing by investing in greener forms of energy, in reality, the overwhelming majority of their capital expenditure still goes towards oil and gas. Now, this new campaign wants to call out PR and advertising firms on this apparent disconnect. “That’s exactly what we’re trying to highlight — we can’t let these major oil companies that are spending most of their capex on oil and gas run a bunch of advertising pretending they’re renewable energy companies,” Jamie Henn, co-founder of global climate campaign group 350.org and producer of the Clean Creatives campaign, told BusinessGreen. “The reason they do that is to maintain their relevance to the economy, to convince politicians that they don’t need regulation, and to try and get the public to not worry about the fact that these companies are destroying the planet.” He argued oil and gas company advertising is usually not directed at getting consumers to buy their products and services but is more akin to political lobbying. “This is political advertising that they’re running to maintain their influence over public policy,” he suggested. And as pressure ramps up on major advertising and PR firms for change, the impact is already being felt. Almost immediately in response to the Clean Creatives campaign, communications consultancy Porter Novelli announced it would end its working relationship with the American Public Gas Association from 2021. Clean Creatives hopes others soon could follow suit. “We think this campaign can be quite effective because if there was ever a target that cares deeply about their public image, it’s PR and ad people,” Henn said. “They’re uniquely sensitive to critiques like this.” The pressure on the industry has been building for quite some time already, and the reputational hazards are already being laid bare. Last week, it emerged that FTI Consulting — one of the largest management consultancy and communications firms in the world — has been dropped by at least three clients, while several other global asset managers are also reviewing their relationship with the firm, due to revelations about its controversial work with oil companies in a New York Times expose earlier this month . When contacted by BusinessGreen, the firm declined to comment. We think this campaign can be quite effective because if there was ever a target that cares deeply about their public image, it’s PR and ad people. “The precedent has now been set that if you want to be known as a green PR company or want to work with clients who care about sustainability, you can’t work with the fossil fuel industry,” Henn said. “We’re seeing that with FTI Consulting, and we’re also seeing that with Porter Novelli.” He argued the ripples from these reputational risks have the potential to spread much further than the PR and advertising industry itself, too, as the issue poses wider questions for any company that contracts out its PR and advertising services, not just the agencies themselves. “A lot of businesses think really deeply about transparency when it comes to sustainability — such as who their suppliers are, what pesticides they use, or whether they are buying materials from sustainable sources,” Henn explained. “The same question is rarely asked about their PR and advertising firms, but it’s a crucial issue, because if you’re paying millions of dollars a year to an agency that is also spreading misinformation on climate change, you’re spending against your values — just in the same way that you wouldn’t want your organic cereal to come from a wheat field sprayed with pesticides.” Yet it is clear that the industry — like many so many others — is in danger of totting up significant long-term costs in return for the money it earns from fossil fuels in the short term. And just like fossil fuel companies themselves, they also risk upsetting staff and stakeholders, and losing out to competition in a future talent pool drawn from an increasingly climate-conscious public. Stephen Woodford, CEO of the Advertising Association in the United Kingdom, believes it therefore is becoming increasingly untenable for advertising, PR and lobbying firms to engage in blatant greenwashing on behalf of fossil fuel clients. “I think we’ve been at that stage for some time, but it is now accelerating partly because it’s of huge concern to the people working in the industry,” he told BusinessGreen. But for advertising, PR and lobbying firms looking to avoid the reputational risks of working with fossil fuel industries, there are not always easy answers. Turning down a client contract to run a major PR campaign for an oil major that consistently has lobbied against climate action and has not even signaled its intention to be part of a future net-zero economy is one thing, but more clients from carbon-intensive industries do not fall quite so easily into the climate laggard category. One could argue, for example, that having set net-zero targets and started to demonstrate a willingness to align with the Paris Agreement goals, oil majors such as Shell, BP and others have an entirely legitimate case for enlisting PR firms to showcase their green efforts. As with the financial divestment movement, there is a valid debate about whether engagement with high-carbon firms that are working to reduce their emissions is more effective than simply severing ties. Many within the energy and PR industries would argue that in publicly showcasing a carbon-intensive firm’s decarbonization plans, they help build momentum in support of climate action and make it more likely that ambitious emission reduction strategies are enacted. Yet the Clean Creatives campaign specifically calls out PR giants such as WPP and its subsidiary Ogilvy for working with Shell and BP, respectively. As with all of the PR firms contacted by BusinessGreen for this article, WPP declined to comment. Woodford believes agencies may face some difficult decisions over which clients to work with in the short term, but that it will become increasingly straightforward to tell the difference between a fossil fuel company paying lip service to climate action and one which is genuinely intent on reinventing its business over the coming decades in support of a net-zero emission economy. “I think it’s up to each individual firm and management team to make their own decision and judgements for whether their agency believes a company is going fast enough or acting seriously enough to tackle the climate crisis,” he said. “But whether that’s a favorable or unfavorable view, the pressure from the public and from governance is ultimately all going in one direction, and I think that’s a very good thing.” If you want to be known as a green PR company or want to work with clients who care about sustainability, you can’t work with the fossil fuel industry. The Advertising Association has been at the forefront of an industry-wide initiative in the U.K. that launched earlier this month dubbed Ad Net Zero , which aims to achieve net-zero emissions across the development, production and media placement of advertising over the next decade. It also intends to work with production agencies, clients and event organizers to decarbonize the wider value chain, while harnessing the power of their work to influence and promote more sustainable consumer choices. The initiative has had widespread support from across the advertising sector — including from WPP — according to Woodford, who says Ad Net Zero will be working with advertising businesses “wherever they are on the [net-zero] spectrum to help them improve their performance.” But while much of the focus has been on the negative greenwashing activities of some firms in the industry, advertising, PR and lobbying also can be used to accelerate climate action. For example, last year 20 U.K. advertising and communications agencies including Greenhouse PR, Barley Communications and Borra Co signed a pledge launched by sustainability consultancy Futerra to avoid working on fossil fuel briefs, promising to “use their power for good.” McKibben last weekend described PR campaigns and snappy catchphrases used to launder fossil fuel firms’ reputations as the kindling “on which the fire of global warming burns,” but in the right hands these tactics also can act as grease for the wheels of climate action by drumming up public support for the positive, exciting future the net zero transition offers. “The sector can help businesses drive positive change,” says Woodford. “Momentum is building across all sorts of industries, and I think the role of the advertising and PR industry is to amplify and accelerate that, to help businesses that are doing the right thing win in the marketplace, which can also encourage others to do the same.” As the net zero transition accelerates across economies and societies, there will be challening decisions for companies in all industries to make about the future direction of their business. But for ad and PR agencies which are all too aware of the value of maintaining a strong public reputation, those decisions likely will have to be made very quickly indeed, and the direction of travel suggests the pressure on them to avoid working with laggard fossil fuel firms will only intensify. As Woodford says, the potential impact of the adverting and PR industry on the pace and direction of the net zero transition therefore could be hugely significant. “Hopefully the tipping point is where you see the full array of competitive forces aligned to reducing the carbon footprint of industry and society, and people competing on this basis,” he explains. “This is where advertising is a great driver of competition and innovation.” Pull Quote We can’t let these major oil companies that are spending most of their capex on oil and gas run a bunch of advertising pretending they’re renewable energy companies. We think this campaign can be quite effective because if there was ever a target that cares deeply about their public image, it’s PR and ad people. If you want to be known as a green PR company or want to work with clients who care about sustainability, you can’t work with the fossil fuel industry. Topics Marketing & Communication Corporate Strategy Climate Strategy BusinessGreen Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Various climate change-related placards carried by protesters at the Global Climate Strike Rally and March in downtown San Francisco in September 2019. Shutterstock Sundry Photos Close Authorship

Read the original post:
Pressure on creatives: PR, advertising firms targeted by fossil fuel divestment movement

Affordable senior housing gets a climate-responsive upgrade in California

November 17, 2020 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Affordable senior housing gets a climate-responsive upgrade in California

San Diego-based design firm Studio E Architects has given an affordable housing development a climate-responsive renovation while strengthening the multiplex’s sense of placemaking in the desert of La Quinta, California. The 11-acre, tax credit-financed project, which was completed last year, comprised the redesign of Washington Street Apartments’ 72 existing units and the addition of 68 units on an adjacent 5.2-acre undeveloped plot to serve very low-income seniors and farm workers. To stay within a tight budget, the architects employed sustainable, low-tech strategies, such as deep sun shades and thermal chimneys, to promote natural cooling in response to the harsh desert heat. Set on a desert plain in Coachella Valley, the newly expanded Washington Street Apartments occupy an L-shaped site with the newly constructed units to the east of the renovated and redesigned existing units. To encourage relationship building, the architects inserted a series of community amenities throughout the development, including buildings and pools, shared laundry facilities, courtyards, lawns and an arbor and allotment garden. Related: Mirror-covered ‘Mirage’ house disappears into the California desert This public realm of courtyards and paseos are made more inviting with the architects’ environmentally responsive design that mitigates the desert heat. Sustainable, low-tech strategies include high solar reflectance roofs with extended eaves that bounce light while protecting the outdoor gathering spaces from unwanted solar gain. Deep overhangs supported by thin steel columns — a nod to the winter tents of the Indigenous inhabitants of Coachella Valley — are strategically designed so that summer sunlight can be blocked while allowing in low winter sunlight. The new residential buildings are oriented east to west to minimize exposure to late afternoon sun while openings are strategically placed to take in prevailing breezes and to promote thermo siphoning , a natural phenomenon that pushes hot air up and out of the building. The buildings have also been equipped with high-performance insulation and HVAC systems. + Studio E Architects Images via Studio E Architects

See the rest here: 
Affordable senior housing gets a climate-responsive upgrade in California

Is ‘net-zero’ greenwash?

November 17, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Is ‘net-zero’ greenwash?

Is ‘net-zero’ greenwash? Joel Makower Tue, 11/17/2020 – 02:11 This year, there has been much ado about zero. It’s becoming hard to read the green media, or even the mainstream media, without seeing new net-zero commitments from companies, governments, institutions and others. Indeed, “net-zero” is the new “zero waste” — remember way back in 2019 when everyone was making that commitment? — which is the new “100 percent renewable,” which is the new “ISO 14001 certified,” and on and on, all the way back to when announcing a LEED-certified building was widely considered to be media-worthy . Now, net-zero is the flavor of the month. Global net-zero commitments doubled in less than a year and commitments by companies more than tripled, rising from 500 at the end of 2019 to more than 1,500 by September. In addition to net-zero companies, there are also net-zero buildings , communities , products , farming , factories , supply-chains , even ships . One large financial institution set forth a commitment to net-zero client emissions . There’s also net-zero water and waste . There are net-zero-committed oil companies , utilities and airlines . Earlier this year, the United Nations formed a Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance of institutional investors. The Trump administration even has funded the development of net-zero coal plants . You can’t make this stuff up. So, you’d think all this talk about “zero” would add up to something, right? It’s hard to know, according to a new report, ” Navigating the nuances of net-zero targets ,” by the NewClimate Institute and Data-Driven EnviroLab . You’d think all this talk about ‘zero’ would add up to something, right? Not neccessarily. As the report notes, net-zero commitments vary widely in terms of their metrics and transparency, among other things. That is, no single standard governs the way net-zero is defined or measured, or even how it should be communicated. For example, companies may refer to becoming “carbon negative” or “climate positive”; or that they seek to achieve “net-zero” or “net-negative” emissions or “deep decarbonization”; or that they plan to become “emissions-free” or achieve “zero emissions”; or that they are committed to a “1.5 degrees C pathway.” It’s not just language. Another issue is the lack of standardization about goals. For example, according to the report, some companies aim to fully decarbonize their own operations along with those of their supply chain, while others have no target for reducing their own emissions. Net-zero goals range from commitments to reduce emissions by a specific percentage by a target year, which are reported through platforms such as CDP, to more general announcements of net-zero ambition. Target practice And then there’s the issue of target dates — and, even more so, interim targets. Setting 2050 as the year for achieving net-zero emissions (or some other goal) is one thing — that date aligns with the goals of the Paris Agreement — but that 30-year horizon is a bit far off to enable reasonable accountability, perhaps deliberately so. What progress can we expect to see in, say, 2025 or 2030? Relatively few companies have committed to such accountability: Only 8 percent of companies’ net-zero targets include interim targets to chart a decarbonization pathway, according to the NewClimate Institute and Data-Driven EnviroLab report, which notes, “Interim targets offer clarity and guidance on how particular targets should be implemented. They provide the transparency necessary to ensure accountability.” Reliance on offsets is yet another issue. Some experts have deemed it appropriate for companies to invest in emissions offsets once they have made all of the other appropriate emissions reductions — such as through efficiency measures or by buying green energy — but offsetting one’s emissions without really cutting them is another thing altogether. According to the report, only about half of the companies and one-quarter of the subnational governments “are transparent about their intention to use offsets for their net-zero targets. The number of actors that explicitly rule out using offsets is limited.” Moreover, it added: “Without a radical transformation of the offsetting market and the types of activities it supports, offsetting cannot be considered an equivalent alternative to an actor’s own emission reductions in 2020.” Even that’s not the end of the issues that companies need to consider. Getting to “zero,” it turns out, is no small thing. And it will loom larger in the coming months, as calls for increased corporate ambition grow, the United States (presumably) rejoins the Paris Agreement, governments edge closer to putting a price on carbon or creating other market mechanisms — and the ravages of a changing climate continue to be felt around the world. Increasingly, the makers of all those net-zero commitments will need to demonstrate that they truly are making significant progress, and fast. I invite you to follow me on Twitter , subscribe to my Monday morning newsletter, GreenBuzz , and listen to GreenBiz 350 , my weekly podcast, co-hosted with Heather Clancy. Pull Quote You’d think all this talk about ‘zero’ would add up to something, right? Not neccessarily. Topics Commitments & Goals Climate Change Net-Zero Featured Column Two Steps Forward Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off GreenBiz photocollage, via Shutterstock

See original here:
Is ‘net-zero’ greenwash?

Biden-Harris: The work begins

November 7, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Biden-Harris: The work begins

Biden-Harris: The work begins Joel Makower Sat, 11/07/2020 – 10:39 Whatever your political leanings, the election of Joe Biden as President of the United States increases the odds of bringing America back into the community of nations addressing the climate crisis. “Increases the odds” is the key phrase in the above sentence. There’s a lot of work to do, and not just by our elected representatives, to regain our footing on this issue — and to regain our standing on the global stage. Now, the hard work begins. There is public policy to enact and implement. There are new commitments to be made. There are fractured alliances to mend. But more important, there is leadership to project. Not just by the new president or Congress, but by us all. The new administration will need to know that we have their backs. If America is to be seen as the climate leader so many of us desperately want it to be, we’ll need to stand with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on climate (and environmental protection in general). We’ll need our voices to be loud and clear. We’ll need to push and prod them toward increasingly more ambitious action. The new administration will need to know that we have their backs. This is easier said than done. Most companies have been woefully silent on climate policy. Despite the explosion of net-zero commitments across the economy, there’s been relatively little hue and cry by business for national leadership on climate issues. Quite the opposite: Most companies have stood by as the current administration dismantled existing climate policies, which must now be pieced back together. It won’t be easy or quick, but nothing less will do. And getting back to where we were in 2016 is only the beginning. Elections are easy; governing is hard, particularly in this fractured age. But it’s heartening that president-elect’s campaign website has a page dedicated to “a clean energy revolution and environmental justice.” It speaks to how addressing the climate crisis will lead to “a stronger, more resilient nation” as we take on “this grave threat.” It promises that “the development of solutions is an inclusive, community-driven process.” These are words, not deeds, but they nonetheless represent a welcome turnaround from current policy. All of us will need to hold the new administration to account on those lofty aspirations. There will be lots of obstacles overcome, by all of us. More to come on this. For now, it’s time to exhale, relax, savor the moment. But only for a moment. It’s a new day. This is when the hard work actually begins. Pull Quote The new administration will need to know that we have their backs. Topics Policy & Politics Climate Change Featured Column Two Steps Forward Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) On Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off JoeBiden.com

View original here:
Biden-Harris: The work begins

What the limits of traditional accounting mean for the future of food

November 6, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on What the limits of traditional accounting mean for the future of food

What the limits of traditional accounting mean for the future of food Jean Haggerty Fri, 11/06/2020 – 01:00 Traditional accounting methods do not fully capture the externalized costs of economic activities in the food and agricultural space, and this shortcoming is becoming more apparent because climate change is intensifying the focus on sustainable development. Against this backdrop, some industry officials think that true-cost accounting for food offers a better way forward. True-cost accounting aims to make visible the full costs of food by identifying, measuring and valuing the positive and negative environmental, social and health-related externalities of food and agricultural systems. The idea is that it can help companies make informed decisions about their supply chains, help governments develop more effective policies and help consumers make better buying decisions. But few are using true-cost accounting to assess the externalities of food, as experts made clear at a session on the topic at last month’s VERGE 20 conference. A big hurdle is the initial reaction to the idea of sustainable food systems, which is, “Oh no, food is going to get more expensive,” said Pavan Sukhdev, president of WWF International and CEO of GIST Advisory, a sustainability consulting firm. “[But] that’s not true,” he added, noting that thinking only about supermarket prices means overlooking other real costs. According to Sukhdev, true-cost accounting can help because it recognizes that there are many “wallets.” “Some of [these wallets] transact in money and some transact in health,” he explains. “Some will transact to future generations and others will cost the climate. But the costs are there. The question is, are we recognizing them? Are we measuring them? Are we valuing them and are we managing them?” Sukhdev said. To manage is to measure To be efficient in the way that it distributes credits and directs financing in the food and agricultural sectors, the financial market needs accounting methods that offer a full insight into the positive and negative externalities, Jan Köpper, head of impact transparency and sustainability at GLS Bank, told the VERGE audience. If the financial market is to account for sustainable development, it needs to make sure that information is distributed in a way that achieves allocation efficiencies and contributes to sustainable development, he added. “We need to make sure that we understand the true value of an economic activity,” he said, noting that this is a key reason why GLS Bank is active in true-cost accounting for food. Sukhdev noted that a significant amount of the value of food production never gets measured. “Yield per hectare is the only metric that is commonly used to measure food systems. But what about the billion people employed and the value of that sustainable employment? [And] what about the climate costs?” he added. For the nature-based food and agricultural sector, the focus on climate change and sustainable development mean that it will need to increase its focus on sustainability so that it can thrive while feeding the world’s growing population. Applying true-cost accounting By design, true cost accounting for food is about understanding the value that nature delivers every day. “No bees send invoices, even though their pollination is estimated to be worth [$176 billion] per annum… [And] our food system wouldn’t exist without pollination,” said Sukhdev. “[For us] in its most standard approach, true-cost accounting is about the wallet of natural capital, the wallet of human capital and the wallet of social capital,” said Christian Geis, commercial director at Lebensbaum, a mid-sized tea, coffee and spices company based in Germany that applies true-cost accounting to its upstream and core processes. At Lebensbaum, applying true-cost accounting to its upstream processes involves going back to suppliers where raw materials are harvested. On the core processes side, it means looking at energy and waste handling. Geis said that Lebensbaum chose not to focus on applying true-cost accounting to downstream processes because too many unknowns are related to the consumer. “Does [the consumer] use a full kettle of water or just a little bit of water [to make tea]? This is hard to judge,” he said. “We need to move to a new world of accounting… [And] we all need to work with the new standard to bring it to life,” Geis said. The Global Alliance for the Future of Food, in partnership with the Institute for the Development of Environmental-Economic Accounting and the United Nations Environment Programme, released implementation guidance on how to apply true cost accounting for food in late September. The Global Alliance for the Future of Food’s new step-by-step guide builds off work of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for Agriculture and Food (TEEBAgriFood for short), a global initiative hosted by the U.N. Environment Programme. In 2018, TEEBAgriFood developed an evaluation framework for assessing the impacts and externalities of agriculture and food systems. Topics Food & Agriculture Climate Change VERGE 20 Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off GreenBiz photocollage

Original post:
What the limits of traditional accounting mean for the future of food

These elevated wooden cabins can only accessed via hiking trail

November 5, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on These elevated wooden cabins can only accessed via hiking trail

Norweigian architectural firm Spacegroup has released renderings of the Movikheien Cabins, a development of raised wooden cabins in Hagefjorden, Norway. The property design purposefully does not include car-accessible roads; this limited access, along with the elevated cabins, aims to exhibit minimal physical encroachment on the natural terrain. According to the architects, the global COVID-19 pandemic that initially hit in mid-March has opened new opportunities in local travel industries despite having negative consequences on the economy. While international travel became limited due to pandemic restrictions, leading to uncertainty in the airline industry and a historically low value for the Norweigan Krone, the locals began to turn to domestic travel to explore the destinations in their own backyards. Related: Snøhetta completes stunning Norwegian cabins for glacier hikers The new development will boast environmentally friendly design and social inclusivity. In the past, cabin and campground developments meant manipulating the natural terrain by cutting down large areas of forest to produce oversized structures with large carbon footprints. The Movikheien Cabins project breaks this trend, with traditional “light touch” small units measuring about 62 square meters each and made using 100% wood construction. Sixteen new cabins are proposed for the development, each sitting on elevated columns above the terrain to preserve the landscape while remaining connected to the forest. This shared-yet-separate space provides a social community element all while protecting the land. Even better, a principle concept in the planning is dedicated to ensuring that the space would not be accessible to cars, since building roads would require too much intervention in the landscape. Instead, the site is accessed solely by a hiking trail designed by the client and architects as well as a rock climber and arborist who walked and mapped the location. This aspect also contributes to a lower construction footprint, as all building components must be of a dimension to be transported without the use of heavy machinery. + Spacegroup Images via Spacegroup

Here is the original post: 
These elevated wooden cabins can only accessed via hiking trail

Danger looms as world’s largest iceberg heads toward a critical wildlife habitat

November 5, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Danger looms as world’s largest iceberg heads toward a critical wildlife habitat

In 2004, a giant iceberg identified as A38 grounded on the British Overseas territory of South Georgia Island. Afterward, many local animals, including young penguins and seals, turned up dead. The same scenario is unfolding with the world’s largest iceberg, A68a, as it appears via satellite imagery to be moving toward the island. If the massive iceberg grounds on South Georgia, it is feared that it could cause serious ecological problems in the region. A68a is the largest iceberg on Earth today at about 4,200 square kilometers. There are many concerns about the possibility of such a large iceberg anchoring at South Georgia, given the biodiversity of the island. Penguin chicks and seal pups rely on the hunting prowess of their parents to survive. Timing is critical in sustaining their lives, and delays in the return of parents can be fetal. If an iceberg gets stuck along the hunting route, chances are that many chicks and pups will die. Scientists also warn that if iceberg grounds, it could crush all the living creatures on the seabed. Related: Melting permafrost increases threat of tsunamis in Alaska “Ecosystems can and will bounce back of course, but there’s a danger here that if this iceberg gets stuck, it could be there for 10 years,” said Geraint Tarling , ecologist at the British Antarctic Survey. “And that would make a very big difference, not just to the ecosystem of South Georgia but its economy as well.” While satellite images indicate that the iceberg is on its way to South Georgia, there is a chance that it could still veer off course. “The currents should take it on what looks like a strange loop around the south end of South Georgia, before then spinning it along the edge of the continental shelf and back off to the northwest,” said Peter Fretwell, Geographic Information Officer at British Antarctic Survey. “But it’s very difficult to say precisely what will happen.” Via BBC Image via Nathan Kurtz / NASA

Continued here:
Danger looms as world’s largest iceberg heads toward a critical wildlife habitat

BIG unveils sustainable, 3D-printed lunar igloos for Moon exploration

October 29, 2020 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on BIG unveils sustainable, 3D-printed lunar igloos for Moon exploration

As part of its Plan for Sustained Lunar Exploration and Development , NASA has teamed up with architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group , advanced construction developer ICON and SEArch+ (Space Exploration Architecture) to design Project Olympus, a system of space-based construction to support future exploration of the Moon. Developed with technology that ICON submitted to NASA’s 2018 3D Printed Habitat Challenge, the proposed lunar habitats would be 3D-printed using robotic, zero-waste construction for a reduced carbon footprint.  Bjarke Ingels Group is no stranger to extraterrestrial architecture — Project Olympus is the firm’s second project in outer space after its Mars Science City proposal, which is currently being turned into a prototype in Dubai. Much like the Mars building project, BIG’s Project Olympus proposal also addresses eight of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. According to the Artemis program, NASA plans to land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024 for lunar exploration and research, which will inform future missions to Mars. Related: NASA Mars Habitat Challenge winner is a 3D-printed pod made of biodegradable materials The ambitious Project Olympus will cover a wide array of architecture, from landing pads to habitats, that would be built with robust construction rather than metal or inflatable structures. The team will work in collaboration with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama to test lunar soil simulant with ICON’s groundbreaking robotic technologies and develop prototype elements. The goal will be the creation of the first permanent structure on the Moon that’s not only capable of withstanding the hostile lunar environment but would also become a learning opportunity for creating more sustainable construction on Earth as well. “To explain the power of architecture, ‘formgiving’ is the Danish word for design, which literally means to give form to that which has not yet been given form,” Bjarke Ingels said. “This becomes fundamentally clear when we venture beyond Earth and begin to imagine how we are going to build and live on entirely new worlds. With ICON we are pioneering new frontiers — both materially, technologically and environmentally. The answers to our challenges on Earth very well might be found on the Moon.”  + Bjarke Ingels Group Images via Bjarke Ingels Group

Continued here: 
BIG unveils sustainable, 3D-printed lunar igloos for Moon exploration

Impossible Foods is testing revolutionary plant-based milk

October 26, 2020 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Impossible Foods is testing revolutionary plant-based milk

What Impossible Foods has done for veggie burgers — created something that looks, tastes and bleeds like meat — the food technology company is now doing for milk. Impossible Foods has unveiled that it is developing a plant-based milk that mimics the taste, texture and functionality of dairy milk. When plant-based milks already fill multiple shelves in health food stores across America, why do we need more? “The plant-based alternatives that are out there are inadequate,” said Impossible Foods CEO Patrick O. Brown, as reported by CNBC . “The reality is that if they weren’t, there wouldn’t be a dairy market.” Consumers want milk that doesn’t separate when stirred into hot coffee. The new Impossible Foods plant-based milk won’t separate, as demonstrated by the company’s food scientists in a press conference. Related: Impossible Foods debuts plant-based pork at CES That dairy market is shrinking, while plant-based products are on the rise. Last year, non-dairy milks brought in $1.8 billion. But Brown won’t rest until there’s no meat or milk market left at all. His goal is to substitute plant-based alternatives for all animal-derived foods by 2035. Brown has called animal agriculture “the world’s most destructive technology” and is on a mission to save the world from global warming by providing faux products to please mainstream tastes. Because as we all know by now, people aren’t going to change their habits just because they’re destroying the planet. A launch date has not yet been announced for the product, which is still in the development stage. Since its founding in 2011, Impossible Foods has raised $1.5 billion in investment capital. Its next R&D goals include creating life-like fish, steak and bacon. Brown is not skimping on a smart workforce. In a press conference last week, he invited engineers and scientists to join the company’s Impossible Investigator Project. “Whatever else you may be doing, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the impact you can have here with our project,” he said. “Leave your stupid job and come join us.” + Impossible Foods Via VegNews and CNBC Image via Pixabay

See the rest here:
Impossible Foods is testing revolutionary plant-based milk

Burger King announces reusable container pilot program

October 23, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on Burger King announces reusable container pilot program

If the ghosts of fast food containers past are haunting your conscience, Burger King has the solution. The fast food giant has announced a pilot plan to introduce reusable containers. Burger King is partnering with Loop , a circular packaging service owned by TerraCycle, to provide the new containers. Consumers can opt to pay a container deposit when buying a meal. When they return the packaging, they get a refund. Loop cleans the packaging, preparing it for a long life of housing infinite Whoppers and Cokes. The pilot program will go into effect next year in Tokyo, New York City and Portland, Oregon. If it goes well, more cities will soon know the joy of a recycled Whopper box. Related: Swiss grocery store chain will be the first to sell insect burgers “As part of our Restaurant Brands for Good plan, we’re investing in the development of sustainable packaging solutions that will help push the food service industry forward in reducing packaging waste ,” said Matthew Banton, Burger King Global’s head of innovation and sustainability. “The Loop system gives us the confidence in a reusable solution that meets our high safety standards, while also offering convenience for our guests on the go.” Burger King has set a goal of 100% of customer packaging being sourced from recycled, renewable or certified sources by 2025. The company is also trying to improve its waste diversion. By 2025, Burger King restaurants in the U.S. and Canada aim to recycle 100% of guest packaging. The pandemic has focused even more attention on packaging, since so many restaurants are closed for in-house dining. “During COVID, we have seen the environmental impact of increased takeaway ordering which makes this initiative by Burger King all the more important,” said Tom Szaky, TerraCycle and Loop CEO, as reported in BusinessWire . “This enables Burger King consumers to easily bring reusability into their daily lives, and whether they choose to eat-in or takeaway, they will be able to get some of their favorite food and drinks in a reusable container.” Via BusinessWire and Business Insider Image via Burger King / BusinessWire

The rest is here: 
Burger King announces reusable container pilot program

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 3537 access attempts in the last 7 days.