The three ‘trip factors’ of climate risk

June 1, 2017 by  
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Companies need to spend more time thinking about how climate and environment are going to affect the financial performance of the company, says Lucy Nottingham, director of Marsh & McLennan’s global risk center.

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The three ‘trip factors’ of climate risk

Nonprofit teaches communities how to build homes out of straw, clay and soil

May 31, 2017 by  
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Emily Niehaus was working as a loan officer when she see realized that there was a need for affordable, sustainable housing options in her community. So she founded Community Rebuilds – a nonprofit that teaches people to build affordable homes out of “dirt cheap” materials like clay , straw and soil . Interns participate in a 5-month program, completing two homes from foundation to finish using sustainable living principles. Community Rebuilds started in Moab, UT as a way to ease the financial strains of people living in the community. Since then, the project has spread to southwestern Colorado and the Hopi Reservation in Arizona. The initiative has constructed 25 homes in four communities with the goal of expanding knowledge about valuable natural building skills across the US. Homes are built out of natural materials like straw, soil and clay using passive design techniques. They are equipped with green tech like solar arrays and sustainable features like adobe floors, earthen plasters and greywater systems. Related: Navajo mum gets new lease on life with this solar-powered home The first home was built in 2010, and since then the internship has evolved to include 16 people over a five-month term. Interns build two homes from the ground up. In exchange for their labor they get housing, food and an invaluable education in sustainable building. + Community Rebuilds  

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Nonprofit teaches communities how to build homes out of straw, clay and soil

3 ways to help your board get wiser about sustainability

May 4, 2017 by  
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Corporate directors are under more pressure than ever to understand the financial and operational risks that climate change poses. Here’s how your company can take action.

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3 ways to help your board get wiser about sustainability

More big investors are taking action on climate risks

May 3, 2017 by  
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In a reversal from a year ago, data shows that the financial industry is far more attuned to carbon footprints, stranded assets and climate impact risks — but the U.S. lags.

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More big investors are taking action on climate risks

Floating bridge transforms a crumbling historic Boston bridge into a moving event space

October 5, 2016 by  
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Originally built in 1908, the Northern Avenue Bridge spans Fort Point Channel, connecting the financial district with a blossoming tech center. The bridge was designed to pivot on a concrete drum to allow boats to pass, an engineering innovation that made the bridge an icon of its era. The bridge is currently closed to the public, due to its poor condition. PLA now proposes transforming the historic structure into a floating bridge that would crisscross the harbor. The proposal envisions tethering the bridge at the pier at Spectacle Island during the summer, and in the fall and spring, the floating bridge could dock in the Charlestown Navy Yard. The floating bridge could also serve as additional event space square footage during festival seasons. Related: Paul Lukez Architecture and team are designing a self-sustaining resilient coastal community near Boston PLA has confirmed with a structural engineer that the existing bridge, although not suitable for use in its current state, could be refurbished as part of the adaptive reuse project. A floating version of the bridge could be towed or motor-propelled, and the proposal includes the installation of solar panels wrapping its upper members to create a canopy while generating renewable energy. As is the case with so many PLA projects, this proposal was produced by an interdisciplinary team of designers, architects, and engineers assembled specifically for this project. In addition to Lukez himself, other contributors include Tania Bronsoiler, Josh McDonald, Matt Uminski, Andrew Luy, Darquin Fortuna, and structural engineer Jennifer McClain of RSE Associates, Inc . Boston mayor Martin J. Walsh, along with the Boston Society of Architects/AIA (BSA), hosted a design competition earlier in the year, calling for ideas to repurpose the existing bridge. The winning design suggests turning the bridge into a permanent botanical garden and greenhouse for pedestrian travel only. Other proposals include transforming the bridge into a hotel, an underground tunnel with a glass roof, and an updated take on the original rotating bridge design. + Paul Lukez Architecture Images via Paul Lukez Architecture except existing bridge photo by Peter Vanderwarker

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Floating bridge transforms a crumbling historic Boston bridge into a moving event space

Rehabilitated Longroiva’s Hotel & Thermal Spa blends into the countryside of northeast Portugal

October 5, 2016 by  
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The thermal baths are located in Mêda, a municipality in northeast Portugal, and go back to Roman times. Built in the late 19th century, the existing Thermal Spa was rehabilitated to accommodate 17 rooms and various common areas where guests can meet and socialize. A walkway connects the existing building to the addition, which comprises five room modules built along the slope, with several gathering spaces in between them. Related: Thermal Pool Wrapped With a Living Wall Service areas and 10 new bungalows are located above the rooms. By combining traditional references and modern architecture, the development establishes a dialogue with its natural surroundings while providing its guests with a contemporary facility. + Rebelo de Andrade Via Archdaily Photos by Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

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Rehabilitated Longroiva’s Hotel & Thermal Spa blends into the countryside of northeast Portugal

Tesla sues oil exec for allegedly impersonating Elon Musk to get trade secrets

September 16, 2016 by  
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It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out that impersonating Tesla CEO Elon Musk is probably not a good idea, but that’s exactly what Tesla alleges a senior executive of an oil company recently tried to do . In a lawsuit filed this week, Tesla accused Todd Katz, the chief financial officer of Seattle-based Quest Integrity Group, of attempting to obtain confidential financial information about the company by impersonating Tesla’s CEO via email. The suit claims Katz used an email address similar to one Musk was known to use in the past, and sent a message to Tesla Chief Financial Officer Jason Wheeler, on August 3, 2016 asking for information beyond what had just been published in the company’s quarterly financial report. The suspicious email originated from “elontesla@yahoo.com,” which Tesla officials say is similar to a legitimate address Musk used in the past. Tesla filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Santa Clara County Superior Court. Forbes broke the news the same day, sending a wave of incredulous laughter across the internet. Related: Tesla announces plans for world domination: includes trucks, buses, and solar power According to the lawsuit, the email in question read: why you so cautious w Q3/4 gm guidance on call? also what are your thoughts on disclosing M3 res#? Pros/cons from ir pov? what is your best guess as to where we actually come in on q3/4 deliverables. honest guess? no bs. thx 4 hard work prepping 4 today em In layman’s terms, the author of the email was asking Wheeler to discuss information not released to the public. The lawsuit alleges that Katz was knowingly “impersonating Musk in an attempt to unlawfully obtain material, non-public information—including Tesla’s financial trade secrets—from Tesla’s CFO through fraud, artifice and deception.” The originating email address was a red flag to Wheeler, who did not disclose any of the requested information. Quest Integrity Group may not ring a bell for most Americans, but Katz was previously employed by several top Wall Street investment banks, including Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch. Quest’s client list includes oil and gas giants such as BP, Shell, Chevron, and ExxonMobil. “On information and belief, Katz, Quest Integrity, and/or their oil company clients intended to use that non-public and trade secret information to further their own agendas and to harm Tesla,” the lawsuit reads. Via EcoWatch Images via Tesla and  Santa Clara County Superior Court via screenshot

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Tesla sues oil exec for allegedly impersonating Elon Musk to get trade secrets

Philadelphia makes a splash with first soda tax in major US city

June 17, 2016 by  
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Philadelphia is making a splash this week as the first major city in the United States to enact a “soda tax,” a levy assessed on sugar-sweetened and diet beverages. Thursday, the City Council voted 13-4 vote to approve the levy after months of tough negotiations and harsh criticism from the beverage industry. Mayor Jim Kenney touts the new soda tax as a victory, telling Philly.com the levy is a step toward “changing the narrative of poverty in our city.” The new soda tax , which will become effective January 1, will cost distributors 1.5 cents per ounce and will apply to thousands of products. The levy will apply to nearly every bottled, canned, or fountain beverage that contains either sugar or artificial sweetener. Baby formula and drinks that are more than 50 percent fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, or milk will be exempt from the levy. While Philadelphia’s soda tax, like many others, was motivated by a desire to raise awareness about consuming too much sugar, it’s uncertain at this time how long it will take for the financial impact of the levy to trickle down to consumers. Related: Berkeley becomes first U.S. city to approve a tax on soft drinks Still, the tax will be a financial boon for the city. It’s expected to raise $91 million annually , and the mayor previously suggested using the additional funds to establish a pre-kindergarten program open to all 3-and 4-year-olds in Philadelphia. “Philadelphia made a historic investment in our neighborhoods and in our education system,” Kenney said in a press release . “Today would not have been possible without everyone coming together in support of a fair future for every zip code.” The city’s new tax is similar in nature to the so-named “sugar tax” recently passed in the United Kingdom , which was also motivated by a desire to raise awareness of the unhealthy effects of consuming high quantities of sugar on a regular basis. Via PBS Images via Allen , James Losey/Flickr and Rex Sorgatz/Flickr

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Philadelphia makes a splash with first soda tax in major US city

How to keep value flowing when closing the loop

May 12, 2016 by  
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Let’s get practical about capturing the financial upshots of the circular economy.

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Foster + Partners break ground on the crystalline ICD Brookfield Place skyscraper in Dubai

January 27, 2016 by  
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A new crystalline skyscraper, designed by Foster + Partners , just broke ground in Dubai. Part of a large mixed-use development known as ICD Brookfield Place in the Dubai International Financial Center district (DIFC), the 53-story office block is enveloped in a faceted glass facade and will comprise penthouses and terraces with views of SOM’s Burj Khalifa, known as the world’s tallest building . The entire development aims to achieve a LEED Gold sustainability rating. Read the rest of Foster + Partners break ground on the crystalline ICD Brookfield Place skyscraper in Dubai

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