Can smart buildings be more equitable buildings?

March 30, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Can smart buildings be more equitable buildings? Hadas Webb Tue, 03/30/2021 – 01:30 When I returned to the office after having my first child, I noticed for the first time that all of the offices and conference rooms either had windows or non-locking doors, which left me without any safe spaces for pumping. Fortunately, I work for a supportive company that requested modification from building management to convert a small conference room to a part-time pumping room. Shortly thereafter, the regional executives of a global pharmaceutical company came to my employer, Cimetrics, for help maintaining thermal comfort for women as part of their commitment to integrate the United Nations Global Compact and corporate social responsibility related to supporting women’s empowerment and advancing gender equality. Cimetrics’ analytical tools found that the facility’s energy reduction efforts led to exceptional efficiency but did not account for comfort variability relative to weather. These are only two examples of systemic bias within the building industry — in this case, related to understanding the needs of female occupants — that organizations are working to correct. Many building standards developed decades ago have had only small incremental updates over the years. For example, thermal comfort standards based on young, Caucasian, male body types (including ASHRAE standard 55) have been shown multiple times over to be biased , yet they persist as standards for building design. As another example, historically racist housing policies have resulted in heat islands and an imbalance of energy use across communities. A recent U.S. study found that “redlined” neighborhoods, which have fewer green spaces and tree canopy, are as much as 13 degrees warmer than non-redlined neighborhoods. There are ample regulatory drivers and utility incentives for reducing a building’s carbon footprint and embracing energy-efficient technology, but not for supporting diversity, particularly for privately held companies. Modern “smart” buildings that aim to optimize energy efficiency and occupant satisfaction now incorporate much more sophisticated technologies than those prevalent when these biased building standards were developed, but are we learning from the lessons of the past? There is no shortage of eye-catching headlines about how artificial intelligence can introduce or amplify bias, but evidence shows algorithms, in general, are still less biased than human decisions . Bias is introduced into the analytics AI or machine learning through the data selection process, called training data, and through the algorithms used to process that data. A straightforward example of bias introduced through training data is biometric facial recognition that is skewed toward lighter-skinned males and therefore falsely identifies African-American and Asian faces. There are ample regulatory drivers and utility incentives for reducing a building’s carbon footprint and embracing energy-efficient technology, but not for supporting diversity, particularly for privately held companies. What can we do to reduce bias within the built environment and create more equitable working spaces, while simultaneously working to reduce the climate impact of building and maintaining these structures? As a female leader, I find it offensive that we must create a business case to get people to pay attention to bias and equity. That said, there is a business case for harnessing diversity and ensuring equity, as has been reflected in myriad articles and research efforts of the past few years. Regarding the previously mentioned bias associated with temperature standards, at this time, research shows that productivity is not strongly correlated with room temperature, but productivity is correlated with the perception of comfort, and I would argue that the latter is more important for retaining high performing employees. Moreover, energy consumption can be reduced by expanding the thermostat range during certain conditions. In short, keeping equity at the forefront of smart building development has the potential to amplify its impact on carbon reduction. As you research building analytics and property intelligence tools that support your sustainability goals and ESG reporting requirements, make sure those tools have the flexibility to adapt to the requirements of your demographics, as well as track your performance in these areas. It begs the question: Are you collecting the right data to ensure the behavior, comfort, health and well-being of all building stakeholders are accounted for in your decision-making? After all, what is data but a decision-making tool that allows you to be proactive and intentional in your decisions? Pull Quote There are ample regulatory drivers and utility incentives for reducing a building’s carbon footprint and embracing energy-efficient technology, but not for supporting diversity, particularly for privately held companies. Topics Buildings Corporate Social Responsibility Equity & Inclusion Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

Read the rest here:
Can smart buildings be more equitable buildings?

Harp seals threatened by decreasing sea ice

March 25, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Harp seals threatened by decreasing sea ice

The migration cycle of harp seals is greatly threatened following a significant decrease in sea ice cover in Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence. This year, the gulf has experienced its lowest amount sea ice since measuring began. The lack of sea ice poses a serious threat to harp seals, whose lifecycles start on the gulf and depend on its ice. Speaking to ABC7 , Jen Hayes, a National Geographic contributor, said that the absence of sea ice exposes the young harp seals to predators. “They’re evolutionarily designed for ice. They’re not designed to survive onshore,” Hayes said. “It puts them literally in the proximity of every predator out there. So yes, they’re in trouble.” Related: World’s largest Arctic expedition returns with grim news The Gulf of St. Lawrence is normally covered in about 90,000 square miles of sea ice between February and April. However, the situation has been quite different this year, with the shore barely showing any signs of ice. This year’s ice levels are the lowest since 1969 when they were first measured. The drastic drop in ice levels has also negatively impacted hotel businesses along the gulf. Most hotels rely on tourists who visit to watch the harp seals . The Gulf of St. Lawrence is a hotbed of harp seals from March to April. Ariane Bérubé, the sales director at the Château Madelinot hotel, told reporters that the gulf has witnessed a similar decrease in sea ice before. In 2010, the levels of sea ice on the gulf dropped significantly , affecting the normal migration of harp seals. “2010 was our rupture point,” Bérubé said “It was the first year we had to cancel. We had more than 350 people who had reserved and we had to try to explain to them what was happening. It was the first time since 1958 that we had no ice.” The decrease in ice has already happened a record five times in the past decade, and the situation seems to be getting worse. Aside from 2010, the gulf recorded low ice in 2011, 2016, 2017 and now 2021. The biggest worry is that if the seals do not find their way back to the gulf in three consecutive years, they may never return; they will change their migratory paths. While the harp seal population is not seriously threatened, the lack of ice could significantly affect their numbers in the future. It will also harm local businesses that depend on the seals’ return for tourists to observe. Via EcoWatch Image via Jooa

Go here to see the original: 
Harp seals threatened by decreasing sea ice

Petaluma becomes first US city to ban construction of new gas stations

March 9, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Petaluma becomes first US city to ban construction of new gas stations

Petaluma, California has passed a law restricting the construction of new gasoline stations. Located 40 miles north of the San Francisco Bay Area, the small city is home to around 60,000 people and has 16 gas stations. In recent legislation, the city council has banned any further gas stations from being built here. “Prohibiting new gas stations serves the public interest by preventing new sources of pollution that adversely impact environmental and human health ,” the law states. Related: Chevron spills 600 gallons of oil into San Francisco Bay The law solidifies a ban that had been temporarily implemented in 2019. Following the enactment of the law, Petaluma has been receiving attention both nationally and internationally. The law now makes the city the first in the U.S. to prohibit the construction of new gas stations. “We didn’t know we would be the first, and I keep saying that we didn’t do this to be the first,” said Mayor Teresa Barret. “We’re taking one step at a time here because that’s how change is made. To me, it’s really important we’re not just ticking off boxes. If we want to be carbon neutral by 2030, we have to make these changes.” A recent study carried out by the Sonoma County Regional Climate Protection Authority places the transport sector at the center of air pollution . According to the study, 60% of greenhouse gas emissions in the region are caused by vehicles. Although the news has been well-received by many, those in the fuel industry are opposed to the move. The California Fuels & Convenience Alliance said, “Various localities throughout the state have started down a misguided direction, banning new gas stations within city and county limits, through ordinance or moratorium. This single-minded approach will ultimately cause greater harm for communities than any potential benefit.” Even with such opposition, the city council maintains its stand. If the world is to successfully fight against pollution, and ultimately climate change , it is necessary for officials to start taking such actions. Via CleanTechnica Image via U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual Library

Go here to read the rest:
Petaluma becomes first US city to ban construction of new gas stations

Lebanese hospital is world’s first to go vegan

March 9, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Lebanese hospital is world’s first to go vegan

If you’ve ever stayed in a hospital or visited someone in one around mealtime, you might have wondered if the lukewarm processed food was really going to aid in recovery. At Beirut’s Hayek Hospital, the personnel have given the issue serious thought and decided to become the world’s first  vegan  hospital. The switch didn’t happen overnight. For a while, Hayek has given patients a choice between plant or animal-based meals, along with helpful information about the nutritional benefits of the first versus risks of the latter. But starting March first, the staff decided to do what’s best for patients — and  animals . The hospital announced the change with an Instagram post. “Our patients will no longer wake up from surgery to be greeted with ham, cheese, milk, and eggs … the very food[s] that may have contributed to their health problems in the first place.” Related: From raising cows to growing veggies: ranchers go vegan Hayek is a private, family-owned hospital. Staff members have watched with concern as the World Health Organization classified meat as a carcinogen akin to tobacco. “So, serving  meat  in a hospital is like serving cigarettes in a hospital,” the hospital said in a statement. Furthermore, staff pointed out that “three out of four emerging infectious diseases come from animals.” Beirut has a fairly high vegan awareness, with at least six vegan restaurants, according to the  Vegan Maps  website. Lebanese cuisine has quite a few vegan staples, including pita, hummus, falafel and fava beans. A good meal like this could make a hospital stay easier to endure, and possibly make the road back to  health  quicker. “When adopting a plant based exclusive diet has been scientifically proven not only to stop the evolution of certain diseases but it can also reverse them. We then, have the moral responsibility to act upon and align our beliefs with our actions,” the  hospital  posted. Via VegNews , PlantBased News Lead image via iStock

See the rest here:
Lebanese hospital is world’s first to go vegan

MVRDVs Mission Rock tower breaks ground in San Francisco

March 9, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on MVRDVs Mission Rock tower breaks ground in San Francisco

Construction has broken ground on an MVRDV -designed building at San Francisco’s Mission Rock, a multi-phase masterplan that will transform nearly 30 acres of asphalt into a sustainably minded, mixed-use neighborhood and community hub. MVRDV’s LEED Gold-seeking block — called Building A — is one of four Mission Rock Phase 1 buildings designed by high-profile architecture firms and is the second of the four to begin construction. Building A takes inspiration from Californian landscapes for its terraced forms and canyon-like spaces. It will provide a mix of apartments, offices, retail spaces and public areas. Developed by the San Francisco Giants and Tishman Speyer in a public-private partnership with the Port of San Francisco, Mission Park aims to provide a mixed-use waterfront neighborhood near Oracle Park. MVRDV designed Building A in collaboration with the three architecture offices — Studio Gang , Henning Larsen and WORKac — that were selected to design the Mission Rock’s other three Phase 1 plots. Related: LEED-seeking apartments house formerly homeless families in San Francisco Located near the entrance of Mission Rock via the 3rd Street Bridge, MVRDV’s block will connect the landscape from China Basin Park through a 23-story tower and into the heart of the Mission Rock masterplan via an internal and publicly accessible, canyon-like street. The project’s ensemble of low- and high-rise buildings will provide 395,000 square feet of mixed-use programming, which includes a diverse collection of apartments with roof terraces, lively outdoor spaces and approximately 58,000 square feet of office space. Ground-floor retail and restaurants will activate the streetscape. Created for LEED Gold certification, MVRDV’s transformative design of what is currently a plot of asphalt, including an old parking lot, follows a “holistic sustainability strategy” that includes ample greenery along its canyon-like space, rooftops and residential balconies. Onsite bicycle parking will be integrated underground, and a support space will also be carved out for the efficient District Energy System. + MVRDV Images via Pixelflakes, MVRDV, Rinaldi Group LLC and Binyan Studios

Read more from the original source: 
MVRDVs Mission Rock tower breaks ground in San Francisco

Minimalist, low-carbon home features local wood and recycled concrete

March 9, 2021 by  
Filed under Green, Recycle

Comments Off on Minimalist, low-carbon home features local wood and recycled concrete

Rural inspiration meets modern minimalism in Zürich-based Gus Wüstemann Architects ‘ recently completed Pavilion House, a barn-inspired gabled home that takes cues from the agricultural typology in Buchberg, a rural village near Switzerland’s largest city. Instead of building the new home out of stone and wood like most traditional farm buildings, the architects constructed the residence with a concrete frame and a pre-constructed timber roof. Mostly recycled concrete and locally sourced wood were used to reduce the project’s carbon footprint . Inspired by the “pragmatism of the local building tradition,” the architects crafted a minimalist home that eschews ornamentation in favor of leaving the raw concrete and wood exposed. The architects also hid and minimized technical equipment and interior elements — such as recessing the lighting and constructing built-in benches — wherever possible to create clean sight lines. Related: Industrial modern Sawmill House is built from recycled concrete blocks The 484-square-foot family home comprises two floors and a basement. The concrete basement contains a dental practice, while the timber-and-concrete ground floor is given over to an open-plan living room, dining area and kitchen that connects seamlessly to the outdoors via massive glazed doors that slide open to create a spacious, open-air area reminiscent of a pavilion . The outdoor area is sheltered by the roof that, like the surrounding rural buildings, cantilevers out to all sides of the home and connects the living space with the surroundings. The sleeping zone, with four bedrooms, is located on the topmost floor that is entirely outfitted in timber for a warm and cozy feel. “The use of mostly recycled concrete and local wood enabled a modest carbon footprint,” explained the architects, noting the importance of craftsmanship in the project with a special thank you to the project’s late foreman Samuel Janser. “The rawness of the construction is a reference to the traditional pragmatic way of building; How is it built, no hierarchy of materials or esthetics. Simplicity is the way to go.” + Gus Wüstemann Architects Photography by Bruno Helbling via Gus Wüstemann Architects

Read more here: 
Minimalist, low-carbon home features local wood and recycled concrete

25 badass women shaping climate action in 2021

March 8, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on 25 badass women shaping climate action in 2021

25 badass women shaping climate action in 2021 Heather Clancy Mon, 03/08/2021 – 02:00 Given the devastating economic toll the COVID-19 pandemic has had on women and girls, the imperative to mark International Women’s Day carries more weight than usual this year.  The idea of a day celebrating the accomplishments of the female gender in the U.S. reaches back to 1909. Throughout the subsequent decade, the concept was embraced by countries including Austria, Denmark, Germany, Russia and Switzerland, but it wasn’t until 1975 that the first International Women’s Day was celebrated and adopted by the United Nations. As I began identifying leaders to include on this third annual list, I was inspired by the introduction to ” All We Can Save ,” an essay and poem collection co-edited by marine biologist Ayana Elizabeth Johnson (who you can find on this year’s list) and Katharine Wilkinson (who we recognized on the first Badass Women list in 2019).   They celebrate a rise in climate leadership distinguished by four important characteristics: it is focused on “making change rather than being in charge”; it is committed to responding in ways “that heal systemic injustices rather than deepening them”; there is “an appreciation for heart-centered, not just head-centered, leadership”; and there is “a recognition that building community is a requisite foundation for building a better world.” By not including women at equal levels — in companies, in government, in NGOs and elsewhere — the climate movement is itself experiencing a crisis, they argue. “As the saying goes, to change everything, we need everyone … We need feminine and feminist climate leadership, which is wide open to people of any gender.” When it comes to those shaping the corporate climate movement — either from within companies or as part of NGOs and policy organizations that recognize the critical role businesses must play in addressing the climate emergency — I’m grateful to say it’s becoming easier to find women with a seat at the decision-making table. This list, selected subjectively, celebrates a diverse, intergenerational set of leaders. Speaking of giving credit where credit is due, nominations are open for the seventh annual Women in Sustainability Leadership Awards, to be conferred by the Women in Sustainability Alumnae Group at a virtual ceremony May 19. Nominees must have at least seven years management and leadership experience, and have made a noteworthy contribution to the cause of corporate climate action. I can think of plenty of worthy candidates, how about you? You’ve got until March 24 to suggest them. And now, I invite you to meet the 2021 class of Badass Women. Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister, New Zealand LinkedIn | Twitter New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wasted little time raising the stakes in her nation’s fight against climate change after handily winning re-election in October. Drawing on that mandate, Ardern declared a “climate emergency” and set the wheels in motion for New Zealand’s public sector to become carbon neutral by 2025. “This declaration is an acknowledgment of the next generation,” she told parliament early in December. “An acknowledgment of the burden they will carry if we do not get this right and do not take action now.”  New Zealand, a nation of about 5 million people, in late January reported progress toward its goal to cut emissions by 30 percent over the next decade compared with 2005 levels — but recognized current measures won’t be enough to meet the Paris Agreement goals. Ardern was praised for her government’s aggressive containment of the COVID-19 pandemic last year — her country reported just 25 deaths. She passed a Zero Carbon Bill during her first term that mandates net-zero emissions by 2050 and campaigned on tougher action this term.  Ardern is being watched closely : Her administration has been criticized for being lenient on reducing biogenic methane from agricultural production — notably dairy cattle and sheep — which accounts for almost half of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions and roughly 6.6 percent of its GDP . Her idea is to phase in reductions. Farmers could face higher taxes or the elimination of irrigation subsidies as early as 2022 if they don’t act to reduce their impact.  Alyssa Auberger, CSO, Baker McKenzie LinkedIn | Twitter Over the past year, many professional services organizations that previously had little to say publicly about their climate change strategy — from law firms to management consultants to ad agencies — found themselves under closer scrutiny not just for their own footprint but for supporting some of the biggest climate deniers around. Amid that soul searching, one of the largest law partnerships in the world, Baker McKenzie, named its first chief sustainability officer, Alyssa Auberger. A partner in the firm’s Paris office, with more than 20 years’ tenure, Auberger previously led Baker McKenzie’s consumer goods and retail practice. In that role, she was engaged in helping clients develop strategies for supply chain transparency disclosures and claim, emissions reporting and human rights.  “In terms of our partnership with our clients, this means being able to understand what sustainability means to their businesses across all industries and identifying how we can help them with their environment, social and governance needs,” she said. “For our own people, it means a focus on nurturing a business that aligns with and respects our own unique values, cares about communities and gives us all a sense of purpose that goes beyond the billable hour.”  Baker McKenzie established its climate change practice two decades ago, one of the first firms to do so, and it is one of the largest law organizations to belong to the United Nations Global Compact, which it joined in 2015. It uses the Sustainable Development Goals as a guidepost for many of its policies and has aligned its business with eight of them.  Boma Brown-West, Director of Consumer Health, EDF+Business LinkedIn | Twitter A mechanical engineer by training who spent the early part of her career in the private sector at Whirlpool, Boma Brown-West leads the Environmental Defense Fund’s work to eliminate toxic chemicals and other substances with questionable consequences for human health from consumer products and retailer store shelves — everything from paints to makeup to baby food. As part of her role, Brown-West manages the NGO’s Five Pillars for Safer Chemicals Leadership program. She is at the center of the NGO’s working relationship with Walmart , among other retailers and consumer brands, helping it launch in 2017 an expansive strategy to reduce its chemical footprint for consumables by 10 percent by 2022.  Promoted to her current position in October, Brown-West — a prolific EDF author based in Washington, D.C. — last year drew attention to the disproportionate impact that cosmetics and beauty products have on women of color. Her team in August expanded its relationship with beauty retailer Sephora, which has committed to reducing certain high-priority chemicals in the products it sells by 50 percent in the next three years.  One other recent crusade is pushing e-commerce retailers such as Amazon, eBay and Walmart to disclose more about the climate effects and chemical compositions of the millions of products they sell, which EDF supported with a roadmap of suggestions in summer 2020. “We want to call attention to how the biggest environmental impacts and the biggest health impact of products is really due to the products themselves and the creation and the use of a product,” Brown-West noted at the time. Martina Cheung, President, S&P Global Market Intelligence; Head of ESG, S&P Global LinkedIn | Twitter When it comes to market intelligence, S&P Global — the New York-based parent company to Dow Jones, Trucost and soon-to-be IHS Markit — is a familiar, respected name in boardrooms. Martina Cheung is the executive driving the growth strategy across S&P’s portfolio of ESG ratings, benchmarks and data products. After a career as a consultant, Cheung joined S&P in 2010 and has led diverse strategic initiatives and titles including vice president of operations, chief strategy officer and head of risk services. Drawing on that perspective, she encourages sustainability leaders to spend more time with their counterparts in finance. As she observed during GreenBiz 21 in February: “I think the partnership with the CFO is incredibly important, the partnership with investor relations because sustainability goes to the heart of performance.”  A new parent, Cheung has been outspoken about the need for more flexibility and support for women who choose to juggle careers and family responsibilities, a message she has amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic. In other words, one of the “S” factors in ESG.  “As employees work from home, children and family members have become regular fixtures in the background of online meetings,” she wrote in an editorial for NBC. “Their increased visibility can lead to better communication about the burden of family care, more expansive family-leave policies and reduced stigma around taking such leave.” Debra Haaland, Congresswoman; Secretary Nominee, Department of the Interior Twitter As of this writing, New Mexico Congresswoman Debra Haaland has yet to be formally confirmed as Secretary for the U.S. Department of the Interior, but she already has a long history of championing climate-related causes. Raised in a military family, Haaland identifies as a 35th generation New Mexican and an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna. Before entering public service, she oversaw the second largest tribal gaming enterprise in the state, where she focused on the creation of earth-friendly business practices. There are many “firsts” on her resume: the first Native woman to lead a state party, the first to serve in Congress and, if successfully confirmed, the first Native person to hold a U.S. Cabinet position. Those critical of her appointment point to Haaland’s support of the Standing Rock pipeline protests as extreme — she brought food to the tribes camped out to protect their territories’ natural resources and heritage. “When we’re thinking about our environment, you can destroy faster than you can rebuild,” she said at the time. “You can cut down a 500-year-old tree. That tree is never going to grow back like that again. Climate change is real, and I’m going to fight to the bitter end to protect our environment because it’s the only one we have and our environment gives us everything.”  Last year, Haaland led a coalition that proposed the 30 By 30 Resolution to Save Nature, aimed at creating a strategy for the U.S. to preserve at least 30 percent of the ocean and land by 2030. President Joe Biden announced his support for that philosophy just one week after taking office in January. Celine Herweijer, Partner, Global Innovation and Sustainability Leader, PwC LinkedIn | Twitter The newly anointed group sustainability chief for one of Europe’s largest banks, HSBC — a role she will assume in July — London-based Celine Herweijer is a familiar feature in the continent’s corporate climate movement. In her current position as innovation and sustainability leader for consulting firm PwC, Herweijer has advised some of the world’s largest financial services organizations and asset management companies on climate risk strategy and sustainable finance initiatives. She has served on numerous committees for the World Economic Forum and the United Nations, among other groups, and is co-chair of the We Mean Business Coalition. Like many other banks, HSBC has pledged to step away from its funding of fossil-fuels interests and other high-carbon industrial activities with a pledge to achieving net-zero financed emissions across its customer portfolio by 2050. (It aims to reach net-zero for its own operations and supply chain by 2030.) Skeptics have criticized its commitment for not going far enough.  Still, the company is stepping out as an innovator in sustainable finance — it was the first buyer into a new reef credits system in Australia , and Herweijer’s innovation lens and ongoing research into risks associated with nature and biodiversity loss no doubt helped land her new job.  “The cascading physical, regulatory and legal, market and reputation risks we see mean nature risk now needs to be a mainstream issue for corporate enterprise risk management,” Weijer said last year . “We have an opportunity to extend the recent response of regulators, businesses and investors on climate change to nature; both are interrelated and both pose a systemic risk to the global economy.” Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO and President, Ariel Investments LinkedIn | Twitter Mellody Hobson joined Chicago-based Ariel Investments, one of the largest African American-owned mutual funds in the United States with more than $15 billion in assets under management, as an intern. Today, she is co-CEO, responsible for strategy and planning. Ariel’s focus is on nurturing small and midsize capitalization stocks, and in mid-February, the firm announced a bold new initiative — Ariel Alternatives , aka “Project Black.” The goal is to invest in businesses owned by Black or Latinx entrepreneurs, as well as middle-market companies that are not minority-owned, with the goal of helping them change their ownership model. Its partner is JPMorgan Chase, which has committed to co-investing $200 million. One of Hobson’s convictions is that American’s must be “color brave,” a phrase she coined in her 2014 TED Talk . She commented in a February interview : “I’m going to always take the hopeful route here and say we have become more brave, but we have to be much braver than we are.” In “Civil Rights 3.0” corporations need to step up much more proactively, Hobson observed. We’ve had plenty of talk, and now we need elbow grease and accountability, she said.     An active outside director, Hobson chaired DreamWorks Animation up until its sale to NBCUniversal, and in March became chairperson of Starbucks. In October, her alma mater announced plans for a new residential college. The new facility, Hobson, the first to be named for a Black woman at Princeton, will appropriately be built on the former site of a building previously named for Woodrow Wilson, whose name was removed in June because of his racist views and policies. Kara Hurst, Vice President, Head of Worldwide Sustainability, Amazon LinkedIn | Twitter Now in her seventh year with Amazon, Kara Hurst — the company’s first sustainability executive via previous gigs with The Sustainability Consortium and BSR — leads the team that helped orchestrate many ambitious commitments that the giant company has made in the past two years. She was instrumental in designing Amazon’s signature program, The Climate Pledge, launched with Global Optimism in September 2019, which includes a commitment to earn net-zero carbon status by 2040 — 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement timeline. As of Feb. 17, there were 53 signatories representing 18 industries.  “The Climate Pledge is a call to urgent action,” Hurst said in a February interview . “I think one of the things that also distinguishes the pledge is a commitment to sending these market signals, the demand for the products and services that companies need to help us decarbonize.”  For Seattle-based Amazon, that includes a plan to invest $2 billion in climate tech and decarbonization services; a $100 million fund to support reforestation and urban greening projects; the purchase of 100,000 electric vehicles for the company’s delivery fleet; and the creation of the Climate Pledge Friendly labeling program, which makes is easier to research the sustainability attributes of products. Hurst’s causes outside Amazon include board positions with Stolen Youth, an organization dedicated to eradicating sex trafficking; as well as with the roundtable for sustainability that’s part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Ellen Jackowski, Chief Sustainability and Social Impact Officer, HP Inc.  LinkedIn | Twitter For HP Inc., sustainability strategy isn’t just a source of operational or ESG differentiation, it’s a revenue driver  — $1 billion in customer contracts for the past two fiscal years. Ellen Jackowski is the Palo Alto, California, company’s long-time sustainability innovation champion, who ascended to her current position in June. Jackowski was at the center of HP’s ongoing project in Haiti to collect ocean-bound plastic waste and incorporate the material into the company’s printer cartridges and, as of May, into some of its personal computers. So far, that effort has diverted 1.7 million pounds of plastic, or 60 million bottles. Like many consumer products companies, the HP sustainability team is also focused on reducing the impact of its packaging — its goal is to eliminate 75 percent of single-use plastics by 2025.  She also leads the company’s work on fighting deforestation, through efforts such as a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to restore and manage up to 20,000 acres in Brazil’s endangered Atlantic Forest, or through the HP Sustainable Forests Collaborative, which includes Chenming Paper, Domtar Paper and New Leap Paper.  One of Jackowski’s latest initiatives is a program, HP Amplify Impact, that calls upon HP’s expansive partner network — including the companies that resell its computers — to set sustainability goals. “Our team is not just tracking how partners select their suppliers — we’re measuring the carbon reductions across the value chain,” she wrote in February. “We’re also tracking the overall impact on people and on communities, collectively with our partners. That’s where we will find real inspiration and momentum.” Image by Landon Speers Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Co-founder, Urban Ocean Lab and Ocean Collectiv, All We Can Save LinkedIn | Twitter Marine biologist Ayana Elizabeth Johnson has lived at the intersection of practical environmental conservation strategy and social justice for years, through her consulting work with Ocean Collectiv, dedicated to addressing issues such as overfishing and habitat destruction. Her research on the role coastal communities can play in climate solutions — including policy work on offshore wind development and the Blue New Deal — is supported by her second venture, Urban Ocean Lab. Last year, the New York-based scientist tapped into her experience and her friendship with climate solutions expert and author Katharine Wilkinson of Project Drawdown to co-launch a project dedicated to amplifying the work of women in the climate movement — scientists, policymakers, activists and, notably, BIPOC. All We Can Save , the book they birthed in September, features 41 powerful voices. Johnson and Wilkinson have spun the dialogue into a nonprofit focused on supporting — financially, intellectually and otherwise — female climate leaders.  Johnson’s own voice has become far more familiar. In November, she began co-hosting a Gimlet Media podcast, ” How to Save a Planet .” Her passionate call for the climate movement to confront racism was prominently published in the Washington Post in June. “To the white people who care about maintaining a habitable planet, I need you to become actively anti-racist,” she wrote . “I need you to understand that our racial inequality crisis is intertwined with our climate crisis. If we don’t work on both, we will succeed at neither.”  Rose Stuckey Kirk, Senior Vice President, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, Verizon LinkedIn | Twitter Rose Stuckey Kirk, who spent much of her career as a journalist, has been more visible than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of her attention over the past year has been surfacing ways for Verizon to help support struggling small businesses.  Two notable efforts include a $1 million grant for the We Mean Business coalition, aimed at helping up to 1 million small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) with carbon footprinting tools; and its $10 million commitment in February aimed at supporting SMEs in historically underserved communities. Both fall under Citizen Verizon , the Basking Ridge, New Jersey, teleco’s initiative for economic, environmental and social advancement. The pandemic didn’t stop Verizon from advancing its sustainability strategy significantly over the past 12 months, with a pledge to become carbon neutral by 2035 and the pricing of a second $1 billion green bond meant to support the construction of renewable energy resources for its telecommunications networks. Raised in Arkansas with seven siblings, Kirk serves on the board of numerous organizations, including the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Leadership Council and the C-200 women’s leadership initiative. She was executive producer of the 2017 documentary “Without a Net: The Digital Divide in America.”  “Whether in education, nonprofit, business, media, policy or another industry, the individuals who have influenced me the most are the innovators — the leaders and change-makers who are pulsing the world forward,” Kirk said in a 2017 Forbes interview . “Those who don’t just talk — who act.” Jill Kolling, Vice President, Global Sustainability, Cargill LinkedIn | Twitter Jill Kolling, a former entrepreneur and management consultant who hails from Minneapolis, joined the agricultural giant in 2015. Over the past six years, she has been at the center of the strategy to build a global sustainable team focused on climate science, water and sustainable agriculture practices.  As one of the largest private companies in the U.S. — and a huge buyer of commodities such as soybeans, which have been linked to deforestation — Cargill’s work on climate action is highly scrutinized, and Kolling’s team has been pushed to set ambitious, transparent commitments. Among the initiatives that have emerged under Kolling’s leadership include the company’s science-based climate commitments, which include a target to reduce operational GHG emissions by 10 percent by 2025 and those from the Cargill supply chain by 30 percent per ton of product by 2030.  Her team also last year set context-based water targets that aim to restore 158 billion gallons of water and reduce about 5,500 tons of water pollutants in priority watersheds. And like many agricultural companies, Cargill is investing in regenerative agriculture, with the goal of advancing practices such as planting cover crops or rotational grazing on 10 million acres.  “I think farmers are starting to realize that it’s ultimately the consumer who’s starting to care more and more about this,” Kolling told GreenBiz last summer. “Over the coming years, those pressures and those desires from consumers to want to know more about how their food was produced and having greater expectations, we believe it’s going to grow and will continue to trickle back to the farmer.” Yuko Koshiishi, General Manager, Corporate Sustainability, Suntory LinkedIn | Twitter With more than $21 billion in revenue as of 2019, Japan’s Suntory is parent to well-known water, tea, soft drink and spirits brands, including American bourbons Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark. Company veteran Yuko Koshiishi , who has held multiple communications and business development assignments over the past two decades, is the woman behind its sustainability strategy . The hallmarks of Suntory’s climate action plan include a high-level commitment to eliminate “petrol-based materials” from its PET bottles by 2030, a pledge it is supporting with a mechanical recycling process called Flake-to-Preform ; it’s also developing chemical recycling approaches. To address and decrease its heavy dependence on water , Suntory created a concept back in 2003 called Natural Water Sanctuary, which it uses to protect the watersheds near its production facilities in places such as Japan, India, Mexico, the United States and Spain. The goal: to cultivate more water — and habitat in those watersheds — than it uses in its plants by 2050. “Water is a very localized issue, which means we need a tailored approach for each site,” Koshiishi said late last year. Suntory also has embedded sustainability considerations into its procurement policies: All new suppliers are screened on criteria including environmental considerations such as emissions, as well as broader factors such as ethics, security and human rights.  “We have maintained the momentum behind our sustainability strategy during the pandemic,” Koshiishi said in October . “This includes working closely with our supply chain to make sure that we are promoting sustainability in the sourcing of raw materials, transportation and production processes.” Ellen MacArthur, Founder and Chair, Ellen MacArthur Foundation LinkedIn | Twitter It’s the rare corporate sustainability professional who doesn’t recognize the name Dame Ellen MacArthur. The British sailor-turned-circular economy strategist’s eponymous foundation has been instrumental in getting some of the world’s best-known, biggest brands to commit to moving away from linear models of economy production to processes that prioritize the recirculation and regeneration of materials and products. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) was created in 2010 to inspire next-generation business leaders to rethink and redesign their approaches. The idea was born during MacArthur’s three-year-long “journey of discovery” around the world from 2006 to 2009.  “If we create a circular economy, if we use things rather than using things up, then why can’t we build a future that works,” MacArthur said at the EMF launch .    Since that time, EMF, based in Cowes, U.K., has orchestrated collaborative initiatives targeting everything from plastics to food waste and bringing together large companies, NGOs and policymakers. In 2018, it raised the stakes further, joining the World Economic Forum, World Resources Institute, the United Nations Environment Program and several dozen other organizations to create the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy. And last summer, it convinced 50 CEOs in food, fashion, finance and plastics — including the leaders of Danone, H&M, L’Oreal, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever — to commit to making circular principles a fundamental part of their post-COVID economic recovery plans. Essentially, to push reset.  “This is something that’s moved phenomenally quickly in the last five years, and I think that’s because it has to,” MacArthur said during a presentation at Circularity 20. “The brands know it has to.” Roma McCaig, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, Campbell Soup LinkedIn | Twitter With much of her early career focused on operational efficiency, change initiatives and stakeholder engagement, Roma McCaig brings a relatively unique point of view to her work on ESG strategy for food company Campbell Soup. She’s been influencing the Camden, New Jersey, company’s sustainability strategy for the past three years, first as head of responsible sourcing in the procurement function and for just under two years in her current role. Under McCaig’s leadership, Campbell is working to improve its transparency about progress — it hasn’t reached its renewable goal, for example, and that work continues. The company also identified 14 areas of ESG focus ranging from climate to human rights to board diversity — issues that are material to its business in the future. And it’s committed to reporting against those risks.    Among the new commitments McCaig has cultivated over the 12 months include a pledge to halve food waste and loss by 2030 as part of the 10x20x30 initiative ; a vision to transition 100 percent of its packaging to recyclable or industrial compostable materials by the same time frame; and a push to set science-based targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the company’s supply chain. As part of its COVID-19 response, it donated more than $8 million in cash and food to organizations across North America.  “During these challenging times, it is more important than ever that we continue to build a sustainable and resilient supply chain, while giving back to the communities that we call home,” McCaig told a consumer goods trade publication in May. Maria Mendiluce, CEO, We Mean Business LinkedIn | Twitter With more than two decades of experience in policy and sustainable development, energy economics expert Maria Mendiluce brings both private and public perspectives to her relatively new role as CEO of the We Mean Business coalition, with positions with the Spanish prime minister’s economic team and Iberdrola’s CEO office among her career highlights. The initiative, which focuses on coordinating corporate climate action, is a collaboration among BSR, B-team, CDP, Ceres, CLG Europe, The Climate Group and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). It’s Mendiluce’s mission to orchestrate coordinated responses on key issues, including amplifying the voices of businesses that want national governments to deliver zero-carbon economic stimulus packages as part of the response to COVID-19. “Governments need to take confidence from the growing call from businesses for policies that will boost the economy and get us on track to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030,” she said in May. “By doing so, they will enable companies to invest now and innovate at the scale and pace that is necessary to build back better and create the future we all want.” A champion of women’s leadership in sustainability, prior to joining the coalition Mendiluce was with WBCSD. There she played a pivotal role in establishing the Alliance to End Plastic Waste; the Transforming Urban Mobility Project; and the Low Carbon Technology Initiative. Mendiluce also serves on the boards for organizations including the Science Based Targets initiative and the Energy Transition Commission. Rebekah Moses, Head of Impact Strategy, Impossible Foods LinkedIn | Twitter Just five years ago, Impossible Foods launched its plant-based (aka “fake meat”) burgers in a handful of specialty restaurants. Today, while the category it represents is still tiny — just 1 percent of the meat market — the company’s consumer brand recognition and its presence in mainstream supermarkets have grown by leaps and bounds. One of its first hires was Rebekah Moses, an agricultural and international development scientist who previously worked on numerous field projects domestically and in the Middle East. She’s head of impact strategy for the San Francisco-based company, valued at $4 billion in August. It’s her job to calculate the potential environmental outcomes associated with eating an Impossible Foods product versus the ones associated with meat cultivated from farmed animals. That’s not necessarily to “demonize behavior” but to raise awareness of habitat loss and other side effects of eating animal meat, and to keep that philosophy central within the company’s innovation process. While the health and agricultural impacts of the Impossible Burger have been criticized — after all, one of the main ingredients, soy, is closely linked with deforestation — Moses says it requires less land and water to produce, and the production process emits fewer GHG emissions than raising animals for meat.  Cultivating a variety of plant protein sources will be crucial for the future of food systems, Moses said in a recent interview . She noted: “One of the really interesting questions for our industry is how do you actually biodiversify your protein and fat ingredient streams so that you support agricultural diversity within the system itself?”  Sunita Narain, Director General, Center for Science and the Environment LinkedIn | Twitter Indian environmental researcher Sunita Narain has been associated with the country’s Center for Science and Environment for close to 30 years, starting as an assistant and assuming the director general role in 2011. She’s also a prolific writer and the editor of a fortnightly magazine on politics and environment, Down to Earth , published in New Delhi. Narain’s work and recommendations have directly informed India’s policies including around air pollution, with a focus on how to learn from strategies used by the Western world and leapfrog them. One example is the adoption of buses that run on compressed natural gas (CNG) in India’s capital city.  Water is one of the issues about which Narain is most passionate; one of India’s largest rural economic development programs focuses on the ecological restoration of more than 1 million bodies of water. She has been recognized for her research on rainwater harvesting and local water management policies, and co-authored two books on the topic: “Dying Wisdom” and “Making Water Everybody’s Business.”  In November, Narain was recognized with the Edinburgh Medal, rewarded annually to scientists who have made significant contributions to the wellbeing of humankind. “We need cooperation, we need equity, and we need climate justice,” Narain said in her acceptance speech, pointing to the disproportionate burden that the world’s poor carry when it comes to the effects of climate change. Malin Nordin, Head of Circular Development, Inter IKEA Group LinkedIn | Twitter Sweden’s IKEA is at the leading edge of circular economy principles among retailers, through initiatives such as the furniture buyback program it tested last year on Black Friday in countries including Australia, Canada and Russia. The idea — to resell what’s still usable and recycle what’s not — was spearheaded by the team led by IKEA’s head of circular development, Malin Nordin. A chemical scientist by background, Nordin said the company’s vision to be 100 percent circular by 2030 starts with the design process. Through research in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund, it has identified 32 priority materials in woods, plastics, papers, metals and textiles that have the most potential to stand up in a circular model, Nordin has noted .  “One aim of circular design is to develop products that can be useful throughout the changing lives of our customers,” she said, pointing to examples such as baby cots that can be transformed into toddler beds or modular storage systems.  One principle central to Nordin’s mission is upholding the company’s vision of creating products that are affordable, a principle it calls “democratic design.” “When you add the idea of circular design to the idea around democratic design, it makes the problem even better, even more valuable,” she said in a November interview with EMF. Damilola Ogunbiyi, CEO, Sustainable Energy for All; Co-Chair, UN-Energy LinkedIn | Twitter After years of focusing on energy access in Nigeria — where she was the first female managing director of the country’s rural electrification agency — Damilola Ogunbiyi stepped into her current position in early 2020. She’s also a commissioner for the Global Commission to End Energy Poverty . As CEO of Sustainable Energy for All in Vienna, Ogunbiyi is responsible for promoting the development of reliable, affordable and sustainable energy not just in Africa but globally by 2030, the mandate set out by U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 7. She has extensive experience in shaping policy to that end. In Nigeria, Ogunbiyi was instrumental in supporting the construction of solar mini-grids and home systems across the country, where her work was particularly focused on energizing universities and healthcare facilities. At Sustainable Energy for All, she’s prioritizing the “smart use of data, next partnerships and scaled involvement of the private sector.” Two core programs: the electrification of healthcare facilities and a focus on clean cooling, for which the organization estimates that more than 2.2 billion people globally lack access to clean, efficient options.  “To truly deliver the vision of SDG7 and universal energy access in a sustainable way, decentralized solutions must be our focus to reach the most vulnerable and remote populations,” Ogunbiyi said in a July 2020 interview. “We also need to build a bigger market for clean cooking fuels, so women don’t have to use dirty fuels to cook dinner for their family.” Sanda Ojiambo, CEO and Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact LinkedIn | Twitter Sanda Ojiambo has made a career out of cultivating effective partnerships between businesses and civil society.  Before she ascended to the CEO and executive director positions at the United Nations Global Compact last summer, she was head of sustainable business and social impact for Safaricom, the largest telecommunications service provider in Kenya. There, she managed multiple relationships between Safaricom and U.N. organizations.  During her initial months at the UN Global Compact, which now includes more than 12,000 companies and 3,000 other signatories, Ojiambo has urged business leaders to confront the issues of racial injustice that have surfaced more visible during the COVID-19 pandemic and to do their “due diligence” when it comes to establishing and enforcing human rights throughout their entire value chain.  One initiative designed to speed the response is the new SDG Ambition Accelerator, a six-month-long executive training program meant to help leaders more holistically incorporate the Sustainable Development Goals into business strategy — no matter their industry. “There has to be an ‘all of’ sector, a multi-sectoral approach to driving this [social] change,” Ojiambo said during a GreenBiz 21 keynote interview . “Each time I’m in a different sector, there’s different views, different challenges and certainly different opportunities.” Raised in Nairobi, Ojiambo earned international development and public policy degrees in the U.S. and Canada. She worked in Somalia before her Safaricom career, shaping programs for CARE International and the U.N. Development Program focused on issues including education, safe motherhood, environmental conservation and dismantling land mines. Maria Outters, Group Senior Vice President, Sustainability/Corporate Responsibility, Sodexo LinkedIn | Twitter Born in Africa and fluent in four languages, Maria Outters joined French food services company Sodexo 12 years ago and held positions in human resources, marketing and group strategic planning before becoming its sustainability and CSR lead in January 2020. She’s also part of the investment committee for Sodexo Ventures. It was an eventful year for many reasons, but Outters’ team used the economic, social and health crises brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic to “reaffirm” its sustainability commitments, including a commitment to reducing food waste by 50 percent at more than 1,500 sites. The program will continue as sites reopen: As of June, the company had saved the equivalent of 4.8 million meals. Sodexo is also prioritizing the adoption of alternatives to single-use plastics and a plan to raise the mix of plant-based foods on its menus to more than 30 percent globally. The company renewed a longstanding relationship with WWF centered, in part, on responsible sourcing of land commodities and seafood. “Underlying economic and social challenges ahead will magnify the need for economic models built on sustainable consumption patterns and solutions preserving natural resources,” Otters said in June . “These priority actions in the current environment are part of our pragmatic approach to work with our clients, suppliers and employees to bring back confidence and seize the window of opportunity to make the recovery a turning point when it comes to sustainability.” Katrina Shum, Sustainability Officer, North America, Lush Cosmetics LinkedIn | Twitter Katrina Shum is challenging the personal care industry to get naked.  As North American sustainability manager for 25-year-old U.K. company Lush Cosmetics, she leads a program working to doff single-use, plastic packaging across five manufacturing facilities, two distribution centers and 250 retail shops. Lush’s approach: Create solid versions of its products — from shampoo to toothpaste and more — that reach back to its roots more than 20 years ago, when the company’s founders “packaged” their soap in old pipes and other discarded containers. Its strategy is unique for an industry that creates an estimated 120 billion package a year, many of them impossible to recycle, if consumers remember to even try. Lush’s approach also conserves water. Plus, why not devote the millions if not billions of dollars consumer brands spend on packaging into true product innovation, Shum asked in an essay last year . What about labels with instructions and ingredients? “Leveraging technology, we have developed the Lush Lens App, which allows customers to use their phones to scan products and get the typical information they would find on a physical label, along with engaging and interactive content about the ingredients and stories behind them,” Shum wrote. For products that still require plastic or paper packaging, Lush has been sourcing post-consumer recycled content for more than a decade. The reverse logistics haven’t been easy, but Lush’s vertically integrated production model has helped, she wrote. One of Shum’s “pet peeves” is food waste, she revealed in an October interview, and she keeps close tabs on her habits at home in the Vancouver area. The focus isn’t surprising: Prior to Lush, Shum worked on a sustainability strategy for food service giant Aramark. Dawn Wright, Chief Scientist, Esri LinkedIn | Twitter Much of the ocean’s potential role in reversing climate change is unfathomable, literally — with just one-fifth of the its floor cataloged in maps. Dawn Wright, the first Black American woman to deep-sea dive in an Alvin submersible, is leading geographic information systems (GIS) company Esri’s quest to map the rest by 2030. “How can we take care of this planet, how can we understand this planet, how can we protect it if we don’t know the totality of it?” Wright said in a 2019 interview . “We have better maps of the moon, better maps of Venus and even Mars than we have of the oceans of the Earth, because the Earth is an ocean planet.” As chief scientist for the software company, Wright spearheads Esri’s work in the scientific and research communities, where she champions the use of GIS imagery and data in applications ranging from flood risk planning to fighting deforestation. The company’s partnership network is expansive: last year, it teamed with Microsoft on its ” Planetary Computer” initiative, aimed at helping protect biodiversity. A marine geologist and oceanographer by training, Wright was a full professor at Oregon State University for more than 25 years (she’s still on the faculty there) before joining Esri in 2011. Tae Yoo, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, Cisco LinkedIn | Twitter One of Cisco’s earliest employees — she joined more than 30 years ago before the technology company went public — Tae Yoo has placed the concept of inclusion at the center of its CSR and sustainability initiatives with a goal to “positively impact 1 billion people by 2025.” She has also helped elevate this strategy to the company’s board of directors.  Reflecting on the COVID-19 pandemic in the San Jose, California, company’s 2020 CSR report, Yoo noted: “To avoid reinforcing prior inequities and vulnerabilities, it is critical that we apply significant effort on rebuilding … Living our purpose means continuing to get everyone involved, and that’s exactly what we intend to do.” For Cisco, making an impact takes many forms, such as the Cisco Networking Academy, a program Yoo established in 1997 that has helped more than 2.7 million people find jobs since 2005. She also leads Cisco’s work on other educational programs, such as the 21st Century Schools Initiative. The networking hardware giant first set a GHG reduction target in 2006, and as of its 2020 fiscal year, it had cut Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 55 percent, just shy of its upcoming goal in FY 2022. Elsewhere, Yoo’s experience as the co-founder of Cisco’s business development organization has doubtless helped inform her strategy about tough strategic decisions. One of her team’s top priorities is embracing circular economy business models (it’s an EMF founding partner), which calls for all of its new products to incorporate core principles such as reusability, recyclability and repairability by 2025. This, too, will require collaboration with the company’s expansive network of technology and service partners.  Topics Careers Leadership Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) On Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off GreenBiz Group Close Authorship

Read the original post:
25 badass women shaping climate action in 2021

Art crafted with natural materials sends powerful message

February 24, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Art crafted with natural materials sends powerful message

Joana Cabrita Martins is a Portugal-based artist who merges design and activism. By choosing local  natural materials  and pairing her pieces with social or environmental messages, her studio work calls attention to the issues plaguing our planet today. Her latest collection, “Trees of My Land” (or “Árvores da Minha Terra”), is a duo of handmade pieces crafted from olive tree wood and clay by master  artisans .  “Trees of My Land” is inspired by the loss of  biodiversity  caused by human influence and highlights the importance of trees through organic design. Both pieces in the collection celebrate a similar planter design, with a pattern of cut out holes on top of a clay vase with a wooden base. Related: This artist turns paper waste into decorative vases The first, simply named “Tree,” was inspired by radical pruning. According to the artist, the openings at the top symbolize mutilated trees , while the natural wood at the bottom and the sprouting root coming off represent a plant’s attempt to sustain life after being pruned. The base also features pointed triangular feet to help support it along with the root, giving it an almost levitating look. The second, “Bulb,” alludes to smaller plant species with a hanging design and thick, bulging roots sprouting from underneath. The openings and natural roots connect both pieces in the collection, though they are still unique to the distinctive works of art . The plants inside are real living plants, while the vases around them symbolize rebirth. One of nature’s greatest attributes — its resilience — is apparent at the core of the sustainable collection.  “The ensemble is an urgent appeal for changing the behaviour that is leading to the premature death of nature, inevitably leading to the gradual decline of the biosphere and consequential human life extinction ,” said the studio in a press release. “The collection’s poetic message is of hope with the first intent to be a cry of alarm.” + Joana Cabrita Martins Studio Images via Joana Cabrita Martins Studio

Read more: 
Art crafted with natural materials sends powerful message

Endangered black-footed ferret is successfully cloned

February 22, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Endangered black-footed ferret is successfully cloned

The birth of Elizabeth Ann, a black-footed ferret, on December 10, 2020, marked a major achievement in the recovery of the species. Elizabeth Ann is the first black-footed ferret to be cloned with the aim of increasing the genetic diversity of the species. The now 2-month-old ferret was created from frozen cells of a black-footed ferret that lived over three decades ago. Black-footed ferrets were once considered extinct , but a family of seven was discovered in 1981. The ferrets were captured to be protected by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Having been recovered from only seven ferrets, the current population of the species lacks genetic diversity. The recent cloning is important given that the clone parent, Willa, was recovered from the last wild black-footed ferrets and did not belong to the line of the recovered seven. Samples of the wild ferret were preserved at the San Diego Zoo Global’s Frozen Zoo from 1988. Related: San Diego Zoo successfully clones an endangered Przewalski’s horse To improve the species’ resilience to diseases, several organizations have come together. Among the partners involved in the process include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Revive & Restore, San Diego Zoo Global, ViaGen Pets & Equine and the Association of Zoos and Pets. “The Service sought the expertise of valued recovery partners to help us explore how we might overcome genetic limitations hampering recovery of the black-footed ferret, and we’re proud to make this announcement today,” said Noreen Walsh, director of USFWS, Mountain-Prairie Region. “Although this research is preliminary, it is the first cloning of a native endangered species in North America, and it provides a promising tool for continued efforts to conserve the black-footed ferret.” The journey to cloning has been long and with many obstacles, according to Ryan Phelan, executive director of Revive & Restore. “We’ve come a long way since 2013 when we began the funding, permitting, design, and development of this project with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.” Phelan said. “Genomics revealed the genetic value that Willa could bring to her species .” According to Walsh, while cloning is one of the ways to improve the genetic diversity of the species, the organizations are also paying attention to habitat-based threats in their efforts to recover the black-footed ferret population. + U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Images via USFWS

Read more here:
Endangered black-footed ferret is successfully cloned

You can make this 3D-printed, bioplastic face shield at home

February 22, 2021 by  
Filed under Green, Recycle

Comments Off on You can make this 3D-printed, bioplastic face shield at home

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many issues of waste into the spotlight, starting with the sheer quantity of petroleum-based personal protective equipment (PPE) used in the medical field and by everyday users gearing up to go to the grocery store or park. Designer Alice Potts homed in on this problem early, countering it with face shields made from food waste and flowers. These face shields required more than just a little research and development. Potts wanted to tackle the issue of plastic-based PPE but approached it by also addressing food waste . Potts said the face shields are biodegradable , because they are a product of food and flowers collected from local markets, butchers and households in the surrounding London area. The variety of organic materials affect the final product, meaning that each mask varies in unique ways. Related: Engineering student turns food waste into renewable energy “Every colour is completely seasonal depending on what flowers are blooming, what vegetables and fruits are growing and earth that is in and around London,” the designer said. Potts was initially inspired by her brother, a paramedic who reported a lack of PPE for himself and other first responders and medical care workers. So Potts set out to create a more sustainable option intended for the public, because the shields likely don’t offer the same level of protection as required in a medical care setting. With the recipe for the face shield and a design for the 3D-printed top section, Potts plans to make the template available to everyone via an open-source design. “I want to combine the advantages of technology with sustainability to form a template of the top of a face shield that can be 3D-printed from recycled plastic with a bioplastic recipe for the shield for people to make at home,” she said. The Dance Biodegradable Personal Protective Equipment (DBPPE) Post COVID Facemasks, as Potts named them, will be on exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, an event that highlights art, design, and architecture and runs through April 2021. + Alice Potts  Via Dezeen   Images via James Stopforth and Sean Fennessy via Alice Potts

View post:
You can make this 3D-printed, bioplastic face shield at home

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 2171 access attempts in the last 7 days.