20 livestock firms emit more greenhouse gas than Britain, France or Germany

September 8, 2021 by  
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What produces 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide? The animal agriculture sector. According to a new report by animal campaigners, 20 livestock companies contribute more emissions than Britain, France or Germany. And  governments  subsidize them to do so. About 2,500 banks, pension funds and investment firms financed global meat and dairy companies to the tune of $478 billion between 2015 and 2020, according to the  Meat Atlas . And the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development predicts meat production will rise by another 40 million tons a year by 2029. China, Brazil, the United States and some European Union members produce the most  meat . But lower-income developing countries are trying to get their piece of the shepherd’s pie. Poultry is growing especially fast, with experts predicting that it will account for 41% of all meat protein globally by 2030. Related: Air pollution from US meat production causes 16,000 deaths annually Food and agriculture campaigner Stanka Becheva, who works with Friends of the Earth, said, “we need to begin reducing the number of food animals on the planet and incentivise different consumption models,” as reported in The Guardian. Meat industry regulations need to be beefed up, too, “to make sure companies are paying for the harms they have created throughout the supply chain and to minimise further damage.” Banks and investors financing large, intensive projects to produce more animal  protein  also pose a problem. Paolo Patruno, deputy secretary general of the European Association for the Meat Processing Industry, minimized having such a meaty role in emissions. “We don’t believe that any food sector is more or less  sustainable  than another. But there are more or less sustainable ways to produce plant or animal foods and we are committed to making animal protein production more sustainable,” Patruno said, according to The Guardian. “We also know that average GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions in the EU from livestock is half that of the global average. The global average is about 14% and the EU average is 7%.” Meanwhile, the National Farmers’ Union in England and  Wales  is going for net-zero emissions by 2040. Via The Guardian Lead image via Pexels

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Walk to work at this eco-friendly office tower in India

September 1, 2021 by  
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Commuting got you down? New Delhi-based architectural practice Design Forum International (DFI) takes traffic jams out of the morning routine with a plan for a “walk to work” office tower dubbed Amtron. Proposed for development in Bongora’s Tech City in Assam, India, the project blends pedestrian-friendly design with sustainability features. In an attempt to move away from what DFI describes as “the conventional closed work environment,” the design incorporates a landscaped plaza and co-working spaces to foster an open atmosphere. Meanwhile, drop-off and pick-up points at opposite ends of the building prevent traffic jams. This combination of easy movement and an open environment helps the tower achieve DFI’s pedestrian-friendly goal. Related: Live, work and shop at this green building in France Speaking on the inspiration behind this design, a statement from DFI explains, “In accordance with DFI’s ethos of people-first design , [Amtron] is an experience that promotes meaningful interactions and pauses that awes, inspires and stays in the memory of its users.” Sustainability features such as solar panels , rainwater harvesting and green terraces show that this project keeps the environment in mind. In addition to mutual shading and sun-tracking louvers that minimize heat gain and reduce the need for artificial air conditioning, solar-reflective glazing helps regulate temperature while still allowing in natural light. Solar panels on the roof help address the tower’s energy needs. To address water needs, harvested rainwater and recycled wastewater fuel a drip-irrigation system for the landscaping full of native, climate-adaptive vegetation. Green terraces on the facade round out Amtron’s sustainable features and help prevent the heat island effect. ??As for the project’s material palette, DFI wanted to balance the modern and traditional. A reinforced cement concrete (RCC) core supports the tower, while recycled wood panels used for roofing and ceilings help “infuse regional identity.” For the cladding, zinc and aluminum protect the structure from weathering. Amtron’s predicted completion time is 18-21 months after its mid-2021 targeted construction start date. + Design Forum International Images via Design Forum International

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Baserange goes the extra mile for eco-friendly clothing production

August 20, 2021 by  
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The key to any successful business is the partnerships made along the way. For Baserange, its goal to manage a transparent, ethical and environmentally -friendly garment company is supported by a network of similarly-minded factories. Baserange was started in 2012 by Blandine Legait and Marie-Louise Mogensen. The original product line focused on undergarments, but the collection now includes an assortment of clothing options. With the focus on diversity, inclusion and natural beauty for the customer, the intimates and basics line matches that philosophy with a dedication to working with sustainable manufacturing facilities. Related: KADA’s sustainable clothing line is designed to empower women Up and down the collection, careful material selection means finding producers who rely on traditional techniques while providing  natural materials  that are soft, breathable and comfortable. With this in mind, Baserange obtains silk and linen from a second-generation family-operated factory in Turkey dedicated to checking supply certifications and creating materials that are long-lasting yet compostable at the end of their usable life.  Another family-owned factory in Porto, Portugal highlights fair trade working conditions and support of working women. The factory relies on renewable energy and works directly with Baserange to make the most of material  waste  saying, “They’ll do a set with just those leftover colors. Once we did bras with a cup in one color, a cup in another color, and the elastic in a third color.” Another textile mill, in France, relies on 80%  solar power  to run the factory. The buildings are made from reclaimed lumber from the surrounding area.  This close working relationship with nearby producers has resulted in an eco-friendly life cycle for Baserange’s clothing, starting with the fact that regular visits to the factories have a low transport footprint. The dyes are OEKO-TEX certified. The cotton is GOTS certified. The bamboo fabrics are FSC certified . Other natural fibers used in the clothing line include silk, linen and wool sourced in traditional ways to make yarn from yak, alpaca and mohair.  In a statement, the company summarized saying, “Baserange offerings are produced with respect for the environment and people. They are committed to clean production and ethical sourcing to minimize the environmental impact on both the producer and the wearer of the garments.”  + Baserange Images via Baserange 

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Baserange goes the extra mile for eco-friendly clothing production

Baserange goes the extra mile for eco-friendly clothing production

August 20, 2021 by  
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The key to any successful business is the partnerships made along the way. For Baserange, its goal to manage a transparent, ethical and environmentally -friendly garment company is supported by a network of similarly-minded factories. Baserange was started in 2012 by Blandine Legait and Marie-Louise Mogensen. The original product line focused on undergarments, but the collection now includes an assortment of clothing options. With the focus on diversity, inclusion and natural beauty for the customer, the intimates and basics line matches that philosophy with a dedication to working with sustainable manufacturing facilities. Related: KADA’s sustainable clothing line is designed to empower women Up and down the collection, careful material selection means finding producers who rely on traditional techniques while providing  natural materials  that are soft, breathable and comfortable. With this in mind, Baserange obtains silk and linen from a second-generation family-operated factory in Turkey dedicated to checking supply certifications and creating materials that are long-lasting yet compostable at the end of their usable life.  Another family-owned factory in Porto, Portugal highlights fair trade working conditions and support of working women. The factory relies on renewable energy and works directly with Baserange to make the most of material  waste  saying, “They’ll do a set with just those leftover colors. Once we did bras with a cup in one color, a cup in another color, and the elastic in a third color.” Another textile mill, in France, relies on 80%  solar power  to run the factory. The buildings are made from reclaimed lumber from the surrounding area.  This close working relationship with nearby producers has resulted in an eco-friendly life cycle for Baserange’s clothing, starting with the fact that regular visits to the factories have a low transport footprint. The dyes are OEKO-TEX certified. The cotton is GOTS certified. The bamboo fabrics are FSC certified . Other natural fibers used in the clothing line include silk, linen and wool sourced in traditional ways to make yarn from yak, alpaca and mohair.  In a statement, the company summarized saying, “Baserange offerings are produced with respect for the environment and people. They are committed to clean production and ethical sourcing to minimize the environmental impact on both the producer and the wearer of the garments.”  + Baserange Images via Baserange 

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Baserange goes the extra mile for eco-friendly clothing production

Live, work and shop at this green building in France

August 12, 2021 by  
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The Partenord Habitat Plot in the Porte de Valenciennes neighborhood in Lille, France , eliminates the idea of a pollution-creating commute to work. In this design, office space, housing and retail areas are all integrated into one. Three sections of the building work together in an integrated design. The offices, headquarters and housing all share the same foundation. The housing section includes 50 units, and there are seven different office spaces. On either side of the headquarters, there are five retail units. The headquarters for Partenord Habitat, the Nord Department Public Housing Office, is a main feature of the space. It sits at the corner of the lot. There is also a car park with 232 underground parking spaces for the housing, office and retail areas. Related: Experimental, ecological home is inspired by a tree in France The building has several distinct architectural features. Terracotta cladding was used for the exterior. Meanwhile, three sides of the building are made with reflective glass, creating a mirror-like shine. As for eco-friendly features, the building is built on them. Graywater will be recovered and stored, solar panels are integrated into the design and digital radiators help create an environment dedicated to optimizing electricity consumption. The heat recovery from the headquarters will provide for 80% of the winter heating needed for the housing units. There’s also a garden built right into the ground on the ground floor. This space also has support facilities, an atrium, a print shop and a bike shed. The triple-height atrium is right at the corner of the crossroads, the entrance to the headquarters. On the ninth floor terrace is the shared vegetable garden. This space faces the center of the design so that it’s protected from the wind. It’s accessible through shared areas. There is also ramp access for those with limited mobility. The 10th-floor terrace houses solar panels. Created by the team at Coldefy, this innovative design won a 2017 competition for Partenord Habitat’s new headquarters. + Coldefy Photography by Julien Lanoo

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Domaine de l’Anse Sauvage emphasizes lush greenery

August 12, 2021 by  
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The Domaine de l’Anse Sauvage uses abundant outdoor green space in conjunction with a residential housing and apartment hotel development to blur the lines between the natural and indoor worlds. Located in northern Tunisia , the complex set out to counter the overdevelopment up and down the surrounding coastline and protect the endangered forest to the south. Planners put vegetation at the center of the overall project, both for the benefit of residents and the environment. Botanical gardens, green annexes, nurseries of native species and planted roofs look to bolster the area so it doesn’t replicate the destruction around the project site.  Related: 555 Greenwich office building aims for LEED Platinum in NYC With a central focus on green space, the team then developed 164 housing units and included green roofs on half of those. In addition to improving air quality and ground support, the copious gardens create a circular ecology between residents and nature, where each is dependent on the other.   The Domaine de l’Anse Sauvage sits on a hillside overlooking the Baie des Singes on the Gammarth coast. To support the eroding coastline and restore balance to the soil, the project ensured 70% of the property would be  vegetative , including 16% taking form as private gardens and 54% as a botanical garden.  The remaining 30% of the property is occupied by the housing units, which were carefully situated to take in the views. 75% of the apartments offer direct  water  views with the others looking towards the Forest of Gammarth or the marina. The surrounding horizon can be seen from the private rooftop gardens. Designers refused to block the bay with concrete, which left the development as a free-flowing living space without boundaries.  The project team reports, “The design echoes the Byzantine and Islamic Persian gardens that made it possible to create places of social gathering, mediation, and amplification in a symbiotic environment that is “second nature.” The “ interior-exterior ” limit no longer serves as a closure, but rather as a spatial unit, both as the “subject” of the different functions it fulfills, and the attributes of the architecture that it defines.” + Philippe Barriere Collective Images via Philippe Barriere Collective (Mamary Coulibaly, Farouk Dine, Mohamed Yahmadi, Philippe Barriere)

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La Poste du Louvre turns the page from 1888 to 2022

July 16, 2021 by  
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The story of la Poste du Louvre is both historic and modern. Originally built as a post office (la Poste) on du Louvre street in a central area of Paris , France, the building is now undergoing a transformation into a multipurpose space that has earned several environmental certifications.  It’s an example of honoring a classic building, constructed from 1888 to 1898 following the design by Julien Guadet. La Poste du Louvre has long served as a post office in a changing industry that has resulted in endless renovations over the century-and-a-half of its history. Updates took place during the 1960s through the 1980s, with intensive reconstruction following a fire in 1975. But the building, under the ownership of la Poste du Louvre’s real estate subsidiary Poste Immo, is receiving a comprehensive and modern conversion guided by architect Dominique Perrault, whose vision includes a hotel, restaurant , shops, offices and social housing. Plus, the post office remains intact. Related: Ranch Dressing house sets example for modernization with minimal impact Perrault placed a special focus on going beyond the outlined criteria required to earn certifications related to sustainable architecture. As a result, the building achieves triple certification from NF HQE Rénovation (Excellent level), LEED Core & Shell Gold and BREEAM (Very Good level).  While working to keep the framework of the original building, secondary structures were built inside for additional support. In this way, the new design kept the building’s original stone and metal as well as original decorative elements like painted ceilings and heritage clocks. Even in keeping with the existing architecture, the space received extensive upgrades in regards to thermal insulation. Updates to air treatment systems and controllable facades keep interior temperatures at a comfortable level with high energy-efficiency . Long-term living spaces feature strategically placed windows to maximize views and natural lighting. Furthermore, the roof is equipped with solar panels to supplement energy usage. The roof doubles as a garden with a selection of plants. The building is equipped to recover rainwater , which will be reused for cleaning and watering the plants. Even the basement is upgraded, with the bottom two levels of the building equipped for parking, including charging ports for electric or hybrid vehicles. La Poste du Louvre is expected to open to the public in 2022. + Dominique Perrault Architecture Photography by Michel Denance via Dominique Perrault Architecture

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KADA’s sustainable clothing line is designed to empower women

July 15, 2021 by  
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“Sustainability is our north star,” said KADA, a clothing company leading the charge in corporate responsibility and change within the notoriously wasteful fashion industry. The company’s products are designed by women, for women with a commitment to conservation . KADA is a Boston-based company, and every decision it makes revolves around waste reduction. The manufacturing process starts, in part, by collecting other manufacturers’ waste in the form of salvaged fabrics. From there, fabric selection relies mainly on Cupro, a silk-like material made from recycled cotton manufacturing waste. Cupro is biodegradable and made in a closed-loop factory that continuously recycles water and required chemicals. Related: Luxury vegan silk startup sets high bar for sustainable fashion KADA also strives to work with mills and factories that honor the sustainable mindset. One such factory is well-known for its innovative production of organic materials while recycling 100% of textile waste and using a greenhouse gas-capturing system. During the design process, owner Kassia Davis and the team work to minimize the number of seams in each piece, which in turn minimizes waste offcuts. They then develop prototypes that are tested (with real women) to ensure proper fit, feel and function. This is to avoid mass-production of product lines that may be ill-received and discarded.  The final clothing designs are intended to be multifunctional capsule pieces that cater to both casual and dressy occasions. The debut collection from KADA includes the Cami Bralette, Classic Cami, Cami Midi Dress, Classic Tee, Tee Maxi Dress, Tee Mini Dress and the Pant. The goal is to focus on high-quality production with durable fabrics to keep consumers loving and wearing the items in their wardrobe rather than discarding and replacing them. The staple pieces are designed for all body types in alignment with one of the company’s goals to empower women. “My mission with KADA is to make clothing that is inclusive and can be worn by all women. We’re celebrating the concept of evolution — inward, outward, and systemic — and setting a new standard for sustainable production along the way,” Davis said. “Behind the KADA brand is a team of incredibly talented women who all want to build pieces that every one of us can feel comfortable and confident wearing. These inspiring, empowering pieces are designed to help you meet the moment — no matter where life takes you.” KADA is partnering with GreenPrint to become the first sustainably made clothing brand in Massachusetts. + KADA Images via KADA

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Iridescent Monet-inspired Mtropole building catches the light on the River Seine

October 30, 2017 by  
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Fish scale-like colored glass clads the iridescent headquarters of Métropole Rouen Normandie, a stunning new landmark for a “future eco-district” in France. Designed by Jacques Ferrier Architecture , the eye-catching building takes inspiration from the impressionist works of Claude Monet, who produced many paintings of the nearby Rouen Cathedral. More than just good looks, the multifaceted structure emphasizes smart energy consumption with passive thermal protection and rooftop solar panels . Located on the banks of the River Seine , this 8,300-square-meter headquarters manages its massive size by mirroring the landscape and built environment. Its shimmering facade reflects the changing sky and river, while its silhouette and oblique shapes reference nearby industrial buildings and the bows of passing ships. Its fish scale-like facade of subtly colored glass —inspired by Monet’s impressionist paintings—is treated with a layer of metal oxide that creates the colorful iridescent reflection seen on the outside; this effect is unseen in the interior. Related: Iridescent Dragon-Like Scales Wrap Around Avant Garde Office Campus in Paris Natural light fills the interior, while terraces, open to visitors, offer panoramic views over the city and river. The architects emphasized easy navigation in the building layout organized according to use. A double-skin facade enhances passive thermal insulation. “The transparency and depth of the double façade enhance the variations of light and prevent the building from appearing overbearing,” wrote the architects. “The building’s appearance transforms throughout the day. With the light shining through, it appears to float on the quay.” + Jacques Ferrier Architecture Images by Luc Boegly

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Iridescent Monet-inspired Mtropole building catches the light on the River Seine

Dunkirk, France offers free public transit to all

October 26, 2017 by  
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The small coastal city of Dunkirk in northern France is perhaps most famous, at the moment, for its portrayal in Christopher Nolan’s eponymous 2017 film, but it also deserves special attention for its decision to offer free public transit to all. In a move designed to reinforce economic fairness and establish Dunkirk as a sustainable, low-carbon community, Mayor Patrice Vergriete established the city’s inclusive transit policy, which will expand free public transit service to seven days a week starting in September 2018. The policy change, paid for with money that was originally allocated for the construction of a sports stadium, has been successful in increasing and diversifying ridership and could prove to be a powerful model for other cities looking to improve their quality of life and decrease their carbon footprint. When Vergriete first ran for mayor in 2014, he articulated his vision of a diverse, inclusive city that welcomes young people and families, supports the mobility of the elderly, and empowers people with limited economic means , according to CityLab . “I wanted to give back purchasing power to the families,” explained Vergriete on his initial motive. After launching free weekend services, ridership soared, up 30 percent on Saturday and 80 percent on Sunday. When free public transit is fully expanding to an all-week schedule, Dunkirk will be the largest city in France, though not the first, to offer this service. Related: Singapore is banning all new private vehicles from its roads Although the public transit services in Dunkirk may be free to riders, it is not a free ride for the local government, which must fund the service . Vergriete has observed that some are skeptical of the city’s ability to deliver these services without burdening taxpayers. “They think it’s like magic,” said Vergriete. “They think it’s not possible, that you are a liar. You cannot pay the salaries of the drivers, for the buses, with free transport.” In fact, only 10 percent of the public transit’s funding in Dunkirk was paid for with fares, a model that is similarly used in cities around the world , writes CityLab. Since rider fares are already such a small slice of the pie, “mayors should think about making it free,” said Vergriete. “It’s really a choice that we are making to charge.” In addition to support from the regional government’s general budget, the free transit service is primarily funded by a special transit tax on businesses, which was originally raised by Vergriete’s predecessor to pay for an expansion to a local sports arena. “It is a question of political priority ,” said Vergriete, whose administration chose to use that money set aside for a stadium to fund inclusive public transit instead. Via CityLab Images via  Vincent Desjardins/Flickr , Marco Chiesa/Flickr and Depositphotos

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