Walmart drives toward zero-emission goal for its entire fleet by 2040

September 23, 2020 by  
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Walmart drives toward zero-emission goal for its entire fleet by 2040 Katie Fehrenbacher Wed, 09/23/2020 – 01:50 If you needed any more evidence that America’s vehicle fleets are driving toward zero-emission status, it’s this: Walmart just announced that it will electrify and zero out emissions from all Walmart vehicles, including long haul trucks, by 2040.  That includes more than 10,000 vehicles, including 6,500 semi-trucks and 4,000 passenger vehicles. Up until this point, Walmart largely had emphasized fuel efficiency , although it also ordered several dozen Tesla electric semi-trucks for a Canadian fulfillment center.  Why the change? Zach Freeze, senior director of strategic initiatives and sustainability at Walmart, told GreenBiz that “more needs to be done,” and Walmart wanted to set the ambitious goal of zero emission “In order to get to zero, we need to transition the fleet,” Freeze said.  The semi-trucks will be the trickiest vehicles to adopt zero emission technologies, be that batteries, hydrogen or alternative fuels. Some heavy-duty truck fleets are opting for swapping in alternative fuels today, while the electric semi-truck market matures (check out this webcast I’m hosting Oct. 1 on the city of Oakland’s circular renewable diesel project). Expect Walmart’s 4,000 passenger vehicles to go electric much more quickly. Passenger EVs today can help fleets reduce their operating costs (less diesel fuel used) and maintenance costs, leading to overall lower costs for the fleets.  Walmart is just at the beginning of its zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) journey, but the strategy with its announcement is to “send a signal” to the market. “We want to see ZEV technology scaled, and we want to be on the front lines of that trend,” Freeze said.  Jason Mather, director of vehicles and freight strategy for the Environmental Defense Fund, described Walmart’s new goals in a release as “a critical signal to the industry that the future is zero-emissions.” However, these commitments only cover Scope 1 and 2 zero-emission commitments, not Scope 3. Of course, Walmart isn’t the only big company using ZEV goals to send market signals. Last year, Amazon announced an overall goal to deliver all of its goods via net-zero carbon shipments, and the retailer plans to purchase 100,000 electric trucks via startup Rivian.  Utility fleets will be another key buyer for electric trucks. Oregon utility Portland General Electric tells GreenBiz it plans to electrify just over 60 percent of its entire fleet by 2030. Utilities commonly use modified pick-up trucks, SUVs, bucket trucks, flatbed trucks and dump trucks. PGE says that 100 percent of its class 1 trucks (small pickups, sedans, SUVs) will be electric by 2025, while 30 percent of its heavy-duty trucks will be electric by 2030. Its entire fleet includes more than 1,000 vehicles. “It’s really important for us as a utility to be doing this. At the end of the day, we’ll be serving our customers’ electric fleet loads,” said Aaron Milano, product portfolio manager for transportation electrification at PGE. “It’s necessary that we learn and help our customers through this process.” I’ll be interviewing PGE CEO Maria Pope at our upcoming VERGE 20 conference , which will run half days across the last week in October, virtually of course. Tune in for a combination of keynotes and interactive discussions with leaders such as IKEA’s Angela Hultberg, Apple’s Lisa Jackson, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, Amazon’s Kara Hurst, InBev’s Angie Slaughter, the city of Seattle’s Philip Saunders and the Port Authority New York and New Jersey’s Christine Weydig.  Topics Transportation & Mobility Clean Fleets Featured Column Driving Change Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Courtesy of Walmart Close Authorship

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Walmart drives toward zero-emission goal for its entire fleet by 2040

A corporate water strategy manifesto: We can and will do better

September 23, 2020 by  
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A corporate water strategy manifesto: We can and will do better Will Sarni Wed, 09/23/2020 – 01:30 We have decided to craft this brief manifesto to challenge the status quo, accelerate innovation, solve wicked water problems and achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.” The pandemic has strengthened our resolve to do better. Our observations and point of view for 2020 so far are: The pandemic has been an accelerator of trends, such as the digital transformation of the water sector, attention on lack of access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, and the appalling underinvestment in water infrastructure in the U.S. and globally. The recent interest and commitment to water pledges has diverted scarce resources and funds from actions such as watershed conservation and protection, reuse, technology innovation and adoption, public policy innovation, etc. The corporate sector has too narrow of a view of the opportunities to solve wicked water challenges. We no longer can be silent on the tradeoff between pledges versus actions. The belief that more of the same is unacceptable. We also believe that scale of investment in solving wicked water problems is grossly inadequate, whether at the watershed level, supply chain, operations or engagement on public policy and with civil society. The statistics on water scarcity, poor quality, inequity and lack of access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene remain appalling and unacceptable. We held these beliefs before the pandemic, which have only accelerated this year and prompted us to share our view. Most important, the statistics on water scarcity, poor quality, inequity and lack of access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene remain appalling and unacceptable. For example: About 4 billion people, representing nearly two-thirds of the world population, experience severe water scarcity during at least one month of the year ( Mekonnen and Hoekstra, 2016 ). 700 million people worldwide could be displaced by intense water scarcity by 2030 ( Global Water Institute, 2013 ). Globally, it is likely that over 80 percent of wastewater is released to the environment without adequate treatment ( UNESCO, 2017 ). The World Resources Institute has revised its predictions of the water supply-demand deficit to 56 percent by 2030. Our intention is not to offend or not acknowledge the work done to date by those dedicated to solving water. Instead, it is to push all of us towards doing better together, not more of the same. All of us means the private sector, governments and civil society (community groups, NGOs, labor unions, indigenous groups, charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, professional associations and foundations). None of us is doing the job required fast enough. We realize this is hard, complex work and that your efforts are important. We do believe the answers exist but not the fortitude to take on big water risks and make the necessary investments. So, consider the questions below and let’s do more, invest more and scale efficient and effective solutions. Less talk, more action. For businesses: Is sustainability and water stewardship integrated into your business or is it a fringe activity from a sustainability, corporate social responsibility or water team? Does it support your business strategy? If the answer is no, your efforts will be underfunded and understaffed because they, at best, create partial business value. How many “non-sustainability” colleagues from other areas of your business participated in sustainability or water-related conferences/webinars over the last five years? If not many, see the question above. Do you have a water replenishment/balance/neutrality/positive goal? If yes, why, and do you believe these goals actually solve water problems at scale and speed to have an impact? Did you commit to these goals because your competitors have done so, for communications, or to drive the needed improvements at the local level? Is your goal designed to improve access to water and sanitation for everyone at a very local level? Asked another way, in five or 10 years when you claim success, will you have really improved water security in that basin? Can you more effectively use your resources to improve water policies or leverage resources by working collaboratively with others? Water is not carbon, it isn’t fungible and as a result, achieving water-neutral or water-positive goals can be misaligned with watershed impacts. We believe these kinds of goals are complex and can lead to chasing numbers that may not yield the desired business, environmental and community benefits. See WWF for important considerations before developing and issuing them. For all: Are the pledges, memberships and carefully worded water stewardship statements and goals on path to produce the necessary long-term results? Do we really need more private-sector pledges? How about fewer pledges, more actions? In the last five years, from all the water conferences you attended, how many ideas did you take back and implement? Why not take those travel dollars you’re saving in 2020 and what you’ll save in the future because you found new ways to work and invest in actions with others at the basin level? We believe in learning by doing. When did you last talk with a government agency in charge of water or wastewater about improving policies (allocations, cost of water, enforcement of water quality standards, development, tax dollars for green and grey infrastructure, etc.)? We believe improving water-related policies is the ultimate prize, and we need to start taking action, now. How much time do you spend on positioning your organization as a water stewardship leader? Too often, we sustainability professionals at NGOs, businesses and trade organizations get bogged down with labor-intensive marketing and communication efforts instead of focusing on execution. Let your actions speak for themselves. The bottom line: Less talk, more action and investment. Let’s recommit and focus so we can solve water in our lifetime. It is possible. Pull Quote The statistics on water scarcity, poor quality, inequity and lack of access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene remain appalling and unacceptable. Contributors Hugh Share Topics Water Efficiency & Conservation Water Scarcity Water Operations Featured Column Liquid Assets Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Shutterstock

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A corporate water strategy manifesto: We can and will do better

Bush Brothers counts on water reuse to reduce local impact of bean production

May 20, 2020 by  
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Bush Brothers counts on water reuse to reduce local impact of bean production Jesse Klein Wed, 05/20/2020 – 03:20 “There was nothing except a pipe going out the back of the plant.” This was how Rodney Aulick, president of integrated solutions and services at Evoqua Water Technologies, described the wastewater system at Bush Brothers and Company’s Tennessee plant, when it first engaged with the food company. Bush Brothers is the largest manufacturer of prepared beans in the United States, and its work with water treatment titan Evoqua resulted in massive improvements, Aulick said. The plant is now able to reuse much of its water, lowering the strain on the community system and environment as a whole. The company is also better equipped to tightly control its water usage, according to Evoqua.   Bush Brothers, a family-owned business, has been operating in the small community of Chestnut Hill, Tennessee, for over 110 years. The company keeps the community in mind when pushing for new production goals and system upgrades. In 2016, Bush Brothers began working with Evoqua to upgrade its wastewater system to reduce its reliance on public water sources and provide its facility with more capacity, flexibility and reliability. The project was completed in the fall of 2019. For companies such as Bush Brothers, investing in technology to improve the sustainability of its business processes is more than just a good PR move — it’s also a measure necessary to ensure plants can keep operating even through increasing periods of climate extremes. Water, specifically, stopped being an afterthought for Bush Brothers after the 2007 drought in Chestnut Hill. This was the wake-up call the executives needed to replace that pipe with something better.  “They wanted to use that precious water that was going out the back end of their plant, back into the front end,” Aulick said.  To do this, Evoqua and Bush Brothers built a wastewater treatment plant near one of its bean canneries at the Chestnut Hill property. According to Will Sarni, CEO of the Water Foundry, a hyperlocal water recycling plant such as this is still a rare project for U.S. businesses. Bush Brothers’ other facility in August, Wisconsin, has a biogas reuse program in place (as does Chestnut Hill) but the Tennessee facility represents the only water reuse system for the company. They wanted to use that precious water that was going out the back end of their plant, back into the front end. “I think in the U.S, it’s really just a few percentage points in terms of the volume of water,” Sarni said. “This is the exception, not the rule.” The Chestnut Hill facility uses a bioreactor to clean the water, which creates biogas for supplemental energy for the factory. Dissolved flotation and reverse osmosis are used to remove particulate matter from the water.  While the water is clean enough to be used in food processing, most of the recycled water is pumped into the heating and cooling systems, as these represent the largest uses of water in the plant, according to Evoqua. Up to 20 percent of the water Bush Brothers uses is from its reuse system. Terry Farris, director of engineering for Bush Brothers, wrote in an email that his company’s goals were to create redundancy while also making sure the new system would have the capability to accommodate additional flows and alternative waste systems in the future. Evoqua’s strategy when it comes to designing the recycle/reuse facility of an operating plant is to be extremely flexible and quickly adjustable, according to Aulick. That’s because what the plant is making on a morning shift can be vastly different from in 12 hours on a second shift, he said. The product being produced, the step in the process or even the season can drastically affect water usage. The waste plant needs to be ready for those changes, Aulick said. Evoqua noted that during harvest season for Bush Brothers, bean loads are large, which leads to an increase in water volume processing. During the canning season, water volume can be lower but the concentration of contaminants is higher, as the manufacturing is focused on adding spices and preservatives.  “You really have to plan a robust technology that can be adjusted for those unique events,” Aulick said. “You need to have a technology that you can adjust on the fly.” Aulick has seen companies such as Bush Brothers start to look 20 or 30 years into the future. Its leaders and engineers are beginning to address the big questions: Can my facility persevere through a drought? If the company can’t rely on the local government, does the plant have an alternative waste management system?  Farris told GreenBiz that the company knew there would be a high capital investment and operating costs to upgrade the wastewater treatment facility. But the ability to create value from a waste stream would offset the expense and the move toward more sustainable practices was worth the investment, he said. Bush Brothers declined to provide the exact cost of the investment. “It used to be that we drove a lot more of these projects through sales,” Aulick said. “We would help to identify the potential and convince [businesses] that it had a return. Today we see more and more customers on their own saying, ‘I have a sustainability goal.’ What we used to have to push for, we are now getting pulled into.” Pull Quote They wanted to use that precious water that was going out the back end of their plant, back into the front end. Topics Food & Agriculture Water Efficiency & Conservation Food & Agriculture Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Bush Brothers installed Evoqua’s wastewater treatment system after experiencing the effects of a local drought in Tennessee.

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Here are 4 ways cities are coping with the effects of COVID-19

April 15, 2020 by  
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Cities — from Wuhan in China to New York in the United States — have been at the front lines of the novel coronavirus crisis and will be in the same position for future crises.

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Can a new wave of laser and aerial imagery technologies slash methane emissions?

December 9, 2019 by  
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Along Colorado’s Front Range, researchers are working to develop new ways of detecting methane leaks, using everything from lasers to light aircraft to drones. Their technologies could curb a potent contributor to climate change, while saving industry billions of dollars in lost gas.

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Minimalist home in the Brazilian countryside is made from mining waste

December 6, 2019 by  
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Brazilian architectural firm Gustavo Penna Arquiteto e Associados (GPA&A) has unveiled a tiny, minimalist home with a small stature that conceals a powerhouse of sustainable design. Located in a former mining region, the architects decided to build the 484-square-foot Sustentable House out of bricks manufactured from mining sludge waste. The family home is also installed with solar panels and a wind turbine to produce energy and heat water. Additionally, the residence is almost completely zero-waste thanks to an integrated waste water treatment system and organic waste incinerator. The small home is located in the pristine, mountainous area of Ouro Branco, once an important base located on the transportation route from the mines of Minas Gerais to the coast. Paying homage to the region’s history, the architects were able to construct the Sustentable House with bricks made out of the byproducts of mining . Related: Sustainable desert home has a small water footprint in Nevada Tucked into an open lot surrounded by forest, the house sits on a small, flat plot of a sloping hill. The volume has a cube-like base topped with a slanted rooftop. The sloped roof was an important factor in protecting the interior from direct sunlight . The roof was also installed with a small solar array that heats water for the residence, although it will eventually power the entire home. At the front of the building, a wall rises up past the slanted rooftop. The cutout space in this section is outfitted with a wind turbine that generates energy for the home. The design also incorporates an organic waste incinerator that produces energy through hot air and an integrated, state-of-the-art wastewater treatment system that can be used as an additional power system. All of these sustainable features are wrapped up in one gorgeous design. The two-bedroom house’s brick walls wrap around the exterior and interior, except for the front facade, which is made out of floor-to-ceiling glass panels. The wide glass doors slide open completely, opening up the living room to the great outdoors. This allows the homeowners to enjoy unobstructed views of the mountains and valleys that stretch out across the horizon. + GPA&A Via ArchDaily Photography by Jomar Bragança via GPA&A

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Minimalist home in the Brazilian countryside is made from mining waste

The positive allure of negative emissions

August 20, 2019 by  
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A tech company has committed to invest in carbon-capture technology. Is it the front edge of a bandwagon, or a one-off anomaly?

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The positive allure of negative emissions

Contemporary barn-inspired home adheres to passive house principles

July 31, 2019 by  
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Delivering a modern twist to local historic building practices, London-based architectural practice Bureau de Change has recently completed a new home that takes inspiration from traditional farm structures in the Cotswolds, a rural area of south central England. A pair of timber chicken sheds, nearly 100 feet long each, was used as the starting point of the design for the Long House. In addition to respecting the local rural vernacular, the thoughtfully crafted home also follows passive house principles to reduce energy use without sacrificing comfort year-round. Located near Cirencester in Gloucestershire, England, the Long House spans approximately 5,400 square feet across three gabled volumes that have been given two different exterior treatments. The single-story volume to the front is built from stone, while the volume in the rear—split into two parts—is sheathed in natural larch that will gain a natural patina over time. The contrast adds visual richness and the materials selected will naturally develop a patina over time to blend the buildings into the surroundings. “The front barn has been built in dry stone wall by a local craftsman, chosen not only for its local relevance but for its inherent qualities of mass and muscularity,” explains Bureau de Change Architects co-founder Katerina Dionysopoulou. “This facade is monolithic, with fewer openings to produce a heavier, solid volume at the front. As a counterpoint, the taller barn in the back is clad in lighter-weight natural larch which has been charred to a deep leathery black at each window recess. This charring has then been brushed away to gently blend it into the natural larch—creating an ombre effect which emphasizes the rhythmic push and pull of the window indentations.” Related: British farmer plants heart-shaped meadow in honor of his late wife Inside, the front volume hides an inner courtyard that’s hidden behind the elevation and serves as a light-filled focal point for the home. To meet passive house principles , the architects constructed the building with an insulated concrete formwork system to create an airtight thermal envelope. Openings are limited on the south-facing facade and triple-pane glass was installed to minimize unwanted heat gain and loss. Air quality is maintained with a heat recovery ventilation system. + Bureau de Change Images by Gilbert McCarragher

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How To Recycle Space Debris: Earth’s Front Porch Is a Mess

October 23, 2018 by  
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Humanity started exploring the solar system only 60 years ago … The post How To Recycle Space Debris: Earth’s Front Porch Is a Mess appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Trick or Eco-Treat: Halloween Candy Quandary

October 23, 2018 by  
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You don’t want to be part of the problem of … The post Trick or Eco-Treat: Halloween Candy Quandary appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Trick or Eco-Treat: Halloween Candy Quandary

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