Disrupting corporate food procurement, as usual

July 9, 2018 by  
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The best of live interviews from GreenBiz events. This episode: Helene York, global director of Google’s foodservice, on global, tech-enabled sustainable food procurement.

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Disrupting corporate food procurement, as usual

The data on green data centers is still pretty cloudy

April 24, 2018 by  
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Efficiency gains and clean power investments are adding up for companies such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook, but the pace of digital expansion is making it tough to keep up.

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The data on green data centers is still pretty cloudy

Cities mobilize to avert ‘peak delivery’ congestion

April 24, 2018 by  
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The rise of online shopping is jamming traffic and creating new urban sustainability challenges.

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Cities mobilize to avert ‘peak delivery’ congestion

Waymo adds 20,000 Jaguar electric SUVs to its self-driving car service

March 27, 2018 by  
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Waymo, an autonomous vehicle company owned by Google ‘s parent company Alphabet, will add 20,000 all-electric Jaguar I-PACE SUVs to its self-driving car fleet over the next two years. The stylish I-PACE SUV will be one of several vehicles available for use in the company’s self-driving car service set to open in 2018. “This year in 2018, starting in Phoenix, Arizona — members of the public will be able to take these fully self-driving cars anywhere within our service area,” Waymo CEO John Krafcik said . “To work, to school, to the grocery store. Anywhere they’d go with a typical car.” Waymo’s Arizona debut comes amid the recent news that an Arizona woman was struck and killed by a self-driving car operated by Waymo’s rival Uber. Waymo recently reached a $245 million settlement with Uber over allegations that Uber had stolen trade secrets regarding Waymo’s LIDAR system. The Arizona Department of Transportation has suspended Uber from testing its autonomous vehicles in the state, while Waymo remains on the road. Uber has also shut-down similar autonomous vehicle programs in Toronto, San Francisco and Pittsburgh while investigations into the crash continue. Related: Poor urban design could be at fault for Uber driverless car crash The 20,000 Waymo I-PACE SUVs would be capable of servicing up to one million rides per day. In expanding its operations, Waymo emphasizes its safety record. “We’ve created 20,000 individual test scenarios for our cars to test on,” said Krafcik. The announcement of a substantial vehicle fleet for the Phoenix roll-out demonstrates that Waymo has taken a significant step forward in the race to pioneer the world of self-driving cars . The upcoming trials should demonstrate the challenges and opportunities of autonomous vehicles in greater detail. Via Mashable Images via Waymo

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Waymo adds 20,000 Jaguar electric SUVs to its self-driving car service

Scientists create ‘umbrella’ spray to protect coral reefs from sun damage

March 27, 2018 by  
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Researchers have crafted a new liquid substance that can be sprayed onto the surface of the water above vulnerable coral reefs , shielding them from intense UV and visible light beaming down from the Sun . In doing so, the spray may help to defend reefs from extreme bleaching events. 50,000 times thinner than a human hair, the biodegradable spray is made from a natural lipid and calcium carbonate, a key component of coral reefs. “It is white so it reflects and scatters all the light which hits the ocean surface,” study researcher Andrew Negri told the Sydney Morning Herald . Laboratory tests revealed that the spray was capable of reducing the amount of light reaching underwater coral by 20 percent. “In the laboratory, it actually stays on the surface for several weeks, but in the ocean it could be broken up by wave action and moved around by the currents,” explained Negri. The spray will quickly biodegrade after it is broken up. Trials in a real-world environment will begin soon to refine the spray and make it more resilient to sometimes turbulent waters . Related: Spraying spiders with graphene helps them spin webs 6 times stronger than normal Conservationists are enthused about the idea of using the spray to protect acute vulnerabilities in coral reefs. “The idea being that you could in the future, knowing there is going to be hot days ahead… spray this film on top of key reefs… and this will act as a bit of a shield… almost like an umbrella, to protect these reefs underneath and the animals underneath,” Great Barrier Reef Foundation managing director Anna Marsden told the Sydney Morning Herald . “It’s important to note that this is not intended to be a solution that can be applied over the whole 348,000 square kilometres of Great Barrier Reef ,” Marsden noted. “That would never be practical, but it could be deployed on a smaller, local level to protect high value or high-risk areas of reef.” Via The Sydney Morning Herald Images via Depositphotos (2 , 3 )

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Scientists create ‘umbrella’ spray to protect coral reefs from sun damage

Most active volcano in Europe ‘sliding into the sea’

March 27, 2018 by  
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Volcanic eruptions or lava flows you’ve heard of, but what about a volcano sliding into the sea? Scientists say that’s exactly what’s happening to Mount Etna, which The Open University described as the most active volcano in Europe. It’s the first time scientists have directly observed anything like it, and it could have disturbing consequences in the future. “Constant movement could contribute to a major landslide along Etna’s coast, causing devastating tsunamis to surrounding areas.” Mount Etna in Italy is headed towards the Mediterranean Sea. Researchers have observed parts of volcanoes move, but according to the BBC , these scientists think this is the first time anyone has directly observed basement sliding of a whole active volcano. They drew on 11 years of GPS measurements all over Etna to make the discovery. Related: Mount Etna eruption creates a display of fire, ash, and lightning over Sicily The Open University ‘s John Murray, lead author of the study on the work, said Mount Etna is moving 14 millimeters (mm) a year toward the Mediterranean. “While 14 mm might not seem much, previous studies of long-extinct volcanoes found those sliding downslope in a similar way have resulted in catastrophic landslides later in their history,” Murray said in the university’s statement. Should we be worried? Etna might not slide into the sea in our lifetimes, so local residents needn’t be afraid, but “continued sliding for hundreds or thousands of years could cause it to become dangerously unstable,” Murray said. He told the BBC scientists should monitor the motion to see if it accelerates. Mount Etna’s movement may impact research today, however; Murray said it could interfere with signals that clue scientists into where magma is. It could be trickier to monitor the likelihood of an eruption. The Bulletin of Volcanology published the research online late last week; scientists from Université Clermont Auvergne in France and Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom contributed. + The Open University + Bulletin of Volcanology Via the BBC Images via Depositphotos and Wikimedia Commons

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Most active volcano in Europe ‘sliding into the sea’

Non-profit uses machine learning and solar energy to protect the rainforest

March 23, 2018 by  
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San Francisco-based non-profit Rainforest Connection has created a unique, technologically advanced system to defend the rainforests of Brazil . The high-tech protection system incorporates machine learning and solar energy to operate sensor devices called Guardians that listen to the rainforest and send real-time messages if illegal logging activity is detected. Built out of modified cellphones, the Guardians are placed high in the canopy. The solar panels mitigate the need for battery changes or maintenance. With assistance from Google, Rainforest Connection has focused their efforts on the Amazon Rainforest in Pará, northern Brazil, where they have also collaborated with the local Tembé people, who are defending their homeland from encroaching logging. About 30 members of the Tembé people regularly patrol the forest to repel illegal loggers. Even with refined knowledge of the local environment, the Amazon Rainforest is difficult for anyone to navigate. Up in the canopy, the Guardians capture sounds, which are then sent to Rainforest Connection. The company recently announced it will be using Google’s TensorFlow tool, which facilitates the use of machine-learning software by other companies. The sounds are then analyzed so that the location and origin of the sounds can be determined. Related: Giant curtain built in Peru to study climate change in the cloud forests “The people on the ground, they’re the solution,” said Rainforest Connection founder and CEO Topher White. “They’re the ones who can fight off deforestation . But technology can play a really big part in helping them do it more safely and more effectively.” Rainforest Connection intends to provide services for those who live in rainforests and other ecological treasures all across the world. Communities equipped with the tools they need to thrive are more resilient.”The system pinpoints exactly where the problem is, so we no longer need to spend months patrolling the land like we used to,” said Chief Ednaldo Tembé . “That means we have more time for our culture, for our family, and for our survival.” Via Gizmodo Images via Google

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Non-profit uses machine learning and solar energy to protect the rainforest

This adventurous couple revamped an old Airstream into a dream house on wheels

March 23, 2018 by  
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Many people purchase items on eBay–but only a few decide to live in them. When Atlanta-based couple Sheena and Joe stumbled upon an old Airstream  for sale on eBay, they decided to transform it into a home on wheels perfect for avid travelers like themselves. They revamped the Airstream and had it road-ready 10 months later. The original owners intended to use the trailer as a retirement home, but their plans fell through, leaving the Airstream in storage for eight years. After Sheena and Joe purchased it, they affectionately named it Mavis and set about turning it into a mobile living space. Related: Airstream unveils new off-grid ready Globetrotter trailer The couple renovated the structure, including the plumbing and electrical work, themselves. They also included two dedicated work areas and relocated the bedroom from the rear to the front of the trailer, which receives the most sunlight during the day. They added wood accents to the walls and countertops and designed the space in a minimalist Scandinavian style. Ample storage spaces are hidden under the sofa and bed, as well as under the refrigerator. Because of the lack of space, the couple learned to make every inch count and have everything inside serve a purpose. Related: Apollo 70 Airstream trailer renovated as an amazing “green” cocktail bar on wheels Sheena and Joe have already tested the road-readiness of the trailer by traveling through the western part of the United States. They plan to continue using the trailer while traveling and, eventually, to build a small solar-powered container home , with a special place in the backyard for Mavis. + Mavis the Airstream Via Dwell

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This adventurous couple revamped an old Airstream into a dream house on wheels

The clean economy needs more vocal corporate advocates

March 5, 2018 by  
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The best of live interviews from GreenBiz events. On this episode, a Google executive, California congressman and venture capitalist debate the role of corporate advocacy in the clean energy economy.

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The clean economy needs more vocal corporate advocates

Google and BIG unveil designs for new green-roofed tech campus in Sunnyvale

January 5, 2018 by  
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Google and BIG have teamed up for yet another massive and spectacular Google campus—this time in Sunnyvle’s Moffett Park. Google recently unveiled plans for a new BIG-designed campus last month, following the acclaimed architecture firm’s work on Google’s Mountain View and London campuses . Located on Caribbean Drive, the 1.04-million-square-foot project could accommodate 4,500 employees and feature eye-catching terraced buildings topped with accessible green roofs. Designed to foster community and healthy living, Google’s new Sunnyvale campus will be flush with green space including on its roof. Unsurprisingly, the project will target LEED Gold and is expected to rack up points through its native, low-irrigation landscape and promotion of eco-friendly transit like cycling to work. Related: Google unveils giant green ‘landscraper’ for London HQ The massive site could also accommodate more than just office space. “Housing is part of our thought process in Moffett Park,” Mark Golan, chief operating officer of Google’s global real estate investments & development unit, told The Mercury News . “A new mixed-use community where you have live-work capabilities, makes a lot of sense. Housing and transportation are two huge issues for the Valley overall, and they are huge issues for Google. One of the best ways to address this is by creating mixed-use communities that allow people to live close to where they work, which allows for a vibrant community and also helps the transportation.” The project is not expected for completion until 2021 at the earliest. + BIG Via ArchDaily Images via Google

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Google and BIG unveil designs for new green-roofed tech campus in Sunnyvale

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