Sustainable White Flower Hall designed for school in India

March 25, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Sustainable White Flower Hall designed for school in India

Thanks to New Delhi -based interior decor and architecture firm Envisage, the Mann School in Alipur has a new girl’s hostel featuring sustainable elements like all-natural thermal insulation and solar panels. The White Flower Hall girls dormitory boasts all the creature comforts to build a haven for the school’s female students, helping to make them feel at home during their studies. The firm, started by partners Meena Murthy Kakkar and Vishal Kakkar, specializes in projects from the design process to the building process. The hostel overlooks a central  courtyard  and features dormitory doors that are positioned to face inward toward central corridors to promote socialization and interaction between students. Related: The Akshar Foundation is creating sustainable schools to teach children important life skills Envisage chose to incorporate the main campus color scheme of red and gray for the design of the dormitory, which is located between the executive block and the senior academic wing of the school. Common activity zones, such as the computer lab and game rooms, are located nearby in the basement surrounding the courtyard and the  school  amphitheater. The ground floor houses grades one to four with shared bunk beds for smaller children, while bedroom windows are positioned to provide outdoor views, ensuring an abundance of natural light and ventilation. The building’s facade features  brick  made using local kilns to reduce the project’s carbon footprint, and the terrace houses solar panels to keep electricity costs low. Built in a location known for its severe monsoon season, the central courtyard aligns to the northwest and southeast to catch winds during substantial rain downpours and create proper ventilation. In addition to using locally sourced brick in the building’s construction, the design also features the mud phuska method for  natural insulation . This method combines compacted soil with hay to reduce the ingress of heat by nearly 70%. The property also includes various green spaces via gardens and outdoor terraces to highlight the importance of nature among students. + Envisage Images via Envisage

The rest is here:
Sustainable White Flower Hall designed for school in India

Wildfires made air quality worse in 2020, despite lockdowns

March 22, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Wildfires made air quality worse in 2020, despite lockdowns

Last spring, many environmentalists were cheering about the lockdowns’ side effects, such as reduced air pollution. While cars stayed parked and the air got cleaner for a few months, wildfires negated any lasting improvements. A new report from IQAir breaks down the winners and losers — mostly losers — in the air pollution battle. “You look at August through December, and you see the biggest impact on air quality is wildfires,” said Glory Dolphin Hammes with IQAir, as reported by Wyoming Public Media . In the U.S., those wildfires account for air pollution levels being higher in 2020 than in the preceding two years, despite all those people working from home and barely going anywhere. Related: Sandstorms and pollution create hazardous air quality in Beijing The annual World Air Quality Report uses the measure of PM2.5 averages. This means particulate matter of 2.5 micrometers or smaller. These tiny particles float in the air, making their way into our lungs and even bloodstream as we breathe, with often dire health consequences. The new report showed that the greatest increases in PM2.5 levels were in São Paulo (+5%), Melbourne (+1%) and Los Angeles (+1%). Wildfire season ravaged all three cities and the surrounding areas. In Sept 2020, 77 of the world’s most polluted cities were in the U.S. — 35 each in Oregon and California and seven in Washington. While fires were mainly responsible, Trump’s rollbacks of environmental regulations and lax attitude about the Clean Air Act didn’t help. Overall, 37 of the world’s most polluted cities are in South Asia. Going by the U.S. AQI measurements, 80% of cities in Bangladesh, 67% of cities in Pakistan and 32% of cities in India qualify as “unhealthy” or worse. The most polluted city in 2020 was Hotan in China, mainly due to major sandstorms. There were a few cities that came out as winners with improved air quality over the year. Singapore’s PM2.5 levels were down by 25%, Beijing’s by 23% and Bangkok’s by 20%. + IQAir Via Wyoming Public Media Image via Sippakorn

See the original post here:
Wildfires made air quality worse in 2020, despite lockdowns

Nordic unveils LEED Gold-targeted visions for Indias greenest airport

February 10, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Nordic unveils LEED Gold-targeted visions for Indias greenest airport

Architecture firms Nordic, Grimshaw, Haptic and STUP have unveiled competition-winning designs for the passenger terminal of Delhi Noida International Airport (DNIA) at Jewar, an ambitious LEED Gold -targeted project that could become “India’s greenest airport.” Designed to combine efficiency and hospitality, the airport design will set sustainable benchmarks for airport terminal buildings in India, from its goal of net-zero carbon operations to the infusion of lush green spaces throughout. When complete, the Delhi Noida International Airport will serve as a new gateway to the state of Uttar Pradesh in the quickly developing industrial region between Delhi and Agra. The winning design for DNIA was selected from a three-phase design competition between June and August 2020, during which the invited architecture teams prepared, collaborated and presented their airport designs remotely. The consortium winners were selected by Zurich Airport International (ZAIA); the public limited company signed a concession agreement with the Government of Uttar Pradesh to develop DNIA in the fall of last year. Related: Singapore’s jaw-dropping new airport has the world’s largest indoor waterfall In addition to raising the bar for sustainable airport design, the competition-winning proposal will also help shape Jewar as a future aviation city and include flexible expansion options with a target goal of 30 million passengers per year with minimal environmental impact . Lush landscaping will surround the airport grounds; plants inside the terminal will bring a hint of nature into the light-filled airport. “We are pleased to partner with Nordic, Grimshaw, Haptic and STUP to design this long-envisioned strategic project at Jewar,” says Christoph Schnellmann, CEO of Delhi Noida International Airport. “The team created the winning design with an efficient layout, convincing design language, multiple high-quality areas, spaced out with lush greenery with a balanced concept for both energy savings and a tangible sense of sustainability. The team demonstrated their proficiency in complementing customer comfort with sustainability, timeless design with flexibility for future needs. We will work closely with the team to ensure a design with everything available that a passenger expects at a world-class airport.” + Nordic Images by Tegmark

See original here:
Nordic unveils LEED Gold-targeted visions for Indias greenest airport

Himalayan glacier breaks off in India, causing a deadly avalanche

February 9, 2021 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Himalayan glacier breaks off in India, causing a deadly avalanche

An intense rescue mission has been underway in India since Sunday morning, following the break of a Himalayan glacier. The glacial breakoff triggered an avalanche of mud, water and rock debris that swept away a hydroelectric dam. At the time of writing, 26 people had died with at least 171 more people still missing. The disaster started at about 10:45 a.m. local time, when part of the Nanda Devi glacier broke away from a fragile area of Uttarakhand, the northern India state that borders China and Nepal. The region is known to be prone to landslides and flooding , a situation that has caused environmentalists to warn against development there. Related: Global warming will melt over 1/3 of the Himalayan ice cap by 2100 Those who witnessed the event from across the valley say that it happened in a flash. “It came very fast. There was no time to alert anyone,” Sanjay Singh Rana, an eye witness, told Reuters . “I felt that even we would be swept away.” It is believed that of the nearly 200 missing individuals, most were workers at the dam. According to the Uttarakhand state chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, the number of those reported missing could rise as more information is gathered. Additionally, 180 sheep washed away in the avalanche. It is still not clear why the glacier broke, especially when northern India is still experiencing winter. Global warming has increased ice melt in the Himalayas, but the region is still typically quite cold this time of year. The split glacier was part of the Nanda Devi peak at an altitude of 25,643 feet. The mountain is revered in India, with its name translated to mean the blessed goddess. Some locals even worship the mountain. Currently, the national park surrounding the peak, Nanda Devi National Park, is listed as an  UNESCO  World Heritage Site. Via NPR and Reuters Image via Avalok Sastri

More:
Himalayan glacier breaks off in India, causing a deadly avalanche

Trump hotel in Chicago guilty of environmental law violations

February 9, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Trump hotel in Chicago guilty of environmental law violations

This probably won’t shock anybody familiar with former President Trump’s disdain for eco-friendly policies, but Judge Sophia H. Hall ruled last Friday that the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago violated Illinois’ environmental laws. The hotel’s heating and cooling systems sucked almost 20 million gallons a day from the Chicago River with no concern for the 30 types of fish that call the river home. The case started in 2018, when it came to public attention that the Trump hotel was the only downtown Chicago high-rise that had failed to follow regulations to protect fish in the waterway. All large facilities that draw water directly from lakes and rivers are required to follow both state and federal regulations that limit fish killed by changes in temperature or pressure as well as deaths of fish that become pinned to intake screens. The speed at which Trump International Hotel & Tower was siphoning out water could fill an Olympic-sized pool in under an hour. To make matters even more dire for river life, the hotel later pumped the water back into the river 35°F hotter. Related: Local communities want Trump’s border wall torn down At an upcoming hearing on March 11, officials will debate how the hotel will be penalized. Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office is going for $50,000-a-day fines, plus an extra $10,000 for every day the hotel continued to violate the law. This could add up to a whopping $12 million. Unfortunately, defendants usually manage to settle with the state for a lot less. “No one is exempt from compliance with the laws that protect Illinois’ environment and most valuable natural resources, and we will continue to seek to hold the defendants accountable for violations of state environmental laws that jeopardized the quality of the Chicago River ,” Raoul said in a statement. In the past, Trump Towers’ representatives have dismissed the lawsuit as politically motivated. The bluegill , white perch, walleye and largemouth bass were unable to comment, as they were busy fighting for their lives against the hotel’s filtration system. Via Chicago Tribune and Huffington Post Image via Ashleigh Nushawg

Original post: 
Trump hotel in Chicago guilty of environmental law violations

Sneci houseboat leaves no footprint while floating on Lake Tisza

January 27, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Sneci houseboat leaves no footprint while floating on Lake Tisza

Sneci isn’t your typical summer home, considering it doesn’t even come with a foundation. Then again, a foundation isn’t needed for this floating escape located on Lake Tisza in Hungary. The clients, Réka and Balázs, live in a small apartment in Budapest where they enjoy an active social and professional calendar. But when they went looking for a place to get away from the hum of busy days, they sought out a unique summer experience. That launched the idea of a small houseboat where they could fully immerse themselves into a region they love. The couple took their idea to Hungarian architect Tamás Bene, who said, “As an architect, I found it highly interesting to conceptualise and design a living space that has no tangible groundwork or foundations.” In order to match the houseboat with the area, Bene considered the massive, humanmade lake, which also acts as a nature reserve housing copious wildlife , including over 100 species of birds. With this in mind, Bene said, “We aimed to design a boat capable of assimilating into these surroundings, one that may become part of this scenery.” Related: Rental houseboat in India celebrates fire, water, air and earth elements The design is heavily inspired by traditional fishing boats in the area. Structurally, Sneci is composed of aluminum, which extends to the exterior of the structure with aluminum cladding surrounding the vessel. Complementing this material choice is the heat-treated thermowood that adorns the roof, decking and rear wall. Inside, the comforts of home include a kitchenette with seating that folds down to create a double bed. Natural light flows into the space through a panoramic window, large porthole windows and a sliding door that provides access to the back deck. In a marriage of coziness and natural elements, the interior walls are clad with a combination of redwood and thermowood. The tiny, floating home is powered by two solar panels mounted to the roof. These solar panels provide sufficient off-grid electricity to power the front and rear headlights, interior lighting and a small fridge. + Tamás Bene Via Dezeen Images via Balázs Máté

Read the original here:
Sneci houseboat leaves no footprint while floating on Lake Tisza

Past and future come together at the sustainable Auric Hall

January 14, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on Past and future come together at the sustainable Auric Hall

How can architecture serve the needs of culture and civilization? IMK Architects, a pioneer in urban design founded in 1957, answers that question with Auric Hall, its new project in Aurangabad, India . Auric Hall serves as a landmark building for Aurangabad, an industrial smart city . The city itself was developed as part of a strategic development plan created by the Indian government to completely change the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor. At the center of the development plan is Auric Hall, a 16,600-square-meter building. Designed to provide space for administrative and commercial functions, Auric Hall also promotes collaboration, the flow of ideas and an amazing environment that honors the past while looking toward the future. As an architectural showcase, Auric Hall pays homage to Aurangabad’s history and works with its climate. To this end, the design includes decorative features such as ceremonial gateways, arches and beautiful jaali screens. The design evokes historic Mughal architecture, with an incredible style that combines ornate design, symmetry and function. Auric Hall puts on a modern twist on these historical elements via its beautiful atrium garden and indoor terraces that promote a social, community-oriented environment. The design seeks to encourage discussion, cross-collaboration and interaction. With Aurangabad’s semi-arid climate in mind, Auric Hall’s design incorporates passive cooling. A laser-cut aluminum jaali screen on the facade serves not only as an eye-catching design feature but also minimizes solar heat gain and controls the building’s airflow. These features help regulate internal temperatures. Meanwhile, solar panels and energy metering help keep the building energy-efficient. The building also includes CO2 monitoring to ensure environmental quality control. Incorporating these features alongside high-performance materials allows Auric Hall to achieve IGBC Gold rating, the second-highest IGBC available. These environmental and sustainability considerations demonstrate IMK Architects’ commitment to its company values of “sustainable, environment conscious architecture.” + IMK Architects Images via IMK Architects

Read the original post: 
Past and future come together at the sustainable Auric Hall

The race to mainstream electric vehicles by 2030

December 2, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on The race to mainstream electric vehicles by 2030

The race to mainstream electric vehicles by 2030 Katie Fehrenbacher Wed, 12/02/2020 – 00:30 The world’s leading companies and policymakers are coalescing around setting targets for adopting zero-emission vehicles around a 2030 time frame. The latest — and one of the most aggressive to come from a country leader — was issued a few weeks ago by U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who revealed a climate plan that includes banning the sales of new gas-powered vehicles starting in 2030 (some hybrids will be allowed until 2035). The U.K. accelerated its commitment to zero-emission vehicles from 2040 to 2035, and finally to just a decade away. The U.K. isn’t the only one. Denmark set the same goal — phase out new fossil fuel vehicle sales in 2030 — and world-leader Norway plans to make the switch in 2025. A couple months ago, in response to the California wildfires, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order that similarly called for a ban of new gas car sales, but starting in 2035.  On the corporate front, 2030 is emerging as an appropriately aggressive but achievable goal. The Climate Group’s EV100 program , which has 92 member companies that have pledged to buy EVs and install EV chargers, features the tagline: “Making electric transport the new normal by 2030.” Why is 2030 the year for EVs to become the “new normal”? Technology advances, for one. Electric vehicles will begin to cost the same as their fossil fuel counterparts between 2025 and 2029, depending on the vehicle type. The price of lithium-ion batteries, which power most mainstream EVs, has been dropping dramatically the past several years. Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) says that between 2010 and 2019, lithium-ion battery pack prices fell 87 percent. In 2019, they dropped 13 percent more.  At that rate, electric vehicles will begin to cost the same as their fossil fuel counterparts between 2025 and 2029, depending on the vehicle type; just in time for these targets. Starting in 2030, BNEF predicts that 26 million EVs will be sold annually, representing 28 percent of the world’s new cars sold.  Because of these increasingly attractive battery economics, and increased competition from companies such as Tesla and Rivian, big automakers are accelerating their EV production plans. Pandemic-induced austerity has ed to the world’s largest OEMs opting for EV investments over internal combustion ones. Last month, General Motors CEO Mary Barra announced an accelerated investment in its EV lineup, adding $7 billion from its initial plans announced earlier this year.  Increasing concern over the climate crisis is also driving accelerated goals. Climate scientists urge that the planet only has until 2030 to stem the most catastrophic effects of climate change. The historic wildfires that struck California this year were the catalyst that led to Newsom’s signing the executive order to ban new gas car sales.  Meanwhile, as many policymakers and companies are unifying around a 2030 time frame, others are still looking at a much longer timescale of 2050. While far-out climate goals are better than no climate goals, 2050 is just too far off for zero-emission vehicles. EVs already will have tipped into the mainstream far, far sooner than three decades from now.  If you’re helping your organization set big zero-emission transportation goals, look no later than 2030. Goals to electrify fleets, install EV chargers and charging depots, and end gas car sales, are totally doable — and in fact necessary — over the next decade. Pull Quote Electric vehicles will begin to cost the same as their fossil fuel counterparts between 2025 and 2029, depending on the vehicle type. Topics Transportation & Mobility Policy & Politics Electric Vehicles 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 Drivers charging their electric car at charging stations near government offices in New Delhi, India. Shutterstock Pradeep Gaurs Close Authorship

See the rest here:
The race to mainstream electric vehicles by 2030

Why corporate partners are essential for Third Derivative, a new climate-tech support network

November 30, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Why corporate partners are essential for Third Derivative, a new climate-tech support network

Why corporate partners are essential for Third Derivative, a new climate-tech support network Heather Clancy Mon, 11/30/2020 – 03:00 Climate tech is more important than ever, but the systemic challenges entrepreneurs face in shepherding these solutions to commercial success is formidable. Most have incredibly long R&D lead times, while the systems that typically support startups cater to ones promising shorter-term payoffs. That’s why earlier this year, clean economy nonprofits Rocky Mountain Institute — known for its thought leadership on climate change issues — and New Energy Nexus — with deep bottom-up resources for founders — combined forces to create a joint venture centered on finding and scaling climate-tech startups focused addressing climate change across the electric grid, transportation, buildings, manufacturing and agriculture. Their mission: create a network of financial, technical and market development resources — including credible and powerful corporate connections — that gets these critically important solutions to commercial scale more quickly. The thesis: The most successful climate-tech startups will be those with early access to economic analysis, policy resources, financing and technical support. This week, the venture, Third Derivative (D3), is launching with a portfolio of close to 50 startups (both early stage and those closer to commercial readiness) and the support of nine corporate partners and nine venture capital firms. D3 is particularly interested in accelerating solutions for “hard to abate sectors” where there aren’t currently good options for decarbonization, according to its website. It is incredibly hard for investors to source, vet and execute investments across the many varied climate solution sectors. Of the 50-ish startup companies announced this week — dubbed ” Cohort 417 ” (for the peak of 417.1 parts per million in atmospheric CO2 concentration recorded in May 2020 — more than two-thirds are led by founders who are women, veterans or people of color, said Third Derivative co-founder and CEO Bryan Hassin. “We went out to meet them where they are,” he said. Both RMI and New Energy Nexus have committed “hundreds” of their market experts to supporting the venture with research, technical expertise and commercialization advice. The organization seeks to bridge knowledge and funding gaps at multiple phases of a startup’s life cycle — moving from basic research into a spinout; product development; demonstrations and market validation efforts; and commercial deployment. RMI and New Energy Nexus are a powerful combo, but the corporate connections and venture resources make the initiative unique by providing that active perspective far earlier in the innovation process, Hassin said, pointing to his own past career as a climate-tech entrepreneur with a background in nanomaterials, off-grid solar energy and artificial intelligence. “We have a systems-level problem that we’re working on here,” he said. “I think we can all agree that more is necessary.” Corporate support equals path to commercialization D3 certainly packs a punch from day one, with nine corporations lined up as backers that have pledged to provide technical resources and financial support over the next three years. That initial group includes AT&T, BP Ventures, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Engie, Envision Energy, FedEx, Microsoft, Shell and Wells Fargo. Together, these big companies represent almost $3 trillion in market capitalization, although the energy company valuations are particularly subject to fluctuation at this time. These companies are “incredibly motivated and visionary,” Hassin said. They will play a hands-on role in startup mentorship and pilot projects, along with any other businesses that choose to join. But this isn’t just about money. “It doesn’t do any good for them to come in and just write a check,” Hassin said. Nine venture firms — representing more than $2 billion in funding and four continents — also have stepped up to support Third Derivative: Imperative Ventures, Skyview Ventures and Volo Earth Ventures from the U.S.; Chrysalix and Emerald Technology Partners from Europe; Factor[e] and Social Alpha from Africa/India; and Tsing Capital and CRCM from China. “It is incredibly hard for investors to source, vet and execute investments across the many varied climate solution sectors,” said Jan Van Dokkum, the former Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers partner who became chairman of Imperative in 2019, in a statement. “We see enormous value in Third Derivative applying RMI’s market knowledge and networks to cultivate a pipeline of game-changing climate-tech ventures validated by corporate partners. We are excited to make seed investments in those startups, and our ability to work with them over the duration of the program should dramatically increase their investability by the time they are ready for follow-on funding.” These are big ambitious goals for us, and we feel the sense of urgency to find scalable solutions that can help us meet both of them. AT&T, which has committed to carbon neutrality by 2035 for its own operations and is also interested in supporting technologies that help its customers work toward similar goals, was intrigued by the “rigor” that Third Derivative is using to evaluate potential portfolio companies and in allowing corporate partners to be part of that process. That was one reason it decided to shell out $900,000 for its first three years in the program, said John Schulz, director of sustainability integration for AT&T. The other motivator: the diversity of perspective the venture offers. “These are big ambitious goals for us, and we feel the sense of urgency to find scalable solutions that can help us meet both of them,” Schulz said. Aside from financial backing, AT&T is providing technical resources, especially those focused on how the various technologies being pioneered by D3 companies might be integrated with the internet of things — a major business development focus for the telecommunications company. “What are the connectivity solutions that could be the key to unlock success? That’s of particular interest,” Schulz said. A wide range of solutions D3 actually launched the application process for its first cohort in the spring and received more than 600 applications — many for what Schulz described as “mind-blowing” innovations. The corporate partners were actively involved with evaluating and recommending selections among the 200 finalists, which represent advances in hardware and business models and, to a lesser extent, software. They also represent countries including India, Indonesia, China and Italy, although the initial selections are weighted to companies from North America. “We were a little overwhelmed by the enthusiasm,” Schulz said. Some companies from the first cohort include: Antora Energy : A Stanford-born effort (also backed by Cyclotron Road) working on ultra-low-cost energy storage that could have applications as wind and solar farms. Blue Frontier : A startup supported by NREL, NYSERDA and others that is using saltwater energy-storage technology to create “hyper-efficient” air conditioners. Frost Methane :   An offsets market being created around methane flaring activities Kanin Energy : A venture focused on turning industrial waste heat into an emissions-free energy source. Membrion : A materials company developing environmentally friendly filtration membranes. Silvia Terra : A forest-mapping startup. TexPower : A small team working on cobalt-free batteries. Each D3 startup receives a $100,000 convertible note as well as the potential for $250 million in follow-on funding from the venture capital network that’s part of the program. Hassin said the mentorship process initially will last 16 months, but startups will be encouraged to remain connected. What’s more, companies will be added on an ongoing basis: applications will open up again in December. “We think there is value to working with a cohort for a while,” he said.  Pull Quote It is incredibly hard for investors to source, vet and execute investments across the many varied climate solution sectors. These are big ambitious goals for us, and we feel the sense of urgency to find scalable solutions that can help us meet both of them. Topics Innovation Climate Tech Featured Column Practical Magic Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Antora Energy, one of the Third Derivative startups, in the lab (L. to R: Tarun Narayan, David Bierman, Andrew Ponec, Justin Briggs) Courtesy of Cyclotron Road Close Authorship

Go here to read the rest:
Why corporate partners are essential for Third Derivative, a new climate-tech support network

Introducing … GreenFin 21

November 30, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Introducing … GreenFin 21

Introducing … GreenFin 21 Joel Makower Mon, 11/30/2020 – 02:11 The world of environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting and investing has ramped up significantly over the past couple years, even more so during 2020, when social risks and reporting became front and center for many companies and investors. Combine that with the growth of related finance products and services — sustainability-linked loans and bonds — and you can find sustainability sitting squarely on Wall Street. We call it GreenFin, our portmanteau for “green finance.” It may well be the most dynamic and impactful aspect of sustainable business today. Which is why GreenBiz Group is pleased to announce GreenFin 21 , the launch of a new annual event, virtual for now, taking place April 13-14. GreenFin will join our other annual event brands — GreenBiz , Circularity and VERGE — on the sustainability conference calendar. For all the sustainability reporting that companies serve up each year, it doesn’t always represent the kinds of data that investors need to assess corporate risk and opportunity. GreenFin 21 is the natural evolution of the GreenFin Summits we ran at our GreenBiz conferences in 2019 and 2020 . There, we convened a small group of professionals (100 in 2019, 200 in 2020) representing the ESG and sustainable finance ecosystem: corporate reporters (including those in sustainability, investor relations and corporate finance roles); institutional investors and pension funds; ESG rating and ranking organizations; and financial institutions, notably the world’s largest banks. Tower of Babel What spurred us to launch the summits back in 2019 was the realization that these parties weren’t always speaking the same language or understanding one another’s needs. For example, for all the sustainability reporting that companies serve up each year, it doesn’t always represent the kinds of data that investors need to assess corporate risk and opportunity. For their part, investors may not be asking the questions companies most want to answer. And neither side may fully understand how various parties are using this fast-growing cache of data. At the 2019 and 2020 summits, our goal was to have a candid conversation in a safe space to address this financial Tower of Babel. Based on the enthusiastic feedback we received, we succeeded. GreenFin 21 will build on that success, adding in the rapidly evolving world of sustainable finance products and services, to share what’s working, what can work better, and the path forward. It’s no small matter. ESG, as we’ve noted , has been one of investing’s bright spots in 2020, with tens of billions of dollars flowing into ESG-themed funds every quarter. According to Morningstar, ESG funds reached the $1 trillion milestone sometime during the second quarter of the year. Much of the action is taking place in Europe, where PwC predicted that ESG funds — “a central tenet of the investment landscape” — could outpace traditional funds by 2025. U.S. investors, for their part, are catching up. So, too, the growth of ESG-related bonds and loans . Corporate bond offerings focusing on sustainability and social issues are growing each quarter, and there’s a burgeoning market for loans linked to a company’s ESG performance or other sustainability metrics. As we reported recently , global green bond issuance shot past the $1 trillion mark in September. Still, there’s massive room for growth. Fully 96 percent of U.S. institutional investors, and 91 percent across six global markets, expect their firm to increase prioritization of ESG as an investment criterion, according to a recent Edelman Trust Barometer survey of institutional investors. Three in four U.S. individual investors said they are not familiar with the concept of sustainable investing, having heard little or nothing about it, according to a Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index survey released in April. Wild West The explosive growth of green finance makes sense. Increased investor interest in climate risk and, more recently, biodiversity risk is fueling the growth of several funds, as is an increased societal focus on economic, gender and racial equity. All of these issues are heading inexorably toward tipping points. Investors are increasingly moving money accordingly. Still, the markets for sustainable investing and finance are young and the standards are evolving or, in some cases, don’t yet fully exist. It’s still the Wild West out there. There are glimmers of hope . Just last week, for example, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the International Integrated Reporting Council announced their intention to merge into a unified organization, the Value Reporting Foundation, “providing investors and corporates with a comprehensive corporate reporting framework across the full range of enterprise value drivers and standards to drive global sustainability performance,” according to the press release . Earlier this year, SASB and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) announced their intention to collaborate. Such consolidation and collaboration are sorely needed to truly catalyze the full potential of sustainable finance. Ultimately, all of this relies on lots of data — ESG data — being compiled by a relatively small number of firms whose ratings can wield outsized clout among investors. The data is used to analyze stocks, of course, but also to assess creditworthiness and possibly even help determine whether a company is a great place to work. But where is this data coming from? How is it compiled? Who owns it? Is it accurate? Why do different ratings organizations assess the same company differently? These are among the questions still to be addressed. And these are among the topics we’ll be covering at GreenFin. We’ll be joined by our convening partner, S&P Global, along with a who’s who of community partners, including BSR, Capitals Coalition, CDP, Ceres, Competent Boards, GRI, Intentional Endowments Network, National Investor Relations Institute, Responsible Asset Owners, SASB, United Nations Global Compact and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. We’re also excited to have a growing corps of advisory board members and sponsors, including from Citi, CDP, ERM, HP Inc., Intel, Morgan Stanley, SASB, S&P Global, State Street and Wells Fargo — with more to come. ( Let me know if you are interested.) Today, we’ve launched a call for speakers as well as a page to request an invitation . I hope you’ll join us for this landmark event. Pull Quote For all the sustainability reporting that companies serve up each year, it doesn’t always represent the kinds of data that investors need to assess corporate risk and opportunity. Topics Finance & Investing Reporting ESG GreenFin Featured Column Two Steps Forward Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

Read the original:
Introducing … GreenFin 21

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 2256 access attempts in the last 7 days.