Liberty Mutual’s approach to ESG investing, with Vlad Barbalat

May 11, 2022 by  
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A view of ESG investing from one of the largest property and casualty insurers in the United.

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Liberty Mutual’s approach to ESG investing, with Vlad Barbalat

A central theme of the latest IPCC report: Electrification

April 7, 2022 by  
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For industry, transportation and buildings, the move from fossil fuel-powered machines to all-electric machines represents the largest potential to decarbonize from a demand perspective. 

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A central theme of the latest IPCC report: Electrification

California fires killed nearly 20 percent of the world’s Sequoias

November 24, 2021 by  
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Wildfires in California over the past five years have claimed nearly 20% of the world’s largest Sequoias. Frequent fires in the Sequoia National Park and the surrounding forests have claimed a third of groves in California.Last year alone, forest fires claimed nearly 10,400 trees of the 75,000 trees that are native to the western side of the Sierra Nevada range. Climate change has been blamed for the recent change of status. High temperatures leave dry logs beneath the canopy, creating a ripe environment for fires. Related: DroneSeed makes reforestation easier after a large wildfire “The sobering reality is that we have seen another huge loss within a finite population of these iconic trees that are irreplaceable in many lifetimes,” said Clay Jordan, superintendent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks . “As spectacular as these trees are, we really can’t take them for granted. To ensure that they’re around for our kids and grandkids and great grandkids, some action is necessary.” Most of the giant sequoias take hundred and even thousands of years to grow to maturity. When they are destroyed, there is no hope of having them grow again in our lifetime. Further, these species are major carbon sinks, and their combustion releases tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. After Castle and SQF Complex fires, officials decided to take some steps to save the giant trees . For instance, the General Sherman tree, the largest living tree on earth, was wrapped in a foil blanket. A fire-resistant gel was dropped on tree canopies across the parks, sprinklers watered down trunks and flammable mater was removed from trees. In the past five years, the state has experienced the largest fires in history. Last year, California experienced the largest forest fires in history in terms of acreage burned. This year has so far brought the second-largest amount of land that has been burned. Via HuffPost Lead image via Unsplash

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California fires killed nearly 20 percent of the world’s Sequoias

Huge solar energy project coming to Winona State University

November 18, 2021 by  
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Reducing energy reliance results in lower electrical bills and benefits the  environment  through resource conservation. The larger the usage, the larger the impact. So, when it comes to university campuses, the opportunity for significant energy reduction is heavy in both the investment required and the rewards achieved for the campus and the planet. A partnership between national construction and energy services firm McKinstry and Winona State University (WSU) with campuses in Winona and Rochester has broken ground on a comprehensive $12.3 million sustainability and solar energy project. Related: Portland State University’s new hall qualifies for LEED gold As the largest energy performance contract project in the Minnesota State University System, it will set an example for  energy efficiency  with an estimated annual cost savings of $685,000. That represents a 23.8% reduction in utility usage and costs with a total savings of $26 million over the project’s 25-year lifetime. So while the upfront investment is large, the long-term savings are more than double that amount.  The key energy-saving feature of the project is the installation of six  solar panel systems  at different buildings on campus including Haake Hall, Helble Hall, Integrated Wellness Complex, Kirkland Hall, McCown Gym, and Wabasha Recreation Center. Additionally, there will be four solar carports in the Integrated Wellness Complex parking lot.  Planners say, “The 1.4 MW project will generate almost 1.7 MWh of renewable energy each year, making it the largest solar energy system of its kind at any Minnesota State campus. The on-site solar PV will provide nearly 10% of WSU’s annual electricity consumption while reducing CO2 emissions by 9,670,000 pounds, which is equivalent to driving the average passenger vehicle more than 11 million miles.” Projects aimed at sustainability are nothing new to the Winona State system. In fact, it has developed the Leading Energy Savings and Sustainability (LESS) initiative that incorporates campus-wide changes such as 21,000 lighting upgrades throughout the campus’s buildings and parking areas, upgrades to the backup generator system, the installation of destrat fans and a focus on  water conservation  with the replacement of every faucet, toilet and showerhead on campus.    “We’re excited to partner with McKinstry on this sustainability and solar energy project to reduce WSU’s environmental impact while dramatically improving campus energy and water efficiency,” said Nathan Engstrom, WSU’s Campus Sustainability and Planning Director and LESS Project Manager. “This initiative will remove $7.5 million of deferred maintenance from the university’s backlog, allowing us to reduce maintenance expenditures, modernize and improve facilities, increase comfort and aesthetics, and – most importantly – improve the educational experience for our students, faculty, and staff.” The project has an expected completion date of August 2022. + McKinstry and Winona State University  Images via Winona State University

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Huge solar energy project coming to Winona State University

Climate lies banned from monetization on Google and YouTube

October 11, 2021 by  
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Google and YouTube content creators who post climate misinformation will no longer be able to monetize their content. In an announcement, Google said that all content that contradicts well-established scientific facts about climate change will no longer receive advertisement revenue.  In a statement, Google said it will restrain advertisement revenue for creators who refer to climate change as a hoax. “This includes content referring to climate change as a hoax or a scam, claims denying that long-term trends show the global climate is warming, and claims denying that greenhouse gas emissions or human activity contribute to climate change,” company officials explained in a statement. Related: YouTube stars partner up in #TeamTrees campaign to plant 20 million trees According to Google , other content creators and advertisers do not want to associate with accounts that spread misinformation. “Advertisers simply don’t want their ads to appear next to this content. And publishers and creators don’t want ads promoting these claims to appear on their pages or videos,” the statement added. There has been uproar from various quarters lamenting Google’s algorithm and how it supports climate misinformation. Last year, advocacy group Avaaz concluded in a  study  that the algorithm used by YouTube allowed climate misinformers to get paid for their misleading content.  “Some of the largest household brands in the world, including Samsung, L’Oréal, Warner Bros, Carrefour, and Danone, as well as two of the largest environmental groups in the world, Greenpeace International and World Wildlife Fund, have advertisements running on these climate misinformation videos,” Avaaz said. Besides YouTube, many other social media sites also running climate misinformation posts. A recent  report  by Common Dreams revealed that Facebook allows up to 99% of climate misinformation posts to go unchecked. Google is stepping up the fight against misinformation by denying these content creators ad revenue. Recently, YouTube also announced that it will ban several anti- vaccine accounts. Though Google has taken some steps to stop the spreading of such lies, these measures may not go far enough. Fully blocking such accounts could help stop the wrong messages from reaching the public. Via Common Dreams Lead image via Pexels

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Climate lies banned from monetization on Google and YouTube

Inside the plan to decarbonize England’s industrial heartlands

August 26, 2021 by  
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The energy and industry giants behind the largest industrial decarbonization project in the UK sketched out their vision for how emissions produced by high carbon plants on England’s East Coast could be captured and stored under the North Sea.

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Inside the plan to decarbonize England’s industrial heartlands

China’s new emissions trading has transformational potential

August 24, 2021 by  
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China’s sheer population size means it is already the largest absolute emitter.

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China’s new emissions trading has transformational potential

Meet 15 BIPOC-led ventures getting a leg up from Apple

August 17, 2021 by  
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There are 15 organizations in the inaugural cohort of the Apple Impact Accelerator, ranging from a Native American-run renewable power company to one of the largest Latino-owned businesses in the United States.

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Meet 15 BIPOC-led ventures getting a leg up from Apple

Rise of the ‘carbon capitalist’

August 17, 2021 by  
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Gen Z and young, fintech-savvy Millennials need to get involved with carbon markets. It just might make them rich and save the planet.

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Rise of the ‘carbon capitalist’

Ceres report shows ‘stunning’ lack of Scope 3 action by Costco, McDonalds, others

August 10, 2021 by  
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Most of the largest food companies in North America aren’t disclosing greenhouse gas emissions disclosures and don’t have Scope 3 reduction targets.

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Ceres report shows ‘stunning’ lack of Scope 3 action by Costco, McDonalds, others

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