SteelZero commitments represent a new era in heavy manufacturing production

January 27, 2021 by  
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SteelZero commitments represent a new era in heavy manufacturing production Jesse Klein Wed, 01/27/2021 – 00:30 Decarbonizing steel has a chicken or the egg problem. Industry experts say current processes for doing it are so extremely expensive that few manufacturers have the financial ability. And right now, there isn’t enough demand for decarbonized steel for manufacturers to justify investing several millions of dollars into lower-carbon steel facilities. But there has been little demand because the end product is so expensive. “Can we borrow $100 million or $200 million to make something more expensive than our competitors is a hard business case?” said Matthew Wenban-Smith, policy and standards director for the nonprofit standards and certification organization, ResponsibleSteel.  A new initiative called SteelZero , created by The Climate Group in partnership with ResponsibleSteel , hope to break the cycle on the demand side. The program brings together the top steel buyers across the globe — including construction companies, real estate groups and property developers — and challenges them to commit to procuring 100 percent net-zero emissions steel by 2050. Members include Lendlease, Mace Group, Multiplex Construction Europe and WSP UK. Most of the carbon footprint for steel companies comes from Scope 3 emissions, emissions from suppliers downstream, as is the case with many businesses. According to Joshua Davies, sustainability manager for Multiplex Europe, 42 percent of his company’s overall 2019 footprint came from embodied carbon from its suppliers. Multiplex already has sustainability commitments written into contracts with its suppliers and subcontractors including committing to the responsible sourcing of steel, having science-based carbon reduction targets for 2023 at the latest and providing low carbon alternative materials during the build process. But there’s only so much it can do on its own. The hope is collective action can spur faster change, Davies said. If we don’t take some of these actions now, we won’t be a business around in five years. “We’re really wanting to show a commitment directly to steel producers that the buyers are ready,” said Jim Norris, the senior project manager for SteelZero. “It’s up to steel producers and policymakers to step up to market and really accelerate the decarbonization of steel production.” Last year saw a huge jump forward in green steel technology. Sweden saw the first hydrogen powered commercial steel production . According to the Rocky Mountain Institute , last year, Swedish steel maker SSAB working with iron ore producer LKAB and utility Vattenfall, created a pilot plant for hydrogen-based primary steel. By using hydrogen instead of coal in blast furnaces, they were able to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Traditional furnaces generate a minimum of 1.8 metric tons of CO2 per metric ton of finished product, while burning hydrogen produces only water. In Germany, the steel production company ArcelorMittal is reducing its carbon emissions by using hydrogen for iron ore reduction, reported by the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association .  According to a 2019 Rocky Mountain Institute report, full-scale hydrogen-based steel production would cost 20 to 30 percent more than conventional steel-making processes. That increase comes mostly from the energy source and doesn’t take into account the costs of building new hydrogen facilities, a huge hurdle for manufacturers, according to the RMI analysis.  Steel, like most industries, follows the money. Norris’ goal is to use the steel industry’s collective buying power to shift market forces towards lower-carbon technologies for production. By driving demand for net-zero steel, the hope is to signal to the steel producers that they can invest in creating the supply.  22 Bishopsgate in London is another of Multiplex’s skyscrapers that was built with sustainability in mind.//Courtesy of Multiplex “It requires people to change the way we think,” said Diego Padilla Phillips, associate director of Structures at WSP UK. “For many years, our brains have been wired to focus on constructability or reducing cost programs. And to make that shift towards reducing carbon, it requires a conscious effort.”  Sustainability managers of the member organizations said they aren’t afraid to cut ties with steel manufacturers that don’t follow the trends to meet their 2050 targets. But it would be a huge loss, and members would rather help their suppliers and business partners along in the decarbonization journey.  “There’s not a lot of different subcontractors out there who do steelwork,” Davies said. “So considering that, we can’t just completely say we’re not going to work with you again. What we will probably do is make it more uncompetitive, so they will have to come along with us.”  SteelZero also will be a working group where competitors and companies up and down the supply chain can work together to innovate solutions and break down the obstacles to decarbonization, according to Norris. “It’s about scalability,” said Catherine Heil, head of sustainability at LendLease. “Acknowledging the fact that LendLease can’t do it on our own. We need to find commercially viable solutions and dig into some of the pain points around why the sector is still slowly, slowly transitioning.”  By working collectively, the group can create a roadmap to decarbonize because the steps to getting there are not clearly defined. But SteelZero has set up at least one. By 2030, each member needs 50 percent of its steel demand to come from steel producers that have committed to an approved science-based emissions reduction target, have a ResponsibleSteel Certification or have a low embodied carbon steel profile by recycling end-of-life scrap steel.  “This is critical to the future business resilience and the way we move forward,” Davies said. “If we don’t take some of these actions now, we won’t be a business around in five years.”  Pull Quote If we don’t take some of these actions now, we won’t be a business around in five years. Topics Emissions Reduction Advanced Materials Energy & Climate Manufacturing Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Skyscrapers such as Multiplex’s White Collar Factory in London are erected using thousands of tons of steel. //Courtesy of Mutliplex 

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SteelZero commitments represent a new era in heavy manufacturing production

Responsible Mushroom Hunting

November 19, 2020 by  
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A time-honored autumn pastime for locavores that neatly fits into … The post Responsible Mushroom Hunting appeared first on Earth 911.

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Responsible Mushroom Hunting

Circular Electronics: Designing Out Waste

September 14, 2020 by  
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Circular Electronics: Designing Out Waste   Hold the phone! Can waste be designed out of consumer electronics? Building off of the established principles of the Responsible Business Alliance’s (RBA’s) previous session, this more in-depth series of case studies will explore how electronics companies are designing waste out of products and offerings, including easily repairable and modular consumer electronics. This discussion explores deeper nuances of the circular economy approaches to recycling electronics. Speakers Dan Reid, Senior Environmental Program Manager, Responsible Business Alliance Remco Kouwenhoven, Social Innovation Lead, Fairphone Jordan Tse, Sustainability Program Manager, Facebook Shelley Zimmer, Sustainability Program Manager, HP Holly Secon Mon, 09/14/2020 – 14:02 Featured Off

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Supporting Business in the Race to Create the World’s Most Sustainable Package

September 14, 2020 by  
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Supporting Business in the Race to Create the World’s Most Sustainable Package Fossil-based plastic production is still growing exponentially. Only 9% of all plastic is recycled and it can take hundreds of years to degrade. Recycling is critical, but the world cannot rely on that alone. In recent years, we’ve seen over 450 companies pledge to dramatically slash their use or production of plastic by 2025 as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation circular economy commitments. We’ve watched as retailers have made public commitments to remove products packaged in non-recyclable materials from their shelves and have seen governments implement policies to support the circular economy. But how do we develop sustainable packaging solutions that protect food safety and availability everywhere, while living up to critical environmental and climate commitments? Join Tetra Pak in this discussion about ways companies can incorporate more renewable and recyclable content into their packaging to have the lowest impact on nature.  Topics include:  Innovations in plant-based materials, including wood fibre and plant-based polymers The safety and performance of plant-based packaging materials Partnering with consumers to secure recycling behavior change  How companies can apply a full value-chain approach to their sustainability strategies Moderator: Heather Clancy, Editorial Director, GreenBiz Group Speakers: Jason Pelz, Vice President of Sustainability, Tetra Pak, Americas Trewin Restorick, Founder & CEO, Hubbub If you can’t tune in live, please register and we will email you a link to access the archived webcast footage and resources, available to you on-demand after the webcast. taylor flores Mon, 09/14/2020 – 13:52 gbz_webcast_date Tue, 09/29/2020 – 10:00 – Tue, 09/29/2020 – 11:00

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Invest With Your Conscience: 5 Great Socially Responsible Mutual Funds

December 20, 2018 by  
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Many of us are aware that how we spend our … The post Invest With Your Conscience: 5 Great Socially Responsible Mutual Funds appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Invest With Your Conscience: 5 Great Socially Responsible Mutual Funds

Earth911 Quiz #42: Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions That Make a Difference

December 20, 2018 by  
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As 2018 draws to a close, we look ahead to … The post Earth911 Quiz #42: Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions That Make a Difference appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earth911 Quiz #42: Sustainable New Year’s Resolutions That Make a Difference

How to break the political logjam on climate change

May 23, 2017 by  
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It starts with leveraging market-based solutions and bipartisan appeal.

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How to break the political logjam on climate change

The science of preparing cities for natural disasters

May 23, 2017 by  
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Why not audit expected casualties and expected financial loss in a city in the same way you audit the finances or the creditworthiness of sovereign states?

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The science of preparing cities for natural disasters

375 members of National Academy of Sciences pen open letter on the "serious risks of climate change"

September 22, 2016 by  
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In the face of those who continue to deny climate change , 375 leading scientists who are members of the National Academy of Sciences penned an open letter addressing the consequences of such dangerous denial. The signers include 30 Nobel laureates. They work at top universities around the world. Stephen Hawking is a signer, as is former NASA scientist Jim Hansen . The scientists wrote their letter as a warning of what could happen should a US president withdraw from the Paris climate agreement . “Human-caused climate change is not a belief, a hoax, or a conspiracy. It is a physical reality. Fossil fuels powered the Industrial Revolution. But the burning of oil, coal, and gas also caused most of the historical increase in atmospheric levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases . This increase in greenhouse gases is changing Earth’s climate,” the scientists write in their letter published on the Responsible Scientists website. Related: Would a Trump presidency undo the UN climate change agreement? According to the scientists, we can see climate change in phenomenon such as sea level rise , the melting of Arctic sea ice, and ocean acidification . The scientists spoke out to those who maintain we need “absolute certainty” to know if we are truly causing climate change before taking action. “Absolute certainty is unattainable,” they said, and that they are “certain beyond a reasonable doubt” that climate change is real, caused by humans, and dangerous. The scientists also spoke out against the “Republican nominee for President” who has said he might withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement in a “Parexit.” The scientists were clear when they wrote, “Walking away from Paris makes it less likely that the U.S. will have a global leadership role, politically, economically, or morally.” They said climate change is a global problem, requiring global strategies, and withdrawing from the Paris agreement would signal a departure from the global community. You can read the full letter at ResponsibleScientists.org. + Responsible Scientists Images via Pixabay and © Julian Osley under a Creative Commons License

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375 members of National Academy of Sciences pen open letter on the "serious risks of climate change"

Proposed border city between US and Mexico solves many problems at once

September 22, 2016 by  
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The “Border City”, currently being exhibited at the London Design Biennale, is meant to function as a special zone where cultures “both clash and blend to create something altogether unique”. It draws from various international examples of “border situations” and aims to reconcile different cultural and economic narratives. This model addresses the specific case of the spatial border between the United States and Mexico , but aims to function as a widely applicable prototype of a new border city. Related: FR-EE Unveils Dynamic Design for Latin American Art Museum in Miami Hexagonal in plan, the “Border City” would accommodate over 100 million inhabitants who already populate the states along the border between the United States and Mexico. The masterplan includes a proposal for a regional and local infrastructural and transportation network , including various other elements which the visitors of this year’s London Design Biennale can inspect in person until September 27, 2016. + Fernando Romero Enterprise Via Archdaily

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Proposed border city between US and Mexico solves many problems at once

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