Aerie launches REAL GOOD swimwear made with recycled nylon

April 9, 2021 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green, Recycle

Whether you plan to swim laps, go diving or just sunbathe in the backyard, Aerie’s new collection of sustainable swimwear is sure to make a splash. Made from recycled nylon , the REAL GOOD Swim line offers comfortable swimsuits in vibrant colors and playful patterns. The brand is aligning with the summer’s most anticipated trends, like ruffles and leopard prints. The new REAL GOOD Swim collection uses recycled nylon yarn for a soft touch along with recycled rib for the lining of every product. This is not the brand’s first foray into sustainable swimwear, though; last year, Aerie partnered with REPREVE to launch a collection of swimsuits made from over 1.2 million recycled plastic bottles. Related: New line of men’s swimwear is made from recycled ocean plastic “As members of the apparel industry, we feel a growing responsibility to reduce our impact on the planet,” said Avery Gold , Aerie swimwear designer. “We want our designs to not only make you feel great about your body, but also about your carbon footprint .” You can go bold or subtle with these sustainable swimwear pieces. There’s a sleek, black ribbed one-piece with cut-outs and ties to bring some drama, or pink floral two-piece sets with ruffles and wrap detailing. A blue paisley two-piece complements pool water and features a high-cut bottom, a popular trend this season referencing the resurgence of other ’90s styles. A striped one-piece offers a scoop back that is comfortable while swimming laps or floating along leisurely. Another popular piece is the ruffled bandeau top, which comes in a variety of colors and patterns and features a bandeau body with ruffled straps for a playful touch. The collection also includes rash guards. Two-piece items can be mixed and matched to complement your unique style. Prices range from $19.95 to $59.95, and the brand typically offers two-for-one or other deals to reduce the price further. Aerie’s REAL GOOD Swim collection is part of the brand’s larger goals to become more sustainable. “We have committed to being carbon neutral in our own operations, including corporate offices, DC’s, stores, and business travel by 2030,” Aerie said on its website . “We’re also working to reduce the carbon footprint in our supply chain by 40% by 2030 & 60% by 2040.” In addition to the swimwear, Aerie sells a line of REAL GOOD leggings, and we expect the product offerings to grow in the coming years. The brand has several sustainable partnerships in place, including with One Tree Planted , REPREVE and The Better Cotton Initiative. While there is always room for improvement, it is inspiring to see larger, well-known brands begin to commit more seriously to improving their business practices for a better world. + Aerie Images via Aerie

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Aerie launches REAL GOOD swimwear made with recycled nylon

8 Sustainable Outdoor Wear Brands for Summer Adventures

April 7, 2021 by  
Filed under Eco

If you love being outdoors, you probably love the environment and want to preserve it…. The post 8 Sustainable Outdoor Wear Brands for Summer Adventures appeared first on Earth911.

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8 Sustainable Outdoor Wear Brands for Summer Adventures

Supporting multimodal public transit in a post-pandemic future

March 30, 2021 by  
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Supporting multimodal public transit in a post-pandemic future Shin-pei Tsay Tue, 03/30/2021 – 01:45 This article first appeared on Meeting of the Minds. Cities have been severely impacted by COVID-19 on a number of fronts, and it has laid bare the severe disparities that result from ever-dwindling budgets. The pandemic has also dramatically changed how we experience the urban environment and required us to re-envision how people navigate and interact with their locales. On a regional basis, commutes to central business districts have dropped dramatically, while surrounding town centers, however small they may be, have gained more activity. For the privileged, who have the ability to shelter-in-place and are supported by flexible work-from-home policies, trips have become more concentrated near their homes and rarely reach beyond neighborhood amenities. As a result, open-street networks have blossomed to allow more space for walking and biking, and cities have pivoted to allow restaurants to expand outdoor dining and retail areas into the public right-of-way (ROW). As a fundamental public service, public transit should be conceived as a scalable, resilient and adaptive system … A map released by Lime , a scooter-share company, showed that over the summer, trips have become more concentrated within neighborhoods, rather than sprawling across the city. Meanwhile, Apple Mobility Data showed that private driving returned to pre-COVID levels, after a brief reprieve in April 2020, while transit ridership is still well below normal. It is clear that this crisis has affected communities in different ways. While central business district commutes might have fallen during the pandemic, cross-town trips persisted, and these are more representative of essential workers’ routes. Cities have adjusted their transit systems, cutting some routes in order to ensure more resources for higher volume routes or contracting out late night or expanded service areas in order to ensure that all customers can be continuously served. These changes in transportation patterns should inform how we analyze and address old problems. A longstanding challenge has been how to meet the growing transportation demand across an entire region and during traditionally off-peak times, while also ensuring that neighborhoods, town centers and other nodes outside of the central business district can be supported with sustainable mobility options. Historically, and more than ever today, the most convenient way to travel within a region is by private car. But, as we look forward to a post-pandemic public realm, could emerging mobility technologies help? More than ever, urban transit services are in need of sustainable and affordable solutions to better serve all members of our diverse communities, not least among them those that are traditionally car-dependent. New mobility technologies can be a potential resource for local transit agencies to augment multi-modal connectivity across existing transit infrastructures. As we all witnessed in the last decade, technological innovation (such as transportation network companies and micro-mobility) has triggered a profound transformation of the urban mobility ecosystem, enabling new shared, on-demand and multi-modal transportation options. By being open to new technologies in the realms of both operations and vehicles, transit agencies can establish a more resilient and sustainable urban mobility ecosystem and even remove some friction in payment and trip-planning. We envision a new decentralized and distributed model that provides multi-modal access through nimble and flexible multi-modal Transit Districts, rather than through traditional, centralized and often too expensive Multi-modal Transit Hubs. Working in collaboration with existing agencies, new micro-mobility technologies could provide greater and seamless access to existing transit infrastructure, while maximizing the potential of the public realm, creating an experience that many could enjoy beyond just catching the next bus or finding a scooter. So how would we go about it? Step 1: Identify an area of the city with the highest concentration of transit services (local bus stops, light rail, etc.). For many communities, multi-modal transit services, when provided, come in the form of uncoordinated schedules, infrequent service, and physically disjointed and often unsafe stops located across multiple city blocks. While such areas are served by a certain level of multi-modal transit, the physical conditions in these public realms make the user experience unappealing for most, which results in low transit ridership, a deserted public realm and an increase car traffic (along with attendant pollution). Step 2: Define the most convenient path to access each transit mode available within walking or biking distance. What are the most trafficked and convenient routes to get from one mode to another for a local transit rider? Can we determine an area within walking or biking distance that includes the most comprehensive range of local transit options available? And are there specific landmarks, destinations and ground floor activities that could enhance these commutes? Step 3: Provide the glue. Provide micro-mobility services and enhanced public realm solutions that enable easier, more convenient and more desirable access to local transit. Imagine an open-air concourse: an area of the city geared to best serve pedestrians and transit commuters alike, where wider sidewalks clearly and intuitively lead you from one transit mode to another; where shared bicycle and e-scooter services are readily accessible near each local transit stop and have safe and dedicated lanes. This would be an area of the city with existing landmark destinations, active ground floors and tailored wayfinding strategies are all coordinated to support a convenient and attractive mode transfer; where each single strategy that best serves the commuter also has positive outcomes for local residents and businesses by way of providing a more vibrant, pedestrian-oriented and safe public realm. The measures listed above range from low-cost, temporary solutions to permanent, long-term investments, and this range is key to a step-by-step implementation approach that should benefit communities with limited financial resources. To start, temporary parklets, paired with shared bike and e-scooter docking stations, could be next to key local transit stops, serving commuters and providing opportunities to engage with existing ground-floor businesses. An easily identifiable network of paths comprised of easy to deploy low-tech way-finding solutions and dedicated micro-mobility lanes could allow commuters to intuitively find their way to the next stop. Tactical urbanism strategies, many of which we have seen deployed in cities as a response to the current health crisis, have demonstrated how big changes can happen with small budgets when there is the will and the support of local communities. In the long term, access to efficient multi-modal services and the resulting vibrant public realm could represent a catalyst for new urban development infill to support long term capital investments.   As the network expands beyond the central district, there are opportunities to meet demand more easily, particularly through the use of on-demand, shared transportation that is integrated with fixed route transit. Beyond the initial identification of one area that has a concentration of transit and micro-mobility, there may be several nodes throughout a region that have been reinvigorated post-COVID, and thus could benefit from the distributed transit network model as well. This coincides with shifts away from traditional “hub-and-spoke” transit models and towards an approach that allows greater lateral movement outside the city center. Imagine regions that are no longer concentrated around a single anchor of the central business district, but that have multiple anchor districts that connect to one another. And within those nodes, many points of connection could allow people to move around freely along an enhanced public realm. Crises expose and deepen underlying societal inequity. Urban residents are more than ever relying on the public realm to access jobs and services, conduct a healthy lifestyle and nurture social relations. The current crisis is causing us to reconsider both the nature of transit and the role of the public realm. As a fundamental public service, public transit should be conceived as a scalable, resilient and adaptive system that helps communities where they are, from large cities to small towns; a system that relies on affordable and easy to deploy solutions that is at the foundation of more equitable and thriving urban communities. Pull Quote As a fundamental public service, public transit should be conceived as a scalable, resilient and adaptive system … Contributors Luca Giaramidaro Gerry Tierney Topics Transportation & Mobility Cities Infrastructure COVID-19 Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

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Supporting multimodal public transit in a post-pandemic future

Supporting multimodal public transit in a post-pandemic future

March 30, 2021 by  
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Supporting multimodal public transit in a post-pandemic future Shin-pei Tsay Tue, 03/30/2021 – 01:45 This article first appeared on Meeting of the Minds. Cities have been severely impacted by COVID-19 on a number of fronts, and it has laid bare the severe disparities that result from ever-dwindling budgets. The pandemic has also dramatically changed how we experience the urban environment and required us to re-envision how people navigate and interact with their locales. On a regional basis, commutes to central business districts have dropped dramatically, while surrounding town centers, however small they may be, have gained more activity. For the privileged, who have the ability to shelter-in-place and are supported by flexible work-from-home policies, trips have become more concentrated near their homes and rarely reach beyond neighborhood amenities. As a result, open-street networks have blossomed to allow more space for walking and biking, and cities have pivoted to allow restaurants to expand outdoor dining and retail areas into the public right-of-way (ROW). As a fundamental public service, public transit should be conceived as a scalable, resilient and adaptive system … A map released by Lime , a scooter-share company, showed that over the summer, trips have become more concentrated within neighborhoods, rather than sprawling across the city. Meanwhile, Apple Mobility Data showed that private driving returned to pre-COVID levels, after a brief reprieve in April 2020, while transit ridership is still well below normal. It is clear that this crisis has affected communities in different ways. While central business district commutes might have fallen during the pandemic, cross-town trips persisted, and these are more representative of essential workers’ routes. Cities have adjusted their transit systems, cutting some routes in order to ensure more resources for higher volume routes or contracting out late night or expanded service areas in order to ensure that all customers can be continuously served. These changes in transportation patterns should inform how we analyze and address old problems. A longstanding challenge has been how to meet the growing transportation demand across an entire region and during traditionally off-peak times, while also ensuring that neighborhoods, town centers and other nodes outside of the central business district can be supported with sustainable mobility options. Historically, and more than ever today, the most convenient way to travel within a region is by private car. But, as we look forward to a post-pandemic public realm, could emerging mobility technologies help? More than ever, urban transit services are in need of sustainable and affordable solutions to better serve all members of our diverse communities, not least among them those that are traditionally car-dependent. New mobility technologies can be a potential resource for local transit agencies to augment multi-modal connectivity across existing transit infrastructures. As we all witnessed in the last decade, technological innovation (such as transportation network companies and micro-mobility) has triggered a profound transformation of the urban mobility ecosystem, enabling new shared, on-demand and multi-modal transportation options. By being open to new technologies in the realms of both operations and vehicles, transit agencies can establish a more resilient and sustainable urban mobility ecosystem and even remove some friction in payment and trip-planning. We envision a new decentralized and distributed model that provides multi-modal access through nimble and flexible multi-modal Transit Districts, rather than through traditional, centralized and often too expensive Multi-modal Transit Hubs. Working in collaboration with existing agencies, new micro-mobility technologies could provide greater and seamless access to existing transit infrastructure, while maximizing the potential of the public realm, creating an experience that many could enjoy beyond just catching the next bus or finding a scooter. So how would we go about it? Step 1: Identify an area of the city with the highest concentration of transit services (local bus stops, light rail, etc.). For many communities, multi-modal transit services, when provided, come in the form of uncoordinated schedules, infrequent service, and physically disjointed and often unsafe stops located across multiple city blocks. While such areas are served by a certain level of multi-modal transit, the physical conditions in these public realms make the user experience unappealing for most, which results in low transit ridership, a deserted public realm and an increase car traffic (along with attendant pollution). Step 2: Define the most convenient path to access each transit mode available within walking or biking distance. What are the most trafficked and convenient routes to get from one mode to another for a local transit rider? Can we determine an area within walking or biking distance that includes the most comprehensive range of local transit options available? And are there specific landmarks, destinations and ground floor activities that could enhance these commutes? Step 3: Provide the glue. Provide micro-mobility services and enhanced public realm solutions that enable easier, more convenient and more desirable access to local transit. Imagine an open-air concourse: an area of the city geared to best serve pedestrians and transit commuters alike, where wider sidewalks clearly and intuitively lead you from one transit mode to another; where shared bicycle and e-scooter services are readily accessible near each local transit stop and have safe and dedicated lanes. This would be an area of the city with existing landmark destinations, active ground floors and tailored wayfinding strategies are all coordinated to support a convenient and attractive mode transfer; where each single strategy that best serves the commuter also has positive outcomes for local residents and businesses by way of providing a more vibrant, pedestrian-oriented and safe public realm. The measures listed above range from low-cost, temporary solutions to permanent, long-term investments, and this range is key to a step-by-step implementation approach that should benefit communities with limited financial resources. To start, temporary parklets, paired with shared bike and e-scooter docking stations, could be next to key local transit stops, serving commuters and providing opportunities to engage with existing ground-floor businesses. An easily identifiable network of paths comprised of easy to deploy low-tech way-finding solutions and dedicated micro-mobility lanes could allow commuters to intuitively find their way to the next stop. Tactical urbanism strategies, many of which we have seen deployed in cities as a response to the current health crisis, have demonstrated how big changes can happen with small budgets when there is the will and the support of local communities. In the long term, access to efficient multi-modal services and the resulting vibrant public realm could represent a catalyst for new urban development infill to support long term capital investments.   As the network expands beyond the central district, there are opportunities to meet demand more easily, particularly through the use of on-demand, shared transportation that is integrated with fixed route transit. Beyond the initial identification of one area that has a concentration of transit and micro-mobility, there may be several nodes throughout a region that have been reinvigorated post-COVID, and thus could benefit from the distributed transit network model as well. This coincides with shifts away from traditional “hub-and-spoke” transit models and towards an approach that allows greater lateral movement outside the city center. Imagine regions that are no longer concentrated around a single anchor of the central business district, but that have multiple anchor districts that connect to one another. And within those nodes, many points of connection could allow people to move around freely along an enhanced public realm. Crises expose and deepen underlying societal inequity. Urban residents are more than ever relying on the public realm to access jobs and services, conduct a healthy lifestyle and nurture social relations. The current crisis is causing us to reconsider both the nature of transit and the role of the public realm. As a fundamental public service, public transit should be conceived as a scalable, resilient and adaptive system that helps communities where they are, from large cities to small towns; a system that relies on affordable and easy to deploy solutions that is at the foundation of more equitable and thriving urban communities. Pull Quote As a fundamental public service, public transit should be conceived as a scalable, resilient and adaptive system … Contributors Luca Giaramidaro Gerry Tierney Topics Transportation & Mobility Cities Infrastructure COVID-19 Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

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Supporting multimodal public transit in a post-pandemic future

Our grid isn’t ready for climate change

February 19, 2021 by  
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Our grid isn’t ready for climate change Sarah Golden Fri, 02/19/2021 – 01:30 Last summer, when 750,000 Californians experienced rolling blackouts as heatwaves overtook the west, some politicians in Texas took the opportunity to blame liberal policies to explain the outages.  California’s politicians did this, not the heat. https://t.co/wft1kFsHfX — Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) September 6, 2020 California is now unable to perform even basic functions of civilization, like having reliable electricity. Biden/Harris/AOC want to make CA’s failed energy policy the standard nationwide. Hope you don’t like air conditioning! https://t.co/UkKBq9HkoK — Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 19, 2020 This week, as ice storms overtook Texas and plunged more than 4.4 million people into freezing darkness, some Californians on Twitter were gleefully dunking on those same Texas politicians for not keeping electricity flowing during their extreme weather events.  I get it. I understand the tribalism of politics. But at this moment, millions of Americans are freezing without power — with no end in sight. It is horrifying and beyond politics. Energy resilience, like climate change, is not partisan. It will affect every community and statehouse, regardless of who is in charge. The battle is not between liberal and conservative states. It is between those working towards a clean, affordable resilient energy future and the politicians and incumbent energy providers that politicize it.  The grid isn’t ready for climate change While the grid is designed to handle spikes in energy demand, reliability is dependent on the ability for operators to predict future supply and demand conditions.  The week’s cold snap affected both: Texans (with power) were cranking up their thermostats at the same time as gas-fired, coal and nuclear facilities were knocked offline amid the icy conditions.  Making matters worse, the Texas transmission lines weren’t up for the challenge. So, regardless of the energy source, grid disruptions will continue as long as we rely on a grid built for a 20th-century climate. “The situation in Texas could have happened anywhere,” said Mahesh Sudhakaran, chief digital officer for the energy, environment and utilities sector at IBM, in an email. “It exposed the importance of grid resiliency, which is something that impacts us all.” Is renewable energy to blame for the Texas power crisis?

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Our grid isn’t ready for climate change

Lessons from 3 emerging bio-based material technologies

February 19, 2021 by  
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Lessons from 3 emerging bio-based material technologies Suz Okie Fri, 02/19/2021 – 00:40 Creating human-made materials from living or biological sources is by no means a new development, yet newly invented bio-based materials are garnering significant hype as of late. From electronic displays made from fish scales to sanitary products made from banana fibers, these inspiring innovations can capture human imagination and evoke an aspirational future free of toxins and litter, amongst other environmental improvements.  But these materials do more than strike awe and inspiration. According to WBCSD’s recent report on the circular bioeconomy, bio-based products will represent a $7.7 trillion opportunity by 2030.  To better understand these headline-grabbing materials, I followed up with three emerging bio-based products from a Circularity 20 panel exploring bio-utilization and the opportunities bio-based materials afford. Here’s what I uncovered. Turning mycelium into packaging that’s ‘compatible with the planet’ Founded in 2007, New York based Ecovative Design leverages the naturally binding properties of mycelium — mushroom’s root structure — in several sustainable materials. The company’s first technology, MycoComposite, precipitated the subsidiary Mushroom Packaging , which I discussed with Ecovative’s business development lead, Meghan Olson. According to WBCSD’s recent report on the circular bioeconomy, bio-based products will represent a $7.7 trillion opportunity by 2030. Offering an alternative to polystyrene, polypropylene and other protective or insulating packaging, Mushroom Packaging infuses locally sourced agricultural byproducts (such as hemp hurd or rice hulls) with mushroom spores. The mixture is filled into custom shaped packaging molds, designed in collaboration with their clients, and the mycelium is allowed to take form. After seven days in its facilities, the grown result is a nontoxic, fully home- and marine-compostable material that protects and insulates a variety of products — everything from candles to industrial servers.  Mushroom Packaging is growing its footprint with a global network of licensees from New Zealand to the United Kingdom and beyond — expanding its customer base to include cosmetics retailer Lush and even interior designers. Meanwhile, Ecovative Design continues to research new applications for its mushroom technology portfolio in New York, expanding beyond packaging into textile alternatives and vegan meat substitutes.  Turning algae into straws that are ‘designed to disappear’ Loliware was founded in 2016 in pursuit of “a radical leap towards [a sustainable packaging] future.” Its interdisciplinary team is based on the east coast of the United States and combines expertise in food technology, seaweed biology, polymer engineering and even fashion to create “not just the material, but also the feeling of the brand.” As co-founder and CEO Sea Briganti notes, “You can’t build what you can’t imagine, so a lot of our work is helping people imagine this new future so we can all build it together.” Sourcing algae from sustainable seaweed farmers that capture carbon as they grow their crop, Loliware is working to manufacture a variety of bio-based polymers. The end products are (technically) edible tableware replacements that naturally break down within six to 10 days in home composting, and even faster in the ocean.  With a B2B strategy, Loliware is building a portfolio of partners — including Marriott, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Pernod Ricard — to distribute its straws. Although the pandemic has disrupted hospitality and demand, Loliware has used the lull to advance its technology and scale manufacturing with a mission to overturn legacy plastics. Turning pineapple leaves into textiles that benefit ‘people and planet’   Following a consulting assignment with the Design Center of the Philippines, self-proclaimed “serial entrepreneur” Carmen Hijosa was determined to find (or invent) an alternative to leather and the negative impacts that came with it. By 2013, following several years of studying, research and development, Hijosa had a Ph.D., a new material in tow, and had founded London-based  Ananas Anam . You can’t build what you can’t imagine, so a lot of our work is helping people imagine this new future so we can all build it together. Leveraging pineapple leaves, a waste product of the pineapple industry, Ananas Anam uses a low-energy, low-water, chemical-free process to convert the leaves’ natural fibers into a leather-like material called Piñatex. Producing just 2.69 kilograms of carbon per meter of material, Piñatex touts carbon saving benefits as the equivalent volume of reclaimed pineapple waste would emit about 8 kilograms of carbon if it were left to decompose or burn in the fields.  Piñatex can be found in the footwear, fashion and furnishings of more than 3,000 clients , ranging from small-scale designers to large-scale apparel companies such as H&M and Hugo Boss. As Ananas Anam grows, so do its social and sustainability efforts as it further builds a Philippines-based supply chain and promotes local culture and resilience.  While these companies represent wholly different applications and biological sources, they share several instructive commonalities about the current state of bio-based materials.  They can functionally compete with legacy materials  Touting benefits such as “carbon-negative,” “biodegradable” and/or “sustainably sourced,” it’s hardly surprising that bio-based materials frequently outcompete legacy alternatives on environmental impact. Beyond these sustainability claims, however, eco-friendly or bio-based products are often perceived as less effective than their synthetic counterparts.  That’s why Briganti of Loliware knew her product “had to be a 1:1 replacement” when it came to performance. Loliware, Ecovative Designs and Ananas Anam have all invested heavily in ensuring (and proving) that their products are as functional as the legacy product they might replace.  Mushroom Packaging promises comparable if not superior strength, insulation and hydrophobic properties to polystyrene. Ananas Anam follows stringent technical specifications to meet its clients’ exacting standards, ensuring a durable material that can take wear and tear comfortably for at least five years. And mechanical testing has shown Loliware’s straw durability is on par with its plastics counterpart, while outperforming PLA — Polylactic Acid, a bioplastic — and paper straws. The flexibility of plastic straws is a bit more challenging to replicate, but R&D is under way to do just that.  They can be cost-competitive too, with some caveats Competing on cost, perhaps the most elusive metric, is also in reach according to these companies. As Hijosa notes, Piñatex being sold in rolls can save clients up to 30 percent of the waste associated with the odd shapes, scratches and tears of leather hides, allowing for a comfortably comparable price point.  As Mushroom Packaging is grown (without the need for tooling, molding or post-processing) Olsen shared that prices are competitive with molded polystyrene and molded paper pulp on smaller volume orders (while struggling to match-up when orders surpass 500,000 units.) “Low- to medium-volume sized orders are actually best for our process… [that’s why] we like working with smaller brands and growing with our customers,” Olsen said.  Finally, early 2021 will see the launch of Loliware’s 2.0 polymer, which Briganti said will allow it to compete with paper straw pricing. Although it admittedly can’t match virgin plastic prices, Briganti will be the first to note “the true price of plastic is not reflected in the price of the product — the price to clean it up, the price to our wildlife, our fisheries… our children and the next generation.”  They can offer local sourcing benefits All three companies’ manufacturing happens in close proximity to the farmers from which they source — whether it’s Loliware near its seaweed sources in Connecticut, Ananas Anam setting up fiber processing facilities near pineapple farms in the Philippines, or Mushroom Packaging working to source locally abundant biomass — i.e. mushroom food — within 500 miles of its production facilities.  Beyond local, they also prioritize sustainability. Loliware has sought out “the most sustainable farms in the blue ocean economy” and partnered with Greenwave , a regenerative seaweed farming nonprofit. In the cases of Mushroom Packaging and Piñatex, their biological source is considered an agricultural byproduct or waste. By purchasing it, they not only provide an added revenue stream for their farmers but also ensure the would-be waste isn’t sent to landfills, burnt or left to rot in the field. We’re actually in complete union in caring for people and planet. All stakeholders are important to us, not just shareholders. As a certified B-Corp, Ananas Anam also prioritizes transparency, local employment and training. “We’re actually in complete union in caring for people and planet. All stakeholders are important to us, not just shareholders,” Hijosa said. With that in mind, Ananas Anam partners with small farming cooperatives, ensuring all employees in their supply chain enjoy full contracts and fair wages.  They can help regenerate ecosystems By sourcing carbon-capturing, regenerative seaweed, Loliware is helping to rebuild and regenerate marine ecosystems on the Eastern Shore in the U.S.  Beyond displacing 2 million pounds of legacy foam annually, Mushroom Packaging is not just biodegradable, it’s also “bio-contributing,” adding nutrients to any soil it decomposes in. For this reason Olson says you can “feel good” about throwing it in your backyard.   After saving water and energy in its fiber processing, Ananas Anam uses excess biomass to create compost and add nutrients back to its farmers’ soil. By 2023, it’ll have enough biomass to profitably create local energy with an anaerobic converter.  They have requests Given the size of the legacy industries they compete with, these companies represent a relatively narrow market share. With new supply chains to build, customer habits to overturn and cost caveats that sometimes equate to higher price points, it’s important to note they face significant hurdles to substantively scale. With that in mind, I asked what they’d wish for to advance their companies and the bio-based material industry at large. The three women I spoke with had varying, but valuable requests for what comes next.  Olson would like consumer demand to continue to push out and displace more environmentally destructive, single-use options on the market. Briganti hopes legislation and regulation will take a more active role not just in the market, but also in supporting and funding entrepreneurs and innovators. Finally, Hijosa would like to see more integrity, transparency, and responsibility across the supply chain. Here’s hoping they get their wishes.  Pull Quote According to WBCSD’s recent report on the circular bioeconomy, bio-based products will represent a $7.7 trillion opportunity by 2030. You can’t build what you can’t imagine, so a lot of our work is helping people imagine this new future so we can all build it together. We’re actually in complete union in caring for people and planet. All stakeholders are important to us, not just shareholders. Topics Circular Economy Biomaterials Innovation Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off From left to right: close up images of mushrooms, pineapple and seaweed, sources of bio-based products, which will represent a $7.7 trillion opportunity by 2030.

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Lessons from 3 emerging bio-based material technologies

This home in Vietnam stays cool with a rooftop rainwater sprinkler

February 5, 2021 by  
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Located in Hai Duong, Vietnam, this solar-powered home designed by H&P Architects and completed in 2020 is made of steel, bamboo and locally sourced brick. The 75-square-meter model, known as HOUSE (Human’s Optional USE), is designed for use in vulnerable, low-income areas and regions prone to flooding. The HOUSE has a unique installation in the form of a rooftop rainwater sprinkler. These multifunctional structures can be grouped together to create different patterns of neighborhoods or even serve as education, healthcare or community spaces. According to the architects, the innovative sprinkler system is used to clean and cool the home’s roof during hot days. The water cools the roof as it evaporates, keeping the summer heat from absorbing into the roof. Otherwise, indoor temperatures would soar and lead to higher air conditioning and energy costs. This water comes from a rainwater harvesting system that reuses rain in order to save domestic water. Related: Porous brick walls keep this bold Vietnamese home naturally cool Structurally, the home has a lifted, reinforced steel frame with a pitched roof and 3-meter-long beamed tubes that fit together through joints. With this design, the home can easily accommodate more floors if necessary, and the lifted frame is suitable for flood-prone areas. The roof is made of pieces of thick bamboo beams positioned for optimal reinforcement. The HOUSE features simple, organic materials with corrugated iron and painted steel on the exterior and bricks and natural wood on the interior. On the top floor, a netted section provides a fun, recreational space for lounging. Multiple doors and windows open on each side to promote cross breezes and passive cooling, especially necessary in the hot, humid Vietnamese climate. In addition to the rainwater sprinkler system, the large roof also holds solar panels that produce twice as much energy needed to power electrical equipment within the household. Residual energy can be stored within the system or traded. + H&P Architects Images via H&P Architects

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This home in Vietnam stays cool with a rooftop rainwater sprinkler

Hoefling House achieves near net-zero status

February 4, 2021 by  
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Located on a main street in Boulder, Colorado , Hoefling House flaunts craftsmanship while disguising a nearly net-zero existence. While appearing massive to the street-side visitor, the home includes meticulous attention to detail that compresses a lot into 3,100 square feet. Built in collaboration between Rodwin Architecture and Skycastle Construction, the project’s goal was to compose a “clean, bold, and original modern design.” Furthermore, the client requested the highest levels of sustainability. The house earned a LEED Platinum certification and a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) of 14 (scale of 0 to 150), ranking exceedingly high for  energy efficiency  and green construction. Hoefling House delivers this without sacrificing aesthetics or function.  Related: A lakeside, prefab home in Quebec aims for LEED Gold Rodwin and Skycastle obtained these accolades (along with the clients’ praise) by using a combination of  passive solar design , a 10kWh solar PV array tucked onto the roof, a ground source heat pump and boiler, radiant flooring with high thermal mass, foam insulation, Energy Star “tuned” windows, all LED lights, Energy Star appliances, EPA Watersense plumbing fixtures, and a heat recovery ventilator. To ensure the team met marks along the way, a LEED Manager and engineers consulted on the project.  The welcoming and functional exterior uses board-form concrete, stucco and clear Douglas fir, creating a “distinctly Colorado” style. Meanwhile, warm modernism defines the home’s  interior design . To achieve this vibe, co-project managers and designers Jocelyn Parlapiano and Cecelia Daniels served up a thoughtful color and material palette and all finishes. Design elements range from radiant heated Travertine tiles to the antique bureau in the entrance. Other features include a live roof garden located on a second-floor balcony and an acoustically tuned concert room inside. Nature was a central element for both the interior and exterior design plans. At Parlapiano’s suggestion, the team decided to take advantage of passive  solar energy  by rotating the structure. This allowed the windows to face south, not only providing sunlight in the winter but roofline protection in the summer. This orientation also allows the clients to take in “southwestern views of the Flatirons, sky, and several towering specimen Ponderosa Pines on the property, along with plenty of natural light.” Features throughout blur the line between indoor and outdoor spaces, making use of massive windows and sliding doors that open up to create a massive open-air lounge area. The surrounding area is equally equipped for outdoor living with a built-in BBQ grill, integrated planters, gas fire pit, dining table, raised-bed veggie garden  and fruit tree orchard.  Embracing the elements of sustainability, innovation and function, Hoefling House is, as the architects state, “as smart and efficient as it is modern and chic.” + Rodwin Architecture a nd Skycastle Construction Via Modern Architecture + Design Society Images via Modern Architecture + Design Society 

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Keep your eyes on these 9 electric truck and van companies in 2021

January 4, 2021 by  
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Keep your eyes on these 9 electric truck and van companies in 2021 Mike De Socio Mon, 01/04/2021 – 02:00 Last year, a number of automakers announced or advanced ambitious plans to electrify heavy-duty big rigs, semi-trucks, box trucks, delivery vans and more. That article was one of GreenBiz’s most popular stories throughout the year. And the demand and interest in this technology is only growing stronger. Given that trucks consume the vast majority of energy compared to other modes of freight transportation, electrification in this area has huge potential to decrease the carbon impact of fleets. These new vehicles are quickly bumping up against familiar challenges of battery range, production capacity and charging, or fueling, infrastructure. That’s one reason a group of fleet leaders who spoke at the GreenBiz VERGE 20 conference late last year said they’re integrating renewable natural gas and other efficiency improvements alongside a long-term push to electrify. The transition is also proving to require a team effort that goes far beyond the vehicle manufacturers — and involving governments, utilities and a new ecosystem of technicians to go along with it. Nonetheless, the transition accelerated in 2020 as more mammoth automakers pushed electric trucking fleets closer to reality. Here’s a look at what nine big-name players accomplished over the past 12 months, and what to keep an eye on in 2021. Arrival Arrival, a five-year-old London-based startup, is establishing a presence in the U.S. and attracting major investments for its electric buses and vans still in development. The company closed out 2020 by investing $3 million and hiring 150 employees for its North American headquarters in Charlotte , North Carolina. But the bigger news for Arrival came earlier in the year, when UPS announced an order of 10,000 purpose-built electric vans, to be delivered through 2024. The deal is worth hundreds of millions of dollars each year to Arrival. The upstart is hoping to distinguish itself in the electric vehicle market in two major ways. First, and perhaps most crucially, it plans to price its vehicles at the same or lower prices as comparable fossil-fuel vehicles. This will be achieved partially by using a patented, composite material the company has developed. Second, Arrival is building its vehicles in a network of “microfactories,” the first of which is in South Carolina . The smaller factories use a new type of assembly process and could allow the company to more easily customize vehicles for different customers . Each microfactory will be able to produce 10,000 vans or 1,000 buses per year, Arrival President Avinash Rugoobur told the Observer. Arrival still has yet to specify the range specifications for its vans, but it’s expected to be at least 100 miles . The composite material promises to make the vans lightweight and resistant to damage, another potential edge for Arrival over other van designs emerging in the market. The vans are expected to start rolling out for delivery in 2022. BYD delivered its 100th battery-electric truck in the U.S in early 2020. Photo courtesy of BYD BYD BYD is well-known for its electric buses, which continue to sell to fleets around the country. But the company’s trucking division is ramping up production of medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks, too. BYD is the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles, and its models include a Class 8 Day Cab, a Class 6 truck, a terminal tractor and two models of all-electric refuse trucks . BYD delivered its 100th battery-electric truck in the U.S in early 2020, a Class 8 model for Anheuser-Busch’s distribution operations in Oakland, California. It’s a relationship that’s likely to continue as Anheuser-Busch has committed to reducing carbon emissions by 25 percent across its entire value chain by 2025. BYD’s Class 8 has a range of 125 miles and a top speed of 65 miles per hour. It can recharge in as little as two hours with a high-speed direct current system or in about 14 hours with a standard 240-volt charging system. Global shipping provider DHL also began piloting BYD’s Class 8 trucks in November, adding four vehicles to its fleet in Los Angeles. That easily could grow as DHL works to meet a goal of net-zero logistics-related emissions by 2050. Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand unveiled a new electric model in 2020, the Mercedes-Benz eActros LongHaul. Photo courtesy of Daimler Daimler Trucks Daimler, the largest truck maker in the world, is seeing significant progress on its Freightliner eCascadia, an electric big rig that promises a 250-mile range. The German automaker recently delivered a Freightliner eCascadia to Southern California Edison (SCE) for a three-month trial of the battery-electric Class 8 truck. The power utility company will use the eCascadia to transport heavy equipment from its warehouse to service centers. It fits in with SCE’s goal to electrify 30 percent of its medium-duty vehicles and pickup trucks and 8 percent of its heavy-duty trucks by 2030. Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz brand also unveiled a new electric model this year, the Mercedes-Benz eActros LongHaul. It builds on the company’s existing short-range eActros truck that is already being tested by customers. The eActros LongHaul promises a 310-mile range, and Daimler predicts it will be ready for production by 2024 . Alongside the eActros LongHaul, Daimler also announced an electric-fuel cell truck called the Mercedes-Benz GenH2, which it says could drive more than 600 miles before refueling is needed. Daimler expects to start piloting the truck in 2023 and making it commercially available by 2025. Ford is promising that the E-Transit van will be available starting in late 2021. Photo courtesy of Ford Ford American auto giant Ford jumped into a new sector of the electric vehicle market in 2020 with plans to develop an all-electric version of its popular Transit cargo van. Ford is promising that the E-Transit van will be available starting in late 2021. The vehicle is expected to cost “less than $45,000” and will have a range of 126 miles. Ford sells 150,000 of its traditional E-Transit vans each year. Research from the company’s internal data says the average Transit user drives 74 miles per day, well within the projected range of the electric version of the vehicle. Ford’s ambitious production timeline is backed by a $100 million investment to retrofit a Kansas City plant that is already making the diesel-powered Transit. Ford says production of the E-Transit also will create 150 jobs. Across the company, Ford’s investment in electrifying vehicles through 2022 totals $11.5 billion. New models include the Mustang Mach-E and an electric version of its Ford F-150, America’s most popular pickup truck. NIkola Motors went public in June . Photo courtesy of Nikola Nikola Motors Phoenix-based startup Nikola Motors made a big step toward rolling out its electric semi-trucks this year. The company announced over the summer plans for a $600 million factory in Arizona, where it wants to begin making fully electric trucks in 2021 and hydrogen fuel-cell models by 2023. The plans came shortly after the company went public in June , marking a year of significant growth for the lesser-known auto company named after Nikola Tesla, the Serbian-American inventor who created electric motors. The company’s models include two semi-trucks available with either fully electric or hydrogen fuel-cell electric capabilities, and anticipated ranges between 500 and 700 miles. The Nikola Two is intended for North America, and the Nikola Tre is available in Europe, Asia and Australia. Creating the infrastructure to refuel tens of thousands of hydrogen-powered big rigs that Nikola plans to put on the road will require a huge investment. The company plans to build a nationwide network of 700 hydrogen stations in the U.S. by 2028, potentially with help from BP . (To put that into perspective, there are about 400 hydrogen fueling stations worldwide .) The company plans to power each refueling station with renewable sources such as wind and solar. It will take between 10 and 15 minutes to refill one of its semi-trucks. The interior of an Amazon Rivian van. Photo courtesy of Amazon Rivian Rivian spent much of 2020 racing to fill what is by any measure a huge order: 100,000 all-electric delivery vans designed for e-commerce giant Amazon. The company is building out a factory line for the vans in its Normal, Illinois, facility. A prototype is already being tested, and Rivian expects to deliver the first vans to Amazon during the second half of 2021, according to a company spokesperson. Rivian’s agreement with Amazon promises 10,000 vans by the end of 2022 and 100,000 by 2030. The vans will be built in three sizes and are part of Amazon’s strategy to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. Ross Rachey, director of global fleet and product logistics for Amazon, spoke with GreenBiz Senior Writer Katie Fehrenbacher during a session at VERGE 20 . He said that in addition to the tall order Amazon gave to Rivian, another steep challenge will be the infrastructure needed to support the fleet. “The reality is that charging infrastructure, electricity and utility connections — it’s the longest lead, probably the most challenging part of this equation,” Rachey told GreenBiz. Tesla’s electric semi-truck isn’t fully commercial, but it’s changing the dialogue about electric fleets. Photo courtesy of Tesla Tesla Tesla has been teasing its entrance into the heavy-duty transportation sector for years, ever since it unveiled plans for the Tesla Semi in 2017. But production timelines have been pushed back over and over again, with the company now projecting a 2021 start date . Tesla nonetheless continues to receive large orders for the long-promised Tesla Semi electric Class-8 truck, including Walmart’s 130-truck reservation in September . Other big-name companies such as Anheuser-Busch, FedEx, PepsiCo and UPS also have expressed interest but have yet to put down the $20,000-per-truck reservation fees. The Tesla Semis will come in two models : one with a 300-mile range and one with a 500-mile range. According to the company, the expected base prices for those trucks are $150,000 and $180,000, respectively. (A typical Class 8 diesel day-cab starts at roughly $120,000.) Tesla says the Semi will accelerate from 0 mph to 60 mph in 20 seconds while carrying a full load (roughly 40 tons); it will be able to maintain that speed while traveling up a 5 percent grade, according to the company. As the delays in Tesla Semi production have piled up, some analysts believe the big rig has become a “distraction” and fundamentally different business from Tesla’s electric passenger vehicles. The VNR Electric has a 150-mile range, with speeds up to 65 mph on the highway. Photo courtesy of Volvo Volvo Volvo Trucks brought its zero-emission truck, the VNR Electric, to market just as 2020 came to a close . The VNR Electric has a 150-mile range, with speeds up to 65 mph on the highway. An 80 percent charge for the vehicle takes 70 minutes, Volvo says. The truck comes in three models: A straight truck; a 4×2 tractor; and a 6×2 tractor. Volvo invested $400 million into its New River Valley, Virginia, factory to assemble the trucks, which first rolled out in Southern California in 2019. VNR Electric comes out of Volvo’s broader Low-Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions (LIGHTS), itself part of California Climate Investments. The statewide program puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to a Volvo company statement. Volvo has said it will offer the trucks for lease or sale, and also will lease and finance charging infrastructure to go along with them. Volvo Trucks is also in the early stages of introducing a hydrogen fuel-cell truck in a partnership with Daimler . Volvo Trucks CEO Martin Lundstedt said the COVID-19 crisis was a motivating factor for the company to increase its focus in this area, according to Forbes . Workhorse made headlines in July 2020 when it announced that Ryder System would be offering the C-Series vans through its leasing and rental programs. Photo courtesy of Workhorse Workhorse An electric truck startup out of Cincinnati, Workhorse is making progress on its C-Series all-electric delivery van, with big orders arriving in 2020. The company received a purchase order for 500 of its all-electric C-1000 delivery vehicles from Pritchard Companies in November. Pritchard is one of the nation’s largest commercial vehicle distributors, selling over 30,000 vehicles each year. Workhorse also made headlines in July when it announced that Ryder System would offer the C-Series vans through its leasing and rental programs. The C-1000 Workhorse electric van includes 1,000 cubic feet of cargo space , with about 100 miles of range. The vehicle can reach top speeds of 75 mph. As Workhorse heads into 2021 with a big stack of orders, it remains to be seen whether it can deliver on production. Automotive World reported in November that the company’s factory was struggling with short staffing amid a resurgent COVID-19 outbreak in Ohio. Workhorse’s fate also depends on whether it lands a piece of a $6.3 billion United States Postal Service contract to produce 186,000 mail trucks in the coming years. Workhorse’s stock fell 21 percent on the USPS announcement that it would not choose a contractor as originally planned near the end of 2020. A decision is expected in the second quarter of 2021. Four teams are competing for the USPS contract: India’s Mahindra Automotive North America; Turkey’s Karsan/Michigan’s Morgan Olson; American companies Oshkosh/Ford; and Workhorse. Topics Transportation & Mobility Electric Vehicles Clean Fleets Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Arrival scored a big deal with UPS early in 2020. Photo courtesy of Arrival

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The top 2020 trends in sustainability, according to GreenBiz readers

December 28, 2020 by  
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The top 2020 trends in sustainability, according to GreenBiz readers Holly Secon Mon, 12/28/2020 – 01:30 At GreenBiz, we’ve been reporting on the world of sustainable business for over two decades, but this year has been unlike any other. From an unprecedented pandemic to a global economic downturn to the intensifying impacts of climate change, we can’t say we’ll miss 2020. But there were many valuable lessons learned over the past 12 months.  Some of those can be found in the top GreenBiz stories of the year, as “measured” by reader traffic. While COVID-19 cut through almost all of our coverage — just like it cut through our everyday lives this year — other hopeful stories shined through. GreenBiz readers got excited about climate change solutions that ranged from the new, from the emerging potential of hydrogen as an energy source to changes in plastics manufacturing, to the ancient, such as planting trees. Readers also sought glimmers of hope in this year; you were drawn to stories about COVID-19’s positive impact on air pollution and what the sustainability field can do to be more actively anti-racist and pro-diversity. Without further ado, here are the top 10 most widely read stories and reports from the past 12 months, brought to you by our analysts, editors and other members of the GreenBiz community. And as we look forward to next year, do you have any notes on our coverage — things you want to see more or less of in the upcoming year? Feel free to shoot us an email at editor@greenbiz.com ; we greatly appreciate any and all feedback. 1. Transportation habits are changing drastically. Fleet electrification strategies gained steam throughout the year, with all-electric heavy-duty big rigs, semi-trucks, box trucks, delivery vans and more in the spotlight. Daimler, the largest truck maker in the world, expects to have the 250-mile-range Freightliner eCascadia model in production during 2021. The hottest trend of the year was the electrification of transportation, which is on the precipice of a major upswing: Less than 1 percent of fleet vehicles were electric at the beginning of the year, but that number is expected to grow to 12 percent by 2030.  We named eight of the biggest players in the space so sustainability professionals know what and who to watch out for. From relative giants such as Tesla to newcomers like startup Rivian and Chanje, we stand by this list. READ THE FULL STORY: 8 electric truck and van companies to watch in 2020 .  2. The pandemic and subsequent stay-at-home orders had an unintentionally positive and significant initial impact on air pollution. Over 45 states were under stay-at-home orders at one point in the spring due to the COVID-19 crisis. A resulting drop in regional traffic, along with reduced industrial and commercial activity, led to a significant drop in air-polluting emissions.   These emissions reductions are obviously short-term, unintended consequences of the pandemic. But they show that just as human activities have caused our changing climate and the impacts we’re experiencing today, human activities can also slow and reverse the phenomenon. READ THE FULL STORY: The stunning impact of COVID-19 social distancing on air pollution & To make offices safe during COVID-19, buildings need a breath of fresh air & How coronavirus will affect 4 key environmental issues 3. Clean beauty and fashion are trendy. But the industries need to push beyond recycling. Media Source Courtesy of Media Authorship Lush Close Authorship Some of the biggest contributors to the plastic crisis are the cosmetics and fashion industries.  In the $500 billion-per-year cosmetics space, small-scale packaging leads to large-scale single-use plastic waste. But solutions exist, and we wrote about them. At beauty and hygiene products company Lush, for example, working to implement zero-waste when possible has led to innovation across the board In fashion, similarly, going the extra mile takes an innovative approach. A new technology of this sort, chemical garment-to-garment recycling, was one of your favorite stories of the year.  Investors such as H&M are already forging ahead. READ THE FULL STORY: How cosmetics retailer Lush is making purposeful profit through circular processes & Fashion’s latest trend? Why H&M, other big brands are investing in garment recycling 4. What’s next for the chemicals industry amid a growing public backlash against plastics? New types of manufacturing processes with the promise to infinitely reuse plastics. Tupperware’s portable, reusable Tupperware Eco Straw and a new drinking tumbler are both made from a lightweight, phthalate-free circular PP polymer from SABIC. Media Source Courtesy of Media Authorship SABIC Close Authorship Our story with an inside look into Eastman Chemical’s factory was a hit earlier this year. Eastman is one of the largest U.S. chemical companies, and it has faced criticism in the past few years along with other chemical companies as plastics have grown as an issue in the public’s consciousnesses.  But it claims to have a response to these concerns. That includes two new technologies. Carbon renewal technology, or CRT, breaks down waste plastic feedstocks to the molecular level before using them as building blocks to produce a wide range of materials and packaging. Polyester renewal technology, or PRT, involves taking waste polyesters from landfills and other waste streams and transforming them back into a raw material that the company claims is indistinguishable from polyester produced from fossil-fuel feedstocks. In addition, other stories on plastic production piqued readers’ interest. A story about Tupperware’s new sustainable production processes, for example, was one of our most-read articles. Any and all new solutions to the plastics crisis will be welcome in 2021, given that this year has seen record new plastic production thanks to the pandemic. READ THE FULL STORY: Inside Eastman’s moonshot goal for endlessly circular plastics & Tupperware inches toward circular processes, one plastic container at a time 5. Planes remain among the most polluting means of transport. Is there a way to reduce their emissions? The largest all-electric plane has just completed a half an hour flight in the United States. Media Authorship MagniX Close Authorship Readers devoured GreenBiz stories on the emerging technologies powering electric aviation and the companies behind them. Though the technology isn’t quite there yet, the certification process is long and the process is expensive, the electric aviation industry is still taking off. That’s because flights under 500 miles are within the range of an electric motor. R oughly 45 percent of all global flights meet this standard — presenting a massive opportunity.  READ THE FULL STORY: 6 electric aviation companies to watch & 7 urban air mobility companies to watch 6. Humanity’s destruction of biodiversity fosters the conditions for emerging diseases such as COVID-19. Media Source Shutterstock Media Authorship Mathisa Close Authorship If this year has shown us anything, it’s that the health of our planet and the health of humans are inextricably linked.  Research suggests that outbreaks of animal-borne and other infectious diseases such as Ebola, SARS, bird flu and COVID-19, caused by a novel coronavirus, are on the rise. Meanwhile, humans have continued destructive practices such as deforestation and agricultural expansion. Case in point: The world has lost 60 percent of all wildlife in the last 50 years while the number of new infectious diseases has quadrupled in the last 60 years. These stories hit home with readers this year, and we’ll continue to cover stories in this vein, because we expect to see more events like this in the future. READ THE FULL STORY: Biodiversity, pandemics and the circle of life & Destroying habitats has opened a Pandora’s box for new diseases to emerge 7. Coal-fired power plants are closing, and those economic and social ecosystems are collapsing around the country. A just transition to renewable sources such as hydrogen could ease the pain . Media Source Courtesy of Media Authorship Burbank Water & Power Close Authorship Hydrogen is still an emerging source of renewable energy. But it’s a massive opportunity: It’s the most abundant element in the universe, and capturing hydrogen is simple, in theory. Old coal plants could be easily transformed into new hydrogen plants to produce GHG-free energy, according to some industry insiders, while providing good jobs for hard-hit communities. READ THE FULL STORY: You say old coal plant, I say new green hydrogen facility 8. Agriculture as a climate change solution rather than a cause of climate change Media Source Shutterstock Media Authorship l i g h t p o e t Close Authorship We all want an agricultural system that can enough food for the growing global population sustainably. But certain agricultural practices that aim to increase crop yields such as clear-cutting release greenhouse gases that had been trapped in the soils into the atmosphere. The practices of “regenerative agriculture” promise to do the opposite: these farming and grazing practices rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity, resulting in both carbon drawdown and improving the water cycle. Our stories on the topic struck a chord with you this year.  In 2020, food companies delved even deeper into how agricultural practices can sequester carbon in the land rather than release it. Two of the world’s largest food companies, General Mills and Danone North America, have set specific targets and worked to extend their support to farmers in their supply chains that are picking up these practices this year. These new programs have already been implemented for oats and wheat farmers who want to participate across a range of experience, ages and farm sizes. READ THE FULL STORY: General Mills, Danone dig deeper into regenerative agriculture with incentives, funding 9. Planting trees isn’t exactly the next big thing — or is it? Companies are investing in nature-based climate change solutions such as planting trees to draw down carbon. Media Source Shutterstock Media Authorship dennis_wegewijs Close Authorship Our inside look at two exciting tree-planting initiatives resonated with you this year. One is a hot new tree-planting startup whose investors include an Uber founder and whose buyers include Microsoft and Shopify resonated with you this year.  The startup, Pachama, has a unique value proposition: it offers a verified marketplace for carbon credits. That’s crucial for companies who want to buy credits after committing to going carbon neutral and even carbon-negative. Pachama both sells carbon credits by working with land managers who are using carbon-sequestering practices, and verifies the quantity of carbon they’re storing via a unique combination of satellite images, LiDAR and machine learning. Still, “if the planet continues waking up to the reality of climate change and the urgency of action, we believe that carbon markets will continue to expand,” Diego Saez-Gil, the founder of Pachama, said. Meanwhile, SilviaTerra, another cleantech startup, has been able to create a “basemap” of  every acre of forest in North America, down to the species and size of every single tree. To do this, SilviaTerra used machine learning to build the map, based on satellite and sensor data from sources such as NASA. It lays critical groundwork for landowners to participate in markets for carbon storage and other ecosystem benefits.  Companies like these will be crucial to watch in the next year, as carbon credit markets continue to grow. READ THE FULL STORY: Why Silicon Valley is taking a big interest in trees   10. Proponents of the Black Lives Matter movement that surged into the public eye this summer took on the sustainability space. Shutterstock This summer, the U.S. experienced a long-overdue racial reckoning. Following the death of unarmed Black man George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police, white America received a reality check about the racism and discrimination happening in this country. The worlds of clean energy, corporate sustainability and cleantech were not spared. Some key themes that emerged among the GreenBiz readership this year included solidarity and environmental justice, the movement that advocates that low-income and marginalized communities and populations should not be disproportionately exposed to adverse environmental impacts.  READ THE FULL STORY: How racism manifests in clean energy & How sustainability professionals can uplift the Black community Topics Leadership Corporate Strategy Social Justice Carbon Removal COVID-19 Transportation & Mobility Plastic Carbon Pricing Aviation Food & Agriculture Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off The top stories of the year ranged from the pandemic to the Black Lives Matter Movement to new renewable energies. GreenBiz collage. Close Authorship

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