This new energy concept from Sweden can make any building net zero

October 11, 2017 by  
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A new Swedish energy concept can turn any building into a net zero energy structure. Pioneered by Malmö-based company Innenco , the concept utilizes a building’s thermal mass to drastically reduce energy use by around 85 percent. With their active elements systems, heat pumps, chillers, and adding solar panels , Innenco can bring new or existing buildings to net zero energy consumption. Inhabitat spoke with CEO and founder Jonathan Karlsson to find out more. Innenco, which stands for innovative energy concept, dramatically slashes a building’s energy use. Karlsson told Inhabitat, “Our vision is to create possibilities to make new net zero constructions in an efficient way, giving everyone the capability to do so.” Their technology changes how a building operates for vastly improved energy efficiency . Related: California city could become the first Zero Net Energy city in the U.S. It starts with their active elements system: pipes are integrated into the frame construction to utilize a building’s thermal mass. Adding heat pumps and chillers to the system allows Innenco to get four to six times greater efficiency in heating and cooling . At this point they’re able to reduce energy use by 85 percent, so to cover that last 15 percent, they install Innenco Quantum Solar panels. “This makes an investment in solar cells much lower than a traditional system, and we can get net zero for a really cost-efficient investment,” Karlsson told Inhabitat. Buildings with the Innenco system installed tend to maintain a temperature of around 22 degrees Celsius, or around 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Innenco has already seen their concept work in the real world. They’ve installed their system in homes, offices, schools, and industry premises. Karlsson said they were excited to discover they could utilize a really high rate of thermal mass in industry buildings, and think their concept could translate well to skyscrapers . They’ve worked in Sweden, the Czech Republic, Spain, and the Netherlands, with projects coming up in Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. They provide maintenance, and their energy concept can be installed as new buildings are built or integrated in old ones. Karlsson said sustainability projects should deliver social, environmental, and economical benefits, all three of which Innenco aims to offer with their concept. “Reducing carbon dioxide emissions is a really high goal for us,” Karlsson told Inhabitat. “It’s the climate condition; it’s really necessary to figure out how we can help the planet.” Innenco hopes to introduce their energy concept to other markets too, such as the United States. You can find out more on their website . + Innenco Images courtesy of Innenco

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This new energy concept from Sweden can make any building net zero

Episode 95: Turning vision into reality; GM bolts into the future

October 6, 2017 by  
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In this week’s episode, vision becomes reality for a waste-free economy and urban mobility, and science-based targets reach critical mass.

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Episode 95: Turning vision into reality; GM bolts into the future

Making Solar Sweeter: Pollinator-Friendly Arrays

October 2, 2017 by  
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Introduced at VERGE 2015, and highlighted recently in training by the International Society of Sustainability Professionals, the practice of using the land under and around U.S. solar arrays to benefit pollinators is on the cusp of becoming a standard practice — as it is in Europe. Benefitting pollinators at scale, and producing “Solar Honey,” are new ways to increase support for large-scale solar.

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Making Solar Sweeter: Pollinator-Friendly Arrays

Sixth mass extinction on Earth is driven by industrial farming, says leading academic

August 30, 2017 by  
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Earth is presently experiencing its sixth “mass extinction,” and humans are largely to blame, says a leading academic. In his new book The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy, Professor Patel of the University of Texas explains how mass deforestation to clear grounds to grow mono-crops, the creation of large dead zones in the sea caused by run-off of fertilizers, and the trend of over-fishing are a detriment to the world and are driving the destruction of our planet. “The footprint of global agriculture is vast. Industrial agriculture is absolutely responsible for driving deforestation, absolutely responsible for pushing industrial monoculture , and that means it is responsible for species loss,” said Patel. “We’re losing species we have never heard of, those we’ve yet to put a name to and industrial agriculture is very much at the spear-tip of that.” In an interview with The Independent , Patel pointed to the largest-ever “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico . The region has too little oxygen for marine life as a result of vast amounts of fertilizers washing from farms in mainland US into the ocean. “That dead zone isn’t an accident. It’s a requirement of industrial agriculture to get rid of the sh*t and the run-off elsewhere because you cannot make industrial agriculture workable unless you kick the costs somewhere else,” he said. “The story of industrial agriculture is all about externalising costs and exploiting nature.” Mono-crops, such as soy and corn, are big offenders in Patel’s book. Not only does the farming practice result in a loss of diversity , it eliminates habitats of potentially endangered species, including elephants, jaguars, and penguins.“Extinction is about the elimination of diversity. What happens in Brazil and other places is you get green deserts — monocultures of soy and nothing else,” he said. Evidence of this can be found in Sumatra, where forests are being decimated to make way for palm plantations and industrial meat factories. In the oceans, anchovies and sardines and being overfished . Rather than being consumed by humans, however, they are ground up and added to feed for salmon, pigs, and chickens. For animals that feed on them, such as penguins, this spells trouble as their food source is declining. The Professor is urging consumers to “think on a bigger scale.” Said Patel, “‘As a consumer’ you are only allowing yourself a range of action. ‘As a consumer ’ you can buy something that’s local and sustainable, that’s labelled as organic or fair trade.” He added, “But ‘as a consumer’, you don’t get to do a whole lot of good. As a citizen, as a decent person, you can demand more from your government, from one’s employer, from yourself. Related: The sixth mass extinction is killing off wildlife 100 times faster than “normal” The activist urges people to be aware of their power “as part of a society where we can change things.” He said, “We have this power to change things in the future. What we have to do is make that change.” The answer is not vegetarianism , he said (though it will surely help). Rather, it’s time humanity switch to a world in which resources were shared and looked after. Patel urges a shift in mentality, as well, as people’s “images of consumption that are entirely unsustainable .” Professor Patel will be a keynote speaker at the Extinction and Livestock Conference in London in October. The event is organized by groups such as Compassion in World Farming and WWF and is being held to raise awareness about the rapid rate of species loss which could ultimately lead to the sixth mass extinction of life. Via The Independent Images via Pixabay

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Sixth mass extinction on Earth is driven by industrial farming, says leading academic

Walmart wants to know the true cost of its products

August 30, 2017 by  
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Katherine Neebe, director of sustainability at Walmart, on supporting the Paris Agreement, consumer activism and leaving a positive legacy.

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Walmart wants to know the true cost of its products

Sustainability finance lessons, from Adidas to Starbucks

August 30, 2017 by  
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Green bonds are just one creative approach retailers are taking to boost sustainability.

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Sustainability finance lessons, from Adidas to Starbucks

3 digital strategies to make your sustainability story pop

August 10, 2017 by  
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Americans increasingly want to hear your company’s sustainability story, a key way to differentiate your brand. Now, make that story stand out.

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3 digital strategies to make your sustainability story pop

5 key areas to jumpstart climate-smart investment

August 10, 2017 by  
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Energy storage is just one hot spot of innovation that IFC recommends watching.

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5 key areas to jumpstart climate-smart investment

Episode 87: Apple branches out; it’s time to reimagine carbon

August 4, 2017 by  
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In this week’s episode, JP Morgan commits billions to “clean” financing, how to heal our overdrawn ecological budget — and corals get health insurance.

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Episode 87: Apple branches out; it’s time to reimagine carbon

Community is the key to resilience

July 24, 2017 by  
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Four weeks into the job, Josh Stanbro, chief resilience officer of the City and County of Honolulu, discussed confronting the sustainability challenges confronting the city and Hawaii as a state and part of the world at large.”On Oahu, people recognize that there are direct and immediate threats from climate change,” said Stanbro. Forward-thinking Honolulu had recently voted to establish an office of resilience that tackles affordable housing, critical infrastructure and response to natural hazards associated with climate change and sea level rise.  

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Community is the key to resilience

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