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Low Carbon Champions Awards 2016 Call for Nominations to Open Shortly

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The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) will formally open its call for nominations to the 2016 Low Carbon Champions Awards in the week beginning 11 April. The Champions Awards celebrate organisations that have made a real difference in the area of low carbon road transport. There are seven Award categories, ranging from cars to innovation, from fuels to publications, and the winners will be announced at a gala dinner that will take place alongside Cenex’s Low Carbon Vehicle Event (Cenex-LCV) on Wednesday, 14 September 2016.

Building on the success of the last two events which have been growing in scale and impact, the LowCVP Champions Awards will be presented at a gala dinner to be held at a leading venue in Milton Keynes, beginning in the early evening of 14 September. Over the past couple of years, the Award’s Dinner, a collaboration between the LowCVP and Cenex-LCV, has become a must-attend networking event for the low carbon transport community.

Cenex’s LCV2016 Event (Millbrook, 14–15 September) has established its unique positioning for the Low Carbon Vehicle community as the UK’s premier technology showcasing and networking event.

The LowCVP Champions Awards celebrate examples of outstanding and innovative practice in accelerating the shift to lower carbon vehicles and fuels and reducing road transport emissions. There are seven categories of Awards, reflecting the diversity of those engaged in encouraging the shift to lower carbon vehicles and fuels. There are also two special Awards. The Award categories are:

  • Low Carbon Car/Van Manufacturer of the Year
  • Low Carbon Heavy Duty Vehicle Manufacturer of the Year
  • Low Carbon Vehicle Operator of the Year
  • Low Carbon Fuel Initiative of the Year
  • Award for Low Carbon Innovation by an SME
  • Low Carbon Road Transport Initiative of the Year
  • Outstanding Low Carbon Publication or Report

Special Awards include:

  • Outstanding Individual in Promoting Lower Carbon Transport
  • Grand Prix Award (“winner-of-winners”): Outstanding Achievement in Low Carbon Transport 2015–16

(Any organisation or initiative that has made a contribution to the low carbon vehicle or fuels agenda in road transport is eligible to enter the Champions Awards. Entrants that are uncertain about which category they can enter should contact the LowCVP Secretariat.)

The LowCVP Awards winners will be assessed by a panel of expert judges drawn from the LowCVP’s wide range of stakeholder organisations. Awards are for contribution to the low carbon road transport agenda with significant activity taking place from January 2015 to date. Shortlisted nominees will receive a complimentary place for a representative at the Cenex-LCV2016 dinner, courtesy of the LowCVP.

Andy Eastlake, the LowCVP’s Managing Director, said: “I agree with Oliver Letwin (Head of Government Policy in the Cabinet Office) that low emission vehicles and fuels represent a colossal opportunity for British industry. Last December’s Paris agreement has helped to confirm that we’re in the early stages of a new industrial revolution as some extraordinary technological developments begin to be incorporated into mainstream products.

“The LowCVP Low Carbon Champions Awards celebrate organisations that are in the vanguard of this revolutionary change.”

Robert Evans, CEO of Cenex, said, “We are pleased to be hosting another Networking Dinner at Cenex-LCV2016, and that the dinner will feature the LowCVP Champions Awards for the third consecutive year. The Cenex-LCV Dinner attracts a large audience of exhibitors and visitors, including many senior industry and government figures. The LowCVP Champions Awards has proven to be a popular feature within the dinner format, and we are excited to be collaborating with the LowCVP once again.”

Winners of the last (2015) LowCVP Low Carbon Champions Awards included: Optare; Scania; Mitsubishi Motors; Dundee City Council; Convert2Green; United Biscuits; Wirth Research; Avid Technology; GENeco and Urban Foresight. Dr Doug Parr, Chief Scientist at Greenpeace, and Prof Neville Jackson of Ricardo were joint winners of the Outstanding Individual Award, while Optare was the Grand Prix winner.

The deadline for Award nominations will be Friday, 13 May.

The LowCVP Low Carbon Champions Awards are accredited by the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), which means the winners are eligible to enter the prestigious biannual European Awards for Business and the Environment (EBAE). One of the winners of the LowCVP Low Carbon Champions Awards 2015 has been nominated by the RSA to compete in the 2016 EBAE Awards.

Some of the Awards categories already have confirmed sponsors – including Millbrook (‘Grand Prix’ sponsor) the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) and BAE Systems HybriDrive. The LowCVP is interested in hearing from potential sponsors for other 2016 Awards categories. All sponsors will receive a guaranteed table (seating eight people) at the event, which was a sell-out in 2014 and 2015.

Environment

Build, Buy, Or Retrofit? 3 Green Housing Considerations

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green housing techniques

Green housing is in high demand, but it’s not yet widely available, posing a serious problem: if you want to live an eco-friendly lifestyle, do you invest in building something new and optimize it for sustainability, or do you retrofit a preexisting building?

The big problem when it comes to choosing between these two options is that building a new home creates more waste than retrofitting specific features of an existing home, but it may be more efficient in the long-run. For those concerned with waste and their environmental footprint, the short term and long term impacts of housing are in close competition with each other.

New Construction Options

One reason that new construction is so desired among green living enthusiasts is that it can be built to reflect our highest priorities. Worried about the environmental costs of heating your home? New construction can be built using passive solar design, a strategy that uses natural light and shade to heat or cool the home. Builders can add optimal insulation, build with all sustainable materials, and build exactly to the scale you need.

In fact, scale is a serious concern for new home buyers and builders alike. Individuals interested in green housing will actively avoid building more home than they need – scaling to the square foot matter because that’s more space you need to heat or cool – and this is harder to do when buying. You’re stuck with someone else’s design. In this vein, Missouri S&T’s Nest Home design, which uses recycled shipping containers, combines the tiny home trend with reuse and sustainability.

The Simple Retrofit

From an environmental perspective, there’s an obvious problem with building a new home: it’s an activity of mass consumption. There are already 120 million single-family homes and duplexes in the United States; do we really need more?

Extensive development alone is a good enough reason to intelligently retrofit an existing home rather than building new green structures, but the key is to do so with as little waste as possible. One option for retrofitting older homes is to install new smart home technology that can automate home regulation to reduce energy use.

Real estate agent Roxanne DeBerry sees clients struggle with issues of efficiency on a regular basis. That’s why she recommends tools like the Nest Thermostat, which develops a responsive heating and cooling schedule for the home and can be remotely adjusted via smartphone. Other smart tools for home efficiency include choosing Energy Star appliances and installing water-saving faucets and low-pressure toilets. These small changes add up.

Big Innovations

Ultimately, the most effective approach to green housing is likely to be aggressive retrofitting of everything from period homes to more recent construction. This will reduce material use where possible and prevent further aggressive land use. And finally, designers, activists, and engineers are coming together to develop such structures.

In the UK, for example, designers are interested in finding ways to adapt period houses for greater sustainability without compromising their aesthetics. Many have added solar panels, increased their insulation levels, and recently they even developed imitation sash triple glazed windows. As some have pointed out, the high cost of heating these homes without such changes will push these homes out of relevance without these changes. This is a way of saving existing structures.

Harvard is also working on retrofitting homes for sustainability. Their HouseZero project is designed for near-zero energy use and zero carbon emissions using geothermal heating and temperature radiant surfaces. The buildings bridge the gap between starting over and putting up with unmanageable heating and cooling bills.

It will take a long time to transition the majority of individuals to energy efficient, green housing but we’re headed in the right direction. What will your next home be like? As long as the answer is sustainable, you’re part of the solution to our chronic overuse – of land, energy, water, and more.

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Environment

How the Auto Industry is Lowering Emissions

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auto industry to clean air pollution

Currently, the automotive industry is undergoing an enormous change in a bid to lower carbon emissions. This has been pushed by the Government and their clean air plans, where they have outlined a plan to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040.

Public Health Crisis

It is said that the levels of air pollution lead to 40,000 early deaths in the UK, with London being somewhere that is particularly bad. This has led to the new T-Charge, where heavy polluting cars will pay a new charge on top of the existing congestion charge. Other cities have taken action too, with Oxford recently announcing that they will be banning petrol and diesel cars from the city centre by 2020.

Eco-Friendly Vehicles

It is clear that the Government is taking action, but what about the auto industry? With the sale of petrol and diesel plummeting and a sharp rise in alternatively fuelled vehicles, it is clear that the industry is taking note and switching focus to green cars. There are now all kinds of fantastic eco-friendly cars available and a type to suit every motorist whether it is a small city car or an SUV.

Used Cars

Of course, it is the cars that are currently on the road that are causing the problem. The used car market is enormous and filled with polluting automobiles, but there are steps that you can take to avoid dangerous automobiles. It is now more important than ever to get vehicle checks carried out through HPI, as these can reveal important information about the automobile’s past and they find that 1 in 3 cars has a hidden secret of some kind. Additionally, they can now perform recall checks to see if the manufacturer has recalled that particular automobile. This allows people to shop confidently and find vehicles that are not doing as much damage to the environment as others.

Public Perception

With the rise in sales of alternatively fuelled vehicles, it is now becoming increasingly more common to see them on UK roads. Public perception has changed drastically in the last few years and this is because of the air pollution crisis, as well as the fact that there are now so many different reasons to switch to electric cars, such as Government grants and no road tax. A similar change in public opinion has happened in the United States, with electric car sales up by 47% in 2017.

Progress

The US is leading the way for lowering emissions as they have declined by 758 million metric tons since 2005, which is the largest amount by far with the UK in second with a decline of 170 million metric tons. Whilst it is clear that these two nations are doing a good job, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in order to improve the air quality and stop so many premature deaths as a result of pollution.

With the Government’s plans, incentives to make the change and a change in public perception, it seems that the electric car revolution is fully underway.

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