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Designing a better World Cup: the world’s first net zero energy stadium



While most people’s eyes will be on the 22 players from Brazil and Croatia kicking off the 2014 World Cup on Thursday, Hyewon Kong looks at how one stadium is leading the way on sustainable design.

This year’s World Cup is special not just because the hosting country has won more World Cups than any other, but also because sustainability has been a critical point of contention in the build-up to the event.

This has been most evident in the protests that local people in Brazil have organised to highlight their concerns that the competition is having a negative impact on their communities. Clearly the world wants a new model that doesn’t involve riding roughshod over existing infrastructure and local community interests, but Brazil has nonetheless helped to push the sustainability agenda forward in other ways.

Nowhere is this more clearly demonstrated than in the world’s first net zero energy stadium, Estádio Nacional de Brasília (formerly known as Estádio Mané Garrincha) in Brasília, which is also the first sports arena in the world to receive the platinum level (maximum) LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the US Green Building Council.

This remodeled stadium uses recycled materials from the old stadium and will generate 2.5 megawatt (MW) of solar energy – enough to power the entire stadium with the remainder going back into the grid. This is more solar power than 11 of the 32 countries participating in the competition are generating. It also actively reduces emissions through a pollution absorbing roof membrane, and collects rainwater to be reused in toilets and cleaning.

The world’s most sustainable stadium couldn’t exist without the computer-aided design (CAD) and simulation software, vital tools used by architects and engineers to transform their ideas into reality that are provided by companies such as Autodesk and Ansys. The key advantage of this technology is that it can calculate, measure and test different materials and components beyond human capability from the earliest design phase and work out how all the individual components can be put together accurately in the real world.

Projects at this scale involve huge amounts of financial, natural, and human resources and so avoiding errors and sharing accurate information is crucial for successful execution. The computer programmes help reduce waste, improve resource efficiency and significantly reduce the overall environmental and financial cost of the project.

According to EcoArenas, the Brasília stadium is expected to realise energy savings of up to 120% per year and will reduce potable water consumption by more than 80% compared with previous designs. The technology not only underpins the environmental performance of the building but also ensures safety by investigating physical strength using various simulations, as shown by the image below.

This kind of computer programme is used not only in large-scale projects, but it also touches many aspects of our daily lives from our homes, schools and transport to food and drinks (mainly packaging or logistics). Increasing raw material prices and volatility, as well as more stringent environmental and safety regulation, are driving the adoption of these tools, in turn enabling greater innovation and improving resource efficiency.

A critical driver has also been the escalating costs of non-compliance with a variety of environmental and safety requirements. The costs of ‘getting things wrong’ has never been so high, and the ability to test and simulate performance in a range of different conditions throughout the design process, has made CAD and simulation technologies essential.

The listed equity investment team at WHEB has recently reviewed a set of computer aid design and simulation technology businesses. The sector as a whole offers great investment opportunities driven by the megatrends addressed above. It also has high entry barriers as users of the technology tend not to switch easily to other vendors, due to the long time and knowledge embedded in the users’ own workflow. As a result, the industry has high recurring revenues and generates good margins and cash flows.

Currently, the FP WHEB Sustainability fund is invested in Trimble Navigation, a provider of products and services that are used to efficiently to plan, design and implement a range of commercial and agricultural processes and construction projects. We are also actively following other companies in the sector with a view to starting a position in due course.

Hyewon Kong is a senior analyst at London-based asset manager WHEB. This article originally appeared on its blog

Photo: Portal da Copa via flickr

Further reading:

World Cup host city Curitiba hit by floods

Brazil World Cup: Costa Rica wins on social justice

‘Hacktivists’ claim attacks on Brazil World Cup sites

Ed Davey: National Grid network could cope with England World Cup win

Why sustainability is unlikely to be a winner at the Brazil World Cup

Articles, features and comment from WHEB Group, an independent investment management firm specialising in opportunities created by the global transition to more sustainable, resource efficient economies. Posts are either original or previously featured on WHEB’s blog or in its magazine, WHEB Quarterly.


Report: Green, Ethical and Socially Responsible Finance



“The level of influence that ethical considerations have over consumer selection of financial services products and services is minimal, however, this is beginning to change. Younger consumers are more willing to pay extra for products provided by socially responsible companies.” Jessica Morley, Mintel’s Financial Services Analyst.

Consumer awareness of the impact consumerism has on society and the planet is increasing. In addition, the link between doing good and feeling good has never been clearer. Just 19% of people claim to not participate in any socially responsible activities.

As a result, the level of attention that people pay to the green and ethical claims made by products and providers is also increasing, meaning that such considerations play a greater role in the purchasing decision making process.

However, this is less true in the context of financial services, where people are much more concerned about the performance of a product rather than green and ethical factors. This is not to say, however, that they are not interested in the behaviour of financial service providers or in gaining more information about how firms behave responsibly.

This report focuses on why these consumer attitudes towards financial services providers exist and how they are changing. This includes examination of the wider economy and the current structure of the financial services sector.

Mintel’s exclusive consumer research looks at consumer participation in socially responsible activities, trust in the behaviour of financial services companies and attitudes towards green, ethical and socially responsible financial services products and providers. The report also considers consumer attitudes towards the social responsibilities of financial services firms and the green, ethical and socially responsible nature of new entrants.

There are some elements missing from this report, such as conducting socially responsible finance with OTC trading. We will cover these other topics in more detail in the future. You can research about Ameritrade if you want to know more ..

By this report today: call: 0203 416 4502 | email: iainooson[at]

Report contents:

What you need to know
Report definition
The market
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
The consumer
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Competition from technology companies
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
What we think
Creating a more inclusive economy
The facts
The implications
Payments innovation helps fundraising go digital
The facts
The implications
The social debt of the financial crisis
The facts
The implications
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
An ethical economy
An ethical financial sector
Ethical financial services providers
The role of investing
The change potential of pensions
The role of trust
Greater transparency informs decisions
Learning from past mistakes
The role of innovation
Payments innovation: Improving financial inclusion
Competition from new entrants
The power of new money
The role of the consumer
Consumers empowered to make a change
Aligning products with self
For financial products, performance is more important than ethics
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Competition from technology companies
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
Overall trust levels are high
Payments innovation can boost charitable donations
Consumer engagement in socially responsible activities is high
Healthier finances make it easier to go green
37% unable to identify socially responsible companies
Building societies seen to be more responsible than banks….
….whilst short-term loan companies are at the bottom of the pile
Overall trust levels are high
Tax avoidance remains a major concern
The divestment movement
Nationwide significantly more trusted
Trust levels remain high
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Socially conscious consumers are more concerned
Strategy reports provide little insight for consumers
Lack of clarity regarding corporate culture causes concern
Consumers want more information
The social debt of the financial crisis
For consumers, financial services firms play larger economic role
Promoting financial responsibility
Consumer trust is built on evidence
The alternative opportunity
The target customer

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A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon




energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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