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Economy

CEM Governments Announce Renewables Campaign

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A new renewable energy campaign was unveiled today at the 7th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) in San Francisco. The Corporate Sourcing of Renewables campaign is led by the Danish and German governments and aims to rally other CEM member countries into making renewable energy commitments. The Climate Group predict the campaign will significantly increase the number of companies using renewable energy to power their businesses.

The new campaign is encouraging business action in CEM member countries and driving the world’s biggest, most influential companies making 100% renewable power commitments to join RE100 – a global, collaborative business initiative led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP.

It was also announced that six world-leading companies have joined RE100 with a commitment to 100% renewable power across their global operations. They include global interconnection and data centre provider, Equinix; Swedish food processing and packaging giant, Tetra Pak; Canadian financial leader, TD Bank Group; leading manufacturer of modular carpet, Interface, Inc.; global advertising, media and marketing group, Dentsu Aegis Network; and global provider of enterprise cloud applications, Workday, Inc.

The new joiners take the total number of committed companies in RE100 to 65. All were recognised at CEM7 by the Danish Minister for Energy, Utilities and Climate, Lars Christian Lilleholt, who announced the new commitments – and praised RE100 – on stage.

On meeting their 100% goals, the six new companies will collectively ensure that over 4,000GWh of electricity is powered by renewables – more than enough to power the whole of San Francisco.

RE100 has previously estimated that if 1,000 of the world’s most influential businesses become 100% powered by renewables, they would decarbonize almost a tenth of all electricity used worldwide and cut more than 1,000Mt of CO2 every year – 3.4% of global emissions. This impact could rise considerably if they were to successfully influence their supply chains and customer base to use renewable electricity too.

Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group, said: “The demand push from corporates is as important as supportive government policy – bold action by businesses, cities and governments sends a strong market signal and means we can hold global warming below two degrees far more quickly.

“The Clean Energy Ministerial is shining the spotlight on RE100 as a model of best practice in galvanizing the switch to renewable energy, and the wave of influential companies joining RE100 today shows the business case for 100% renewables is as strong as ever.

“In many cases business wants to go further and faster. Governments can play a key role by implementing supportive policies, particularly in emerging economies – crucial for unlocking the growth of the renewable energy market globally.”

Sam Kapoor, Global Chief Operations Officer, Equinix, said, “As a leading global interconnection and data centre company, our business is inherently energy-intensive.  As companies around the globe adjust to industry shifts such as cloud, mobility, IoT and Big Data, and require ever more space and power, our energy consumption grows with them.

“At Equinix, containing and greening that energy growth and designing energy-efficient IBX data centres is a top priority. Through these efforts we strive to provide shared value for all of our stakeholders, including our customers, shareholders and employees, as well as the communities in which we operate.

“We have set a long-term goal of achieving 100% renewable energy, and we also encourage our partners and customers to embrace greener business operations.”

Charles Brand, EVP Product Management and Commercial Operations at Tetra Pak, said: “Signing up to RE100 reflects our on-going commitment to minimising our climate impact and increasing our use of renewable resources.

“We have set an ambitious target to ensure carbon emissions across our value chain are capped at 2010 levels through to 2020, and we are making excellent progress. In 2015 emissions were down 15% from the 2010 baseline, despite a 16% increase in production.

“Since setting our climate goal we have maximized our efforts to reduce energy consumption; committing to a renewable energy target is a natural next step. By joining RE100 we will benefit from expert guidance and peer-to-peer learning on renewable energy options in different markets.

“For us, renewable energy is a key element of our environmental agenda, and an important factor in helping us achieve our sustainable growth ambitions.”

Karen Clarke-Whistler, Chief Environment Officer at TD Bank Group, said: “In 2008 TD made a decision to lead on the environment and to be carbon neutral – joining RE100 reflects both these commitments.

“Few doubt the need to transition to a low carbon economy. As key drivers of economic growth large corporations have a major role to play in this transformation. If not us, then who? ‎And we will have far more impact acting together through RE100 than individually.

“In 2015, TD sourced renewable energy equivalent to 100 percent of the electricity we used across the bank and we aim to continue doing this. I’ve been asked if our low carbon operating model has had an impact on our business. The answer is yes – it transforms our business and continues to be a driver of innovation.”

Erin Meezan, Vice President of Sustainability for Interface Inc., said: “For the past twenty years, Interface has been on a mission to eliminate our negative environmental footprint. As we approach our goal year of 2020, it is gratifying to join the companies engaged in RE100 in committing to aggressive renewable energy goals.”

Nick Priday, Group Chief Financial Officer at Dentsu Aegis Network, said: “As one of the world’s largest advertising and media groups, we want to lead our industry towards a low carbon economy.

“We have doubled in size since 2010 but reduced our carbon footprint per person globally by 21%. It is important that we de-couple carbon from our growth to achieve long term savings in our operations and become resilient to resource scarcity and price fluctuations.

“We quickly realized that in order to reach the required 40% carbon footprint reduction across our operations by 2020 to help keep the global temperature rise on or under 2˚C, a switch towards 100% renewable electricity would be essential. We see the step to join RE100 as an exciting public statement of our commitment.”

Economy

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

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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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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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