The best green deals for Black Friday 2018

‘Tis the season for Black Friday shopping, but here at Inhabitat we are determined to turn this year’s shopping event green. While some people might grumble about Black Friday, we think it is the perfect opportunity to save money on sustainable items, especially appliances, for your home. It’s also a great time to stock up on eco-friendly gifts for everyone you love without blowing your holiday budget. We’ve searched through ads galore in order to share some great green deals for Black Friday 2018 with you.

Man and child on a mattress

Give the gift of a good night’s sleep with My Green Mattress

The perfect formula for a great green gift is something eco-friendly (obviously), durable and practical with a touch of luxury (without costing you a fortune). It should also be something that your intended recipient might not think to buy for themselves. Unless they are waking up with back pain every day, most people don’t think to replace their mattress. Surprise your loved ones with an organic, non-toxic mattress from My Green Mattress. Not only will this help them sleep better and breathe easier, but it is also a gift that keeps on giving — they’ll be thanking you for many years to come! Previously, we’ve seen impressive Black Friday deals from My Green Mattress, so we’re keeping an eye out for this year’s sale starting November 21!

glass storage containers in a fridge

Stock up on $10 glass storage container sets at JCPenney

Now is the time to stock up on glass storage containers. Plastic can leak dangerous chemicals into your food, especially when heated. Glass provides a safer, more sustainable alternative that will last for years. These containers are great for packing lunches or meal prepping. At JCPenney on Black Friday, the prices for Pyrex storage container sets range from $9.99 to $14.99 (after a mail-in rebate).

blue building with yellow IKEA sign

Take $25 off a purchase of $100 or more at IKEA

If you didn’t know already, IKEA is actually a treasure trove of eco-friendly products. All of its lighting uses LEDs, and the company even offers several solar-powered lights. You can also find reusable zipping bags for food, handmade rugs and more than enough plants to turn your place into a paradise. IKEA is also working toward using 100 percent renewable energy, so it’s not a bad time to stock up on green products while saving money and supporting a sustainable company.

smart thermostat on wall above shelf of plants

Score major deals on smart home technology at Lowe’s

Lowe’s has announced it will offer the Nest Learning Thermostat for $70 off on Black Friday. It’s a great time to grab a smart thermostat, as these devices can help you conserve energy and save money all winter long. If you aren’t in the market for a smart thermostat, Lowe’s is also offering GE Smart Bulb Bundles for only $25 (originally $55). Smart lights are great energy savers, so now is the time to upgrade the lights in your home. They also make excellent, eco-minded gifts.

Related: 4 things you need to know about smart thermostats

white kitchen with steel cabinets and energy-efficient appliances

Get the best deals on energy-efficient appliances at Home Depot

Update your kitchen and laundry room with some impressive deals at Home Depot. The store is offering hundreds of ENERGY STAR appliances for up to 40 percent off, and you can save up to $500 on top of that by bundling. If you will be getting rid of old appliances, check with ENERGY STAR to recycle them and earn rebates.

full-height bookshelf with large open space where a flat-screen TV sits

Find ENERGY STAR televisions for as low as $80 at Target

When most people think of Black Friday, they tend to picture hoards of people battling over deeply-discounted televisions. This year, you can nab an ENERGY STAR television (specifically, a Polaroid 32-inch) for as low as $80 at Target. You can also check ENERGY STAR to see if the television you have your eyes on is energy-efficient. Either way, you’ll definitely want to get there early — these are the deals everyone will want.

Happy shopping!

Images via My Green Mattress, Nest, Jeremy LevineSiniz Kim, Freestocks and Shutterstock

Wheelabrator Technologies’ Watsford Works to Grow WTE Infrastructure

Wheelabrator Technologies, a company that converts municipal solid waste and other renewable waste fuels into clean energy, is working to build upon its waste-to-energy (WTE) infrastructure and operations. And one of the leaders of that effort is Julia Watsford, the company’s vice president of corporate strategy and market planning.

For the past three years, Watsford has worked to develop and execute the company’s corporate strategy, which aims to drive growth and productivity. And most recently, she has helped organize, manage and engage in a number of projects, including three WTE facilities under construction in the U.K.

“Julia’s most admirable quality is her tenacity. She is a results-driven, experienced executive combining strong business and financial acumen to achieve rapid turnaround, recurring bottom line savings and strong growth,” says Robert Boucher, president and CEO of Wheelabrator. “She employs a strategic mindset with a unique and proven ability to translate strategy into execution and deliver organic and inorganic growth strategies. Watsford has a demonstrated ability to design and build teams, recruit, retain and develop talent and build employee engagement and team accountability. She has a strong technical background with demonstrated experience in process optimization, business transformation and strategy formation. She also brings to Wheelabrator the exceptional capacity to absorb information quickly, rationalize, organize and manage and engage in multiple projects. Finally, her ability to distill the ‘so what’ of the many influences our company and industry faces into clearly articulated, actionable strategies makes her an invaluable leader.”

This year, Watsford was presented with a Waste360 40 Under 40 award, and she recently spoke with us about her role at the company, how technology has changed the industry and the value of WTE.

Waste360: How long have you been in the waste and recycling industry and how did you get your start?

Julia Watsford: I have worked in the waste management industry for about five and a half years, and I got my start in Australia as a management consultant at Price Waterhouse Coopers. I worked on a project for a publicly-traded waste collection company and ended up running a fleet remobilization project there for a couple of years. Through that process and a number of other engagements at the company, I started working on the 100-day plan and strategy for the now CEO of Wheelabrator, when he came on board back here in the U.S. As part of that experience, I transitioned from being a consultant to a full-time employee at Wheelabrator, and I have now been with the company as part of the senior leadership team for over three years.

Waste360: Explain your role as vice president of corporate strategy and market planning.

Julia Watsford: My role has a wide range of responsibilities. Ultimately, I am responsible for the internal and external corporate strategy of the organization and how we execute on that strategy. I support the CFO and CEO in driving the strategic agenda of the organization.

I am responsible for market planning, which is a strategic planning process around the way we look at the waste supply that comes into our WTE facilities and our understanding of the different supply sources in each of our markets.

I also have responsibility for procurement and supply chain, which manages the purchase of goods and services to support our fleet of 19 WTE facilities across the U.S. and the U.K, including our three facilities under construction in the U.K.

In addition, I am responsible for communications and community engagement, which again ties into our internal and external corporate strategy and ensuring we engage with the communities in which we operate and serve.

Lastly, I am responsible for the project management office, which oversees 25 strategic, cross-functional projects within the organization. Those projects include greenfield and brownfield business development opportunities of new WTE facilities, the construction of our three WTE facilities in the U.K. and multiple cost reduction and revenue improvement projects.

Waste360: When you first started in your role, you helped realign and restructure the business under new ownership (Energy Capital Partners). Come 2019, the company will be under new ownership again (Macquarie Infrastructure Partners). Do you anticipate having to do another round of adjustments as a new owner takes over?

Julia Watsford: For now, it really is business as usual at Wheelabrator. The initial change and restructuring that we did under the ownership of Energy Capital Partners (ECP) was really a function of the fact that Wheelabrator had previously been a division within Waste Management, so it was about setting the business up to stand on its own two feet as a standalone business and making sure that the organization had a clear vision, set of values and defined strategic priorities for the team to follow and deliver upon. The majority of the changes that we made in 2016 were focused on our corporate office and making sure that we were structured as efficiently as possible to support the underlying operations at our facilities. Those strategic priorities have remained in place over the last three years, and I expect they will continue to remain in place moving forward.

Wheelabrator has an amazing track record and a history of operational excellence in both the U.S and the U.K, and that is what makes it such an attractive partner in the communities that we operate and a business to ultimately own. Pending close of the transaction, we will simply have a longer-term owner, who, like ECP, is invested in seeing the continued growth of the organization.

Waste360: WTE makes up a small portion of the U.S. waste and recycling industry. How is Wheelabrator working to expand its WTE efforts and to get others to support those efforts?

Julia Watsford: Education is critical for WTE to continue to grow and succeed in the U.S. At Wheelabrator, we spend a lot of time engaging in the communities in which we operate to help them understand the value of WTE. It’s critically important to us to be a good neighbor, support local schools and community groups, host tours of our facilities and be involved in different ways so that community members can learn about sustainable waste management, clean power generation, the value of the waste hierarchy and the available options for reuse and recycling. And that’s why research shows that communities with WTE have higher recycling rates than those that don’t.

WTE is renewable because our fuel source, post-recycled waste, is sustainable and non-depletable, and we provide a way to convert the energy in non-recyclable materials into electricity and heat. The more that we can educate the public about the environmental benefits of WTE—reducing greenhouse gas emissions, avoiding carbon dioxide generation from burning fossil fuels and avoiding methane generation from landfill—the better.

Waste360: Since joining the company, how have you seen technology change the business and/or the industry as a whole?

Julia Watsford: The interesting thing about WTE is that the mass burn technology that we employ at our facilities here in the U.S and also in the U.K. look and feel very similar—why? Because the fact is that the technology has been proven to be the best and most efficient way to process post-recycled waste. If you walk through the first commercial WTE facility in the U.S., Saugus, and then walk through our most recently built WTE facility in the U.K., Ferrybridge 1, the fundamentals of the process are very much the same; however, the improvements in certain technology are noticeable.

The real impact of technological change though is in how we continue to optimize our operations, achieve efficient combustion and gain better insight into how we best maintain our facilities to ensure that they can operate indefinitely. At Wheelabrator, we’re really focused on how we leverage technology and take a more data-driven approach to how we ensure our facilities are maintained to the highest quality, in order to last indefinitely and provide an indefinite source of sustainable waste management to the communities in which we operate.

More recently, we have made large investments in new technology for the recycling of metals from our facilities and invested in two advanced metal recovery systems and a central upgrade facility at our ash monofills in the U.S. to allow us to recycle further ferrous and non-ferrous fines from the waste stream.

Waste360: What’s your proudest accomplishment in your career so far

Julia Watsford: I am so proud of what we’ve been able to achieve at Wheelabrator, and I’m incredibly thankful of the opportunity that I had—to be involved in defining the 100-day plan and strategy that the company is now successfully executing.

The culture at Wheelabrator was and has been fantastic—but being able to build upon that culture with clear, strategic priorities has made the company an even greater organization and, I hope, a greater place to work. I’m proud that I have been able to play such a role in helping make the organization what it is today, and what it will be for at least the next 40 years.

Waste360: What advice would you give to someone interested in joining the WTE side of the industry?

Julia Watsford: I think WTE is such an interesting industry, as it brings together a lot of different technical capabilities but also has the feel-good factor of doing something really good for the environment and creates sustainable solutions for how we manage our waste.

Individuals looking to understand the industry and get involved in WTE should know that we offer tours and internships at a number of our WTE facilities. Internships are great opportunities because they allow you to get inside the business and understand how it works and what opportunities really exist.

From me though, my advice would be that it’s really about getting out there and educating yourself about the industry, the business, the process and the role you can play. We’re always looking for ways to bring in the next generation of leaders—and I’m excited to talk to the new generation that wants to work on WTE about what it is and why Wheelabrator is the right company to work for.

Waste360: The industry is currently undergoing a lot of changes. What exciting opportunities do you think exist for the future of the industry?

Julia Watsford: I think the exciting opportunities in the space are really going to be around how we as a society continue to grow and think about sustainable waste management infrastructure. For me, that really isn’t about one type of waste treatment versus another. To have a fully sustainable waste management system, you need multiple components. And the beauty of WTE is that it has the ability to take and process post-recycled materials that could not be recycled—and processes those in the most efficient and environmentally friendly way. As more and more different types of waste come out of the waste stream, the value of WTE being a part of the waste infrastructure becomes even more important.

I hope to see continued support for WTE and support for the development of new WTE facilities as communities look to redefine their solid waste management plans and think through how to have more comprehensive waste management infrastructure in the U.S.—am I biased, yes. But am I right, yes.

Energy-independent smart homes on horizon – Sarasota Herald

Cortez development will raise stakes on environmentally friendly construction

PALMETTO — A nondescript collection of warehouses stretches down a narrow and easily overlooked street here. Few businesses display identifying signs, lending the industrial zone an aura of secrecy.

One warehouse with sheets of brown paper covering the windows is the research-and-design center for Pearl Homes. The product being developed inside holds the potential to be an environmental game-changer in the scientific crusade against greenhouse gas emissions and global climate change.

It is a state-of-the-sustainable-art smart house with a renewable energy system, the greenest construction and artificial intelligence.

The goal of Pearl’s founder and principal, Marshall Gobuty, is to develop the first community in the country designed to operate entirely on its own solar energy production.

Manatee County has already approved his 148-home Hunters Point development, which is to be built in Cortez.

Pearl Homes is partnering with a German company, sonnen GmbH, the global leader in developing and producing intelligent energy management and storage systems, and with Google Smart Home to create homes that unite solar energy and storage, home automation and green construction into one integrated system designed to help decarbonize the greater community.

Google Home, with its artificial intelligence and smart-speaker system, ties all the pieces together.

Gobuty, after earning national accolades for green construction and solar energy use in his Mirabella development in southwest Bradenton, decided to up the ante significantly in the pursuit of building a net-zero-plus community. Gobuty said his Hunters Point project will be the first time an energy management and storage system has worked in concert with Google Home in a master-planned development capable of maximizing the intelligent use of each household’s renewable energy.

The small house in the research center is being built indoors not for secrecy but so the crew can test and calibrate the solar power system and smart home applications.

A net-zero building primarily consumes energy produced by renewable sources on-site or off-site but gets some power from the electrical grid, which it returns during times of high solar energy production. Net-zero-plus buildings take that a step further, producing a surplus of energy over a year and using the grid to store that energy.

The goal is to reduce a home’s carbon footprint by eliminating reliance on the electric grid and thus lowering greenhouse gas emissions discharged by utility power plants.

A flash of inspiration

Gobuty was already a homebuilder when he saw the eco-friendly light in a sudden flash that he can’t explain but that caused him to convert his construction principles into the sustainability arena.

Bradenton’s Mirabella community, his first eco-friendly development, is a LEED Platinum-certified neighborhood of 158 paired villas in southwest Bradenton.

Everything from Mirabella’s foundation to its rooftops incorporate eco-conscious features — including solar panels and environmentally friendly construction materials and methods. Those practices slash utility bills and create healthier buildings.

LEED is a U.S. Green Building Council program that stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Platinum certification, its highest benchmark for energy use, water use and sustainability, must be earned through unscheduled inspections by council representatives checking construction for adherence to LEED requirements. For net-zero-plus certification, a project must also adhere to U.S. Department of Energy principles and standards, including Energy STAR, Indoor airPLUS for healthier air and WaterSense water-saving products.

Mirabella homes consume nearly 40 percent less energy than a conventional home and save 2,500 gallons of water per person every year.

In June, Mahesh Ramanujam, the U.S. Green Building Council’s president and chief executive, came to Bradenton from Washington, D.C., to help Gobuty and local officials celebrate the completion of the 100th LEED home in Mirabella, a 55+ community.

“This is unique,” Ramanujam said in an interview before that ceremony. “Florida is getting greener all the time.”

Mirabella is one of the first production-built projects in the country to meet the council’s highest standards on just about everything. Most green homes are custom-built, but an entire development of those residences lowers purchase prices with economies of scale.

“You don’t have to be rich to own a sustainable home,” Gobuty said. “It is not cost-prohibitive. It’s actually enhancing their life.

“This is the solution for the future for homes,” Gobuty said. “This is still just as luxurious but eliminates our carbon footprint and really makes the world a better place.

“The world does not need another block home builder,” he said. “There are a lot of them.”

Hunters Point details

Gobuty’s next development, Hunters Point-Pearl Homes Resort and Marina in Cortez, is designed to fulfill his goal of creating a net-zero-plus community of homes like the one in the warehouse. Dozens of energy-independent, cottage-style residences of around 500 square feet under air and 1,200 square feet in decks will be sold fully furnished. The development will be hooked up with city sewer and city water.

The homes will sit on pilings 15 feet above the flood zone. The ground level will have a two-car garage, storage compartments and elevator access to the second-floor living area and the rooftop deck. The master bedroom; office or second bedroom with a Murphy bed; bathroom; and combination kitchen, dining and living room occupy the second floor. A pergola shades three-quarters of a rooftop deck as well as an outdoor kitchen. The flat roof over the first-floor deck supports the solar panels.

The steel, carbon fiber and timber construction with hurricane-strength windows will withstand a Category 5 hurricane, Gobuty said. “We’ve proven it does.”

The starting price for the homes will be $400,000.

“Hunters Point will not be inexpensive,” Gobuty said. “The land was expensive. It’s on the water and will have a marina.

“That’s not a base price where we’ll ask you to spend more on any number of upgrades,” he said. “Each home is priced according to its finishes and comes fully furnished with top-of-the-line upgrades throughout.”

Blake Richetta, senior vice president and head of sonnen’s Atlanta-based U.S. operations, is as enthusiastic about the project as Gobuty is — calling the prototype a “super awesome house,” “a concept product” and “a showpiece.”

Hunters Point, he said, will become “a virtual power plant.”

A national showing

Ramanujam said the U.S. Green Building Council is launching a new net-zero certification program that gives the green building community a new standard to achieve. Such an official designation would give Hunters Point additional bragging rights.

“What makes Hunters Point so unique,” he said, “is that it upends the traditional homebuilding vision and replaces it with one based on decarbonizing the grid and establishing a complete solution that improves the health of the planet.

“The community uses a streamlined process to achieve the highest levels of sustainability and occupant health. I am sure this project will serve as a model for other LEED-certified net-zero-energy homes in the decades to come.”

Gobuty and Richetta are taking their Pearl Homes/sonnen show on the road this week for two presentations before the crowds attending the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Chicago, a U.S. Green Building Council event.

No-compromise design

Gobuty began his net-zero-plus quest at the Florida Solar Energy Center at the University of Central Florida, giving the research scientists there free rein.

“They’ve designed this home to be the most energy-efficient home that’s ever been built,” he said. “And I can say that because when I met with them, they said, ‘Are you sure? You’re going to let us decide where the windows go? You’re going to let us decide how the system works? You’re not going to put vinyl anywhere in this house? You’re going to use all-natural components?’

“And we did it. That was two years ago we started on this road,” Gobuty said.

He also enlisted sonnen, which produces a solar energy automation system with advanced software and technology that automatically monitors a home’s energy use in real time and adjusts how and what is powered. Sonnen’s system unites home automation, residential solar panels and energy storage to efficiently manage energy use, protect smart homes against grid outages and help power the existing electrical grid.

Sonnen’s artificial intelligence component tells the homeowner when to wash the dishes or do the laundry.

“And now we’ve become this true off-the-grid, completely self-sufficient home,” Gobuty said. “It’s something that hasn’t been done before. You can build a smaller home but can you build a smaller home that is ingeniously smarter than anything, that also harnesses the most natural power in the world, which is solar power?

“And that’s the big advantage. Sonnen has answered that solution for us.”

Energy use

Gary Carmack, Pearl Homes’ energy development officer, has tested the sonnen system repeatedly. Its eight large batteries can hold a total of 16 kilowatts of electricity.

“The design in this battery will carry the house through the whole night,” he said. “On overcast days, our production’s going to go down. We might not get back up to 95 percent, we might go to 80 or 70. That’s why we tied up to the grid as a backup.”

The grid could be cut out of the energy equation entirely in the future. “We want to do a shared community. That’s our ultimate goal,” Carmack said. “It’s called a virtual power plant. We’re going to create power and share it amongst the community.”

The walls, floors and ceilings were built with 6 inches of insulation, batts and spray foam, giving the entire structure an R-26 rating. “A standard block home is R-4 and a plain stick house is typically an R-11,” said Jim Dick, construction manager for Pearl. “That’s code.”

Thanks to the high-efficiency windows, “once the interior hits 75 degrees, it’s staying in there unless somebody’s coming in and out the door,” he said.

The high-tech enhancements extend to appliances. “The air conditioner can’t be heard with its inverter technology,” Carmack said. “It’s amazing.”

The Google Nest

The residence wouldn’t be a smart home without the Google Nest system, which the company calls their Thoughtful Home.

“Every single component they make they put in here with us,” Gobuty said. “They actually designed it with us, they installed it with us, and we’ve been partners with them to create the smartest home, not just, ‘Hi Google, turn the music on,’ but the Nest system, the security system, the HVAC system, the electric window closers, everything is controlled by the Google Smart Home. That’s also integrated into the sonnenBatterie.

“They call it a Thoughtful Home. I would call it a brilliant home because we’ve created something that doesn’t exist. That’s what I’m trying to do. I love it.”

Homes will not be built on the development site yet. Prospective buyers will be taken to the warehouse to examine the model and then flown by helicopter to Cortez to not only examine the site but to gain a broad perspective of the area.

Monique Viehman, the marketing director for Pearl Homes, said sales will start in the next few months. “We’re not going to start construction on the site until every single house is sold,” she said. “We’re not far away. We will be starting sales soon.”

Gobuty’s enthusiasm for Hunters Point homes exceeds his zeal for Mirabella.

“This is a very open, fantastic, outdoor-living Florida home. And that’s what we’re here for. Our challenge is the people that say they want to be sustainable, the people that say they want a better planet — we have the home for you.

“And you’re not compromising. There’s no compromising in this home. You have the sustainability of having the power you generate is your power. You get to look at your iPhone and you get to see that over the past year, 98 percent of all the power that I’ve used in my home is self-generated.”

Company to turn farm waste into renewable natural gas

STANTONSBURG — Byproducts from Wilson swine and crop farms will soon be transformed into renewable natural gas thanks to a $33 million investment from a Raleigh company.

A variety of community and business leaders gathered Thursday for a ground breaking ceremony on the 6400 block of Woodbridge Road where Green Energy Sustainable Solutions International, or GESS, plans to use 15 acres to build a biogas facility. Farmer R.C. Hunt said he’s been raising pigs for half a century and has had an increased interest lately in improving the industry, so partnering with GESS was a natural evolution of that mission.

“At the end of the day, there are truckloads of feed that comes into this farm and there are truckloads of manure that go out,” he said. “Our system of anaerobic lagoons is a very natural breakdown of waste, but what we’re about here today is trying to take all those nutrients and recover them.”

GESS CEO Shaun Lee said the use of clean renewable energy bonds helped make the investment possible in Wilson as well as similar projects in Nash, Union, Robeson, Columbus, Bladen and Brunswick counties.

“The ideas and concepts are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency, so we really have is a clean way to convert waste materials — whether it is crop residue or animal waste — and turn it into renewable natural gas,” Lee said. “And renewable natural gas in the United States is the future.”

Financing approval for the Nash County project was secured earlier this week, so Lee said he’s looking forward to having a similar ceremony to celebrate the site on South Old Franklin Road near Spring Hope where the company will make a similar investment. The plants in Wilson and Nash counties will employ between eight and 15 people between engineers, managers and truck drivers.

“I’m thrilled,” said Wilson Economic Development Executive Director Jennifer Lantz. “I love being able to land an ag-technology project for Wilson.”

Lee said the company plans to work with a handful of farms throughout the county for an estimated 270,000 tons of animal waste and crop residue, which will be processed and turned into 550,000 MMbtu (million British thermal units) of renewable natural gas annually. He added that the tanks are covered and limit odor from the waste.

“I think it is exciting, particularly in an industry that can use byproducts we’re already producing,” said Norman Harrell, director of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension office in Wilson County. “If they can take those byproducts and turn it into natural gas, it is a win-win for everybody.”

Lee said he’s optimistic construction will start on the Wilson County facility in March or April with the first tanks in use by the end of the summer and up to full capacity around the start of 2020. Local leaders praised the investment and effort to bring advanced technology to the area’s agricultural industry.

“For every dollar invested with solar energy, generally there will be a return of $2 or maybe $3 in the local community. For these projects, every dollar invested has a return of $7 into the local community,” Lee said. “That is a pretty general number in terms of biogas plants because it maintains the amount of jobs and local economic benefit over a long period of time.”

Energy Connections: Shocking climate change vs. shocking solar power

One of the most important realizations of climate change research is exemplified in this graphic from Weather Uderground:

Caption from original: “Rate of temperature change today (red) and in the PETM (blue). Temperature rose steadily in the PETM due to the slow release of greenhouse gas (around 2 billion tons per year). Today, fossil fuel burning is leading to 30 billion tons of carbon released into the atmosphere every year, driving temperature up at an incredible rate.:

The point is this. The PETM (Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum, millions of years ago) was a period of high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere which caused significant warming. It is an example of both relatively rapid and intense climate change caused by CO2 acting as a greenhouse gas. The red line is, of course, our current estimated rate of change given current rates of release of fossil carbon into the atmosphere. This gives scientists pause because the rate of change in a system is often a more significant factor than the state of a system after the change. A simple example is motion. Assume you are standing on a commuter train moving at 50 km/h. If the train suddenly sped up to 100 km/h it might knock you down and even cause injury. But if the train increased its speed by 1 or 2 km/h every minute or so, you would not even notice and eventually you would be cruising along happily at double the speed.

It isn’t just the high rate of change in climate that concerns us. It is also the fact that this rate of change has never been observed in nature; we have no record of such a rapid and large change happening in the paleo record. For many aspects of the Earth’s climate system, we simply don’t know what would happen under such rapid change because there is no point of reference, no precedent, for such a thing.

But there is another graph that also shows a very high rate of change, in a different system, that may allow us to feel a bit better. One way to avoid such an increase in release of fossil Carbon is to rapidly transition to non-Carbon sources of energy such as solar. One way for that to happen is if solar energy become economically more viable very quickly. Ideally, the rate of change in the economic viability of solar energy would be very fast, enough to knock you off your metaphorical feet. And, apparently, that is the case. From a study described here:

From the source: “Solar is now – in the right conditions – cheaper than oil and Asian LNG on an MMBTU basis. Yes, we are using utility- scale solar costs in developing markets with lots of sun. But that describes the growth markets for global energy today. For these markets solar is just cheap, clean, convenient, reliable energy. And since it is a technology, it will get even cheaper over time. Fossil fuel extraction costs will keep rising. ”

There are caveats, as noted. But solar power is, seemingly going to have its day in the sun sooner than later.

Energy Vault Announces Commercial Availability of Transformative Utility-Scale Energy Storage Technology Yielding …

PASADENA, Calif. LUGANO, Switzerland–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov 7, 2018–Energy Vault, an Idealab company that creates renewable energy storage products, today announced the commercial availability of its groundbreaking solution. Based on the principles that underpin traditional gravity-based pumped hydro plants, the new technology combines conventional physics fundamentals of potential and kinetic energy with a proprietary, cloud-based software platform to operate a newly developed six-arm crane. The crane operation is fully automated and orchestrates the positioning of the massive concrete bricks that provide the basis for the efficient storage and discharge of electricity. The innovative use of low cost and environmentally-friendly waste debris concrete materials enables the Energy Vault system to achieve significantly lower cost per kilowatt-hour and high round trip efficiency while delivering a 30-40 year life without any degradation in storage capacity. The company also announced an agreement with The Tata Power Company Limited, India’s largest integrated power company, to deploy an initial 35 MWh Energy Vault system with deployment expected in 2019. In addition, the company announced a technology and commercial partnership with CEMEX Research Group AG, a Swiss subsidiary of Mexico-based CEMEX (NYSE: CX ), that will focus on material applications which include the optimization of various concrete based composite materials that will support Energy Vault’s system deployments globally.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

Energy Vault storage tower co-located with wind farm (Photo: Business Wire)

Renewables have struggled to more fully replace fossil fuel power due to production unpredictability and intermittency from reliance on factors such as wind and sunlight. In the absence of more efficient and cost-effective storage, the amount of electricity that can be delivered to the grid from renewable energy sources, even though now widely affordable, has been limited.

Energy Vault’s breakthrough technology was inspired by pumped hydro plants that rely on the power of gravity and the movement of water to store and discharge electricity. The company’s solution is based on the same well-understood fundamentals used in those plants, but replaces the water with custom made concrete bricks through an extremely innovative use of low-cost materials. The large bricks are combined with Energy Vault’s patented system design and proprietary algorithm-based software, which calibrates the energy storage and subsequent electricity discharge while accounting for a variety of factors, including power supply, energy demand volatility, and weather. As a result, the company can deliver all the benefits of a pumped hydro system, but at a much lower price, higher roundtrip efficiency and without the requirement for specific land topography and negative environmental or wildlife impacts.

The system specifications and attributes include:

35 MWh nominal energy capacity and 4 MW peak power; can be modulated as required
Millisecond response ramp time with 100 percent full power achieved in 2.9 seconds, supporting critical Ancillary Services (spinning reserve, frequency response, black start, etc.)
Roundtrip efficiency of ~90 percent; zero storage degradation over time with no energy loss; 30-year lifetime with unlimited cycles
Disruptive economics – ~50 percent below existing solutions on a capex $/kWh basis, ~80 percent lower when factoring in system life, operating, maintenance and replacement cost on a levelized cost of storage (LCOS) basis
Environmental sustainability of all materials through the product lifetime with utilization of debris materials that would otherwise be required to be land-filled

Further bolstering its eco-friendly advantages over existing chemical storage solutions is the fact that Energy Vault’s storage conduit – the large concrete bricks – do not degrade over time and therefore eliminates the need for replacement equipment. Future systems will roughly double the amount of MWh energy storage capacity and peak power discharge while continuing to significantly reduce the cost.

Platform flexibility is one of the most critical investment criteria for energy providers, and the Energy Vault system was developed to be suitable for both “in front of the meter” and “behind the meter” applications. It can also be paired with renewable generation like solar PV for offgrid and microgrid solutions, allowing commercial and industrial customers to maximize their renewable power usage and delivering on the promise of reliable 24 hour a day power to remote towns and villages in emerging markets.

“The world needs rapidly scalable and sustainable energy storage solutions to meet one of the most urgent challenges – the need to decarbonize our energy generation – and we’re thrilled to launch Energy Vault’s unique technology to help solve this problem,” said Robert Piconi, chief executive officer and co-founder, Energy Vault. “In addition to the vital environmental benefits that it provides, the system’s radical reduction in $kWh and overall levelized cost of storage enables our customers to provide dispatchable and baseload power cheaper than fossil fuels for the very first time. We’re also excited to begin our important collaboration with CEMEX whose innovation in material composite technologies and global footprint will help accelerate achieving our collective sustainability goals.”

Energy Vault’s new technology collaboration and development agreement with CEMEX Research Group AG (Switzerland) will enable joint technology teams to focus on material applications which include the optimization of various concrete and soil composite materials that form an integral part of Energy Vault’s storage solution. The collaboration also includes a focus on carbon and CO 2 reduction methodologies given the role that utility-scale energy storage will now play in enabling various renewable energy technologies.

“Energy Vault’s team has developed a disruptive platform, and we are enthusiastic to work with their team to deploy an environmentally efficient and cost-effective energy storage solution that is highly viable,” said Dr. Davide Zampini, Head of CEMEX Global RD and IP. “We share a common commitment to enable a future where resources are used responsibly, which is paramount to CEMEX’s strategy for sustainable development.”

“Innovation in energy storage represents the largest and most near term opportunity to accelerate renewable deployments and bring us closer to replacing fossil fuels as the primary source to meet the world’s continual growth in energy demand,” said Bill Gross, co-founder, Energy Vault, and founder, Idealab. “We’re excited to support Energy Vault in bringing this groundbreaking technology to the market.”

As part of its efforts to rapidly bring projects to market, Energy Vault has initial agreements with customers on multiple continents.

The announcement is being made at the Energy Storage North America (ESNA) conference at which Bill Gross will deliver a keynote address later today.

About Energy Vault

Energy Vault, an Idealab portfolio company, is a creator of renewable energy storage products that are revolutionizing the approach to long duration, utility scale energy storage. Applying conventional physics fundamentals of gravity and potential energy, the system combines an innovative six-arm crane design that lifts specially designed, massive concrete bricks with a proprietary, cloud-based software platform that orchestrates the storage and discharge of electricity. Utilizing 100 percent eco-friendly materials at unmatched cost levels, Energy Vault is accelerating the transformation to a fully renewable world.

For more information about Energy Vault, please visit


CEMEX is a global building materials company that provides high-quality products and reliable services to customers and communities in more than 50 countries. CEMEX has a rich history of improving the well-being of those it serves through innovative building solutions, efficiency advancements, and efforts to promote a sustainable future. For more information, please visit:

About Tata Power

Tata Power is India’s largest integrated power company and, together with its subsidiaries jointly controlled entities, has an installed capacity of 10857 MW. A pioneer in the field, it has a presence across the entire power value chain: Generation of renewable as well as conventional power including hydro and thermal energy; transmission distribution, trading and coal freight logistics. With renewable energy assets in solar and wind accounting for 22% of the company’s portfolio, Tata Power is a leader in clean energy generation. In line with the company’s view on sustainable and clean energy development, Tata Power is steering the transformation of utilities to integrated solutions by looking at new business growth in EV charging storage, distributed generation rooftops, microgrids and home automation smart meters.

It has successful public-private partnerships in generation, transmission distribution in India namely: ‘Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd.’ with Delhi Vidyut Board for distribution in North Delhi; ‘Tata Power Ajmer Distribution Ltd.’ with Ajmer Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd. for distribution in Ajmer; ‘Powerlinks Transmission Ltd.’ with Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. for evacuation of Power from Tala hydro plant in Bhutan to Delhi; ‘Maithon Power Ltd.’ with Damodar Valley Corporation for a 1050 MW Mega Power Project at Jharkhand. Tata Power is serving more than 2.6 million distribution consumers in India and has developed the country’s first 4000 MW Ultra Mega Power Project at Mundra (Gujarat) based on super-critical technology.

With growing international focus, Tata Power’s global presence includes strategic investments in Indonesia through a 30% stake in the coal company PT Kaltim Prima Coal (KPC); 26% stake in mines at PT Baramulti Suksessarana Tbk (BSSR); in Singapore through Trust Energy Resources; in South Africa through a joint venture called ‘Cennergi’ to develop projects in sub-Sahara Africa; in Zambia through a 50:50 joint venture with ZESCO for 120 MW Hydro project; in Georgia through AGL which is a joint venture with Clean Energy, Norway IFC for development of 187 MW hydro project; in Bhutan through a hydro project in partnership with The Royal Government of Bhutan.

With its 103 years track record of technology leadership, project execution excellence, world-class safety processes, customer care and driving green initiatives, Tata Power is poised for multi-fold growth and committed to ‘lighting up lives’ for generations to come. Visit us at:

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CONTACT: For Energy Vault:

Isaac Steinmetz



Media Relations

Jorge Perez, +52(81) 8888-4334



SOURCE: Energy Vault

Copyright Business Wire 2018.

PUB: 11/07/2018 12:10 AM/DISC: 11/07/2018 12:10 AM

Ecology’s Fleet Runs on Renewable Diesel

Ecology, a transportation and logistics company in California, has switched its fleet of more than 600 trucks to run on Neste MY Renewable Diesel and is reporting cleaner fuel filters, fewer maintenance problems and reductions in tailpipe emissions.

Ecology is one of the largest trucking and transportation companies in the Western United States, providing services for bulk waste and recyclables, heavy haul and oversize loads and containers to and from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Ecology is also a large transporter of bulk waste and recycling materials, moving millions of pounds to disposal or recycling facilities every year.

“Neste MY Renewable Diesel is excellent for use in our on-road and off-road diesel applications for light, medium and heavy use,” said Greg Evans, Ecology fleet manager, in a statement. “The product is easy to use, it’s very flexible; best of all, there’s no additional cost to receive the product as we don’t have to change our infrastructure.”

Neste MY Renewable Diesel is a low-carbon fuel produced from 100 percent renewable and sustainable raw materials, primarily wastes and residues. According to the company, it cuts greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 percent, reduces tailpipe emissions, in particular NOx and carbon monoxide, and has no odor. Neste MY Renewable Diesel is a drop-in fuel that requires no blending, no engine modification and is compatible with all current infrastructure.

Evans said he was initially reluctant to switch to renewable diesel due to the fear of mechanical failures and warranty issues and that there wasn’t enough information yet about the product from engine manufacturers. The decision to switch was cautiously made after he learned it meets PACCAR OEM specifications and sought out user references and best practices from other fleet managers who experienced good results.

“What I like most about this product is that it meets and satisfies our concerns that our engine warranties will not be voided,” said Evans. “That is one less thing for me and mechanics to worry about.”

“The reduction of tailpipe emissions and the environmental improvements as a result are also very important to Ecology. That helps us meet our contractual obligations with clients who require us to transport their goods with clean-burning fuel,” he added.

With the goal of empowering commercial fleet vehicles, city sanitation, city transportation, utility companies and schools to become more environmentally responsible by making clean and renewable fuel readily available, Neste has been creating cleaner renewable fuels and supplying the California market.

Neste MY Renewable Diesel is available to public and private fleets in California through authorized distributors. IPC, Inc., based in Santa Ana, Calif., is the exclusive distributor of Neste MY Renewable Diesel to Ecology.

Lition’s Ethereum-based Decentralized Energy Marketplace Now Powers 700 Households

Lition, a “public-private blockchain with deletable data features, made for commercial products”, has been granted a license to operate as a energy supplier in Germany.

The company has clients in 12 German cities including Munich, Berlin, and Hamburg. According to Lition’s official website, it has developed an Ethereum-based decentralized energy marketplace – which connects consumers directly energy suppliers.

Notably, there are currently over 700 German households using Lition’s blockchain-based platform to purchase energy. The company noted that it is using distributed ledger technology (DLT) to help it “bypass unnecessary middlemen” in order to reduce the cost of supplying energy to users.

Selling Directly To Consumers

The traditional method of energy distribution involves the supplier selling electric, solar or any other type of energy to an intermediary – which is usually a large, multinational firm. These firms then sell energy to individual consumers.

Richard Lohwasser, the CEO of Lition, explained that multinational intermediaries usually do not give their customers enough options in what type of energy products and packages they can purchase. Large and centralized suppliers have also created monopolies – which gives them a lot of control over the energy distribution process.

In order to create a consumer-friendly energy marketplace, Lition aims to eliminate large companies from the supply channel as its “energy exchange connects customers and producers directly. Producers put their energy on the exchange and then customers can buy it.”

Cutting Out Costly Middlemen

Lohwasser, a business administration and computer science graduate, told Coindesk:

Usually buying directly from producers is limited to energy suppliers that are big corporations. We’re bringing the exchange to the consumer, so consumers can pay for the energy they want.

Richard Lohwasser

According to Lition, eliminating intermediaries allows consumers to save about 20 percent on their electricity bills while also allowing power plant owners to earn 30 percent more revenue. This, despite Lition dealing mainly in “green energy” – which is more eco-friendly but usually more expensive.

Lition’s users are able to select which type of energy they would like to use through an app. At present, consumers may choose to use biomass, solar, or wind energy and they are also able to choose which provider they want to buy from.

Using “Green Energy”

After users have selected their energy provider, they are able to pay Lition for the service in Euros. The purchase orders are processed automatically by an Ethereum-based smart contract – which allows consumers to start using the energy they’ve paid for.

Lition’s official website notes: 

Lition’s …. blockchain technology simplifies the process of buying energy directly from green producers of any scale by employing transparent smart contracts that allow consumers to circumvent all of the complexity of energy distribution brokers.


Ethereum Is Too Slow, But Maybe Best Option For Now

Currently, Lition’s services are only available to citizens of Germany, however, Lohwasser said the company plans to expand its operations to other countries in the future. Commenting on the present challenges associated with using Ethereum – which has become too congested and is experiencing scalability problems, Lohwasser said:

Ethereum is not a good system. It’s very slow. It takes 20 to 30 seconds to tell a customer whether they can buy energy or not … [Other blockchains] have their drawbacks.

Richard Lohwasser

He added that if you are going to use a private blockchain, then “You might as well not have a blockchain.”

Vanguard Renewables Named 2018 Organics Recycler of the Year

BOSTON, Oct. 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Vanguard Renewables was named 2018 Organics Recycler of the Year by the National Waste Recycling Association. The award recognizes the substantial contribution that Vanguard’s Farm Powered organics recycling and renewable energy production program is making to protect the environment and advance the waste and recycling industry. Vanguard is based in Wellesley, Mass.

Vanguard Renewables Farm Powered food waste collection and recycling solves food waste, produces renewable energy, and sustains American farms. Vanguard is the National Waste and Recycling Association 2018 Organics Recycler of the Year.
Vanguard Renewables Farm Powered food waste collection and recycling solves food waste, produces renewable energy, and sustains American farms. Vanguard is the National Waste and Recycling Association 2018 Organics Recycler of the Year.

“The entire Vanguard team is extremely proud to receive this award. Our Farm Powered organics recycling and farm-based anaerobic digester program is the first to vertically integrate the organics feedstock chain and farms to solve food waste challenges, generate renewable energy, and sustain farms,” said John Hanselman, Founder and CEO.

Vanguard’s Farm Powered operating portfolio of anaerobic digesters represent the largest organics recycling destination in the Northeast with nearly 200,000 tons per year of combined on-farm and off-farm organics being processed. Vanguard’s current program of single stream and co-digestion facilities in development reaches across six states.

“These awards honor the very best in the industry for excellence in educating the public and smart ways to recycle; creating innovative approaches to advance our work, constructing state of the art recycling facilities, and revolutionary partnerships that help protect the environment and increase collaboration with the recycling ecosystem,” said NWRA President and CEO, Darrell Smith.

In Massachusetts, by the close of 2018 Vanguard’s Farm Powered facilities will recycle and process 500 tons per day of food waste and 120 tons per day of manure from Massachusetts farms and leading Massachusetts food manufacturers, businesses, institutions, and food users including Gillette Stadium, MGM Springfield, Gorton’s Seafood, Cabot Creamery, Treehouse Brewing, Cape Cod Potato Chips, and Whole Foods.

About Vanguard Renewables
Headquartered in Wellesley, Mass., Vanguard Renewables develops, constructs, owns, and operates farm-based clean energy systems that recycle food waste and farm waste producing safe and reliable Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) or Renewable Electricity (RE). Completing a closed loop organics to energy lifecycle, Vanguard’s Farm Powered operating portfolio of anaerobic digesters represent the largest organics recycling destination in the Northeast.

The National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) represents the private sector waste and recycling services industry. Association members conduct business in all 50 states, and include companies that manage garbage, recycling and medical waste, equipment manufacturers and distributors, and a variety of other service providers.        

SOURCE Vanguard Renewables

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Top 10 eco-friendly cities around the world

We explore the top 10 eco-friendly cities around the world, detailing their initiatives to get there and their future ambitions to ensure they remain pro-green

As a result of an increased population and developments in technology that are changing the way we live our lives, the sustainability of our planet is in greater danger than ever before. From the release of harmful emissions to extradentary levels of waste — it’s becoming unbearable.

Governments and local authorities across the globe are feeling the pressure of their own citizens and specifically, Generation Z, who are notoriously fighting for environmental change and encouraging countries to look at new ways to become more sustainable and tackle this global issue.

With the help of Maplewave, whose software has helped revolutionise digital contracts take a look at the most eco-friendly cities around the world and see what schemes they have put in place to create a better environment for both residents, tourists and wildlife.

10. Reykjavik, Iceland

If you’re looking for a peaceful place to live or holiday at, look no further than Iceland. The nation has so much to offer — aside from its exceptional landscape and hot springs. But how has the country’s capital city, Reykjavik, landed the title of tenth most eco-friendly city?

Believe it or not, the city has a small population of 126,100 people — one of the main factors that allows for easy and adaptive changes for it to become a greener space. By 2040, Reykjavik plans on eliminating their production of greenhouse gas emissions by not only promoting walking and cycling, but also the use of public transport.

The reason behind the promotion of public transport is that the city has aims to continue introducing hydrogen buses and only 4% of people use them anyways. To ensure this happens, the city has a goal of trebling this by 2030. As well as this, the city invested millions into the creation of cycling paths and is encouraging electric car use for its 9,000 public employees by offering free parking and lower taxes.

9. Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver is located in a perfect setting between the ocean, forest and mountains. What more could you ask for when picturing what an idyllic eco-friendly city looks like? Taking ninth place on the list of most eco-friendly cities, Vancouver has recognised that its environmental footprint is currently three times larger than what the Earth can sustain.

The captivating city launched the Greenest City initiative, which has set realistic goals that can be achieved in the near future. Out of all major cities located in North America, Vancouver produces the lowest greenhouse gas emissions, which highlights the efforts put in place by the local authority to combat the environmental impact the city could potentially have.

There’s a lot of evidence that suggest Vancouver is making countless changes to create a more sustainable city for its residents. For example, the residents has found a 23% increase in green jobs and a 26% increase in local food jobs since 2013. As well as this, a further 23% of Canada’s CleanTech companies are located in the capital — whether this is through digital contracts or by implementing a cycle-to-work scheme.

8. Helsinki, Finland

If you want to travel to a place that heavily appreciates the environment and the planet’s sustainability, Helsinki is the perfect place. With a mix of urban locations and peaceful reservoirs, the capital sits on the peninsula on the Gulf of Finland.

One of the biggest contributors to Helsinki’s economy is tourism, which has led to an increase in eco-friendly accommodation. In fact, around 75% of hotel rooms in the city have been certified as environmentally friendly and those that haven’t fully pledged their allegiance to the cause have some sort of environmental plan in place covering all aspects of the business; from food and water to waste management and energy consumption.

On top of all this, Viikki is a green district within the city. The 23-hectare residential area focuses on sustainability and as an experimental project, the district has made use of solar and wind energy systems. So much so, that the first apartment building to use solar electricity in Finland is located here.

7. Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town, in particular, has been performing exceptionally well from an eco-friendly perspective and has made it to number seven on this list.

Cape Town is always looking at new and innovative technologies to create a more sustainable location — so much so, they began using wind farms for energy way back in 2008. Because of this, the city has now set an aim to get 10% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, which is becoming more realistic as technology advances.

As well as this, the city is trying to push forward an idealistic outdoor lifestyle. To encourage this, the city has invested in safe-cycle routes and its My CiTi rapid service allows bikes on buses for free to help people get around without a car. As well as this, many people have started to grow their own vegetables and make use of solar panels.

6. San Francisco, California

San Francisco is the sixth most eco-friendly city in the world — which could come to a shock as the population is around 860,000. But, innovative solutions have led to a more sustainable lifestyle for the residents of this iconic setting, maintaining that picture-perfect reputation.

To ensure that this Californian city remains within the top ten, there are many focus areas for local authorities. For example, with immense knowledge on waste management, San Fran currently diverts 80% of its waste away from landfills and plans to increase this number to 100% by 2020.

As well as this, the authorities are pushing forward bans on certain products that are causing damage to the environment. It has even pushed through legislation to ban plastic bags and plastic water bottles, among others. This is definitely a step in the right direction for more beneficial environmental results.

5. Portland, Oregon

Reports have suggested that Oregon has a head-count of around 647,000 — a figure that is continuously increasing over time. The city itself has made some remarkable changes to ensure it plays its part in the bettering of the planet and the lifestyles of those living in the area. But how has it done this?

Believe it or not, 25% of workers in the city commute by bike, carpool or public transport, which is showing great benefits to the environment. Because of this, the number of damaging vehicles on the roads has been reduced. On top of this, there is an estimated 250 miles of bike paths, highlighting how easy and safe it is to get around the city. Apparently, 8% of the city’s population use cycling as a main method of transportation.

When it comes to waste in the city, Portland produces 2,434,840 tonnes and recovers 1,235,924 tonnes of it — astonishing results for a major city. As well as the above, the city uses 33% of renewable energy — the national average is 13% — and like San Francisco, it has banned plastic bags.

4. Berlin, Germany

Berlin is possibly classified as one of the most famous cities in the world, with a population of over 3.47 million — but how has it been crowned fourth on our list? According to some research, many believe that it’s due to a more personal story.

After World War I, residents became extremely self-sufficient and valued their green spaces much more than they ever did, learning to grow their own foods — which is a trend that has been passed down through the generations.

With the rise in electric vehicles, Berlin has installed more than 400 charging points across the city and has encouraged citizens to think about changing vehicle type. Not only this, but residents aren’t seeing the need for personal cars and are opting to share with one another in a bid to save the planet.

3. Stockholm, Sweden

Making it to number three on our list is Stockholm. With 14 islands and more than 50 bridges, this location has made its fair share of improvements to help its citizens lead a more sustainable lifestyle. The major city has an aim to remove the use of fossil-fuels by 2040 and is doing so by implementing new policies that encourage a greener society — with investment help from the European Union to become smarter. On top of this, bio-fuel is becoming more popular and is generated from sewage waste, powering vehicles around the city.

Stockholm has the ability to reuse wasted heat from its 30,000-seat stadium too. Recovered heat may be able to help warm over 1,000 flats more efficiently using sustainable methods.

2. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam lands second place, but you’re probably surprised it isn’t first. To become more sustainable and remove the negative effects of climate change, the city was one of the first to outline sustainability measures — with an aim to achieve results by 2020.

You may associate this city with cycling, as it is the main type of transportation. However, when it comes to vehicles, the authorities are trying to reduce the number of emissions being emitted by introducing electric vehicles around the city, which has been accompanied with around 300 charging points.

Homes are also looking to become more eco-friendly. More homeowners are beginning to install solar panels on roofs and grow their own foods, or alternatively, purchase from local farmers’ markets, which in turn, puts money back into the local economy.

1. Copenhagen, Denmark

Due to continued investment into green alternatives, Copenhagen has reached number one on the list of most eco-friendly cities in the world. The city offers a high quality of life for its residents and has an ambitious goal to become even more eco-friendly.

The capital is set to become the first CO2-neutral city by 2025 too. More people enjoy cycling than using a vehicle to get around, with only 29% of households owning a car, and the city is has introduced even more cycle lanes. The popularity of cycling has increased even further, as most hotels across the city now provide guests with bicycles!

Organic eating is a new trend in the city too — 24% of the total food sale in the city is organic produce. As well as this, 88% of the food that is serviced in public organisations is actually organic. Copenhagen is constantly bringing in new ways to develop an eco-friendly way-of-life — there’s no reason you wouldn’t want to visit!



Georgie White


on behalf of Maplewave