What Is The "Starbucks Greener Stores" Framework? It Is Very Eco-Friendly

At this point, you’re probably well-aware of the fact that Starbucks has been working really hard to become more environmentally friendly. In July 2018, the company announced its commitment to eliminate all plastic straws in its stores by 2020. In another eco-friendly move on Sept. 13, Starbucks announced its commitment to opening a line of 10,000 environmentally friendly Greener Stores by 2025. You’re most likely wondering what the “Starbucks Greener Stores” framework is, and you’ll probably be pleased to learn how proactive the company is terms of taking action to better preserve the environment.

According to a press release, the “Starbucks Greener Stores” framework was announced at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco on Sept. 13, and it is based on sustainable, performance-based standards. The brand will focus on areas like energy efficiency and reduced waste while also promoting a “culture of sustainability” throughout all aspects of the stores. To make a store greener, Starbucks is renovating existing locations throughout the United States and Canada to be more environmentally friendly, which will result in 10,000 Greener Stores around the world by 2025.

How will Starbucks achieve this worthwhile goal? First, the chain is going to better focus on conserving energy and water. To do this, Starbucks will use more mindful practices while also implementing more updated green technology. The goal is ideally to reduce the coffee chain’s energy consumption by 25 percent and cut down water consumption by 30 percent. To help achieve this end of conserving energy, the Greener Stores will operate on solar and wind power.

Starbucks

Additionally, Starbucks plans to design and operate stores to promote a healthier environment for customers, according to the press release. This looks at installing better lighting, offering healthier options, and better controlling stores’ noise levels. A more pleasant store atmosphere and less energy waste? Sounds like a win-win to me.

In terms of materials, on the other hand, Starbucks will ensure that they’re sustainably and economically sourced while also designing and operating stores to better reduce waste. The company hopes to inspire a more sustainable environment by informing and engaging audiences on environmental issues. Additionally, the coffee giant will invest in “country-specific solar and wind projects” to ultimately power its stores on 100 percent renewable energy, per the release. Starbucks estimates the “Starbucks Greener Stores” framework will save the company about $50 million on utilities in the next 10 years. Currently, the brand has saved $30 million on Greener Store practices already in use over the past decade.

Starbucks

The design for each of these Greener Stores will be co-developed by renowned environmental groups such as World Wildlife Fund (WWF), according to the release. The plans are also going to be audited and verified by SCS Global Services, which is a third-party verification organization. It also oversees Starbucks Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices.

In a press release, Kevin Johnson, President and CEO of Starbucks, said the chain aims to be more sustainable on a regular basis. He knows the “Starbucks Greener Stores” framework will not only promote a better environment, but it’ll save the coffee brand an exorbitant amount of money in the long run.

In the press release, Johnson explained:

Simply put, sustainable coffee, served sustainably is our aspiration. We know that designing and building green stores is not only responsible, it is cost effective as well. The energy and passion of our green apron partners has inspired us to find ways to operate a greener store that will generate even greater cost savings while reducing impact.

Starbucks has a history of putting the environment first in the retail space. In 2005, the company developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Retail program in conjunction with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The “Starbucks Greener Stores” framework is mean to build upon that effort.

Sustainability is extremely important, and it looks like Starbucks is working harder everyday to promote a healthy environment. I don’t know about you, but I am totally looking forward to ordering a PSL in one of Starbucks’ Greener Stores in the future. Breathing clean air is kind of a win-win situation. Hopefully, the United States will start seeing more businesses creating “greener” versions of their stores on the heels of Starbucks’ latest eco-friendly framework.

Innovations in Biofuels, Renewable Energy, Vertical Farming …

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sep 19, 2018–The “Innovations in Biofuels, Renewable Energy, Vertical Farming, Composting, and Waste Tire Management” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

This edition of the Industrial Bioprocessing TOE features trends and innovations in biofuels, composting, waste tire management, vertical farming, and renewable energy. The TOE also focuses on the development of various innovative and sustainable processes that utilize renewable feedstock for the generation of fuels, which can be used in energy applications.

Additionally, the TOE also talks about automated vertical farming techniques, which can help in conserving energy and power used in vertical farming. Furthermore, the TOE provides intelligence on the use of composting technologies in order to generate high quality soil amendments.

Key Topics Covered:

On-Site Photovoltaic Solar Power for Data Centers Market to Witness a Pronounce Growth by 2026

Future Market Insights has announced the addition of the “On-Site Photovoltaic Solar Power For Data Centers Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment, 2016-2026″report to their offering

This press release was orginally distributed by SBWire

Valley Cottage, NY — (SBWIRE) — 09/19/2018 — On-site photovoltaic solar power also known as solar PV has developed from market of small-scale application to becoming a source of mainstream electricity. With the increasing fuel costs, dependence on import of fossil fuel from ethically volatile areas and uncontrolled pollution level, on-site photovoltaic solar power for data centers market is recognized as a promising alternative renewable energy technology. The use of photovoltaic solar power for data centers has come long way since 2005 when Affordable Internet Services Online, Inc. (AISO) assembled the first solar powered data center. On-site photovoltaic solar power for data centers are a good solution for many data centers and ICT companies which are focusing on decreasing carbon footprints. Being a cost-effective and eco-friendly medium for supplement power the companies like Facebook, Apple, Cisco and other are adopting on-site photovoltaic solar power for data centers. Among other renewable source such as wind, biogas and other the utilization of on-site photovoltaic solar power for data centers market is the highest.

On-site photovoltaic solar power for data centers market: Market Dynamics

One of the key driver in on-site photovoltaic solar power for data centers market is the stability in the cost of solar power energy. Solar power energy, further developed can be viable and economic source of energy for data center which require sustainable energy for operations and temperature maintenance within the data center. Solar energy provides an added advantage of availability as opposed the demand for fossil fuel which fluctuates annually. As the solar power is self-managed and self-contained it is not susceptible to any reduction or restriction in the availability of electric power. Another driving factors stimulating the growth for on-site photovoltaic solar power for data centers market are mentioned below:

Government incentives

Environment alarm over Green House Gas (GHG) emission

Cost saving associated with the power generation from PV solar power

Access for electricity in the areas with no grid electricity

Withdraw of reliance on non-renewable resources for power supply and its import

However, even large installation of photovoltaic solar panels produce a fraction amount of energy which restricts the use of on-site photovoltaic solar power for many data centers. Thus solar power is not a full time reliable power supply. To mitigate these limitations, companies can use the combination of:

Energy produced by solar panels into larger grid thus balancing the use of customary energy sources

Instead of replacing the whole power supply system, photovoltaic solar power can be used as a supplementary power supply system

Request Sample Report @ https://www.futuremarketinsights.com/reports/sample/rep-gb-1952

On-site photovoltaic solar power for data centers market: Market Segmentation

On-site photovoltaic solar power for data centers market can be segmented based on the semi-conducting material used:

Monocrystalline silicon photovoltaic panels

Polycrystalline silicon photovoltaic panels

Thick-film silicon photovoltaic panels

Amorphous silicon photovoltaic panels

On-site photovoltaic solar power for data centers market can be segmented based on the application in respected countries:

On-grid connected

Off-grid connected

On-site photovoltaic solar power for data centers market can be segmented based on the technology:

Photovoltaic Solar Linear Fresnel Reflector

Integrated Solar Combined Cycle power plant (ISCC)

Photovoltaic Solar Parabolic Dish

Photovoltaic Solar Towers

Photovoltaic Solar Parabolic Trough

On-site photovoltaic solar power for data centers market: Regional Outlook

Based on the geography, on-site photovoltaic solar power for data centers market can be classified into important segments as, Latin America, North America, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Japan, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa. Amongst all the region, North America is expected to be leading in on-site photovoltaic solar power for data centers market. The impending termination of the solar ITC (Investment Tax Credit) by the U.S. government for the purpose of business installation is one of the driving factor for the boost in on-site photovoltaic solar power for data centers market. Followed by North America, Western Europe is expected to be the second largest market for on-site photovoltaic solar power for data centers market. Western Europe on-site photovoltaic solar power for data centers market mainly propelled by demand and government initiative by the government from Germany, France, Spain and Benelux. Key economies such as India, China and ASEAN are expected to spearhead the APEJ on-site photovoltaic solar power for data centers market. Likewise, the developing IT infrastructure in Middle East, Latin America and Japan is anticipated to project strong growth for on-site photovoltaic solar power for data centers market.

Read Comprehensive Overview with TOC of Report @ https://www.futuremarketinsights.com/askus/rep-gb-1952

Key Players

Some of the recognized key players in on-site photovoltaic solar power for data centers market are mentioned below:

Trina Solar

JA Solar Co., Ltd.

SunPower Corporation

FIRST SOLAR

Yingli Solar

Canadian Solar

Jinko Solar

Evergreen

Hanwha Q CELLS

SCHOTT North America, Inc.

Vikram Solar Pvt. Ltd.

For more information on this press release visit: http://www.sbwire.com/press-releases/on-site-photovoltaic-solar-power-for-data-centers-market-to-witness-a-pronounce-growth-by-2026-1050155.htm

SoCalGas to Offer Renewable Natural Gas at its Fueling Stations for the First Time

More low-carbon, clean-air fuel to become available for cars and trucks

 

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 17, 2018 — Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced it will soon begin using renewable natural gas for the first time at the 25 utility-owned natural gas vehicle fueling stations across its service territory, as well as at six fueling stations in the San Diego area. Last month, the utility received approval from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for a pilot program to purchase the renewable fuel and capture the additional environmental credits generated. Today, it published a Request for Offer (RFO), and expects to complete gas purchase agreements in the near future. Photos of SoCalGas natural gas fueling stations are available here.

 

Renewable natural gas (RNG) is produced from the methane generated in landfills, wastewater treatment plants, food processing and dairies and depending on its source, can be low-carbon or in some cases, even carbon-negative. It can be used to fuel trucks and buses, to generate electricity, to heat homes and businesses, and to cook.  Capturing the methane from these waste sources and using it for fuel has two benefits: It keeps methane, a greenhouse gas, from entering the atmosphere and contributing to climate change, and it reduces the use of traditionally-sourced natural gas.

 

Because renewable natural gas can be stored and delivered through the existing natural gas infrastructure, SoCalGas can help California reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet the state’s renewable energy and air quality goals in a cost-effective way. In addition, unlike solar and wind energy, renewable natural gas is available when needed—day or night.

 

“Using renewable natural gas at our natural gas fueling stations will help clean the air for Southern California communities and support the state’s clean energy future,” said Sharon Tomkins, SoCalGas’ vice president of customer solutions and strategy. “SoCalGas will continue to work to increase the use and production of renewable natural gas, meeting consumer preferences and helping to achieve state’s climate and air quality goals while efficiently using existing infrastructure.” 

 

“Using renewable natural gas to fuel near-zero emission heavy-duty trucks in Southern California will help solve our air quality problems while lowering climate impacts,” said Dr. Joseph Lyou, President and CEO of the Coalition for Clean Air and a member of the South Coast Air Quality Management District Governing Board. “It’s good to see SoCal Gas taking the lead on this renewable natural gas project.”

 

“The Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District has long partnered with SoCalGas to promote natural gas in transportation, and their fueling station in Lancaster,” said Marvin Crist, chairman of the governing board for the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District. “Adding renewable natural gas to the mix makes natural gas-fueled transportation even more friendly to our air quality and environment.”

 

“Athens Services is committed to our environment and the communities that we serve, and our CNG vehicles that collect municipal waste are just one of those examples,” said Gary Clifford, executive vice president for Athens Services, a Southern California waste collection and recycling company. “While our vehicles are fueled with renewable natural gas at our hauling yards, we applaud SoCalGas for offering opportunities for more natural gas vehicles to also use this renewable clean-air fuel.”

 

“Natural gas trucks can reduce smog-forming emissions by more than 90 percent compared to diesel trucks which can help create cleaner and healthier communities” said Anabella Bastida, executive director of the Council of Mexican Federations in North America (COFEM). “Our WECAN effort is focused on educating our South East Los Angeles community members to address the public health crisis caused by air pollution. We need technology that is available and reliable that will help us clean the air now!  Renewable natural gas is an immediate solution. We hope that the increased availability of this renewable fuel will encourage more trucking fleets to switch to natural gas to create a cleaner air for our families in California.”

 

Renewable natural gas is an important tool for reducing emissions from California’s transportation sector, which is responsible for about 40 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and more than 80 percent of its smog-forming (NOx) emissions. The latest generation of natural gas engines for heavy duty vehicles can reduce smog-forming emissions by more than 90 percent compared to the cleanest heavy-duty diesel trucks.  When these ultra-low emissions natural gas trucks are fueled with renewable natural gas, greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by at least 80 percent.

 

Near zero emission natural gas trucks are helping achieve the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals and clean the air around California’s transportation corridors. Because of this, California provides incentive funding to help trucking fleets transition to renewable natural gas.  Close to 70 percent of natural gas fleets in California are fueled with renewable natural gas.

 

Creating more renewable energy for California

As California policymakers have sought to expand the production and use of renewable energy, SoCalGas has been working to expand the production and use of renewable natural gas in California. The utility recently launched a video on renewable natural gas, and worked with waste management company CRR Environmental to begin injecting renewable natural gas produced at CRR’s anaerobic digestion facility in Perris, Calif., into SoCalGas pipelines. In June, SoCalGas joined two French utilities and a Canadian natural gas utility in a new collaborationto advance the research and development of renewable natural gas and technologies such as power-to-gas.  SoCalGas also assists California fleets in obtaining state funds designated for the purchase of near-zero emissions heavy-duty natural gas trucks

 

SoCalGas has supported the implementation of California Senate Bill (SB) 1383, considered the most aggressive law in the nation designed to tackle short-lived climate pollutants.  Last year, SoCalGas worked with other natural gas utilities in the state to solicit the dairy biomethane pilot projects required by the legislation.

 

In addition, SoCalGas has created a downloadable toolkit to assist renewable gas producers and developers who are interested in interconnecting their projects with the SoCalGas pipeline network.  The utility also created new provisions in 2017 to enable SoCalGas and renewable gas producers to accelerate the process of interconnecting to SoCalGas pipelines. 

 

Consumer preference polls support the increased production and use of renewable natural gas Research shows nine out of 10 California families use natural gas in their homes and prefer it by a margin of 4 to 1 over electricity.  In addition, strong majorities of consumers—nearly 80 percent—prefer to use natural gas for cooking in their homes, and nearly two-thirds of consumers believe gas is their most affordable energy choice.

 

According to a recent study by Navigant, Consulting, Inc. replacing 16 percent of the traditional natural gas supply with renewable gas can achieve greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions equivalent to converting 100 percent of buildings to electric-only energy by 2030. By using a mix of both in- and out-of-state resources, the renewable natural gas strategy is three times more cost effective in reducing GHGs than an electrification pathway.

 

# # #

 

About SoCalGas

Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest natural gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, clean and increasingly renewable natural gas service to 21.8 million customers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California, where more than 90 percent of residents use natural gas for heating, hot water, cooking, drying clothes or other uses. Natural gas delivered through the company’s pipelines also plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians—about 60 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants.  

SoCalGas is committed to investing in its natural gas system infrastructure, while keeping bills affordable for our customers. From 2013 through 2017, the company spent nearly $6 billion to upgrade and modernize its natural gas system to enhance safety and reliability. The company is also committed to being a leader in the region’s clean energy future, and is working to accelerate the use of renewable natural gas from dairy farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants and the development of renewable energy storage technologies. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), an energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook.  

 

Differentiation Through Sustainability: Green Ideas for Self-Storage – Inside Self

Self-storage construction spending has grown rapidly in the last two years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The industry spent about $200 million in 2016 and was on track to exceed $280 million last year. There’s a growing demand for the product and plenty of new projects coming to market.

One way for owners to differentiate their facilities in a crowded market is to build or retrofit their properties to be more environmentally sustainable. After all, there’s growing consumer interest in supporting businesses that are striving to “go green.” Following are some ways to make your self-storage business eco-friendly, from building materials to landscaping to customer education.

Building Materials

Many self-storage facilities are constructed of steel, which is already very durable. Galvalume, a proprietary coated steel, prevents the corrosion and deterioration that could result in a compromised building envelope and energy leaks. Just make sure the insulation is sufficient to regulate unit temperature. Consider rigid foam insulation infused with non-toxic borates, the stuff in Borax soap, which also discourages pests.

Efficient roofing is another benefit to steel construction. Roof coatings with a high percentage of infrared reflectants help maintain a more stable building temperature. A “cool” finish can reduce surface temperature by up to 38 degrees and save on energy costs by about 23 percent.

You can also decrease energy use by installing solar panels, LED lighting and sensor-embedded smart technologies, such as computer-controlled thermostats. Lower energy use isn’t only ecological, it creates financial savings for business owners and customers.

Landscaping and Water

The communities that surround self-storage facilities want good business neighbors that maintain an attractive, clean environment. They also want new developments that don’t greatly increase the strain on water and sewer systems. In fact, local zoning laws may require that new construction projects avoid increasing water runoff and or even include a leach field, an underground system used to remove contaminants and impurities from septic-tanks liquid.

Eco-friendly strategies for self-storage properties include decreasing the amount of treated water used for landscaping and increasing the consumption of runoff water. Landscaping thrives on greywater (the relatively clean waste water from baths, sinks and other kitchen appliances), and research shows that plants cleanse toxins from runoff. Xeriscape is one landscaping design that flourishes on runoff. It’s based on attractive plants that can handle both plentiful moisture and drought.

Customer Education

Another way to create a clean, safe environment is to educate customers about items they shouldn’t store in their units. For example, combustible materials, including paints and solvents, are hazardous to the environment and your property. Any item that could leak toxic chemicals or harm air quality should be avoided.

Consider offering clearly marked and well-managed bins for recyclables and potentially dangerous items like car batteries. This is a nice service for customers that reduces operator risk and the accumulation of trash on the property.

Building a self-storage facility can be stressful. When considering new construction or improvements for an existing property, look for a reputable building partner that understands all the options for energy savings and sustainability. Teaming with an eco-conscious company will help you create a green, attractive facility for years to come.

John Barnard is the sales manager at BETCO Inc., a manufacturer of metal buildings and components for the self-storage industry. He’s been with the company for more than 20 years in a variety of roles, with responsibilities including supervision, staff training and support, and contract negotiations. To reach him, call 704.872.2999; e-mail [email protected]; visit www.betcoinc.com

Starbucks brews a greener plan for 10000 environmentally friendly stores

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Starbucks opened its first-ever location in Milan, Italy. To celebrate, the coffee giant added a Milan-inspired drink to its menu in the states.
10Best Editors, USA TODAY 10Best

As part of its new “Starbucks Greener Stores” initiative, the coffee retailer plans to have 10,000 environmentally friendly stores worldwide by 2025.

Among the goals of the program, announced Thursday, is for the company to generate enough energy by solar and wind power to offset all the electricity needed to run the chain’s stores in U.S. and Canada.

Working with environmental verification firm SCS Global Services, the World Wildlife Fund and other experts, Starbucks will develop a framework to build and operate environmentally sustainable stores. An accredited auditing program will be developed so that all 15,000 company-owned stores in the U.S. and Canada can be audited. The resulting framework will be open-sourced so other retailers can use it.

The move comes on the heels of the company’s announcement that it will eliminate plastic straws in all stores globally by 2020.

“Simply put, sustainable coffee, served sustainably is our aspiration,” Starbucks CEO and president Kevin Johnson said in a statement. The company announced the initiative Thursday at The Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. “We know that designing and building green stores is not only responsible, it is cost effective as well.” 

More: Starbucks to scrap plastic straws globally by 2020

More: Starbucks to open high-end Roastery in Italy

Starbucks expects to save $50 million in utility costs over the next 10 years as the plan evolves. The coffee company says it already saves $30 million in annual operating costs with green store practices.

Starbucks opened its first store certified by LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) in 2005, after four years of working with the U.S. Green Building Council to develop the LEED for Retail program. Starbucks, which has 28,000 stores worldwide, operates more than 1,500 LEED-certified stores in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and across 20 countries.

In addition to investing in solar and wind power to match 100 percent of the energy used by its stores, Starbucks is looking to develop technology and practices that use 25 percent less power and 30 percent less water, according to he company’s program. Other goals include reduced waste, sustainably sourced products and materials, and increased community engagement in sustainable issues by employees.

“This framework represents the next step in how Starbucks is approaching environmental stewardship, looking holistically at stores and their role in helping to ensure the future health of our natural resources,” Erin Simon, the director of research and development at World Wildlife Fund in the U.S., said in a statement. “When companies step up and demonstrate leadership, other businesses often follow with commitments of their own, driving further positive impacts.”

Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.
 

12 reasons why Santa Monica is a top choice for a sustainable holiday

There’s no denying travel and tourism have an impact on the environment. But as a consumer, it is possible to minimise damage by putting some thought into the places you choose to visit.

At the forefront of urban environmental thinking, American city Santa Monica is a favourable option for eco-conscious tourists, thanks to its longstanding environmental commitments. By 2030, the city aims to achieve zero waste through diversion, composting and recycling.

Still need convincing? Here are 12 more green reasons to go…

Bike days via @djjuicym

A post shared by Santa Monica, California! (@visitsantamonica) on Feb 21, 2017 at 11:52am PST

1. The battle against plastics started years ago

Santa Monica was one of the first American cities to ban polystyrene food service containers in 2007 and single-use plastic bags in 2011, which then turned into a state-wide ban.

2. There’s a shift towards marine-degradable materials

City authorities have now gone even further, with new regulations banning plastic utensils, cups, lids, stirring sticks, bowls and more. From January 1, 2019, local businesses must ensure these products are made from marine-degradable material, instead of plastic.

 3. Stay in a choice of sustainable hotels

Library at The Ambrose ?

A post shared by Wes Davenport (@wesdavenport) on Aug 17, 2018 at 7:56am PDT

Ocean View Hotel, Santa Monica Motel, Shore Hotel and The Ambrose Hotel are all Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified properties employing a range of green business practices, including reduced water consumption, increased water and energy efficiency, installation of solar panels and LED lighting.

4. Cars aren’t essential

Measuring just 8.3 square miles, it’s easy to navigate the city on foot. But if you need to move at a faster pace, there are plenty of environmentally-friendly transportation options, including Breeze Bike Share, a public bike share programme, and the Santa Monica Free Ride, a free shuttle service to transport people to Downtown Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Pier, Main Street, Montana Avenue, and the Metro Expo Line.

5. Food is reliably fresh

mama O is our official farmers market companion! @officialseanpenn

A post shared by honey hi (@honeyhi) on Sep 8, 2018 at 9:52am PDT

Santa Monica’s weekly farmers markets have been named the best in the country by Travel + Leisure magazine. Nearly 200 different growers and food producers attract famous chefs, celebrities and foodies.

6. It’s possible to shop in a sustainable environment

Originally operated as an indoor mall, the Gold LEED certified Santa Monica Place has been renovated into an open-air concept with views of the Pacific from a Dining Deck. It also incorporates water-efficient landscaping and a green roof element.

 7. You can hang out in a Green Light District

Last Sunday’s of the month on Main Street. Come and check out the store sales, art and small bites drinks. Thanks to @bollmanhatssm @beaugreelygallery for participating. #mainstreetsm #oceanpark #santamonica #lastsundays #santamonicaevents #cityofsantamonica

A post shared by Main Street SM (@mainstreetsm) on Jul 29, 2018 at 4:17pm PDT

Main Street, also known as the Green Light District, has more certified green businesses than any other street in Santa Monica. Along with boutiques, design galleries, cafes, bars and restaurants, there’s also a community garden.

8. Leisure facilities leave less of a carbon footprint

Just another amazing beach day! We have a public pool and everyone is welcome! Pool open daily 10am-7pm.

A post shared by Annenberg Beach House (@annenbergcommunitybeachhouse) on Jul 12, 2018 at 11:47am PDT

Located on five acres of oceanfront property, initially developed during the 1920s for actress Marion Davies, the Annenberg Community Beach House is now a public facility and has earned Gold LEED certification for initiatives such as the use of recycled blue jeans for insulation. Today, visitors can take a dip in the original marble pool used by Hollywood elite.

9. Visitors can learn how to save the bay

Featuring hands-on presentations and interactive exhibits, the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is a part of Santa Monica’s Heal the Bay programme – an initiative to educate, inspire and empower visitors to be stewards of the environment.

10. Green spaces are plentiful

We are thrilled to announce that Tongva Park has been awarded a 2018 ASLA Professional Award! ? Completed in 2014, Tongva Park + Ken Genser Square transformed a former parking lot in downtown Santa Monica into a lush landscape of rolling hills, meadows and gardens through a process that included engaging the community, restoring the ecosystem and prioritizing sustainability.? ? Follow the link in our bio for more about the project and the award.? .? .? .? Photo by @timstreetporter? @nationalasla @frederickfisherandpartners @fluidity_design_consultants @burohappoldengineering? @fuscoe_engineering @hlblighting? @converseconsultants #inigomanglanoovalle #tongvapark #ASLAawards #fieldoperations #jamescornerfieldoperations #landscapearchitecture #landscapeurbanism #urbanism #sustainability #communityengagement #santamonica? ?

A post shared by James Corner Field Operations (@fieldoperations) on Sep 5, 2018 at 2:10pm PDT

Designed by James Corner Field Operations, the architect responsible for New York City’s High Line Park, six-acre urban oasis Tongva Park is just two blocks from the Pacific Ocean. It consists of winding walkways, observation decks, picnic tables and grass areas.

11. Even the Ferris wheel is eco-friendly

The world’s first and only solar-powered Ferris wheel offers panoramic views of the Los Angeles coastline and mountains from more than 185 feet above the Santa Monica Pier. Come after dark for a light show generated by 174,000 energy-efficient LED lights.

12. Good green works are recognised

Every year Santa Monica hosts the Sustainable Quality Awards, honouring sustainable businesses making significant achievements in the areas of sustainable economic development, social responsibility, and stewardship of the natural environment.

For more information, visit santamonica.com.

– Press Association

Renewable Energy in Russia: Increased Interest in Wind, Hydro and Waste

While Russia has one of the largest conventional energy reserves in the world, it continues to incentivise the development of renewable energy projects through the renewable energy capacity auction scheme, endeavoring to make use of its vast land mass, particularly in the Russian Far East, for wind and hydro projects and addressing the growing problem of waste management with the development of waste to energy recycling facilities.

Renewable Power Regulations

In 2013, Russia introduced regulations allowing renewable generators to bid, through an auction process, for the opportunity to enter into long-term contracts for the sale and purchase of capacity for future projects that use capacity payments to secure a return on investment, including renewable power projects.[1]

To date, Russia has conducted six renewable energy auctions. As a result, a number of renewable energy projects have been installed or are under construction.

2018 Capacity Auction

The latest renewable power auction took place in June 2018. The auction resulted in 1.04 GW of design capacity being awarded among 39 renewable power projects, as follows: (i) 853 MW awarded to wind projects; (ii) 148 MW awarded to solar projects, and (iii) 40 MW awarded to small hydropower projects.

This year’s auction was marked by a high level of competition among bidders, including in respect of wind power generation, which previously had shown lower interest in Russia, as well as small hydropower projects. The previous lack of interest in small hydropower and wind projects is reported to be due to the high local content requirements and the absence of relevant equipment produced or otherwise localised in Russia.

The local requirements for wind projects can now be met through equipment localised and produced by Vestas Manufacturing Rus (Nizhny Novgorod region). In May 2018, Vestas started to produce wind turbine nacelles, which required an investment of more than 5.2 million dollars and created over fifty work positions in the region. Other producers, such as SGRE (Siemens-Gamesa Renewables) and Lagerwey, are also preparing to enter the Russian market. While the local content requirements for solar projects are also high, there have been locally produced solar panels used in a number of solar projects in Russia.

The increased competition has resulted in a significant decrease in the capital expenditures claimed by the bidders to be reimbursed through capacity payments.

Waste as a New Source of Renewable Energy

In addition to solar, wind and hydropower, in 2017 waste became the fourth source of renewable energy entitled to benefit from the capacity auctions and the long-term capacity supply agreements.[2]

The auction conducted in 2017 awarded long-term capacity supply agreements to five projects for the construction of waste recycling facilities for the total of 335 MW of design capacity. Four of the projects will be located in the Moscow region and one project will be located in the Republic of Tatarstan. These projects are intended to reduce the amount of waste in Russian landfills by 7% by 2023.

The Russian Government further announced two new waste recycling facilities with an aggregate of 110 MW of design capacity to be constructed in the south of Russia. The capacity auctions conducted for these facilities were also held in 2018; however, they failed due to the absence of bidders. The lack of interest reportedly resulted from the requirement for the bidders to provide a performance guarantee in respect of their obligations to construct the facilities, which increased the financial burden on the developers. We understand that similar requirements were waived by the authorities with respect to the waste recycling facilities mentioned above. We understand that a new auction is likely to be conducted again for these facilities on modified terms.

In June 2018, Russia introduced additional incentives for waste recycling facilities, which include a reduction in the environmental fees payable by such facilities. These facilities will pay fees seven times lower than other industrial facilities for their reduced negative impact on the environment. The payments required to be made by owners of landfills will increase by 15% by 2025, which is meant to make waste recycling more attractive as a business for waste management companies.

Eco-friendly homes: a look at millennials and the housing market

millennials

As millennials hit the housing market, the construction of ‘wellness-minded’ buildings and eco-friendly homes are on the rise

With solar panels in the roofs and built with environmentally friendly materials, green buildings have become popular not just amongst millennials, but with celebrities too. Orlando Bloom, Prince Charles and Damien Hurst, all have sustainable homes and the number continues to rise.

Developed to have a limited effect on the environment, eco-friendly homes are built to be as self-sufficient as possible. Using many natural resources such as light, wind and earth, sustainable homes aim to lower their carbon footprint and significantly reduce the amount of heat and power a homeowner consumes.

Economically insulated by incorporating earthbags, logs, stones, recyclables, bamboo and straw, eco-friendly homes cause significantly less damage to the surrounding environment. Other benefits include:

  • Lower maintenance requirements
  • Consistent temperature
  • Higher quality air (and better health)
  • Reduced waste
  • Reduced expenses

Why Are They Growing in Popularity?

Sustainability is a word that has been used more frequently over the years with reducing carbon emissions and saving the environment on the top of everyone’s agenda. This has caused several homeowners to relocate from traditional bricks-and-mortar houses into different types of accommodation.

Jo and Paul Morton, who live the ultimate ‘low impact’ lifestyle in a caravan, explain: “Everything we do is based on reducing our carbon footprint as far as possible. Whether bathing in harvested rain water or growing cabbages to preserve as sauerkraut for winter, we plan carefully so we minimise our use of fossil fuels.”

However, the changes in the way we live could mostly be down to ‘green’ millennials, i.e. those who were born at the beginning of the rise in interest in green attitudes and behaviour.

According to a survey conducted by The Guardian, more than two thirds of millennials ‘buy as many eco-friendly products as they can’ and in a recent survey  66% of global respondents say that they’re willing to pay more for products and services which come from companies that are committed to a positive social and environmental impact.

Growing up in an eco-conscious society, millennials are clearly more aware of their effect on the environment and are likely to be behind the rise in eco-friendly homes.

What is the Cost Benefit?

Eco-friendly homes can help you save time and money as the materials used are easily accessible. Many builders are able to buy the materials locally, which not only saves time, but also reduces the carbon footprint by minimising the distance they need to be shipped.

Furthermore, using recycled materials means a lower upfront cost and construction is often quicker – materials are more likely to be available and nearby.

It is not only cheaper to build a sustainable home, but the cost of day-to-day living is also reduced. Relying on renewable energy lowers operating costs and can end up reducing the monthly bills by up to 20-30%. Saving this much a month will make a big difference to the home owner financially and there are many more cost benefits that can be explored.

Eco-friendly homes require less maintenance as they are constructed to last a long time. Less money is spent making repairs or applying touch ups because green materials are durable and look newer for longer. The buildings’ extended lifespan will also lead to a higher property value so if the homeowner decides to sell they would increase their initial investment.

In the future it is thought that both home owners and businesses will be looking into green buildings. A new breed of eco-farmhouses has already been introduced in Wales and it is likely that more operations will follow suit. Additionally, with more resources being introduced every day, eco-friendly homes will become even more accessible at a lower cost; meaning they are likely to continue to rise in popularity.

Mixed reviews for a proposed $120M renewable-energy plant at South Philly refinery

This story originally appeared on PlanPhilly.

Making energy out of trash has great environmental appeal. Yet last week’s announcement that a commercial biogas plant is planned for 22 acres at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery complex in South Philadelphia — already considered the largest source of particulate emissions in the city — has tempered the local environmental community’s enthusiasm.

According to RNG Energy Solutions, developer of the proposed $120 million plant, it will have the potential to turn 1,100 tons of commercial food waste from the Philadelphia region that otherwise would be burned or sent to landfills into 22,000 to 24,000 gallons (3,000 dekatherms) of renewable natural gas daily, using anaerobic digesters.

RNG Energy president James Potter told PlanPhilly the agreement isn’t a Philadelphia Energy Solutions investment or even a partnership: RNG Energy will enter into a long-term site lease with PES, and the refinery will pay for the biogas plant’s total renewable natural-gas production.

Further details of the contracts were not revealed. According to the city, the facility would receive no public financial assistance, although it will be eligible for state and local tax credits because it would be located within a Keystone Opportunity Zone.

Clean-air advocates, environmental activists, and city officials contacted by PlanPhilly said they needed more information about the potential environmental impact of the Point Breeze Renewable Energy facility before making judgments.

“Overall, it’s positive,” said Christine Knapp, director of the city’s Office of Sustainability.

Philadelphia needs renewable-energy sources to meet its clean-energy and carbon-reduction goals — Mayor Jim Kenney recently confirmed its pledge to meet a 100 percent clean-energy goal as part of the city’s clean energy vision plan to reduce emissions 80 percent by 2050. Natural gas from the RNG Energy facility could potentially fuel both the city’s and SEPTA’s fleet. Decomposition of organic material in landfills liberates carbon dioxide and large amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas roughly 30 times more effective in trapping heat in the atmosphere than CO2.

“[But] we want to make sure that it’s done appropriately, taking into consideration the neighbors and respecting their concerns. We also want to make sure that it does fit in with our carbon and energy goals — which it does look like it aligns, but there’s still more research we have to do to make sure it does,” Knapp said.

Matt Walker, advocacy director of the Clean Air Council, a nonprofit that has continuously opposed PES, said that residents need more information about the project, and that state and city agencies must give them the opportunity to engage in the permitting and decision-making process.

“While the project could, in theory, lead to reduced methane from landfills in the region, as well as less carbon dioxide from vehicles that use the fuel, it is unclear if there will be any additional pollution burden to the surrounding community, and if so, how much,” Walker said in an email.

RNG Energy’s Potter said the impact to neighbors would be “unrecognizable.” Food waste coming from restaurants, groceries, food processors, universities, and other institutions in eastern Pennsylvania, northern Maryland, southern and central New Jersey, and Delaware into the facility would never be unpacked there and will be processed in two or three transfer stations off-site (at least one of them would be located in the city). Then it would be pumped into 6,000-gallon tanker-trucks and brought to the facility, where the liquid would be moved into tanks and then into one of eight bioreactors, he said.

“So there’s no material that’s outside at any time, so you control odor and vectors — animals, seagulls, things like that — by that way,” Potter said. “This will be a very clean site.”

He added that the number of trucks coming in and out the facility would not be large and would not create further pollution or increase traffic since its location is adjacent to Interstates 76 and 95.

Jo CordonHill, an organizer with Philly Thrive, a local environmental group that opposes construction of the biogas plant, was skeptical about Potter’s statements and, overall, about the refinery’s connection with the project.

Last year, Philly Thrive surveyed the refinery’s neighbors and found that more than half the 314 respondents had either heart disease, cancer, or a respiratory condition. The group attributes local residents’ health issues to pollution from the PES refinery. CordonHill said it will work to stop approval of the food-waste facility because it benefits PES, allowing it to comply with the annual Renewable Fuel Standard required by the Clean Air Act.

“I’m definitely in favor of the idea of turning liquid trash into renewable fuel,” CordonHill said. “[But] producing their own natural gas and the creation of this plant on their land will enable them to be financially solid for years to come, which enables them to pollute for years to come. This biogas plant can’t go through unless PES is held accountable for the damages they’ve caused to those living nearby, and to the city as a whole, in terms of pollution.”

CordonHill said that even though PES chief executive officer Mark Smith said the company is pleased to bring clean energy and green fuel for transportation to the region while also adding jobs, the refinery did not commit to reducing its fossil-fuel production or its carbon emissions.

“Even though it looks like they’re doing something good for the planet, ultimately their motive is  to solidify their business,” she said.

Knapp, of the city’s Office of Sustainability, said that while she understands the advocacy community’s frustration about a project could help the refinery stay open, at least it’s good to see that PES is trying to diversify using cleaner sources.

“So I think it’s still a positive in helping the refinery take even a small step in cleaning up their act,” Knapp said.

A smart move, but not a silver bullet

In February, PES filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, blaming its economic problems mainly on regulatory compliance costs associated with the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The program requires that a certain volume of renewable fuel be blended with gasoline to replace or reduce the quantity of petroleum-based transportation fuel. Some refiners mix gasoline with ethanol. Other refiners, like PES, don’t have their own blending operation and buy credits called renewable identification numbers (RINs), whose market is highly volatile.

“This is a smart move for PES, as a merchant refiner, to help manage its escalating RFS compliance obligations,” said Christina Simeone, director of policy and external affairs at the University of Pennsylvania’s Kleinman Center for Energy Policy.

Simeone, who has been studying the refinery’s up and downs, said that by creating a long-term renewable natural-gas agreement in house, with credits priced outside the market, PES avoids RIN market volatility, which brings more stability and less uncertainty regarding its compliance costs.

“I’m assuming this project is going to generate D3 RINs,” Simeone said —  higher value RINs coming from cellulose-based biofuel that can be used to meet other categories of compliance  for advanced biofuel with a higher greenhouse-gas-reduction threshold. “That would help the refinery reduce its cost [because] D3 RINs are very expensive in the market. Assuming that, this is a very, very smart investment on their part.”

Neither RNG Energy president Potter nor PES spokeswoman Cherice Corley would say how many RINs the new facility would generate, but Potter said all of them would go to PES.

Corley told PlanPhilly that the project would generate some RINs but not enough to comply with the requirement. “The project does not solve the flawed RFS for PES,” she said in an email.

Ultimately, Simeone said, the refinery faces many other challenges on top of the increasing cost of complying with the RFS requirements: access to cheap domestic crude oil; aging technology and increased competition from modern refineries; and its debt.

“I think this [project] will help the refinery, but it’s not a silver bullet,” Simeone said.

What the zero-waste cabinet was waiting for

The city knows that the only way to achieve the mayor’s goal of eliminating the need for landfills and incinerators by 2035 is by reducing the amount of organic waste Philadelphians throw into the trash. The Streets Department estimates that food waste constitutes 18.3 percent, or about 240,609 tons per year, of the municipal solid waste that ends up in landfills. About 78 percent of food waste is commercial, coming from restaurants, groceries, and other businesses.

Currently, there is no municipal organic collection in the city, mainly because there are no composting facilities with the capacity to accept large volumes of food waste. Business owners are required by the city’s “dumpster bill” to dispose food waste in garbage disposals or arrange for private collection of it. But only a few waste-management companies collect organics, because there are few outlets at which to dump them. Since last year, the Streets Departments has been working on a feasibility study aimed at solving the problem.

So the prospect of a large-scale, high-capacity, private biogas facility here that not only composts food waste into rich soil, but also rescues the methane in it and turns it into renewable natural gas, is music to the city’s ears.

“In the grand scheme of our zero-waste goals, and as we look at our percentages and what needs to get taken care of, something like this coming to the region is going to be a game-changer for us,” said Nic Esposito, director of the city’s zero-waste cabinet. “We’re really, really excited about this. It’s a big thing.”

At the outset, RNG Energy would take only commercial food waste. According to its estimates, the Philadelphia metropolitan area — including the city and Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery Counties in Pennsylvania and Mercer, Burlington, and Camden Counties in New Jersey — generates more than 3 million tons of organic waste per year. Potter, the company’s president, said accepting residential organic waste might come “years from now,” since its collection is more expensive.

Esposito said the city is considering municipal organic collection in the coming years. Knowing that there would be a place to take it makes that plan more feasible.

To complete the project, RNG Energy still must raise the $120 million needed and get several federal, state and city permits. According to the company, permitting and construction is estimated to take two to three years.

This article has been updated to correct Matt Walker’s title at the Clean Air Council.