ADDING MULTIMEDIA Toshiba Brings Energy Solutions for Africa to Japan Fair at TICAD VI

NAIROBI, Kenya–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO:6502) today announced its
participation in the Japan Fair at TICAD VI, the Tokyo International
Conference on African Development 2016 that will be held on August 27
and 28 at the Kenyatta International Convention Center. Exhibits at
Japan Fair will showcase Toshiba’s ability to provide total energy
solutions that ‘Make Energy”, “Transmit and Store Energy” and realize
the “Smart Use of Energy”.

Toshiba will demonstrate its ideal positioning to support growing demand
for power in Africa with world-class geothermal power generation
equipment and high efficiency energy transmission and distribution (TD)
technologies. The spotlight will also be on the company’s key
next-generation products for Africa: smart meter systems that deliver
enhanced energy network management and support for off-grid energy
solutions – essential for providing stable energy in a region as diverse
and challenging as Africa.

“Already, almost 60% of our sales are outside Japan,” said Takeshi
Yokota, Toshiba’s Corporate Senior Vice President and Corporate
Representative for Europe, the Middle East Africa. “We are growing our
business by promoting expansion in emerging markets, and see Africa as
very promising. We have done business in Africa for over 50 years, and
established our first office here in 1967. Since 2014, our business here
has been driven by Toshiba Africa (Pty) Ltd. We are very happy to
participate in TICAD Japan Fair and to introduce Toshiba’s potential to
a wide audience.”

Toshiba now focuses on three business domains, energy, infrastructure
and storage, all of which can support Africa’s move toward sustained
growth. Most important as a driver for growth and improved wellbeing is
the company’s energy business. The countries of Africa all target
economic growth, and all must contend with demanding environmental
conditions.

“Toshiba can contribute,” says Mr. Yokota. “We have established
technologies that can contribute to supply power stability and make the
best use of natural resources for energy generation. Our corporate
philosophy is ‘Committed to people, Committed to the Future’, and I have
no doubt that Toshiba has a lot to offer in terms of contributing to
people’s lives and a better future for Africa.”

Toshiba first entered Africa’s hydroelectric and thermal power plant
market in the 1970s. More recently, in 2013, the company supplied four
70-megawatt turbines and generators for Olkaria I and IV at the Olkaria
Geothermal Power Plant, Kenya’s largest geothermal power complex, and
they were successfully brought on line in February 2015.

Toshiba has an unrivaled record in the global geothermal power market.
It delivered Japan’s first geothermal steam turbines and generators in
1966, and since then has delivered 53 turbines around the world, with a
total capacity of 3,400 megawatts. As the source of approximately 23% of
the world’s installed geothermal capacity, Toshiba is the global top
supplier.

In East Africa, which can look to the vast geothermal potential of the
Great Rift Valley, Toshiba is collaborating with numerous countries in
the geothermal power business. In 2015, the company concluded MOUs with
Ethiopian Electric Power and Tanzania Geothermal Development Company
Limited, and on August 9 this year announced its most recent MOU, with
Office Djiboutien de Développement de l’Energie Géothermique (ODDEG),
the government organization responsible for developing Djibouti’s
geothermal power capabilities.

Toshiba’s contributions in Africa also cover power transmission and
distribution. In 2015, Toshiba Transmission Distribution Systems
(India) Pvt. Ltd. (TTDI), an Indian subsidiary of Toshiba, won a
contract to supply Kenya Power Lighting Company (KPLC) with
approximately 4,000 transmission and distribution (TD) transformers for
the substation network that connects power plants to end-consumers in
Nairobi and the surrounding region. After successfully completing this
order, TTDI was awarded an additional US$34-million contract in April
this year to supply approximately 8,000 more distribution transformers.

Looking to the future in Africa, Toyoaki Fujita, Business Development
Executive for overseas operation in Toshiba’s Energy Systems and
Solutions Company, had the following comment: “All the data points to
rapid economic growth over the next 30 years boosting African energy
demand 1.7 times. Meeting the challenges of growth requires
comprehensive solutions, and that is where Toshiba can contribute. As a
company that can “Make Energy”, “Transmit and Store Energy” and support
“Smart Use of Energy”, we can help to build smarter energy networks and
support efficient transmission and use.”

At Japan Fair, Toshiba will show how energy transmission and use can be
enhanced by its Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Systems, which
has won the lion’s share of the global market, 35%. The system can be
utilized with smart grid technologies to build efficient and effective
transmission and distribution networks. The exhibition will also include
H2One, Toshiba’s CO2-free off-grid energy solution
system, a fuel-cell in a container, which can easily be installed in off
grid areas and that uses renewable energy sources, such as solar and
wind, plus water, to deliver a stable supply in areas that are isolated
and lack electricity.

Mr. Fujita added, “Our rich experience allows us to support Africa’s
growing demand for clean energy with our latest and eco-friendly
solutions, like H2One. The MOU we have agreed in the
geothermal business also include provision for training local people, to
ensure sustainability over the long term. Looking at everything we can
do, I am confident that Toshiba can be Africa’s friendly partner in
building a better future.”

Related Press Releases

http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2014_09/pr2901.htm
http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2015_02/pr2001.htm
http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2015_12/pr0801.htm
http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2016_04/pr2001.htm
http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2016_08/pr0901.htm

About Toshiba

Toshiba Corporation, a Fortune Global 500 company, channels world-class
capabilities in advanced electronic and electrical product and systems
into three focus business fields: Energy that sustains everyday life,
that is cleaner and safer; Infrastructure that sustains quality of life;
and Storage that sustains the advanced information society. Guided by
the principles of The Basic Commitment of the Toshiba Group, “Committed
to People, Committed to the Future”, Toshiba promotes global operations
and is contributing to the realization of a world where generations to
come can live better lives.

Founded in Tokyo in 1875, today’s Toshiba is at the heart of a global
network of 550 consolidated companies employing 188,000 people
worldwide, with annual sales surpassing 5.6 trillion yen (US$50
billion). (As of March 31, 2016.)

To find out more about Toshiba, visit www.toshiba.co.jp/index.htm

Wastecon 2016: Putting in the effort

The Silver Spring, Maryland-based Solid Waste Association of North America hosted its annual Wastecon, Aug. 22-25, at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. Food waste and organics diversion was a major area of discussion during the event and organizers put food waste diversion into action as part of the event.

On Tuesday, Aug. 23, a Mega Session titled Focus on Food Waste in Organics featured Nora Goldstein, editor of BioCycle magazine. She discussed the history of organics diversion and the magazine founded by her father Jerome Goldstein in 1960 as Compost Science.

She said, in the old days, food waste fed was fed to swine and today animal feed has come back to part of the hierarchy for how to handle food waste.

“What really propelled the growth of composting in late 80s and early 90s was landfill yard trimming bans,” said Goldstein. She said the bans catapulted the infrastructure for the composting industry.

She also referenced a 1991 grocery industry study that stated recycling and composting of food scraps would allow grocery stores to recycle 90 percent of their waste. It would also create a savings of downsizing trash and reducing pickup frequency.

San Francisco was one of the first municipalities to begin three stream sorting in the mid-1990s and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced its initial Food Waste Hierarchy in 1998, Goldstein said. EPA updated it a few years ago, noting that food waste breaks down so quickly, there is not enough time to put in in a cell and cover it in a landfill without methane escaping, so the EPA wanted people to try to avoid putting food into a landfill.

A 2012 Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) study also gained a lot of media attention. It revealed up to 40 percent of food was wasted.

Now, she said, wasted food is in the media and public policy spotlight. She said proven and scalable solutions for food waste management are available, many of which are pretty high up on the learning curve.

ReFED
is a recent movement she discussed that assesses the economic value of food waste. Goldstein provided several examples of anaerobic digestion and composting projects taking place across the United States. While anaerobic digestion has a high diversion potential, its economic value is the lowest, she noted.

The best option for food waste was also revisited on Wednesday, Aug. 24 when several different perspectives were debated on the topic. The Great Food Waste Debate brought together four speakers who had a chance to share their opinion on the best way to divert food waste. Craig Bartlett, Regional Municipality of Durham, represented anaerobic digestion on the panel, while Kevin Roche, ceo, Ecomaine, had more of a waste-to-energy perspective. Patrick Sullivan, senior vice president, SCS Engineers, discussed the merits of landfilling food waste and capturing the energy from it that way. Risa Weignberger, president, Risa Weingberger Associates, held that composting was the best option. The audience also was allowed to cast a vote on a mobile app on which option they thought was the best.

Related to the issue of food waste and diversion, SWANA partnered with Second Helpings, an Indianapolis-based organization that reclaims food after banquets and distributes it to local homeless shelters and missions. Each year, Second Helpings “rescues” roughly 2.3 million pound of food and prepares about 4,000 meals per day. By doing this, Second Helpings is both reducing food waste and feeding their community.

For food waste that cannot be consumed during one major conference event, the Wastecon recycling committee pledged to send all remaining food scraps to GreenCycle, an Indianapolis-based organization that uses food waste to produce organic mulches, composts and soil blends.

“SWANA is thrilled to partner with Second Helpings and GreenCycle to provide food to the needy in Indianapolis and divert food waste to other useful products. As industry leaders, it is important for us to walk the walk, and not just talk the talk, when it comes to waste diversion and recycling,” said David Biderman, SWANA’s executive director and CEO.

“We are glad to have the opportunity to provide robust recycling as well as a food compost pilot project during Wastecon. Regarding the latter, Indianapolis is primed to grow its infrastructure for food waste composting at major venues that strive for zero waste programs,” stated Carey Hamilton, executive director of the Indiana Recycling Coalition and co-chair of the Wastecon Recycling Committee. “This pilot will help demonstrate the viability of zero waste venues in our community,” continued Hamilton.

In addition to food waste, SWANA is working with the Indiana Convention Center to ensure that all aluminum cans, plastic bottles, glass, cardboard, pallets, paper, and cooking oil are recycled. The Convention Center also uses a line of biodegradable, disposable service ware products, so no paper products will go to waste. The Wastecon recycling committee also secured recycling containers from Clear Stream Recycling, Palos Heights, Illinois, for attendees to use during the event.

Will Hyundai’s eco-friendly Ioniq woo hearts away from Prius? – LA …

Hyundai Motors, South Korea’s flagship automaker, transformed itself over the decades from bit player to global dynamo.

In 1998, the company sold a mere 90,000 cheap and tinny cars to U.S. customers. But that same year, it bought Kia Motors out of bankruptcy. And last year, the two combined sold 809,426 vehicles in the U.S. — not far behind Nissan and Honda — by making cars with the looks and quality to compete with the best Japan had to offer.

Now, Hyundai seeks to take a lead in what it calls eco-vehicles: hybrid, plug-in electric and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.

California will serve as a bellwether for success when Hyundai’s Ioniq hits dealerships this year, going against Toyota’s Prius.

“California is the most important state in the U.S. as far as eco-vehicles go,” said Byung Ki Ahn, the director of the eco-vehicle performance development group at Hyundai. “The real battlefield will be in California.”

During a recent interview at the company’s RD center southeast of Seoul, Ahn credited federal and state incentives for eco-cars and a large population receptive to all things green.

But he sees the state as a sophisticated auto market that won’t respond to incentives alone. If an eco-vehicle can make it in California, it can make it anywhere, he figures. 

“Tesla is based in California,” he said. “They knew exactly what the customer wanted.”

Hyundai is making a short-term play and a long-term play for the kind of fuel-saving, pollution-cutting cars people will buy. In both cases, it’s taking on longtime arch-foe Toyota.

The Ioniq, its Prius fighter, will come in three platforms: hybrid, all-electric and plug-in hybrid. The hybrid will go on sale this year and, in California, the all-electric Ioniq will also be released before 2017. The plug-in hybrid will follow next year.

Fed may increase interest rate

Caption Fed may increase interest rate

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen signaled Friday that another small increase in a key interest rate may be nearing.

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen signaled Friday that another small increase in a key interest rate may be nearing.

The first version of the all-electric Ioniq will have a 110-mile range; Hyundai plans to increase that to more than 200 by 2018.

Although just about every carmaker sells some sort of hybrid, no one touches the Prius in market share. It’s been around since 1997.

“They’ve been there for 20 years and had a lot of challengers, and no one has been successful,” Ahn conceded. 

Hyundai aims to change that. The Ioniq’s shape is similar enough to a Prius to connect the cars in buyers’ minds, but it’s not a copycat design. In fact, its smooth profile sets it apart from the aggressively angular new look that Prius debuted in January.

Ioniq prices haven’t been announced. The base 2016 Prius starts at about $24,500.

Hyundai claims the hybrid will get slightly better fuel economy than the Prius, but only by a mile per gallon: 56 mpg for the Prius Eco hybrid to 57 or so for the Ioniq. Toyota has announced no plan for a non-hybrid all-electric version, which could give Hyundai an edge.

But competition will be tough.

“They have challenges on a couple fronts,” said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at Autotrader. First, hybrids still represent only a tiny share of the car market — about 3%. “People are not going for hybrids, plug-in hybrids” in large numbers, she said. Plus, “Prius just owns this market.”

One feature Hyundai claims will help it stand out from the Prius: a better drive.

The Ioniq will be equipped with a dual clutch transmission, which uses metal gears, unlike the Prius’ continuously variable transmission, or CVT, which uses belts instead. The dual clutch is split in two, odd gears on one side, even gears on the other, so the next gear is meshed up and ready to go. A computer predicts which gear you need before you need it.

A dual clutch is more powerful and responsive. Originally installed on high-end sports cars, dual clutches are becoming more popular, especially in Europe, where they’ve been enthusiastically embraced by Volkswagen and Audi, among others.

“Nobody offering a car with the slightest performance intentions would use a CVT,” said Bill Hampton, publisher of AutoBeat Daily in Detroit. “They’re not designed for neck-snapping acceleration, and you can’t really grab the gear you want.”

That bodes well for Hyundai in Europe, but what about California and the rest of the U.S.? Hampton noted that Ford tried dual-clutch systems a few years ago and decided U.S. customers weren’t excited. Not enough Americans care enough about sporty driving in lower-priced cars, the thinking went. Others thought that maybe Ford didn’t try hard enough.

Marketing the feature will be tough, Ahn admits. Yet the company spent time and money in research and development to produce a transmission light enough and low-cost enough for a model such as the Ioniq. He thinks customers who try the vehicles will pick up on the difference right away.

That means luring customers to take a test drive, one of the biggest challenges that auto dealers face. In a bid to make it easier, Hyundai and Amazon this week announced a pilot program in which customers can schedule test drives on Amazon’s website and mobile platform. If the program is a success, it could benefit Ioniq. (The companies also are working on letting customers use Amazon’s Alexa voice-command system to start their cars and set the temperature before they leave home.)

Quality shouldn’t be a problem: The latest J.D. Power rankings for new-car quality put Kia on top, Porsche No. 2, and Hyundai No. 3.

Longer term, Hyundai is banking on fuel-cell vehicles, and here too California figures prominently in its plans.

Hybrids and electrics are drawing all the eco-vehicle glory at present. Yet companies such as Hyundai and Toyota see fuel cells as essential in a world where governments, including China’s, are trying, in some measure, to wean their citizens off gasoline engines to combat pollution and global warming. Electric cars have limited range, the thinking goes, so adding fuel cells to the mix would hasten the transition.

The big hit on fuel cells is a near complete lack of refueling stations to fill up on hydrogen.

The state of California, however, is spending $200 million in grants to get 100 refueling stations built over the next several years. More than a dozen retail stations are now spread through the Los Angeles area, and about 10 in and around San Francisco, with more under construction. A refueling spot at Harris Ranch between the two cities on Interstate 5 means it’s possible for people who own or lease a fuel-cell car to drive it from one city to the other.

Toshiba Brings Energy Solutions for Africa to Japan Fair at TICAD VI

NAIROBI, Kenya–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO:6502) today announced its
participation in the Japan Fair at TICAD VI, the Tokyo International
Conference on African Development 2016 that will be held on August 27
and 28 at the Kenyatta International Convention Center. Exhibits at
Japan Fair will showcase Toshiba’s ability to provide total energy
solutions that ‘Make Energy”, “Transmit and Store Energy” and realize
the “Smart Use of Energy”.

Toshiba will demonstrate its ideal positioning to support growing demand
for power in Africa with world-class geothermal power generation
equipment and high efficiency energy transmission and distribution (TD)
technologies. The spotlight will also be on the company’s key
next-generation products for Africa: smart meter systems that deliver
enhanced energy network management and support for off-grid energy
solutions – essential for providing stable energy in a region as diverse
and challenging as Africa.

“Already, almost 60% of our sales are outside Japan,” said Takeshi
Yokota, Toshiba’s Corporate Senior Vice President and Corporate
Representative for Europe, the Middle East Africa. “We are growing our
business by promoting expansion in emerging markets, and see Africa as
very promising. We have done business in Africa for over 50 years, and
established our first office here in 1967. Since 2014, our business here
has been driven by Toshiba Africa (Pty) Ltd. We are very happy to
participate in TICAD Japan Fair and to introduce Toshiba’s potential to
a wide audience.”

Toshiba now focuses on three business domains, energy, infrastructure
and storage, all of which can support Africa’s move toward sustained
growth. Most important as a driver for growth and improved wellbeing is
the company’s energy business. The countries of Africa all target
economic growth, and all must contend with demanding environmental
conditions.

“Toshiba can contribute,” says Mr. Yokota. “We have established
technologies that can contribute to supply power stability and make the
best use of natural resources for energy generation. Our corporate
philosophy is ‘Committed to people, Committed to the Future’, and I have
no doubt that Toshiba has a lot to offer in terms of contributing to
people’s lives and a better future for Africa.”

Toshiba first entered Africa’s hydroelectric and thermal power plant
market in the 1970s. More recently, in 2013, the company supplied four
70-megawatt turbines and generators for Olkaria I and IV at the Olkaria
Geothermal Power Plant, Kenya’s largest geothermal power complex, and
they were successfully brought on line in February 2015.

Toshiba has an unrivaled record in the global geothermal power market.
It delivered Japan’s first geothermal steam turbines and generators in
1966, and since then has delivered 53 turbines around the world, with a
total capacity of 3,400 megawatts. As the source of approximately 23% of
the world’s installed geothermal capacity, Toshiba is the global top
supplier.

In East Africa, which can look to the vast geothermal potential of the
Great Rift Valley, Toshiba is collaborating with numerous countries in
the geothermal power business. In 2015, the company concluded MOUs with
Ethiopian Electric Power and Tanzania Geothermal Development Company
Limited, and on August 9 this year announced its most recent MOU, with
Office Djiboutien de Développement de l’Energie Géothermique (ODDEG),
the government organization responsible for developing Djibouti’s
geothermal power capabilities.

Toshiba’s contributions in Africa also cover power transmission and
distribution. In 2015, Toshiba Transmission Distribution Systems
(India) Pvt. Ltd. (TTDI), an Indian subsidiary of Toshiba, won a
contract to supply Kenya Power Lighting Company (KPLC) with
approximately 4,000 transmission and distribution (TD) transformers for
the substation network that connects power plants to end-consumers in
Nairobi and the surrounding region. After successfully completing this
order, TTDI was awarded an additional US$34-million contract in April
this year to supply approximately 8,000 more distribution transformers.

Looking to the future in Africa, Toyoaki Fujita, Business Development
Executive for overseas operation in Toshiba’s Energy Systems and
Solutions Company, had the following comment: “All the data points to
rapid economic growth over the next 30 years boosting African energy
demand 1.7 times. Meeting the challenges of growth requires
comprehensive solutions, and that is where Toshiba can contribute. As a
company that can “Make Energy”, “Transmit and Store Energy” and support
“Smart Use of Energy”, we can help to build smarter energy networks and
support efficient transmission and use.”

At Japan Fair, Toshiba will show how energy transmission and use can be
enhanced by its Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Systems, which
has won the lion’s share of the global market, 35%. The system can be
utilized with smart grid technologies to build efficient and effective
transmission and distribution networks. The exhibition will also include
H2One, Toshiba’s CO2-free off-grid energy solution
system, a fuel-cell in a container, which can easily be installed in off
grid areas and that uses renewable energy sources, such as solar and
wind, plus water, to deliver a stable supply in areas that are isolated
and lack electricity.

Mr. Fujita added, “Our rich experience allows us to support Africa’s
growing demand for clean energy with our latest and eco-friendly
solutions, like H2One. The MOU we have agreed in the
geothermal business also include provision for training local people, to
ensure sustainability over the long term. Looking at everything we can
do, I am confident that Toshiba can be Africa’s friendly partner in
building a better future.”

Related Press Releases

http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2014_09/pr2901.htm
http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2015_02/pr2001.htm
http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2015_12/pr0801.htm
http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2016_04/pr2001.htm
http://www.toshiba.co.jp/about/press/2016_08/pr0901.htm

About Toshiba

Toshiba Corporation, a Fortune Global 500 company, channels world-class
capabilities in advanced electronic and electrical product and systems
into three focus business fields: Energy that sustains everyday life,
that is cleaner and safer; Infrastructure that sustains quality of life;
and Storage that sustains the advanced information society. Guided by
the principles of The Basic Commitment of the Toshiba Group, “Committed
to People, Committed to the Future”, Toshiba promotes global operations
and is contributing to the realization of a world where generations to
come can live better lives.

Founded in Tokyo in 1875, today’s Toshiba is at the heart of a global
network of 550 consolidated companies employing 188,000 people
worldwide, with annual sales surpassing 5.6 trillion yen (US$50
billion). (As of March 31, 2016.)

To find out more about Toshiba, visit www.toshiba.co.jp/index.htm

Flexible packaging diversion may require numerous methods

Packaging and label maker LPS Industries, Moonachie, New Jersey, says the numerous types of flexible packaging required to protect and market food, beverages and other products will likely require several different diversion options to keep the material out of the landfill.

 

An increased focus on the back end of the product life cycle has companies recognizing that there never was a “silver bullet” solution, says the company in an essay sent to media outlets. “Adopting a strategy of incremental change, in a series of practical and societally acceptable steps, is the best strategy to address a long term solution,” says LPS.

 

The company writes, “In the flexible packaging industry, it seems that as the complexity of the construction increases, so do the downstream recycling and waste management challenges. An example familiar to all starts with the polyethylene (PE) bag, used in most grocery stores. It can be relatively easily recycled due to its single layer composition. However, the same grocery stores contain shelves full of multi-layer packaging options used for moisture barrier protection of the contents. These cannot be recycled because materials in addition to polyethylene are used to generate the moisture protection the barrier film is designed to deliver.”

 

While recycling some packages back to their component resins or elements may be difficult, LPS says, “Many of the more complex flexible packaging structures are candidates for waste-to-energy conversion technologies such as gasification. Whether it’s recycling, waste-to-energy conversion, composting or landfill disposal, the opportunities for responsibly handling flexible packaging in the waste stream are becoming as diverse as the materials themselves.”

 

According to Charles Ardman, the vice president of marketing at LPS Industries, the company was an early adopter of environmentally friendly practices from both a product and process standpoint. On the product front, LPS has built out its packaging and shipping supplies portfolio over the last 10 years with products that contain recycled material or are biodegradable while continually evaluating new barrier materials for their brand owner customers, says Ardman.

 

Examples of such measures include installing a rooftop solar energy system in 2010 that offsets annual CO2 emissions by more than 500 tons and converting to a solvent-free lamination process that eliminates the production of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and their requisite disposal while providing a safer environment for the LPS workforce.

 

States Ardman, “While there is no ‘silver bullet’ for this complex challenge, LPS Industries will continue to work closely with our suppliers and customers and actively participate through our trade association to influence evolving regulations. Our goal is to continually identify and implement smart, eco-friendly improvements in support of decreasing the impact of flexible packaging on the waste stream.”

 

LPS Industries was founded in 1959 by John M. Robinson primarily as a converter of military-specification barrier materials. Today, under the direction of its CEO Madeleine D. Robinson, the company describes itself as a diversified manufacturer that provides packaging solutions for a diverse range of markets, including the medical, food, transportation, electronics and agricultural sectors. 

Startup Monday: Viva Green Helps Home Buyers Find Eco-Friendly Houses

Editor’s Note: Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

When Arlington real estate agent Kari Klaus decided to renovate her home to make it more energy efficient, she stumbled upon a problem.

Klaus, whose background is in sustainable development, realized that the traditional real estate property listing system doesn’t showcase or market environmentally friendly features for homes, making her house appear similar to others that aren’t energy efficient.

From working in the real estate business, she knew that home buyers care about how eco-friendly their future home will be.

“Wouldn’t you want to know if the home you are thinking of buying has superior systems, a tight building envelope (sealed to prevent air leaks) with solar panels and will save you potentially hundreds of dollars each and every month?” Klaus said.

But there was no understandable and reliable way to rank, search and view energy efficient homes, Klaus said.

That’s where VivaGreenHomes.com comes in.

“VivaGreenHomes.com shows you that these options exist and explains their importance to you as a home buyer,” Klaus said. “If a home’s environmental or health value has not won you over, then the potential to save you a lot of money will.”

She said her company changes the game because other real estate listing services aggregate home listings without any verification procedures. VivaGreenHomes.com uses claim verification methods, including a “Home Energy Rating System” score, an industry standard for eco-friendly homes.

A beta version of the site launched in October 2014. Feedback received from industry leaders helped to shape the website before its full launch in May. Just two months after launching the full version, the website has nearly 4,500 active listings, Klaus said.

In the next six months, VivaGreenHomes.com plans to add more user tools, consumer information and other features. Amid those changes, Klaus hopes the number of listings on the site will reach 20,000 in the next year.

Arlington provides all the resources the company needs to continue to grow, she said.

“It’s been incredible to be around so many professionals that work in the sustainability and eco-homes industry,” Klaus said. “It has been a great resource for the company’s growth, including the recruitment of some of our newest team members who live in the D.C. area.”

VivaGreenHomes.com is currently affiliated with 1776 Crystal City, Mentor Capital Network’s Bethesda Green Cohort and Cleantech Open Southeast.

Bad energy? Some locals upset over proposed renewable energy plant in Anaheim

ANAHEIM – Some residents within several miles of a proposed renewable energy plant that would convert food waste into clean electricity are questioning whether the idea smells.

Carlsbad-based Anaergia proposes to build a facility where daily hundreds of tons of processed organic waste from food scraps, carrot peelings to rotten potatoes, would be turned into electricity and possibly clean vehicle fuel.

The $70 million, 3,600-square-foot plant, hailed as state of the art, would be the first of its kind in Orange County.

But some Anaheim Hills, Yorba Linda and Placentia residents aren’t happy about putting the facility at 1300 N. Lakeview Ave., an industrial area a several-minutes drive from the nearest homes.

“It’s a dump,” Anaheim Hills’ Judy Morton recently told the Anaheim City Council. “Because it is so close to home, I do not feel comfortable with my health. …When you put a place like this near homes your property (value) dumps quickly. They cannot equivocally say this is not going to stink.”

Fifty-plus locals, wearing red shirts for solidarity, attended the council meeting to express that they fear the plant would bring with it a rotten odor, carried by the Santa Ana winds, that could hurt their home values and health.

The residents’ uproar has prompted city and Anaergia officials to hold a workshop today during a Planning Commission meeting, to update the public. The company hopes to present the final plans to the commission by early next year.

(On the agenda, the item is listed as a public hearing. But both city and company officials said it will be more of a workshop.)

The proposal comes months after a new state law that pushes jurisdictions to create organic-waste programs for businesses and, eventually, residences. The goal: to divert 75 percent of organic waste from landfills by 2020.

CalRecycle, the state’s department of recycling, believes 30 percent of all trash – organic waste – could be recycled by composting and the anaerobic-digestion process proposed for Anaheim. Organic waste in landfills takes up space and decomposes to release methane into the air, increasing greenhouse gases.

Costa Mesa last year got a jump-start. It created a food-scrap recycling program: Residential organic waste will go to CRR Waste and Recycling Service’s new anaerobic digester facility in Perris. Los Angeles, Temecula and Calimesa also have struck agreements to put their food scraps into the $25 million facility.

Other cities are trying to figure it all out.

“We’re all still doing our homework about this new law, and this facility,” Yorba Linda Mayor Tom Lindsey said. “Our residents have expressed concerns about this (proposed plant) – the odor, truck traffic, the byproduct, methane and other chemicals. We just don’t know enough about it, but the concept is great.”

Anaerobic digestion

The technology of converting certain waste into clean energy has been around for more than two decades in Europe, home too thousands of anaerobic-digestion plants.

In California, there are 11.

“The cheap alternative here has always been land-filling,” said Scott Beckner, a CalRecycle senior environmental scientist. “Europe has a number of organic waste banned in landfills and charges a much higher tipping (dumping) fee.”

Anaergia has built similar food digesters in Europe but this would be its first in the U.S.

Anaergia’s plan is to team up with the city’s waste hauler, Republic Services, and separate the organic feedstock from solid waste at Republic’s site elsewhere in Anaheim. The organic waste would go through a piece of equipment similar to a garlic press, with an end product looking like thick, gray oatmeal.

The processed feedstock would be placed in a large, sealed container and trucked, 12 to 24 trucks a day, three miles to the anaerobic digestion facility on Lakeview, where it would be dumped into another bin inside the facility.

The material would be further processed and stored before placed into an oxygen-free chamber that would extract the methane and convert it into renewable energy. The pellet-size byproduct, digestate, could be used as fertilizer.

The Anaheim Sustainability Center would process about 300 tons of oatmeal-like-feedstock a day, the company said, and it could generate four megawatts of renewable energy annually – enough to power 5,000 homes – that Anaheim Public Utilities can purchase. The city has already struck a deal to buy the energy if the plant is indeed built.

David Schneider, senior business-development manager at Anaergia, said the company chose Anaheim because the city owns its own electric utility. He understands the concerns of foul odors, but said the processed feedstock wouldn’t be exposed to open air.

“It won’t see the light of day,” Schneider said. “All the trash extraction will be at the Republic Services (site) before being placed in sealed trucks. Everything at the center will be totally enclosed.”

There would be a slight, non-offensive smell in the immediate area of the Lakeview plant, the company said.

The Republic site had been considered for the plant, but it wasn’t big enough. “You can’t do a small project,” he said. “There’s a fixed cost and it would be uneconomical.”

Anaergia envisions a facility that youth and college students tour to learn about the importance of recycling.

But does it smell bad?

Yorba Linda’s Craig Florer, a 51-year-old certified energy manager, planned to attend today’s workshop.

He was indeed concerned about any odor that would waft from the Anaheim plant should it get constructed, having worked at a wastewater treatment plant for three years.

“You get used to it, but the people around you don’t,” Florer said.

In Compton, Ralphs and Food 4 Less have an anaerobic-digestion plant. There’s a Coco’s nearby and residential homes, too. A stroll on a recent day about the area didn’t come with any discernible smell.

Kroger, which owns Ralphs and Food 4 Less, opened the plant three years ago to divert the company’s unused food from landfills and use the alternative energy to help power its 49-acre distribution center.

Every day, large trucks containing food from more than 300 of Kroger stores statewide that can’t be sold or donated goes through this center. More than 150 tons of food are processed daily through the anaerobic digester and converted into clean energy.

The plant generates about 20 percent of the energy needed to operate the distribution center, said Kendra Doyel, vice president of public relations at Ralphs. She added that Kroger has not received any odor complaints from those nearby.

Contact the writer: 714-796-2443 or jpimentel@ocregister.com

Country’s 1st carbon neutral zoo to come up in Haldwani

Vineet Upadhyay | TNN | Aug 20, 2016, 07.49 PM IST

NAINITAL: The proposed International Zoo-Cum-Safari to be built in around 400 acres of land in Haldwani town, in Nainital district will be the first ‘Carbon Neutral’ zoo in the country. Carbon Neutral facility means almost zero emission of Carbon from the premises as it will use natural resources such as sun, wind and water to harness electricity and use it. The proposed facility will have 19 segments including botanical garden, biodiversity park etc.

Apart from that the building material used to build the zoo will be wood, timber and other ‘Green Material’ to cut the cost and lower the usage of material like bricks whose manufacturing generates lots of Carbon in various forms, solid and gas.

Parag Madhukar Dhakate, CEO of the upcoming zoo and conservator of western circle, forest department told TOI, “We have started the plantation of various species which absorb Carbon emitted in the environment fast such as Bamboo and grasses of various species. Other than that mostly use of green timber and eco-friendly building material such as autoclaved aerated concrete block is done to ensure carbon neutrality.”

To achieve the objective various measures are being planned for successful implementation. Clean energy waste management solutions will be implemented in the zoo including wind and solar hybrid energy system, wind turbine, fully automated invessel organic waste composter, solar thermal water heating system, solar street lighting, bio-toilets and many more.

Carbon neutrality is a term used to describe the action of organizations, businesses and individuals taking action to remove as much carbon-dioxide from the atmosphere as each put in to it. The overall goal of carbon neutrality is to achieve a zero carbon footprint.

Work to complete one of its kind state of art zoo in the state in Greater Haldwani area has already begun and is likely to be completed in next two years. The project is approved by the Central Zoo Authority. The proposed zoo will be based on the ‘Principle of Immersion Effect’ where the animals will not be caged forever.

The zoo-cum-safari will be an independent one unlike earlier decision to make it as a ‘Satellite Zoo’ of Pt. G B Pant High Altitude Zoo in Nainital town.

The premises will be divided in different sections including separate ones for carnivores, herbivores and birds. Tourists who will visit here will also get the experience of ‘Walking Aviary’, a lane created in the habitat of the housed birds for live experience.

The fauna will include tigers, elephants, and leopards including many species of reptiles, amphibians and birds. The facility will also include a veterinary hospital, a rescue center for wild animals and will also used as a conservation breeding center. The facility will house the wildlife of lower altitude animals who often fail to survive in high altitude zoo of Nainital.

The zoo will also have a monorail for visitors to enjoy a wildlife safari. Monorail was added to the project to provide safer alternative. Earlier, the plan was to get canter vehicles for the tourists for live experience of safari but things changed due to security concerns.
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Following in Our Carbon Footprints

Recently, our firm signed the “2030 AIA Commitment,” a newer national initiative that challenges firms to reduce their carbon footprint, including providing the means for them to assess how energy performance is affected by design elements.

By signing on with this sustainability policy, we’ve undertaken a formal action plan that not only makes our commitment to and policy of being eco-friendly known, but it also shines a light on our promise to have a plan that reflects our belief system of green practices in place before 2030.

Lofty? Perhaps. But energy conservation is no longer a fringe movement spurred by unconventional groups. It’s a concept that’s worked its way into virtually every aspect of mainstream life and industry, including design and construction. Look around. Cutting-edge firms being run by the new generation care deeply about sustainability, where they work and with whom they do business.

Already, some of the larger firms in our industry have joined the AIA’s environmentally friendly challenge by publicly agreeing to improve their firm’s operations to be more sustainable through their commitment to the organization’s 2030 initiative—just like we’ve done. Sure, it was a choice to join the challenge, but it was the right thing to do. More than that, it’s doable.

Our firm has always believed in sustainability. Nearly all of our projects feature elements of LEED design or full-on LEED certification, even with the design, technical and logistic rigors that achieving this notable sustainability effort requires. The more our team learns and knows about sustainability and how to incorporate its ideals in our office and projects, the more valuable they become to the firm and our clients. That’s why our staff is encouraged to become LEED-accredited and why we attend conferences, sponsor staff training and education, and bring in speakers to conduct lunch seminars on the subject. We’re dedicating time for each member of our staff to learn about environmental stewardship and are creating the right vehicles to achieve a sustainable impact. We also recruit professionals with LEED credentials and work to incorporate green efforts in all aspects of design, from furniture to mechanics to technology and more.

Sustainable practices are so appealing that developers consider LEED as a means to attract tenants and seek incentives to develop LEED-certified buildings.

Of course, they do!

Tenants want eco-friendly, energy-efficient buildings. Environmental sensibility matters, and it’s everywhere. Not long ago I went to Israel and evaluated different sites with a client, who heavily favored LEED-accredited buildings. LEED accreditation is the driving engine that keeps the push for sustainability going, whether it’s how a building gets its water supply, recycles gray water, harvests and irrigates green spaces or uses solar power. Even the design aesthetic can forward sustainability through visually stimulating features and the use of eco-friendly materials, especially those that have a story behind them.

As I have discussed in previous writings, projects for our clients interested in sustainability are done with a consultant whose best-practice levels match our and the client’s needs. Typically, that involves working with a LEED professional for project charting, matrixes and confirmations, with a LEED score card used to ensure that the client’s levels for sustainability are met, all with consideration of the energy saved, costs saved, project timing and overall affordability.

We’re happy to help clients achieve their sustainable goals, not only because it’s what they want but also because environmentally friendly practices are something we care about and are committed to. We’re proud to have made the 2030 AIA Commitment and know, like you, that even small steps toward environmental wellness can make a difference.

Scott E. Spector, AIA, is a principal at Spector Group, one of New York’s premier architecture and interior design firms and a leader in corporate tenant and building owner-based design. The award-winning company has affiliate offices nationally and internationally. To date, it has completed more than 2,000 projects.

sespector@spectorgroup.com