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Sustainable futures and the status quo bias

Sustainable futures and the status quo bias | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
The tendency of humans to stick with what they know and avoid change could prevent us moving in to a more sustainable future, says Joss Tantram
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Sustentabilidade tornou-se um conceito que, por determinadas medidas, a tendência dominante. Tornou-se uma expectativa, em vez de uma exceção, que as empresas de significado (e menores) global têm pessoal e esforço despendido para alguma forma de cidadania sustentável, responsável ou relacionado esforço.

No entanto, isso não significa que a "guerra" para a protecção e valorização do ambiente global foi vencida. Ao contrário, todas as evidências científicas nos diz que as tendências globais esmagadora na qualidade ambiental são para baixo (com o estranho pedaço de menos más notícias ).

De uma perspectiva psicológica e neurológica, existem alguns fatores interessantes no trabalho.

As forças da reação e as forças de protecção

Além das forças da reação - aqueles que acreditam que os ambientalistas estão errados, são equivocada, ou que tenham voluntariamente ou ingenuamente interpretado de dados, e para além das forças do protecionismo - aqueles que podem privada concordam que os ambientalistas têm um ponto, mas estão tendo muito bom um tempo de querer mudar, há um outro desafio que enfrentamos na construção de um mundo sustentável - viés status quo.

Viés status quo - o melhor de todos os mundos possíveis?

Viés status quo é o fenômeno (apoiada por alguns evidência significativa ) que os seres humanos têm uma preferência objetivamente não-racional para o status quo. Um estudo de 2009 publicado pela National Academy of Sciences EUA descobriram que, quando confrontados com escolhas difíceis, as pessoas são mais propensos a escolher o status quo. Além disso, o estudo também observou que essas escolhas não eram muitas vezes os "melhores", mas que a dificuldade de tomar a decisão foi um fator na condução de pessoas para ficar com o familiar.

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Mercor's curator insight, February 15, 2013 12:20 PM

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Novo Site - Sustentabilidade Digital

Novo Site - Sustentabilidade Digital | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
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Eerie glow-in-the-dark roads replace streetlights in Netherlands to save money, energy

Eerie glow-in-the-dark roads replace streetlights in Netherlands to save money, energy | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
In an effort to save the massive amount of energy standard streetlights consume and present drivers with more information on the road, design lab Studio Roosegaarde has transformed a highway in the Netherlands into an eerie glow-in-the-dark smart highway.
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In an effort to save the massive amount of energy standard streetlights consume, and to present drivers with more information on the road, a Dutch company has transformed a highway in the Netherlands into an eerie glow-in-the-dark smart highway.

A couple of years ago, Dan Roosegaarde said he was sitting in his car in the Netherlands and realized that millions are spent on roads, but no one seems to care how they look or act. Then, while speaking to the BBC last year, Roosegaarde noted that the government is shutting down streetlights late at night in order to conserve energy and save money. Roosegaarde felt it was strange than we spend billions of dollars on designing and developing cars, but the things on which they’re used aren’t involved in that budget or process. So, his company — Studio Roosegaarde — teamed up with Heijmans, a Dutch civil engineering firm, to create a paint that can glow brightly enough in the dark — and under outdoor conditions — in order to light the way for drivers.

The team developed a photo-luminescent powder that, when mixed with road paint, can glow in the dark for up to 10 hours after charging up from the daytime sunlight. The paint was placed on a 0.3-mile stretch of highway N329, about 62 miles southeast of Amsterdam in the city of Oss. Studio Roosegaarde also aimed to add glowing weather symbols that would activate when the symbol’s corresponding weather conditions took place; for example, snowflake glyphs would appear on the road to indicate that the road is slippery and caution is advised. However, for now, only the glowing street lines have been implemented.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that, back in 2011, England’s Highway Agency shut off a significant amount of the country’s streetlights overnight in order to meet a carbon emissions goal. The mass turn-off ended up saving the agency about $668,000 (or £400,000). Another of the country’s councils estimated that setting one-third of England’s streetlights to either turn off during a certain period of time, or allowing them to be dimmed, would save around $1,337,000 (or £800,000) per year.

Anyone who had their own room in middle school knows from the staggering amount of glowing stars they pasted onto their ceiling that glow-in-the-dark fixtures don’t illuminate their surroundings. They light up themselves, but nothing around it. However, Roosegaarde said the team managed to get the paint to glow so bright that it seems radioactive — definitely a better level of brightness than the glowing stars you stuck to your ceiling fan before your first sleepover.

The team wants to take the glowing paint further, but so far they have not received new contracts. The paint has not yet been thoroughly tested by the rigors of time, so perhaps we’ll begin to see eerily glowing roads popping up around the world once the paint has shown to last through weather and time.


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Crowdfunding Hit — Solar Charger For Tablets

Crowdfunding Hit — Solar Charger For Tablets | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Originally published on Ecopreneurist.

Solar power for mobile devices is the wave of the future, but many of the small portable solar chargers on the market aren’t big enough to efficiently power tablets and other gadgets that have a larger battery capacity, and they don’t often include an onboard battery pack for charging devices after the sun
Digital Sustainability's insight:

Solar power for mobile devices is the wave of the future, but many of the small portable solar chargers on the market aren’t big enough to efficiently power tablets and other gadgets that have a larger battery capacity, and they don’t often include an onboard battery pack for charging devices after the sun goes down.

However, a new entry to the portable solar charger market aims to fix that, by offering a small yet powerful system to both harvest and store solar energy for all of your mobile gadgets.


The Solartab measures about the same size as an iPad, comes with a combination cover/stand, includes a 13,000 mAh lithium-ion battery and two USB ports for charging devices from. The device can also be charged from a wall outlet, so you can start your day with a full charge.

 

The Solartab is currently in a crowdfunding phase, and the startup’s Kickstarter campaign is already over 2/3 of the way to its goal, with 20 more days to run. Backers of the project at the $99 level will be the first to get one of these solar chargers (a value of about $149), or for $139, a special limited edition Kickstarter model.

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Dossier écoconception logicielle : genèse

Dossier écoconception logicielle : genèse | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Digital Sustainability's insight:

Le coût du gras numérique
Le nombre de calculs par joule double tous les 2 ans. C’est ce que démontre la loi de Koomey. Autrement dit, l’efficience énergétique des microprocesseurs suit la loi de Moore ! En parallèle, les fabricants font de réels progrès en terme d’écoconception depuis quelques années. Un desktop haut de gamme destiné aux professionnels fonctionne sans problème pendant 10 ans.

Malheureusement, une étude que nous avons menée avec Frédéric Lohier en 2010, et qui a lancé le mouvement de l’écoconception logicielle en France, montre que l’empreinte ressources d’un logiciel, c’est-à-dire la quantité de cycles CPU, de mémoire vive, de bande passante, etc. nécessaire à son fonctionnement, double en moyenne tous les 2 à 3 ans. Il faut ainsi 114 fois plus de mémoire vive entre les couples Windows 98 - Office 97 et Windows 8 – Office 2013 pour écrire le même texte, effectuer le même calcul ou envoyer le même e-mail.

Ce phénomène d’obésiciel (contraction des termes « obèse » et « logiciel ») n’est pas propre à Microsoft : il touche tous les éditeurs et tous les développements sur mesure. La loi de With le décrit depuis 1991 : « le logiciel ralentit plus vite que le matériel n’accélère ».

De la performance à l’efficience
Jusqu’à présent, on absorbait les effets de ce « gras numérique » en rajoutant toujours plus de serveurs, bande passante, de mémoire vive, etc. Mais cette inflation de ressources finit par coûter cher, par poser des problèmes techniques, et par avoir des impacts environnementaux conséquents. Un gros data center consomme par exemple autant d’énergie qu’une ville de 200 000 habitants. Et le coût de la dette technique (notamment coût de maintenance évolutive et corrective) des logiciels devrait doubler entre 2010 et 2015, passant de 500 à 1000 milliards de dollars, selon le cabinet Gartner.

Depuis quelques années, de nombreux éditeurs, entreprises et administrations, cherchent à réduire l’empreinte ressources de leurs logiciels. Les mêmes acteurs mènent en parallèle des démarches pour rendre leurs logiciels et sites web plus accessibles, notamment aux personnes en situation de handicap visuel (mais pas que). C’est la dimension sociale. Nous arrivons à un moment de l’histoire informatique où ces deux démarches – économique et environnementale pour la première, et sociale pour la seconde - convergent pour n’en former plus qu’une : l’écoconception logicielle.

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EPA Announces Which Cities Earned the Most Energy Star Commercial Building Certifications in 2013

EPA Announces Which Cities Earned the Most Energy Star Commercial Building Certifications in 2013 | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
For the sixth year in a row, Los Angeles reigns supreme in the EPA's ranking of the the most commercial Energy Star building certifications earned in a year for the country's top 25 cities. The EPA also ranked mid-sized and small cities.
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In 2013, Los Angeles reigns supreme for the sixth year in a row in the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) annual ranking of the top 25 U.S. cities with the most Energy Star-certified commercial buildings. Philadelphia broke into the top 10 ring for the first time this year, thanks perhaps, to the Philadelphia Building Energy and Benchmarking Law passed in 2012, which requires large city buildings to report their energy usage.

EPA's methodology for the ranking defined cities by the U.S. Census Bureau's "core based statistical areas," and then tallied the total number of building that earned the Energy Star certification in each city in 2013....

While the data does not compare the number of certified building against the total number of commercial buildings in the defined metro areas, according to the EPA, the Energy Star certifications in each cities equated to significant annual cost savings.

TOTAL ANNUAL COST SAVINGS OF TOP 10 MAJOR CITIES:

1. Los Angeles: $132.2 million
2. Washington, D.C.: $119.0 million
3. Atlanta: $53.4 million
4. New York: $142.4 million
5. San Francisco: $110.1 million
6. Chicago: $91.3 million
7. Dallas: $43.9 million
8. Denver: $40.2 million
9. Philadelphia: $28.1 million 
10. Houston: $66.4 million

For the full breakdown of the top 25 cities, and additional information of the total floor space, cost savings, and emissions prevented, visit EPA's 2014 data set.

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The world's first net-zero energy skyscraper rises in Indonesia

The world's first net-zero energy skyscraper rises in Indonesia | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
The Pertamina Energy Tower's curved façade is precisely calibrated for Jakarta's proximity to the equator to mitigate solar heat gain year-round.
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The world's first net-zero energy skyscraper soon will grace the center of Jakarta, Indonesia — the Pertamina Energy Tower.

When it's finished in 2019, it will be 99 stories high and serve as the headquarters of Pertamina, the national energy company. In addition to the 20,000 people who will work there, it will be the centerpiece of a campus that has a mosque, a sports center and a 2,000-seat auditorium for the performing arts.

Shaped like a funnel, the top of the tower opens at the top, capturing wind and sucking it inside to run a series of vertical wind turbines that provide 25 percent of the building's electricity.

Incredibly, its curved façade is precisely calibrated for Jakarta's proximity to the equator, which mitigate solar heat gain throughout the year. On two sides of the building are sun-shading "leaves" — semi-mobile curtains that allow daylight to enter while shielding the building from glare and heat from the sun. Radiant cooling systems replace air conditioners.

Other buildings on campus will be covered by solar panels, but the central energy plant that powers the complex will run on geothermal — a prime, renewable energy source in Indonesia.

A covered walkway called the "Energy Ribbon" winds through the campus, providing protection from the elements and generating energy from solar panels on top. It connects the buildings while leading people across land bridges and gardens....

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Apple, Facebook, Google Lead Tech Firms on Renewables, Greenpeace Says

Apple, Facebook, Google Lead Tech Firms on Renewables, Greenpeace Says | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Environmental Leader
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Apple, Facebook, and Google are leading a growing number of technology companies working to power the internet with 100 percent renewable energy, signaling a major shift in the sector over the past two years, and leaving Amazon Web Services behind, according to Greenpeace research.

Amazon Web Services, which hosts the data for many of the internet’s most popular services, powers its infrastructure with polluting energy sources that contribute to global warming, according to Clicking Clean: How Companies are Creating the Green Internet.

Greenpeace evaluated the energy choices of 19 leading internet companies, surveying the electricity supply chains of over 300 data centers. Five of those companies have committed to a goal of powering their operations with 100 percent renewable energy.

Apple became the first company to achieve 100 percent renewable energy goal to power its iCloud. It is operating the largest privately owned solar installation in the US at its North Carolina data center. Apple led the companies evaluated, with a Clean Energy Index of 100 percent, according to the report.

Facebook flexed its muscles to push its utility in Iowa,MidAmerican Energy, to power its data center there with wind energy. MidAmerican responded by investing $1.9 billion in wind power generation, placing the world’s largest-ever order of onshore wind turbines, in part to meet the social network’s demands.

Google has pioneered the use of power purchase agreements for wind energy, to provide electricity for its services like Gmail and YouTube, the report says.

By contrast Amazon Web Services currently meets only 15 percent of its electricity demand with clean energy. Coal powers 28 percent of the company’s cloud, nuclear 27 percent, and gas 25 percent.

Greenpeace claims that technology companies have “immense power” either to drive a renewable energy revolution, or to tie the new digital economy to polluting sources of power. If the internet were a country, its electricity demand would currently rank sixth, the report says. Estimates from the industry say internet data will triple from 2012 to 2017.

Apple, Facebook and Google have proven over the past 24 months that wind and solar energy are ready and waiting to power the internet, and the rest of our economy, with clean electricity, according to Gary Cook, Greenpeace senior IT analyst.

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Busca por avião da Malaysia Airlines coloca em xeque poluição nos oceanos

Busca por avião da Malaysia Airlines coloca em xeque poluição nos oceanos | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Opera Mundi - Jornalismo internacional: notícias, informações, perfis, reportagens especiais e análises críticas sobre os principais acontecimentos do mundo
Digital Sustainability's insight:

Nas últimas semanas, satélites internacionais têm detectado uma série de objetos flutuantes nas áreas onde são feitas as buscas do avião da Malaysia Airlines, que desapareceu no dia 8 de março no trajeto entre Kuala Lumpur e Pequim com 239 pessoas a bordo. Posteriormente, contudo, especialistas comprovaram que, em todos os casos, se tratavam de pistas falsas.

Para além da frustração que essas hipóteses errôneas resultam, os grandes objetos detectados são sinais visíveis de um problema muito maior. Isto é, as buscas pelos destroços da aeronave também levantam outro tipo de discussão, constantemente deixada de lado: a questão da poluição nos oceanos.

Os impactos ligados à presença do lixo no mar começaram a ser observados a partir da década de 1950. Um dos maiores problemas apontados pelos cientistas foi a substituição de materiais naturais pelos sintéticos - como o plástico - que resistem por mais tempo e se acumulam nos oceanos. De acordo com um relatório apresentado pelo PNUMA (Programa das Nações Unidas para o Ambiente) em 2009, os plásticos compõem cerca de 80% do lixo coletado no mar.


“Essas pistas falsas da aeronave dão uma ideia de que há lixo no oceano, mas representam fragmentos grandes. Na verdade, 99,9% dos plásticos encontrados no oceano são extremamente pequenos. Ou seja, há muito mais lixo do que se imagina”, afirmou o Prof. Dr. Alexander Turra, do Instituto Oceanográfico da USP (Universidade de São Paulo), em entrevista a Opera Mundi. “O plástico sofre fragmentação pelo sol e vai se quebrando. Esse processo pode ser acelerado pelas ondas e ventos, fragmentando cada vez mais. Se nada de mais grave acontecer, o processo demora meses, senão semanas”, explicou.

De acordo com o relatório da ONU intitulado “Lixo marinho: Um Desafio Global”, pouco se sabe sobre a extensão de lixo nos oceanos. “Esta deficiência, em combinação com a falta de legislação específica, de aplicação de lei adequada e de financiamento são as principais razões pelas quais o problema do lixo marinho está longe de ser resolvido", diz o artigo das Nações Unidas. Para o oceanógrafo da USP, tal dado é incomensurável, pois parte de pesquisas em cada país, sendo impossível quantificá-las em escala global. “A gente não sabe a área precisamente, pois há estudos locais nas praias, depois disso, partimos para estimativas”, diz.

“O maior aterro do mundo está no oceano”

Apesar de não ser possível quantificar, há algumas zonas no oceano cuja concentração de lixo é impressionante. Exemplo disso é uma área localizada no Pacífico Norte conhecida como “Grande Giro do Pacífico”, localizada entre a Califórnia, o Havaí e o Japão. Trata-se de uma imensa mancha de lixo que se acumula em um dos giros (áreas em torno das quais se deslocam as correntes marinhas) existentes em todos os oceanos. Nessas zonas, os resíduos e detritos de plástico que chegam ali ficam retidos e se acumulam, formando enormes “lixões”.
Segundo dados levantados pelo Greenpeace em 2008, 80% do lixo do oceano vêm da terra e 20% em navios (cargueiros, pescas ou cruzeiros) ou plataformas. Além disso, cerca de 100 milhões de toneladas de plástico são produzidas todo ano e aproximadamente 10% acabam no ambiente marinho. Uma vez lá, as qualidades duradouras de plástico fazem com que o material permaneça no ecossistema ao longo de décadas, e como mais lixo se acumula, o cenário tende a ser extremamente negativo.

Apesar de os plásticos representarem 80% dos resíduos sólidos no mar, Turra aponta que sua tendência a flutuar facilita que seja mais visível nas pesquisas de campo científicas. “Por outro lado, há materiais mais pesados, como metais, que afundam. Isso dificulta quantificar a presença deles nos oceanos”, afirmou o pesquisador da USP. Daí um dos maiores desafios do lixo no oceano: se 99,9% dos plásticos são micropartículas e se muitos materiais acabam no fundo dos mares, é impossível quantificar o lixo presente no ambiente marinho.


Em um artigo intitulado “O maior aterro do mundo está no meio do oceano”, publicado para o PNUMA em 2002, o pesquisador e capitão Charles Moore afirmou que o maior problema do “Grande Giro do Pacífico” é que ele não representa apenas uma mancha de poluição, mas teria uma área do tamanho comparável ao Texas e se enche cada vez mais de lixo flutuante.

Segundo este relatório, os níveis de partículas de plástico triplicaram nos últimos dez anos e não seria um absurdo prever um aumento de dez vezes para a próxima década. Em suas pesquisas de campo, Moore apontou há 6 vezes mais micropartículas de plástico do que plâncton nos mares em que estudou. Há pelo menos cinco manchas semelhantes de lixo no Pacífico Sul, Atlântico Norte, Atlântico Sul e Índico, comprovando que não se trata de um problema local. “Antes de pensar em quantificar, o principal desafio mesmo é fazer com que a sociedade polua menos”, concluiu Turra.

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Biodegradable, Implantable Battery Can Melt In Your Body

Biodegradable, Implantable Battery Can Melt In Your Body | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it

Modern medicine does not fall behind other business in this age of technology. Modern medicine focuses on integrating life-changing advances with progressive technological advances. A recent marriage of medicine and technology hopes to enable progress in monitoring and administering treatment with difficult health circumstances. This recent progress is a biodegradable, implantable battery that will help

Digital Sustainability's insight:

“This is a really major advance,” says Jeffrey Borenstein, a biomedical engineer at Draper Laboratory, a non-profit research and development centre in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “Until recently, there has not been a lot of progress in this area.”

Mark Peplow of the journal Nature writes, “In 2012, materials scientist John Rogers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign unveiled a range of biodegradable silicon chips that could monitor temperature or mechanical strain, radio the results to external devices, and even heat up tissue to prevent infection.”

In a study published in 2012, ‘Biodegradable electronics here today, gone tomorrow,’ a team of researchers designed flexible electronic components that could dissolve inside the body and in water. The components could be used to make smart devices that disintegrate once they are no longer useful, helping to alleviate electronic waste and enabling the development of medical implants that don’t need to be surgically removed....

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Scientists Focus on Polar Waters As Threat of Acidification Grows by Jo Chandler: Yale Environment 360

Scientists Focus on Polar Waters As Threat of Acidification Grows by Jo Chandler: Yale Environment 360 | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
A sophisticated and challenging experiment in Antarctica is the latest effort to study ocean acidification in the polar regions, where frigid waters are expected to feel most acutely the ecological impacts of acidic conditions not seen in millions of years.
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A few weeks from now, in the waters off the Tasmanian coast, marine ecologist Jonny Stark of the Australian Antarctic Division and a team of biologists and technicians will piece together an underwater laboratory. Once they get the technology hooked up and running, they will promptly disassemble the hoses, instruments, pumps, and plastic panels and crate it all up. This is merely a dress rehearsal, and in much kinder conditions than those anticipated for the performance later this year in Antarctica.

Their mission?

“We’re going to build a bio-dome on the sea floor with a future ocean inside it,” declares project co-leader Donna Roberts, a marine biologist with Australia’s Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Center.

Within the chambers of their laboratory, which will be dropped 20 meters below the frozen crust of a little Antarctic bay just south of the Australian government’s Casey Station, Roberts, Stark, and their colleagues will introduce a selection of plants and animals from the local seafloor community to the more acidic seawater conditions anticipated by 2100. In the ensuing four months, the scientists will maintain the artificial conditions in the chambers via an umbilical system fed through a hole bored in three-meter-thick ice. The results of their experiment will help illuminate a key question about future climate change: What will be the impact of dramatically changing seawater chemistry on ocean biology?

The Australian research project is one of a handful being conducted by scientists in Antarctica and the Arctic, where the reality of ocean

Frigid polar seas are on the front line of the most dramatic shift in ocean chemistry in millions of years.

acidification — the so-called other CO2 problem — is expected to be felt first, soon, and hard. That’s because colder ocean waters inhale and retain more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than warmer waters. This creates higher levels of acidity and threatens a host of creatures — from tiny zooplankton to sea urchins and sea stars — that may have difficulty building shells or reproducing in waters with a lower pH....

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See-Through SolarWindow™ Capable of Generating Electricity on Glass

See-Through SolarWindow™ Capable of Generating Electricity on Glass | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
New Energy Technologies Inc. (OTCQB: NENE), developer of see-through SolarWindow™ coatings, capable of generating electricity on glass and flexible plastics, today made public never-before-seen images of the Company’s largest area, high-performance SolarWindow™ arrays.
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lumbia, Maryland e Nova York (26 de marco de 2014)?  New Energy Technologies Inc. (OTCQB: NENE), desenvolvedora de ver através SolarWindow? revestimentos, capazes de gerar eletricidade em vidro e flexíveis de plástico, feito hoje públicas imagens nunca antes vistas da Companhia? s maior área, SolarWindow de alto desempenho? matrizes. Estes SolarWindow? matrizes medir mais de 232 cm2? uma conquista significativa para o tamanho, melhorando em cima da Nova Energia? s conquistas anteriores do Departamento de Energia dos EUA? s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), e produzido com muito uniforme, matizes de cor preferidos pelos fabricantes de janelas comerciais para instalação em arranha-céus , em todo o mundo.

? Entre os critérios mais importantes para o desenvolvimento de SolarWindow? aplicações para hoje? s arranha-céus está fornecendo um conjunto de cores neutras que permanecem see-through e são uniformes em fabricação. Hoje, nós? Ve revelou um recorde, a maior área-see-through, fotovoltaico orgânico (OPV) SolarWindow? matriz que aborda alto de torres e edifícios comerciais requisitos de vidro, eles também têm a promessa de capacidades de escala até fáceis e fabricação incomparável,?explicou o Sr. John A. Conklin, Presidente e CEO da New Energy Technologies, Inc.

Hoje? S SolarWindow? matriz é mais de 35% maior do que a Companhia? s previamente fabricado, 170 cm2 de trabalho módulo conquista. Esse módulo anterior já foi 14 vezes maior do que o módulo OPV maior área-then-anterior já fabricado no NREL. A Companhia? s mais recente de alta performance, SolarWindow grande-área? foi fabricado através dos esforços de Nova Energia? s Cientista Principal, Dr. Scott Hammond, em colaboração com pesquisadores NREL, particularmente Dr. Maikel van Hest, Dr. Dana C. Olson, e Dr. Scott Mauger.

NREL está entre o mundo? S instituições de pesquisa solar fotovoltaica mais respeitados e avançadas, e ao longo de sua história de 37 anos foi creditado para o apoio no piso térreo de muitas das tecnologias comerciais empregadas por hoje? S indústrias de energia renovável. NREL e Nova Energia tem vindo a trabalhar através de um Acordo de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento Cooperativo para avançar a Companhia? S SolarWindow? tecnologia para a geração de eletricidade em janelas de vidro.SolarWindow? Transparência, cor e uniformidade na trilha de Comercialização ? Continuamos a atender e superar o nosso projeto do dispositivo, arquitetura, uniformidade, cor e transparência dos objectivos de desenvolvimento,? continuou o Sr. Conklin. ? Realizar esses objetivos nos permite agora avançar em direção a área maior, janelas em escala comercial, mantendo uniforme, cores neutras e poder escalável.?

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Coca-Cola Enterprises launches online challenge to increase at home recycling rates

Coca-Cola Enterprises launches online challenge to increase at home recycling rates | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Members of the OpenIDEO.com online community will generate ideas for innovative solutions to close the gap between intentions and actions. When it comes to recycling, people’s intentions don’t always match their actions – something a new recycling initiative from Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) aims to address. The 11-week challenge, in partnership with online innovation platform OpenIDEO.com, will encourage the latter’s 60,000 global members to come up with innovative yet practical solutions for encouraging people across Europe to recycle more. In the first part of the challenge, the OpenIDEO.com community will be invited to share their insights on some of the barriers that prevent people from recycling; then, during the ‘ideas’ phase, submit and collaborate on solutions for overcoming them.
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When it comes to recycling, people’s intentions don’t always match their actions – something a new recycling initiative from Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) aims to address. The 11-week challenge, in partnership with online innovation platform OpenIDEO.com, will encourage the latter’s 60,000 global members to come up with innovative yet practical solutions for encouraging people across Europe to recycle more. In the first part of the challenge, the OpenIDEO.com community will be invited to share their insights on some of the barriers that prevent people from recycling; then, during the ‘ideas’ phase, submit and collaborate on solutions for overcoming them. “While we can leverage our experience and expertise to educate and inspire consumers to recycle more often, we recognise we don’t have all the answers”, says Joe Franses, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Director, CCE. “So we are collaborating with other thought leaders, and the best creative minds in the OpenIDEO.com global community, to help generate ideas that could deliver real change in at-home recycling habits.” According to a YouGov survey carried out last year, three quarters of British and French people claim to ‘always’ recycle plastic bottles at home. However, recycling rates don’t reflect this: only around half of all plastic bottles sold in Great Britain and France are collected for recycling. CCE’s ‘Recycle for the Future’ campaign aims to identify the reasons behind the disparity between people’s intentions and actions and increase at-home recycling rates. It commissioned a study, Unpacking the Household, from the University of Exeter, led by Dr Stewart Barr, in order to better understand how certain household dynamics contribute to the problem. Twenty families, couples and single-person households in Great Britain and France were observed in their own homes for six months. The study showed that people’s recycling behaviour is largely instinctive, with new thinking required to break bad habits. The aesthetics of recycling bins can also limit the space allocated to recycling, and better information on recycling processes is needed to combat scepticism (many believe that it is ‘sent to landfill’ or ‘exported abroad’). The study’s findings form the basis of CCE and OpenIDEO.com’s online challenge. “We hope that some of the ideas generated from this challenge will help to meet the recommendations that came out of the study into recycling rates, by calling time on out-dated recycling habits and providing popular, straightforward solutions for households”, says Nathan Waterhouse, Director of OpenIDEO.com. - See more at: http://www.forumforthefuture.org/greenfutures/articles/coca-cola-enterprises-launches-online-challenge-increase-home-recycling-rates#sthash.aCoTHFaG.dpuf...

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Schneider, Microsoft Alliance to Develop EMS Software

Schneider, Microsoft Alliance to Develop EMS Software | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Schneider Electric and Microsoft will develop custom, cloud-based energy management and sustainability software for customers across diversified industries.  The technology will combine Schneider Electric’s StruxureWare Resource Advisor with the Microsoft Windows Azure cloud platform. Schneider says the partnership expands its ability to deploy public, private and hybrid cloud solutions and the partnership with Microsoft enables   ...Continue Reading
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Schneider Electric andMicrosoft will develop custom, cloud-based energy management and sustainability software for customers across diversified industries.  The technology will combine Schneider Electric’s StruxureWare Resource Advisor with the Microsoft Windows Azure cloud platform.

Schneider says the partnership expands its ability to deploy public, private and hybrid cloud solutions and the partnership with Microsoft enables increased innovation in energy efficiency.

StruxureWare Resource Advisor is Schneider Electric’s enterprise-level cloud-based software application that provides secure access to data, reports and summaries to drive customer energy and sustainability programs. The software is configurable, which allows it to be deployed on the Windows Azure cloud platform. The Resource Advisor can offer:

Accelerated deployment with instant access to online, web-accessible sustainability and energy management softwareGlobal reach and low cost of entry as software tools can be scaled quickly, replicated and rolled out globally with local language supportReduced cost resulting from eliminating the need to install or maintain additional on premise IT infrastructureAbility to leverage installed investments with secure cloud connectivity to existing onsite facility energy metering, monitoring and building management systemsIncreased mobility for employees to access information wherever they are, rather than having to remain at their desksFlexible system architecture based on open standards and protocols, promoting systems integration.

The first StruxureWare Resource Advisor development on the Windows Azure platform created the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) Higg Index 2.0—the web-based tool that helps retail organizations standardize how they measure and evaluate environmental performance of apparel products across the supply chain.

By utilizing StruxureWare Resource Advisor as a foundation to build a proprietary application on the Windows Azure cloud, the SAC’s sustainability assessment tool is now web-based and accessible to the SAC’s global membership. Schneider Electric will continue to roll out the Windows Azure platform globally to support the StruxureWare cloud-based software.

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Farmers Seeking Heat Relief Signal Brazil Climate Peril

Farmers Seeking Heat Relief Signal Brazil Climate Peril | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it

Brazil may see a mass migration of crops and farm workers from huge swaths of currently tillable lands to more temperate zones as global warming takes hold, according to leading climate experts in the country.

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Brazil may see a mass migration of crops and farm workers from huge swaths of currently tillable lands to more temperate zones as global warming takes hold, according to leading climate experts in the country.

Longtime Brazilian climate researcher Hilton Silveira Pinto points to the drought that’s cutting grain and coffee output this year as an indicator that rising global temperatures may already be impacting the country’s crops.

“This is a taste of what is to come in the future,” said Pinto, a professor at the Center for Meteorological and Climate Research Applied to Agriculture at the University of Campinas.

A study co-authored by Pinto that looks at projected warming trends shows Brazil’s soybean production may drop by as much as 24 percent and wheat output as much as 41 percent by 2020 as climate change reduces areas where the crops can grow.

Because Brazil is increasingly helping to feed the world, the import of that isn’t just Brazil’s problem. The nation last year dethroned the U.S. as the world’s top soybean exporter -- it sold 41.9 million tons to Asia, Europe and the Middle East last season -- and has led the world in sugar and coffee production for more than a century. It also exports more beef and orange juice than any other nation on earth.

Agriculture accounts for 25 percent of Brazil’s gross domestic product and more than one third of its annual exports. With its ample water resources and year-round temperate climate, Brazil has also attracted billions of dollars in agribusiness investments by opening vast tracts of tropical hinterland to farming and applying state-of-the-art technology to expand yields across all manner of crops.

Crop Losses

While the connection of warming to droughts and extreme weather is still being studied, there’s no doubt that warmer temperatures are affecting global crop output -- worldwide wheat yields are declining by about 2 percent a decade and those for maize by 1 percent, the United Nations said in a March 31 report.

Major grain producers in cooler climates such as Canada and Russia may fare better than Brazil as much of its tropical agriculture already operates at the upper limit of heat tolerance, said Eduardo Assad, a researcher at the government’s Embrapa agricultural technology agency who co-authored the study with Pinto.

In Brazil, heat and drought are already taking their toll. The worst dry spell in six decades is erasing an estimated 5 million metric tons from Brazil’s grain harvest this year, about the size ofEgypt’s annual corn crop.

Unprecedented Temperatures

Hotter weather is already chasing some coffee production up to higher altitudes. Coffee growers in Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais states have been the hardest hit so far by drought and heat waves.

“If the unprecedented high temperatures we saw repeat themselves, we’d have a serious problem,” said Mauricio Miarelli, head of the Franca, Brazil-based growers associationCocapec.

Crop shifts may cause a mass migration of millions of rural workers, requiring major investments in infrastructure and logistics to accommodate them, according to Assad.

“Brazil’s agriculture will be rearranged,” he said. “Climate change is on our heels.”

‘Longer Droughts’

In the northeastern state of Bahia, three consecutive years of unusually intense drought that cut soybean output 16 percent in 2013 have triggered concern even among hardened farmers used to the harsh, semi-arid climate, said Jairo Vaz, the state agriculture secretary’s cabinet chief.

“Undeniably the droughts have become longer, more pronounced and temperatures have risen -- that hit our farmers hard,” Vaz said. The state’s 670,000 family farmers have lost roughly half of their livestock over the three years, he said.

Soybeans in Chicago extended gains to a 10-month high today, rising as much 0.8 percent to $15.21 a bushel and corn climbed 0.4 percent to $5.0525 a bushel.

About a dozen new varieties of beans and corn that are more resistant to extreme heat and dryness have shown promising results, Embrapa’s Assad said. Still, with Brazil growing 800 to 900 crops, progress in research and development has been too slow and investments too small, he said.

Other measures pursued by the government include promoting an integration of farming and forestry where shade from trees reduces temperatures and maintains humidity.

The technique known as agro-forestry lacks the scale to quickly transform the way soybeans and corn are grown in areas like Mato Grosso, a state twice the size of Germany covered with crops that stretch beyond the horizon.

Financial Interest

“You can’t apply this technology overnight,” Caio Rocha, Brazil’s secretary for agriculture policies, said in a phone interview. “We’ll have to show farmers that it’s in their financial interest to do so.”

The impact of global warming on Brazil’s agriculture is far from consensus. Donald Keeney, a meteorologist at MDA Weather Services in Gaithersburg, Maryland, is among meteorologists who expect precipitation in central and northeastern Brazil to decline, paring agricultural output -- while production should increase in areas closer to the poles.

Scott Yuknis, the lead forecaster with Climate Impact Co. in Middleboro, Massachusetts, doesn’t agree. He ascribes the drought in Brazil this year as part of the ocean temperature changes that induce cycles that last several decades.

While experts like Assad and Pinto agree with Secretary Rocha that Brazil may be able to offset part of climate change with new technology, they argue progress has been too slow and assumes temperatures will not rise more than 2 degrees on average by the end of this century.

“The world is failing to slow emissions, meaning temperatures may rise more than 2 degrees,” said Assad. “If that happens, science has no answers for impact mitigation, we’ll be in uncharted territory.”

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How enlightened self-interest in sustainable water helps business

How enlightened self-interest in sustainable water helps business | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
As water becomes scarce, managing it becomes a bigger piece of the business profit puzzle. A recent PI and VOX Global study examines the trends.
Digital Sustainability's insight:

Water challenges are not just an issue for companies with operations and/or suppliers in developing countries. They are confronting businesses here and now in the United States. And while the current drought in California and the Southwest or last year's Midwestern one get considerable attention, many regions in the U.S. face a chronic imbalance between water supply and demand. These regional imbalances, coupled with a variety of other water-related concerns nationally, present current and future water risks for U.S. business.

This is of one of the key findings of a new study released by the Pacific Institute and VOX Global, "Bridging Concern and Action: Are US Companies Prepared for Looming Water Challenges?" Based on a survey of over 50 companies, it reveals that most participating companies believe water challenges significantly will worsen in the next five years. More specifically, 60 percent of companies indicate water is poised to affect business growth and profitability within five years, and more than 80 percent say it will affect their decisions on where to locate facilities.

 

This is a stark increase from only five years ago, when water issues affected business growth and profitability for less than 20 percent of the responding companies.

However, most companies surveyed do not appear to be planning corollary increases in the breadth and scale of their water risk management practices. In fact, nearly 70 percent of responding companies said their current level of investment in water management is sufficient.

For this reason, the study's authors question whether many companies are adequately prepared for the growing number of water risks and challenges they will face. Businesses participating in the study identified two significant internal obstacles that hinder greater companywide action on water: lack of time to raise awareness and buy-in, and that other risks ranked as a higher and more immediate priority.

Low water levels affect the bottom line

That said, the acknowledgement among major U.S. corporations that water is becoming a major business issue is a notable finding in and of itself. There is growing recognition that in addition to being a significant societal problem, water also creates critical challenges for businesses specifically. Insufficient or contaminated water supply, or a lack of infrastructure to reliably deliver that supply, can mean companies may not be able to maintain the volume and quality of their production.

 

 

This new reality necessitates that companies' senior management better understand the many ways that water affects their bottom line and that they pursue water stewardship strategies that adequately address these emerging water-related challenges.

The Pacific Institute long has held that sustainable water management is the most viable long-term water risk mitigation strategy that businesses can pursue. There's a business case for bringing long-term water demand into alignment with renewable supply, and for engaging in democratic water governance processes geared toward ensuring that societal needs are equitably met and that aquatic ecosystems continue to function and thrive. It would be great to have more allies from the business community that share an interest in progressing toward the aspirational objective of sustainable water management here in the United States.

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Nestlé, General Mills Join Global Alliance for Water Stewardship

Nestlé, General Mills Join Global Alliance for Water Stewardship | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
This week, Nestlé, General Mills and other global brands committed to the Alliance for Water Stewardship, along with 27 other organizations including FEMSA Foundation, Water Footprint Network, Water Aid, World Wildlife Fund and The Nature Conservancy, to promote a global framework for sustainable use of the world's limited freshwater resources.
Digital Sustainability's insight:

This week, Nestlé, General Mills and other global brands committed to the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS), along with 27 other organizations including FEMSA Foundation, Water Footprint Network, Water Aid, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and The Nature Conservancy, to promote a global framework for sustainable use of the world's limited freshwater resources.

The announcement came with AWS' release of the first International Water Stewardship Standard, which defines criteria for good water stewardship, aligns with other sustainability initiatives and supports independent certification.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to help private- and public-sector water users and managers become responsible water stewards, who protect and enhance freshwater resources for people and nature," said Alexis Morgan, director of the Global Water Roundtable at WWF.

According to a press release by AWS, it was developed through “a four-year, multi-stakeholder, global water roundtable process that included a diversity of business, public sector and civil society interests from around the world, as well as pilot projects held in seven countries.”

Pilot projects in pulp and paper, mining, chemicals, oil and gas, water service provision and agriculture applied the standard to test its feasibility, applicability and helped define targets in water governance, water balance and water quality. AWS offers companies various ways to “improve, incentivize and recognize responsible water use, including helping members engage key stakeholders within their watershed and supply chain.” AWS is also launching a capacity-development program and offering membership opportunities through which companies can learn what they can do to help protect shared resources, as well as shape the future of water stewardship.

General Mills’ VP and Chief Sustainability Officer, Jerry Lynch, said that as a global food company, water is critical to General Mills' business.

"We have an interest and a responsibility to protect the quality and supply of water upon which our business depends, and actively look for ways to collaborate with others to benefit our growers, the community and the environment," he added.

Carlo Galli, Water Resources, Technical & Strategic Advisor at Nestlé, said that the company "supports the efforts of AWS to promote water stewardship internationally and assist companies to manage water-related risk at a site and catchment level. The AWS Standard will enable companies to better assess their performance against a defined set of principles, identify opportunities for improvement and take collaborative steps to improve their water use."

"We are delighted to be able to launch the Standard here in Peru, a country that in many ways epitomizes the challenges of managing water wisely in a world where social, economic and environmental pressures collide," said Adrian Sym, Executive Director of AWS. "The work we have done in the asparagus sector here highlights how international demand for more and different foods can threaten the water resources that communities and companies depend on, and the need to work collectively to safeguard these resources and the livelihoods they support."....

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IPCC: Key messages from WG3III

IPCC: Key messages from WG3III | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
The final in the IPCC's trilogy of climate science reports examines the mitigation options and the potential for global temperature rise to stay below 2°C.
Digital Sustainability's insight:

After two reports setting out the scale of the climate challenge, this week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) turned their attention to what action must be taken to hold global temperature rise below 2°C.

Over the course of its Fifth Assessment Report, the IPCC has painted a disturbing picture of our warming world. In September last year, it warned that climate change is real, caused by humans, and requires urgent action.

This was followed last month with a strong warning that climate impacts are already having sweeping effects on every continent across the globe and throughout the world’s oceans.

It warned that impacts are already far more immediate and local than once thought and that bigger risks were to come if greenhouse gas emissions continued unabated.

In it’s Working Group III report, the IPCC moved forward from the stark warnings of climate impacts to examine the likelihood that the world could still avoid the devastating impacts laid out in its earlier analysis.

2°C is still possible

Temperatures have already risen by about 0.8°C since the Industrial Revolution, and IPCC scenarios show that without further action, temperatures could increase by as much as 4°C to 5°C – reaping devastating impacts on the planet.

The report warns that greenhouse gas emissions over the past decade were the “highest in human history.”

 

But while urgent action is needed – the IPCC warns that emissions must peak soon and fall by between 40-70% from 2010 levels by 2050 and reach almost zero by 2100 – such action could be temperature rise is kept below the internationally agreed danger threshold of 2°C.

The latest report did not even rule out the possibility of limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C.

Urgent action is required

To stay within this 2°C limit, the IPCC warns that concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere should never rise above 530ppm CO2 equivalent (CO2eq) and should stabilise at 430-480ppm in 2100.

At current rates, the levels of greenhouse gas concentrations by 2100 would be between 750 and 1300ppm CO2eq by the end of the century.

Current government policies – those agreed under countries’ Cancun Pledges – are inconsistent with a 2°C and would leave the world on path to a 3°C, if all the pledges were implemented fully.

As governments work towards a new global climate treaty – to be agreed in December 2015 – the IPCC report should be a warning of the level of action that is needed.

Climate action is affordable

Not only is climate action at the levels needed feasible but it is also affordable, according to the latest report.

Under business-as-usual scenarios, consumption grows by 1.6% to 3% per year. Under an ambitious mitigation scenario, this growth would only be reduced by around 0.06% per year.

- See more at: http://tcktcktck.org/2014/04/ipcc-key-messages-wg3iii/61519#sthash.Qi0yX4BI.dpuf...

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Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple to Save Climate, UN Says

Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple to Save Climate, UN Says | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
The world needs to triple the energy it gets from renewables, nuclear reactors and power plants that use emissions-capture technology to avoid dangerous levels of global warming, United Nations scientists said.
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The world needs to triple the energy it gets from renewables, nuclear reactors and power plants that use emissions-capture technology to avoid dangerous levels of global warming, United Nations scientists said.

Investments needed to keep climate change within safe limits would shave a fraction of a percent off annual global growth, the UN said yesterday in the third part of its most comprehensive study on warming. A delay in stemming rising greenhouse gases will cut chances to limit the global temperature increase, add to costs and lead to increasingly reliance on unproven technologies, they said.

“The longer we wait to implement climate policy, the more risky the options we’ll have to take,” Ottmar Edenhofer, a co-chair of the 235 scientists who drafted the report, said in a phone interview from Berlin. “We need to depart from business as usual, and this departure is a huge technological and institutional challenge.”

The UN said governments must accelerate efforts to build wind farms and solar parks and provide incentives to develop carbon capture and storage technology, or CCS, for fossil-fuel plants by making it more costly to emit carbon. The study aims to guide envoys from 194 nations next year as they devise a new accord to slash greenhouse gases....

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Ford, BMW, 10 Others Agree Supplier Environmental Guidelines

Ford, BMW, 10 Others Agree Supplier Environmental Guidelines | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Environmental Leader
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BMW, Ford, GM, Honda and 10 other leading automakers have agreed a set of expectations for suppliers, relating to the environment, working conditions, human rights and business ethics.

The carmakers agreeing to the “Automotive Industry Guiding Principles to Enhance Sustainability Performance in the Supply Chain“ also include Chrysler, Daimler, Fiat S.p.A., Jaguar/Land Rover, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Scania, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo Cars and Volvo Group.

As the name indicates, the one-page document is a set of broad principles rather than prescriptive standards. For the environment, the principles are:

Companies are expected to pursue effective environmental protection throughout the supply chain in order to reduce the environmental footprint of our products through-out their life-cycle.

All products manufactured within the supply chain, and the applied materials and substances used in the process are expected to meet environmental standards for design, development, distribution, use, disposal or recycling. Such a comprehensive approach includes but is not limited to:

• Reducing energy and water consumption

• Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

• Increasing use of renewable energies

• Enhancing appropriate waste management

• Training of employees

Businesses are expected to support a proactive approach to environmental challenges, and encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies.

The guidelines apply to first-tier suppliers as well as their subcontractors and suppliers

AIAG first developed the basis for these guidelines in 2009, in collaboration with Ford, GM, Chrysler, Honda and Toyota.

The same year, automotive companies in Europe created a working group to enhance collaboration on supply chain sustainability. CSR Europe has facilitated this working group since 2012.

To establish the latest Guiding Principles, AIAG and CSR Europe, together with the 14 automakers, built on the AIAG guidelines and worked to find common points of agreement.

The AIAG also has projects related to greenhouse gas reporting, chemical management and reporting, and the Globally Harmonized System.

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Um laboratório vivo da empresa Obayashi para a arquitetura inteligente e sustentável

Um laboratório vivo da empresa Obayashi para a arquitetura inteligente e sustentável | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Tokyo's Technical Research Institute holds one of the highest possible Platinum ratings for existing building operation. Now, it's going for net zero.
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Tokyo's Technical Research Institute managed by global construction firm Obayashi isn't just home to one of the highest rated green buildings in the world, it serves as the company's living laboratory for smart, sustainable architecture.

The core facility on the campus known as the Techno Station recently earned the highest LEED Platinum rating in Japan for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (EBOM), with a score of 95 points out of a possible 100. It also holds the third-highest score under LEED-EBOM v2009 in the world. The institute also received one of the highest certifications under the Comprehensive Assessment for Built Environment Efficiency (CASBEE).

"Obayashi Corporation felt that it was important to evaluate the building based on its actual operational performance in addition to its predicted performance," the company said in a statement.

That's because, eventually, Obayashi hopes not just to make this building net zero — generating as much power as it consumes — but to make it energy-positive.

"In order to make net zero happen, we need to use our energy more efficiently, both by saving energy and decreasing the amount of energy usage," said Hajime Onojima, general manager, Environmental Solutions Department, Technology Division, Obayashi, in response to questions submitted via email by GreenBiz.

"As an example of a part of the effort, we are replacing the light bulbs with LED, and improving the lighting control. We also need to increase the energy generation amount, so we will be adding renewable energy sources on site. The renewable energy will be solar power; solar panels will be added next to the Techno Station building, by the end of this March."

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Camuflagem sísmica contra terremotos funciona na prática

Camuflagem sísmica contra terremotos funciona na prática | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
O primeiro teste real de um manto da invisibilidade contra terremotos funcionou na prática.
Digital Sustainability's insight:

Manto da invisibilidade para terremotos

Os mantos da invisibilidade e camuflagens de todos os tipos passam cada vez mais rápido da teoria para os laboratórios.

E agora, aquela que talvez fosse a mais estapafúrdia de todas as propostas, uma camuflagem contra terremotos, está passando dos laboratórios para a prática.

Pesquisadores franceses testaram pela primeira vez o uso do manto da invisibilidade contra terremotos - e a coisa funcionou de fato.

A ideia, a princípio, é que as camuflagens antiterremotos possam criar barreiras protetoras que desviem a energia do terremoto para longe de estruturas sensíveis, como usinas nucleares.

O teste foi feito pela equipe do Dr. Sebastien Guenneau, do Instituto Fresnel, que foi o primeiro a perceber que os metamateriais, que funcionam bem com ondas ópticas, sônicas, ondas do mar e até contra o calor, poderiam ser usados também contra ondas sísmicas.

 

Sismologia transformacional

Enquanto as ondas eletromagnéticas transferem energia entre os campos elétricos e magnéticos, as ondas sísmicas fazem uma transferência entre a energia potencial armazenada na deformação da crosta da Terra e a energia cinética contida em seu movimento.

O que os pesquisadores descobriram é que se a propriedade "permissividade elétrica" for substituída pela densidade do solo, e a "permeabilidade magnética" pelo seu módulo de elasticidade, a óptica transformacional se transforma em sismologia transformacional.

 

Controlar a densidade do solo e o módulo de elasticidade para toda uma área seria difícil demais, por isso os pesquisadores estão se concentrando inicialmente nas ondas sísmicas que se propagam diretamente na superfície, que são as que causam mais danos.

Em vez de átomos artificiais equase-átomos, Stéphane Brulé descobriu que basta usar buracos para modificar os parâmetros da sismologia transformacional.

Camuflagem contra terremotos

Os resultados foram impressionantes: ante um terremoto simulado, com ondas na frequência de 50 Hz, a área protegida pela camuflagem contra terremotos registrou apenas 20% da amplitude da oscilação original, mostrando que o "metassolo" de fato desviou as ondas de energia sísmica.

Contudo, os pesquisadores afirmam que, neste estágio, uma camuflagem contra terremotos poderia ser usada na prática apenas em locais muito específicos.

Isto porque, em primeiro lugar, a camuflagem exige uma área equivalente à área que será protegida.

Em segundo lugar, a camuflagem não absorve as ondas sísmicas, ela as desvia ou reflete, o que significa que a vizinhança receberá o tranco, tornando a técnica inadequada para áreas urbanas, por exemplo.

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Can Solar Save Brazil?

Can Solar Save Brazil? | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
The newest project from world-leading solar module maker Yingli Green Energy is a 1-megawatt installation at Brazil’s ...
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The newest project from world-leading solar module maker Yingli Green Energy is a 1-megawatt installation at Brazil’s Arena Pernambuco soccer stadium, the site of five upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup matches.

Built by Brazilian solar pioneer Grupo Neoenergia, the net-metered system is in the solar-supportive state of Pernambuco’s capital, Recife. The 3,650 monocrystalline panels will generate more than 1,500 megawatt-hours of electricity annually. Power not consumed by the stadium will go to the local community.

Brazil’s solar market is “just taking off,” according to Adam James, GTM Research Solar Analyst for Global Demand. James is readying the 2Q 2014 update of GTM Research’s Latin America PV Playbook, which projects that Brazil’s 2013 installed capacity of 38.6 megawatts will nearly double to 72.6 megawatts this year.

“But unlike many of the other leading Latin American solar markets such as Mexico and Chile,” James said, “there appears to be no ceiling on Brazil’s potential growth over the long term. Companies like Yingli can think not just in terms of what they can do over the next five years, but what they can do over the next ten, twenty, or 30 years.”

The Latin American solar market does not represent a large percentage of Yingli’s global market share, said International Sales VP Jeff Barnett, “but it is the fastest-growing segment.”

Yingli’s conservative internal figures, which are “a triangulation of announced numbers and estimates, a lot of science and a little art,” Barnett said, show it leading the Brazil market “with north of 30 percent of all modules shipped.”

As part of Yingli’s move to build a brand in Brazil’s emerging market, it joined international icons like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Visa, and Sony as a sponsor of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

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Maquete Eletrônica's curator insight, April 1, 9:09 AM

."no estádio de futebol Arena Pernambuco"................

 

." Os 3.650 painéis monocristalinos irá gerar mais de 1.500 megawatts- hora de eletricidade por ano. Alimentação não consumida pelo estádio irá para a comunidade local."

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Facebook Solar Drone

Facebook Solar Drone | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Today Mark Zuckerberg announced on—where else, Facebook—that his company is indeed looking to spread the ...
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Today Mark Zuckerberg announced on—where else, Facebook—that his company is indeed looking to spread the Internet via drones, laser beams and other space-aged stuff.

Rumors surfaced earlier this month that the Web giant was looking into purchasing Titan Aerospace, a maker of solar-powered drones that can fly at roughly 65,000 feet for indefinite periods of time. Now Zukerberg, and the Internet.org foundation, announced the launch of the Connectivity Lab (check out a video about the project here), which will explore methods of transmitting the Internet to more of the world—including via laser beams from above.

“In our effort to connect the whole world with Internet.org, we’ve been working on ways to beam internet to people from the sky,” Zuckerberg said in a post. The lab, he said, is working on ways to deliver the internet to everyone, which in addition to drones and lasers include satellites. “Our goal with Internet.org is to make affordable access to basic internet services available to every person in the world.”

“We’ve made good progress so far,” Zuckerberg said, observing that the number of people in Philippines and Paraguay with access to the Internet increased by 3 million. “We’re going to continue building these partnerships, but connecting the whole world will require inventing new technology too. That’s what our Connectivity Lab focuses on, and there’s a lot more exciting work to do here,” he explained.

While rumors surfaced about the potential acquisition of Titan today’s news is focussed on Facebook’s acquisition of U.K.-based aerospace firm Ascenta. The company’s five-person team have built high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) aircraft, including the world-record holding Zephyr, which flew 336 hours and 22 minutes unmanned. In addition to the Ascenta team, the Connectivity Lab has members from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and Ames Research Center, according to Zuckerberg.

The organization, Internet.org, consists of a number of tech companies including Samsung, Nokia, Ericsson, Qualcomm, and more. The companies banded together in effort to bring the Internet and its capabilities, including education and connectivity to more of the world. Doing it the way it was done in the U.S. or Europe via phone and/or cable lines requires huge amounts of infrastructure spending, spending that many parts of the world might not be able to do. By using these novel technologies, the organization could bring the Internet to more of the world for less.

For more densely populated areas the team is investigating the drones. For other areas with less people it’s investing using satellites to beam the Internet down. Both systems would use Free-space opticalcommunication, or FSO, a infrared laser beam technology.

Facebook and friends aren’t the only ones investigating connecting the world through the air. Google’s Project Loon launchedlast year. Already the company has expanded the program.

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Climate change is happening and no one in the world is immune

Climate change is happening and no one in the world is immune | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
The negative effects of climate change are already beginning to be felt in every part of the world and yet countries are ill-prepared for the potentially...
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The negative effects of climate change are already beginning to be felt in every part of the world and yet countries are ill-prepared for the potentially immense impacts on food security, water supplies and human health, a major report has concluded.

In the most comprehensive study yet into the effects of rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns that global warming could undermine economic growth and increase poverty.

The IPCC found that the negative impacts of climate change have already extended beyond any potential benefits of rising temperatures and that they will worsen if global-average temperatures continue to rise by the expected lower limit of 2C by 2100 – and will become potentially catastrophic if temperatures rise higher than 4C.

In a blunt and often pessimistic assessment of climate-change impacts – the fifth assessment since 1990 – the IPCC scientists give a stark warning about what the world should expect if global temperatures continue to rise as predicted without mitigation or adaptation.

There are a few places where there are a few benefits of warming but there are many other places where there are widespread negative impacts

Christopher Field, Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology in California and co-chair of IPCC working group II

“In recent decades, changes in climate have caused impacts on natural and human systems on all continents and across the oceans,” says the report Climate Change 2014 Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, formally released early this morning by the IPCC after a final editorial meeting in Yokohama, Japan.

“Throughout the 21st century, climate-change impacts are projected to slow down economic growth, make poverty more difficult, further erode food security, and prolong existing and create new poverty traps, the latter particularly in urban areas and emerging hot spots of hunger,” the report states....

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Silicon Solar Photovoltaic Cell That Can Turn Infrared Radiation Into Electricity Created

Silicon Solar Photovoltaic Cell That Can Turn Infrared Radiation Into Electricity Created | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
A new silicon solar photovoltaic cell capable of turning infrared radiation into electricity has been developed by a team headed by researchers at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).

While solar cells capable of taking advantage of the infrared portion of the solar spectrum are nothing new, a silicon solar cell that can effectively do so
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Silicon is the material of choice for visible light photodetection and solar cell fabrication. However, due to the intrinsic band gap properties of silicon, most infrared photons are energetically useless. Here, we show the first example of a photodiode developed on a micrometre scale sphere made of polycrystalline silicon whose photocurrent shows the Mie modes of a classical spherical resonator. The long dwell time of resonating photons enhances the photocurrent response, extending it into the infrared region well beyond the absorption edge of bulk silicon.

It opens the door for developing solar cells and photodetectors that may harvest infrared light more efficiently than silicon photovoltaic devices that are so far developed.

Lead researcher, professor Francisco Meseguer, explains thusly: “After three years of work, our research team has developed a new concept of silicon solar cells able to absorb infrared radiation from the sun and turning them into electricity.”

Researcher Moisés Garín, from the CSIC and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, adds to that: “What we have done is create photovoltaic cells on silicon micrometer-scale sphere, where infrared light is trapped until it is absorbed turning it into electricity.”

As you can probably tell from the quotes, English isn’t the first language of the researchers.  But if you like to have some visuals accompany verbal explanation (or are fortunate enough to speak Spanish), then you may still enjoy the video posted below explaining the work.

 


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What Apple, Google and eBay can teach senators about clean energy

What Apple, Google and eBay can teach senators about clean energy | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Congress recently pulled an all-nighter to bring awareness to climate change — but businesses are really leading the way on renewables and efficiency.
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Twenty-eight Democratic senators recently pulled an all-nighter in Congress to bring awareness to climate change issues. The effort, led by Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, had hoped to "wake up" Congress and get it serious about addressing the issue. While we applaud the actions of these senators trying to bring the important issue of climate change back into the spotlight, will this all-nighter really get past government gridlock and provide some forward movement in the climate change debate?

Since 2010, when President Obama's effort to cap greenhouse gas emissions failed, Congress has yet to take a concrete action on climate change legislation, and the all-nighter hardly counts. In fact, as theWashington Post wrote, "If [Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid] and his colleagues really want action, they don't have to lose sleep. All they have to do is bring a climate change bill to the floor."

But they didn't. Thankfully, some businesses have begun taking things into their own hands. This helps prove the point that moving away from a reliance on fossil fuels makes economic sense. We hope other companies will mimic these moves, and as momentum gathers it may help move us toward policies and legislation that would speed progress further. And no one else would have to spend an entire night in the Senate.

Looking toward the future and putting a price on carbon

Many companies aren't waiting for Congress to pass legislation in order to make changes to their business plans. In December, CDP — formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project — reported that more than two dozen of the nation's biggest corporations have put a price on carbon. Companies such as Walmart, The Walt Disney Company, General Electric, ConAgra Foods, Microsoft, DuPont, Google, Delta Air Lines, Shell and Exxon Mobil have incorporated an internal form of a carbon price into their long-term financial planning. Exxon's is in fact one of the highest RMI has seen, if used with rigor. These firms, which generally have a long-term perspective, are baking into their decision-making what Congress has been unwilling to address. We hope others will follow.

Shaping energy markets

Meanwhile, some of the world's largest companies are taking a more proactive approach and investing in renewable energy. A 2013 World Wildlife Fund report found that 102 of the combined Fortune 100 and Global 100 companies have set greenhouse gas reduction goals. And some of those companies are switching from purchasing renewable energy credits to actually investing in on-site projects, as renewable economics become highly competitive. RMI is aiding in this effort through our initiative to help companies overcome some of the learning, strategy selection and transactional challenges they face in trying to source renewable energy today...

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