Santa Cruz Solar Company Moves Off the Grid
A number of announcements in the past few days have come from companies committing to 100 per cent renewables. Most of these involve buying energy from off-site providers who feed the general grid. Sandbar Solar has taken it a step further and put their money where their mouth is, completely disconnecting from the local grid. A mix of solar panels, flow batteries and a natural gas generator will power their Santa Cruz based headquarters. It's a great advert for their own technology, demonstrating how their energy modelling, sophisticated control systems and energy blends can power a 1,000 square metre campus in an urban environment.
A New Jersey teacher wore the same outfit for 100 days – Treehugger
Julia Mooney wore the same outfit to school for more than 3 months. Her now-iconic grey dress was an essential tool in teaching her students about sustainable fashion and how it wasn't necessary to own many different outfits just to safisfy peer pressure. Her experiment has caught the attention of others, sparking a mini-movement of people who are less concerned about not wearing the same thing to work two days in a row and more about their actions.
Etsy Becomes the First Global eCommerce Company to Completely Offset Carbon Emissions from Shipping – Etsy News Blog
Consumers using Etsy will have their shipping emissions offset by the eCommerce giant. An automated system will buy credits once the order is placed, without costing the customer a penny. It's a further demonstration of the company's commitment to environmentalism that has already seen it move cloud suppliers and come close to its 2020 commitment to run 100% on renewable energy. For small businesses aiming to sit in the sustainable-friendly space, it makes Etsy a more attractive option than its more secretive, albeit larger, competitor Amazon.
Sustainable last mile at IKEA – Global Fleet
An interview with Angela Hultberg, IKEA’s Head of Sustainable Mobility, reveals one of the problems "sustainable" focused companies have: the last mile. For all the eco-friendly packaging and sustainable production certificates, the last mile where the product is delivered to the customer's door can undo the good work. Final distribution can boil down to outsourcing to a distributor who, in turn, outsources to "a man with van". Ikea is taking proactive steps to ensure it's objective of electrifying its delivery network doesn't get undermined.
Appalachian Sustainable Development receives $1.25 million grant – Kingsport Times
Supporting communities affected by de-carbonisation is an area governments will need to focus on. In the Appalachians, USA, projects are underway to help improve and expand farming as a way of offsetting some job losses. One project, called POWER, is designed to connect over 300 individual farms with wholesale markets, giving their businesses a boost and creating jobs. In total $22 million is being invested in sectors as diverse as manufacturing, broadband and farming, with the aim of offsetting at least 1,000 jobs that would have been lost.
Kazakhstan Adds New Solar Plant to Growing Renewables Capacity – Power Mag
The central Asian state has added another solar plant to its growing renewables collection. Covering over 400 acres, the solar farm will generate up to 100 MW of energy for the national grid, taking the country closer to its 3% renewables target for next year. Another 50 plants are expected to come online in Kazakhstan over the coming year, bringing the total to 110. It's an expensive business though, the site cost over $130 million, requiring support from the European Development Bank and the UN's Green Climate Change fund. It shows the financial scale of the challenge ahead to move to renewables, particularly for states dependent on fossil fuels.
Autonomous vehicles could be an environmental boon or disaster, depending on public policy – Princeton University
A paper by the Adlinger Center for Energy & The Economy points to a rarely discussed question for AI driven vehicles: emissions. The convenience of autonomous vehicles could lead to fewer people traveling in them, increasing pollution per passenger mile. Furthermore, if vehicles are allowed to travel unattended, emissions would be further increased as they shuttle empty between uses. Politicians will need to be careful when they devise policies around how vehicles can be used as they could have a profound effect on city congestion and pollution.
A Sustainable Supply Chain Could Save Footwear Brands and the World – Footwear News
While big brands make announcements about their ambitions for sustainability, smaller companies are proactively mapping and reconfiguring their supply chains. Looking deep into their supplier networks, they're tracing every ingredient and raw material to ensure its comes from an eco-friendly source and is processed in a sustainable way. It's essential if consumer trust is to be won and brand promises uphelp.
Iceland Will Be World’s First Plastic-Free Supermarket By 2023 – Live Kindly
Although dwarfed in the UK marketplace, Iceland has already made headlines with its plans to remove non-sustainable palm oil from its shelves. The supermarket is hoping to add to its green credentials by removing all plastic packaging within 5 years. The steps they're taking include a return to loose fresh produce, removing the plastic wrappers and cartons fruit and vegetables are bought in, and using sustainable packets for its own-brand products.