Electric vehicles (EVs) will meet the daily travel needs of drivers longer than commonly assumed, according to the first study of its kind carried out by scientists at the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Many drivers and much prior literature on the retirement of EV batteries have assumed that EV batteries will be retired after the battery has lost 20 percent of its energy storage or power delivery capability. This study shows that the daily travel needs of drivers continue to be met well beyond these levels of battery degradation. Samveg Saxena, who leads a vehicle powertrain research program at Berkeley Lab, analyzed real-world driving patterns and found that batteries that have lost 20 percent of their originally rated energy storage capacity can still meet the daily travel needs of more than 85 percent of U.S. drivers.
Target Corp. is expanding its deployment of solar energy. The retailer has signed a power-purchase agreement with Greenskies Renewable Energy LLC that calls for supplier to install solar arrays on the roofs of 180 Target stores and distribution centers across the United States from Augusta, Maine, to San Diego. When completed, the solar installations will produce an aggregate total of approximately 100 megawatts of electric energy. Though the size of the solar array will vary at each of the retail locations, the average system will consist of 1,700 solar panels. All 180 projects are expected to be completed by the winter of 2016. Under its power-purchase agreement with Target, Greenskies will design, develop, finance, own and maintain each of the 180 solar installations. Target has agreed to purchase 100% of the electricity produced at each of the sites at a fixed and sharply discounted rate for the length of the contract. Each roof-top array will produce between 20% and 30% of the total electricity requirements of the retail outlet on which it is built, Chester said.
Lecta announced that it has successfully completed a new phase in its ambitious investment plan at its Zaragoza pulp and paper mill in northern Spain. This phase, totalling some 23 million euros, is focused on reducing the mills environmental impact. Lecta's goal is that the Zaragoza site become a benchmark for sustainability in the paper industry. Following the installation of two new electrostatic precipitators in the mill's recovery boilers, resulting in a 74% reduction in solid particle emissions, Lecta has started up a biological water purification plant with excellent results. In the first few months, there has already been a drastic reduction in effluent load, with values far below the legal limits. Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) values were cut nearly in half, Total Suspended Solids (TSS) have decreased by 36% and in the case of Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD5), the decrease was even more pronounced — 72% compared to the average observed in 2013.
From the auditors who verify companies’ chain of custody to our National members, we provide a range of tailored training opportunities to a diverse number of stakeholders involved in the sustainable management of the world’s forests. Upcoming Chain of Custody training programs With over 16,000 companies covered by PEFC Chain of Custody certification worldwide, the PEFC Chain of Custody standard is widely applied by certified companies, certification bodies and auditors on a daily basis. To ensure that everyone involved in the process is fully up-to-date on changes to the standard and on interpretation and explanation of specific requirements, we provide an extensive range of Chain of Custody Training options. This enables the consistent application of the Chain of Custody requirements in daily practice, and allows PEFC to exchange experiences and receive valuable feedback on the implementation of the standard.
Ikea announced plans to install a fuel cell system at its location in Emeryville, California. Consistent with the retailer’s focus on emerging energy technologies, is the first Ikea in the world to convert biogas into electricity through a clean electro-chemical process. The fuel cell system will be installed, commissioned and activated by this summer, 2015. Ikea contracted Bloom Energy, Sunnyvale, California, for the design, development and installation of the fuel system.
New York State will be the first in the nation to totally change its electric power market to become greener, more efficient and resilient. Gregg C. Sayre, a member of the New York State Public Service Commission, shared this and more at The Energy Times Executive Briefing in Washington on March 19, a new event launched by Penton’s Energy & Buildings division. The event brought utility executives and industry thought leaders together to outline the electric utility revolution. The objective, Sayre said, is “a complete restructuring of the utility distribution market, top to bottom. Nobody has done it before.” “One goal will be to spark widespread deployment and adoption of distributed generation. The state has already identified 100,000 people in the state who are off the grid – a finding that startled regulators,” Sayre added.
Environmentalism is fast becoming a top concern in France – a rooftop concern, to be precise. Excitingly, the nation has just passed new legislation that will require all upcoming commercial construction projects to feature either green roofs or solar panels above their top floors. By now, most people are at least passingly familiar with the benefits of solar panels, but green roofs remain unknown to the general public. A green roof is one that is covered in lush plant life, and the perks extend well beyond the aesthetic. Because green roofs help to insulate, buildings are able to slash seasonal energy costs for both heating and air conditioning by approximately 25 percent.
“WWF’s Earth Hour reminds us all of the importance of actions to reduce energy consumption and to increase the share of renewable energy,” says Päivi Salpakivi-Salomaa, Vice President, Environment and Responsibility, UPM. “UPM is constantly decreasing its carbon footprint and improving its energy efficiency. Globally, 67% of the fuels we use are biomass based, and in Finland the figure is as high as 83%. We are the second biggest generator of biomass based electricity in Europe and 79% of the electricity we produce is free from fossil CO2 emissions.
Resolute Forest Products Inc. (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) today announced its strong endorsement of the Alliance forêt boréale call for a working group to address recent issues regarding some Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certificates in the Province of Quebec. Earlier today, Alliance forêt boréale held a press conference in Saguenay, Quebec, and issued a press release calling on the Government of Quebec to form a working group comprised of regional and provincial government officials and FSC representatives to better understand all aspects of FSC certification and the path to restoring recently suspended regional FSC certificates, as well as to address ongoing misinformation spread by certain activist groups.
Every two years, FSC International conducts a survey of certified companies worldwide, to better understand perspectives about FSC and the market for FSC-certified products. Recently, FSC released the Global Market Survey for 2014, which includes a range of interesting findings. The survey was conducted during June-July 2014, with results based on responses from 3,656 certificate holders from 95 countries. This represents a 13 percent response rate (based on 27,289 certified companies in the FSC system at that time). 445 responses came from companies in the U.S.
Starbucks Corp. tackled a wide range of global responsibility projects in 2014, including the ongoing minimization of its environment footprint. In its annual 2014 Global Responsibility Report, the coffee giant noted that it opened its 500th LEED-certified store in 2014, and that 98% of company-operated new stores opened in the United States in 2014 were built to LEED standards. Globally, the percentage stands at 64%. Starbucks said is has experienced some technical challenges in international markets where the U.S.-based LEED certification program is still gaining traction. It is working with the U.S. Green Building Council to increase adoption of the LEED standards.
‘The Canadian forest products industry is part of the solution to the problem of climate change,” says David Lindsay, President and CEO of FPAC. “Our vast renewable forest resource and the actions of our forest companies are truly making a difference to this crucial issue.” Trees absorb the carbon dioxide (CO2) that causes climate change. The forest sector also reduces dependence on fossil fuels by using residuals and byproducts to produce renewable energy. In addition, forest products such as biomaterials and bio-chemicals store CO2 and can replace products made from materials with a heavier carbon footprint. This storage can also be prolonged through recycling.
Aida Greenbury of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) today joined business and environmental leaders to develop global forest restoration initiatives at the 2015 meeting of the Bonn Challenge in Germany. Speaking at the meeting, Aida Greenbury of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) called for more sustainable, long-term, multi-stakeholder partnerships to be implemented in the fight against deforestation and climate change. On the topic of APP’s experiences in Indonesia, Greenbury said: “Land cannot be conserved or restored in isolation, the sustainability of the entire landscape must be taken into account and many stakeholders must be involved.”
Robert Glowinski, President and CEO, AWC: “We support clean air and realistic, science-based air quality standards. However, a further restriction is not justified because the health effects evidence for ozone has not changed significantly since EPA last tightened the ozone NAAQS in 2008. In fact, EPA just published the 2008 Ozone Implementation rule earlier this month, seven years after it set the new standard. So before EPA again changes the rules, the 2008 standard should first be fully implemented by the states and its impacts assessed before the goal posts are moved once more.” Donna Harman, President and CEO, AF&PA: “The costs of further tightening the standard are significant when there is such scientific uncertainty. EPA’s own cost benefit analysis would make the ozone rule one of the most expensive air regulations ever. The proposed revisions could place most of the country in nonattainment, putting five times more paper and wood product mills at risk.”
American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement supporting bills introduced today by Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Reps. Pete Olson (R-Texas) and Bob Latta (R-Ohio) that would prohibit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from tightening national ambient air quality standards for ozone until at least 85 percent of the counties in non-attainment meet the 2008 standard.
“With forestry in India being at a critical crossroad, the decision to develop our own national forest certification system will be an important driver to promote the sustainable management of our forest resources,” said KK Singh, Chairman of the Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF). “While India is among the world’s most forested countries, we also have a growing demand for wood products, and unsustainable use of forests, for example for wood fuel, is a significant challenge,” continued Mr. Singh. “Forest certification will help us not only in mainstreaming sustainability in forest management, but also in raising awareness with companies and consumers about the importance of sourcing and buying responsibly sourced wood products.”
The American Forest & Paper Association’s (AF&PA) 2014 Community Access Survey shows that overall consumer access to community paper and paperboard recycling in the U.S. reached 96 percent, up from 87 percent in 2010. The survey evaluated 12 separate grades of paper and paperboard, which all showed access increases. Access for 9 of the 12 grades is now at or above 90 percent. The executive summary of the survey is available at: http://paperrecycles.org/sustainability/2014-af-pa-community-access-survey
The sustainable management of India’s forests is set to take a significant step forward next week with the launch of the development process of the Indian national forest certification system. This launch, an important step towards PEFC-recognized forest management certification in the country, will be part of an international conference on forest certification in New Delhi on Monday. “In light of India’s vast forest resource, burgeoning economy, and strategic position in international markets, there is great opportunity to further position India’s forestry sector on sustainability, especially through broader uptake of forest certification,” said Sarah Price, Head of Projects and Development at PEFC International.
“Greenwashing” is now a term most of us are familiar with. It means “the practice of making an unsubstantiated or misleading claim about the environmental benefits of a product, service or technology.” Terrachoice[i] found that over 95% of “greener” products commit one or more of the seven “Sins of Greenwashing,” so it’s a major problem in the marketplace. Paper products in particular seem to suffer from many unsubstantiated and vague claims, especially when it comes to corporations trying to promote electronic services over paper-based communications. The bottom line is that corporate marketers need to follow certain specific guidelines for environmental marketing, such as those published by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission[ii], and in Canada by the Competition Bureau of Canada[iii]. If they don’t, their company could face corrective action by the FTC[iv]. The International Standardization Organization (ISO) also has a series of standards on environmental declarations (ISO 14020) and has classified environmental claims into three categories – Type I, Type II and Type III.
The Canadian forest products industry now has 43% of the world’s independently certified forests or more than 160 million hectares, which is four times more than any other country. Certified forests means that companies follow progressive social and environmental forest management practices as assessed by an independent third body. This includes prompt regeneration of the forest land, sustainable harvest levels, protection of biodiversity and wildlife habitat and aboriginal engagement. “The environmental credentials of the Canadian forest industry are truly world-leading when it comes to certification,” says David Lindsay the president and CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC). “The international marketplace can truly feel confident that Canadian forest products come from responsibly managed forests.”
Today at the meeting of the Environmental Commission at the Bratsk City Duma, Vasily Konovalov, Director Occupational Health, Industrial, Environmental and Fire Safety, Bratsk Branch of OJSC Ilim Group, reported the status of the environmental program implemented by the Company to reduce its environmental footprint. The program was presented by Company management to Bratsk Mayor Sergey Serebrennikov and Bratsk City Duma deputies in January 2015, and approved by the regional authorities.
New research, commissioned by the international non-profit organization Two Sides, has revealed that major global corporations are still using inaccurate and misleading environmental claims to encourage consumers to ‘go paperless’ and switch from paper-based to digital communication. This is despite legislation being introduced by advertising standards authorities to protect the consumer from being misled. The survey, undertaken in February 2015, showed that in the UK, there is still a significant proportion of banks, utilities and telecoms making false environmental claims. Research in the US shows a similar picture with half of the leading Fortune 500 companies in the same sectors doing the same. “This is extremely frustrating and unacceptable,” says Martyn Eustace, Founder of the Two Sides initiative. “The fact that marketers in some of the most high profile corporations in the world are still using unsubstantiated and misleading environmental claims to persuade consumers to switch from paper-based to cheaper electronic communication is outrageous. Many consumers want a paper option but they are being manipulated by a lack of clear and accurate information. Paper is based on a natural, highly renewable and recyclable resource and can be a sustainable way to communicate, especially when compared to electronic media."
The Norwegian Forest Certification Scheme has become the latest system to seek PEFC endorsement for the fourth time. Stakeholders globally are invited to provide feedback on its compliance with PEFC International's Sustainability Benchmarks by 4 May 2015. Alongside Finland and Sweden, Norway was among the first countries to achieve endorsement of its national forest certification system back in 2000. This was then followed by two successful re-endorsements of the system in 2006 and 2010. There are now over 9 million hectares of PEFC-certified Norwegian forests, making up almost 90% of the country’s forests. Practically all production forest in Norway is PEFC certified.
Despite challenging economic conditions and the drop in China's overall imports, Europe's leading recovered fiber exporter — the UK — still succeeded in shipping out larger volumes last year, according to latest figures from the country's Confederation of Paper Industries and HM Revenue & Customs. Combined, UK exports of all grades climbed 4.4% to 4.436 million tonnes in 2014 from 4.248 million tonnes in the previous year. Overseas shipments of corrugated and kraft edged 2.1% higher to 2.458 million tonnes while mixed paper deliveries to customers abroad soared 29.2% to 1.414 million tonnes. These gains more than offset steep declines for the high grades (-34.5% to 103 802 tonnes) and for newspapers and magazines (-21.6% to 460 199 tonnes).
Opponents of a California plastic bag ban have succeeded in stopping the ban from going into effect July 1 by securing a spot on the 2016 ballot. The Golden State had been slated to become the first US state to institute such a ban, but Tuesday, state election officials confirmed that the national advocacy group American Progressive Bag Alliance had collected the necessary half million signatures to place the issue before voters. This will stall a bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) in September until after the 2016 election.