Can Silicon Valley sell big business on climate action?

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

In February, Apple announced a massive $848 million solar deal as part of pursuit to power its operations with 100 percent renewable energy. Google, Facebook and Salesforce have all made their own 100 percent renewable energy commitments.

Even notorious sustainability laggard Amazon is taking action on its goal of powering its hulking cloud computing division with clean energy.

The question now: if and how the tech industry’s highly visible — and once seemingly far-fetched — clean energy goals might make a bigger imprint on other industries during a crucial year for climate politics.

Survival Of The Greenest Beer? Breweries Adapt To A Changing Climate

Read the full story from NPR.

When you hear the words “green brewery,” you might picture gleaming solar panels or aerodynamic wind turbines. But the most valuable piece of technology at the $24 million dollar LEED-Gold-certified headquarters of Smuttynose Brewing Co. on the seacoast of New Hampshire isn’t quite as sexy.

“The place you have to start is the building envelope,” says Smuttynose founder Peter Egelston.

That’s the name for the interface between a building’s interior and the outside world. It’s basically the structural shell that’s made up of exterior walls, windows, doors, the roof and foundation. Heating, ventilation and electrical work more efficiently in a tight building envelope, which keeps the interior temperature consistently cool or warm, prevents energy loss and ultimately saves money.

A Sustainable Environment

Read the full story in R&D Magazine.

On September 19, 2014, the Smithsonian Institution opened the doors of its greenest building to date: The Charles McC. Mathias Laboratory on the campus of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) in Edgewater, Md. Designed to be the first LEED-Platinum building for the institution, the Mathias Lab demonstrates a renewed commitment by the Smithsonian and the U.S. Congress to invest in crucial environmental research. The project is a cornerstone of sustainable development outlined in the master plan for SERC’s 2,650-acre site, located on the shoreline of the Rhode River and Chesapeake Bay.

Boston expands goat-powered landscaping program

Read the full story in the Boston Globe.

The workers contracted by the city last year to clear out two acres of overgrown brush and invasive plants at an urban wild in Hyde Park didn’t do such a baaa-d job. So the landscaping goats are coming back, this time with a larger role in Boston weed-whacking.

In July, officials will bring in three new herds of goats to chomp through brush. Two groups will get to work at the George Wright Golf Course, while another continues eating the poison ivy, buckthorn, and knotweed remaining after last summer’s efforts at the greenspace on West Street.

Webinar: A Tale of Two Cities: Assessing Green Infrastructure Costs and Benefits in Toledo, Ohio and Duluth, MN

June 16, 2015 11 am-noon CDT
Register at http://changingclimate.osu.edu/webinars/

The negative economic effects of flooding from extreme precipitation events—including preparation costs and the expenses related to damages, clean up, and business disruptions—are being experienced throughout the Great Lakes region.

This webinar will provide information about:

  • Two pilot projects that explored the economic benefits of green infrastructure to reduce flooding
  • Results from the study and next steps the cities are taking
  • Resources to help your communities explore these topics.

Webinar: LEED v4: Safer Chemistry for Building Construction Materials, June 16, 2015

Tue, Jun 16, 2015 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM CDT
Register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6009951815123836417

The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC’s) LEED rating systems for green building are the most widely used in the world, providing independent verification of a building’s green features, including design, construction, operations, and maintenance. LEED v4, the newest version of the rating system, takes a new approach to better building materials by promoting multi-attribute assessment of human health and environmental impacts across a product’s life cycle. Two speakers will talk about the details of LEED v4’s new approach to safer materials and how it is being put it into practice.

Ashley White, Senior Materials Research Fellow at USGBC, will discuss LEED v4 and the standards and programs that support the new credits for materials including environmental product declarations, the Health Product Declaration (HPD), GreenScreen for Safer Chemicals, and Cradle to Cradle Certified. Lisa Britton, Director of Sales and Marketing and Sustainability Champion at Industrial Louvers, will provide an overview of the HPD standard and speak to the challenges and opportunities in creating HPDs for her company’s products.