Day: October 27, 2011

Amory Lovins’ Burning Quest to ‘Reinvent Fire’

Read the full post at GreenBiz.

Amory Lovins has a new book out today. That’s worthy of a news story in itself, since many of his previous works — books and papers going back to the 1970s — have spurred radical new thinking in energy, transportation, and building systems. And not just thinking: an impressive list of companies and governments around the world can trace some of their more innovative products, processes, and business models to the thinking of Lovins and his colleagues at the Rocky Mountain Institute, of which he is co-founder, chairman and chief scientist.

Lovins’ new book, Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era, pulls from the last 30 years of Lovins’ and RMI’s work. In it, he and his team offer a plan for running a 158 percent-bigger U.S. economy in 2050 with no oil, coal, or nuclear energy.

I recently talked with Lovins about the book, its implications for companies, and what it will take to make its vision a reality.

What’s Next for PUMA’s Groundbreaking Sustainability Plans?

Read the full post at GreenBiz.

Jochen Zeitz has had a busy year. I recently caught up with the long-serving Chairman and CEO of PUMA, the sports gear company where Zeitz blended an evangelical commitment to sustainability with smart branding to return the nearly defunct brand to the top tier of global sports fashion.

As a business story, Zeitz’s success is nearly legendary: he pulled PUMA out of the basement and up to a podium position in the global sportswear market, while boosting share price by 4,000 percent.

Among sustainability watchers, Zeitz has won plaudits for his commitment to develop an environmental profit and loss (EP&L) statement. By estimating a dollar figure on the value of its use of ecosystem services — any resource provided by nature, from clean water, to crop production, wildlife habitat, storm surge protection and so on — PUMA is expanding on the precedent set by carbon footprinting efforts and other self-assessment techniques.

Too Many MBA Students Graduate Without Right Sustainability Skills

Read the full post at GreenBiz.

Just in the last few years, we’ve seen the rise of the chief sustainability officer as companies move to integrate social and environmental performance into their core business strategies.

But you wouldn’t necessarily know it based on the way business schools are prepping their students, new research suggests. Many business leaders see few MBA students hitting the job market equipped with the skills needed to meet their corporate sustainability goals.

Eco-App Developers Get Easier Access to Government Energy Data

Read the full post at GreenBiz.

Hoping to spark a boom in eco-apps, the U.S. Department of Energy‘s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) launched a new website to make it easier for developers to access its vast stockpile of data.

The research center has just released its first data set, detailing the nation’s network of alternative vehicle fueling stations, such as those offering biodiesel or natural gas. Developers can use the data to develop web and mobile applications and tools.

Soon, they will also be able to access information on AFV and electric vehicle laws and incentives, wind power and solar energy.

The move is a response to the hundreds of requests the agency receives every year, NREL project manager Johanna Levene said in a statement.

11 Ways to Unlock $150B in Energy Efficiency Financing

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

In today’s tight-money environment, energy efficiency financing hovers around $20 billion. But that could grow to as much as $150 billion a year if businesses, banks and other institutions would work together more strategically to unlock funds for green building, according to Capital-E.

Investment at that high level over a decade could lead to savings of $200 billion a year for U.S. businesses and households, in addition to creating more than a million full-time jobs, says a new report from the consulting firm that specializes in cleantech energy innovations and green design.

Tracking the Leaders in the Booming Building Energy Analytics Space

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

The practice of facilities management is transforming to meet the demands of a new group of decision-makers. Stakeholders from engineering, information technology, and the C-suite are now coming to one table to determine goals, budgets, and priorities for facilities management.

The bottom line is that commercial buildings are inefficient when it comes to energy consumption, and that waste is expensive and dirty. One result is that the wasted energy associated with operating commercial buildings translates to a hit on corporate bottom lines because of rising and increasingly variable energy costs.

But this also signals an opportunity for operational improvements that can support broader strategic corporate goals including sustainability and GHG emission reduction.

The Not-So-Hidden Benefits of Submetering Buildings

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Energy management, as I’ve written often, is a rapidly growing practice among large and leading companies. Although it’s still a small slice of the whole pie, the savings they’re seeing have the effect of pulling more firms into the market.

It’s starting to look like the next frontier is energy submetering — using IP-connected sensors and meters to fine-tune your energy management data. A still-smaller slice of the corporate pie is currently using submetering in their facilities and portfolios, but as more and more companies find energy savings opportunities based on submetering their facilities, interest in the technology continues to grow.

Using this new visibility to current consumption, much of these savings are achieved through simple no-cost, behavior changes, such as turning off unneeded equipment. Submetering highlights that fact that these systems were running when they need not be.

Retailers, banks, groceries, and companies with multiple warehouses, buildings or stores require a submetering strategy to achieve additional energy savings beyond the traditional upgrades of lighting, motors, chillers and other systems.

Hilton LightStay Program Cuts Hotel Energy Use by 6.6%, Saves $74M

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Hilton Worldwide and its portfolio of 10 hotel brands announced the 2010 results of LightStay, its sustainability measurement system.

Since the introduction of LightStay, the company continues to improve sustainability and economic performance and saved more than $74 million in utility costs as a result of their reductions.

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