Day: August 2, 2012

WEBINAR: How to Start a Tool Library in Your Community

Date: Thursday, August 9, 2012
Time: 2:00-3:00 p.m. EST
Register at http://www.newdream.org/resources/webinar-start-a-tool-library

The Center for a New American Dream presents a free webinar about how to start up a new tool library in your community. Topics will include obtaining funding, finding a location, tracking tools, navigating through legal issues, and more. The webinar will feature speakers from successful tool libraries around the country.

Guest speakers:

Froehlich, Hatch, McElligott, and Yurgelevic will share wisdom and stories about how they got their tool libraries off the ground, and answer your questions about how you can launch one in your own town.

How “Smart” Is Your Supply Chain?

Read the full story at Area Development Online.

Companies are realizing that making their supply chain more sustainable will help their bottom line as well as encourage collaboration, drive innovation, and reduce risk.

Palm oil-free may be emerging trend

Read the full story at Food Navigator.

A shift towards palm oil-free foods and ingredients could be an emerging trend in Europe, according to market analysts.

Facebook Releases its Carbon Footprint Report

Read the full story at Social Media Today.

Today, Facebook announced the release of its carbon footprint metrics in a special Facebook app, dedicated to the reporting. The data puts Facebook below Google’s stated cabon footprint industry average in 2010, and is promising for tech industry ‘green’ evangelists.

DOE Announces Public Review of Energy Savings Protocols That Will Help Standardize Energy Efficiency Estimates

As part of the Energy Department’s efforts to help American homes and businesses save money by saving energy, the Department is developing new voluntary procedures, or protocols, that will help standardize how state and local governments, industry, and energy efficiency organizations estimate energy savings. The protocols are being developed by technical experts through collaboration with energy efficiency program administrators, industry stakeholders, and home energy assessors—including major firms that perform up to 70% of the home energy efficiency assessments in the United States. The Energy Department invites stakeholders from the public sector, industry, and academia to participate in an online public review of these new protocols for estimating energy savings from energy efficiency programs.

The new procedures provide a straightforward method for evaluating the energy savings made possible through some of the most common residential and commercial building upgrades offered through ratepayer-funded initiatives in the United Sates. These common energy efficiency upgrades include energy-saving lighting, lighting controls, commercial air conditioning, and residential furnaces and boilers. These voluntary protocols will help energy efficiency program administrators and local governments improve the objectivity, consistency, and transparency of energy savings data and help strengthen consumers’ confidence in the results expected from energy efficiency upgrades.

The protocols will standardize energy-savings estimates and improve their accuracy, in turn helping organizations more effectively measure, evaluate, and verify the benefits of energy efficiency programs. By adopting the protocols, efficiency program administrators can also more easily establish consistent practices because these organizations will no longer have to develop their own protocols. Implementing uniform protocols also enables more meaningful energy-savings comparisons between similar programs in different jurisdictions.

The protocols being developed under the Uniform Methods Project are available for review.

4 steps to evaluating products with a sustainability scorecard

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Another day, another green product.

Just about every day, it seems, a new item pops up on the market claiming it’s been certified as sustainable, according to one set of criteria or another.

Many manufacturers, retailers and third-party certification programs have developed their own methods — and definition — of assessing whether a product is sustainable.

So how can a retailer validate a manufacturer’s claims and choose a supplier from the scores of those saying it meets the retailer’s criteria — when each product has been evaluated using a different method?

Effectiveness and equity implications of carbon policies in the United States construction industry

Yujie Lu, Xinyuan Zhu, Qingbin Cui (2012). “Effectiveness and equity implications of carbon policies in the United States construction industry.” Building and Environment 49, 259-269. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2011.10.002. [Note that you can pay the publisher for the full-text of the article or request a copy through your local library’s interlibrary borrowing service].

Abstract: With an increasing American public desire to regulate carbon emissions from stationary and mobile sources, and with more states adopting renewable energy standards and green building codes as an effort toward green environment initiatives, there is an imperative need to evaluate the effectiveness and equity implications of using different mechanisms to reduce carbon emissions in the construction and facility management industry. After all, building construction and operation contributes more than one-third of the carbon emissions in the United States (US). However, the impact of emerging carbon regulatory policies on the construction industry is still unclear. This paper presents a carbon regulation based duopoly model to evaluate the effectiveness and equity of various carbon policies including emission standards, carbon tax, and emissions trading. An empirical analysis of the US housing industry is conducted to illustrate the impacts on the industrial production, emission reduction target, market structure, technology selection, and carbon cost allocation etc. The results encompass emission reduction contributions from large and small firms, the extent of carbon cost burden pass-through to consumers, changes in house price, industry output, and market share. Especially, the analysis shows the market-based mechanisms outperform the emission standards in terms of effectively achieving emission targets while maintaining a stable industrial production. To meet the 17% emission reduction target, a carbon price of $22.3 per metric ton is expected for construction firms. About 54% of carbon cost will be passed through to the end consumers at this carbon price.

Chattanooga’s Radio-Operated Streetlamps

Read the full story in BusinessWeek.

Almost a third of Chattanooga’s annual energy bill comes from old high-pressure sodium streetlamps. At any given time 5 percent of the bulbs are burned out, and they sometimes go on during the day, needlessly adding to electric bills. “You’ve got a certain amount of lights out but you have no idea where they are, so workers literally drive around in a truck looking for them, and it’s a real waste,” says David Crockett, director of the city’s office of sustainability.

After deciding to replace the streetlamps with light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that can cut energy use by 70 percent, Chattanooga officials discovered a local company with a further cost-saving proposal: a radio-controlled system that can also slash maintenance expenses. Combined, the changes promise dollar savings of 75 percent to 80 percent.

Electric-vehicle drivers in Colorado to get a charge out of new law

Read the full story in the Denver Post.

For just $5,000, you too could own a filling station — selling not gas but electrons to anxious electric-vehicle drivers.

A new law, effective in August, slashes state regulation so that anybody can resell electricity. Traditionally, only utilities could do that.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper backed the law as a way to spur entrepreneurs to install e-chargers at grocery stores, hotels, malls, cafes and other urban spots. It is part of a broadening “electric vehicle readiness” campaign aimed at cleaning metro Denver’s ozone-prone air by shifting to battery-powered transport.

U.S. fails to make the grade on green building policy

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

The countries with the best green building markets earned that distinction largely due to strong government policies supporting sustainable construction, according to a new report by Lux Research. Nations in the report’s top tier include Singapore, South Korea, Germany, Australia, and the U.K.

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