Sustainability: Past, Present, and Future

Read the full story from the Energy Collective.

A variety of factors are coalescing to make 2013 a pivotal year in the growth of sustainability. Year after year, sustainability has gained ground as an increasing number of organizations are incorporating environmental and social concerns into their strategic planning.

Look Closely At These Chinese Landscapes, Which Are Really Photos Of Landfills

Read the full story at FastCoExist.

The artist Yao Lu disguises pictures of China’s environmental problems in the tropes of traditional Chinese art.

Minneapolis to Require Energy Reporting

Read the full story in GreenSource.

The City of Minneapolis is the latest municipality to require commercial building energy rating and disclosure, meaning building owners must benchmark energy performance against that of similar buildings and report the results to the public. The ordinance will apply to publicly owned buildings 25,000 ft2 and larger starting in 2013; other properties will be phased in gradually, with all privately owned commercial buildings 50,000 ft2 and larger benchmarking and publicly reporting performance by mid-2016.

Energy Department Turns Up the Heat and Power on Industrial Energy Efficiency

Read the full post at The Energy Blog.

Industrial processes — from petroleum refineries and paper mills to chemicals and metals industries — consume about one-third of all energy produced in the United States. While the Energy Department is investing in advanced energy-saving technologies like carbon fiber and 3D printing, we also see great potential in more traditional technologies — like combined heat and power (CHP) — that strengthen U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, lower energy consumption and reduce harmful emissions.

Last August, President Obama directed federal agencies to help facilitate investments in industrial energy efficiency, such as CHP systems, that can save manufacturers as much as $100 billion in energy costs over the next decade. The President’s Executive Order established a new national goal of 40 gigawatts of new CHP capacity by 2020 — a 50 percent increase from today. Meeting this goal would save American manufacturers and companies $10 billion each year, result in $40 to $80 billion in new capital investment in plants and facilities that would create American jobs and reduce emissions equivalent of taking 25 million cars off the road.

These efforts underscore President Obama’s goal of cutting energy waste from homes and businesses in half over the next two decades and accelerating the resurgence of American manufacturing, as announced in the State of the Union last month.

What Can We Learn from the Bike-Sharing World Map?

Read the full post at Shareable.

Though I’ve used bike-sharing programs in three different countries (Spain, America and Canada), it wasn’t until I saw a news story about a bike-sharing program in Dubai that I started to wonder just how international the trend had become. Luckily, the researchers over at the bike-sharing consultancy Metrobike (which also runs the helpful, if generically named Bike-sharing Blog) have collected this data and put it into an easy to use Google map, called The Bike-Sharing World Map.