Healthy Buildings: Q&A With Clark Construction’s Fernando Arias

Read the full story at the Commercial Observer.

As Clark Construction’s director of sustainability, Fernando Arias and his team are rethinking and reimagining ways to incorporate sustainability into new construction and renovation projects.

Understanding decisions and disasters: A retrospective analysis of Hurricane Sandy’s ‘focusing power’ on climate change adaptation policy in New York City

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Disasters such as hurricanes can open a window of opportunity when these act as ‘focusing events’ on the policy agenda. This paper explores the ‘focusing power’ of Hurricane Sandy in the context of New York City during 2012 and beyond. To understand this, the authors ask how, and to what extent, Hurricane Sandy served as a focusing event to open a window of opportunity for the city to reevaluate its climate change adaptation policies.

The authors find that the extent to which a ‘focusing event’ prompts action in any policymaking context may depend heavily on pre-planning and organisational capacity. This is in part reinforced by the nature of disaster itself: demands for immediate action – i.e. emergency response – constrain the ability of policymakers to consider a wide range of options, forcing them to draw on plans and resources that are ready to be activated. As a result, that short window may ultimately constrain the options available to policymakers in terms of long-term adaptation. This impacts the ability of decision-makers to plan for the full array of risks that may be posed by climate change.

By focusing on an event that happened some years ago, the paper is able to reveal mechanisms of policy change over time, both in terms of the actors influencing the actions taken, and the policy options themselves that appear viable. These and other findings create a new space to explore the dynamics at play in event-based decision-making, embedded within the literature on disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and policymaking.

Webinar: Effective Anchor-Community Engagement Strategies: A Community Perspective

Dec 19, 2019 2:00 PM
Register here.

Anchor Institutions are becoming increasing outward facing in their mission to address the social determinants of health. Community organizations are increasing turning to Anchor Institutions as partners in their question to address community health, community wealth and climate resilience. But anchors and communities speak a different language, have different strategies, perspective and bottom-lines. This webinar levels the playing field. Community perspectives are discussed around such issues as: how to define community, the types of community participation, building anchor-community tables, and strategies to address structural underpinnings of community health, community wealth and climate resilience.

Nielsen: Which sustainability attributes matter most to consumers?

Read the full story at Food Navigator.

Consumers are increasingly factoring in a product’s sustainability attributes into their purchasing behavior and 73% of consumers surveyed by Nielsen say they are willing to change their consumption habits to reduce their environmental impact.

Plastics outnumber baby fish 7-to-1 in some coastal nurseries

Read the full story in Science News.

Plastics can enter the food web at an unexpected point: larval fish as small as the tip of a pencil.

Larval fish congregate in ocean slicks — ribbons of calm water that form naturally on the ocean’s surface — to feast on an abundance of prey. Prey-sized plastics also accumulate in these fish nurseries, outnumbering the fish 7-to-1 and ending up in the stomachs of many, researchers report online November 11 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

No green bottles for Sprite anymore: Coca-Cola seeks to increase PET recyclability in SEA

Read the full story from Beverage Daily.

Coca-Cola has opted to increase the recyclability of its Sprite bottles in the South East Asian region by converting all new bottles from green to clear.

Hawaii unveils new online tool to assess potential of contaminated sites for renewable energy development

Read the full story from the Hawaii State Energy Office.

The State of Hawaii has launched a new online mapping tool as part of its Hawaii Brightfields Initiative that will make it easier for land owners, developers, community members, and policymakers to assess the renewable energy potential of contaminated sites and other previously developed parcels statewide in support of Hawaii’s clean energy future.

The new tool may be found at the Hawaii State Energy Office’s (HSEO) Developer & Investor Center at:

Shift towards sustainable food production needed

Read the full story at Food Manufacture.

A more honest supply chain, accounting for the environmental, social and economic costs of production, has been called for by the head of the Sustainable Food Trust.

CO2 Emissions Climb to an All-Time High (Again) in 2019: 6 Takeaways from the Latest Climate Data

Read the full story from the World Resources Institute.

Global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels are on track to again climb to a record high in 2019, according to a new report from the Global Carbon Project, putting the world at risk of catastrophic climate change due to these heat-trapping gases. This is further evidence that the plateau in emissions growth between 2014 and 2016 was short-lived: emissions from fossil fuels grew 1.5% in 2017, 2.1% in 2018 and are projected to grow another 0.6% in 2019. This growth is at odds with the deep cuts urgently needed to respond to the climate emergency.

The alarming news was released as almost 200 nations gathered in Madrid, Spain to finalize rules of the Paris Agreement on climate change and prepare to enhance their national climate commitments in 2020.

Here are six takeaways from the report and accompanying analyses, which offer deeper insights into the data.

Technical College Audit Finds Savings of $45,000 in Energy and Water Use

Read the full story at Compressed Air Best Practices.

As part of an energy reduction effort, a Canadian technical college hired a compressed air auditor to do a leakage audit of their large campus, which houses over 30 mixed use buildings, including laboratories, research facilities, shops and classrooms. The audit found very few leaks, the reduction of which would achieve minimal savings; however, a few surprising items of interest were noticed during the study that showed very good potential for operating cost savings of 64% with an estimated $45,000 per year in reduced energy and water costs. This article discusses some of the findings and how savings can be achieved on lightly loaded compressed air systems.