Day: November 5, 2020

5 ballot initiatives poised to propel states, cities to 100% clean energy

Read the full story at Utility Dive.

At the local level, as in previous elections, energy is less prone to partisan politics in 2020.

In split vote, Arizona regulators take major step toward 100% carbon-free mandate for utilities

Read the full story at Utility Dive.

Arizona regulators on Thursday approved a series of amendments laying out new clean energy requirements for utilities, including a mandate to deliver 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050.

The 3-2 vote by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) is a major step forward, but a final vote is still required and clean energy advocates caution it is too soon to celebrate. “It’s a good step forward, but we’re not there yet. … There’s still quite a bit of process,” said Adam Stafford, Clean Energy Program staff attorney for Western Resource Advocates.

The decarbonization plan includes interim targets of 50% by 2032 and 75% by 2040, with a requirement for utilities to supply 50% renewable energy by 2035. Regulators also passed a new battery target that includes a carve-out for distributed storage.

Without the North American monsoon, reining in wildfires gets harder

Read the full story from the University of Arizona.

New research shows that while winter rains can temper the beginning of the wildfire season, monsoon rains are what shut them down. This monsoon season was the second-driest on record, leaving Southern Arizona dry and vulnerable.

Associated journal article: Alexis H. Arizpe, Donald A. Falk, Connie A. Woodhouse, Thomas W. Swetnam. Widespread fire years in the US–Mexico Sky Islands are contingent on both winter and monsoon precipitationInternational Journal of Wildland Fire, 2020; DOI: 10.1071/WF19181

Port engineers need guidance incorporating sea level rise into construction designs

Read the full story from the University of Rhode Island.

A survey of maritime infrastructure engineers found that the rising sea level is often not factored into designs of ports, breakwaters, fishing piers and other coastal infrastructure.

The deep sea is slowly warming

Read the full story from the American Geophysical Union.

New research reveals temperatures in the deep sea fluctuate more than scientists previously thought and a warming trend is now detectable at the bottom of the ocean.

Associated journal article: Christopher S. Meinen, Renellys C. Perez, Shenfu Dong, Alberto R. Piola, Edmo Campos. Observed Ocean Bottom Temperature Variability at Four Sites in the Northwestern Argentine Basin: Evidence of Decadal Deep/Abyssal Warming Amidst Hourly to Interannual Variability During 2009–2019Geophysical Research Letters, 2020; 47 (18) DOI: 10.1029/2020GL089093

Identification of Key Performance Indicators in Project-Based Organisations through the Lean Approach

Cruz Villazón, C.; Sastoque Pinilla, L.; Otegi Olaso, J.R.; Toledo Gandarias, N.; López de Lacalle, N. (2020). “Identification of Key Performance Indicators in Project-Based Organisations through the Lean Approach.” Sustainability 12, 5977. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12155977 [Open access]

Abstract: For the time being, companies and organisations are being forced to compete in utterly complex and globalised environments, facing massive natural, economic, and technological challenges on a daily basis. Addressing these challenges would be impossible without a proper approach that helps them identify, measure, understand, and control the performance of their organisations. Lean principles and techniques rise as a solution. This paper justifies and proposes the use of lean principles and techniques to identify key performance indicators (KPIs) in project-based organisations based on their organisational and operational needs. The research focuses mainly on the identification and categorisation of KPIs through a qualitative approach, based on systematic literature review (SLR) of performance indicators, project management, and project success. As a case study, an analysis of relevant information of an R&D and innovation project-based organisation, such as quality manuals, a benchmarking process, internal studies, and surveys regarding what success means for different kinds of stakeholders and for the organisation itself was conducted. As a result, this research is of a high value for project-based organisations, especially those that are not apprised of how to correctly formulate a series of KPIs, or whose path to it is still not clear.

Blackrock’s circular economy fund has raised $900m in its first year

Read the full story at edie.

BlackRock has revealed that its investment fund dedicated to accelerating the global development of a circular economy has raised more than $900m in its first year, growing from just $20m of seed funding from the asset management giant itself.

Measuring and Integrating Risk Management into Green Innovation Practices for Green Manufacturing under the Global Value Chain

Sun, Y.; Bi, K.; Yin, S. (2020) Measuring and Integrating Risk Management into Green Innovation Practices for Green Manufacturing under the Global Value Chain. Sustainability 12, 545. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020545 [Open access]

Abstract: How to solve the contradiction between economic growth and ecological environmental protection is a practical problem that should be solved urgently at present. The development of green technology in the manufacturing industry must rely on technology innovation. However, the process of implementing green innovation in the manufacturing industry is full of high uncertainty and risk. First, the green innovation risks were divided into global green R&D risk, global green manufacturing risk, global green marketing risk, and global green service risk from the perspective of the process. Then, this study established a management criteria system of green innovation risk identification in the manufacturing industry under the global value chain (GVC). Furthermore, three methods were applied to identify the green innovation risk of the manufacturing industry under the GVC. Finally, this paper put forward the countermeasures to the green innovation risk of the manufacturing industry under the GVC. The empirical research results of this paper are as follows: From the perspective of the green innovation process, four risks are classified in this study, namely, global green R&D risk, global green manufacturing risk, global green marketing risk, and global green service risk. Among the four stages of green innovation risk, green marketing risk is the highest, followed by green service risk, and green R&D risk and green manufacturing risk are the least. Global green service risk and green R&D risk can be reduced mainly through risk diversification and risk reduction. Global green manufacturing risk and green marketing risk can be reduced mainly through risk diversification and secondary through risk reduction.

Design for recycling

Read the full story Knowable Magazine.

A major headache for recyclers is complex packaging that incorporates multiple materials. So why not consider the end point in the first place?

Sustainability through the lens of the corporate report

Read the full story at Waste360.

It is impossible to ignore the multiple crises of 2020, and their impacts on our industry, as well as our reaction to the events of the year.  And it is perfectly appropriate to highlight our response to these events in our sustainability reports.

As the result of this moment in time, many successful companies have catapulted their employee and community programs to the same level as their environmental programs.  In doing so, these companies have highlighted their corporate leadership strength in the midst of a global crisis.  They have exhibited their ability to lead, and to care for their employees and communities, while maintaining their commitment to the environment.

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