Month: March 2021

Building Back Cleaner With Industrial Decarbonization Demonstration Projects

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The Biden administration plans to put forward a major infrastructure package to fulfill the president’s pledge to “build back better.” This package should include an investment of $5 billion over five years in cost-shared demonstration projects that seek to drastically reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from heavy industries such as steel, cement, and chemicals. These industries account for a large and growing proportion of U.S. and global GHG emissions. Many promising solutions for industrial emissions are being developed, but only a few are being demonstrated on a large scale, due to the risk and cost. Nearly all of these demonstration projects are sited outside the United States.

A substantial investment in industrial decarbonization demonstration projects in the United States, complemented by other policies—such as a substantial increase in research and development (R&D) spending, “Buy Clean” federal procurement standards, and other “demand-pull” policies—would put the United States’ unmatched innovation resources to work in a globally vital cause. It would also thrust U.S. vendors and producers to the forefront of an emerging global competition to implement the most-effective climate solutions in emission-intensive industries in the coming decades. Success in this competition would bring jobs and economic activity to the United States.

Land O’Lakes announces sustainability commitments

Read the full story at Farm Progress.

The aim is for its 1,600 dairy farms to complete on-farm assessments of current practices and identify areas of improvement by 2025.

Molson Coors launches low-carbon beer bottle

Read the full story at Beverage Daily.

Molson Coors is launching a new low-carbon glass beer bottle, which reduces the carbon impact of production by up to 90%.

States Adopting ZEV Standards from California May Mean Automakers Have More Cars than Buyers

Read the full story at Environment + Energy Leader.

Across state capitols, the 2021 legislative session has seen the introduction of numerous pieces of legislation related to electric vehicles (EVs). While a significant number of these bills deal with the advancement of electric vehicle studies, rebates and charging infrastructure, a handful of states have introduced bills aimed at the adoption of California’s Advanced Clean Car Program zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) standards. The California ZEV standard requires automakers to deliver increasing percentages of ZEV vehicles, and California has signaled that it is committed to reaching a ZEV standard of 100% by 2035.

Global Student Policy Alliance Creates Climate Policy Database

Read the full story in the Cornell Daily Sun.

Students from four universities — including Cornell — and two countries have worked to compile a comprehensive database of climate policy initiatives from the 193 member states of the United Nations.

These students comprise the Global Student Policy Alliance, a transatlantic association of think tanks based at Cornell, the University of Chicago, the University of Edinburgh and the University of Cambridge. The group of about 30 students met over a planning period this summer to divide up the research as they explored different countries’ policies.

Balfour Beatty develops innovative carbon calculation tool

Read the full story at BIM Today.

Balfour Beatty, Innovate UK, Leeds Beckett University, Hertfordshire University and White Frog Publishing has created a carbon calculation tool for the construction and infrastructure industry

Currently in its beta testing phase, the AutoBIM Carbon Calculator automatically links BIM data to embodied carbon data from the Inventory of Carbon and Energy (ICE) database.

In addition, the carbon calculation tool also allows users to input information from environmental product declarations sheets; verified and registered documents that provide transparent and comparable data about the environmental impact throughout the lifecycle of a product or material.

The platform will support teams during the design phase of a project to compare products and materials, provide alternative solutions and ultimately help those involved make informed, low carbon decisions.

To fix fashion’s sustainability problem, we need a little less conversation and a little more action

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

You can’t have a conversation about fashion these days without touching on the topic of sustainability. The industry’s environmental impacts — from greenhouse gas emissions to microplasticsbiodiversity loss and water ecotoxicity — are well-known by consumers and companies alike. But awareness isn’t enough. All eyes are on brands to usher in a new era for fashion, one where industry operates within the means of the planet.

So, how are they measuring up? Spoiler alert: far from good enough. Over the last few years, the number of companies committing to set science-based targets, as well as multi-stakeholder initiatives, have skyrocketed. A number of coalitions such as Fashion Pact, the United Nations Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, Make Fashion Circular and Fashion Conveners have formed to tackle the industry’s impacts on climate, biodiversity, land-use change and more. It’s an encouraging sign and a step in the right direction, but in this decade for action, good intentions are simply not enough.

Given the scope and speed of change needed to transform fashion, the follow-through — translating these good intentions into tangible actions with meaningful impact — is where brands are falling short. Even before the coronavirus pandemic hit, the industry’s slow progress was starting to raise eyebrows.

Cradle to cradle signals end of microplastics

Read the full story at Hamburg News.

A tracksuit by the Hamburg-based startup Runamics tracksuit contains what every athlete at the Olympic Games covets namely gold.  The crowdfunded combination of hoodie and tracksuit pants are produced according to cradle-to-cradle guidelines. Steffen Otten, joint founder of Runamics, stressed: “Everything from harvesting the organic cotton to sewing the garment is checked in detail and certified by the Hamburg-based EPEA GmbH.”  The enthusiastic runner is eyeing both eco-friendly, healthy sportswear and the environment. Conventional functional clothing is made of synthetic fibres that break when washed and release microplastic particles which end up in the ocean and on our plates. Otten realized quickly that microplastics are not the only problem in textile value creation and found a solution in the cradle-to-cradle concept coined by Professor Michael Braungart, founder of EPEA

Farm-Level Study Shows Rising Temperatures Hurt Rice Yields

Read the full story from North Carolina State University.

A study of the relationship between temperature and yields of various rice varieties, based on 50 years of weather and rice-yield data from farms in the Philippines, suggests that warming temperatures negatively affect rice yields.

How the Loss of Soil Is Sacrificing America’s Natural Heritage

Read the full story at e360.

A new study points to a stunning loss of topsoil in the Corn Belt — the result of farming practices that have depleted this once-fertile ground. Beyond diminished agricultural productivity and more carbon in the atmosphere, it is a catastrophic loss of an irreplaceable resource.

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