Day: April 23, 2021

The Cleanie Awards® launches fourth awards season highlighting innovations in clean energy and climate tech

The Cleanie Awards® today announced that applications are open for its 2021 awards program. Now in its fourth year, The Cleanie Awards is the leading awards program recognizing the top innovators, thinkers, leaders, and disruptors driving America’s $500 billion clean-energy sector.

The program recognizes leaders dedicating their careers to helping avert the climate crisis — the individuals and organizations building a more just, equitable, reliable, resilient, and affordable clean energy economy. A judging panel comprised of industry leaders — representing sectors as diverse as finance, generation, agriculture, utilities, and mobility — will evaluate the entrants. New in 2021, The Cleanie Awards is adding two People’s Choice categories.

Companies and individuals can vie for recognition as:

  • Company of the Year
  • Best Corporate Sustainability Strategy
  • Best Journalist
  • Best Media Outlet (People’s Choice)
  • Champion in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Investment Leader of the Year
  • Keep the Power On
  • Pioneer in New Technology
  • Project of the Year (People’s Choice)
  • Rising Star
  • Trailblazer
  • Woman of the Year

Also new this year, The Cleanie Awards will recognize college-level leaders in College Excellence. This award, sponsored by REpowering Schools, will honor collegiate individuals and/or groups — who are making an impact in cleantech through coursework, capstone research projects, and competitions.

REpowering Schools is a 501c3 nonprofit that unites educators, renewable energy firms, and government initiatives to help buttress STEM education and build a diverse, sustainable renewable energy workforce of tomorrow. In support of this work, The Cleanie Awards is donating a share of this year’s proceeds to REpowering Schools.

“The clean-energy and climate-tech sectors are among the fastest growing areas of the U.S. economy — generating jobs, helping build a more resilient nation, and making crucial steps toward averting our climate crisis,” said Randee Gilmore, Executive Director, The Cleanie Awards.

“These awards shine a spotlight on the best ideas and most impactful leaders of the year — the people and organizations not only making a difference today, but helping build a healthier, more just, and more prosperous tomorrow. In addition to recognizing the achievements of our partners, we are excited to celebrate the next generation of our homegrown American workforce through College Excellence. This new category recognizes the next Rising Stars in cleantech.”

Previous years’ winners include Fortune 100 enterprises, fast-growing startups, pioneering individuals, and high-impact advocates — from ENGIE North America and Nextracker, to Enel, GE Power, Clearway Energy, and Point Load Power.

Early bird applications are open from April 22 to May 1, and regular submissions will be accepted until June 20.

Visit to apply to this year’s program and for additional information, such as fees, deadlines, and sponsorship opportunities.

About The Cleanie Awards®

The Cleanie Awards is the only cleantech awards program focused exclusively on honoring innovators and disruptors who are creating market-moving solutions. The program’s mission is to influence public opinion about technologies working toward a clean energy future. For more information, visit the website at Follow The Cleanie Awards on Twitter or Facebook at @CleanieAwards and LinkedIn.

Don’t throw that out! A dozen delicious recipes to use up food waste

Read the full story from Saveur.

We throw away far too much food: up to 40% of what we produce for human consumption in United States ends up in landfills. Nearly one-third of the food produced for human consumption is wasted each year. That’s enough to feed 2 billion people—double the number of undernourished people around the world! And while the battle against food waste isn’t limited to a holiday, we’re taking this Earth Day to provide some actionable—and delicious—ways to confront the problem.

Here’s the thing: Food waste takes many forms. It’s left to rot in the fields, bruised and ugly produce is discarded for purely cosmetic reasons, grocery stores carry too much inventory…sadly, the list goes on. But we’re guilty at home, too—and we’re not just talking about that bag of spinach left to get soggy in the fridge. We eat beet, carrot, and radish roots, but not the greens. We have an orange for breakfast and mindlessly toss the skin in the trash. But those discarded bits could be the secret weapon in your next favorite recipe. Chopping a bunch of carrots for a roast? Make carrot top pesto. Stuck with a bunch of bruised bananas? We have a silky banana-chocolate pudding for that. That pile of citrus peels? Candy the lot of them and add to cookiescakes, or cocktails. Even duck skin and leftover bacon fat deserve a place on the sustainable table. Here are some of our best recipes to reduce food waste at home, so you can celebrate Earth Day with delicious (and environmentally-friendly) results.

Concern arises over increased use of antimicrobials in building materials

Read the full story at Inhabitat.

A joint statement released by leading green construction organizations has raised concerns about the increasing demand and use of antimicrobial chemicals in building materials. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a surge in antimicrobial construction products, such as countertops and doorknobs. But experts warn these products could actually do more harm than good.

Are Huge Tree Planting Projects More Hype than Solution?

Read the full story at e360.

High-profile programs aimed at planting billions of trees are being launched worldwide. But a growing number of scientists are warning that these massive projects can wreck natural ecosystems, dry up water supplies, damage agriculture, and push people off their land.

This Peeler Did Not Need to Be Wrapped in So Much Plastic

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Amazon must become a leader in reducing single-use packaging.

Build Back Better Homes: How to Unlock America’s Single-Family Green Mortgage Market

Download the document.

The vast majority of America’s housing stock is in need of improvements for performance, health, and safety. Over the next decade, shifts in utility models, energy and climate policy, weather events, and recognition of health and resilience priorities will greatly expand this need. This is especially true for low- to moderate-income households and communities of color. Even though better housing infrastructure offers societal benefits, there is little access to low-cost financing. Therefore, the cost burden for these kinds of improvements largely falls on homeowners.

Among capital markets investors, there is growing interest and demand for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investment options and “green” securities. However, there is a lack of sufficient market-ready green investments. The mortgage industry is well positioned to help fill this gap. Mortgages can become a primary investment vehicle for deploying billions of dollars to meet this investor demand while also fulfilling consumer demand for green home improvements.

A robust single-family green mortgage market can deliver significant benefits and investor-ready ESG impacts. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could generate more than $2 trillion of new green mortgage-backed securities within a decade by streamlining and scaling up their existing green mortgage products.

This report proposes practical solutions to reduce friction in originating and securitizing single-family green mortgage products already offered by the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to create a new $2+ trillion market within a decade.

US building codes need a major retrofit to meet climate goals and spare consumers

Read the full story at Smart Cities Dive.

The International Code Council, which rolled back local governments’ say in energy efficiency regs for buildings, needs to adapt to the times or step aside, writes Energy Innovation’s Sara Baldwin.

EPA hears divergent opinions on chemical recycling

Read the full story at Plastics Recycling Update.

If a process breaks down scrap plastics into chemicals that are later used to make new plastic, should the federal government consider that “recycling?” What if the end product is a fuel that is combusted?

Those are just a couple of the plastics-related questions the U.S. EPA is grappling with as it seeks to define exactly what “recycling rate” will mean. Last fall, the agency released a national recycling rate goal of 50% by 2030. Using current methodologies, the EPA estimates the U.S. has a 32% recycling rate.

But the EPA is considering changing the calculation methodology. In particular, the agency is examining which sources of material, types of materials, management pathways and destinations to count. Not surprisingly, among the 108 comments from different recycling industry stakeholders, advice differed dramatically.

Ron Gonen on ‘waste profiteers,’ transforming the recycling industry and getting serious about ESG

Read the full story in Waste Dive.

The Closed Loop Partners CEO and author of new book “The Waste-Free World” discusses how CPG companies, services providers, local governments and consumers must adapt to build a circular economy.

Online map showcases construction-related careers in booming green sector

Read the full story at Utility Dive.

A group of energy-efficiency organizations has launched an online tool designed to help U.S. workers research career paths in the booming field of green building.

The interactive Green Buildings Career Map highlights career opportunities in building energy efficiency, with 55 jobs across four industry sectors, as well as over 300 potential advancement routes. It was developed with input from industry subject matter experts to help interested candidates learn about quality jobs related to energy efficiency in buildings.

The initiative, supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Building Technologies Office, was designed to foster a robust and inclusive pipeline of qualified workers to meet employer demand, said Larry Sherwood, CEO of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, one of its developers. “This is crucially important to sustaining the rapid growth of this important industry and ensuring the benefits of employment in this sector are accessible to more people,” he said in a release.

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