The Biden Administration has proposed another important climate policy. The recent Federal Supplier Climate Risks and Resilience Proposed Rule, released by the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council on November 10, would create new responsibilities and opportunities for large federal suppliers. Under the proposal, federal contractors, depending on the volume of contracts with the federal government, would be required to publicly disclose greenhouse gas emissions. The largest contractors would be asked to establish science-based emissions reduction targets and other strategies for reducing climate-related financial risk. This proposal seeks to implement the directives in Biden’s May 2021 Executive Order on climate risk and December 2021 Sustainability Plan.
The FAR Council—composed of the White House’s Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP), General Services Administration (GSA), Department of Defense (DOD), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)—will accept comments on the proposal through Friday, January 13, 2023. The U.S. government is the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world and has a long track record of helping commercialize innovative technologies. The rule has significant potential to create new opportunities for forward-leaning companies, accelerate the decarbonization of the economy and improve transparency on corporate climate action.
This roundtable recording unpacks the details of the proposal, identifies its implications for government contractors, offers perspectives from key stakeholders, and provides recommendations for your own comment submission.
- Moderator: Steven Rothstein, Managing Director, Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets
- Sarah O’Brien, CEO, Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council
- John Kostyack, Ceres Consultant
- Andrew Mayock, Federal Chief Sustainability Officer, The White House
- Ruth Cox, Principal, RFC Enterprises
- Anand Narasimhan, General Manager, Cloud Supply Chain Sustainability, Microsoft
- Steve Ellis, President, Taxpayers for Common Sense
Day: December 14, 2022
Bladeless wind turbines and carbon-negative chemicals: The best innovations of Net-Zero November 2022.
Read the full story at edie.
Innovation will be key to delivering on the world’s net-zero targets, and this is particularly true in hard-to-decarbonise sectors that don’t always grab the headlines. Many of the hidden building blocks of our daily lives fall into this category, and two of this month’s innovations are tackling the sometimes-overlooked emissions associated with everyday chemical products – from cleaning wipes and surface sprays to paints and car parts.
But innovation is also important in more visible and established technologies like solar power. So, we’re also highlighting new type of solar roof shingle that is making it even more attractive for homeowners to make the switch to carbon-free energy.
Moving from domestic to commercial buildings, we have spotted a new design for ‘bladeless’ wind turbines that can provide near-constant power, harvesting winds as low as five miles per hour. And for commercial real estate portfolios as a whole, an AI-based solution is developing decarbonisation plans in only a fraction of the time it would take a human expert.
Finally, we turn towards a potential solution for methane in the agriculture sector. New containerised biogas plants are preventing methane emissions from livestock manure, while also generating green hydrogen and biomethane that can directly replace fossil fuels.
NY project will use high-tech sensors to get more clean energy onto grid
Read the full story at Canary Media.
National Grid and LineVision are expanding the capacity of New York’s grid to carry greater amounts of wind power. Why aren’t more U.S. utilities doing the same?
20 creative ways (and counting) that Amsterdam is pushing to make its economy circular
Read the full story at Fast Company.
If you live in Amsterdam and your shirt or jacket needs mending, the city wants to help you fix it instead of trashing it: Low-income residents can get 40% discounts at local repair shops. And if you no longer want a piece of clothing, the city hopes that you’ll take it to a place like the Swapshop, a resale store that gives discounts in exchange for each used dress or shirt you bring in. As a last resort, you can drop it off for recycling at a network of bins throughout the city. Next year, a new recycling facility will open that can turn old clothes into yarn that can be locally manufactured into clothing.
It’s one piece of the city’s approach to tackling an ambitious goal. By the middle of the century, Amsterdam aims to make its economy entirely “circular,” meaning that materials—from textiles, to solar panels, to entire buildings—are used in closed loops, instead of the current system of extracting valuable materials and using large amounts of energy to make products that quickly end up in landfills. By the end of the decade, Amsterdam plans to cut the use of nonnatural raw materials in half. But the transformation needed is huge, and it remains to be seen how far the city will get.
Researchers tested 72 ways to get groceries to your doorstep. So which is most climate-friendly?
Read the full story at Anthropocene Magazine.
Grocery delivery is associated with lower carbon emissions than in-store shopping, according to a new analysis. The findings suggest that some of the changes to grocery stores and shopping habits spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic also have the potential to be good for the climate. But strategies borne of old-fashioned frugality can help too.
The new results are in line with past studies that have shown that various delivery options have a smaller carbon footprint than in-store shopping. But many of those previous studies have been about general retail, not grocery shopping specifically. And grocery-specific studies haven’t included all of the steps involved in e-commerce or evaluated all of the options for so-called last-mile transport.
As the outdoor industry ditches ‘forever chemicals,’ REI lags behind
Read the full story at Grist.
Last week, REI Co-op stores around the country closed for Black Friday. It’s a company tradition dating back to 2015, where the outdoor retailer asks customers to “opt outside” rather than participate in a post-Thanksgiving shopping spree.
But there’s one thing that REI hasn’t yet opted out of: a class of compounds known as “forever chemicals.” By using these chemicals in its water-resistant outdoor clothing, a coalition of nonprofits and health experts says REI is needlessly polluting the environment and damaging people’s health.
What is sonolysis and can it remove PFAS from groundwater?
Read the full story in Civil Engineering Source.
Researchers Poonam R. Kulkarni, Stephen D. Richardson, Blossom N. Nzeribe, David T. Adamson, Shashank S. Kalra, Shaily Mahendra, Jens Blotevogel, Andrea Hanson, Greg Dooley, Sharyl Maraviov, and Jovan Popovic developed a test to evaluate sonolysis as a destructive technology under field operating conditions to determine performance and scalability.
In their study, “Field Demonstration of a Sonolysis Reactor for Treatment of PFAS-Contaminated Groundwater” in the Journal of Environmental Engineering, the authors demonstrate the operation of a pilot-scale sonolysis reactor at a field site for the treatment of PFAS-contaminated groundwater.
Learn how this first field application of sonolysis for groundwater treatment can be applied to minimize environmental threats at https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)EE.1943-7870.0002064.
Wildlife protection and the clean energy transition
Read the full story from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to address a distinguished group of researchers, scientists, government officials, and industry professionals at the 14th biennial Wind Wildlife Research Meeting alongside the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Courtney Fogwell, Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. We gathered in Kansas City, Missouri, to discuss a topic that has been the focus of several of my office’s recent investments: the conservation of wildlife in the clean-energy transition.
Where does chemical recycling fit into EPR policy? Experts say it’s complicated.
Read the full story at Waste Dive.
Though companies are taking more interest in chemical recycling projects than ever before, clear guidelines to assess a project’s potential environmental, health and economic impacts are lacking, according to speakers at a Nov. 17 Product Stewardship Institute webinar.
More research could help address the issue, but the waste and recycling industry must also recognize that chemical recycling is not a monolith, the speakers said. The term encompasses a set of diverse technologies creating a variety of outputs.
Does the film around detergent pods really biodegrade? A debate is raging.
Read the full story in the Washington Post.
Easy-to-use detergent pods have become ubiquitous in American homes, containing just the right combination and amount of cleaning agents to leave clothes fresh and dishes sparkling. But now a debate is raging over whether they may contribute to the growing plastic pollution problem that threatens human health and the environment.
An eco-friendly company that sells cleaning products and advocacy groups petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday to take action against the use of the “plastic film” that surrounds the pods, arguing that the material does not completely break down in water as advertised. The petition urges the agencyto require health and environmental safety tests for polyvinyl alcohol, also known as PVA or PVOH, which encases the pods. The petition calls on the EPA to remove the compound from its Safer Choice and Safer Chemical Ingredients lists until the tests are conducted and PVA is proved safe.
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