Expert Views on Environmental & Sutainability

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Tips to make your Air Conditioner Energy Efficient in a Heat Wave

  
  
  
1410871527838_wps_11_Nasa_Goddard_jpgClimate change and global warming are making heat waves occur more often. When there is a heat wave, that’s when we realize we should pay more attention to sustainability and environmental issues. It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture when we feel cool and comfortable with air conditioning (AC) at home. It’s great…until you get your electricity bill. That’s when you realize you should also pay more attention to energy management. You see, they all go together—sustainability, environmental responsibility and energy management.

What is energy management? I’m not referring to the kind of commercial energy management that requires energy management consultants. I’m talking about the kind of energy management that the average consumer can perform to ensure energy optimization in their homes in terms of reducing consumption.

Sustainability Plans and You

  
  
  
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During last week’s webinar we took a look at what exactly a sustainability plan is. Going through all this information can seem a bit overwhelming, but with the right focus it becomes a more tangible concept. To get started, we need to ask ourselves first the question:

What is sustainability?

There are a few definitions of sustainability, but the one that strikes the strongest chord is, “meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

It is our responsibility as humans to take care of this world so that the world can, in turn, take care of us, now and for generations to come. In other words, sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony and allow the fulfilment of the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.

Why California’s Drought is a Global Issue

  
  
  
california_skiCalifornia is experiencing a historic drought, which is now in its fourth year. In Northern California, ski resorts have very little snow covering their hills while other states in the Eastern part of the country have faced record-breaking blizzards. According to a report from the University of California, Davis, the economic impact of this unprecedented drought is nearing $2 billion. In response, the state has been taking bold actions to conserve water.

At a meet-the-press event, California Governor Jerry Brown criticized political leaders who continue to disregard climate change and its consequences. He pointed to their opposition to President Obama’s efforts in curbing climate change as one of the reasons why the United States’ climate change initiatives have yet to achieve their intended level of effectiveness. With the drought expected to continue, state leaders like Gov. Brown have taken steps to cut back on water usage, letting the grass go brown in their backyards as a symbolic act of support for climate change initiatives.

Making Sense Out of Sustainability Plans

  
  
  
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Climate change is a worldwide concern, defined as a change in global or regional climate patterns; in particular, a change apparent from the mid- to late 20th century onwards, and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels. With continuous changes to climate patterns, numerous agencies have adopted Climate Action Plans (CAPs). CAPs address air quality, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, transportation strategies, land use, open spaces, economic development, water management, recycling and more. Although various agencies may concentrate on different categories with more emphasis, the importance of CAPs are the effectiveness of the implementation and the longevity.

Collaborating to Meet Global Sustainability Needs

  
  
  
transparencyCorporate transparency related to environmental impacts is gaining more traction worldwide due to sustainability-inclined investors and consumers, as well as better legislation and purchasing priorities. These factors drive companies to commit more resources to measuring and mitigating their environmental impacts.

This is an important development, as it aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Many of the goals in this framework fall within a variety of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues, including accessibility and sustainable management of water and sanitation; reliable and sustainable modern energy for all; promotion of sustainable economic development and useful, decent work for all; construction of resilient infrastructure and promoting sustainable industrialization; fighting climate change and its impacts; and strengthening the implementation and revitalization of global partnerships.

The Role of Technology in Sustainability: Innovative Solutions

  
  
  
climate_change-2Climate change seems to be on many agendas including developed and developing countries; business organizations and local communities. While one of the obvious approaches to address climate change is to limit the consumption of fossil fuels, this is not enough by itself.Green technologies play an important part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping organizations and communities adapt to the impacts of climate change, oftentimes supporting and enhancing sustainability efforts that are already in place. There are positive indications that the global community continues to transition to green technologies and investments in renewable energy have gone up significantly, with 2014 seeing $270 billion in investments worldwide.

In the global marketplace, green technology is critical to sustainable development. Organizations view technology as an effective tool in aligning business objectives with sustainability goals. Companies such as H&M and Puma, inspired by the circular economy model, have teamed up to utilize textile-to-textile recycling technology as part of their business strategy to integrate sustainable practices into corporate operations. By reusing and repurposing old or unused products, companies are, simply put, more sustainable.

Sustainability in the Built Environment

  
  
  
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Cities all over the world are trying different ways to contribute to global sustainability. One popular practice is the creation of “green” buildings: structures built using sustainable materials or modified to become sustainable. Such structures provide cities with infrastructure that will stand the test of time with little maintenance. This can be achieved through a variety of design innovations, such as the use of renewable sources instead of fossil fuels for energy and the use of renewable materials for renovation.

The ‘Road to 100A’: Managing Your Scope 3 Emissions

  
  
  
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Experts agree environmental risks are one of the underlying causes of operational issues that negatively impact companies. Disclosing environmental data is an important aspect of corporate transparency valued by stakeholders. In 2014, over 5,000 companies from more than 80 countries chose to report, manage and share vital environmental information through CDP. Why? Because it demonstrates to investors, supply chains and governments that you are managing risks and capitalizing on opportunities, in addition to reducing the impact your operations have on the resources you rely on—all of which attract investors and customers, and strengthen your brand.

Is your Business Capable of Marketing Sustainability Effectively?

  
  
  
climate-changeClimate change has transformed the way global companies and the general population perceive sustainability and its importance to communities and the environment. Organizations now pay closer attention to becoming more sustainable in their business practices, and consumers are becoming “greener” in their product choices.

According to Maria Garrido, International Marketing Director for international advertising agency Havas, consumers are willing to spend money on a brand if they see it as a meaningful brand. Their operational concept of brand “meaningfulness” consists of three value propositions: 1) marketplace benefits, or the value delivered by products; 2) personal benefits, or the capability of a brand to connect to customers; and 3) collective benefits, or a brand’s overall contribution to society and the environment.

Carbon Pricing for a more Sustainable Economy

  
  
  
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Global organizations regard climate change as a serious business risk that directly impacts their business operations. Climate change leads to environmental risks such as floods, heat stress and droughts, which adversely affect organizations, especially their supply chains, consumers and revenue streams. As a result, people are realizing that the framework we use for conducting business and producing goods and services needs to change.

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