Paleontological finds (dinosaurs, sabertooth cats, mammoth and mastodon) regularly make the news across the country when discovered. Many are fascinated by the large “scary” creatures of Jurassic Park fame and other movies where these large creatures “feast” on people. Paleontology certainly varies from area to area on what is found and there are specialists in every imaginable kind of fossil.
“Children can name over 1,000 corporate logos but less than 10 plants and animals in their own backyard,” says award-winning environmental writer and publisher, Frances Keiser. “The biggest challenge is to help children notice the nature around them. To help them understand that nature is not something to be afraid of, but rather something to be curious about. When they see an insect, to watch it instead of kill it. Urbanized children are losing that connection to nature and wanting to protect it. I believe this is critical to the survival of our planet.”
We need to address the challenges of carbon reduction in the energy use of buildings in our metropolis. Owners need to recognize that in addition to being GREEN their buildings should also be Intelligent (Smart, High Performance, Net Zero, Living Future). The Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA), a non-profit industry association dedicated to the advancement of intelligent homes and intelligent buildings technologies, recently released their Frost & Sullivan research study titled “Intelligent Buildings and the Bid-Specification Process” which I will summarize into two parts: this blog will discuss the problem, and the second will include suggested solutions. (Visit www.caba.org for more information on this study and our association.)
Climate Action Plans identify a set of strategies intended to guide local government or community efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Generally, these strategies focus on improving energy efficiency and conservation in homes and businesses—the sources of nearly three-fourths of local emissions. When effectively established, these plans identify how local governments and the broader community can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by identifying emission reduction targets, strategies, and specific actions. By establishing Climate Action Plans, it can be presumed that a project will not have significant GHG emission impacts as long as the project is consistent with adopted legally-qualified GHG reduction strategies. However, that is if the plans can effectively satisfy the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
As changes in the environment continue to affect businesses, engaging in eco-friendly businesses seems like a “no-brainer”. Not only do they help prepare companies for change, environmental sustainability solutions help cut costs, increase profit, and make their brands trustworthy and more sought-after. Eventually, the effects of the environment-conscious efforts of businesses will encompass the society and the government, thus giving rise to Environment, Society and Government action (ESG). However, many companies lack interest.
Efforts at the state level to streamline CEQA provide incentives for certain types of housing. The ultimate test will be whether consumer demand will support expansion of this program.
In my last blog we discussed the importance of sustainability reporting to reduce business risk and included a discussion of the three fundamental risk varieties: known risks, unknown risks, and unknown unknown risks. As recommended in the last blog, this blog continues the risk theme by introducing the risk register. The Project Management Institute describes a risk register:
During a recent trip overseas, California Governor Jerry Brown said what many planners, agency staff, and developers were already assuming -- a substantial overhaul of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) was unlikely to occur this year. CEQA reform was being shelved, explained the Governor, to focus State lawmakers’ attention on other equally important issues, including public schools, prisons, and the statewide water system. The Governor told reporters that CEQA reform would entail a significant undertaking, and that “there are very powerful forces that are strong in the party that will resist” any substantial overhaul.
Throughout the United States, green or sustainable buildings are being built for a variety of uses. For example, green buildings are being built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. These standards provide a basis for identifying and implementing a practical, measurable, and, most importantly, sustainable building design. LEED rated structures include schools, homes, mixed use and commercial buildings.
© 2013 FirstCarbon Solutions, Inc. Copyright and Trademark InformationFirstCarbon® and ghgTrack™ are registered trademarks of FirstCarbon Solutions, Inc.