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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Remembering EARTH DAY 1970

We have a fascinating story on our main site today.   Take a look.  We will be talking to the president of Earth Day (the organization) this week on the radio side.  Should be a fabulous interview:

The rest you can find on our main site:

"Each year, Earth Day — April 22 — marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. Here at ReNewable Now we want to make sure we all remember this historic moment and what a difference it has made. And if you weren't aware of the many positive changes born out of Earth Day here are a few examples we would like to share.

  • The creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency

  • Passage of the Clean Air Act

  • Passage of the Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts

Those are just a few that happened in one year, 1970. Wow!  What a monumental year. We need to reflect back on that time and remember it, and those who helped to shape it, and move it forward. Hopefully it is with this example that we can all continue to be inspired and move towards a healthier and more sustainable earth for future generations. So lets take a look back to when it all began.

The height of hippie and flower-child culture in the United States, 1970 brought the death of Jimi Hendrix, the last Beatles album, and Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. Protest was the order of the day, but saving the planet was not the cause. War raged in Vietnam, and students nationwide increasingly opposed it.

At the time, Americans were slurping leaded gas through massive V8 sedans. Industry belched out smoke and sludge with little fear of legal consequences or bad press. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. “Environment” was a word that appeared more often in spelling bees than on the evening news.  Although mainstream America remained oblivious to environmental concerns, the stage had been set for change by the publication of Rachel Carson’s New York Times bestseller Silent Spring in 1962.  The book represented a watershed moment for the modern environmental movement, selling more than 500,000 copies in 24 countries and, up until that moment, more than any other person, Ms. Carson raised public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and public health..."

2014 rankings: Top cities with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings

Great follow up to yesterday's post

"Yesterday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its sixth annual list of the 25 U.S. metropolitan areas with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings in 2013. The list demonstrates economic and environmental benefits achieved by facility owners and managers in America's leading cities when they apply a proven approach to energy efficiency to their buildings. 

Leading the list are Los Angeles; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; New York; San Francisco; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Philadelphia; and Houston.
In addition to listing the top cities with the most ENERGY STAR buildings, this year's data revealed that more than 23,000 buildings across America earned EPA's ENERGY STAR certification by the end of last year. These buildings saved more than $3.1 billion on utility bills and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the emissions from 3.3 million vehicles annually.  
First released in 2008, the list of cities with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings continues to show how cities across America, are embracing energy efficiency as a simple and effective way to save money and prevent pollution. Los Angeles has remained the top city since 2008 while Washington, D.C. continues to hold onto second place for the fifth consecutive year. Atlanta moved up from number five to number three.  For the first time, Philadelphia entered the top 10, ranking ninth.
Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for 17% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion per year. ENERGY STAR certified office buildings cost $0.50 cents less per square foot to operate than average office buildings, and use nearly two times less energy per square foot than average office buildings. Commercial buildings that earn EPA's ENERGY STAR must perform in the top 25% of similar buildings nationwide and must be independently verified by a licensed professional engineer or a registered architect. ENERGY STAR certified buildings use an average of 35% less energy and are responsible for 35%  less carbon dioxide emissions than typical buildings. Twenty types of commercial buildings can earn the ENERGY STAR, including office buildings, K-12 schools, hotels, and retail stores.
EPA introduced ENERGY STAR in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 70 different products in 1.4 million homes, and 20,000 commercial buildings and industrial plants that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the EPA. Over the past 20 years, American families and businesses have saved more than $239 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.9 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions with help from ENERGY STAR."

Monday, April 21, 2014

Three Eastman Buildings Recognized by EPA's ENERGY STAR® National Building Competition

"Good work by EPA's Energy Star program in driving fantastic efficiency and savings (see the 20m dollar impressive).  We look forward to entering our building next year.  How about you?

Three Eastman Kingsport site buildings successfully crossed the finish line in EPA’s 2013 Energy Star National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings.  B469, B470 and B471 have been competing for the past two years in the competition, which features buildings from across the country racing to improve energy efficiency, lower utility costs, and protect health and the environment. The competition challenges buildings to reduce energy use by 20 percent. Together, competitors cut their energy costs by more than $20 million.

For the 2013 competition, recognized as the #9 Top Performer, B470 reduced its energy use by 29.64 percent. Additionally, B469 was formally recognized as the #10 Top Performer, reducing its energy use by 29.59 percent. B471 was recognized for reducing its energy use more than 20% as well, reaching a reduction of 25.47 percent. Over 3000 buildings entered the competition.
The three buildings also placed among the Top Ten in the office building category:
B470 landed in 3rd, B469 in 4th and B471 in 9th.

“EPA’s ENERGY STAR National Building Competition helped us raise awareness about saving energy both at the office and at home, said Sharon Nolen, Manager, Corporate Energy Program. “We are excited by the enthusiasm and commitment of the Eastman team members who helped us achieve this successful milestone. We look forward to seeing more savings in the future from our efforts.”
The overall winner of this year’s competition was Claiborne Elementary School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, which reduced its energy use by 46 percent.

From improvements in operations and maintenance to upgrades in equipment and technology, the competitors together reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 130,000 metric tons and saved more than $20 million on utility bills annually. The competitors also prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the electricity used by nearly 18,000 homes per year.

The three Eastman buildings reduced their energy use through a variety of strategies, such as turning off the lights in offices, conference rooms and restrooms when leaving or setting computers to hibernate at night. Building changes were also made that included replacing lighting with more energy-efficient lights, relocating thermostats for better heating and cooling control, reducing intake air during night hours, and installing a building automation system. These changes not only improved building efficiency but also improved the work environment. Employees expressed appreciation for improved lighting and work environment comfort.
“The impressive results of the fourth-annual National Building Competition are proof positive that any building can take simple steps to improve the energy efficiency of the buildings where we all work, play, and learn,” said Jean Lupinacci, chief of Energy Star for commercial buildings and industrial plants."

Friday, April 18, 2014

REI Commits to Solar Energy to Reduce Climate Impact

Good news on the corporate front:

From: Gina-Marie Cheeseman, Triple Pundit, More from this Affiliate
Published April 10, 2014 

"REI, the $2 billion national outdoor retailer, is committed to renewable energy. The company has 26 locations with solar power systems in eight states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Georgia). The locations with solar rooftop power systems include retail stores and a distribution center in Bedford, Penn. REI began installing solar panels on certain stores in 2008 after Davis, Calif.-based Blue Oak Energy conducted a three-year feasibility survey that found solar rooftop panels can provide 10 to 100 percent of a store’s electricity."

"Sharon Im-Lee, energy manager at REI, Seattle, toldInteriors & Sources that stores with high energy costs were a good fit for solar, including those located in California, which has higher energy rates. "Here in Seattle, our electricity costs are only 5 to 6 cents per kilowatt-hour; in California, we’re seeing upwards of 17 to 20 cents per kilowatt-hour, so what you’re offsetting is dramatically more in California," said Im-Lee.

REI also buys renewable energy certificates (RECs). The REC purchases are equal to powering more than 130 stores, two distribution centers and its headquarters. Its annual purchase of RECs are equivalent to removing almost 8,000 cars from the road or switching over 990,000 incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescents. REI purchases RECs from San Francisco-based 3Degrees, which was named Best Trading Company for RECs in North America by Environmental Finance in its 14th annual market rankings.

"We intend to generate enough local renewable energy for our total electricity needs, but until then, RECs will be an important part of our energy strategy," stated Kirk Myers, corporate social responsibility manager at REI, in a news release."

Read more from our affiliate, TriplePundit.

Special Broadcast onTuesday

To commemorate Earth Day.  Get in touch (you can contact us through our main site, if you'd like to call in and tell us what Earth Day means to you and, more importantly, how it will be an impetus for you for positive change over the next 12 months

We look forward to a great show.  Listen live at WARL 1320 AM and on their worldwide stream.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

This week's update from Renewable Now.Biz/REI

Some great stories.  Here's the site:

One of the stories we are running:  Welcome REI to our newest channel:

RENEW Energy Initiative Adds New Channel to ReNewable Now Network 

Brian Keane and Peter Arpin

April 15, 2014, Providence RI:  ReNewable Now and REI announced a strategic media partnership that will include a new media channel exclusively showcasing REI content offered through ReNewableNow.Biz. The content will consist of videos, radio shows, educational resources,  articles, and profiles of the professionals that make up the  RENEW Energy Initiative team.  The REI Channel will be accessible 24/7 on-line with both live and on-demand media.

ReNewableNow and REI share a common mission of educating the public on the business potential and the environmental benefits of using clean energy while investing in sustainable businesses. REI President, Dennis McCarthy and ReNewableNow's President, Peter Arpin were on hand to cement the media partnership.    

"The partnership between the two organizations continues to reinforce our interest in seeing the Green Economy grow," stated Peter Arpin. "We are both in the business of informing the public on the potential clean energy has in helping to create jobs.  Together we'll be able to amplify our efforts in presenting the business side of green while educating a new workforce and the public."

"Partnering with ReNewable Now will help us break into new markets while reinforcing our brand," said REI President Dennis McCarthy.  "We're excited about the launch of the REI Channel and look forward to helping businesses and the public grow, while saving money! The ReNewable Now Network is where to be if you're trying to make an impact when it comes to sustainability, and if you're looking to grow within the Green Economy. "
The RENEW Energy Initiative is a non-profit business association driven to promote the expansion of alternative energy and energy-efficiency in organizations throughout New England. As a nexus to information, people, capital and other resources, REI seeks to fill the energy needs of businesses that boosts efficiencies, reduces carbon emissions and increases corporate competitiveness. Primary service delivery is through a series of member networking events and formal training programs.

ReNewable Now will be working with REI’s team of experts to enhance its content across the network. REI’s Channel, a multi-media portal, will promote innovation and actions in clean energy. The channel is committed to growing the Green Economy.  REI will be supporting ReNewable Now’s mission with a regular monthly segment called “Inside REI” featuring REI President Dennis McCarthy.  During these segments, Dennis will share insights on new trends, activities and workshops that are available to help people grow professionally. 

As McCarthy says, “We’re interested in raising everyone’s energy IQ, and we do that by connecting them to the right information, and to local trusted resources that make a difference.  By helping people access clean energy information and easy actions they can take, ReNewable Now helps us deliver on our mission." McCarthy cites as an example of the new partnership ReNewable Now’s recent coverage of REI workshops at which experts in Geothermal Technologies and Financing Sustainable Projects were educating classrooms filed to capacity on these subjects. “Renewable Now’s coverage of our workshops helped get the message out on the education available for everyone within the community, and also reinforced the importance of this growing industry.”

For Today's show/Sustainable Business Oregon Journal

We've been working for awhile to bring Mason Walker, one of the founders of Sustainable Business Oregon to the show, and today we do so.  We may run live or record and play in the next week or two but, either way, here's background on Mason and his fabulous publication.  Tune in anytime at our main site:

Mason Walker is new media manager of the Portland Business Journal and a co-founder of Sustainable Business Oregon.

Sustainable Business Oregon is a new media publication positioned at the intersection of business and sustainability. It covers breaking news in renewable energy, green building, natural resource policy, food and cleantech. It also serves as a community hub for the Northwest sustainable business discussion, hosting hundreds of community contributors, a calendar of events and an active green jobs board.

Mason’s mission is to speed the adoption of sustainable business practices to ensure a habitable and equitable future. He is a native New Yorker (the state, not the city) and holds a degree in supply chain & logistics from Portland State University. When he's not backpacking or playing futsal, you can find Mason focused on social enterprise, natural building and urban agriculture. Keep up with him on Twitter at @SustainableBzOR.

About Sustainable Business Oregon
Sustainable Business Oregon, a publication of the Portland Business Journal, is dedicated to covering the news and issues at the intersection of business and sustainability.
More about us »