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Friday, September 28, 2012

New Report: A Turning Point for Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy/Part 2






"The Turning Point for Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy includes detailed reports on each Atlantic Coast state. Among the highlights of the report:
  • Offshore wind energy will be an economic powerhouse for America. Harnessing the 52 gigawatts of already-identified available Atlantic offshore wind energy – just 4 percent of the estimated generation potential of this massive resource – could generate $200 billion in economic activity, create 300,000 jobs, and sustain power for about 14 million homes. (Europe already produces enough energy from offshore wind right now to power 4 million homes.)
  • America is closer than ever to bringing offshore wind energy ashore. Efforts are underway in 10 Atlantic Coast states, with over 2,000 square nautical miles of federal waters already designated for wind energy development off of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. Environmental reviews finding no significant impacts have been completed, and leases are expected to be issued for some of these areas by the end of the year.
  • Despite this progress, leadership is urgently needed at both the state and federal level to ensure offshore wind energy becomes a reality in America:
    • President Obama should set a clear national goal for offshore wind energy development, and each Atlantic state governor should also a set goal for offshore wind development off their shores. These goals must be supported by policies that prioritize offshore wind energy and other efforts to secure buyers for this new source of reliable, clean energy.
    • Congress needs to step up and provide much-needed tax incentives - such as the Investment Tax Credit, Production Tax Credit, and Advanced Energy Project Credit – to advance this new job-creating industry.
    • Federal regulators must continue to move forward with an efficient, environmentally-responsible permitting process for offshore wind projects that grants leases to developers by the end of 2012. Leases must include strong safeguards for coastal and marine wildlife.
    • Offshore wind energy can and must be developed in a wildlife-friendly manner. Not only do scientific studies show that properly locating turbines and requiring best management practices can minimize impacts on birds, bats, sea turtles and marine mammals, but transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy benefits all wildlife from cleaner air and water and cutting the carbon pollution that causes climate change. 
“Offshore wind energy can generate explosive job growth, from design to shipping to construction,” saidYvette Pena Lopes, deputy director of the BlueGreen Alliance. “Congress needs to set aside partisan bickering and send a clear signal that America is committed to clean energy by passing the Investment Tax Credit for offshore wind.”
“Developing this renewable, sustainable energy will make America’s energy supply more secure and we have the Navy’s assurance that properly-placed turbines can go hand-in-hand with Virginia Beach’s military bases,” said Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. (R-Virginia Beach). “Offshore wind energy can preserve the traditions that have made Virginia’s coastal communities special while strengthening our economy, energy security, and environment for future generations.”
“Up and down the Atlantic Coast, the building blocks are being put in place to usher in a bright future for offshore wind,” said Rob Sargent, Environment America’s energy program director. “But harnessing this vast yet-to-be-tapped resource requires a strong and ongoing commitment. There is broad public support for shifting to pollution-free renewable energy. Local, state and federal officials, including Congress, need to step up and link arms to make the promise of offshore wind a reality.” 


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Listen to this Week's radio show

Great radio show live this week (WARL 1320 and Blog Talk Radio/Renewable Now channel) with Jim Murphy from RI College and reps from The Apeiron Institute.  Listen in and join us every Weds live, 12-1p EST as talk about the business side of green:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/renewable-now/2012/09/26/sustainable-education

NWF Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Report


Thanks so much to the National Wildlife Federation for a great look at using clean energy here in the US.  We will break this up into two reports here on the blog given the story's length.




Energy policy will drive much of our future economic and environmental choices.  Now is the time to evaluate an energy policy based on today's realities, not assumptions we've used for many decades.  As pointed out here, technology allows us to make decisions and investments not available to us till now.  We can put people to work in the new, green economy.  We can build a very different source of power and distribution system.  And we can marry this innovation with much higher efficiency  standards to dramatically reduce our demands for electricity.

All of which leads to less imported oil, less burning of fossil fuels in general, impetus for employment and savings we can use to pay down debt.

We did a great show last week with a rep from Rocky Mountain Institute and talked about their energy ideas outlined in the book, Reinventing Fire.  You can listen here:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/renewable-now/2012/09/12/reinventing-fire

Will Federal and State Leaders Take Advantage of America’s Golden Opportunity?


"America can create hundreds of thousands of jobs while powering our homes and businesses with local, clean energy, but only if our elected officials and regulators take the right steps now, according to a new report released today by the National Wildlife Federation, Environment America, and 45 partner organizations along the Atlantic Coast. The Turning Point for Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy: Time for Action to Create Jobs, Reduce Pollution, Protect Wildlife & Secure America’s Energy Future details the economic and environmental benefits of offshore wind energy, the progress made to-date, potential obstacles to that progress, and a prosperous path forward.
“America’s Atlantic coast has some of the best offshore wind energy resources in the world, the technology to harvest it is ready right now, and we have workers ready to do the job,” said Catherine Bowes, the National Wildlife Federation’s senior manager for new energy solutions and lead author of the report. “We need to take advantage of this golden opportunity to make our electricity supply cleaner, more wildlife-friendly, and more secure.”
“Like many states along the Atlantic, Massachusetts has no fossil fuel resources, forcing us to import almost all of our energy needs,” Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan said.  “Developing offshore wind, an indigenous and emissions free energy source just off the Massachusetts coast, would not only offer a tremendous economic opportunity by creating thousands of new jobs for our citizens, offshore wind will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and vastly improve the quality of the air we breathe.”
The Turning Point for Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy includes detailed reports on each Atlantic Coast state. Among the highlights of the report:"
See Part 2 tomorrow:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Update from Terra Pass

Carbon offsets are a great, simple way for everyone to help get cleaner air.  Here's an update from one group we've worked with in the past.  
If you have a child in college, this is a great issue to read.

The ‘Too Cool for School’ Newsletter
September 13, 2012
As the new school year begins...
  • Take a look at what the country’s greenest universities are doing
  • Get some handy, easy-to-implement tips that you can use on and off campus
  • And don't forget to provide your feedback on our latest project
Universities go green
The Sierra Club put together a list of the Top 10 Coolest Schools. Check out the innovative solutions that administrators and students are implementing for tangible, sustainable change.
Did you know that a typical dorm room uses enough energy during an academic year to generate 6,678 lbs of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions? —that's about the same as the amount of emissions generated by driving a small car. Offset your energy use (or your students') with dorm offsets from TerraPass.
Get an apple from your teacher
From primary school to college, here are some tips to green the school year and have fun doing it. Pretty soon your teacher will be the one giving you an apple.

Pack your lunch in style:
• Give a stainless steel lunchbox a try. 
 • Learn to pack a trash-free lunch.

Carpool, walk or bike to school:
• If public transportation isn't available where you live, consider joining a carpool.
Raleigh County Solid Waste Authority
We’ve extended the public comment period for those who were a little late to return from summer vacation. Share your feedback on this landfill gas capture project in Beckley, West Virginia.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Communities collaborate on solar projects

Great story in USA Today on communities collaborating on solar projects.  We'd love to bring one of these projects to RI.  Give us your thoughts.

The link: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012/09/18/communities-collaborate-on-solar-projects/57804724/1

Part of the story:   ROCKFORD, Minn. -- David Schmidt has been intrigued by the idea of generating power from the sun for a long time, but he had never taken the next step.
  • The Poudre Valley REA Community Solar Farm  in northern Colorado.
    Clean Energy Collective
    The Poudre Valley REA Community Solar Farm in northern Colorado.

Clean Energy Collective
The Poudre Valley REA Community Solar Farm in northern Colorado.


The research engineer teaches a course on renewable energy at the University of Minnesota. He had already cut back on his energy use and converted his home to LED lights.
Then Schmidt heard about a community solar project his utility company, the Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association, is building. Instead of spending around $40,000 to install solar panels on his home, Schmidt could purchase a single panel for $869.
"This way, I can do it little by little, buy one panel at a time," he said.
Schmidt will see a discount of a few dollars on his monthly electricity bill. He will also get the satisfaction of creating renewable energy for his community that won't be affected by fluctuating prices of fossil fuels.
"We're contributing some pretty stable power to the grid," Schmidt said.
Community solar projects, popping up across the USA, are being touted as a model that makes solar power both affordable and accessible to everyone. The projects allow everyone to get involved in producing solar power, "not just the ones with a really good south-facing roof," said Eric Jensen, chairman of the MES...



Thursday, September 20, 2012

. Good news on the natural gas front

Thank you to Kathy Frazier, who works at the Arpin Group, for sending us this positive story on "America's natural gas highway" getting built out from coast-to-coast.  Switching vehicles over to natural gas--cars as well as trucks--helps in two ways; reducing imported oil and using domestic fuel; cleaning the air.

This is a very positive step, and works hand-in-hand with our use of bio-fuels, buying more energy efficient cars and, ultimately, buying EV's.  Our best wishes to Clean Energy as they build out our natural gas highway.

Here's the story:


We are building LNG truck fueling stations
coast-to-coast and border-to-border
Clean Energy is America’s connection to natural gas fueling — the largest provider of natural gas for transportation. Now we are building America’s Natural Gas HighwayTM with LNG truck fueling stations along major interstates to form the backbone of a national fueling infrastructure — enabling goods movement using natural gas fuel from coast-to-coast and border-to-border.
The first phase includes approximately 150 LNG truck fueling stations (plus CNG where needed). Approximately 70 are anticipated to be open in 33 states by the end of 2012 and the balance in 2013. Many will be co-located at Pilot-Flying J Travel Centers already serving goods movement trucking.
We believe the time is right for taking this action. Our nation needs to focus on reducing dependence on imported oil, and keeping our money and creating jobs here at home. We look forward to serving truckers and shippers onAmerica’s Natural Gas HighwayTM.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Thanks to Seth Handy

For sending us a really good article on crunching the true numbers on natural gas versus renewables.  We re-produced only part of the article; the balance can be found on their site (rmi.org).

We are going to follow this up with an interesting piece on an effort to build out a natural gas filling station network across the US for cars and trucks.  Ironically, as we do that and move away from imported oil (a very good thing) we compete, in transportation, head-on with EV's...a clean, renewable source.  Should we?  We'd love to hear from you.

Also, we are on the road this week and found a great Hampton Inn, Sarasota, FL, out by the airport, with solar panels, full recycling, flush-less toilets and car-charging stations.  And a great little hotel to boot.  Kudos; we love it   Look them up and stay here when you are down this way.

Hot Air About Cheap Natural Gas

RMI Co-founder and Chief Scientist / Program Director
 
Would you build a buy-and-hold financial portfolio from only junk bonds and no Treasuries by considering only price, not also risk? Not for long. Yet those who say cheap natural gas is killing alternatives—solar, wind, nuclear—make the same error. In truth, they’re doing the math wrong: the gas isn’t really that cheap.

“Cheap gas” reflects only the bare spot price of the commodity without adding the value of its price
volatility. Yet such competitors as efficiency and renewables have no fuel and hence no fuel-price volatility: once built, they’re as financially riskless as Treasuries. Of course, much gas is sold not at spot but on long-term contract, especially to its biggest user—electricity generators. But for other players, it’s vital not to become the patsy in the poker game: basic financial economics says asset comparisons must value and equalize risk.

One way is to compare fuel-free competing technologies with constant-price gas. A broker will take the price-volatility risk for a fee based on the market’s risk valuation, discoverable from the “straddle”—the sum of the prices of simultaneously sold put and call options. A year ago, when the cheap-gas mania was taking hold, gas-price volatility five years out was worth more than recent spot gas prices. Even today, with lower price and volatility (whose value automatically falls with price), gas’s price volatility alone, over a time horizon appropriate for comparison with durable assets, is worth roughly what gas now sells for. Omitting price volatility thus understates gas’s true cost (excluding its fixed delivery costs) by about twofold—a very material error.

A leading promoter of shale-gas fracking, asked about this at a recent financial conference, replied, “Trust me!” Gas, he claimed, would remain very cheap for a very long time. So how much gas would he contract to sell for a constant $2–3 per thousand cubic feet for 20–30 years, backed by solid assets unlinked to hydrocarbon prices? Probably none.

Actually, you can buy gas today for delivery at least a decade hence. Sure enough, it costs 2–3 times more, or about $6. So why doesn’t a fracking promoter lock in huge profits by shorting gas futures? Because shale gas (unless sweetened by valuable liquid byproducts) has lately sold at below its cash production cost. The reasons include frenetic drilling (driven by use-it-or-lose-it leases and the need to book big reserves to raise cash), pricey oil spurring plays in oily shales, and filled storage due to a mild winter. Those low 2012 natural gas prices will probably prove as transient as the even lower real prices of 1995–2000.

The gas industry’s inherent short-term price volatility is due to weather, storage, trade, and other factors. The April 2012 low gas price rose 31% by the end of May and doubled for delivery two years hence. Uncertainties increase further out because economies are complex and unpredictable. The fracking revolution didn’t repeal basic economics: to get $6–8 gas, just assume $3–4 gas, use it accordingly, and watch supply and demand reequilibrate at higher prices...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Are you ready to plug in?

We are proud to support this event and our move towards EV's:

Will You Join Us for Plug In Day?

For the last few weeks, we have been celebrating the new vehicle fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards that mark President Obama's biggest climate accomplishment yet. Tens of thousands of Americans have sent letters to the White House thanking the president for new policies that will ensure that automakers produce much more efficient vehicles as well as cars that run on little or no oil at all. Now there's another way to celebrate.

Sunday, September 23rd, is National Plug In Day, a nationwide celebration of electric vehicles (EVs). By turning their back on the pump, oil spills, and tailpipe emissions, these vehicles are a huge step toward moving America beyond oil. They are also a lot of fun to drive. On the 23rd, EV drivers and the EV-curious in over 60 cities across the country will be taking part in free events to test drive EVs, kick the tires, and check out solar-powered EV charging stations. Ten lucky people who register for and attend Plug In Day events will even win a new iPad.

You can see if there is an event near you and register today.

A switch to EVs is an important part of a future with greener transportation choices, domestic clean energy manufacturing jobs, and a healthier planet. Every year, we burn roughly 121 billion gallons of oil in our passenger cars and trucks -- and even after taking into account the electricity used to charge EVs, these are almost alwaysthe cleanest cars around and will only get cleaner as we shift to more renewable sources of power. You can't say that about a gasoline-powered vehicle!

The Plug In Day events feature electric cars, trucks, and motorcycles in electric car parades, "tailpipe-free" tailgate parties, awards to leaders promoting EV-readiness, the launch of new public EV charging stations, and other educational events.
  • Event-goers in the Los Angeles area will be taking EV test-drives and checking out more than a dozen models of electric cars of the past and present at the Automobile Driving Museum.
  • In New York City, there will be electric delivery trucks on display from companies that will likely include Fed Ex, Coca Cola, and Duane Reade.
  • The mayor of Sarasota, FL, will be issuing a Plug In Day proclamation where participants in that city will enjoy test-rides, musical entertainment, and a silent and emission-free EV parade.
Whether or not you can make it to a Plug In Day event,you can take a moment to sign a petition showing your governor that you support EV-readiness programs in your state, such as more consumer education, public charging stations, and utility programs that provide off-peak electricity rates and improve infrastructure.

Sierra Club has teamed up with Plug In AmericaElectric Auto Association, and dozens of local groups to organize this second annual National Plug In Day. With double the number of events this year than last, the momentum is electric.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Great radio show this week

As we welcomed guests from the Rocky Mountain Institute.  Here's some information on the show:

On ReNewable Now, this week was  Albert Chan of the Rocky Mountain Institute. We’ll be discovering what the Rocky Mountain Institute is all about, as well as focusing on one of their special projects and visions called “Reinventing Fire

Take a listen to this show, and our others, at:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/renewable-now/2012/09/12/reinventing-fire

Also, listen live each Wed's, 12-1p, EST on WARL 1320 (and their stream: http://1320warlradio.com)

Listen 24/7 at Blog Talk radio to all of our archived show on the Renewable Now channel.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Great reminders from Terra Pass

From the most recent electronic newsletter from Terra Pass.  We are glad to share their good advice:


The ‘Too Cool for School’ Newsletter
September 13, 2012
As the new school year begins...
  • Take a look at what the country’s greenest universities are doing
  • Get some handy, easy-to-implement tips that you can use on and off campus
  • And don't forget to provide your feedback on our latest project
Universities go green
 
The Sierra Club put together a list of the Top 10 Coolest Schools. Check out the innovative solutions that administrators and students are implementing for tangible, sustainable change.
 
Did you know that a typical dorm room uses enough energy during an academic year to generate 6,678 lbs of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions? —that's about the same as the amount of emissions generated by driving a small car. Offset your energy use (or your students') with dorm offsets from TerraPass.
Get an apple from your teacher
 
From primary school to college, here are some tips to green the school year and have fun doing it. Pretty soon your teacher will be the one giving you an apple.

Pack your lunch in style:
• Give a stainless steel lunchbox a try. 
 • Learn to pack a trash-free lunch.

Carpool, walk or bike to school:
• If public transportation isn't available where you live, consider joining a carpool.
Raleigh County Solid Waste Authority
 
Raleigh County Solid Waste AuthorityWe’ve extended the public comment period for those who were a little late to return from summer vacation. Share your feedback on this landfill gas capture project in Beckley, West Virginia.
 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI goes green with fuel efficient cars

We applaud the Pope's progress in reducing the Vatican's carbon footprint, with many positive changes, and his terrific attitude about get sustainable.  We need this type of leadership, across the globe, from our key players in every sector; including religion and other non-profits..

We have no doubt Jesus led a natural life with great respect for our base resources.  The Vatican, like all of us, got away from some of those early lessons, but thanks to the Pope and his personal commitment to simplify and streamline, we are coming full circle back to humbler beginnings.

The story:


BY BOB HOLT
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
"Green Pope” Pope Benedict XVI has gotten some new wheels.
It’s not a new tricked-out Popemobile, but the electric cars he has received as gifts fall in line with the environmental issues that have marked Benedict’s papacy.
A Daily Caller story on Yahoo! News reported that French car manufacturer Renault presented Pope Benedict XVI with a white Renault Kangoo, to be used at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo. Another car was donated for use by Benedict’s security force.
The 85-year-old Benedict has written and spoken of the need to protect the environment during his time at the Vatican.According to businessgreen.com, the Vatican has added solar panels and a solar cooling unit, and has offset carbon dioxide emissions through reforestation since the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI.
According to The Daily Beast, shortly after being elected pope, Pope Benedict said that "the earth's treasures have been made to serve the powers of exploitation and destruction" and called on Catholics to take better care of God's creation.
The Kangoo Maxi Z.E. retails at about $20,000, according to Renault. They say the electric cars both have 60 horsepower, and can drive about 106 miles on a single charge.
Mercedes-Benz makes the customized Popemobile that the pope uses on trips away from the Vatican, according to Boulder Daily Camera. The company is researching a hybrid, energy-saving version.

Great News in RI



Rhode Island Top 50 Project:
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations for Rhode Island
The TOP 50 project intends to implement a network of 50 charging stations that will allow Rhode Islanders to drive and re-charge electric vehicles throughout the state.
We need your support to find locations that will best serve Rhode Island. If there is a location that you think would be great for electric vehicle charging, please suggest it by clicking the link below:


Why Electric Vehicles in Rhode Island?
  
Small State = less range anxiety: The small size of Rhode Island make it the ideal location for electric vehicles with a limited range.
Energy Security: Using hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles instead of conventional vehicles can help reduce U.S. reliance on imported petroleum and take advantage of renewable energy sources in Rhode Island.
Better Fuel Economy = Lower Operating Costs: PHEVs and EVs can reduce fuel costs dramatically because of the low cost of electricity relative to conventional fuel. Most EVs operate at an MPGe (Miles per Gallon Equivalent) of  90-110!
Zero Emissions = Improved Air Quality: Hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles can have significant emissions benefits over conventional vehicles, including zero tailpipe emissions during all-electric operation for better air quality. 

Electric Drive Vehicles:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)

Is a great organization, who we've highlighted before, whose mission is "engage leaders to design and build a brighter energy future".  Very simple, very nice, so needed now and going forward.

Albert Chan, from RMI will be our guest on Wed's live show, on WARL 1320 (use their stream) and we'll focus on RMI's contribution of the book, Reinventing Fire, an amazing look at what our energy policy is today, and would it should be going forward.  One of our presidential candidates in the US, we don't care if it's O'bama or Romney, should adopt this energy policy as their own and run with it.

Here's a link to a preview of a great book and concept for moving to a cleaner, more efficient energy system--across the world:  http://www.rmi.org/rfexecutivesummary

Tune in live on Weds, then listen 24/7 on the Renewable Now channel where you can find our past radio shows on-demand as well.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A site and and Institute we've been watching

It is hard to overstate the importance of leading educational centers in the US.  They attract the brightest from around the world, they give bricks and mortar to innovation and learning, and they offer roads in which those students can take their ideas and turn them into real companies...companies that will change the world and change it quickly.

One such leader is MIT.  In 2006 they established an energy institute that has made remarkable progress in a very short time.  If you have not read about MITEI, here's your chance. The link to their site:http://web.mit.edu

Here's the background:

About MITEI

The MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), established in September 2006, is an Institute-wide initiative designed to help transform the global energy system to meet the needs of the future and to help build a bridge to that future by improving today's energy systems.
MIT President Susan Hockfield first announced an MIT energy initiative at her inauguration in May 2005. She said, "[It is] our institutional responsibility to address the challenges of energy and the environment....Tackling the problems that energy and the environment present will require contributions from all our departments and schools...bringing scientists, engineers and social scientists together to envision the best energy policies for the future."
Here's a little more:  

MITEI's research program

The MITEI interdisciplinary research program focuses on the following:
  • Innovative technologies and underlying policy analysis that will improve how we produce, distribute and consume conventional energy.
  • Transformational technologies to develop alternative energy sources that can supplement and displace fossil fuels, including the economic, management, social science and policy dimensions needed for this transformation.
  • Global systems to meet energy and environmental challenges through a multidisciplinary systems approach that integrates policy design and technology development.
  • Tools to enable innovation, transformation and simulation of global energy systems through strategic basic research.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Good radio show this week on renewables for consumers and buinesses

Take a listen to this show, and our others, at:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/renewable-now/2012/09/05/solar-services.

Also, listen live each Wed's, 12-1p, EST on WARL 1320 (and their stream: http://1320warlradio.com)

Listen 24/7 at Blog Talk radio to all of our archived show on the Renewable Now channel.

Next week we talk to the Rocky Mountain Institute about their many programs and successes, of which we've reported on several here on the blog.

The business side of green for sports Part 2

We've made the point many times:  Sports can be a leader by becoming mecca's, and teachers to the people attending the games, in efficiency and reduction of waste.  We applaud the sites cited below as we finish up part 2 of our story.

Continuing from yesterday as we finish a look at sports shifting to efficiency and clean energy:
Energy
Of 126 professional sports teams in the five major North American leagues, 38 have shifted to renewable energy for at least some of their operations and 68 have energy efficiency programs. Examples detailed in the report include:
• Solar – STAPLES Center has a 1,727-panel solar array covering 25,000 square feet of the arena’s roof. The 345.6-kilowatt system supplies 5 to 20 percent of the building’s energy use (depending on load) and produces 525,000 kilowatt-hours annually, saving an average of $55,000 per year.
• Wind – In 2012, Cleveland’s Progressive Field became the first professional sports facility to install a wind turbine, which generates more than 40,000 kilowatt hours per year.
• Renewable Mix - Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field, home of the National Football League’s (NFL) Philadelphia Eagles, will be the first stadium in the U.S. capable of generating 100 percent of its energy through a mix of solar panels, a generator that runs on natural gas and biodiesel, and, soon, 14 wind turbines.
• Efficiency - The Seattle Mariners replaced an old incandescent scoreboard with a new LED scoreboard, lowering annual electricity consumption by more than 90 percent and reducing energy costs by $50,000 a year.
Water
Access to fresh, safe water is an increasingly dire concern across the globe. The report details myriad innovative water conservation techniques that have already been integrated into facilities. These include:
• Irrigation – San Francisco’s AT&T Park uses an irrigation clock that uses up-to-the-minute local data to establish zone watering times, saving 33-to-50 percent in irrigation water use. Changes in the composition of the infield surface have reduced field watering by 33 percent.
• Efficiency –Minnesota Twins’ Target Field installed low-flush, dual flush toilets and aerated faucets, which use 30 percent less potable water than conventional fixtures. This shift is saving approximately 4.2 million gallons of water annually.

• Water Restoration Credits – For the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals and 2011 Winter Classic, the NHL purchased over 4.5 million gallons in Water Restoration Credits from Bonneville Environmental Foundation to balance the amount of water used during the events. In early 2012, NHL Green introduced Gallons for Goals, committing to restore 1,000 gallons of water to a critically dewatered river in the Northwest for every goal scored during the regular season.
The NHL announced in April 2012 that the league replenished more than 6.7 million gallons of water.
Waste
Virtually all professional sports teams have developed recycling and composting programs. Meanwhile, all major sports concessionaires have developed environmentally preferable offerings. The increased demand for sustainable products - like compostable serviceware and recyclable paper products – has resulted in competitive pricing and far more waste being recycled and composted rather than sent to landfills. Examples include:
• Recycling – The Cleveland Indians have cut their trash in half from 1,262 tons to 613 tons by implementing an enhanced recycling program. This reduced the number of trash pick-ups by 64 percent, saving $50,000 annually.
• Composting – The Cardinals’ “4 A Greener Game” program, launched in 2008, is credited with recycling more than 1,836 tons of solid waste, more than 575 tons of yard waste, and more than 110 tons of composted organic material.
• Supply chain impact - The Montreal Canadiens implemented a purchasing policy requiring the organization buy only environmentally-friendly cleaning products. 80 percent of purchases now include products that are locally made and/or composed of reused or recycled content.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The business side of green for sports


Good work by the FL teams as reported by  The Sun Sentinel.  We'll cover this over two days:


Heat, Marlins, Magic lauded for green initiatives


"Miami’s AmericanAirlines Arena and Marlins Park, and Orlando’s Amway Center are among the venues cited as figuring prominently in the green movement in pro sports in a report released Wednesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council, in collaboration with the Green Sports Alliance.
The report, Game Changer: How the Sports Industry is Saving the Environment, reveals the collective impact the industry is having on advancing environmental protection in North America, documenting innovative and cost-effective steps taken across all professional leagues.
The Miami Heat’s Triple-A became LEED-certified for existing buildings in 2009. The report quoted Jackie Ventura, the Heat’s operations coordinator, as saying the project resulted in $1.6 million in energy saving within the first year. It cost $73,384 to make the changes needed to obtain the certification.
“We also attracted about $1 million in new corporate sponsors, which include Home Depot and Waste Management, who aligned with our greening efforts as sponsors of our LEED initiative,” Ventura said in the report. “Being environmentally conscious improves our brand’s image so that we now talk with companies that never would have approached us before, such as Johnson & Johnson and Georgia Pacific.”
Marlins Park in May became Major League Baseball’s first LEED Gold-certified new ballpark. Among the ballparks green features, efficient plumbing innovations are designed to reduce water use by 52 percent, saving six million gallons of water each year compared to the national average for similar stadiums.
The Orlango Magic’s achieved that distinction among NBA arenas in 2010. The arena uses approximately 25 percent less energy and 40 percent less water than arenas of similar size and type, saving the team nearly $700,000 annually in energy costs.
“The motivation for sports to engage in greening is simple; the games we love today were born outdoors, and without clean air to breathe, clean water and a healthy climate, sports would be impossible,” said Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, director of NRDC’s green sports project. “A cultural shift in environmental awareness is needed in order for us to address the serious ecological problems we face, and the sports industry, through its own innovative actions, has chosen to lead the way.
“Pro sports are showing that smart energy, water and recycling practices make sense. They save money and prevent waste. That’s as mainstream and non-partisan as it comes.”
Some highlights from the report, whichcan be viewed at the NRDC site..."

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A company pushing green

This is a very nice example of a company taking simple steps to build a brighter, cleaner future.  You can do the same:
AmeriFleet Transportation to Announce Systemwide Green Initiative
ALPHARETTA, GA – AmeriFleet, a provider of total logistics solutions and transportation services to the fleet management and corporate fleet industry, will announce a comprehensive system wide green initiative early next month. The initiative is designed to support AmeriFleet's commitment to provide quality service in a manner that ensures a healthy workplace and minimizes the company's potential impact on the environment. The program compliments green efforts of AmeriFleet's fleet management partners. 
"AmeriFleet recognizes environmental protection as one of our guiding principles and a key component of sound business performance," said John Norris, president, AmeriFleet Transportation. "From the office to the detail area to the highway, we will strive to use environmental best practices in all we do."
Highlights of AmeriFleet's green initiatives include:
Employees in the Office
  • Use of sensor lights in offices/conference rooms and other associated work areas.
  • Use of biodegradable cleaning products.
  • Use of recyclable printer/copier/toner cartridges with an emphasis on reusing other products when possible.
  • Composting lunch and kitchen waste.
 Employees in Detail Bay Area
  • Utilize washable rags rather than disposable products.
  • Avoiding engine idling.
  • Use of biodegradable and earth friendly products.
 Service Delivery Professionals on the Highway
  • Using alternate fuel when appropriate.
  • Turning off the engine when stopped for more than 10 seconds and not idling for more than 30 seconds.
  • Ensuring tire pressures are at recommended levels and that all vehicles have proper maintenance.
Future AmeriFleet green initiatives will include consideration of a discount for any moves of hybrid vehicles. Reinforcing the company's commitment to making a difference with the environment, employees will be offered educational 'lunch and learn' opportunities throughout the year. AmeriFleet will also display posters in the workplace indicating what is and is not recyclable and containers to separate trash from these materials.
For more information on AmeriFleet's green initiative visit them at booth number 1001 at the NAFA Institute and Expo and/or visit www.amerifleet.com.