If you've never seen offshore wind turbines, it's hard to appreciate their scale. Blades can exceed 85 yards in length, their tips sweeping arcs almost 180 yards in diameter. They twirl atop towers a football field high and can produce enough electricity to power more than 1,500 homes.
Now imagine where you'd build something that size.Read more »
Seventeen thousand and three. That’s how many coffee shops Starbucks operated as of October 2011, in 55 countries, from Argentina to Vietnam. To make those stores more sustainable, the company must manage everything from tropical agronomy to the recyclable fiber in each paper cup.
Jim Hanna is director of environmental impact at the world’s largest coffee-shop chain, and oversees Starbucks’ progress toward cutting energy and water use by 25 percent in company-owned stores by 2015, compared to 2008 levels. He spoke last week with Siobhan Wagner, analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.Read more »
Welcome back to the Griddle, our top picks from the week's Bloomberg Sustainability stories. Many people associate "Clorox" with century-old brand of bleach. How times change. Clorox Co. (CLX) is now aiming for a $300 million health-care products and services business, mostly through acquisitions. The company wants to build on the success of Burt's Bees, the sustainable skin-care line that helped develop a natural products standard for its industry. Clorox is one of a growing number of companies pursuing sustainability practices both in the products it sells and by integrating its financial and sustainability reports to give investors a longer-term view of the full costs and benefits of its operations.
And now the news:Read more »
Apple is the world's biggest company by market size, the biggest buyer of semi-conductors, the biggest maker of smartphones, and, if you include iPads, the biggest maker of personal computers.
The company is about to add a few more superlatives to the list: America's biggest producer of on-site solar and fuel-cell power.Read more »
If it seems like the chattering classes are talking about carbon dioxide less than they were a couple of years ago, that's because they are. Even drivers of the public climate conversation, such as the Carbon Disclosure Project, have begun to ask if "water is the new carbon." As the group's chairman Paul Dickinson has said, "If climate is the shark, then water is the teeth."
The issue of water security on a heating planet emerged quickly after U.S. and international efforts to reel in carbon dioxide emissions fizzled in 2009. The Carbon Disclosure Project itself launched a new water program in 2010. At the same time, a water-and-energy specialist named Peter Gleick found the spotlight, having thought about the issue for more than a quarter century. He even came up with a memorable phrase, "peak water," with a definition behind it, in 2010. Water as an issue engaged many of the same experts – and much of the same rhetoric – previously claimed by carbon.Read more »
Clarification: Unilever says that, contrary to remarks made by its executive and reported in an earlier version of this article, the company does not have a timeline for doubling its sales.
Two billion people around the world use Unilever products every day, company officials are quick to say. They know that to increase their reach further, they'll need to satisfy a rapidly growing global middle class, without overtaxing the resources available to them.Read more »
The first obstacle to launching a news website about sustainability is the word "sustainability." It's the embodiment of New York Times columnist Tom Friedman's observation that news stories in this arena lack appeal: "If it isn't boring, it isn't green." In fact, if you rearrange the 14 letters in "sustainability," they declare: "Banality: It is us."
There must be a better word, right? When I first met Michael Tackett, managing editor for government in Bloomberg's Washington Bureau, he asked me: "What does a sustainability editor do?" I responded with what seems like the right answer, "He drowns the word sustainability in a bathtub."Read more »
For most investors, "sustainability" isn't about doing the right thing. The conversation has evolved. It's about doing the smart thing. This demands an answer to the fundamental question: Does it pay to invest in sustainability?
Early results are in.Read more »
Public interest in climate change policy has dropped off since its 2009 peak, when nations failed to reach a comprehensive, binding legal agreement during negotiations in Copenhagen. The climate itself never got the memo.
That's why Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday unveiled a new international coalition of countries that aims to curb “short-lived” climate pollutants such as black carbon, refrigerants and methane. These chemicals stay in the atmosphere for much less time than carbon dioxide, the main driver of climate change, which can hang in the air for decades or centuries.Read more »
Wind farms have a problem: the wind. Turbines churn out power when conditions permit and idle when they don’t. This intermittency creates no end of headaches for grid operators trying to balance electricity supply and demand. They often require coal power as a backup, which undermines carbon-free wind.
AES Energy Storage President Chris Shelton says that battery storage can make wind power more--not less--reliable than the fossil fuel incumbents. The AES Corp. unit last September opened its first energy storage project, a 32-megawatt system that will be linked to a 98-megawatt West Virginia wind farm. Their sealed lithium-ion batteries, originally designed for buses, fill rows of 53-foot long shipping containers.Read more »