Green Winners Paper By A.T. Kearney

15 May

While updating my alumni info on the A.T. Kearney website, I surfed around and found, “Green Winners” – a white paper explaining why firms are wise to continue their sustainability efforts.

As companies cut costs to get through the current global economic slowdown, there is often a temptation to abandon recent forays into sustainability. Yet a new A.T. Kearney analysis finds that companies committed to corporate sustainability practices during this slowdown are achieving above-average performance in the financial markets during this slowdown. So before tossing out those sustainability practices and initiatives, it might be wise to first determine the real value of the efforts—especially the possible rewards for staying the course.
[You can download the PDF white paper by A.T. Kearney here, The performance of sustainability-focused companies during the financial crisis.]

BMW Aggressively Evaluates Alternative Energy – Spartanburg

11 Apr

Since February, BMW has been evaluating wind speeds at their Spartanburg, SC, manufacturing plant to determine the feasibility of using wind power at the site. Gold Ring Power, LLC, is working with the automobile manufacturer to determine the viability of adding wind to the list of alternative energy sources used to power the facility. Currently, recycled methane gas from a nearby landfill provides over 60 percent of the plant’s power, which saves the automaker over $1 million per year in energy costs.

Duncan Seaman, Facilities Manager for BMW, explains that "globally, wind power is growing at a rate of about 30% annually and is widely used in several European countries. This assessment is an ongoing commitment by BMW to investigate renewable energy options."

 

Full Press Release:
BMW MANUFACTURING LAUNCHES WIND POWER STUDY
BMW News/Press Release/Spartanburg, S.C. – Feb., 2009: BMW Manufacturing Co. announced that it has begun a study into the feasibility of using wind energy on the plant site. BMW will partner with Gold Ring Power, LLC to conduct an energy audit to gather data on wind speed and patterns throughout the site. The results of the test will reveal the viability for BMW to add wind to the list of alternative energy resources used to power the facility.

 

Duncan Seaman, Facilities Manager for BMW, explains that "globally, wind power is growing at a rate of about 30% annually and is widely used in several European countries. This assessment is an ongoing commitment by BMW to investigate renewable energy options."
To begin this test, two 50-foot towers have been installed on the plant site. Anemometers, similar to measuring devices used by meteorologists, will be attached to each tower to collect data on wind speed and direction. One tower will be located in front of the BMW Zentrum Visitors Center and will be visible from Interstate 85. The towers will stay in place for two weeks and will then be moved to other strategic locations on the plant site to gather additional wind data. After several weeks, the data will be analyzed by Gold Ring Power, LLC and provided to BMW for further evaluation.

"Alternative energy projects such as this are essential to the sustainability of this plant. Following the success of the methane gas project, we continue to look for ways to harness the natural resources available to us. BMW is already a global leader in automotive technology and innovation, so projects like these are a natural outgrowth of our commitment to managing alternative energy resources," said Robert Hitt, manager for Corporate Communications.

Currently 63% of the BMW plant in Spartanburg is powered through recycled methane gas from the local landfill. This Landfill Gas to Energy Project, launched in 2003, has saved the company over $1 million per year in energy costs.

Gold Ring Power, LLC is a California-based company that specializes in efficiently integrating renewable energy systems into manufacturing facilities and industrial plants.

BMW Manufacturing Co. is a subsidiary of BMW AG in Munich, Germany and is the global producer of the BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle and X6 Sports Activity Coupe. In addition to the South Carolina manufacturing facility, BMW North American subsidiaries include sales, marketing and financial services operations in the United States, Canada and throughout Latin America; and a design firm and technology office in California.

 

For more information on BMW Manufacturing, visit www.bmwusfactory.com.

Biden’s Middle Class Task Force Meeting Focus Green Jobs

02 Mar

Task Force Focuses on Green Jobs as a Pathway to a Strong Middle Class

The White House Task Force on Middle Class Families, led by Vice President Joe Biden, held its inaugural meeting on February 27 in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania. The Task Force has a simple mandate: to find, highlight and implement solutions to the economic challenges facing the American middle class. With President Obama announcing last week more than $20 billion for investment in a cleaner, greener economy – including $500 million for green job training – the Task Force’s first order of business is to evaluate what investing in green jobs will mean for middle class families.

After VP Joe Biden presented at the Middle Class Task Force Meeting and discussed the $19 billion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment act that is dedicated to renewable energy. Solpower Jobs, a green web recruiter, believes Biden’s plan lacks foresight (Source: PRWEB and Solpower jobs).

Vice President Biden said,

“We all know that the existing electrical grid today is inadequate, insufficient and outdated. For example, of all the wind power that we’re talking about being able to create in the Midwest and North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and other plain states, (has) significant potential. But it cannot carry that energy right now to population centers that need the electricity most without a new transmission superhighway.”

Solpower jobs remarked on Biden’s meeting the next day saying,

“there is no doubt that smart grid technology is an improvement over the current electrical grid but… The current administration has not recognized the self sufficient decentralized energy sector.” Solpower jobs continued to bash the plan and proposed that building self powered homes was a better use of the budgeted funds.

Vice President Biden’s proposal would spend $11 billion of the $19 billion to build “The Transmission Superhighway” which the US Energy Department believes could provide the US with 20% wind energy. Additional information is available at the U.S. Department of energy website.

Additional Background on the Task Force

The Middle Class Task Force, chaired by Vice President Biden, is working with a wide array of federal agencies that have responsibility for key issues facing the middle class to expedite administrative reforms, propose Executive orders, and develop legislative and policy proposals that can be of special importance to working families. One of the things that makes this task force distinctive is it brings together – in one place – those agencies that have the most impact on the well-being of the middle class in our country. For more information, visit www.AStrongMiddleClass.gov.

Who’s right?

Is VP Biden’s focus on the transmission superhighway a wise use of the money? Or, is more critical thinking and brain power needed to address our nation’s power dilemma?

Want to Stop Receiving the Yellow Pages in Print

31 Jan

If you’re like me, you never even open the copy of the “printed” Yellow Pages you receive. Mine ends up in the recycling bin within days. Now, you can stop the waste and save a few trees in the process by opting-out of the Yellow Pages delivery. ParkHowell.com has a detailed post about the amount of resources used to print and distribute the Yellow Pages.

To opt-out now, visit this link: YellowPagesGoGreen.org

I requested “non-deliver” and it only took two minutes (your turn):

Your request to be removed from Yellow Pages distribution has been forwarded to the Yellow Pages publishers we have on file that serve your area.

Yellowpagesgoesgreen.org is a grassroots organization that is asking all people interested in opting out to please tell family, friends, and co-workers about our program.

“We have thousands of people like you signing up every month and trying to help stop the nonsense of delivering an unsolicited telephone book to people that do not want one. Thank you for your support.”

The Mother Nature Network Launches

31 Jan

Oil Obit | Energy News/January 30, 2009: PRWEB reports the launch of The Mother Nature Network, an environmental news and information website at mnn.com. The site is using an advertising supported model to provide green news and information. Advertising veteran Joel Babbit and Rolling Stones Keyboardist (Chuck Leavell) teamed up to provide environmental information for the average person; environmental news and information at the national and local levels, original articles and celebrity blogs. Also, the site allows users to create their own profiles and blogs, which allows them to connect with other green-minded individuals (i.e., social community).

Joel Babbit was formerly President & Chief Creative Officer of GCI, one of the world’s 10 largest public relations firms with over 40 offices in 22 countries and a subsidiary of London-based WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY). Chuck Leavell, serving as the site’s Director of Environmental Affairs, has been the keyboardist for the Rolling Stones since 1972. He was previously a member of the Allman Brothers Band and he has played with Eric Clapton, The Black Crowes, George Harrison, The Allman Brothers Band, The Indigo Girls, Blues Traveler, Train, Montgomery Gentry, Lee Ann Womack and many, many more. In addition to being a well-known musical artist, Leavell is an avid environmentalist and the author of Forever Green and The Tree Farmer.

First Lithium-Ion Battery in Mass-Produced Passenger Car

21 Jan

Available in the Mercedes-Benz S 400 BlueHYBRID (Summer 2009)

Oil Obit News/Daimler PR/Stuttgart/January 15, 2009: The ADAC (German Automobile Association) has awarded its “Gelber Engel 2009” (Yellow Angel) to Daimler AG and its systems partner Continental in the Innovation & Environment category. The Stuttgart carmaker was selected for the award by Europe’s largest automobile club in recognition of its lithium-ion battery, the first such battery ever to be successfully integrated into a production passenger car. The Mercedes-Benz S 400 BlueHYBRID featuring this pioneering technology will have its market launch in summer 2009.

2009 Lithium ion battery Mercedes-Benz S400 BlueHYBRID The Stuttgart-based company is the world’s first carmaker to successfully adapt lithium-ion technology – currently used predominantly in consumer electronics – to the heavy demands of production passenger cars. Daimler AG holds a total of 25 patents that collectively facilitated the breakthrough in this important technology. A crucial element in the company’s success was its groundbreaking integration of a lithium-ion battery into the vehicle’s air-conditioning circuit. As a result of this, the battery unit is able to operate at optimum system temperatures between 15-35°C at all times, thus achieving a long service life for use in passenger cars (10 calendar years; 600,000 charging cycles) coupled with maximum efficiency.

Dr. Thomas Weber, the member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Development Mercedes-Benz Cars, accepted the “Yellow Angel” award together with Heinz-Gerhard Wente, member of the Board of Management of Continental AG responsible for Human Resources and the ContiTech Division. Daimler’s lithium-ion technology was chosen as the year’s top innovation out of 51 applications from 42 companies by a jury comprised of experts from the ADAC, the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), the Association of Motor Vehicle Importers (VDIK) and the German Association for Motor Trade and Repair (ZDK). The number of entries was the highest since the ADAC “Yellow Angel” awards were introduced.

World’s Lowest CO2 Emissions For Class of Vehicle

The innovative battery will be launched in the new Mercedes-Benz S 400 BlueHYBRID as early as summer 2009. The combination of the V6 petrol engine with the compact hybrid module will make the S 400 BlueHYBRID the world’s most economic petrol-engined luxury saloon. NEDC (combined) fuel consumption amounts to just 7.9 litres per 100 kilometers, giving world-best figures for CO2 emissions of just 186 grams per kilometer for this category of vehicle and output. In conjunction with an intelligent energy management system, the new model offers a comprehensive range of hybrid characteristics, including a user-friendly stop/start function for the petrol engine, boost effect and regenerative braking.

Compact, Efficient

The advantage of the lithium-ion battery over conventional nickel-metal hydride batteries lies principally in its compact dimensions combined with much greater efficiency. Compared with NiMH technology, lithium-ion batteries better energy density by 30 percent and power-to-weight ratio by 50 percent. Moreover, they boast a high recharge efficiency and long service life. Lithium-ion batteries also have the lowest environmental impact of all battery technologies and guarantee a sustainable and cost-effective feedstock. Their high safety levels are on a par with those of current car batteries.

As Mercedes-Benz’s system partner, the international automotive supplier Continental was responsible for software development and overall system application. A complex battery management system ensures the battery remains within an optimum operating range at all times. The electronics also monitor general functions such as temperature and energy output as compared with battery age. Safety circuits prevent the battery from overheating, for example, and a ‘cell supervising circuit’ monitors individual cells so as to guarantee optimum interaction. Production of the battery will be overseen by Continental at a new production facility in Nuremberg.

Award Winner

In its Innovation & Environment category, the ADAC recognizes outstanding initiatives, projects or innovations in the fields of road and vehicle safety and environmental protection in road transport and automotive development. Application is open to institutions, organizations, institutes and companies. A basic requirement is that all innovations have already been successfully put into practice.

In 2006 Mercedes-Benz received the prestigious award in the Innovation & Environment category for the world’s cleanest diesel technology BlueTEC, achieving the same feat again in 2007 for its Active Brake Assist for trucks.

“Yellow Angels 2009” were awarded in five categories: Car, Brand, Quality, Innovation & Environment and Personality. They are considered one of the most prestigious European car awards and looked upon by consumers as valuable yardsticks, since they take into account criteria such as price-performance ratio, practicality, economic efficiency, safety and environmental compatibility.

Mercedes-Benz finished runner-up in the Brand category for 2009, as it did with the CLK in the Quality category. In the Car category for 2009 the SLK achieved third place, following a first place with the C-Class in 2008.

Carbon Trading a Godsend or Giant Shell Game

05 Dec

According to the World Bank, global trades in the carbon market during 2007 were valued at more than $64 billion, more than double the 2006 figures. Is cap-and-trade good for the environment? Will it help us combat global warming?

For those interested, Jennifer Barone recently published an article that discusses the debate; here article is on the Discover Magazine website, which you can read here.

60 Minutes Ponders Pickens Plan on Sunday

25 Oct

2008_60_mins CBS is taking a close look at the Pickens Energy Plan this Sunday; Charlie Rose profiles Pickens on 60 Minutes, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. ET/PT. Is it politics or truly an attempt to help us better understand how to end our dependence on foreign oil once and for all?  Although I consider 60-minutes a pseudo news program, often too one-sided for my journalistic tastes, a lot of people will be introduced to the rising tide of interest in alternative energy. I wonder how they’ll spin it.

One thing they already have posted on the CBS website, is a short video of Sen. John Kerry looking past his nemesis, Swiftboat ad backer T. Boone Pickens, at this year’s DNC.

To enhance the promotion of this event as well as the overall marketing campaign for the Picken’s Plan, Picken’s marketing arm is launching a new way to reward those that are working the hardest to bring in new recruits to join the Picken’s Army.  Team Pickens announced they will be sending out an email this weekend that explains all the details. And, claiming, “this is going to be good.” Stay tuned.

Titan Wind Project to be World’s Largest, Joint Venture

22 Oct

Wind_millWind energy is a clean, renewable and cost competitive practical solution to help eliminate our dependence on foreign and domestic oil. And, today Clipper Windpower and BP Wind Energy announced a joint venture agreement for the “Titan Wind Project.” Clipper Windpower is in the business of providing advanced technologies and services for large-scale expansion of wind energy.  It is anticipated that the growth of the wind energy industry will be substantial given it is clearly a viable alternative to inefficient, costly and polluting carbon-based fuel generation.

The following is the press release for the joint venture:

CLIPPER WINDPOWER AND BP WIND ENERGY COMPLETE JOINT VENTURE AGREEMENT FOR TITAN WIND PROJECT

Master Turbine Supply Agreement Provides Opportunity To Supply Up To 2,020 Turbines

London (UK), Carpinteria, CA (USA) – October 22, 2008 Clipper Windpower Plc (“Clipper”) today announced that it has completed its 50:50 joint venture (“JV”) agreement with BP Wind Energy for the development of the Titan wind project, a 5,050 megawatt (MW) wind energy development located in South Dakota. The project is expected to be constructed in multiple phases and, when completed, will be the world’s largest wind farm.

The new venture has signed a Master Turbine Supply Agreement for the purchase of up to 2,020 Liberty wind turbines [if the project is fully built] from Clipper for the Titan wind project subject to pre-agreed conditions.

Under the terms of this agreement, in addition to wind turbine supply, Clipper would provide operations and maintenance services for the Titan Project for a period of five years.

Clipper’s Liberty 2.5 MW wind turbine is designed to minimize unscheduled maintenance events over its 20-year life through a highly efficient, patented Quantum Drive® distributed generation power train and proprietary permanent magnet generator technology. Variable speed operation is achieved in a simpler and more efficient manner than standard wind turbines. The Liberty wind turbine was tested at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and in 2007, Clipper was recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy for its “outstanding contribution toward industry advancements” through an Outstanding Research and Development Partnership Award which recognizes the Liberty wind turbine for attaining “unparalleled levels of efficiency and reliability and reduced cost of energy.”

About Clipper Windpower
Clipper Windpower, www.clipperwind.com, is a rapidly growing company engaged in wind energy technology, turbine manufacturing, and wind project development. With offices in the USA (California, Colorado, Iowa and Maryland), Mexico, Denmark and the United Kingdom, and a ISO9001:2000 QMS Certified 330,000 square foot manufacturing and assembly facility located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the company designs advanced wind turbines, manufactures its 2.5-MW Liberty wind turbine and actively develops wind power generating projects in the Americas and Europe. Clipper is a public company listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM). Clipper’s ticker symbol is CWP.

The ordinary shares of Clipper Windpower Plc are traded on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange and are not registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Such shares may not be offered or sold to residents of the United States or to persons acting on their behalf, or to other persons who are “United States Persons” within the meaning of Regulation S as promulgated under the Securities Act of 1933, unless such shares have been registered under the Securities Act or there is an available exemption from registration.

Has LED Lighting Finally Arrived?

17 Oct

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have been around for a while but their manufacturing cost prohibited their practical use for consumer lighting applications. Since LEDs use about 85% less energy and last 30 times longer than conventional light bulbs, many companies have been interested in the technology. Phillips Lighting among them. According to the Wall Street Journal,

Philips Lighting, part of Netherlands-based Royal Philips Electronics, sees LEDs as the future. It has spent $4.2 billion in LED company acquisitions over the past two years. Philips has been one of the largest manufacturers of compact fluorescent lights, or CFLs, another energy-efficient alternative to incandescent lighting.

Given the cost of producing LEDs is coming down and they use about half as much energy and last five times longer than compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), their use in commercial applications may have arrived. When you consider the cost associated with lighting that is on for extended time periods (and in some cases, all of the time) plus the labor cost associated with changing the light bulbs, LEDs may now be the less expensive alternative.

Resource: WSJ article published Sept. 15, 2008, Bright Future – Thanks to improved technology, LEDs may be ready to take off.

Page 5 of 7« First...34567