This Issue

green economy

From Steel to Silver and Gold

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="17498" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="24983" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By Jeff Harder [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] A spotlight on the first LEED-certified steel production mill in the world. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] The Arkansas Delta conjures the backdrop of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and the town of Osceola is the region’s quintessential landscape: soybean and cotton fields, the churn of the Lower Mississippi River beyond the levees, and wide-open miles between glimpses of one small town and the next. The area, about an hour north of Memphis, has also fallen on hard times, with declining population and high unemployment. But on 1,300 acres between the Mississippi and BNSF Railway train tracks, an Osceola steel maker is changing fortunes by turning a soot-stained industry a new shade of green. Last February, the Big River Steel Production Facility became the world’s first steel mill to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The $1.3 billion, four-building facility has also been a true economic engine for eastern Arkansas, bringing more than 500 full-time jobs paying good salaries. And for an industry traditionally considered at odds with the environment, Big River Steel augurs a new...

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Collaborative Thinking

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="17498" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="24641" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text]  By Alexandra Pecci [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Lendlease strives to bring innovative ideas to life. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] When it comes to recycling, wallboard isn’t easy stuff to handle. It’s incredibly sensitive, losing its recyclability when it breaks into crumbs or powder, or even when it’s mixed with other waste. As a result, it often falls by the wayside in recycling efforts. But Geoffrey Brock, LEED AP BD+C, ID+C, ND, sustainability director at the global construction and property firm Lendlease, was eager to change that. After all, he points out, wallboard makes up 20 percent of construction waste, and can actually make up the majority of waste for interior projects. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="24643" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]Lendlease created an innovation program in 2016 to gather ideas from all facets of the company. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_top="20"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] “We’re talking the magnitude of hundreds of tons of waste,” he says. “It means something more than just recycling at the office.” Despite the imperative, the desire, and the important idea, he had trouble getting a wallboard recycling initiative off the ground. “I was not very successful because I was...

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Efficient Data

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="21415" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="24664" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text]  By Lorne Bell [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Data centers power our digital lives, using immense amounts of energy to connect people and information around the world. Now, LEED is helping the world’s top data companies find new paths to energy efficiency. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] If you’ve ever left a running laptop on a surface for too long, you know the kind of heat that it can generate. Now imagine that amount of heat magnified by ceiling-high server towers that fill buildings the size of football fields. Data centers are designed to run 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Powering and cooling these information hubs requires massive amounts of energy—consider that one data center can use as much energy as a small town. Cumulatively, data centers across the U.S. used 70 billion kWh of electricity in 2014, according to Lawrence Berkeley National Lab’s Data Center Energy Usage Report. That’s about 2 percent of the nation’s electricity, the same amount used by some 6.4 million U.S. homes.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="24666" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]DPR’s Prineville, Oregon, data center for Facebook is one of the most energy efficient...

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Investing in the Green Economy

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left"][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="17498" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="24233" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By Calvin Hennick [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Responding to the risks posed by climate change is no longer reserved for socially responsible companies. There is now a clear priority for all businesses that want a prosperous future. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] A car in the 1970s traveled, on average, fewer than 15 miles on a gallon of gasoline. Today, that number is pushing 35. Around a decade ago, solar power was still largely seen as a niche energy source, reserved for organizations that were either exceptionally enthusiastic about sustainability or the recipients of large subsidies. Today, utilities are leading investment in solar with a doubling of U.S. large-scale solar projects to about nine gigawatts in 2016, while suburbanites are topping their roofs with solar panels, slashing their energy bills and even sometimes selling some back to the grid. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="24235" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]A solar panel is produced at SolarWorld, America’s largest manufacturer of solar panels.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_bottom="25"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] What changed? The marketplace. Over time, gasoline became more expensive, and the cost of solar panels came down quite a bit. In...

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Smart Park

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="17498" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="23896" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By Mary Grauerholz [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] How parking garages are becoming the newest city parks. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] Boston has almost 7.5 million square feet of designated, off-street parking space. Wide swaths of concrete, asphalt, and steel, often spattered with oil from vehicles and salt from roadways. The parking facilities in this East Coast city—and across the country—have long been an egregious land-hog. But that is changing. Parksmart, formerly Green Garage Certification, is a relatively new addition to the suite of sustainability rating systems administered by the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) and was developed with the support of the International Parking Institute. Parking facilities are rated on the basis of sustainable practices in management, programming, and technological design. As a result, parking structures now have an opportunity to show communities how they can be more environmentally friendly, by finding innovative ways to reduce energy consumption, maximize performance, and minimize waste.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="23902" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]Post Office Square is mitigating 100 percent of its electricity footprint with renewable energy under a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement, partnering with MIT and Boston Medical Center, to purchase all...

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Sustainable Equality

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="17498" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="23529" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By Alexandra Deluca [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] Green For All gives disenfranchised communities a voice in sustainability. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] Like a rising tide that lifts all boats, a truly green economy should be all encompassing, and one Oakland, California, organization has committed to this goal by working at the delta of communities, pollution, and sustainability. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="23540" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]Vien Truong leads Green For All, a national initiative to build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_bottom="25"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]“Our mission is to create an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty,” says Vien Truong, director of the nongovernmental organization Green For All. “We work on solutions at the federal, state, and local levels. A lot of work that we do is not only on policy but it’s also on politics and really engaging people.” “We want to make sure that we’re doing it in ways that are really inclusive of people who are at the bottom tiers and really making sure they’re engaged in the change of the community. By...

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Innovative Energy

[vc_row css=".vc_custom_1469033175715{margin-bottom: 20px !important;}" row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left"][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="17498" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="22448" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] By Alexandra Deluca [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] ARPA-E: The energy industry’s accelerator. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][vc_column_text] Some people have heard of the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Since its inception in 1958 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the aftermath of Russia’s Sputnik launch, the advanced research arm of the Department of Defense has been responsible for cutting-edge military technologies such as stealth aircraft and artificial intelligence. It has also ushered in technologies that dramatically impact daily life, including the Internet and GPS. Not as many people are aware of a younger federal agency, conceived in DARPA’s image, that focuses on supporting potentially disruptive technologies for the entire energy technology sector: Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="20"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="22449" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text]Jennifer Gerbi and Eric Rolfing. Photos by: Ana L. Ka'ahanui.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_bottom="25"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]Just as the Space Race spurred DARPA, a 2007 National Academies report, “Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future,” identified the need to stimulate innovation via a research and development (R&D) arm of the Department...

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Opening Doors to Recycling Innovation

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_top="25" padding_bottom="25"][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="17498" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="22142" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text] By Alexandra DeLuca [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] The invention of former New York City recycling head Ron Gonen, the Closed Loop Fund tackles how to reuse products and packages as part of the supply chain of the manufacturing process. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_column_text] In his office near New York City’s Union Square, Ron Gonen takes to a whiteboard for a quick geography lesson. His sketch of the United States, pinpointing major cities, is soon overwhelmed as he draws route after route showing how trash is trucked around the country looking for landfill space. “NYC garbage goes to landfills in South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Ohio,” Gonen, a former deputy commissioner of recycling and sustainability for New York City’s department of sanitation, says. “Toronto pays to send its garbage to Michigan. Sacramento sends its garbage to Utah.” [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_single_image image="22144" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_column_text css=".vc_custom_1462465126283{margin-bottom: 20px !important;}"] Co-founders Ron Gonen and Rob Kaplan. Photo: Neil Landino [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_bottom="10"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] These are just a few examples, he says, of an unfortunate ecosystem that not only trucks tons of recyclable waste to landfills across North America but one that eliminates local jobs as well. “The great thing...

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Greenthink

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left"][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="17498" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="21815" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="10"][vc_column_text] By Mary Grauerholz [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="10"][vc_column_text] Rick Fedrizzi’s new book explores how the country can reduce its carbon footprint while thriving economically. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="10"][vc_column_text] When Rick Fedrizzi’s name comes up in conversation, it is often about his experience at UTC Carrier Corporation, when he got a directive from the CEO to create a “green agenda” for the air conditioning and heating division of the company—a pivotal moment that began the journey toward creation of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). But the life path that unfurled for Fedrizzi, USGBC’s CEO and founding chair, began much earlier, at the feet of his father. Fedrizzi’s dad, Arigo Fedrizzi, worked with his Italian parents and sister as farm labor throughout central New York, living in poverty and growing their own food in the backyard. “They picked everything imaginable,” Fedrizzi says in a recent interview. “It’s a reality for many people throughout the world.” Arigo Fedrizzi, burdened in his young life, took comfort in nature in his parenting years. “Whenever he could break away,” Fedrizzi says, “we would walk in the woods, go frogging—catch and release—to smell the...

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The Business of Being Green

[vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="30"][vc_single_image image="17498" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="21072" border_color="grey" img_link_target="_self" img_size="full"][vc_separator type="transparent" position="center" up="10"][vc_column_text] By Alexandra DeLuca [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type="row" type="full_width" text_align="left" padding_top="25"][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text] [caption id="attachment_21086" align="alignright" width="550"] Disclosure requirements and energy audits make New York City a first-tier “green” city.[/caption] A look at green building adoption in Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C.   Whether you get your hot dog from a cart in Manhattan, “drag it through the garden” in Chicago, or order one at Ben’s Chili Bowl in Washington, D.C., you are stopping for a snack in one of the nation’s green building apexes. “Each of these three cities is an example of a strong sustainable market,” says Dave Pogue, global director of Corporate Responsibility at CBRE, which published its “National Green Building Adoption Index” in June of this year. The index aims to measure the growth of green building certification—either EPA’s ENERGY STAR program or the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED—for the top 30 U.S. commercial markets over the past 9 years. But like their culinary offerings, Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C. have marked differences in how and why their real estate sectors have adopted sustainability. “Chicago is the most dynamic of the markets,” Pogue says. “It has really...

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