Longo’s to open first near net-zero supermarket
Longo Brothers Fruit Markets Inc. will open Canada’s first near net-zero supermarket on Nov. 1, with a helping hand from Natural Resources Canada‘s Energy Innovation Program. The federal government program contributed $1.44 million to the $11.06 million it’s taken to build the 40,000-square-foot supermarket in Stouffville, Ont.
B.C. pitches net-zero energy challenge to developers
The B.C. government will provide financial rewards to several building projects in the province that are designed to the highest level of energy efficiency. The Better Buildings B.C.: Net Zero Energy-Ready challenge was launched in downtown Vancouver last week at an event held by the Urban Development Institute. The program has two financial incentives: one for the design phase of a project, the other for the construction phase.
Chicago’s green efforts turn to platinum
The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded Chicago with the LEED for Cities Platinum certification, the program’s highest level. Chicago joins the ranks of Washington, D.C., Phoenix, Ariz., Arlington, Va., Songodo, South Korea and Savona, Italy. Launched in 2016, the LEED for Cities program enables cities to benchmark and communicate performance from undertaken sustainability initiatives.
CRE industry cuts energy consumption again
The Urban Land Institute’s Greenprint Center for Building Performance released a new report this week showing that the commercial real estate industry is making significant progress in reducing energy consumption. This center, which is part of ULI’s Center for Sustainability and Economic Performance, is a global alliance of real estate owners, investors, and financial institutions committed to improving environmental performance across the global property industry.
The largest wooden office complex in the U.S.
More architects are turning to mass timber to sequester carbon and lower greenhouse-gas emissions. In addition to being better for the environment, mass timber is cheaper and more resistant to fire than steel or concrete. Despite the rise in popularity, building mass timber structures is still tough in many areas. In August, Oregon became the first state to legalize mass timber high-rises without story limits.
SDGs and climate-related financial disclosure
With more than 500 companies, investors, and other stakeholders supporting its recommendations, the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) just reached a milestone. Now that companies have had a year to begin implementing the TCFD’s important recommendations on how to best identify, manage, mitigate, and disclose climate risk, it’s a good time to take a step back and evaluate progress.
Canadian responsible investments surpass $2 trillion
The 2018 Canadian Responsible Investment Trends Report reveals that responsible investment (RI) is continuing to experience rapid growth in Canada. The biennial report, by the Responsible Investment Association, tracks investments that incorporate environmental, social and corporate governance criteria. Assets in Canada managed using one or more RI strategies increased from $1.51 trillion at the end of 2015 to $2.13 trillion as of Dec. 31, 2017.
|Epcor creates Edmonton flood prevention plan|
|Epcor says it has completed a plan to mitigate flooding in Edmonton neighbourhoods based on results from a survey conducted this summer. The plan outlines different formulas determining which neighbourhoods should be a priority.|
|CBC, October 24, 2018|
Could Okanagan transit future be hydrogen-powered rail?
A German engineer is in the Okanagan this week to speak at the Kelowna Innovation Centre about a new form of transportation called hydrail and whether it’s a fit for the Okanagan. Hydrail is similar to LRT, but instead of being powered by overhead electric cables or charged tracks, the technology uses hydrogen fuel cells to produce its propulsion.
Battery storage in CRE becoming mainstream
The greater accessibility of battery storage is accommodating such increased use of alternative energy sources in commercial properties that they are rapidly becoming mainstream solutions. Jonathan Maxwell, CEO of London’s Sustainable Development Capital LLP, likens anticipated adoption to that of LED lighting.
U.S. commercial sector enrolled in demand response programs
The commercial and industrial sectors provided more than half of the enrolled demand response (DR) capacity last year—12 gigawatts, or 65.5 percent—as DR continues to grow and increasingly become more integrated as a resource for the U.S. energy market. A new report found that a broad range of DR programs dispatched 10.7 gigawatts of energy savings to the grid from a potential 18.3 gigawatts available.
Atlantic Central chooses 100 per cent green energy
Bullfrog Power, Canada’s leading green energy provider, announcde Atlantic Central, the trade association for credit unions in Atlantic Canada, is choosing 100 per cent renewable electricity for its entire operations, which includes offices in Halifax, N.S., Charlottetown, P.E.I., and Riverview, N.B. By supporting green energy with Bullfrog Power, Atlantic Central is reducing its environmental footprint.
TransAlta Renewables’ N.B. wind power expansion complete
The 17.25MW expansion of the TransAlta Renewables Inc. wind facility at Kent Hills, in New Brunswick is now fully operational, bringing total generating capacity to 167 MW. Under the 17-year power purchase agreement, New Brunswick Power receives both energy to the province’s electricity grid and renewable energy credits.
ScottishPower exits coal and gas, switches to renewables
ScottishPower became the first integrated energy company in the United Kingdom to completely exit coal and gas generation. The company sold its remaining traditional gas-fired power stations to Drax Group last week in order to focus entirely on renewables. Wind capacity has long been a focus for ScottishPower, which is part of Iberdrola Group, a global energy company that has an operating portfolio of over 14,000 MW of wind power.
A look at 100 percent renewable electricity goals
The Aloha State created its 100 percent renewable electricity mandate by 2045 about three years ago. Recently, Hawaii also became the first U.S. state to commit to 100 percent renewable fuel sources for public and private ground transportation, with a target of 2045. Maui, Kauai, and the city and county of Honolulu have all pledged to transition all fleet vehicles to 100 percent renewable power by 2035 to support these goals.
Clean power can fill the needs of big industry
A small company out of Montreal called GHGSat announced last month that it had raised US$10-million that will go toward building two microsatellites, both packed with sensors capable of pinpointing methane leaks and other greenhouse-gas emissions with unprecedented accuracy. The size of the deal wasn’t huge by space-industry standards, but that was arguably the least important part of the announcement.
|A class-action lawsuit accuses e-scooter companies of ‘gross negligence’|
|In the U.S. electronic-scooter companies are facing more blowback as concerns rise about the safety of these devices, this time in the form of a class-action lawsuit filed Friday in California.|
|Washington Post, October 20, 2018|
Cities using cloud technology to fight flooding
ntense storms are becoming much more frequent, resulting in heavier rainfall and flooding that wreaks havoc on local infrastructures, budgets and economies. And it gets worse as urban development increases because there are fewer places for water to go. That’s why, instead of looking on the ground for answers, new companies are turning to the technology cloud to find ways to manage what comes out of the sky.
Waterloo case reveals holes in university innovation
In a dispute over patents, the University of Waterloo recently took legal action against an on-campus startup trying to commercialize a battery that could store power longer and more safely than standard lithium-ion batteries. The university seeks a declaration that it owns patents which the students claim as theirs.
Ottawa-Gatineau tornadoes cause $295M in insured damage
Severe weather across Canada continues to highlight the financial costs of climate change to consumers and taxpayers. The tornadoes that hit Ottawa-Gatineau on Sept. 21 caused more than $295 million in insured damage to homes, businesses and vehicles – insured damage in Ottawa reached over $192 million and in Gatineau over $102 million. This brings the total for insured damage across Canada to $1.7 billion thus far in 2018.
$1.3 billion in timber lost to Hurricane Michael
Trees brought down by Hurricane Michael’s ferocious winds took a heavy toll on life, property and the timber industry in the heavily forested Florida Panhandle, where $1.3 billion in timber was lost, authorities said Friday. A firefighter became the latest death attributed to the storm when he was killed by a falling tree while helping clear debris with family members more than a week after Michael blew ashore with 250 k-ph winds.
Potentia developer of wind project near Assiniboia
SaskPower has announced what company will construct a wind energy project south of Assiniboia. Potentia Renewable’s Golden South Wind Energy Facility will be a 200-megawatt project, which SaskPower says is enough to provide electricity for 90,000 homes in the province.
NJ eyes largest single-state offshore wind installation
The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has voted unanimously set an application window for 1,100 megawatts of offshore wind capacity. The action marks the largest single-state offshore wind solicitation in the U.S. These measures set the way toward meeting the state’s goal of 3,500 megawatts of offshore wind by 2030 and for New Jersey to become a 100 percent clean energy state by 2050.
Blockchain tech certifies green energy
ACCIONA Energia is the first company to apply blockchain technology to certify the 100 percent renewable origin of the energy fed into the grid from its two storage facilities in Navarre, Spain. The technology is a vouch for ACCIONA’s clients and stakeholders that the energy supplied from battery storage facilities comes exclusively from renewable sources, free of greenhouse gas emissions.
Multi-family takes benchmarking’s measure
When savvy landlords talk about ways to cut costs and improve net operating income, they’re likely to cite a familiar adage: You can’t manage what you don’t measure. That, too, sums up the argument for tracking a property’s water and energy consumption. Indeed, benchmarking is implemented widely, if not yet universally, as a key to strategy for operating communities efficiently and maximizing cash flow.
Feds fighting climate change with price on pollution
Canadians are seeing the costs of climate change first hand, from wildfires in the West to floods in the East, smoke that makes the air unsafe to breathe and heatwaves that endanger the young and the elderly. We need to act now to fight back against climate change, for our children and grandchildren. The Government of Canada has a plan that protects the environment while growing the economy.
Federal carbon tax rebates will exceed the cost for most
The federal government will return 90 per cent of all the money it collects from a carbon price directly to the Canadians. But it has pushed back the start date of its new carbon tax another four months to allow the affected provinces to prepare. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled the details of the carbon tax rebates at a Toronto college on Tuesday.
Waste Connections releases 2018 Sustainability Report
Waste Connections, Inc. (WCN-T) Friday released its 2018 Sustainability Report, covering calendar years 2016 and 2017, which highlights the Company’s focus on safety, culture, training and development, community involvement, environmental stewardship, governance and ethics. “Our sustainability efforts extend beyond the environment,” said Ronald J. Mittelstaedt, chief executive officer and chairman.
New federal asbestos ban includes controversial exemptions
New regulations designed to ban asbestos will go into effect by the end of this year — but an analysis of the final rules introduced Wednesday reveals they have been watered down from what the federal government originally proposed. The final regulations include new exemptions to allow the military, nuclear facilities and chlor-alkali plants to continue using the hazardous substance for several years.
Yarmouth solid waste authority seeks to expand asbestos burial site
The Yarmouth County Solid Waste Management Authority wants to expand its asbestos disposal facility. The authority already manages asbestos and other garbage — including household hazardous waste, petroleum-contaminated soils, and construction and demolition materials — for the municipalities of Argyle and Yarmouth and the town of Yarmouth at its site in South Ohio, N.S.
N.S. cannabis users concerned over ‘excessive’ plastic packaging
Some Canadians are discovering smoking cannabis legally comes wrapped in a whole lot of plastic. Nova Scotians who have purchased legal cannabis through the province’s stores have been taking to social media, surprised their paper bags of pot are filled with so much plastic.