Solar and Hydrogen
Projects Receive Grants
The University of Delaware and Delaware State University announced
that BP and the BP Foundation have awarded them $3.75 million in renewable
energy research and products. The research will focus on developing
higher efficiency solar cells at lower costs and a range of research
on hydrogen fuel cell technology.
The partnership with the University of Delaware includes a BP Solar
donation of equipment valued at $1.5 million and a $1.35 million grant
to the Institute of Energy Conversion (IEC) in support of its solar
energy research program. The University of Delaware will conduct research
on hydrogen policy initiatives and fuel cell catalysts, while Delaware
State University will undertake research on hydrogen storage materials.
The University of Delaware is one of two U.S. Department of Energy
centers of excellence in the area of solar energy. As such, it has
a critical mass of equipment, experience and people who have been
there for many years. The work on hydrogen fuel cell technology between
BP and the two universities will build on recent initiatives announced
by the Department of Energy, major U.S. automobile manufacturers and
BP Foundation is a global entity funded by gifts from BP p.l.c. These
agreements with the University of Delaware and Delaware State University
are the latest in a series of partnerships with universities in the
United Kingdom, the United States and China, representing a total
commitment of more than $100 million.
Evaluating the Risks,
Opportunities of Global Warming
An investor guide released by the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible
Economies (CERES) outlines specific strategies for addressing the
financial risks and investment opportunities posed by global warming.
The guide identifies actions that pension plans, fund managers and
companies can take to address climate risk, and also recommends that
investors support government action to reduce investor and business
uncertainty on global warming.
The Investor Guide to Climate Risk was commissioned by CERES, a coalition
of investment funds and environmental groups, and authored by Doug
Cogan of the Investor Responsibility Research Center, an investor
advisory firm. It was commissioned on behalf of the Investor Network
on Climate Risk (INCR), a new alliance of institutional investors
dedicated to promoting better understanding of the risks of climate
change among institutional investors. CERES serves as the INCR Secretariat.
The guide is intended to help investors implement the recommendations
of the Investor Call for Action on Climate Risk signed by investor
leaders including public pension, labor pension fund and foundation
endowment trustees representing over $800 billion in assets. (A list
of signers is available on the INCR Web site at www.incr.com.)
The guide identifies three core actions to address climate risk: assessing
the risks, disclosing the risks and investing in solutions, such as
cleaner, more energy efficient technologies to achieve absolute reductions
in greenhouse gas emissions. Ten key steps are aimed at three main
groups: plan sponsors for pension plans and endowments and their investment
consultants; fund managers for buy side investment managers
and sell side brokers and securities analysts; and corporations
for boards of directors, CEOs and top executives.
The Investor Guide to Climate Risk has been released as a Web-based
document at www.ceres.org
and on the INCR Web site at www.incr.com. It includes links to nearly
50 resources for investors, fund managers and companies seeking to
evaluate and mitigate the risks posed by global warming and coming
Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton and International Paper have
signed the first-ever Aquatic Resources Conservation and Management
Partnership Agreement, a landmark environmental partnership expected
to significantly improve freshwater ecosystems across the Southeastern
United States. The 10-year agreement covers 5.5 million acres of International
Paper forestlands in nine Southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida,
Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and
Tennessee. Under the agreement, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists
will provide technical assistance as the company conducts extensive
ecological surveys and conservation projects to help recover imperiled
aquatic species and restore their habitat.
The cooperative conservation actions called for in the agreement include:
* identifying areas on International Paper forestland to survey for
presence of imperiled aquatic species where they might occur, but
have not yet been detected;
* implementing and measuring the effectiveness of Best Management
Practices to protect water quality during forest operations;
* supporting propagation programs for imperiled aquatic species;
* re-introducing imperiled aquatic species within International Paper
forestlands where there is suitable habitat;
* and publicly promoting awareness of the needs of these species.
Shaw Announces First
Waste Carpet-to-Energy Project
Shaw Industries and Siemens Building Technologies, Inc., have developed
a process for converting carpet and wood manufacturing waste into
steam energy and, as a result, will lower plant emissions, greatly
reducing the amount of post-manufacturing carpet waste in landfills,
and save Shaws Dalton, GA plant up to $2.5 million per year.
Siemens will design, build and service a conversion facility adjacent
to Shaws carpet manufacturing plant in Dalton. The facility,
scheduled to be fully operable by the end of 2005, will convert by-products
of Shaws manufacturing processcarpet selvage, seam waste
and wood flourinto gas which will fuel a boiler to produce more
than 50,000 pounds of steam per hour. Shaw will then use the steam
in its manufacturing operations in Dalton.
Bill Barron, Shaw vice president of manufacturing, says the project
will convert per year approximately 16,000 tons of post-manufacturing
and post-consumer carpet waste, and 6,000 tons of wood flour. Customers
of Shaw should benefit from the waste conversion process since the
disposal of post-consumer carpet waste also poses a challenge for
building owners and operators. More than 25 million tons of post-consumer
carpet is deposited in landfills each year, comprising two percent
of all landfill waste.
In addition, the conversion of carpet and wood waste into energy will
result in significantly cleaner emissions, when compared to consumption
of coal and fuel oil which Shaw currently uses to power its manufacturing
operations. Moreover, by replacing the use of coal and fuel oil with
carpet and wood waste, Shaw will save millions of dollars per year
in steam production costs.
Campaign Aims to
Boost Green Power Markets
n an effort to promote and help develop U.S. green power markets in
the residential and commercial sectors, Environmental Resources Trust
(ERT) has launched the first phase of its new buyGREEN.net public
education campaign. Featuring a 60-second radio public service announcement
and a new Web site, the campaign aims to educate Americans about the
powerful potential of clean, renewable energy to supply energy needs,
and the choices consumers can make right now for green power.
The PSA, entitled Imagine the Wind, has been distributed
to over 300 radio stations in Maryland, Washington, DC, North Carolina,
Illinois and the Detroit area. To learn more about the campaign and
listen to the radio announcement, visit www.buygreen.net.
Mexico Adopts Global
Mexico launched in August a new partnership that makes it the first
country to adopt internationally-accepted standards to measure and
report business greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for establishing a
voluntary national program. The partnership, called the Mexico GHG
Pilot Program, was launched with the signing of an agreement between
Mexicos Secretariat for the Environment and Natural Resources,
the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council
for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).
The two-year partnership will develop a voluntary reporting platform
for Mexican businesses, following the internationally accepted Greenhouse
Gas Protocol developed by WRI and WBCSD. It hopes to assist businesses
in Mexico to prepare GHG inventories, identify GHG reduction opportunities,
and participate in programs to reduce emissions, while at the same
time benefiting corporate bottom lines, reducing local air pollutants
and mitigating global climate change.
Mexico ranks as the 14th largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the
world, and is second only to Brazil in South America. In 2000, according
to WRIs Climate Analyses Indicators Tool, GHG emissions in Mexico
equaled 1.4 tons per person, compared with 6.6 tons per U.S. citizen
and 1.3 tons per Brazilian.
The Mexico GHG Pilot Program will be coordinated by SEMARNAT with
technical support from WRI and WBCSD. During the first phase of the
program, running through December 2004, the GHG Protocol Corporate
Standard will be adopted to design a customized accounting framework
for the program, taking into account local conditions and needs, including
training of Mexican experts. Implementation will begin in January
2005 and end by November 30, 2006.
Georgia's First Green
Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, Department of Natural Resources
(DNR) Commissioner Lonice Barrett and Department of Industry Trade
& Tourism Deputy Commissioner of Tourism Janis Cannon announced
in June that six hotels have been environmentally certified through
the Georgia Green Hotels Program. This program, established by the
Pollution Prevention Assistance Division (P2AD) of DNR, certifies
hotels as green based on the standard established by
Green Seal, an independent, non-profit environmental standard-setting
and certification organization. The five hotels that have been certified
as charter members of the Georgia Green Hotel Program are: Emory
Conference Center Hotel, Fieldstone Resort, Holiday Inn Beach Resort
at Jekyll Island, Len Foote Hike Inn and the Whitaker-Huntingdon
Using funds from a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant, P2AD
contracted with Green Seal to identify and certify hotels and motels
in five target areas of Georgia where much of the official government
travel takes place or tourism is a primary industry. Those areas
are Atlanta, the Georgia coast, the North Georgia mountains, Macon,
and middle Georgia. With certification complete for the first group
of hotels, P2AD will promote the program to other properties with
a goal of expanding the number of certified hotels across the state.
P2AD will also work with various organizations across the state
to promote Georgia Green Hotels to travelers.
For information on the Georgia Green Hotels Program, contact 404-651-5120.
GEMI Releases Transparency
The Global Environ-mental Management Initiative (GEMI) released
a new tool in a series showing how environmental, health and safety
(EHS) excellence can enhance the business performance of companies.
Transparency: A Path to Public Trust has been designed to provide
approaches that a company may consider as it addresses transparency-related
challenges and opportunities. It consists of a six-step process
designed to assist in the identification of transparency-related
opportunities and risks, determining the business case for action,
and engaging an organization in developing and implementing an effective
This new GEMI tool is intended for a broad audience, including:
investors, customers, employees, neighbors, interested NGOs and
stakeholders. For more information and a free copy of the tool,
visit GEMIs Web site at www.gemi.org.
Germany is Home to
World's Largest Solar Park
n September, Shell Solar, GEOSOL and WestFonds officially opened
in Leipzig, Germany, what may be the worlds largest grid-connected
PV power plant, comprising 33,500 modules, with an output of five
megawatts. The power generated from the solar park will be fed into
the grid and will be sufficient to meet the electricity demand of
about 1,800 households. The solar power station will save some 3,700
tons of CO2 emissions annually.
The project was initiated and developed by GEOSOL, while Shell Solar
is the system supplier and the prime construction contractor. WestFonds
has, with its acquisition of the solar park and the launch of the
closed-end funds WestFonds Solar 1, demonstrated an increasing interest
to invest in the renewable energy sector.
The PV power plant is situated on a former lignite-mine ash deposit
in Espenhain near Leipzig, once one of the most polluted areas of
Germany. The power will be fed into the grid that is operated by
enviaM Mitteldeutsche Energie AG.