To save the planet, mankind must rapidly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. But where should we be reducing those emissions from? What would make the biggest difference?
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As the world ramps up renewable energy deployments, an uncomfortable truth is arising: The materials, manufacturing processes and disposal methods for clean technologies are creating their own issues. Case in point: wind turbine blades.
The world must reach net-zero emissions by 2050 to avoid the worst effects of climate change. This is no easy feat, but one clear solution could lie in industry emissions. Globally, industry emissions are responsible for 27 percent of our CO2 emissions, second only to the power sector. Four materials are responsible for up to 60 percent of these industry emissions — steel, cement, chemicals and aluminum — reaching a total of 7.1 Gt CO2 per year.
Summer’s coming and hurricane season is ahead. In just a few years, people have become more aware of heat, flooding, fires and other growing effects of climate change–and experts say any possible remedies will also involve changes to our mindset.
Outdoor gear maker Arc’teryx launched a new platform this week called ReBird that houses all of its sustainability and circularity initiatives in one place. The company describes it as a hub for efforts relating to upcycling, resale, care, and repair—all of which are integral parts of its broader goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and embrace 100% renewable energy.
In a resource-constrained world, there is a noticeable trend of companies opting into the circular economy model. For manufacturers, this shift involves a move away from the “take-make-dispose” linear economy and a step towards increased responsibility over the total lifecycle of a product and its environmental impact. But to close the loop, manufacturers need to embrace change and learn to adapt their processes and products.
With economics and industrial engineering degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford, and a decade working at Tesla, the electric-car company where her husband was a co-founder, Boryana Straubel had long set her sights on the technology revolutions spawned in and around Silicon Valley.
Although only a handful of states have implemented rules related to the disposal of batteries, PV panels and other renewable assets, the time has come to consider their fate as early installations reach the end of their useful life, industry leaders concluded during a Tuesday webinar hosted by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, textiles take up about 5% of all landfill space in the United States. Much of that percentage is made up of clothing that gets thrown away. Thanks to fast fashion brands like Forever 21, H&M, and Zara, it’s easier than ever to buy inexpensive clothes quickly and to get rid of them just as fast. Unfortunately, treating clothes like they are easily dispensable will continue to cause problems in our already-full landfills.