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Ikea Grows Sustainability Initiatives with New ‘People & Planet Positive’ Strategy

Ikea, which has been working for a number of years to increase its energy efficiency, while at the same time preserve the environment, has just released a new sustainability strategy, People & Planet Positive.

The strategy incorporates a new set of goals expected to be achieved by 2020, including converting all lighting to LED that the company expects will last for 20 years and use up to 85 percent less electricity.

Ikea also says that it’s working on “becoming energy and resource independent, which includes producing as much renewable energy as is consumed in Ikea Group stores and buildings,” including allocating $1.8 billion (€ 1.5 billion) to wind and solar projects.

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GoGreen Portland To Show Businesses How To Surge Profits With Branding & Clean Efficiencies

This year’s GoGreen Conference Portland is coming up this Thurs., Oct. 11, 2012, and has been booked with an impressive lineup of speakers and industry experts to discuss green sustainability and efficiency issues in areas of commerce including: maritime, lumber, biofuels, food, hospitals and health services, apparel, airlines, and energy.

Educational material from GoGreen Conference Portland ’08.

Legislative support will also be a big topic at the conference. Among those opening the conference will be Oregon First Lady Cylvia Hayes. She is also founder and CEO of 3EStrategies, a clean economy consulting firm, which collaborates throughout the economic spectrum with groups including builders, developers, homeowners, businesses, agencies, municipalities, job and policy development, and energy projects .

The first lady’s experience has also included serving as co-chair the Oregon Renewable Energy Working Group, which developed clean energy policies including Oregon’s Renewable Energy Standard and the Renewable Fuels Standard.

Providing knowledge, experience, and inspiration will also be lots of discussion and interactive workshops including the first in the lineup (not to be missed) called Oregon’s Business Visionaries Discuss the State of Sustainability.

The Business Visionaries opening showcase will be moderated by Duncan Wyse, president of the Oregon Business Council, and will comprise of a panel including: Bruce Daucsavage, CEO of Ochoco Lumber Co., Tyson Keever, co-founder of Sequential Pacific Biodiesel, and Dave Underriner, COO of Providence Health & Services.

The Oregon Business Council is a private non-profit, non-partisan organization that consists of chief executives from throughout Oregon’s varied industries. The organization works to focus the knowledge and resources of its members on important long-range policy issues in the state, including: education, healthcare, transportation, and public finance.

The Business Visionaries discussion will largely focus on the general state of industry in Oregon, energy issues, technology innovations, as well as projections for the future in building long-term economic viability across businesses sectors.


Reader comments and input are always welcomed!


New School To Have The Greenest University Center For Students & Faculty In New York City

University Center rendering courtesy of The New School.

Outgrowing its facilities with increased enrollments over the last few years, The New School, a progressive university in the heart of New York City, is now at the half-way point of constructing its new University Center that will be among the greenest buildings in the city, according to its the project designer, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM).

James Murtha, The New School executive vice president, commented that “Urban universities face special challenges, particularly in a space-starved city like New York. To accommodate the growth of important programs within our limited footprint, we convened with students and faculty over a period of years for a design that embraces the culture of dialogue and debate that is a New School hallmark.”

The design company said the new University Center will provide students and faculty with much needed academic and social spaces within the one building. It will encompass varied facilities including an auditorium, the main university library, lecture halls, classrooms, laboratories, a distant learning center, informal study spaces, a cafeteria, retail cafes, and a 600-bed dormitory with a fitness center.

In addition, the university says that because sustainability is one of its core values, the University Center has been designed to earn a LEED Gold certification, incorporating sustainability features including a rainwater-saving green roof for which the university received a grant from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.

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NYS’s Glen Falls Hospital Saving Costs With New Solar Thermal System Used In Dialysis Center

Solar thermal systems have long been popular in the residential sector, but now others such as medical institutions – with the help of state incentive programs – are also increasingly installing these systems for their energy efficiencies and cost effectiveness.

In New York, the first medical center to now take advantage such state incentives is the renal dialysis center of Glen Falls Hospital, which received $25,000 in funding from the NYSERDA’s Solar Thermal Incentive Program for the installation of its new $32,500 solar thermal system.

The solar thermal system – whose installation was completed a few weeks ago – is being used primarily to heat the water required in operating the dialysis machines.

“The solar thermal system, which preheats incoming cold water through 15 rooftop solar panels and a 375-gallon solar water tank before it goes to the boiler, is expected to reduce the center’s water heating fossil fuel consumption by 45 percent,” said Dayle Zatlin, assistant director of communications at the NYSERDA.

On many days, especially in the summer, the fossil boilers at the center will not be needed because the solar thermal system will handle all of the center’s hot water needs,” added Zatlin.

The system heats the water to anywhere between 120°F to 190°F. Then, mixing values temper it to 77°F for dialysis, and 140°F for hot water for sinks and the bathrooms.

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Iowa Governor Approves Residential Tax Credits For New Geothermal Heat Pumps and Retrofits

Iowa Governor Terry Brand has enacting a series of tax incentives for new residential geothermal heat pump installations and retrofits.

Stock photo.

For people that aren’t familiar with them, geothermal heat pumps are similar to ordinary heat pumps, but instead of using outside air, they use the earth’s natural underground systems to provide heating, air conditioning, and in most cases, hot water.

Actually, the California Energy Commission’s Consumer Energy Center gives one of the best explanations about how these systems work, before talking more about the Iowa tax credits.

The California energy center explains that wherever you live, a few feet below the earth’s surface, the ground remains at a relatively constant temperature regardless of the outside air temperature.

The center says, “Although the temperatures vary according to latitude, at six feet underground, temperatures range from 45 degrees to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s the principle behind geothermal heat pumps. In the winter, they move the heat from the earth into your house. In the summer, they pull the heat from your home and discharge it into the ground.”

The California center also says, “Studies show that approximately 70 percent of the energy used in a geothermal heat pump system is renewable energy from the ground. The earth’s constant temperature is what makes geothermal heat pumps one of the most efficient, comfortable, and quiet heating and cooling technologies available today. While they may be more costly to install initially than regular heat pumps, they can produce markedly lower energy bills - 30 percent to 40 percent lower.”

Through incentives enacted last month in Iowa, geothermal heat pumps installed on residential properties are now eligible for a state tax credit that is equal to six percent of the cost of a system, which is equal to 20 percent of the federal residential geothermal tax credit.

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