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April 14, 2010

Hot News, Cool Trends in Design for Sustainability

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Retro-Commissioning Could Save $30B Annually

Many companies are still looking for some low hanging fruit to get them started in a sustainability program. They know that energy efficiency is easy to translate to money savings, and that they should invest in savings projects with short term paybacks in order to lower operating costs, increase company value, and improve profits. But many companies don’t know where to start, or are presented with options that require large up front capital investments with multi-year returns that are hard to justify in a capital constrained environment.


Also This Week...

Coke Teams with Emeco to upcycle PET Bottles into Chairs
Coca-Cola has partnered with iconic, sustainability focused furniture designer Emeco to produce a new iteration of their 106 Navy Chair, the 111 Navy Chair, named after the 111 re-used plastic soda bottles diverted from the Coca-Cola Spartanburg, S.C. bottle-to-bottle recycling plant to manufacture each chair. Read more...

Solar Paint Inching Closer to Commercial Viability
After raising 50% of the necessary capital to commercialize their latest solar technology, NextGen Solar has announced that their nanoscale solar “paint” technology is closer than ever to entering the market, and is expected to achieve up to 40% efficiency at one third of the cost of traditional PV panels. Read more...

GE Brightens LED’s Future
General Electric has revealed its latest LED replacement for the standard 40 watt incandescent bulb, due out in late 2010 or early 2011. It is expected to consume just 9 watts of electricity, provide a 77% energy savings and last more than 25 times longer than its incandescent cousin. Read more...

Office Depot and Earthera Launch Renewable Energy Partnership
The office supply giant has teamed with EarthEra, a program of North America’s largest producer of wind and solar power, NextEra Energy Resources, to launch their “Greener Shipping” program – investing in EarthEra renewable energy products with money saved by participating businesses. Read more...

Solar Pebble Aims to Make Kerosene Obsolete in Rural Africa
Plus Minus Solar, a U.K. based firm dedicated to the design and development of innovative humanitarian products for the developing world, will be releasing its Solar Pebble in Uganda this June - a solar-powered device aimed at replacing the highly toxic kerosene lamps used for lighting in much of rural Africa. Read more...

FedEx Testing All-Electric Delivery Vans in U.S.
The world’s second largest parcel delivery company revealed this week a pilot program which will bring four new all-electric delivery vehicles to the U.S. market. The company will begin use of the trucks, which it had built from the ground up optimized for all-electric usage, in Los Angeles beginning this June. Read more...

Ford Saves $1.2 Million Annually Through PC Power Management
The American automaker has instituted a new technology management program which centralizes all the power settings on the company’s Windows laptops and desktops, optimizing software updates and reducing energy waste by shutting down all computers when not in use. Read more...

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Sustainability As a Brand - Owen Rogers of IDEO

In his Sustainable Brands '09 opening remarks, Owen Rogers of Ideo, a leading international design firm, talks about how sustainable design evolution is happening all over the globe, and poses an interesting question -- one that stirred debate throughout the conference and beyond. What if sustainability were considered, and treated, as a brand in and of itself? Watch here...

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This week:
“3 Strategies for Managing Extended Producer Responsibility”
Seetha Coleman-Kammula

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What Readers are Saying...

Catherine Bragdon in response to "Bamboo-zled by Green Bamboo Claims? Look to your Sponge":

Good work Seetha. Although Bamboo is a rapid renewable plant, I am glad this issue is finally getting to the press. So many product manufacturers are confused by the market message that Bamboo fabrics are different from rayon. Ever since studying this process in the 70's this Bamboo marketing ploy has bothered me. Now we have some data to refer to. Thanks!

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Sustainable Life Media is home for business professionals looking to build new value and competitive advantage by innovating more sustainable processes, practices and products. We bring you top stories related to the what, who and how of environmental and social innovation, and help you connect with thought leaders, peers, partners and solutions providers that can help you quickly reach your goals.

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