Category: September 2016 – Achieving Zero in the Built Environment

Achieving Zero in the Built Environment

By Edward Mazria, founder and CEO, Architecture 2030


Without a dramatic change in the way built environments are designed, constructed, and operated, the world has no chance of adequately addressing climate change. Architecture 2030 has spent over ten years working with architects, designers and policy-makers on programs and initiatives that will lead to zero emissions in the built environment by 2050.

Architecture 2030 received an invitation in March 2014 to attend meetings leading up to the December 2015 COP 21 Climate Conference in Paris. At these meetings, I presented a report entitled “Roadmap to Zero Emissions.” The report set out the country-specific international greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets needed to avert irreversible and devastating climate change. Architecture 2030 was one of the first to propose a zero emissions target.

Paris to World: An end to the fossil fuel era

At the COP 21 in Paris, Architecture 2030 and a group of colleagues presented a special daylong series of events titled “Buildings Day” [1] where we delivered the opening presentation. Later that week Architecture 2030 hosted a forum titled Zero Emissions by 2050. It looked at the specifics of how decarbonization could take place, and on December 12 2015, the world came together and reached a monumental climate change agreement. At the heart of the agreement is a “long-term goal”[2] to limit global average temperature increase to “well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C.”


China Accord
Ed Mazria, Architecture 2030, and Chen Zhen, Secretary-General of the CEDAAB, sign the China Accord

To realize this goal, the scientific community estimates that the world must peak total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2020 and reach zero fossil fuel CO2 emissions by about mid-century.

COP 21 in Paris also provided an opportunity for Architecture 2030 to address the critical role that cities must play in reducing carbon emissions worldwide. Urban environments are responsible for over 70 percent of global energy consumption and GHG emissions, mostly from buildings. Over the next two decades, it is estimated that a staggering 900 billion square feet of building area will be newly built or rebuilt in cities worldwide to accommodate a projected 1.1 billion new urban inhabitants – a number equivalent to the current population of the entire western hemisphere.

These trends reveal an important opportunity to address the climate change crisis through the design of the urban built environment. In response, Architecture 2030 has initiated the following programs:

The China Accord

It is estimated that 53 percent of all global building construction [3] in the next fifteen years will occur in China and North America. Many US architecture and planning firms – including those also doing work in China – have already committed to meet aggressive targets for energy and carbon emissions reduction in their projects.In 2015, Architecture 2030 brought together many of these international architecture, engineering, and planning firms working in China, with China’s key Local Design Institutes (LDIs) to sign the China Accord [4] – a pledge to design cities, towns, urban developments, new buildings, and major renovations in China to low carbon/carbon neutral standards.

As a next step, these firms will collectively host a forum in October 2016 to develop professional training programs, adopt sustainable planning strategies, and expand the use of energy modeling software in the Chinese market.

Achieving Zero

Many cities are taking a leadership role in curbing GHG emissions – passing climate action plans and/or adopting reduction pledges of 80 percent by 2050, or even zero emissions by 2050. In 2015, Architecture 2030 undertook an overview of New York City’s energy use and emissions, and developed a plan to move the city’s building stock toward zero net carbon by 2050.

Achieving 80?50: Reducing Energy Use, Creating Jobs, and Phasing Out Carbon Emissions in New York City’s Buildings

The resulting report, Achieving 80 x 50: Transforming New York City’s Building Stock [5], became the foundation for Architecture 2030’s new initiative, Achieving Zero [6], which addresses both the opportunities and roadblocks that cities face in meeting their targets. At the core of Achieving Zero is a framework of effective policies for reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions for both new and existing buildings in urban areas. Additionally, a new online Zero Tool is launching soon, to allow owners and designers to benchmark their buildings against similar buildings by type, climate and use, as well as against established targets and building energy codes. Achieving Zero also promotes a more inclusive building performance definition, zero net carbon (ZNC) [7], which considers the procurement of renewable energy, an essential issue for buildings in dense urban areas with little potential for generating on-site renewable energy. To further advance the zero net carbon definition, Architecture 2030 has joined with the World Green Building Council as a lead partner [8] in developing common net zero certification pathways for green building councils (GBCs) worldwide. This work will help align GBCs in setting a high bar for building performance, one that will drive future adoption into building energy policy.

Education and Practice

In 2006, Architecture 2030 issued the 2030 Challenge [9], a set of incremental energy reduction targets for all new buildings, developments, and major renovations to be designed and planned carbon neutral by 2030. The Challenge was immediately adopted by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for its membership, and the AIA subsequently established the AIA 2030 Commitment [10] – a program to quantify and report the progress its members are making in their effort to meet the 2030 Challenge targets. Today over 350 AIA member firms [11] have made the Commitment – no small undertaking as it challenges them to rethink their approach to building performance across their entire portfolio. To help the firms design high-performance low carbon projects, AIA also developed the AIA 2030 Design Data Exchange (DDx) [12], a web tool where firms submit data, compare projects, and track their energy performance. Results from real-time performance-based design software such, as Autodesk’s Insight 360 [13], can now also be recorded into the DDx. And the 2030 Palette [14] – a free online platform of design and planning strategies for carbon neutral built environments – has been integrated into Climate Consultant and soon, into other design tools.

And finally, the AIA+2030 Professional Series [15], a professional education program developed as a partnership between Architecture 2030 and AIA Seattle, has been presented in 26 markets across North America, including a partner program in Canada. Due to the success of the Series, Architecture 2030 and AIA are co-producing the complementary AIA+2030 Online Series [16], which will reach an even more diverse audience of design professionals worldwide.

Embodied Carbon

Zero-NetBefore a new building begins generating emissions from its operations, it is already responsible for a large portion of GHG emissions. For ZNC buildings, embodied emissions will be an even larger concern. So as new buildings move to ZNC, we must begin to focus on dramatically reducing their embodied emissions. At the BuildWell conference in 2016, Architecture 2030 called for a carbon-free (embodied and operational emissions) built environment by 2050. In order to meet this goal. Architecture 2030 is working with the Carbon Leadership Forum (CLF) [17] and others to establish the Embodied Carbon Network (ECN), and with global stakeholders to define whole-building embodied carbon baselines that can be used to make comparisons and develop emissions reduction strategies. The newly formed ECN plans to publish these baselines in September 2016, to be followed by the development and publication of a whole-building Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) guide aimed at standardizing the collection and reporting of whole-building embodied carbon data.


2030 Districts

As an Architecture 2030 initiative, 2030 Districts [18] continue to dramatically expand their membership. 2030 Districts are led by the private sector, with local building industry leaders uniting around a shared vision for sustainability and economic growth – while aligning with local community groups and government to achieve significant energy, water, and emissions reductions within their commercial cores. There are now thirteen 2030 Districts in North America, including the cities of Seattle, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Cleveland, Dallas, Ithaca, Stamford, Los Angeles, Toronto, Albuquerque, San Antonio, Grand Rapids, and Denver. The 2030 Districts Network [19] brings Districts together to support peer exchange, store and share data, use the purchasing power of the District membership to secure reduced costs, create national partnership relationships, and influence national policy on transportation infrastructure and building water and energy efficiency.

In Closing

The U.S. building sector has made great progress since the 2030 Challenge was issued in 2006, keeping total U.S. energy consumption from rising, even as we continue to add billions of square feet to our building stock each year. Since 2006, building sector GHG emissions has dropped about 11.5 percent. While this is good news, the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s projections [20] for building sector energy consumption into the foreseeable future – to 2040 – is flat, where we need it go down. This means there is much work to do to reach zero building sector CO2 emissions by 2050, and Architecture 2030 intends to continue to play a leadership role.


About Architecture 2030:  Architecture 2030 is a non-profit organization established in 2002. Architecture 2030’s mission is to rapidly transform the built environment from the major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions to a central part of the solution to the climate and energy crisis.

About the Author:  Edward Mazria is an internationally recognized architect, author, researcher, and educator. Over the past decade, his seminal research into the sustainability, resilience, energy consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions of the built environment has redefined the role of architecture, planning, design, and building in reshaping our world. He is the founder and CEO of Architecture 2030 (, a think tank developing real-world solutions for 21st century problems, and host of the AIA+2030 ( Professional Education Series, 2030 Palette (, China Accord (, and the 2030 Districts ( movement in North American cities.

Mr. Mazria’s Awards include:  American Institute of Architects (AIA) Design Awards, American Planning Association Award, U.S. Department of Energy Awards, American Solar Energy Society Pioneer Award, Equinox Award, NWF National Conservation Achievement Award, Mumford Award from Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility, Inaugural 2009 Hanley Award, Distinguished Career Award from Pratt Institute,Zia Award from the University of New Mexico, The Purpose Prize Game Changers Award from Metropolis Magazine, AIA Kemper Award, World Green Building Council Chairman’s Award, 2016 PLEA Award.

He is a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council, Fellow of the AIA, Honorary Fellow of the RAIC, and received an Honorary Doctor of Architecture degree from Illinois Institute of Technology.

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Clean Edge Releases Semi-Annual Rankings of Corporate Clean Energy Leaders

Latest Evaluation Adds AMD, HP, VF Corporation, and Wells Fargo

Clean Edge recently released the latest version of its Corporate Clean Energy Leaders Universe, recognizing corporations that are leading the way in establishing renewable electricity commitments, deploying clean energy, and investing in clean-tech deployment. As more companies transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, the Corporate Clean Energy Leaders Universe provides a key barometer of innovation, best practices, and leadership.

During this latest evaluation period four new companies were added: AMD, HP, VF Corporation, and Wells Fargo. One company, Keurig Green Mountain, was removed from the list. It was purchased by JAB Holding Co. and is no longer publicly traded, and therefore no longer eligible for inclusion.

The 37 Corporate Clean Energy Leaders are (in alphabetical order):

Adobe (Tech)
Alphabet/Google (Tech)
AMD (Tech)
Apple (Tech)
AT&T (Telecom)
Autodesk (Software)
BD (Medical Supplies)
Biogen (Biotech)
Cisco Systems (Tech)
EMC (Tech)
Equinix (Internet Services/Data Centers)
Facebook (Tech)
FedEx (Global Courier Services)
General Motors (Automotive)
Goldman Sachs (Finance)
Herman Miller (Manufacturing – Furniture)
HP (Tech)
Intel (Tech)
Interface (Manufacturing – Carpeting)
Johnson & Johnson (Consumer Products)
Kohl’s (Retail)
Microsoft (Tech)
Nike (Sportswear & Apparel)
Procter & Gamble (Consumer Products)
Rackspace (Internet Services)
Salesforce (Tech)
Staples (Retail)
Starbucks (Retail)
Steelcase (Manufacturing – Furniture)
Target (Retail)
Verizon (Telecom)
VF Corporation (Retail/Apparel)
Voya Financial (Finance)
Walmart (Retail)
Wells Fargo (Finance)
Whole Foods (Retail/Groceries)
Workday (Software)

Companies must be U.S.-listed firms trading on the NYSE, NASDAQ, or AMEX exchange and have a market cap of at least $1 billion.

Criteria used in developing the Corporate Clean Energy Leaders Universe include:

• Companies that have a stated goal of getting 100% of their total electricity from renewables (for U.S. and/or global operations)

• Companies that get 25% or more of their current electricity from renewables (for U.S. and/or global operations)

• Companies in the top 25 in solar capacity and/or number of installations

• Companies that participate in one or both of the Business Renewables Center and the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles


About Clean Edge, Inc.

Clean Edge, Inc., founded in 2000, is the world’s first research and advisory firm devoted to the clean-tech sector. The company benchmarks and tracks the clean-energy economy by delivering stock indexes, utility and consumer surveys, and regional (state and metro) leadership tracking. These services provide companies, investors, NGOs, and governments with timely research, trending analysis, and actionable insights. Managing director Ron Pernick and senior editor Clint Wilder are co-authors of two business books and numerous reports on clean-energy market innovation. Visit and follow us on Twitter @CleanEdgeInc.

The information contained above is provided for informational and educational purposes only, and nothing contained herein should be construed as investment advice, either on behalf of a particular financial product or an overall investment strategy. Clean Edge, Inc., does not make any recommendation to buy or sell any financial product or any representation about the financial condition of any company or fund.

Green Century Capital Management Launches Five-Year Forest Protection Program with Norwegian Government

Green Century Capital Management announced in July 2016 a new five-year program, The RISC (Risk In Supply Chains) project. The new global project will inform and engage global investors about the growing business and environmental risks of deforestation as part of Green Century Capital Management’s overall efforts to curb global warming.

Tropical deforestation is a major source of global carbon emissions. In the last several years, investors have played a key role in protecting rainforests by pressuring companies to adopt zero-deforestation agreements in their palm oil supply chains. The project builds on this investor success and seeks to expand engagements to target other causes of deforestation in South America and Africa, such as the cultivation of soy, beef, timber, and rubber. The project is being led with the Civil Society arm of the Norwegian government, NORAD, two European allies – AidEnvironment and Profundo – and the U.S. organization policy group, Climate Advisors.

“When the finance and investment community has been informed of these risks through credible analysis, they have acted as a powerful force for ending deforestation – and we hope that this continues,” said Leslie Samuelrich, President of Green Century Capital Management, the investment advisor to Green Century Funds. “The project will allow global firms to properly value their investments – often for the first time – and we envision it changing the state of play across the commodity finance sector,” said Samuelrich.

According to Forest Trends, a research group in Washington that works with market players to address the array of challenges facing forest conservation, 71% of deforestation is driven by commodity agriculture, specifically soy, cattle, timber and palm oil production. Global population growth resulting in increased demand has meant high prices for these commodities and has generated large corporate profits, but commodity producers can face significant financial risks if they do not accurately incorporate sustainability risks into their business models. Poor attention to sustainability may lead to inefficient land-use and very high carbon emissions resulting in opportunity costs and carbon taxes or fines.

The forest protection project will help investors and financial institutions accurately value risks inherent in unsustainable commodity supply chains by providing 40 reports over the next five years as well as engagement opportunities. Through on-the-ground research, Aidenvironment will identify sustainability risks such as contested land, deforestation, fires, exploitation, and inconsistencies in official corporate policies; Profundo will develop financial models analyzing the financial risks inherent in current unsustainable practices; Climate Advisers will provide financial commentary and policy analysis; and Green Century will lead outreach to U.S. and global investment firms.

“The PRI welcomes Green Century’s expanded work in this vital area,” said Paul Chandler, Manager for Environmental issues at the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). “Our signatories are increasingly focused on deforestation-related risks, yet often struggle to fully understand the scope and nature of these risks in their portfolios. Green Century’s work to bring this analysis together will give investors the information they need to better integrate these risks into their investment processes and to have more informed dialogues with the companies they invest in,” said Chandler.

Green Century has worked with companies including The Kellogg Company,* ConAgra,* and the largest palm oil trader in the world, Wilmar,* to adopt zero-deforestation policies and most recently, led the first cross-commodity zero-deforestation policy adoption with Archer Daniels Midland (ADM).* Green Century also works with Ceres’ Shareholder Initiative on Climate and Sustainability (SICS) and through its seat on the PRI Advisory Committee on Palm Oil to promote sustainable sourcing of forest risk commodities.

Learn more about Green Century’s Forest Protection Campaign here.


Green Century Capital Management is the investment advisor to the Green Century Funds and offers two environmentally and socially responsible funds, the Green Century Equity Fund and the Green Century Balanced Fund. Green Century works to curb climate change through fossil fuel free investing, reinvestment in sustainable companies, and advocating with companies to improve their environmental policies and supply chains. Green Century also is the only U.S. mutual fund company owned by environmental non-profits, the Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs).

* As of June 30, 2016, The Kellogg Company comprised 0.28% and 0.00% of the Green Century Equity Fund and the Green Century Balanced Fund, respectively. Other securities mentioned were not held in the portfolios of the Green Century Funds as of June 30, 2016. References to specific securities, which will change due to ongoing management of the Funds, should not be construed as a recommendation by the Funds, their administrator, or their distributor.

Stocks will fluctuate in response to factors that may affect a single company, industry, sector, or the market as a whole and may perform worse than the market. Bonds are subject to risks including interest rate, credit, and inflation. The Funds’ environmental criteria limit the investments available to the Funds compared to mutual funds that do not use environmental criteria.

You should carefully consider the Funds’ investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing. To obtain a Prospectus that contains this and other information about the Funds, please visit click here, email, or call 1-800-93-GREEN. Please read the Prospectus before investing.

This information has been prepared from sources believed to be reliable. The views expressed are as of the date of this writing and are those of the Advisor to the Green Century Funds.

The Green Century Funds are distributed by UMB Distribution Services, LLC. 235 W Galena Street, Milwaukee, WI 53212. 7/16

Kate Kroll, 617-482-0800,

Obama Administration Announces Clean Energy Savings for All Americans Initiative

President Obama is committed to ensuring that every American family can choose to go solar and to cut their energy bills – and that every American community has the tools they need to tackle local air pollution and global climate change.

Since President Obama took office, solar electricity generation has increased 30 fold and solar jobs are growing 12 times faster than the rest of the economy. Last year, we announced a set of actions to increase access to solar and create a more inclusive workforce, but there is still more work to do. That is why, in July 2016, the Obama Administration announced a new cross government partnership – the Clean Energy Savings For All Initiative – between the Departments of Energy (DOE), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Agriculture (USDA), Health and Human Services (HHS), Veteran’s Affairs (VA), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to increase access to solar energy and promote energy efficiency across the United States and, in particular in low- and moderate- income communities.

Through the Clean Energy Savings for All Initiative, the Administration will work to ensure that every household has options to choose to go solar and put in place additional measures to promote energy efficiency. To continue along this track, the Administration, in collaboration with state agencies, is announcing a new catalytic goal to bring 1 gigawatt (GW) of solar to low- and moderate- income families by 2020. This goal is a 10 fold increase and an expansion of the initial target President Obama set in his Climate Action Plan to install 100 MW of renewable energy on federally-assisted affordable housing by 2020. The Clean Energy Savings for All Initiative will help achieve the goal by promoting innovative financing mechanisms, bolstering technical assistance for states and communities, driving innovation, scaling up workforce training to make sure low- and moderate-income Americans can take advantage of the jobs that come with a transition to clean energy, convening stakeholders, and working with the private and philanthropic sectors.

The key components of the initiative that the Administration announced in July 2016 are:

• HUD and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are releasing new guidance to unlock residential Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing by outlining how properties with PACE assessments can be purchased and refinanced with Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance and by welcoming the use of PACE financing for Veterans Affairs (VA)-insured mortgages. In addition, DOE is releasing a draft of their updated Best Practices Guidelines for Residential PACE Financing for public comment. PACE is a tool that allows American homeowners, including low- and moderate- income households and veterans, to finance solar and energy efficiency improvements at no upfront cost and to pay back the cost over time through their property tax bill;

• DOE is developing a Community Solar Challenge that will award teams in dozens of communities up to $100,000, in cash prizes and technical assistance, to develop innovative models to increase solar deployment and cut communities’ energy bills, in particular in low-income communities;

• HHS and DOE are making it easier to use hundreds of millions of dollars for energy efficiency improvements by providing technical assistance to Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) grantees on their ability to access 15 – 25 percent of their annual LIHEAP funding for low cost energy efficiency improvements, including renewable energy;

• DOE is making sure low- and moderate-income Americans can take advantage of the jobs that come with a transition to clean energy by launching the Solar Training Network, which will help create a more inclusive workforce by connecting solar workforce trainers, solar employers, and individuals interested in working in the solar industry;

• EPA, DOE, and HUD are bringing people together to share best practices on how to finance and overcome barriers to creating healthier communities; and

More than 120 housing authorities, rural electric co-ops, power companies, and organizations in more than 36 states across the country are committing to investing $287 million and putting in place more than 280 megawatts (MW) of solar energy projects, including projects to help low- and moderate- income communities save on their energy bills and further the deployment of community solar.

The announcements made in July 2016 will result in lower energy bills, more empowered consumers, and cleaner communities.


For additional information visit

Climate and Renewable Energy Trends for Investors Will be Major Focus of the SRI Conference in November

A former Colorado governor, experts from the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), the World Bank, Patagonia, and the investment world will address the 27th annual SRI Conference November 9–11, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. They will share their information and insights about climate change and renewable energy development to help guide investment decision-making in the months and years to come.

For more information about The SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing, go to –

“Climate change and renewable energy go right to the heart of the ‘All in for Impact’ focus of the 2016 SRI Conference,” Steve Schueth, president of First Affirmative Financial Network and producer of The SRI Conference, said. “Long before climate and renewable energy became front-burner issues for other investors, the sustainable, responsible, impact (SRI) investment industry was concentrating on making sense of these topics from an investing perspective. The conversation this year will explore a number of cutting-edge topics, including climate risks for investors, the impacts on agriculture, and what this means for the empowerment of women.”


Among the key elements of The SRI Conference agenda are the following plenary sessions and breakout panels:

• Clean Energy: Policy and Opportunities in the New America. In the 21st century, our wealth of energy resources must be adapted to the challenges of sustainability. Very few Americans have a breadth of experience in this arena comparable to former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and former National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) Director Dan Arvizu. Governor Ritter is now the director of the Center for the New Energy Economy, Colorado State University. Arvizu is a consulting professor at the Precourt Institute for Energy, Stanford University.

• Climate Change – Risks and Solutions. Climate change is an ever-evolving risk to investors, though also an area of investment opportunity. With an eye to the recent Paris Accord, this panel will provide an overview of the different solutions that are available for investors and how they can better integrate climate change into their investment portfolios. Moderator: Heike Reichelt, head of investor relations and new products at the World Bank. Panelists will include: Stephan Bonte, director of sustainable investing, Standish Mellon; and Bill Page, senior vice president and portfolio manager, Essex Global Environmental Opportunities Strategy.

• Social Implications of Climate Change and the Opportunity for Women’s Empowerment. The impacts of climate change are disproportionately affecting the poor, with women carrying an outsized burden for their families and communities. Learn how investing in and empowering women can combat practical challenges and provide solutions, including the faster adoption of renewable energy solutions and sustainable agricultural practices globally. Moderator: Julie Gorte, senior vice president for sustainable investing, Pax World Management. Panelists will include: Najada Kumbuli, officer, strategic initiatives, Calvert Foundation; and Rich Ferlauto, former director, Corporate Governance and Pension Investment, AFSCME, and former deputy director of policy, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (invited).

• Agriculture and Climate Change: New Leadership for Impact Investors. New research indicates that restorative, organic agriculture, widely deployed in cultivated lands, may safely sequester enough carbon to reverse climate change in a significant way. Speakers will address the crucial role of investors in leading this transformation. Moderator: Alisa Gravitz, president and CEO, Green America. Panelists will include: Rick Ridgeway, vice president, Environmental Initiatives, Patagonia; Tom Newmark, founder and chair, The Carbon Underground; and Ricardo Bayon, partner and co-founder, Encourage Capital.

For the full conference agenda, go to-


About The SRI Conference

The 27th annual SRI Conference will be held November 9–11, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency Downtown Denver, Colorado. The SRI Conference ( is the premier annual forum for investors and investment professionals engaged in sustainable, responsible, impact (SRI) investing. Conference participation includes investment professionals, institutional investors, and related organizations. The SRI Conference features educational sessions and focused opportunities to network with hundreds of like-minded individuals, organizations, and leaders in the field of Sustainable, Responsible, Impact investing.

The SRI Conference is produced by First Affirmative Financial Network, LLC (, a Registered Investment Advisor offering investment consulting and asset management services through a nationwide network of investment professionals who specialize in serving socially conscious, impact-oriented investors (SEC File #801-56587).

Media Contact
Patrick Mitchell for The SRI Conference at 703-276-3266 or

Conference Contact
Krystala Kalil, The SRI Conference Coordinator at 888-774-2663 or

Flight to the Future: Solar Impulse Shows We Can Run the World Without Consuming the Earth

by Ulrich Spiesshofer, president and CEO, ABB


Solar Impulse has made history by completing the first flight around the world in a plane powered only by energy from the sun. Its achievement is a tremendous success for clean technologies and a triumph of technology innovation to change the world.

When Solar Impulse founder Bertrand Piccard first had the idea of flying a solar-powered plane around the world, most people said it would be impossible. There was no way, they said, that an aircraft could get off the ground on solar power alone, much less remain in flight after the sun had gone down. But Piccard and his co-founder André Borschberg refused to give up, and in the course of putting their mission together, they found partners who believed that, with a pioneering spirit and by pushing the boundaries of technology, Solar Impulse could achieve the impossible.

Not surprisingly, those who believed that a solar plane could circumnavigate the globe tended to be innovators themselves. In the case of ABB, we have been technology pioneers for 125 years, since two enterprising entrepreneurs founded a start-up in Switzerland to explore the potential of a promising new technology called electricity. As a global leader in power and automation today, we were eager to see whether our technologies and know-how were up to the challenge of keeping a pilot and plane in the air, day and night, with only the power of sunlight. So we joined Solar Impulse in an innovation and technology alliance and got to work.

For ABB, many of the challenges were familiar, such as maximizing the power yield from the 17,000 solar cells that cover the plane’s wings and fuselage. There was also the pressing need to use energy as efficiently as possible, and to store that energy after the sun had gone down to keep the plane aloft throughout the night.

In preparing for the round-the-world flight and during the mission itself, ABB broke new ground in numerous areas related to clean technologies. One is microgrids, self-sustaining electricity grids powered by solar or wind with battery back-up, which can switch between different energy sources in seconds. Solar Impulse itself is a flying microgrid. In the coming years, microgrids will transform the lives of millions of people by providing electricity access to off-grid communities and enabling industry in places without reliable power supplies.

Another innovation developed by ABB while Solar Impulse was gearing up is a groundbreaking new flash-charging technology, which charges an electric bus in 15-seconds while passengers are leaving and boarding the vehicle. Known as TOSA, it requires no overhead wires and is the first sustainable mass transport solution that offers a viable alternative to diesel buses. It is about to go into service in Geneva.

Solar Impulse is as much as forerunner of the digital future as an ambassador for clean technologies. The flight mission control team relied on GPS tracking and satellite connectivity for its communications, while the plane itself is covered in sensors, providing a steady stream of data on all critical parameters, including the condition of all onboard systems as well as, most important of all, the health of the pilot.

On the ground, similar technologies are enabling the emerging “Internet of Things, Services and People” and leading to the transformation of industry. Working with Swatch, ABB has developed the first smart sensor solution for electric motors, enabling improvements in energy efficiency, reducing downtime and extending the life of motors by as much as a third. Applied to all industrial electric motors worldwide, the energy savings would be equivalent to the output of 100 large power plants.

By mastering the skies on the power of sunlight alone, Solar Impulse has affirmed the power of technology to achieve the impossible. We congratulate our friends Bertrand and André and their fantastic team. With digital technologies, and advances in industrial artificial intelligence and machine learning, we are on the doorstep of a new industrial revolution, which promises to be at least as transformative as those that came before. In the years ahead, industry is going to be changed beyond recognition as machines and robots acquire the ability to communicate with each other and automation extends beyond individual machines to entire industrial ecosystems.

For many people, the prospect of such profound change is concerning, even frightening, especially when it comes to employment and jobs. But as Solar Impulse has shown, technology is not something to be feared or resisted. On the contrary, it is the solution to challenges such as climate change and, as in previous industrial revolutions, it will lead to new industries and opportunities and, through scientific advances and increased prosperity, improve the lives and prospects of future generations.

The lessons of Solar Impulse are clear: by pushing the boundaries of technology, and refusing to accept limits, technological or psychological, we can run the world without consuming the earth, and reach heights we never believed were possible.


Article by Dr. Ulrich Spiesshofer is President and Chief Executive Officer of ABB Ltd.

(, a $36 billion company specializing in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 135,000 people. In 2014, ABB entered into an innovation and technology alliance with Solar Impulse to support its zero-fuel flight around the world.

Calvert Responsible Index Series Wins 2016 Indexing Product of the Year Award

ESG Research Platform and Product Innovation Garner New Recognition for Calvert

Calvert Investments Inc., a leading responsible investment manager, is pleased to announce that the Calvert Responsible Index Series was awarded “Indexing Product of the Year,” a main category within the William F. Sharpe Indexing Achievement Awards, at the recent 20th Annual Global Indexing and ETF conference. The winners of the awards were selected by a panel of the world’s leading practitioners and researchers in the field of indexing.

“We are honored to receive this recognition that highlights the manner in which innovation and research have fueled the evolution of the Calvert Responsible Index Series,” said Calvert CEO John Streur. “The development of the series over the past year reflects our sustained commitment to consistently enhancing research capabilities, developing dynamic ESG products and meeting client demand for low-fee index funds. Our goal is to sustain this momentum in the future by adding indexes covering the international emerging markets and small cap universes.”

In June 2015, Calvert initiated the build-out of its index series with the introduction of the Calvert U.S. Large Cap Growth Responsible Index Fund and the Calvert U.S. Large Cap Value Responsible Index Fund, both of which complemented the pre-existing U.S. Large Cap Core Responsible Index Fund. Shortly thereafter, Calvert announced the introduction of the Calvert Developed Markets Ex-U.S. Responsible Index (CALDMI) and the Calvert U.S. Mid Cap Core Responsible Index (CALMID). Calvert partners with indexing leader S-Network Global Indexes, Inc. (SNGI) to serve as calculation agent and to manage the benchmark universes.

The series is differentiated and driven by the Calvert Research System, a proprietary research platform that synthesizes various sources of non-financial environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data. Calvert analysts identify and weight the ESG factors that are most material within each of 156 sub-industries, then rate and rank every company to build the list of index constituents. The indexes were co-developed by Calvert and S-Network Global Indexes, Inc., which serves as the calculation agent.


About Calvert

Calvert Investments is a global leader in Responsible Investing. Our mission is to deliver superior long-term performance to our clients and enable them to achieve positive impact. Founded in 1976 and headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Calvert Investments had approximately $12 billion in assets under management as of April 30, 2016. Learn more at-

About S-Network

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Green Companies Outperform Dirty Energy Companies 3 to 1, New Report Finds

New List Shows 22% Simulated Annualized Returns on Companies Invested in Climate Solutions

As You Sow and Corporate Knights today recently the inaugural version of the Carbon 200 200TM (Clean200TM), a list of 200 clean energy companies showing a simulated annualized return of 21.82% over the past decade.

The list will be updated quarterly to serve as the inverse of the Carbon Underground 200TM, a list of fossil fuel companies being targeted for divestment, which generated a 7.84% annualized return over the same time period.

“The Clean200 nearly tripled the performance of its fossil fuel reserve-heavy counterpart over the past ten years, showing that clean energy companies are providing concrete and measurable rewards to investors,” said Toby Heaps, CEO of Corporate Knights and report co-author. “What’s more, the outstanding performance of this list shows that the notion that investors must sacrifice returns when investing in clean energy is outdated. Many clean energy investments are profitable now, and we anticipate that over the long-term their appeal will only go up as technologies improve and more investors move away from underperforming fossil fuel companies.”

The 21.82% return was due in large part to significant exposure to Chinese clean energy companies, which have experienced explosive growth. The returns of the Clean200 ex-China were lower, but still superior to the S&P 1200 global benchmark and Carbon Underground 200.

The Clean200 ranks the largest publicly listed companies worldwide by their total clean energy revenues as rated by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). In order to be eligible, a company must have a market capitalization greater than $1 billion (end of Q2 2016) and earn more than 10% of total revenues from clean energy sources. Over 70 of the companies on the list receive a majority of their revenue from clean energy. The list excludes all oil and gas companies and utilities that generate less than 50% of their power from renewable sources, as well as the top 100 coal companies measured by reserves. The list also filters out companies profiting from weapons manufacturing, tropical deforestation, the use of child and/or forced labor, and companies that engage in negative climate lobbying.

“Our intention with The Clean200 is to begin a conversation that defines what companies will be part of the clean energy future,” said Andrew Behar, CEO of As You Sow and the report’s co-author.

“The Clean200 turns the ‘carbon bubble’ inside out. The list is far from perfect, but begins to show how it’s possible to accelerate and capitalize on the greatest energy transition since the industrial revolution.”

The performance analysis for each of the three lists is based on a ‘snapshot in time’ analysis of current constituents as the BNEF clean energy revenue exposure database is new and does not go back in time. The analysis also introduces a survivorship bias that can be present when stocks which do not currently exist (because they have failed, for example) are excluded from the historical analysis. This bias can result in the overestimation of past returns.



The top 10 Clean200 companies with a majority of their revenue from clean energy include: Vestas (wind power); Philips Lighting (LED lighting); Xinjiang Gold-A (wind plants); Tesla Motors (electric vehicles); Gamesa (wind turbines); First Solar (solar modules); GCL-Poly Energy (solar grade polysilicon); China Longyuan-H (wind farms); Kingspan Group (Insulation and building envelopes); and Acuity Brands (LED lights).


About As You Sow

As You Sow is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy and coalition building. For more information visit-

About Corporate Knights

Corporate Knights seeks to provide information that empowers people to harness markets for a better world. For more information visit-

** As You Sow and Corporate Knights are not investment advisors nor do they provide financial planning, legal or tax advice. Nothing in the Carbon Clean 200 Report shall constitute or be construed as an offering of financial instruments or as investment advice or investment recommendations. **


Taraneh Arhamsadr, (510) 735-8157,

Toby A. A. Heaps, (416) 274-1432,


Living Homes for Healthy Living

By by Steve Glenn, CEO of Plant Prefab and founder of LivingHomes,

SteveLiv-Homes-logoThere has been a dramatic increase in the construction of homes that feature healthy and sustainable design over the last ten years in the United States. Increased consciousness from consumers, businesses, and governments about the impact buildings have on climate change as well as a greater concern for healthy indoor environments have driven and are driving this demand. Fortunately, new materials and technologies make the design and construction of these homes far more cost effective.

Some Background on the Problem

Climate Change/Sustainability

Most climate scientists agree that human action is now the major cause of climate change, and that this trend is increasingly and alarmingly negatively impacting the quality of life for all living things. It turns out that buildings are the worse problem. According to the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), buildings, as a category, use more energy than is used by industry and transportation (39 percent) and they account for the greatest percentage of carbon emission in the US (40 percent). Currently, 72 percent of the electricity generated in this country is used to heat, cool and light buildings.


Indoor Air Quality/Health

Average Americans spend 92 percent of their time indoors (65 percent of that time at home). Unfortunately, the EPA says that on average, indoor air is four times more polluted than outdoor air. Paints, building materials and furnishings emit VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and can contain compounds like formaldehyde and urea that can cause skin and respiratory irritation, nausea and even cancer. Pesticides can be unintentionally tracked indoors. Molds, bacteria, and dust mites can trigger allergies and other ailments.


LivingHomes was started to design and develop homes that are as healthy for inhabitants and the environment as possible. Inspired by the “Cradle to Cradle” ethic, we consider our homes’ ecological footprint at every stage, from planning and construction, through a lifetime of operation and change, to the end of its life cycle, when the home or pieces of it must be replaced, deconstructed or salvaged. As much as possible, we strive to eliminate waste, use as little energy as possible and use renewable energy when we need it, minimize indoor and outdoor air pollution; and minimize water use. Overall, we seek to create LivingHomes that respect both human and natural systems.

Prefab-CraneRay Kappe, FAIA, designed the first LivingHome we built. It was constructed in a factory and the eleven modules that comprise the LivingHome were assembled by crane in 8.5 hours. It was the first home in the nation to achieve LEED Platinum, the highest level of certification in LEED. Twelve LivingHomes have been certified LEED Platinum, making the company one of the most experienced designers of LEED Platinum homes.

LEED, developed by the USGBC, stands for Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design and it is the nation’s largest green building certification program. There have been a number of studies that have confirmed that LEED certified homes are selling for more than similar, non-certified homes, so in addition to the advantages that offer from an environmental and health perspective, there appears to be financial advantages to building in a more responsible way.

We use external, objective programs like the USGBC’s LEED and the EPA’s EnergyStar programs to provide objective measure of our performance, but we developed our own internal environmental program, called Z6, which clarifies and quantifies the six key metrics which we aspire to achieve/minimize: Zero Energy, Zero Water, Zero Emissions, Zero Carbon, Zero Waste and Zero Ignorance. It’s worth reviewing what we do to achieve Z6 because the strategies are available to all homes – and buildings. In most cases, the materials and systems described below are available from major home supply companies like Home Depot and they’re no more expensive than non-sustainable materials. With little to no difference in cost, and far less impact to the environment and indoor air quality, there are few barriers to building healthy, sustainable homes – and increasing advantages for doing so.



• Zero Energy

Goal: Very low energy requirements that are completely satisfied from renewable sources. Reduce energy use as much as possible and produce all power needs from renewable resources. Strategy: To make every LivingHome as self-sufficient as possible, we find ways to dramatically reduce the demand for energy (insulation, high performance windows, low energy lights and appliances, etc.) and integrate technologies that produce the majority (or all) of the power it needs.

• Zero Water

Goal: No potable water for landscape irrigation and at least 30 percent less indoor water use than the average home. Strategy: To conserve water, all LivingHomes use low-flow water fixtures and are made grey water ready so that wastewater from the bath, shower, washing machine, and dishwasher can be used for landscape irrigation. We also advocate native and climate-appropriate landscaping wherever possible.

• Zero Emissions

Goal: Clean indoor air with very low levels of harmful off-gassed emissions, including mold, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and formaldehyde/urea. Strategy: To achieve this, we minimize and/or eliminate the sources of these pollutants from paint, millwork and engineered wood with formaldehyde, wood-burning fireplaces, and poor ventilation. We also include indoor plants that absorb the dangerous compounds.

• Zero Waste

Goal: No construction waste. Strategy: Modular design and fabrication processes reduce construction waste because materials do not spoil by being left outside, cut-offs and surplus materials are easily reused, and better workmanship results in fewer mistakes. We also work with fabricators who carefully separate construction waste to recycle as much as possible. We try to use materials that are recycled or reclaimed, as much as possible, and that are Cradle-to-Cradle certified or inspired (see Carbon below).

Zero Carbon

Model-Home.1Goal: Carbon required to manufacture and transport the materials and the home itself are reduced as much as possible and any carbon that is expended is offset through a verifiable means. Strategy: To reduce the embodied carbon in the home, we use as many reclaimed and recycled materials as possible, and try to source materials that are manufactured locally and/or that are Cradle-to-Cradle certified. Carbon offsets are purchased to compensate for the carbon we project is required to produce the materials, build the home, and ship it to its final site.

• Zero Ignorance

Goal: Informed homeowners who are aware of the environmental consequences of their actions make people aware of the resources they use in LivingHomes. Strategy: Because the behavior of a home’s inhabitants has a significant impact on its environmental performance, we strive to make homeowners aware of their energy and water use. Studies have shown that people who get feedback on their energy use tend to use 20 percent less than those who are uninformed. A home walkthrough and a printed manual, as well as an installed energy monitoring system, ensure that our homeowners have all the information they need about how their lifestyle choices impact their resource use.


Thanks to greater consumer interest – and government regulation – the demand for healthy homes that are built and operate in a more sustainable way continues to grow. As a result, there is a large and growing number of materials, finishes, fixtures, and systems that offer energy, water, and resource efficiency at price points that are little to no greater than their non-sustainable peers. This virtuous cycle is making it possible to build more homes, more sustainably – and that’s happening across the country.

To learn more about LivingHomes and to configure a Virtual LivingHome of your own that you can share with others, go to-


Article by Steve Glenn, CEO of Plant Prefab, Inc. (, a spinout of LivingHomes, which is the first home factory in the country focused on sustainable, high quality, urban infill construction. Plant Prefab was funded by Obvious Ventures. Glenn is the founder and Managing Manager of LivingHomes, LLC (, a premier developer of modern, prefabricated homes that combine world-class architecture with an unparalleled commitment to healthy and sustainable construction. The first LivingHome, designed by Ray Kappe, FAIA, was installed in eight hours. It became the first home ever to receive a LEED for Home Platinum rating. Thirteen LivingHomes have been certified LEED Platinum and one LEED Gold, making the company one of the most experienced designers of homes at the highest level of LEED certification. LivingHomes are available in standard or customized configurations to builders, developers and individuals. LivingHomes have garnered significant industry recognition including the AIA’s top sustainable award, Green Builder Magazine’s Home of Year, Business 2.0 “World’s 11 Coolest Products”, and Business Week’s “Architectural Wonders of the World.”

In addition to design, LivingHomes is developing affordable housing communities for Make It Right, at the Ft. Peck Indian Reservation in Montana and for an East LA Community Corporation project in Los Angeles, and for its own project in Atwater Village, Los Angeles. Before LivingHomes, Glenn worked with the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI) and managed the development of a $220 million program in Mozambique, the first program CHAI launched in Africa. Glenn is founder and former Chairman and CEO of PeopleLink, a leading provider of enterprise ecommunity solutions, which raised $35 million from AT&T Ventures, GE, Goldman Sachs, idealab and others. Glenn was a founding partner of idealab, a business incubation firm that raised $1 billion and that founded or invested in a number of successful companies including GoTo/Overture (OVER), NetZero/United Online (UNTD), CitySearch (TMCS), (TKTS), eToys and CarsDirect.

Glenn worked for Walt Disney Imagineering as co-director of the Virtual Reality Studio. Glenn co-founded Clearview Software, which was sold to Apple Computer where Glenn later served as a marketing specialist. He holds a bachelor’s degree with honors from Brown University, studied Urban Planning at Harvard Graduate School of Design, and was a Coro Fellow. Glenn is a co-founder and chair of the Sustainable Business Council,, co-founder of the Kaia Parker Dance Endowment,, and a co-founder and former board member of Hope Street Group, and the Brown University Entrepreneur Forum, He was a Judge for the US Energy Department’s 2013 Solar Decathlon competition, Glenn was named the Clean Tech CEO of the Year by Clean Tech Week; Environmental Entrepreneur of the Year by LA City Council/Faith2Green; and Greatest Person of the Day by Huffington Post. Glenn holds two patents.

Homewise Homes: Engineered to a Higher Standard

By Laura Altomare, Director of Communications and Resource Development, Homewise,

Laura+HomeWise-logoHomewise is a non-profit organization founded in 1986 with a mission to help create successful homeowners so that they improve their financial wellbeing and contribute to the vitality of our communities. Homewise offers a full range of homeownership services to empower and support clients on their path to successful homeownership. Each service is designed to bolster the other services, maximizing the benefits and achieving the ultimate goal of financial security for the client and the community. Homewise delivers services throughout New Mexico, including free financial education and coaching; non-commissioned real estate services; affordable mortgage lending and down payment assistance; and refinance and home improvement lending. Homewise also builds new homes in the Santa Fe, NM community to increase the inventory of affordably priced homes available for purchase in the City and County. Since the organization’s founding in 1986, over 13,100 households have attended their financial educational workshops. During that time, they’ve assisted over 3,600 people to purchase homes, helped over 2,000 make home improvements, refinanced more than 600 mortgages and built over 600 high-quality, energy efficient, affordable homes.

Homewise Homes are built to meet or exceed some of the highest green building standards in the Country, including the United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED Homes Gold certification and the Build Green New Mexico Gold Standard.


The standard green aspects of Homewise Homes can be broken into five general categories: energy efficiency, environmental impact, occupant health, durability, and education.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is not only an important part of an environmentally responsible home but is also critical to reducing monthly and longer-term ownership costs. Homewise Homes use on average 40% less energy and 30% less water than a standard code-built home. Features such as solar hot water heating, upgraded insulation, high efficiency heating and cooling, upgraded windows and doors, and Energy Star appliances and lighting reduce homeownership costs without sacrificing comfort or convenience. Each Homewise Home is independently tested to ensure it is built to the highest quality and energy efficiency standards. Homewise anticipates that all homes will be evaluated by their energy efficiency in the near future, and by implementing energy efficiency measures now, is developing homes that will have an excellent return on investment upon resale. By reducing the costs of owning a home, Homewise Homes offer their owners more opportunity to invest their money back into their communities, their families’ education, and their general financial stability.

Environmental Impact

Homewise considers the impact on the local and global environment and designs homes to minimize that impact. By conserving and utilizing materials with high-recycled content and environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes, Homewise actively reduces the environmental impact of their homes. Because Homewise Homes use on average 40 percent less electricity and 30 percent less water, the homes emit less greenhouse gas and help conserve the local water supply. Smart design and construction practices help reduce waste on the construction site, resulting in a cleaner building process. By choosing materials that are high in recycled content and low in dangerous chemicals, Homewise helps to protect the environment and homeowner health.

Occupant Health

Green building isn’t just about protecting the health of the environment; it’s also about protecting the health of homeowners. A healthy home can also increase financial security by reducing health care costs. Homewise Homes include features that reduce indoor air pollution to encourage occupant health. Health-conscious features such as passive Radon remediation systems, low volatile organic compounds (VOC) paint and low or no VOC flooring, no flooring adhesives, and a self-sealing door between the garage and residence are just some of the ways Homewise helps to create a healthy home environment.


Homewise Homes are designed with the goal of minimizing future maintenance costs. All Homewise Homes include a 10-year roof warranty and thoughtful details to keep future repair expenses down. And the high quality of the home’s major systems, like windows, doors, roof, heating/cooling, and stucco reduces the risk of unexpected major replacement costs. Through innovative design and efficiency measures, Homewise proves that low price doesn’t have to mean low quality. In-floor radiant heat, whole house fan cooling systems, instant hot water systems, efficient appliances, upgraded insulation and sound-proofing are just a few of the features that set a Homewise Home apart. High quality construction techniques and materials create a solid home that will look and feel great for years to come.


Homewise believes that homeownership education is an important factor for the overall success of homebuyers. Studies show that on average, homeowners can reduce their energy consumption by an additional 20 percent through education and awareness alone. The Homewise homebuyer education program starts during construction with education regarding preventative maintenance and the materials that are used in the home. At the completion of each Homewise home purchase, the new homeowner receives an introduction and training on all of the systems within their new home, including all specifications and manufacturers recommended care instructions as well as a consumer’s guide to energy conservation.

It may seem that high-quality, energy efficient homes are incompatible with affordable housing, but Homewise proves that is not the case. Green building can be an integral part of affordable housing and is not just a luxury reserved for high-end homes. By placing a priority on green aspects of homebuilding including energy efficiency, environmental impact, occupant health, durability, and education, Homewise Homes further the organizational mission of helping people achieve financial security through homeownership.

For more information, visit the Homewise website at or call 505-983-WISE (9473).


Article by Laura Altomare, Director of Communications and Resource Development for Homewise Inc. She is responsible for directing the organization’s grant procurement, fundraising, communication, and marketing strategies. Laura earned a B.A. in English Literature from Colorado State University and holds certifications from the Soul of Money “Fundraising from the Heart” Institute and the NeighborWorks America Training Institute. Her writing has been published in Mothering Magazine and will be featured in an upcoming book to be published by Neighborworks America in December 2016. She currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband and two children.

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