Category Archives: Business

KYOCERA and SOFTBANK Tying-Up to Build 4.2MW Mega-Solar Project in Kyoto, Japan

Project aims to be operating on July 1 to take advantage of new feed-in tariff

KYOTO, Japan–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Kyocera Group (NYSE:KYO)(TOKYO:6971) and SoftBank Group subsidiary in charge of renewable energy business, SB Energy Corp. (CEO: Masayoshi Son; herein “SB Energy”), today announced that the two companies have been selected by Kyoto City to build and operate a 4.2-megawatt (MW) solar power plant. The utility-scale solar power plant will be the first of its kind in Kyoto Prefecture, and becomes the largest solar power installation in the prefecture.

Helping Kyoto move towards energy independence, Kyocera Group companies will be in charge of solar module supply (KYOCERA Corporation), system design and material procurement (KYOCERA Solar Corporation), and the construction of the mega-solar project (KYOCERA Communication Systems Co., Ltd.).

SB Energy will be the operator of the large-scale solar power plant, and aims to have the system operating in time for the start of the new feed-in tariff (FIT) which will go into place on July 1, 2012. Continue reading

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Ameresco to Start Implementation of Energy Efficiency Measures at McAllen Independent School District

Energy Savings Performance Contract to help Texas school district to save $1.2 million with upgrades made across 39 facilities

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. & MCALLEN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ameresco, Inc. (NYSE:AMRC), a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy company, announced today that it has signed an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) with the McAllen Independent School District (McAllen ISD), one of the largest districts in the Rio Grande Valley. Ameresco has begun construction on energy efficiency measures at 39 facilities district wide in McAllen, Texas. Once complete, the measures are expected to save McAllen ISD more than $1.2 million annually over the term of the contract.

“Ameresco understood our sense of urgency and was able to work quickly with the District team on a transparent basis to address our critical needs”

Faced with continuing state education budget reductions and a slowing economy, McAllen ISD was experiencing an increasing failure rate of critical mechanical equipment that had reached the end of its useful life. This forward-thinking school district identified several resources and, when combined with an ESPC, will be able to repair or replace aged equipment and address significant deferred maintenance issues.

Ameresco’s ESPC was able to stretch McAllen ISD’s dollars into more than $16 million of infrastructure renewal. McAllen ISD is now able to make critical upgrades to its energy infrastructure and increase energy efficiency without bearing the burden of initial capital investment from taxpayers. Continue reading

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Fluor Awarded Renewable Fuel Production Plant by Joule

IRVING, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR) announced today that it was awarded an engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract by Joule to design and build a renewable fuel production facility in New Mexico. Fluor booked the undisclosed contract value in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The facility is intended to test and scale up a process for the commercial production of liquid fuels via Joule’s novel technology, which uses sunlight to convert industrial waste carbon dioxide into liquid hydrocarbons, ethanol or chemical products. Joule recently won the 2011 Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award in the Energy category in recognition of its ability to surpass the scale, productivity and cost efficiencies of biofuel production processes.

“We look forward to serving Joule on this project and hope to work with them as they solidify their position as one of the most innovative and forward-thinking technology companies in a rapidly growing global renewable fuels industry.”

“As a leader in the engineering and construction sector, we believe that the Joule renewable fuel production facility affords Fluor an opportunity to showcase our integrated solutions and assist in the commercialization of this critical technology,” said Lou Del Tufo, Fluor’s senior vice president of Energy & Chemicals and Fluor’s Biofuels business team. “We look forward to serving Joule on this project and hope to work with them as they solidify their position as one of the most innovative and forward-thinking technology companies in a rapidly growing global renewable fuels industry.” Continue reading

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Research Shows 88% Prefer to Work for a Business that is Run Sustainably

(3BL Media) March 2, 2012 – UBM, one of the largest exhibition organisers in the world recently carried out a corporate responsibility survey among its customers. It asked about if they thought that the organisation they work for reflected their own personal values; what attributes are important to them when considering a new employer and to what extent they supported charities and the community in which they operate

Encouragingly, the research revealed that 88.1% of respondents would prefer to work in an organisation that takes sustainability seriously and almost the same number agreed that the company they currently work for reflects their personal values.

These figures also reflect the growing importance of CR across all areas of business – from staff retention to winning more customers. Employee engagement is crucial to business success and factors like company volunteering programmes and charitable giving can make a huge difference. The UBM research showed that 77% of businesses support at least one charity but just 54% run a volunteering programme whilst 30% had a matched giving scheme.

Doing their bit for charity and employee engagement

In March 2012 UBM will put their expertise as event organisers to work as part of its own CR programme and host Responsible Business at London’s Business Design Centre. The event comprises an exhibition featuring 150+ charities – UBM has ‘donated’ stand space and furniture to give charities of all sizes an equal opportunity to engage with over 2,000 visitors from the world of business – and the BITC Responsible Business Convention.   Continue reading

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GM Partners with the United States Leadership Institute

(3BL Media) Detriot, MI – March 2, 2012 – General Motors today announced a partnership with the United States Leadership Institute (USHLI) at the organization’s 2012 National Conference, the largest cross-generational Hispanic conference in the nation, attracting high school and college students, young and mid-career professionals, and senior citizens. The partnership includes a GM vehicle donation consisting of a Buick Verano, the luxury brand’s newest sedan, to help raise funds for the institute.

“We are delighted to partner with an organization that promotes education, civic participation, and leadership development for Latino youth,” said Alma Crossley, GM Director of Diversity Initiatives. “At GM, education is key to our diversity agenda, and it is an honor to support USHLI as it celebrates 30 years of dedication to the empowerment of minorities.”

The donation of a Buick Verano will help USHLI reach its goal of raising $100,000 by the end of the summer. Raffle tickets prized at $100 will be offered to USHLI members, supporters, and to the Hispanic community at large. Proceeds of the raffle will help fund the Chicago-based nonprofit as it pursues its mission of developing a leadership community.

“For years, GM has demonstrated it wants to make a difference in education, and we are thrilled to have their support,” said Dr. Juan Andrade, USHLI President. “The Buick Achievers Scholarship Program is a powerful example of GM’s commitment to supporting college-bound Latinos.”  Continue reading

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Campbell Recognized by EPA with Two Climate Leader Awards

CAMDEN, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) has been named as a winner of the inaugural Climate Leadership Awards, recognizing corporate leadership in addressing climate change and reducing carbon pollution. Campbell was recognized in two different categories for aggressively managing and reducing green house gas (GHG) emissions and for establishing aggressive GHG reduction goals.

The Awards were presented by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO), the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2EZ), and The Climate Registry (TCR), at the first annual Climate Leadership Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

In its 2010 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report, Campbell announced a series of 2020 Environmental Sustainability Destination Goals that detailed how the company planned to cut the environmental footprint of its product portfolio in half. These long-range goals were intended to accelerate the progress made between 2006 and 2010, when the company reduced GHG from 4.78 to 4.38 Tonnes CO2 per 1,000 adjusted cases produced. Continue reading

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Residential Combined Heat and Power Market to Reach $41 Billion by 2022

Defined as small distributed energy generation systems that produce electricity for residences while also capturing heat that would otherwise be treated as waste, residential combined heat and power (resCHP) systems offer the advantages of going online more quickly than traditional large centralized power stations, reducing demand pressure on the electrical grid, and reducing inefficiencies that are common in centralized power generation, transmission, and distribution.  These systems are gaining increased interest from policy makers, utilities, and homeowners across a growing number of countries, and the sector is experiencing strong growth around the world.  According to a new report from Pike Research, the total number of installed residential combined heat and power systems, in both single family homes and multi-unit dwellings, will reach 13.5 million by 2022.  These installations will drive an annual market value of $41 billion in 2022, the cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts.

“Residential CHP technology has the potential to reduce carbon emissions and increase efficiency in the home while, potentially, reducing consumer energy bills,” says research director Kerry-Ann Adamson.  “The technologies being developed are increasingly market-ready, and we are reaching a potential tipping point where annual adoption could start to rise sharply.” Continue reading

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Access to Low-Cost Feedstocks Remains a Key Barrier to Wider Adoption of Biofuels

After healthy growth over the past decade, the global biofuels industry is entering a new era marked by feedstock flexibility, product neutrality, and sustainability.  As a near-term solution, biofuels are a proven alternative to petroleum-based fuels.  Long term, biofuels could radically alter the fuel market’s geopolitical landscape by meeting an expanding portion of consumer demand in ground, aviation, and maritime transportation fuel markets. While first generation biofuels derived from corn starch, sugarcane, rapeseed, and soy are projected to underpin growth over the next decade, the emergence of advanced conversion pathways and non-food feedstocks will unlock considerable production potential throughout the world.  Despite huge demand for biofuels from transportation end-markets, however, access to inexpensive feedstocks and financing hurdles remain challenging obstacles for biofuels production trying to keep pace with emerging mandates.  According to a recent report from Pike Research, widespread commercialization will ultimately depend on whether current trends lead to price parity with petroleum-based fuels over the next decade.

“Although many feedstocks, technologies, and conversion pathways currently share the same tent, the coming decade promises to be one of shakeouts,” says senior analyst Mackinnon Lawrence.  “Early bets on cellulosic pathways have yet to deliver significant volumes, opening up opportunities for a number of advanced pathways.  Meanwhile, it remains unclear whether the shift toward high-value, low-volume bio-chemical and product markets as a source of near-term revenue will accelerate or impede biofuels production scale-up efforts.” Continue reading

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