Cellulosic Ethanol Finally Beginning to Reach Scale

by RP Siegel

SOURCE: Justmeans


There was big news in Emmetsburg, Iowa this month—the opening of a major cellulosic ethanol plant. The plant, which is the first commercial-scale cellulosic facility in the US, is a joint venture between Poet and Royal DSM. Code-named Project Liberty, the plant was christened in a ceremony featuring His Majesty Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands, along with a host of others including U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Deputy Under Secretary Michael Knotek of the Department of Energy, and Iowa Governor Terry Branstad.

The plant will initially process 570 million pounds of biomass, primarily crop residue in the form of corn stover, each year, converting it to 20 million gallons of ethanol. At full capacity those numbers will increase to 770 and 25 million, respectively.

Traditional corn ethanol production uses the age-old process of distilling starches into alcohol, the same way that distilled spirits are made. The ability to convert the leaves and stalks and other waste material containing lignocellulose was something that had never been done before. The science was difficult and it has taken longer than expected, leading the EPA to revise the numbers in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a mandate for the production of bio-fuels to help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

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Image Credit: Poet-DSM Advanced Biofuels: Flickr Creative Commons

RP Siegel, author and inventor, shines a powerful light on numerous environmental and technological topics. He has been published in business and technical journals and has written three books. His third, co-authored with Roger Saillant, is Vapor Trails, an eco-thriller that is being adapted for the big screen. RP is a professional engineer – and a prolific inventor, with 50 patents, numerous awards, and several commercial products. He is president of Rain Mountain LLC and is an active environmental advocate in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y. In addition to Justmeans, he writes for Triple Pundit, ThomasNet News, and Energy Viewpoints, occasionally contributing to Mechanical Engineering, Strategy + Business, and Huffington Post. You can follow RP on Twitter, @RPSiegel. 

Tweet me: New #blog from @RPSiegel – http://bit.ly/1CtbUoe cellulosic ethanol finally beginning to reach scale via @ Justmeans

KEYWORDS: Energy, ethanol, Cellulosic ethanol, lignocellulose, renewable fuel standard, bio-ethanol, Biofuel, POET, Royal DSM, Willem-Alexander, Tom Vilsack, Michael Knotek, Terry Branstad, GranBio, high octane, compression ratio, Formula 1

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HP Announces Goal to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Product Portfolio



This year’s Climate Week events in New York City served as the perfect backdrop for several announcements HP made regarding steps it is taking to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the business risks of climate change.

As part of ongoing efforts to lower its carbon footprint across all phases of its business, HP announced a goal to reduce the emissions intensity of its product portfolio(1) by 40 percent by 2020 compared to 2010 levels.(2)

With this announcement, HP becomes the only global IT company to have set carbon reduction goals for all three parts of its value chain—operations, supply chain, and product portfolio. Previously stated goals focused on:

  • Operations—HP plans to reduce total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its operations (Scope 1 and Scope 2) by 20 percent by 2020, compared to 2010 levels. This built on HP’s previous goal of a 20 percent carbon reduction, which the company achieved in 2011—two years early.
  • Supply Chain—Last year, HP set a goal, the first for the IT industry, to drive a 20 percent decrease in first-tier manufacturing and product transportation-related GHG emissions intensity(3) by 2020, compared with 2010.

In several speeches held during Climate Week, including the opening session, Gabi Zedlmayer, vice president and chief progress officer, Corporate Affairs, HP, spoke about the ways that HP is helping create a low-carbon economy.

“As one of the world’s largest IT companies, we believe we are uniquely positioned to help our company and our customers lower carbon emissions by developing more sustainable technologies that replace outdated, inefficient processes and behaviors,” said Zedlmayer. “With this new emissions goal, we are once again demonstrating our commitment to building a low-carbon economy that creates a better future and a healthier world for generations to come.”

HP recognized as sustainability leader

HP’s sustainability efforts have not gone unnoticed—with HP being recognized on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and in the CDP S&P 500 Climate Change Report 2014, which was released during Climate Week.

Once again HP was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World Index, which ranks the top 10 percent of the 2,500 largest companies on the Dow Jones Global Total Stock Market Index. In addition, HP was included on the DJSI North America Index, which represents the top 20 percent of the 600 largest U.S. and Canadian companies on the Dow Jones Global Total Stock Market Index. HP was also named one of six companies listed as a leader in the “Computer & Peripheral and Office Electronics” industry.

In the CDP S&P 500 Climate Change Report 2014, which included a foreword from HP CEO Meg Whitman, HP received the highest possible disclosure score, 100 out of 100 points. This resulted in HP’s placement on the Climate Disclosure Leadership Index, which spotlights companies that have demonstrated the highest level of transparency and data quality in their disclosure of climate-related information.

In addition, HP was one of 34 S&P 500 companies featured on the CDP Climate Performance Leadership Index, which highlights companies that have demonstrated a commitment to managing climate change by integrating it into their business strategy and taking actionable steps to mitigate climate-related risk. HP was placed in the highest performance band of “A” for its climate performance assessment.

More information about HP’s carbon reduction goals and other sustainability efforts are available on the HP Living Progress website.


(1) Emissions intensity of the HP product portfolio refers to tonnes CO2e/net revenue arising from use of high-volume product lines, including notebooks, tablets, desktops, mobile computing devices and workstations; inkjet and LaserJet printers; and HP servers, including industry-standard servers, HP Moonshot and HP Apollo.

(2) Expressed as emissions generated per unit of output. The unit of output was determined per product line as follows: printer output represents carbon emissions from printing one A4 image; each personal system represents one unit of output; for servers, each unit of output equals a task performed by the system, as defined by industry standards.

(3) HP calculates emissions intensity as its suppliers’ GHG emissions divided by HP’s annual revenue. This method normalizes performance based on business productivity.

Tweet me: Major new #GHG reduction commitment from @HPLivingProg http://3bl.me/fx6f72 to reduce produce emissions by 40% by 2020 #LivingProgess

KEYWORDS: Environment and Climate Change, Business & Trade, HP, Living Progress, GHG, greenhouse gas emissions, sustainability


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SAP Powers up Electric Vehicles in Silicon Valley to Set New Guinness World Record



Posted by Susan Galer in SAP Business Trends

When electric vehicles (EVs) will shift into high gear, going from anomaly to commonplace, is anyone’s guess. Meantime, a sizeable group of enthusiasts driving 507 EVs at De Anza College in Cupertino, California have set the Guinness World Record for the largest EV parade to date. Co-sponsored by SAP, the 42nd annual electric vehicle rallywas the culmination of National Electric Drive Week. The previous record was 481 vehicles, recorded in Germany earlier this year.

A drone captured in this VIDEO what’s been billed at the largest display of electric vehicles in the United States. The Cupertino event was just one of 152 taking place in five countries last week in which owners of over 3,000 plug-in electric vehicles registered to share their electric driving experience with the public.

I talked with Gil Perez, Senior Vice President of Industry, Cloud and General Manager of Connected Vehicles at SAP, who described SAP’s decision to go after the Guinness World Record like this:

“We wanted to do something for the community to increase awareness and promote electric vehicle use. Sustainability and innovation are coupled together, and reflect SAP’s commitment to customers.”

Besides SAP employees, the list of parade co-sponsors, volunteers, and drivers reads like a Who’s Who of Silicon Valley companies and non-profit organizations including SF BayLEAFS, the Electric Auto Association of Silicon Valley,TeslaNissan, and Volta. Over 1,500 drivers registered a total of 28 different vehicles that included cars and motorcycles. As far as what it was like along the parade route, Perez was struck by how it was simultaneously quiet and emotional.

“The cars are totally quiet, and it’s hard to convey the level of passion people feel about them,” said Perez. “Some people were crying they were so happy. It was a very emotional experience.”

As of this month, EV sales reached the quarter-million mark in the U.S., and those numbers are projected to rise as consumers and corporations get on board. For example, SAP has a fleet of about 150 electric cars in seven countries, and operates a total of around 100 charging stations worldwide. The company plans to have additional 60 new EVs as dedicated company cars by the end of this year, and a total of 5,000 electric cars operating on the road worldwide by 2020.

Compared to the number of gasoline-powered cars on the road today, a parade of just over 500 EVs might not sound impressive. Yet consider the early days of flight when Orville and Wilbur Wright faced skepticism from a doubting public. In 1903 their first engine-powered airplane flew 175 feet at about 10 feet off the ground for about 12 seconds. In just a few short years, they had signed government contracts, opened a flight training school, and delivered the first commercially successful aircraft. Not to mix metaphors, but you have to start somewhere, and the EV aficionados in Cupertino have every reason to soar ahead.

Follow me @smgaler

Tweet me: #SAP Powers up Electric Vehicles in Silicon Valley to Set New Guinness World Record @sustainablesap #EVs @GWR http://bit.ly/1vbfPnh

KEYWORDS: Energy, SAP, sustainable trends, electric vehicles, New Guinness World Record, ev’s, Silicon Valley

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Xizi Otis Chongqing Plant Earns LEED® Gold Certification

SOURCE: United Technologies Corporation


CHONGQING, China: The Xizi Otis (Chongqing) Elevator Co., Ltd. factory in Chongqing received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council®. LEED is a global benchmark for the design, construction and operation of green buildings; achieving LEED Gold underscores the continuing commitment by Xizi Otis to China’s green future.

Xizi Otis Chongqing achieved LEED Gold for its sustainable construction, limited water use, energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality, among other measures. The new Xizi Otis Chongqing plant recycled 90 percent of construction waste, used locally sourced materials to reduce its carbon footprint and employs an ongoing operations management process to minimize environmental impact. The facility was designed with advanced energy-saving production processes and equipment.

“The Chongqing plant is a cornerstone of Xizi Otis’ commitment to the growth of green buildings in central and western China. The LEED Gold certification is a green building achievement and positions the Chongqing plant as a model in sustainability for the region,” said Alan Cheung, president of Xizi Otis. “The growing preference for certified building programs such as LEED in China is a strong indication that our energy-efficient elevator systems are right for building owners.”

“We believe that ‘green products must start at a green company,’ and are proud to see the Chongqing factory taking a leadership role in this important area,” said John Mandyck, chief sustainability officer, UTC Building & Industrial Systems. “The plant and its employees are literally working at the intersection of innovation and sustainability – manufacturing state-of-the-art, efficient products in an advanced, environmentally responsible factory.”

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Tweet me: Congrats! Xizi Otis Chongqing Earns LEED® Gold Certification. @UTC #LEED http://3bl.me/6vw9br

Contact Info:

Danielle Smith
UTC Public Relations

KEYWORDS: Environment and Climate Change, Energy, Global Energy & Sustainability LEED, Otis, CHONGQING, LEED certification, LEED Gold, United Technologies Corporation, Building Sustainable Cities, #makethingsbetter, Green Building

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CSX Named Sustainability Leader by the CDP S&P 500 Annual Climate Indices

SOURCE: CSX Corporation


Jacksonville, Fla., September 25, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Building on the company’s track record of industry-leading sustainability projects and performance, CSX (NYSE: CSX) was recently named to the CDP S&P 500 Climate Disclosure Leadership Index 2014 (CDLI) and S&P 500 Climate Performance Leadership Index 2014 (CPLI). An environmental nonprofit, CDP is the world’s only global environmental disclosure system.

“CSX is dedicated to investing in the safe, reliable, environmentally-friendly rail network of the future to continue to drive profitable growth and shareholder value creation,” said Fredrik Eliasson, executive vice president and chief financial officer. “This commitment to sustainable growth includes aggressive measurement and transparency to benefit shareholders and employees alike.”

CSX raised its CDLI performance score – a measure of a company’s transparency on climate-related disclosures – to an all-time high this year, receiving a score of 98A. In addition, this is the fifth consecutive year that CSX has achieved a position on the CPLI, a measurement that evaluates the transparency of a company’s efforts to address climate change. The company was also featured in a profile report focused on investing in energy efficiency to continue driving profitability.

CDP’s annual index spotlights companies listed on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) that have demonstrated a commitment to managing climate change by integrating it into their business strategy and taking actionable steps to mitigate climate-related risk. This year, the CDP S&P 500 Climate Change Report 2014, presents new analysis linking S&P 500 industry leaders with financial performance.  

In 2013, CSX achieved record-setting fuel efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity by 1.5 percent since 2011, bringing the company closer to its voluntary goal of reducing GHG emissions intensity by six to eight percent from 2011 levels by 2020. In addition, CSX provided more than $16 million to charitable organizations in 2013 and logged more than 25,000 volunteer hours working with national and local organizations to support safety, environmental, community and wellness initiatives across its 21,000 mile network.

To learn more about sustainability at CSX, view the company’s most recent Corporate Social Responsibility Report at www.csxcsr.com.


About CSX
CSX, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is a premier transportation company. It provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural, and consumer products. For more than 185 years, CSX has played a critical role in the nation’s economic expansion and industrial development. Its network connects every major metropolitan area in the eastern United States, where nearly two-thirds of the nation’s population resides. It also links more than 240 short-line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports with major population centers and small farming towns alike. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at www.csx.com. Like us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/OfficialCSX) and follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/CSX).

# # #

Tweet me: .@CSX’s commitment to #sustainable growth spotlighted w/ naming to @CDP’s annual #climate indices http://3bl.me/t6qsqz

Contact Info:

Kristin Seay
+1 (904) 359-3442

KEYWORDS: Awards and Recognition, CSX, CDP, CDP S&P 500 Climate Disclosure Leadership Index 2014, S&P 500 Climate Performance Leadership Index 2014, CDLI, CPLI

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Sustainability Communication Must Go Beyond Environmental Gains? It Might Be Time To Rexamine Your "Sustainability Narrative” (Toronto and Livestream)

SOURCE: Toronto Sustainability Speaker Series


Sharing your corporate message in the sustainability era is tricky business. Experts agree that sustainability doesn’t mean anything real to consumers. Too often, it brings to mind technical issues or overwhelming environmental challenges. More than ever consumers want to live meaningful lives and engage with brands that are driven by purpose. They want to trust that a brand is making good choices for them.

[Please have a look at the recent report by BBMG which takes a closer look at this evolving challenge for companies.  "The New Sustainability Narrative: Tapping into Meaning and Purpose."]

Join us on September 30th as our expert panel explores the challenges and opportunities of building a sustainability narrative that connects more deeply with your audience. The event will take place live in Toronto and will offer a free Livestream for those unable to attend in person.

Our Distinguished Guests:

Steven Sage, VP Sustainability & Innovation, Kruger Products L.P.
Eric Whan, Director, GlobeScan
Phillip Haid, CEO, Public INC
Claudio Gemmiti, Senior VP, Innovation and Strategic Growth, Club Coffee

Discussion Facilitator: Brad Zarnett, Executive Director, TSSS

DATE: Tuesday, September 30, 2014
TIME: 4:30-7:30 EST (snacks & networking from 6:45-7:30)
NEW LOCATION: Ryerson University, Podium Building, 380 Victoria Street, The Commons Room 250 (map)
FREE LIVE WEBCAST & twitterchat #tssschat from 5:15 – 6:15 PM EST
(Tickets for both the live event and the webcast must be purchased in advance)

During the event we will explore some of the following:

- Why do traditional marketing strategies seem to be missing the mark today?
- What do consumers and stakeholders want from companies today?
- What companies are having success building an authentic connection with consumers?
   * What are they doing different?
   * Why are they successful?
- What are some of the themes that seem to be resonating most with consumers today?

For more information, click here >>

Tweet me: What is a #Sustainability Narrative? Join @TSSStweets for a panel discussion & webcast 09/30: http://ow.ly/BSCju #Toronto

KEYWORDS: Events, Conferences & Webinars, Media & Communications, Toronto Sustainability Speaker Series, sustainability, Sustainability Narrative, Consumers, csr, Corporate Social Responsibility

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UNIDO and Dell Join Forces to Implement Sustainable Solution for E-Waste Management in Africa, Asia and Latin America



VIENNA/NEW YORK, Sept. 24, 2014 /3BL Media/ – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Dell International LLC, the multinational technology solutions company, have signed an agreement to cooperate on identifying and implementing a sustainable solution model for e-waste management for developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The memorandum of understanding signed today by LI Yong, Director General of UNIDO, and David Lear, Dell Inc.’s Executive Director of Sustainability, commits the two organizations to work together for a period of five years, with an option to extend the partnership.

Developing countries are expected to account for the majority of discarded electronics by 2016, and twice that of developed regions by 2030. The aim of this agreement is to create awareness, build capacity, and engage in knowledge sharing and policy advocacy with regard to sustainable e-waste management; to support the creation of an operational and economically viable collection network, and dismantling and recycling facilities, to process e-waste in developing countries in a safe and environmentally sound way; and to support the development of local recycling infrastructure, contributing to the industrial development of these countries and creating sustainable, green economies.

UNIDO’s LI Yong said, “Rudimentary recycling methods and the lack of a policy framework for e-waste management in developing countries pose a high risk to public health and the environment. UNIDO and Dell will cooperate to support developing countries to formulate e-waste related regulations and policies to ensure a long-term success of their activities related to e-waste.” he added, “One major part of an efficient e-waste management system is an effective collection scheme. For this, different aspects need to be taken into account, including financing, infrastructure and logistics. UNIDO and Dell are joining forces to design the most suitable collection strategies in developing countries and implement these in pilot countries.”

Dell’s Lear said, “Enabling recycling infrastructure in developing countries has significant benefits for the environment and local community, and facilitates Dell with the recovery of valuable resources currently being discarded. Together with UNIDO we will work to establish or up-scale facilities to operate environmentally sound management practices that meet international standards for e-waste recycling and further powers the circular economy for IT.”

Lear added, “We are going to continue to support governments in developing effective regulations and policies for e-waste management. Since policy development is a multi-stage process, Dell and UNIDO will support governments in the dialogue and dissemination activities to accompany the various stages of policy development, and this will include organizing and participating in consultation meetings with major stakeholder groups representing industry associations, civil society groups, formal and informal sector collectors, recyclers and representative associations.”

Where inadequate data exists, UNIDO and Dell will carry out the inventory and mapping of e-waste dismantling and recycling technologies and facilities, and will support the development of feasibility studies supporting the design of collection programmes and networks or the up-scaling of recycling centres.

UNIDO has an established e-waste programme that addresses the full lifecycle of ICT equipment by properly dismantling and recycling it once the equipment has become obsolete. The programme aims to foster the development of an environmentally sound e-waste recycling industry in developing countries.

With the active support of 35 National Cleaner Production Centres, UNIDO focuses on promoting an environmental service industry in developing countries; preparing national e-waste assessment reports; establishing partnerships with national and international institutions from the public and private sector; and facilitating the establishment of local and regional e-waste dismantling and recycling facilities.

Dell began integrating sustainability features into its products and processes nearly 30 years ago with designs that were upgradable, serviceable and recyclable because it was good for business, customers, and the environment. Dell is building on this commitment through its recently launched Legacy of Good plan outlining its vision for 2020. As part of this plan, Dell has a goal to eliminate two billion pounds of used electronics by 2020, which will be achieved through Dell’s convenient recycling programmes for homes and businesses in 78 countries. Dell continues to be recognized for its leadership in sustainability and recently received ISRI’s 2014 Design for Recycling Award and UL Environment validation for our closed-loop recycling system.

For more information, visit: dell.com/environment

Tweet me: .@Dell, @UNIDO partnership works toward model for e-waste mgmt and infrastructure in developing world #LegacyOfGood http://3bl.me/nth7d3

KEYWORDS: Technology, Business & Trade, Dell Legacy of Good, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Dell International LLC

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Toyota Delivers Hybrid Vehicles To Twenty-Two Historically Black Colleges And Universities

Toyota Green Initiative Promotes Sustainability with Hybrid Vehicle Donations

SOURCE: Toyota


TORRANCE, Calif., Sept. 24, 2014 /3BL Media/ — Toyota will deliver brand new hybrid vehicles to select Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to kick-off the fifth-year of the Toyota Green Initiative—an environmental stewardship platform designed to educate HBCU students and alumni on the benefits of adopting a sustainable lifestyle. The donation is in conjunction with Toyota’s continued support of HBCU athletic programs in both the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) and Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). Twenty-two HBCUs will receive a Toyota Prius this fall.

Toyota Green Initiative (TGI) was launched in 2010 and toured HBCU campuses with a fully-immersive experience to engage students in the environmental space. The athletic sponsorship of both CIAA and SWAC increased awareness of TGI at sports events and homecomings. “We have observed an overwhelming response to TGI from both CIAA and SWAC supporters,” said James Colon, Vice President of African-American Business Strategies for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. “The Prius will help promote sustainability efforts to students, alumni and the surrounding community.”

Vehicle deliveries began in September to HBCUs in North Carolina and Texas. The delivery tour will conclude in October with presentations to Magic City Classic rivals Alabama A&M University and Alabama State University.

To learn more about the Toyota Green Initiative program, please visit http://www.ToyotaGreen.com.  

About Toyota

Toyota (NYSE: TM), the world’s top automaker and creator of the Prius, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands.  Over the past 50 years, we’ve built more than 25 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 40,000 people (more than 32,000 in the U.S.).  Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.5 million cars and trucks (more than 2.2 million in the U.S.) in 2013 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today. 

Toyota partners with philanthropic organizations across the country, with a focus on education, safety and the environment.  As part of this commitment, we share the company’s extensive know-how garnered from building great cars and trucks to help community organizations and other nonprofits expand their ability to do good. For more information about Toyota, visit http://www.toyotanewsroom.com.  

Tweet me: New #hybrid vehicles from @Toyota delivered to select Historically Black Colleges and Universities. http://3bl.me/944raz #philanthropy

KEYWORDS: Philanthropy, Toyota, Hybrid Vehicles, Environmental Stewardship, Prius, Toyota Green Initiative, TGI, HBCU, historically black colleges and Universities

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