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Posts Tagged ‘sustainable model’

Porsche: A foundation for excellence in sustainability

Published on 6 Dec 2016 Written by Mahesh Ramanujam Posted in Industry

The name “Porsche” is often associated with the thrill of stepping on the gas, the ease of negotiating tight corners and the freedom of traveling the open road. But that is only part of the story.

Porsche is not just the name of a sports car—it is also the name of a brand devoted to excellence in performance and to bringing exceptional experiences to every customer. Porsche stands for fascinating vehicles, high-performing and resource-saving facilities, secure jobs and pioneering sustainable mobility. Porsche has set its sights on being not only the most profitable and innovative car manufacturer in the world, but also a leader in sustainability standards.

“Sustainability has always been an important guiding element in our business principles,” says the Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG, Oliver Blume. “Porsche is committed to taking responsibility for people, the environment and society. The sustainable use of resources is also a key factor in remaining competitive in the long term and securing sites and jobs.”

Sustainable activities at Porsche include the environmentally friendly use of raw materials, the development of alternative fuel vehicles and a commitment to making new models even more efficient. With every new model generation, Porsche sets a challenge to reduce the fuel consumption and average emissions by 10 percent compared to previous model.

In addition, the company’s manufacturing facilities are high-performing and sustainably developed. For example, Porsche operates one of the most efficient car plants in the world in Leipzig, Germany—the CO2 emissions there are nearly 12,000 tonnes below the yearly rate of other conventional plants.

Written by Mahesh Ramanujam Posted in Industry

 

Promoting sustainability and equity through Habitat III and the New Urban Agenda

Published on 17 Oct 2016 Written by Grant Olear Posted in Advocacy and policy

The U.N. Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development looks to use its New Urban Agenda to establish a common vision for sustainable and equitable urban developments.

UN-Habitat, the formal United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, looks to establish a common vision for sustainable and equitable urban developments. UN Habitat conferences take place every 20 years, with the first two taking place in 1976 and 1996, in Vancouver and Istanbul, respectively.

Habitat III began October 17, 2016, in Quito, Ecuador, and is especially timely in helping the nations of the world align increasing urbanization with the newly entered Paris Agreement and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals adopted last year.

With its focus on the nexus of development with sustainability, equity, prosperity, dialogues and partnerships, Habitat III will align significantly with USGBC®’s mission. USGBC participated in the conference with global partners such as the World Resources Institute and ICLEI, advancing our community’s suite of sustainability tools.

The primary goals of Habitat III are to renew nations’ commitments to sustainable urban development and to address new and emerging challenges, resulting in adoption of the New Urban Agenda. The agenda outlines commitments and a common vision for future urban development. The culmination of a series of issue papers, the official draft was agreed upon at the Habitat III Informal Intergovernmental Meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Sept. 10.

The New Urban Agenda seeks to meet the challenges and opportunities of sustained, inclusive economic growth, leveraging urbanization for structure transformation, high productivity, value-added activities and resource efficiency. It stresses inclusion—across different levels of government as well as in gender.

There is much to like about the New Urban Agenda, which encompasses a broad array of commitments relating to smart cities, protecting ecosystem services, reducing waste, strengthening resilience and resource-efficiency of materials, among others. We see many connections with our suite of tools, and will reinforce these opportunities as the agenda moves forward.

Written by Grant Olear

The unlikely relationship between Kentucky’s horse-racing tradition and Urban Growth Boundaries (USGBC Kentucky)

Published on 3 Aug 2016 Written by David Heyburn Posted in Community

As Metro Louisville begins the process to update its Comprehensive Plan, Cornerstone 2020, there is an interesting historic and strategic juxtaposition in Kentucky’s next largest city, Lexington.

Embedded within the richness of Kentucky’s horse-racing tradition, showcased every first Saturday in May, is a celebration of a land in which the urban city is but the urban city, and the rural countryside is but the rural countryside.

While the world descends on Churchill Downs in Louisville for one weekend a year for the Run for the Roses, a lesser-known, yet arguably more quintessentially Kentucky racing experience and center of horse racing industry is Keeneland Racecourse, about one hour east of Louisville in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky’s horse economy, primarily centered around Lexington, creates serious economic value—approximately $4 billion annually. Furthermore, world-class horse farms require a lot of land. However, the Bluegrass farmlands also have a qualitative value that mutually supports their economic value. While sitting in Keeneland’s clubhouse, you are treated to an unobstructed view of Kentucky’s natural beauty for as far as the eye can see; farmland that is meant to be farmland.

 Urban Growth Boundaries preserve rural farm land by focusing urban development 

The land beyond the far turn has been intentionally conserved. In 1958, with the purpose of protecting the area’s lucrative, beautiful, and signature Bluegrass farmland from being threatened and fragmented by an incremental dissolution of urban development into the surrounding rural areas, Lexington adopted an urban service boundary within their comprehensive plan.

An urban service boundary is one of many strategies utilized by the public sector to set limits on development in rural areas by restricting the limit to which costly urban services will be built and maintained. In Lexington, the minimum lot size for residential development outside the service boundary is 40 acres, and most commercial development is prohibited.

As of 2011, Lexington had 6,700 acres of vacant land within the urban service boundary, of which 4,500 acres was designated for residential growth, according to Jim Duncan, the city’s director of long-range planning. By agreeing to keep the existing boundary in the 2011 Comprehensive Plan, the community recognizes that “building our brand and our economy means that first we preserve what is special and unique about Lexington — our Bluegrass landscape,” according to Lexington Mayor Jim Gray.

 

USGBC

 

Appleton Farms preserves cultural and historical landscapes

Published on 21 Oct 2015Written by Nancy E. Berry Posted in Industry

Walking down a pristine gravel road past the fields of grazing Jersey cows, meandering stone walls, and historic dairy barns, a pastoral landscape unfolds. Appleton Farms in Hamilton and Ipswich, Massachusetts, is one of the oldest and largest (with more than a thousand acres) continuously operating farms in the United States. Established in 1638 by a land grant to Samuel Appleton, the farm today preserves a bucolic landscape, agricultural traditions, and historic farm buildings that are disappearing in the eastern part of the state.

The working farm is just one of 114 properties located on more than 25,000 acres across the state under the auspices of The Trustees of Reservations, a nonprofit organization in Massachusetts that not only preserves land and historic buildings but also works in ways to support the vitality and sustainability of the communities in which they exist. The Trustees was founded by landscape architect Charles Eliot in 1891. The properties are open to the public with a vision toward creating a more healthy, active, and green communities across the Commonwealth. Acquired by the Trustees in 2000, Appleton Farms has the ambitious goal to become carbon-neutral in its near future. “This is no small feat,” says Jim Younger, director of structural resources for the Trustees. Because farming can be incredibly damaging to the environment—fertilizer, livestock production, and food distribution all create greenhouse gases—farming has become a leading contributor to climate change.

 Organic Growers

To move toward this goal, The Trustees began to farm the land sustainably. “All the vegetables are grown in an environmentally sustaining manner,” says Ryan Wood, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program manager on the property. Practices are guided by the National Organic Standards, which means synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides are not used. Instead, the farmers employ aged animal manure compost and organic fertilizers. Legume cover crops are planted to regulate nitrogen, build soil organic matter, and prevent erosion. Seeds are organic when available and include heirloom and open pollinated varieties. Wood controls pests through the use of crop rotations, biological insecticides, and cultural practices such as the use of row covers. “Some bugs we’ll just tolerate,” he notes. “We grow about 200 different vegetable, fruit, and flower crops on the farm.”

Sustainable Farming

Fresh eggs are collected daily from the farm’s hen house and free-range grass-fed beef cows graze in the Great Pasture. During the haying season, the farm produces thousands of bales of hay to feed the livestock, and all farm waste is composted and turned out on the fields. Hundreds of families visit the farm during the growing season to pick their own vegetables as a part of the CSA.

Dairy farmer Scott Rowe makes his way before daybreak each morning to milk the Jersey cows, which have an integral history on the farm. In the 1800s, the Appleton’s brought Jersey cows to this country for the first time for their high butter fat content. Today 22 Jersey cows roam the property. The milk is processed onsite to make cheese and yogurt. Rowe does not use antibiotics on the cows, which he says have “low stress and are well cared for.” He does not push for the most milk production but rather provides more targeted care. “The old ways of farming are simply not working. What The Trustees are doing is the future of the New England Farm—creating a local sustainable model is going to be the driver,” he says.

 

Nancy E. Berry Posted in Industry

 

LEED Certification

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a non profit organization that certifies sustainable businesses, homes, hospitals, schools, and neighborhoods. USGBC is dedicated to expanding green building practices and education, and its LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™.

Chemline, Inc. is a member of The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and has the potential to provide LEED points.