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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 2012
LEADERSHIP HIGHLIGHTS CHANGING CLIMATE
Many cities are implementing programs to adapt to climate change, writes Don Knapp from ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA. PAGE 2
RECOGNITION FOR GREEN INITIATIVES
Zoe Tcholak-Antitch of the Carbon Disclosure Project explains how incorporating green practices into a company’s overall strategy makes good business sense. PAGE 4
ABOUT THIS SECTION: This special advertising section was produced by The Washington Post Custom Content department and did not involve The Washington Post news or editorial staff. This section was prepared by Bethany Carlick Weinstein, a freelance editor, hired by The Washington Post Custom Content department. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: Marc H. Rosenberg, Manager, Corporate and Public Policy advertising, at 202-334-7634. HOW ARE WE DOING? For questions, comments and suggestions regarding this section, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Entering a Clean Energy Future
William D. Ruckelshaus First Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Chris Gregoire Governor of the state of Washington NOT LONG AGO, THE IDEA of a “clean energy future” was relatively unknown and considered unrealistic. Today there is almost universal recognition that, for the sake of the environment and national security, we must redeﬁne how we power our cities, states and countries. In the state of Washington, we already are well down the road: Our clean energy future is taking shape on highways, in homes, in businesses and factories, on farms and in research institutions. Creating a new energy future, especially in these tough times, is a challenging and complex responsibility. But it’s one that we must undertake if we are to shape the future we want and need. It’s about more than a clean and healthy environment, which is a hallmark of the Paciﬁc Northwest. It’s about supporting our economy well into the future, replacing a diminishing energy supply and taking care of the coming generations. Here in Washington, we have more than 400 clean energy technology companies of all sizes, and these businesses are creating jobs and driving growth. For example, Inland Empire Oil Seeds, based in Odessa, Wash., is one of the largest biodiesel producers in the country. The company formed when 1,400 family farms brought their money and land together, received a little help from the state and began growing and reﬁning canola seed. Now the business sells biodiesel both inside and outside the state.
Attack Pollution Problems, Not the EPA
Electric cars, such as the one pictured above, soon will be able to travel and recharge along the country’s ﬁrst electric highway, being built in the state of Washington.
In 2007, we set a goal that Washington would have 25,000 green jobs by 2020. When we announced that goal, I was told “not possible.” Today our state has 100,000 green jobs. It is 10 years ahead of schedule, and we’ve already quadrupled our goal! Workers in these jobs range from computer software engineers for the smart grid to power line workers, from green building architects to weatherization technicians and from bioenergy venture capitalists to oilseed farmers. Because of innovators in my state, people someday will take for granted things like making energy from algae, living in homes that create more energy than they use or driving cars that are made mostly with carbon ﬁber and need no gasoline. Washington is bustling with
solar energy initiatives. Currently, the largest solar power plant in North America is permitted for construction near Cle Elum, Wash. Also, Moses Lake is home to REC Silicon, one of the world’s largest production facilities for material used in solar panels. Washington produced virtually no wind power in 2001. Today we are among the largest producers of wind power in the United States. Our ports keep busy unloading wind turbines to generate power for homes and businesses. We are building the ﬁrst electric highway in the country. Soon it will be possible to drive from Canada to Oregon — 276 miles — and never need a single drop of gas. With recharging stations positioned along our interstate highway, our state will welcome more than 300,000 electric cars to our roads in the
next decade. No business is coming out of this recession the same as it was going in, and the same is true for our state and our workforce. We must thoughtfully plan for our growth. We must identify what long-term economic trends we will tap. For Washington, the transition to clean energy is a natural ﬁt. The president’s Council of Economic Advisers has predicted clean energy and environmental protection jobs will grow by more than 50 percent over the next six years. That’s nearly four times the rate of all other job ﬁelds. I was convinced of this a long time ago. In Washington state, we have joined the clean energy revolution: We are creating jobs, spurring business innovation, supporting a cleaner environment and building energy independence.
PROGRESS ON CLEANING up air and water will only stop if we do. Forty-two years ago, Congress passed the modern Clean Air Act and, two years later, the modern Clean Water Act. Both laws were passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. In fact, in 1970 the Clean Air Act passed the Senate 73-0 and the House 374-1. The problems that led to their passage were widespread, visible and unacceptable to the American people. Waterways and air sheds all over America are appreciably cleaner than they were forty years ago. In the last 30 years, lead emissions — a serious health threat — have been cut 97 percent, sulfur dioxide by almost 70 percent, volatile organics by 63 percent and poisonous carbon monoxide by over 70 percent. In the last 20 years, emissions of ﬁne particles — a major cause of respiratory problems — have been cut by 55 percent. We also have an impressive record in water. Lake Erie now supports a $600 million ﬁshery,
“…EPA is a victim of its own success. The health and environmental risks we face today almost are invisible compared to the problems that drove the creation of EPA over 40 years ago.” - William D. Ruckelshaus
William D. Ruckelshaus, First Administrator of the U.S. EPA. (Photo courtesy of William D. Ruckelshaus.)
and over half of all our lakes are now in good condition, sharply up from where we started. Granted, speciﬁc water resources, such as coastal areas and small streams and rivers, are still in trouble, but progress is impressive. In the 1960s, the public demanded that something be done about pollution that was threatening their health and the natural world. The president and Congress responded, and many of the problems that led to the public outcry have been brought under social control. That’s the way our system is supposed to work. The public identiﬁes a problem and the government responds. If these laws have worked, why are Republican presidential candidates and their congressional counterparts calling for the severe curtailment of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) powers or even the agency’s abolition? To a certain extent, EPA is a victim of its own success. The health and environmental risks we face today almost are invisible compared to the problems that drove the creation CONTINUES ON NEXT PAGE
Keep the Change, Bring Your Bag, Fight Litter Roger Berliner President of the Montgomery County (Md.) Council BY ENCOURAGING REUSABLE bags, Montgomery County, Md., is at the forefront of a growing number of communities working to reduce the litter that pollutes our streams. As of Jan. 1, 2012, the county requires a 5-cent fee on all plastic and paper bags. This avoidable charge is intended to be a “nudge” to help us change our bad habits, including my own. Our county does not want the money — we want people to save their money by helping to save our streams. Bring a bag with you, and you don’t pay 5 cents. The experience of other jurisdictions is signiﬁcant in assessing the merits of this approach, which is hardly free of controversy. But the facts are pretty overwhelming: In the District of Columbia, after just one year with a similar law, there has been a 50 percent reduction in the use of plastic and paper bags. As part of a much larger, comprehensive watershed management effort, the bag fee is aimed at helping Montgomery County meet its obligations under the Potomac River Watershed
Trash Treaty. The Treaty, initiated in 2005 and signed by federal, state and local ofﬁcials throughout the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, calls for the achievement of a trashfree Potomac by 2013. Today discarded plastic bags account for a third of the litter that rainfall runoff conveys into local streams. The Montgomery County law covers both paper and plastic bags, because paper bags are not pollution-free either. Their manufacture includes not only the destruction of natural resources, but requires the use of toxic chemicals, as well. Plastic and paper bags from stores never really were free; retailers had to purchase the bags, and the county was required to foot the cleanup bill for those disposed of improperly. There are also important exemptions to the fee: prescription drug bags; produce bags not obtained at the point of sale; paper bags restaurants and carryout delis use for prepared or leftover food and drink; bags sold that are initially used for yard waste, pet waste, garbage, dry cleaning or newspapers; and bags from seasonal stands and street fairs. Monies collected from the fee go to the county’s
Water Quality Protection Fund, which is used to upgrade degraded streams and to create, inspect and keep up over 1,500 stormwater management facilities throughout the county. In anticipation of the law’s going into effect in January, Montgomery County undertook an extensive educational effort throughout the fall to prepare consumers and merchants for the coming change. The county distributed free bags to economically vulnerable residents and senior citizens, and many businesses are using reusable bags as a continuing advertising opportunity. Early numbers are showing results comparable to what D.C. is experiencing. I now have three reusable bags in my car — and I am increasingly even remembering to take them in with me! The law is a low-cost incentive to encourage shoppers to use
Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner displays a reusable shopping bag. (Photo above and Fight Litter logo courtesy of the Ofﬁce of Council President Roger Berliner.)
reusable bags and to decline a bag for single item purchases. It also encourages retailers to inquire whether or not a bag is needed at all. In the past, multiple stores have offered 5-cent credits to those who bring
their own bags, but the vast majority of people were simply using disposable bags. By merely asking the question, “Do you need a bag?”— and moving the awareness to the forefront — a paradigm shift has occurred.
Change is never easy. However, without a loud hue and cry, Montgomery County’s plastic bag law has effected a huge change in a very short time. This is one instance in which a small effort has resulted in a big payoff.
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Cities Prepare for a Changing Climate Adaptation strategies become a priority Don Knapp Communications and Marketing Director, ICLEI– Local Governments for Sustainability USA EVERY SO OFTEN, MIAMI’S world-famous beaches get a recharge of fresh sand by the truckload. Adding sand helps offset beach erosion and refreshes the area’s most glamorous tourist spots. But these days, the practice brings an additional beneﬁt: protecting the community from climate change. Healthy beaches and dunes are a front-line defense against storm surge — a rush of water that can ﬂood neighborhoods during severe storms and hurricanes. As sea level rises in South Florida, storm surge is a major concern. Miami-Dade County planners recognize these risks and are implementing dozens of actions to adapt and prepare for a changing climate. They’re far from alone: Cities, towns and counties across the country are taking steps to protect their citizens, natural resources and economic assets from impacts ranging from droughts and ﬂoods to heat waves and increased air pollution, all connected to rising global temperatures. “Cities are at the forefront of the battle against climate change,” said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2010, when the city released a climate adaptation strategy. “Addressing the challenges posed by climate change is … critical to our City’s future.” For more than a decade, local governments have led the nation in addressing climate change, despite federal inaction. Their efforts have focused on reducing their communities’ carbon footprints, but scientists say that, even if we could halt all carbon emissions today, global warming would still continue for decades to come. That means preparation and adaptation are essential strategies. The past year brought the need for preparedness into sharp focus. In 2011, a record 14 extreme weather events struck U.S. communities, with each event causing $1 billion or more in damages, in addition to loss of human life. These events included hurricanes, tornadoes, ﬂoods, droughts, heat waves and wildﬁres. Other changes are
Flooding occurred on Miami Beach, Fla., on Oct. 7, 2010, due to a natural high tide exacerbated by on-shore winds, which drove the waters up into the streets through the stormwater drainage system. (Photo courtesy of Miami-Dade County.)
A man walks along an eroded beach in Miami, Fla. (Photo courtesy of Miami-Dade County.)
happening in slower motion. In South Florida, sea level rise may lead to salt water moving farther into the underground fresh water aquifer, potentially threatening the drinking water wells that serve millions. In Midwest cities, hotter summers exacerbate air pollution and stress energy delivery systems taxed by air conditioning. Warmer winters in the Northeast allow beetle infestations in native trees to spread. Now for some good news. Leading local governments are taking smart, common-sense steps that not only increase their communities’ resilience to climate
change impacts, but also bring a host of other economic and health beneﬁts. In Chicago, city workers are planting drought-resistant trees and plants to cool streets, absorb water during ﬂoods and shade buildings. In El Paso and San Antonio, Tex., longstanding efforts to conserve water and diversify water sources paid off big last summer, when those cities successfully weathered the state’s extreme drought. The city of Grand Rapids, Mich., will ensure stable energy sources during hotter summers by powering 30 percent of its city operations with renewable energy by 2013. In Keene, N.H., city ofﬁcials
are encouraging a local food movement so the city can become more self-reliant as agricultural patterns change. Preparing for climate change is a no-regrets way to create a healthier, more prosperous and more resilient community. “We view challenges as opportunities,” says Stephanie Smith, sustainability specialist in the city of Flagstaff, Ariz. ”Building our resilience is an insurance policy for the continued prosperity of our community. We’re making sure that our best days are ahead of us, not behind us.”
the Duke Environmental Leadership Program Earn your MASTER OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT degree ONLINE from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University.
National Sustainable Design Expo
April 21-23, 2012
a student design competition for sustainability
The earth is not only the common heritage of all humankind but also the ultimate source of life. By over-exploiting its resources we are undermining the very basis of our own life. All around, signs abound of the destruction caused by human activity and of the degradation of nature. Therefore, the protection and conservation of the earth is not a question of morality or ethics but a question of our survival. How we respond to this challenge will affect not only this generation but also many generations to come.
This statement, dated Sept. 20, 1991, marked the launching of a campaign on the theme of Caring for the Earth on Oct. 21, 1991 by the World Conservation Union.
Meet the scientists and inventors of tomorrow!
HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA
Join more than 300 college students showcasing their innovations for the future of environmental protection.
Flexible. Innovative. Interdisciplinary. Designed for emerging leaders and environmental professionals. LEARN MORE
nicholas.duke.edu/del • email@example.com • 919.613.8082
On the National Mall between 13th & 14th Streets FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Co-sponsors United States Environmental Protection Agency
Be there when science takes over for the
USA Science and Engineering Festival!
A special advertising section running April 26, 2012. Contact your Washington Post Account Manager or Bruce Ewan at 202-334-7828 for more info.
Attack Pollution Problems, Not the EPA CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 of EPA over 40 years ago. The threats to clean air, such as ﬁne particulates, mercury or volatile organic compounds, are less “in your face” than smog caused by automobiles or the soot from uncontrolled factory smokestacks. Many famously polluted waters throughout the land are no longer subject to insults of raw sewage or untreated industrial waste. The large industrial and municipal point sources of pollution are subject to permits that specify exactly what can be discharged and in what amounts. And those permits are enforced. Today the biggest water pollution problem is stormwater runoff from city streets, suburban lawns and farms. In air, it’s a mixture of land-based, nonpoint sources and under-controlled, outmoded point sources of pollution. Trying to regulate how land is managed or old power plants are controlled runs smack into how people relate to their own property or how corporations replace old plants and equipment, absent speciﬁc legislation. The federal and state governments are not very good at regulating these kinds of sources, and landowners and industries resist — sometimes massively. The result is a sort of sullen standoff between the regulators and the targets of regulations. It is also worth keeping in mind that many of the current and emerging threats are international in their origin and that their impact affects us and many other countries, mercury pollution being a prime example. Certainly, the current economic downturn, as always, diminishes public support for regulation to protect public health and the environment. When faced with a bogus choice between food, clothing or shelter and a clean environment, people opt for the necessities of life. Public fear brought on by the recent and ongoing recession makes people more susceptible to the false claim that we can’t prosper economically and have a clean and safe environment. We can, and since 1970, we have. And we can still do it today. Congress and state legislatures, assisted by the regulatory agencies, can do
better at rationalizing the regulatory system and working hard at treating our citizens and industries as partners. Developing regulations for nonpoint source problems that emphasize what the environmental goals are — not how to achieve them — is a step in the right direction. Training regulators to work effectively with citizens and treating them like customers and not criminals will improve public support for the necessary work of government. Reasonable regulations are not a burden on those sincerely trying to harmonize proﬁt and social responsibility: Such regulations permit the industry to compete honorably, and they ensure a level playing ﬁeld. In the last analysis, accepting a system of rules is a necessary component of a free society. As human numbers increase and our technology and wealth multiply, adverse impacts on the environment — and, thus, on our health — increase. The rules necessary to control that impact can be imposed by the market, the government or by our collective conscience — but they must be imposed. Indeed, creating a framework of restraints to guide individual or corporate conduct is the essence of freedom. The absence of restraint is not freedom; it is license leading to the law of the jungle. Making our restraints as reasonable as possible, thoughtfully and carefully applying them while at the same time attempting to maximize human choice, is what we must strive to achieve in our regulatory system. While we’re pondering this, think of where we would be today if there had been no EPA or Clean Air Act or Clean Water Act attacking the gross pollution problems of the 1960s. We would be choking on our own waste, and that’s where we will return if we take seriously the election-year calls for the abolition of an agency and a system that have brought us so much public beneﬁt. William D. Ruckelshaus became the ﬁrst head of the EPA when the agency was formed in 1970 and held this post until 1973. He later returned to this position from 1983-1985, serving in President Reagan’s administration. Currently, Mr. Ruckelshaus is a strategic director in the Madrona Venture Group and a principal in Madrona Investment Group. He lives in Seattle, Wash.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 2012
AN ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO THE WASHINGTON POST
We’re adding jobs because our cars are selling like hotcakes. (Apparently people really love hotcakes.) Something great is happening for Volkswagen of America down in Chattanooga. Our momentum is growing, and, as it happens, so are we. Our state-of-the-art, LEED® Platinum-certiﬁed factory is turning out as many Passat models as it can. In fact, we’ve recently had to add a third shift team just to keep up with demand for Motor Trend ’s 2012 Car of the Year.® And thanks to the fact that our plant is located in one of America’s most up-and-coming towns, our employees aren’t just building great cars, they’re building great lives as well. That’s the Power of German Engineering.
Visit vwjobschattanooga.com or search “third team” Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations LLC is an equal opportunity employer. 2012 © VWGoACO
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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 2012
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What Does It Mean to be Recognized for Green Initiatives? Zoe Tcholak-Antitch Director for North America, Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) COMPANIES TODAY FACE an increasing number of challenges. The natural resources on which we survive and on which our business models are built grow scarce, and with global greenhouse gas emissions continuing on an upward trajectory, the threat of dangerous climate change accelerates. Couple this with a year in which the United States was hit by a record number of extreme weather disasters costing over $52 billion in damages to the economy and raising concerns over the vulnerability of supply chains: It is no surprise that a growing number of companies are looking to tackle these risks head-on. As we make the inevitable move toward a carbon-constrained and water-stressed world, it is vital that any company interested in creating long-term value and strategic advantage takes action. Many of the largest companies in the U.S. already recognize this fact. The increasing convergence of environmental and ﬁnancial issues means that climate change concerns now are reaching beyond traditional sustainability departments. Results from the Carbon Disclosure Project’s (CDP) survey of the S&P 500 last year show 58 percent with board or senior-executive-level oversight of the company’s climate change programs, up from 45 percent in 2010. CDP also saw an 85
percent increase in the number of companies from the S&P 500 reporting integration of climate change into their overall business strategies from 2010 to 2011. This is despite a lack of taxation and regulation of greenhouse gases in the United States. As companies act to manage carbon and protect their business from climate change, it is important that they are recognized for their advances and that their stakeholders have visibility of this through established benchmarks.
Index recognizes those that are demonstrating signiﬁcant maturity in the actions they are taking on climate change and their commitments to manage greenhouse gas emissions. The beneﬁts in providing these important, established benchmarks are wide ranging. For companies across all industry sectors, the benchmarks are a vital competitive lever encouraging the transparent disclosure of non-ﬁnancial information. They help shine the light on those companies that
A Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) report published last year found that Global 500 companies that outperform on emissions disclosure and management produced double the average returns of their peers, over a ﬁveyear period. CDP tracks the performance of the S&P 500 companies that report publicly, and it has for several years released two leadership indices that highlight those with strong carbon management and climate change policies. The Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index recognizes those companies with high-quality reporting, and the Carbon Performance Leadership
are developing best practices in energy efﬁciency and risk management. They also reward positive action and, in so doing, propel a company to improve its performance over time. These indices also provide investors with an independent evaluation of a company’s approach to carbon management. They help show where risks are being managed
and opportunities maximized, and they provide investors with insight into how well companies are preparing to compete in a low-carbon environment. Being able to understand the carbon management strategies of companies in a meaningful way is crucial in driving the engagement of investors with their portfolio companies. Through their Bloomberg terminals, investors use the CDP disclosure scores every day. The scores also are available through Google Finance. It is important we remember that doing more with less is a huge business opportunity. High energy costs and quick ﬁnancial returns mean emissions reduction activities are becoming increasingly attractive to companies looking to cut costs and boost proﬁtability. A CDP report published last year found that Global 500 companies that outperform on emissions disclosure and management produced double the average returns of their peers, over a ﬁve-year period. For more information, please visit https:// www.cdproject.net/CDPResults/ CDP-G500-2011-Report.pdf. A strong benchmark not only spurs on the business leaders by recognizing their actions, but also drags up the business laggards. Those companies making decisions that perpetuate a low-carbon economy will see considerable value and competitive advantage in doing so. www.cdproject.net
Solar-Powered Schools Partnerships bring clean energy to area institutions
Sanjiv Mahan Vice President of Business Development, Washington Gas Energy Systems SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS increasingly are evident throughout the Washington metropolitan region. Surprisingly, Washington Gas Energy Services and Washington Gas Energy Systems have been providing local schools with these systems. Under long-term agreements with each institution, the gas company owns and operates the solar installations at the schools. Following are some examples of the solar projects undertaken since 2009. The Catholic University of America (CUA), October 2009 - More than 1,000 solar panels were installed on four CUA buildings. The university signed a 20-year agreement with WGEServices to purchase electricity generated by the solar panels at guaranteed prices. Additionally, in November of the same year, Standard Solar, Inc., of Rockville, Md., installed 1,088 3-by-6-foot solar panels on the roofs of the Raymond A. DuFour Center and Aquinas, Flather and Gibbons Halls. The solar panel system, installed at no cost to CUA, produces about 340,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year. Bullis School, December 2009 - Bullis School in Potomac,
Md., dedicated the largest solar electric power system at a private school in the D.C. area. Installed by Clean Currents, the system provides electricity for the school’s Blair Family Center for the Arts. The photovoltaic system (PV) consists of 540 solar panels, and it produces approximately 143,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually and supplies 18-20 percent of the Blair Center’s annual electricity needs. University of Maryland, College Park (UMD), February 2011 – UMD announced that it would build one of the largest rooftop solar power systems in Maryland. The solar power system was installed on the roof of UMD’s Severn building, a multi-purpose facility located less than a mile from the College Park campus. The system, which Standard Solar installed, produces about 792 megawatt hours of electricity each year. The American University (AU), April 2011 – AU announced the installation of more than 2,150 solar PV panels on six university buildings. Solar thermal energy panels, installed on four campus buildings, provide hot water to over 2,000 students and to AU’s largest dining hall. Wilmington Friends School, May 2011 - Wilmington Friends School, Wilmington, Del., one of the oldest private schools in the country, announced the
installation of more than 700 PV panels on the rooftops of two campus buildings, resulting in one of the largest solar PV systems on a K-12 school in Delaware. Kent County, Md., November 2011 – The Kent County, Md., Commissioners and Board of Education signed a 20year contract with WGEServices to build a solar array to power Kent County High School, Worton Elementary School and the Kent County Community Center. Standard Solar is installing the ground mount system on 10 acres of land owned by the board of education. The system will provide clean, renewable and emissions-free electricity to the three aforementioned county facilities, and it will produce approximately 1,590 megawatt hours of clean electricity per year. With no up-front cost to Kent County and the board of education, the county will purchase the electricity the system generates. Construction on the project is expected to be completed in late spring of this year. Another beneﬁt of these solar installations is the opportunity for enhanced curriculum at the participating schools. For example, students, faculty and staff at CUA will have Web access to real-time data on the campus’ solar energy production. At Bullis, implementation of an
environmental science unit at the school includes lessons on clean energy and ways students can reduce their carbon footprint. Finally, at the Wilmington Friends School, students can monitor the real-time output from the solar PV panels through a display installed in the school, and educators
have incorporated data from and about the system into the school’s science curriculum. In October of 2011, solar construction and project management were reallocated from Washington Gas Energy Services to Washington Gas Energy Systems.
HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA We have to accept this. If we unbalance Nature, humankind will suffer. Furthermore, as people alive today, we must consider future generations: a clean environment is a human right like any other. It is therefore part of our responsibility towards others to ensure that the world we pass on is as healthy, if not healthier, than when we found it. This is not quite such a difﬁcult proposition as it might sound. For although there is a limit to what we as individuals can do, there is no limit to what a universal response might achieve. It is up to us as individuals to do what we can, however little that may be. Just because switching off the light when leaving the room seems inconsequential, it does not mean that we should not do it.
Adapted from the chapter Universal Responsibility and the Good Heart in Freedom in Exile: The autobiography of His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet, Hodder and Stoughton. UK 1990. (p 280-299).
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More Hotels Viewing Green Practices as Good Business
Kathryn Potter Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications, American Hotel & Lodging Association IN 2010, THE U.S. LODGING industry had 51,800 properties with 4.8 million guestrooms and 1.8 million employees, generating $128 billion in sales. These hotels spent $7.9 billion on energy, generated 7 million tons of waste, consumed 66 trillion gallons of water and produced 23 million tons of carbon dioxide. Less than a decade ago, eco-friendly hotels were a niche segment of the hotel industry. Today more hotels view being eco-friendly as economical and necessary. With the help of the Turner Foundation, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) has implemented a four-step program to aid hoteliers, both large and small, in becoming more eco-friendly. This program begins with AH&LA’s Green Guidelines, a set of nearly 70 strategies to assist hoteliers in measuring performance in all areas, including reducing their consumption of energy, water and waste. Hoteliers then are encouraged to progress to Green Key Global, a graduated rating system that’s helping recognize almost 1,500 hotels, motels and resorts in their commitment to improve their ﬁscal and environmental performance. The program is a voluntary, self-administered audit, coupled with onsite inspections to verify a hotel’s rating and designed to assist a hotel in determining its current environmental footprint. The ﬁnal steps include becoming EPA Energy Starrated, which more than 400 U.S. properties have achieved; and to work toward the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED certiﬁcation, which approximately 100 U.S. properties have earned. Hoteliers across the country are focusing on a broad range of green initiatives, installing such energy-saving equipment as electrical vehicle charging stations; occupancy sensor controls on lighting systems in meeting rooms and in the back-of-house areas; smart vent hoods in the kitchen; variable frequency drives on electric motors; and waterless urinals in public and employee restrooms. In addition, hoteliers are replacing T12 ﬂuorescent tubes with high-performance T8 lamps and electronic ballasts; incandescent and ﬂuorescent exit signs with LED exit signs; and ﬁxtures on parking lot poles with LED ﬁxtures. Other measures include conserving water with a landscape irrigation system, adding laundry ozone
systems to washing machines; purchasing non-VOC products to improve indoor air quality; and implementing programs to conserve food and resources, reﬁll amenity dispensers, compost waste, recycle mattresses and integrate pest management plans to minimize the use of chemical pesticides. The industry’s efforts are producing measurable results. For example, in its 2010 Sustainability Report Update, Marriott International reported partnering with Ecolab to develop a new laundry system pilot program that eliminated one wash cycle and lowered the required temperature of the hot water. Tested in 31 hotels, the pilot project saved an annualized, projected total of 18 million gallons of water and saw a 15-25 percent decrease in energy production (amount saved varies by load and equipment). Marriot has expanded this laundry program, which, in 2011, included properties in the Americas and the Asia/Paciﬁc region. In 2009, Hilton Worldwide publicly introduced LightStay, the company’s sustainability measurement system. This system evaluates over 200 operational practices, such as air quality, housekeeping, food waste and even the environmental impact of conferences held on Hilton properties. Since LightStay’s implementation, the company is seeing improvement: In 2010, the company reduced energy use by 6.6 percent, water use by 3.8 percent, carbon output by 7.8 percent and waste output by 19 percent (savings normalized against a 2008 baseline). The LightStay program also contributed to Hilton’s recently earning ISO 9001 certiﬁcation for Quality Management Systems and ISO 14001 certiﬁcation for Environmental Management Systems. Hilton’s entire portfolio, which includes 3,750 properties in 85 countries, achieved these certiﬁcations. In its Worldwide Sustainability Report for 2009-
GREEN TIPS FOR TRAVELERS 1.
During your hotel stay, let management know that you want to participate in a linen and towel reuse program. 2. When you leave the room, turn off the AC/heat, lights, and television. 3. Open the drapes during the winter to let the sun naturally heat the room, and close the drapes in the summer to keep the room cool. 4. Use public transportation in your destination city, and walk where sensible and safe. Use the hotel van or rent a hybrid whenever possible. 5. Only take maps or brochures necessary for your trip. 6. Do not use the shower to warm the room or steam clothes. 7. Look for recycling bins throughout the hotel and dispose of items appropriately. 8. VRTUP ZWXWYQ[SXRTRZXT\N Y electronic program available on the TV, via -mail, or PDA. For more information, please visit www.ahla.com 2010, Wyndham Worldwide touts that it has taken its green philosophy to its corporate headquarters, developing the facility in accordance with LEED standards. As a result, water-efﬁcient plumbing ﬁxtures have reduced water use by 25 percent, 88 percent of construction waste has been diverted from landﬁlls and Energy Star equipment and appliances make up 74 percent of the HVAC system. The examples above are just a small window into what hotels are doing to become more environmentally friendly. In 2011, the hotel industry saw a 50 percent increase in hotels that have sustainability initiatives.
AN ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT TO THE WASHINGTON POST
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 2012
E N V I R O N M E N TA L L E A D E R S H I P
Building a Better Light Bulb Terry McGowan, FIES, LC Director of Engineering and Technology, American Lighting Association HAVE YOU BOUGHT LIGHT BULBS RECENTLY? If so, you may have noticed it’s not “business as usual” in the light bulb aisle. Thanks to federal regulations, the old-fashioned incandescent light bulb is being phased out in favor of new, more energyefﬁcient light bulbs. This is good news for consumers, because manufacturers now are making better bulbs that use less energy, thereby saving you money on your electricity bill. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, upgrading 15 incandescent bulbs in your home could save you $50 per year. Moreover, because most of the new bulbs also have longer life spans, you’ll be buying fewer replacements as well as avoiding the nuisance of burned-out bulbs. Lumens Versus Watts As more consumers buy energy-efﬁcient bulbs, labels on bulb packages have changed. They show a more accurate gauge called lumens, which are a measure of how much light you are getting from a bulb. More lumens mean it’s a brighter light; fewer lumens mean it’s a dimmer light. Lumens let you buy the amount of light you want. So, when buying your new bulbs, think lumens, not watts. Here are some guidelines for choosing bulbs that are equivalent in light output to the familiar standard incandescent bulbs:
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To replace a 100-watt incandescent bulb, choose a bulb that gives you 1,600 lumens. To replace a 75-watt incandescent bulb, choose a bulb that gives you 1,100 lumens. To replace a 60-watt incandescent bulb, choose a bulb that gives you 800 lumens. To replace a 40-watt incandescent bulb, choose a bulb that gives you 450 lumens.
Light Bulb Options As a result of the new efﬁciency standards, we have more bulb options available now. Gone are the days when the only choice was incandescent bulbs. Now there are three different kinds of energy-efﬁcient bulbs to choose from: halogen incandescents, compact ﬂuorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). You will ﬁnd all three types on retailer shelves, and all have standard screw bases so they are easy to install into existing sockets. Halogen incandescent light bulbs are the “newand-improved” version of the old incandescent bulb. This type of light bulb is about 30 percent more energy-efﬁcient and can last up to three times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. It emits the familiar, warm-toned incandescent light and works perfectly with dimmers and other lighting controls.
This Ultra LED A19 light bulb by OSRAM SYLVANIA can replace your typical 100-watt incandescent bulb while using only 18 watts. Even better, it lasts 25 times longer and ﬁts into any standard screw socket. (Photo courtesy of the American Lighting Association.)
CFLs simply are curly versions of the long-tube ﬂuorescent lights you may already have in your kitchen or garage. This type of light bulb is three-tofour times as efﬁcient as and can last six-to-10 times as long as traditional incandescent bulbs. The light-emitting diode (LED) is one of today’s most energy-efﬁcient and rapidly developing technologies. This type of light bulb is more than ﬁve times as energy-efﬁcient and can last up to 25 times as long as traditional incandescent bulbs. While LEDs are more expensive, they still save money, because they last a long time and use a low amount of energy. In a New Light These new bulb options, particularly LEDs, are making us think differently about home lighting. For one thing, the rated life of the new bulbs is much longer. Instead of 1,000 hours, which is the typical rated life of standard incandescent bulbs, the rated life of CFLs is typically 9,000 hours, and that of LEDs is 25,000 hours or more. When you buy and replace such light bulbs, think of them more like appliances — perhaps a coffee maker or toaster — rather than something that will need to be replaced in a few months. You might even want to take these new bulbs with you if you move. Just as you would invest in an appliance you expect to use for years, buying a light bulb today requires more of an initial investment but yields
Twenty Years of Energy Star
Environmental Protection Agency)
THE U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star program celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Over the past two decades, American families and businesses have saved a total of nearly $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.7 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, with help from Energy Star. In 1992 the EPA launched Energy Star as a cutting edge, private-public partnership, to promote energy efﬁciency in various markets and to create a healthier climate for all Americans. Through the program’s vast network of partners, Energy Star has provided consumers with more options as they make informed decisions about ways to save energy and money. Together, we have achieved meaningful reductions in harmful carbon pollution, helping to protect our climate, our children and our future. From the ﬁrst computer to earn the Energy Star in 1992, the program has grown to certify products in over 60 different categories. More than 5 billion Energy Star products have been purchased over the past 20 years.
For more information on the new energy-efﬁcient light bulb standards, buying tips and application information, visit lumennow.org. You may also want to check out a new “app” from Underwriters Laboratories for the iPad at apple. com/itunes/afﬁliates/download/?id=491362350. If you have further questions, I recommend you visit a local lighting showroom. To ﬁnd a nearby lighting showroom by zip code, visit americanlightingassoc. com/Find-Showrooms-Products.aspx.
Packaging Innovations Allow the Beverage P Industry to Reduce Its Environmental Footprint I
The label has become one of the he most well-known brands in the country—more than 80 percent nt of Americans now recognize the he blue square mark of efﬁciency. Today tens of thousands of facilities and more than one million new homes proudly carry ry Energy Star certiﬁcation, use dramatically less energy and are re responsible for substantially lesss greenhouse gas emissions than their peers. As we celebrate this partnership that has transformed d how America uses energy, we also want to recognize those who have helped make it happen. Millions of families, with the help lp of Energy Star, are improving the he efﬁciency of their homes while also saving money. Thousands of businesses, including nearly 20,000 Energy Star partner organizations from every sectorr of the economy, have prevented d pollution, created jobs and stimulated the economy. Our success shows that, together, we can help America preserve our climate and strengthen our economy at the same time. While we commemorate Energy Star’s past success, EPA looks forward to an even brighter future. We will continue ue to make Energy Star the leading, ng, trusted certiﬁer of reliable, cost-effective, energy-saving solutions that lead to a healthy environment and a prosperous economy for our families and our future. Thank you for 20 remarkable years of partnership, p, promise and progress. We look forward to continuing the journey with you.
(Logo courtesy of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
Gina McCarthy Assistant Administrator for the Ofﬁce of Air and Radiation (Photo courtesy of the U.S.
Upgrading 15 incandescent bulbs in your home could save you $50 per year.
greater returns in terms of energy savings and operating life — all without sacriﬁcing the needed light output.
Susan K. Neely S President and CEO, American Beverage P Association A TODAY MEMBERS OF THE T American Beverage Association A (ABA) are driving innovation in (A many environmental disciplines. m Our O products are made and delivered to consumers using d less le material in packaging, less water, less energy through hybrid w delivery trucks and producing d fewer emissions with state-of-thefe art a refrigerants in our coolers. The beneﬁts from these investments in b innovation add up to a smaller in environmental footprint, more e sustainable operations and more su competitive business. co However, it is our industry’s innovation in reducing, recycling in and an reusing packaging that is the most m tangible to consumers. You can ca see and feel those changes every time you enjoy one of ev our ou members’ products. Right now no much of the effort around packaging innovation is directed pa at plastic beverage bottles. A little more than half of our ou beverage containers are made ma from PET (polyethylene terephthalate — recognizable as ter the plastic bottles with the number “1” “1 on the bottom). These bottles bear be little resemblance to the ﬁrst plastic beverage bottles in the late pla 1970s. Our member companies 19 produce signiﬁcantly more bottles pr from fro a pound of PET than they used use to. Our industry’s lightest bottles, for water, now average bo less les than half an ounce each. This is an a innovation that consumers literally feel and see every time lite they the hold a bottle of water. When you hold a PET beverage bottle in your hand, be though, it may be hard to notice tho that tha our companies also have changed the design of the bottle cha
to make it more recyclable. That means it is easier for these bottles to be turned into another valuable product after their ﬁrst use as a beverage container. Our members have modiﬁed the labels on the bottles and even how they are attached to the bottles to make the materials easier to separate in the recycling process. Recyclers even want the plastic caps back when you recycle your bottles. One of the most exciting developments in PET bottle manufacturing is using plantbased material instead of oil to produce the plastic in the bottles. Using renewable material to make our packaging is an important way we can preserve resources and spur innovation in other industries, as well.
We must rely on our consumers to perform the critical step of recycling our bottles, cans and cartons.
Despite groundbreaking packaging design, we must rely on our consumers to perform the critical step of recycling our bottles, cans and cartons after use. Not that we are leaving that to chance: We are involved actively in efforts to improve recycling programs, because we know that we need to do a better job as a country in recovering more materials from the waste stream. We provide research and
support for communities using best practices for their recycling programs. In a recent project in Knoxville, Tenn., the beverage industry helped conversion to single stream recycling (all recyclables go in one cart) with good promotion, education support and incentives for households to participate. Expanding recycling programs to recover materials away from home — at work, in parks and in public spaces — can boost recovery further. On RecycleTogether.com we have documented best-performing recycling programs, and we continue our work in this area. The beverage industry also supports comprehensive recycling programs that ensure access to recycling and we encourage a mix of approaches to provide sustainable funding for community
recycling programs. Incentives in the form of rate reform for trash pickup, so households that throw away more also pay more, are a proven way to boost recycling. As we mark 42 years since the ﬁrst Earth Day, we are proud of our industry’s leadership on the environmental front — with our facilities, our ﬂeets and our packaging. We strive to remain on the leading edge of innovation and policy development to improve the sustainability of our businesses and our products, while satisfying consumer demand and growing our businesses. Please learn more about the difference this industry is making for the betterment of the environment at ameribev.org. We intend to continue to deliver on all of these fronts for a more vibrant and sustainable environment.
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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 2012
E N V I R O N M E N TA L L E A D E R S H I P
Understanding Sustainable Packaging Options Robb De Kleine Research Specialist, University of Michigan Center for Sustainable Systems WHAT MAKES FOR sustainable packaging? Many consumers consider recyclable packaging to be sustainable. While this is one important aspect of sustainability, the question is more complex. After all, not all recyclable materials actually are recycled. For example, even though aluminum beverage containers can be recycled into new containers repeatedly, and the recycling infrastructure for this type of packaging is well established, only about half of these containers are actually recycled. Although recycling packaging can reduce the amount of solid waste sent to landﬁlls, there can be environmental tradeoffs. For instance, consumers often rinse containers prior to recycling, thus increasing water consumption in the home. To judge the sustainability of packaging, we need a way to understand these potential tradeoffs.
A product is studied through every stage of its existence, including raw material production, manufacturing, use and end of life. Fortunately, a method called life cycle assessment can help us evaluate the sustainability of packaging and other goods. In life cycle assessment, a product is studied through every stage of its existence, including raw material production, manufacturing, use and end of life. By calculating the material and energy inputs and outputs for each stage, one can understand a product’s total environmental impact.
The Center for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan has used life cycle assessment to ﬁnd ways to improve the sustainability of packaging systems. For example, we worked with Stonyﬁeld Farms, producers of organic yogurt, to evaluate their product delivery system. When the company was considering changing its yogurt lids, our research showed that switching from the previous plastic lid and plastic ﬁlm closure to a foil closure used 16 percent less energy. This change saved enough energy to power about 180 U.S. households for a year. A common approach to making packaging more sustainable is to reduce the amount of packaging. Since Walmart pledged only to sell concentrated liquid laundry detergent, many manufacturers now produce smaller bottles of detergent with the same cleaning power as the previous, larger bottles. These smaller bottles require less plastic to manufacture, which means less petroleum is necessary to produce the plastic and less material ends up in the landﬁll when the bottle is emptied. In addition, more bottles can be shipped to the store in the same truck space, thus reducing the amount of fuel needed for transport. Another opportunity to improve the sustainability of packing is to utilize reﬁllable packaging systems. Historically, it was common for milk to be delivered to American homes in reﬁllable bottles. Today, disposable plastic jugs are the most common retail packaging for milk, but our research showed that adopting reﬁllable milk packaging would have environmental advantages. Even though reﬁllable containers need to be stronger and, therefore, require more material to manufacture, they still would require less material consumption than the disposable packaging they would replace. Using
Fuel Efﬁciency – The Road to Auto Industry Success Michelle Robinson Director of the Clean Vehicles Program Union of Concerned Scientists
Stonyﬁeld eliminated these plastic yogurt tops in favor of more environmentally-friendly foil tops. (Photo courtesy of Center for Sustainable Systems, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan.)
reﬁllable packaging would reduce packaging costs, energy consumption and solid waste signiﬁcantly. Life cycle assessment is a useful tool for evaluating alternative packaging designs (For more information, please visit http://css.snre.umich.edu). Other strategies g for improving p g
the sustainability performance of packaging include use of bio-based materials, dematerialization, increasing recycled content and bulk merchandising. Ultimately, packaging must protect the product because damaged goods have a negative impact on n sustainability. ability.
JUST A FEW SHORT YEARS a after being saved from the brink of collapse, the U.S. auto industry is getting back on its feet, hiring back workers and increasing production. The prospect of a reinvigorated auto industry is exciting, but the industry must stay on track by meeting the demands of a changing market and avoiding the same pitfalls that led to its brush with disaster. Put simply, the old way of doing things doesn’t work anymore. As consumers, we need a new kind of vehicle, one that is not only powerful and practical, but also protects us from rising gasoline prices. As a country, we need vehicles that cut our oil use; save us money; and reduce the harmful, heat-trapping carbon dioxide pollution that causes climate change. The U.S. auto market has already fallen behind. European and Asian nations are demanding that vehicles be more fuel efﬁcient, and automakers have responded by investing in their overseas plants. Now, with tougher U.S. standards on the horizon, we must invest in innovation here in the United States to produce clean, fuelefﬁcient vehicles. Strong fuel efﬁciency and global warming pollution standards will push the U.S. auto industry to regain its technological lead. According to a report by Citigroup, strong fuel efﬁciency standards will likely boost the industry’s proﬁts, sales and global competitiveness. Another analysis, by the nonproﬁt Ceres, concluded that stronger standards could help create hundreds of thousands of full-time jobs in 2030, tens of thousands of those in the auto industry. Last November, the Obama administration took a big step toward new fuel efﬁciency and global warming pollution standards for cars, trucks and SUVs. For vehicles sold in
model years 2017 to 2025, the administration proposed a standard that will nearly double new vehicle fuel economy and cut their global warming pollution levels to 163 grams per mile by 2025. Automakers can meet such a standard with existing technology, including more efﬁcient engines, smarter transmissions, stronger materials and conventional hybrid powertrains. In fact, automakers are already starting to put some of this technology to work, thanks to a ﬁrst round of fuel efﬁciency and global warming pollution standards that are already phasing in from 2012 to 2016, just in time to help consumers deal with the latest gas price spikes. When combined, that ﬁrst round and the proposed standards would cut oil consumption by as much as 3.5 million barrels per day — 54 billion gallons of gasoline annually — by 2030. That is nearly equivalent to U.S. imports from Canada and Mexico in 2010. Less fuel consumption will keep more money in drivers’ wallets, instead of contributing to the $2 billion a day we spend on oil when prices are over $100 per barrel. And for children, like my niece who is three years old today — these standards will help ensure that when they are ready to drive in 2025, they will have cleaner, more efﬁcient choices in the marketplace. If U.S. automakers are going to remain competitive, they must accept the challenge the changing market is presenting. Ford’s recent announcement that it plans to double the number of engineers working speciﬁcally on maximizing fuel economy in its product line is a great example of the kind of commitments companies can make now. We need a new kind of vehicle, one that not only meets, but beats the new standards. And, as it has time and time again, the U.S. auto industry can—and should— stand and deliver.
Protecting the Ozone Layer Through Innovation Paul T. Anastas, PhD Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professor in the Practice of Chemistry for the Environment, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies; Director, Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering, Yale University Julie B. Zimmerman, PhD Associate Professor of Green Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Science (Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering), School of Forestry and Environment, Yale University INNOVATION. INNOVATION WAS THE real hero that saved the ozone layer and is continuing to protect it. The people who diagnosed the emerging problem before it could become a tragedy are heroes as well. Credit also goes to those who invented the new materials and approaches that allowed society to maintain its quality of life and economic growth while eliminating a class of chemicals, chloroﬂuorocarbons (CFCs), that it had come to rely upon. Common uses for CFCs were as coolants in refrigeration systems, as coolants and propellants in air conditioning systems, as solvents for
later won the Nobel Prize for their work.) There was a recognition that depleting the ozone layer would result in potentially tragic effects on people’s health and the environment. Consequently, leaders from all levels mobilized to address the issue. In 1987, over 150 nations came together to ratify the aforementioned Montreal Protocol, which called for the phasing out of CFCs for virtually all signiﬁcant uses. This has largely taken place. What was needed to make this important pact a reality was the genius of scientists and engineers — innovators — to invent and develop the new approaches that would allow the world to maintain access to the services that CFCs produced without the harm that they caused. And they did it. The use of CFCs as a high-performance cleaner was addressed by a range of approaches, including compressing carbon dioxide (CO2) gas into a ﬂuid that functions much like a CFC. A similar approach allowed structural foams, such as Styrofoam, to be made using CO2 instead of CFCs. Collectively, these innovations and many more allowed for tremendously positive results. According
“If international agreements are adhered to, the ozone layer is expected to recover.”
cleaning electronic components and as blowing agents in plastic-foam manufacturing. To eliminate these damaging chemicals, it was necessary to redesign complex industrial systems; this overhaul required scientiﬁc knowledge, insight, research and collaboration. Concern over the depletion of the ozone layer led to the great success of an international treaty, the Montreal Protocol. People began to take notice after Drs. Frank Sherwood Rowland, Mario Molina and Paul J. Crutzen spotlighted the fact that CFCs reaching the stratosphere were responsible for the depletion of the ozone layer. (The three scientists
to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Because of the phaseout, CFCs are no longer accumulating in the atmosphere at an accelerating rate. CFC-11 and CFC-113 levels are decreasing... If international agreements are adhered to, the ozone layer is expected to recover around 2050.” The health beneﬁts are equally impressive. Per the EPA, “The phaseout of CFCs is expected to have direct health beneﬁts over the next century, including reduced incidence of skin cancer and cataracts, decreased risks to human immune systems, and increased protection of plant and animal life from excessive UV exposure.”
The innovations that made the Montreal Protocol a reality also taught us important lessons. The ﬁrst is that not all of the solutions needed to be new chemicals to replace CFCs. For instance, printed circuit boards are utilizing “no-clean” technologies that do not require any solvents. Moreover, innovators in the developing world have designed “refrigerators” without using refrigerant chemicals, instead exploiting evaporative cooling and their native pottery. The second lesson is that continuous improvement is essential. The most immediate replacements for CFCs were the so-called HCFCs, a modiﬁcation that dramatically
reduced the ozone depleting potential of the chemicals. However, a remaining problem with the HCFCs is that they have signiﬁcant global warming potential. While HCFCs were a tremendous step forward, those who follow with next innovations to address these challenges must pursue systems thinking so that we achieve our technological goals without unintended consequences. For more information on health and environmental beneﬁts of CFC elimination please visit: epa.gov/ozone/geninfo/beneﬁts.html and epa.gov/sunwise/uvandhealth.html.
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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 2012
U.S. DRIVE TEAM HELPS TO JUMP-START PERMITTING FOR PLUG-IN AND ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATIONS
Communities looking to help consumers install home charging stations for plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles (PHEVs and EVs) now have an easily accessible resource to jump-start the process. Thanks to members of the U.S. DRIVE Grid Interaction Tech Team (GITT), which include the U.S. Council for Automotive Research LLC (USCAR), electric utilities and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), an online resource is now available which offers a model streamlining process for permitting and inspecting home-charging stations for PHEVs and EVs, as well as information tools for the actual installation process. The tools, which were announced by DOE as part of its Clean Cities Initiative, are aimed at informing and assisting consumers, installers, governments and businesses. The first tool is a six-page permitting template that can be easily adapted by local governments to help standardize permitting and inspection procedures for plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs) between different regions. The second tool is a 30-minute video titled, “Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) Residential Home Charging Installation,” and is intended for electrical contractors and inspectors. It covers all aspects of setting up a home charge station. Both tools will help accelerate the approval process for home charging stations.
Additionally, they helped the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Clean Cities team develop content requirements for training materials to support the permit process, and train electrical contractors and inspectors who will be on the front line of making their communities EV-ready. “The Grid Interaction Tech Team was created in 2009 to develop technology solutions that would lead to successful commercialization of plug-in electric vehicles,” said Eric M. Lee, GITT co-chair and Infrastructure Strategy & Energy Partnerships, Hybrid / Electric Vehicles at Chrysler Group. “Consumer choice will drive this market. And, our work in streamlining the permitting and inspecting process for home-charging stations will help shape vehicle-buyers’ choice in favor of plug-in electric vehicles.” The permit documents and video are available on EERE’s Clean Cities website. Specifically, permit and supporting documents may be accessed at: http://www.afdc.energy. gov/afdc/pdfs/EV_charging_template.pdf, with the video accessible at: http://bit.ly/EVS Echarginginstall About USCAR Founded in 1992, USCAR is the collaborative automotive technology company for Chrysler Group LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors. The goal of USCAR is to further strengthen the technology base of the domestic auto industry through cooperative research and development. For more information, visit USCAR’s website at www.uscar.org
The Grid Interaction Tech Team helped to identify and address roadblocks that would prevent successful commercialization of all types of plug-in electric vehicles. Team members, which include USCAR, utility partners, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), EVSE installers, DOE and national laboratories, also identified ways to streamline the EVSE installation and permit process as the number one priority to support the adoption of PHEVs and EVs. GITT members, especially the USCAR members, agreed that, if PHEVs and EVs are to gain mass acceptance by consumers, it is missioncritical to reduce the amount of time vehicle buyers have to wait to have vehicle charge stations installed at their homes.
About U.S. DRIVE USCAR is a partner in U.S. DRIVE, which stands for United States Driving Research and Innovation for Vehicle efficiency and Energy sustainability. U.S. DRIVE is a voluntary, non-binding, and non-legal partnership among the U.S. Department of Energy; USCAR; Tesla Motors; five energy companies – BP America, Chevron Corporation, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil Corporation, and Shell Oil Products US; two utilities – Southern California Edison and DTE Energy; and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).
The project team mapped out a model permit streamlining strategy, including a national EVSE permit template with consistent language and format that local electrical inspectors and EVSE installers (the electrical contractors) can use if they so choose.
The U.S. DRIVE mission is to accelerate the development of pre-competitive and innovative technologies to enable a full range of efficient and clean advanced light-duty vehicles, as well as related energy infrastructure.
April 18, 2012