04 June 2010

Greening your customers, China ties U.S., cleantech patents and other green news

Top Stories

Sodexo to Audit 39K Client Sites Worldwide for Sustainability Goals.reliability high.
"Sodexo this week announced an ambitious plan to assess the current environmental performance of 39,000 of its clients' sites in order to create a roadmap for sustainability efforts for the company itself as well as its customers. ... "The inventory is a crucial step in assessing the Group's situation and will involve measuring our current performance, setting realistic goals, identifying priorities, and setting up a timetable for our 33,900 client sites," Damien Verdier, Sodexo's Chief Marketing Officer, said in a statement." See GreenBiz. [Customers are part of the lifecycle too.]

What the BP Gulf Oil Spill Means for India.reliability medium.
"BP’s exploration disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which has resulted in a moratorium on deepwater drilling in the region, may soon have repercussions for India’s oil and gas sector, ranging from tougher regulatory rules to higher operating costs." From Wall Street Journal Indiarealtime blog. [New regulations and more careful drilling procedures will increase oil exploration and extraction costs a bit in many parts of the world. Disasters beget regulations.]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

DOE Aims to Make 'Low E' Windows a Must-Have for Home Construction.reliability high.
"Energy Department officials are trying to propel so-called low-E -- for low-emissivity -- windows to popularity by bringing down prices. ... DOE's new tool to do so is a pedestrian-sounding volume purchase program that certifies suppliers whose products meet certain thermal, structural and cost targets and lists them on a single Web page. That page acts as a gateway for buyers, hopefully making the best products easier to find and driving up demand." Story at New York Times from Greenwire. DOE window site here. [By increasing volumes for preferred suppliers DOE hopes to bring costs down and increase adoption, as it did for CFL bulbs.]

China ties with US as top location for renewable investment.reliability high.
"China has officially tied with the US as the most attractive location to invest in renewable energy projects in the latest edition of Ernst & Young's Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices, which is to be launched later today. According to the 30-page report, China has climbed two points in the indices after recent figures showed that it has invested $34.6bn (£23.7bn) in clean energy projects in the past 12 months, delivering almost double the US level of investment." See BusinessGreen.

BP Removed from Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes.reliability medium.
"The oil company responsible for the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history was removed from the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI) effective May 31, 2010. ... In a press release, Dow Jones and SAM (Sustainable Asset Management) Group stated 'The extent of the oil-spill catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico and its foreseeable long-term effects on the environment and the local population – in addition to the economic effects and the long- term damage to the reputation of the company – were included in the analysis leading up to BP’s removal.'" From The Inspired Economist. [Of course one must wonder why an oil company was on a sustainability index in the first place.]

Clean Energy Patents Hit Record High In First Quarter-Clean Energy Patent Growth Index.reliability high.
"The Clean Energy Patent Growth Index (CEPGI) provides an indication of the trend of innovative activity in the Clean Energy sector since 2002 in the U.S., along with Leading Patent Owners and Leading Country and State information.  Results from the first quarter of 2010 reveal the CEPGI to have a value of 379 granted U.S. patents which is the highest quarterly value since the tracking of the CEPGI began, along with being up 42 from the fourth quarter of 2009 and up from a value of 243 in the first quarter of 2009." See Renewable Energy World. Full report here.

Fed appeals court dismisses greenhouse gases suit.reliability high.
"The lawsuit alleges that greenhouse gas emissions from energy and chemical companies contributed the intensity of Hurricane Katrina. Filed by landowners in U.S. District Court in Gulfport in September 2005, the lawsuit had been dismissed in 2007 and later reinstated. The companies appealed the reinstatement. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled May 28 that it didn't have a quorum - or majority - of judges available to hear the companies' appeal after many of them recused themselves." Story at Bloomberg Businessweek from AP. [The court said the landowners and the companies could petition the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit sits in New Orleans and apparently many of its judges have ties to the energy companies that were defendants in this suit. A more detailed article on the ruling here.]

Government and Regulation

E.P.A. Tightens Sulfur Dioxide Limits.reliability high.
"The Environmental Protection Agency issued a new health standard on Thursday for sulfur dioxide emissions, the first such revision in nearly 40 years. The agency said the new standard, adopted under the Clean Air Act, would prevent 2,300 to 5,900 premature deaths and 54,000 asthma attacks a year. ... The current standard calls for concentrations of no more than 140 parts per billion, averaged over 24 hours. The new rule reduces the ceiling to 75 parts per billion, measured hourly." From The New York Times.

Bay Area air board approves guidelines to limit greenhouse gases from development.reliability high.
"The [San Francisco, California] Bay Area's air pollution board on Wednesday adopted the nation's most far-reaching local development review guidelines aimed at limiting greenhouse gases and toxic air contaminants. Planning for new Bay Area houses, apartments, gas stations, sports arenas, chemical plants and shopping centers could be affected. The guidelines approved by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District give cities and counties numerical pollution thresholds to use in deciding whether to require developers to conduct studies on ways to remove pollution during the land-use review process." Story at San Jose Mercury News. PDF of board's press release here.

[Crossposted from HaraBara.com courtesy of HaraBara, Inc. Copyright © 2010 HaraBara, Inc.]