Sustainability Outlook Headlines

Starbucks Moving Ethos Water Operations Out of California; Walmart Faces Petition to Do the Same

Starbucks has become the latest corporation to move its water bottling operations out of California: Last Thursday, the company announced that it would move sourcing and manufacturing of its Ethos Water out of state due to the serious drought conditions and necessary water-conservation efforts in California.  

Over the next six months, Starbucks plans to move production to its Pennsylvania supplier, while exploring alternatives to transition to a new source and supplier to serve the company’s West Coast distribution.

Source: Sustainable Brands

UN: $19bn 'tsunami' of e-waste must be tackled

Up to 90 per cent of the world's electronic waste, worth nearly $19bn, is illegally traded or dumped each year, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Computers and smart phones are among the ditched items contributing to this 41 million tonne e-waste mountain, which could top 50 million tonnes by 2017, UNEP says in a new report launched today in Geneva.

It follows last month's UN University report, which outlined how 42 million tonnes of elecronic waste were thrown out in 2014 at a cost of $52bn to the global economy.

Source: Business Green

CAG slams NMC over solar city scheme

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report of 2014-2015 has raised objection over the BJP-ruled NMC's tardy implementation of solar city scheme.

Former NCP corporator Vedprakash Arya submitted a memorandum to municipal commissioner Shravan Hardikar demanding action against concerned officers from the NMC's electrical department for delaying the work which saw the project cost escalate.

The then Congress-led ministry of new and renewable energy had selected Nagpur city under Model Solar City project in November 2008.

Source: Times of India

Tidal lagoon energy could replace 80 coal power plants worldwide

A race is on worldwide to harness the tides and waves for electrical power, with more than 100 different devices being tested by companies hoping to make a commercial breakthrough.

And a new report from the European Union’s Joint Research Centre expresses confidence that the Atlantic Ocean will soon be an important contributor to the continent’s energy mix.

It adds that many other countries with big tidal ranges and long coasts are also banking on this form of renewable energy to help reduce fossil fuel use.

Source: RTCC

MNRE approves use of New Power Technology for enhanced efficiency of Thermal Generation

The Government has approved an Advanced Ultra Super Critical Technology R&D Project at a cost of Rs.1500 Crore involving BHEL, NTPC and Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) for enhanced efficiency of thermal generation. The objective of the scheme is to achieve higher efficiency, reduce carbon-dioxide emissions and reduce coal consumption for coal based power plants. This was stated by Mr. Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha .

Source: Energetica

Haryana to start liquid waste management system in villages

A new system for liquid waste management would soon begin in villages of Haryana, state Agriculture and Irrigation Minister Om Prakash Dhankar said here on Sunday.

“For this system, three tanks would be set up in a village pond for purifying water and this could be used for irrigation purposes,” he said.

The scheme would first be implemented in 1,200 villages of Haryana and the State government would implement real-time mapping system for equitable distribution of canal water and for its monitoring, Mr. Dhankar said.

Source: The Hindu

ATIRA eyes industry collaborations for innovative composite products

Under its centre of excellence for composites, the Ahmedabad Textile Industry Research Association (ATIRA) has come up with innovative products like textile reinforced concrete (TRC) which could substitute as cost effective building material and jute based composites for making 'quick to install' toilets which the institute plans to market through industry and government collaborations.

Source: Business Standard

World Bank says carbon pricing will be key to reaching U.N.’s zero-emission goal

Safely reaching the U.N.’s climate target requires governments to have a long-term vision that includes carbon pricing, the World Bank said Monday.

A price on carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas, “is an efficient way to raise revenue while encouraging lower emissions,” the bank said.

The report, “Decarbonizing Development: Three Steps to a Zero Carbon Future,” suggests three essentials for curbing emissions of global-warming gases.

Source: Japan Times

Water level depleted in 39% wells

The ground water level in about 39 per cent of wells in the country has shown declining trend, the Government told Rajya Sabha today citing a recent analysis.

In his reply, Minister of State for Water Resources Sanwar Lal Jat said that Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) had informed that around 56 per cent of the wells are showing decline in ground water level in various parts of the country as per the data of pre-monsoon 2013, compared with decadal mean of pre-monsoon (2003-2012).

Source: Business Standard

Industrial units along Ganga must install real time monitoring before June 30

To check discharge of waste into Ganga and its tributaries by the industries, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has issued directions for installation of real time monitoring by the industrial units before June 30, 2015.
Union Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Sanwar Lal Jat informed the Rajya Sabha today that, “CPCB has inventorized 764 Grossly polluting industries discharging 501 mld of trade effluent directly or indirectly into the drains reaching the river Ganga and its tributaries.”

Source: KNN India

Apple to protect million acres of working forest in China

Technology giant Apple is taking its clean energy and sustainability drive to China, too. Besides initiatives to produce power required for operating its own offices and stores in China from renewables, Apple has also announced a multi-year project with World Wildlife Fund to “significantly increase responsibly managed forests across China”.

The forestation program would protect about a million acres of “responsibly managed working forests”, that is, forests grown to provide fiber for pulp, paper and wood products on commercial scale.

Source: Green Tech Lead

Engineers India plans diversification into building of smart cities

Engineers India is planning to diversify into construction of smart cities based on its years of experience in setting up townships and related infrastructure for major PSUs.

The ministry of urban development has invited expression of interest (EOI) to shortlist consultants and organisations and the process is expected to be completed in a couple of months. The 100 identified cities would then be granted to these organisations for preparation and planning work.

Source: My Digital FC

How IoT will change your life

People often ask: “Is the internet of things a smart car, a smart city, a smartphone?” The answer is it’s all of those things, and more. In its simplest term, the IoT is the application of sensors, IT and networking technologies to connect billions of devices around the world. These enable new, smart applications, analytics and business models that result in a cleaner, more efficient and sustainable way of living.

Source: Intelligent Utility

Delhi government plans big push to green energy

To encourage consumption of clean and renewable energy in the national capital, Delhi’s AAP government is planning to promote the usage of energy from such sources and will urge citizens to install “net meters” at their residence places and business enterprises.

Source: The Asian Age

US Dollar denominated PPA may help in rapid adoption of solar power

 Solar power is taking center stage globally, as a key enabler of promoting sustainable energy development, to meet the growing energy needs of the world. This is driven by solar energy's characteristics of short construction period, low carbon emissions and distributed nature. India has already latched on to this phenomenon and in fact solar energy could enable India leapfrog into a sustainable energy path, particularly in rural electrification, akin to what the mobile revolution of the early 2000s did in the Indian telecom industry.

Source: Economic Times

BMW Targets 20% Electricity From Solar at India Factory by 2016

BMW AG, the world’s biggest maker of luxury cars, intends to meet 20 percent of its electricity needs from solar power at its factory in India by the end of 2016.

The German company will seek bids to build a solar farm in the first quarter of next year, said Robert Frittrang, managing director of the factory near Chennai. The successful bidder can install panels on top of the plant.

Source: Bloomberg

First phase of 'Clean Ganga' campaign to be completed by 2016

The first phase of 'Clean Ganga' campaign will be completed by October 2016 for the conservation of the river, Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti said today.

The work for the completion of the first phase of 'Ganga Samagra Abhiyan' is in full swing and is expected to be completed by October next year, Bharti said at a meeting here.

Source: Economic Times

Over Rs. 6 Lakh Crore Needed to Clean Ganga: Experts

A capital expenditure of over Rs.600,000 crore (approx $100 bn) is needed to cleanse river Ganga of the sewage, industrial effluents and solid waste that is thrown into the river, say experts.

The Ganga River Basin Management Plan 2015 (GRBMP), prepared by Indian Institute of Technology Consortium (IITC), suggests that nearly Rs.600,000-700,000 crore is required to address the problem caused by the material dumped into the river, according to a statement by the Oval Observer Foundation on Friday.

Source: NDTV

Delhi discoms draw elaborate plans to promote solar power

Realising the potential of solar energy, the three private power distribution companies in the city have drawn up elaborate plans to encourage domestic consumers to set up rooftop solar panels and earn money by selling the electricity to them.

Reliance Infra-backed two BSES discoms, which already energised six rooftop solar 'net metering' projects, have decided to aggressively promote solar power across its area of operation and appointed team of experts to work on the initiative.

Source: Business Standard

IIFCL Infra Debt Fund to float green sector scheme

IIFCL Infra Debt Fund plans to float a “green sector” scheme to raise Rs 1,000 crore for funding environmentally sustainable infrastructure projects like renewable energy, water and waste treatment.

The proposed fund is a 10-year close-ended infrastructure debt fund scheme with investments in the green sector for private/public placement of units of Rs 10 lakh each. The India Infrastructure Finance Corporation, a  state-owned finance company, will be its the strategic investor and the scheme will be managed by IIFCL Asset Management Company Limited (IAMCL).

Source: Business Standard

Delhi will have to foot Yamuna clean-up bill

 Applying the 'polluter pays' principle, National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday imposed an 'environmental compensation' on all households in Delhi which are generating sewage, irrespective of whether they are connected to a sewer or not. "The monthly compensation payable by households will be directly proportionate to the property tax or water bill, whichever is higher," the order said. Households in unauthorized colonies will pay Rs 100 or Rs 500 per month based on their construction.

Source: Economic Times

Smart city plan for New Town, Kolkata

The state government has handed over a concept plan to develop Rajarhat New Town as a smart green city to the Union urban development ministry. The plan has been prepared by the National Institute of Smart Governance (NISG).

"We have submitted the New Town smart city concept plan to the urban development ministry. Besides, a meeting will be held on May 13 to discuss the ways to take forward the seven proposed theme-based townships in the state," said state urban development secretary and Hidco MD Debashis Sen.

Source: Times of India

Indian scientists show how eco-friendly cars can run on air

Indian scientists have shown a new route to make fuel cells more efficient, thus pushing further the possibility that cars could one day run on air. In a study, researchers said they had used an iron-based substance to act as a catalyst, instead of platinum, to speed up energy generation in a hydrogen peroxide-based fuel cell.

Source: The Hans India

Money down the drain

A tale of two companies that are profiting from eco-friendly disposal of human waste

Dhamra in Odisha is a quaint, small town on the banks of the river it is named after. It may have developed into a vital port back in the 15th century, but lacked sanitation facilities even until 2012. Hyderabad-based Banka BioLoo introduced its low-maintenance bio-toilets in this region and, soon, residents made a beeline for these covered loos that hygienically dispose of human waste without need for septic tanks or waste treatment plants.

Source: Business Line- The Hindu

Global warming hits fish availability

Climate change is taking a toll on fisheries sector with the consequent ocean warming posing multiple threats to biodiversity and functioning of ocean ecosystem.

The decline in fish availability off Indian coasts could be attributed to the consequences of global warming and climate change and its impact on ocean ecosystem, B Madhusoodana Kurup, Vice-Chancellor of Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS), said.

Source: Business Line- The Hindu