Energy Events Take Center Stage in the Steel City

Energy Innovation Center PittsburghThis spring, the under-construction Energy Innovation Center (EIC) in Pittsburgh will be offering courses in “Retro-Commissioning Commercial and Industrial Buildings” and “Project Management for the Energy Industry” as a part of their Corporate Training Exchange, an initiative that brings the public courses that were designed by the nation’s top corporations.

When it opens, the 6.6-acre complex will be an incubator for the green energy industry, a job-training center and a technical support complex for work-force development. Located in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, in the historic Connelly Trade School building, the EIC intends to bring job creation, entrepreneurship and urban economic revitalization to an area that has suffered economically in the past 50 years. By bringing world-class technology to the area, this not-for-profit organization will bring together community members and corporate partners. Continue reading “Energy Events Take Center Stage in the Steel City”

Striving for Zero: Commercial & Residential Green Buildings in Korea

Last week, our team began learning about green building in Korea. The country’s interest in green building is a product of several variables. Perhaps most significantly, the current president has made green growth his legacy issue and has been promoting it through a series of policies over the past 5 years (and 2 years prior to that as mayor of Seoul). Though the country is divided on their support for the president and his approach to green growth, there seems to be general consensus on several of the other variables. First, Korea imports nearly all of their energy (except for a small amount of coal). This of course makes energy very expensive in Korea (around 30 cents per Kwh for electricity) and puts the country in a vulnerable political and economic position. Second, as I referenced in my previous post, Korean culture simply places a high level of importance on the environment and Koreans are especially proud of their natural resources. Finally, traditional Korean architecture is based upon many sustainable principles (I promise a separate post on this!), which continue to influence the built environment today. Continue reading “Striving for Zero: Commercial & Residential Green Buildings in Korea”

Think Water!

Water is vital to life.  We simply cannot live without it.  We have no substitutes for it.   Without a minimum intake of water, we die.  The minimum water requirement is estimated at 20 litres per day for drinking plus another 30 litres for bathing and drinking, located within 1 km of the household.  The water required to produce our food, pushes the consumption of water even higher. 3,500 litres are needed to produce enough food for a daily minimum of 3,000 calories.

Water is renewable, but it can be ruined.  We need to conserve and protect this vital resource or we will be without.  Across the world, access to reliable supplies of water that a person can drink without getting sick currently falls short 300 billion cubic meters, roughly the equivalent of 120 million olympic swimming pools.

More businesses and regions are paying attention but the big challenge is monetizing something that people think of as free.  The growth of the bottled water industry has started to change that, but the change has not changed thinking or behavior in water use.  At some point, though the lack of potable water (even in the face of abundant non-potable water) will force change.  The businesses and regions that are ahead of this curve will have a sustainable competitive advantage.

The Green 333

The BLS has identified 333 detailed (6-digit NAICS) industries where green goods and services are classified. This industry list includes 2,154,700 establishments that constitute the scope for the Green Goods and Services (GGS) survey. The GGS survey will be used to identify establishment that are producing any green goods and services and to measure the number of associated jobs in the establishment.

The BLS methodology will estimate the number of green jobs for a NAICS industry based on the green jobs found at individual establishments classified within the industry. The methodology will not simply designate an industry as “green” and count all jobs in that industry as green jobs, since establishments in the industry may also produce goods and services that are not considered green. In this way, the BLS should avoid the over-inflated counts and pie-in-the-sky estimates that contribute to the greenwashing of the green economy.