- Bold U.S. Energy Goal Put Forward on Capitol Hill: 25% of Energy from Renewable Sources by 2025 – A bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives have re-introduced the 25x’25 House and Senate Concurrent Resolutions calling for a new national renewable energy goal: 25% of the nation’s energy supply from renewable sources by 2025 (see also www.25×25.org).
- Wal-Mart to Open First High-Efficiency Store; Supercenter Expected to Use 20% Less Energy – Wal-Mart Stores,Inc. (NYSE: WMT) announced it will open tomorrow in Kansas City, Mo., the first in a series of high-efficiency stores that will use 20% less energy than a typical Supercenter. The new high-efficiency stores will integrate industry-leading heating, cooling, and refrigeration systems to conserve energy.
- Poll Says 77% of American Say U.S. Must Do More to Spur Green Technologies – The Zogby/TechNet nationwide poll of 1,043 Americans found that 77% of U.S. voters believe that our nation must do more to promote green technologies. 75% of the voting population said that their purchasing decisions in the past year have been influenced by a desire to save energy and improve the environment.
- Unleash Your Inner Al Gore with These 12 Eco-Tips – Being green isn’t just for tree-huggers anymore. In fact, 2007 may be a banner year for going green. Read on.
On the first day of the new year, I blogged about my personal goal to flaunt the business case for green real estate. I really do believe there are big opportunities in sustainability, and this week, BusinessWeek is doing the job for me. Sort of. The cover story is "Beyond the Green Corporation: Imagine a world in which eco-friendly and socially responsible practices actually help a company’s bottom line. It’s closer than you think." The article doesn’t have a real estate focus, but real estate is business.
I liked one point the article made: "Companies that talk the most about sustainability aren’t always the best at executing." Take Ford, for example. Ford spent a reported $2 billion renovating their River Rouge facility into a green building, but do we consider sustainability one of Ford’s core competencies? I don’t. Sustainability is ancillary to what it really does, which is to make big trucks. Big F150s. Does it have sustainable practices? Maybe, but sustainability isn’t Ford’s core competency. And Ford’s not alone. Everyone is trying to grapple with the complicated balancing act between quarterly numbers and long-term sustainable practices.
Companies that make sustainability a core competency will be very profitable in the future. But, that’s easier said than done because sustainability will require entirely new ways of doing things. It will take time. It takes my weekend research. You won’t find sustainability taught in most MBA schools yet, either. But this is what competitive advantage is all about, isn’t it?
It looks like LivingHomes is lighting up the blogosphere again with more news. I’ve talked about Living Homes here + here, and I really like the company, big-time. So there are a few tidbits of news that you may find interesting: (1) LivingHomes has committed to make all its homes LEED Silver, at a minimum, and will work with owners to pay for certification costs, and (2) LivingHomes has entered into a partnership with Enterprise Community Partners (ECP) to take some proceeds from LivingHomes sales and put them into a fund for affordable green home communities. So we see LivingHomes expanding its target consumer base to allow for broader adoption due to possibly lower prefab costs–that said, these are green, architect-designed homes that command a price premium.
Interestingly, you’ll also find Ray Kappe’s second design (RK2) on the newly redesigned LivingHomes webpage. Pictured above, RK2 will be LEED Silver (Total Points = 50.5) and will have the following green benefits: yearly energy savings enough to power the home for 2 months; yearly water savings enough to fill 2 swimming pools; 80% of construction waste diverted from landfills; and 67% construction from recyclable materials. It will be about 2,215 square feet, with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. RK2 looks to be the perfect fit for large lots with expansive views. It will include an interior garden as well.
I was in Utah over the weekend for Equity Green‘s wedding. He’s a real estate tax guy named Garrett, so visit the archives if you want to learn about green real estate from that perspective. While in town, I picked up Utah Business magazine, which included an article on the state’s 2007 Economic Forecast, and I noticed a list of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies [Registration required]. Guess who was on the list as the state’s #22 fastest growing companies? 3Form. The magazine says 3Form is company that "creates resin products for design and construction industries." More specifically, 3Form is committed to environmental solutions for their industry and was recognized by BuildingGreen in 2006, for having a Top-10 Green Building Product. I’ve written about both 3Form and the Top-10 Green Building Products list previously at the links above.
Guest post contributed and co-authored by Mark Glover, CEO of Trinity Thermal Systems, and David Anderson, COO of Trinity Thermal Systems. Mark and David are joint founders, inventors, and pioneers in green energy storage technology.
The Current Energy Situation
Storage is an integral part of every man-made system we have. We have food in our pantries, fuel in our car gas tanks, and water in our water towers to meet our needs on demand. Man’s greatest machine is our mass network of electricity and grid, but it does NOT have storage built in. Which means, it is not only how much, but when we use electricity that is important. Electrical supply and demand must perfectly balance every minute of every day; standby electric capacity must exist to instantly ramp up to the highest possible peak demand at a moments notice, with reserve capacity of ten to fifteen percent in case demand is under estimated or mechanical breakdown occurs. If we fail to meet even a moment of this growing demand, we have blackouts or brownouts that paralyze our business economy and threaten the health of our families.
Here on Jetson Green, I’ve talked about EcoBroker, but I’ve been waiting to talk about Green Key Real Estate. I’ve been waiting to see how the market would respond to their services and today’s announcement makes it clear that Green Key Real Estate his hitting all the right market buttons (even in today’s erratic real estate market). Green Key just announced the opening of a second office in Marin County, managed by the husband/wife duo of Cam + Pam Andrews. This Green Key Marin team is committed to helping buyers and sellers reach their financial objectives without sacrificing environmental responsibility and social equity.
When the first Green Key office (San Francisco) opened, it drew quite the splash in the blogging world. Green Key is a residential brokerage firm committed to environmental responsibility and social equity. Green Key’s certified by San Francisco Green business + EcoBroker. It’s also building a database of green properties in their locale; recycling and composting office waste; minimizing paper use with technology; donating a portion of profits to green building organizations; and maintaining a reservoir of knowledge in the industry to help inquisitive purchasers and sellers. Really, I think Green Key Real Estate is smartly executing on a well developed, eco-friendly business plan. Via E-wire.