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Ikea is Now Powered by Clean Energy, With Some to Spare

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Ikea has invested in enough clean energy to power all of its operations

(Eco Daily News) — Over the last decade, Ikea’s parent company has invested around $2.7 billion in renewable energy. Today, the company announced that its latest investments—in two large solar plants in the U.S. and a wind farm in Romania—will tip it over a milestone that it originally aimed to achieve a year from now: the company will be able to produce more renewable electricity than it uses in all of its own buildings, including its hundreds of retail stores.

“We’re a year ahead of schedule,” says Pia Heidenmark Cook, chief sustainability officer for the Ikea Group. When the company started working on renewable energy, it made the most sense to own renewable energy directly, and Ikea stores are now plastered with more than 900,000 solar panels.

It also has more than 500 on-site wind turbines. Now, as the cost of renewable electricity has steeply fallen and many more projects exist, it’s becoming a part owner in sprawling off-site plants. “We’re going into bigger projects and partnering because otherwise it’s difficult to get to scale,” she says.

The work is part of a much larger goal to become “carbon positive” throughout the company’s entire value chain, meaning that it will reduce more greenhouse gas emissions than it emits. That involves everything from making deliveries in electric vehicles to changing consumer behavior. In stores, the company is beginning to shift to renewable heating and cooling (a more challenging goal than renewable electricity, since fewer options for cheap tech are universally available).

It’s also rethinking product design. “We’re reanalyzing the material that goes into the products: Which ones are heavy on carbon? Which ones have the biggest footprint?” Cook says. “Are there alternative materials today, or do we need to innovate to find new material?” By 2030, it plans to use only recycled or renewable materials.

The biggest change involves a shift in the company’s business model, as it begins to experiment with leasing furniture and other ways to reclaim products when customers no longer need them—so materials can be reused rather than ending up in landfills. Since materials are the biggest part of the company’s total carbon footprint, reusing those materials is one key to making it possible for the company to cut emissions in line with the goals of the Paris climate agreement.

Ikea is actively studying new ways to sell products now. A furniture rental program that began in limited markets is expanding to 30 countries. “We’re progressing with the tests and learning more and more to see how can we maintain ownership of products and make sure the products live not only one or two times, but many times,” says Cook.

Even as the company is projected to grow, it plans to slash emissions 50% by 2030 in absolute terms. Other emissions will be offset through projects like planting trees (the company is now working to better calculate the carbon sequestration value of forests and its own products made from wood) and more renewable energy.

It’s feasible for other retailers to also make the investment to move to renewable energy, Cook says. “It’s profitable to work with wind and solar,” she says. “It’s a good business case. So there is that part of it, and also, of course, it’s the right thing to do. We believe that the future is renewable.”

Eco Daily News combines mobility and rapid breaking news stories to keep the public, markets, and policy makers accurately informed.

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City

City to Debut Inaugural ‘Green City Awards’ for Sustainability Projects

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City to Debut Inaugural ‘Green City Awards’ Recognizing Outstanding Leadership of Environmental Sustainability Projects

WEST HOLLYWOOD — The City of West Hollywood has opened nominations for its inaugural Green City Awards , a new environmental sustainability annual awards program.

Applications are due by Friday, March 31, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

In the spirit of “think globally, act locally,” the City of West Hollywood hopes to inspire more green projects and more green leaders in the community. Local green actions are one way the City builds its community resilience and collectively contributes to combating climate change.

“There’s so much we can do at the local level to reduce adverse impacts on the climate,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico.

“There’s so much we can do at the local level to reduce adverse impacts on the climate,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor John D’Amico. “In 2007, the City of West Hollywood adopted one of the nation’s first mandatory green building ordinances to ensure buildings in our community are built to be healthier for residents and use less energy. In 2019, we approved an update to our Green Building Program that’s impactful, achievable, and responsive to current climate action priorities. Our Green City Awards are an exciting extension of this work. These awards will give our city new opportunities to recognize people and organizations in our community that work to make a difference in protecting our environment.”

“West Hollywood is a trailblazer,” said City of West Hollywood Councilmember John J. Duran. “While people may think of LGBTQ rights or civil rights when they think of West Hollywood, we’re just as progressive when it comes to sustainability. Environmentalism is not just a goal in West Hollywood, it’s a reality that’s grounded in our core values and in the policies we develop and implement. The Green City Awards will highlight those in our city who are leading the way on sustainability in areas such as conserving energy and reducing waste. Every action matters in helping our community decrease its carbon footprint.”

A total of three awards will be bestowed, recognizing one individual, one business, and one organization or school. Recipients will receive a formal award and be highlighted by the City. The inaugural Green City Awards event is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. at the City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard.

The Green City Awards complements the City’s longstanding leadership of green policies and practices. The awards program will be administered by the City of West Hollywood and its Public Facilities Commission. Nominations are open to all; anyone interested is encouraged to apply. Applicants can self-nominate or elect to nominate their friends or favorite local business. Considerations for the award are broad and may include energy, water, waste, materials, trees and plants, and much more.

The City of West Hollywood is dedicated to sustainability and preserving our environment. One of the City of West Hollywood’s core values is Respect for the Environment and the City has a strong record of developing and instituting progressive and forward-thinking environmental policies. In 2011, the City released its Climate Action Plan, which is designed to address climate change and reduce the community’s greenhouse gas emissions at the local level. Although climate change is a global problem, the City recognizes that many strategies to adapt to a changing climate are best enacted at the local level. The City’s Climate Action Plan outlines a series of actions that West Hollywood is taking to reduce its contributions to global climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

To learn more about the City of West Hollywood’s Green City Awards and to view eligibility and award criteria, please visit www.weho.org/gca

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Celebrity News

Ricky Martin Meets with Officials for Puerto Rico Quake Aid

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SAN JUAN (TMZ) — Ricky Martin is getting to work to help the people of Puerto Rico who have been devastated by recent earthquakes … sitting with local politicians to come up with effective solutions.

Sources close to the situation tell TMZ the singer met with mayors representing districts hit by the quakes Friday to formulate plans to fast track help to those in need. We’re told the meeting took place at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan.

As you probably know by now … Puerto Rico’s been battered with powerful earthquakes since late last month. The most powerful quake — a 6.4 magnitude on Jan. 7 — wreaked havoc in several villages and damaged homes, attractions and hotels along the southwest coast.

The towns of Guayanilla, Guánica and Ponce — all approximately 2 and to 2 and a half hours away from San Juan — suffered the worst damage as they sit in the epicenter of the quakes. Terrifying aftershocks triggered power outages … with businesses resorting to generators.

Making matters worse … video recently surfaced showing TONS of unused earthquake aid — from bottled water, diapers and formula to portable stoves and propane gas — collecting dust in a government-owned 43,000 square foot warehouse. The discovery triggered angry protests outside the governor’s mansion … calling on Gov. Wanda Vasquez to resign. She’s already fired 3 cabinet members, but Puerto Ricans are still furious and want her gone.

Ricky himself took to social media to blast Vasquez and her administration for their lack of leadership. But, Ricky’s waiting no more. We’re told he’s taking matters into his own hands. In addition to brainstorming with city officials, sources tell us Ricky will host a concert benefit in P.R. next month. He’ll also be on the ground delivering goods to those in need.

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City

WeHo Hits Energy Commission Milestone for Local Efficiency Standards

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WEST HOLLYWOOD — The City of West Hollywood has been approved by the California Energy Commission (CEC) for local energy ordinances that exceed statewide requirements of the 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards.

The City was one of six jurisdictions recognized for ordinances that focus on building decarbonization — the strategic lowering of climate-changing emissions from buildings.

The City of West Hollywood’s Sustainable Roof Measures ordinance was added to the City’s Green Building Program effective January 1, 2020. New buildings and major modifications over 10,000 square feet are required to include either solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, or a vegetative roof, and certain large-scale buildings must install at least one of three high-achieving green building measures.

The City of West Hollywood joins the cities of Menlo Park, San Jose, San Mateo, Santa Monica, and the County of Marin in being recognized by the CEC. Since 1978, California has repeatedly updated statewide minimum building energy efficiency standards as required by state law. After each update, many local jurisdictions have taken advantage of unique authority that allows for the adoption of standards exceeding the state minimum.

Historically, such local ordinances have served as a bellwether for statewide standards, providing a place to test market readiness, drive innovation, and bring down the cost of efficient building technologies. 

Adoption of local standards has gained momentum. The introduction of CalGREEN — the state’s standards for green buildings — sparked the adoption and approval of two dozen local ordinances between 2010 and 2011.

This new wave of local standards with a focus on decarbonization is unprecedented in the state’s history, highlighting the ability and willingness of Californians to innovate and tackle global problems at a local level. 

The standards took effect January 1, 2020. Statewide standards focus on four key areas: smart residential photovoltaic systems, updated and cost-effective insulation standards, residential and nonresidential ventilation requirements to ensure healthy indoor air quality, and nonresidential lighting updates to take advantage of the rapid improvement in LED lighting technology.

In 2015, California lawmakers set a goal to achieve a statewide cumulative doubling of energy efficiency savings and demand reductions in electricity and natural gas end uses by January 1, 2030. The action plan findings show that improved financing options and availability, increased program participation, improved code compliance, and increased equipment turnover is necessary for California to meet its energy efficiency goals. 

The California Energy Commission is leading the state to a 100 percent clean energy future. It has seven core responsibilities: developing renewable energy, transforming transportation, increasing energy efficiency, investing in energy innovation, advancing state energy policy, certifying thermal power plants, and preparing for energy emergencies.

For additional information about the City of West Hollywood’s Green Building Program, please visit weho.org/city.

For more information, please contact Robyn Eason, the City of West Hollywood’s Senior Sustainability Planner, at (323) 848-6558 or reason@weho.org. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.

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