Filed in Construction, Development & Real Estate , Eco-Innovation , Energy , Environment & Climate , September 16 2016
Can a city be sustainable? That’s what our 2016 edition of State of the World investigates. In his chapter, “Reducing the Environmental Footprint of Buildings,” author and project co-director Michael Renner explains what actions cities can take to make their buildings greener.
Buildings are some of the biggest users of materials and water, consume nearly half of the world’s energy, and contribute almost half of global greenhouse gas emissions. With more buildings sprouting up every year and existing ones often being inefficient, cities have begun to tap into their toolkit of policies to help reach sustainability goals.
Four Methods That Work
Tapping into their policy toolkits, municipalities around the world are using a blend of building codes and permits, zoning regulations, building performance ordinances, and other mandates and regulations. Taxes and other financial policies can provide additional incentives. Subsidies can reduce the upfront cost of retrofits and ensure that lower-income residents are not left behind.
Here are four tactics that cities and their residents are using to push toward urban sustainability:
1. Building Certifications
Hundreds of green certifications exist today, ranging from standards for equipment and appliances (such as Energy Star and WaterSense) to certifications for entire buildings (such as BREEAM and LEED). ... Read More
Filed in Eco-Innovation , Energy , Waste Management & Recycling , Water Quality & Water Pollution , September 4 2014
Sweden is moving toward zero waste by making it possible to recycle 99% of all household waste. Since 1975, the country has moved from being able to recycle only 38% of its household waste to turning the entire country’s household waste into energy.
By imposing new regulation for recycling stations to be located within 300 meters from any residential area, citizens are taking part by collecting and separating their recyclable waste in their homes and drop off other items to nearby recycling stations.
Today, there are 32 incineration plants in Sweden which burn more than 2 million tonnes of waste to produce heat for over 800,000 households and generate electricity for 250,000 homes. Since 1985, 99% of heavy metal emissions have been reduced despite the fact that Sweden emits three times more waste today than in 1985.
‘We are trying to “move up the refuse ladder”, as we say, from burning to material recycling, by promoting recycling and working with authorities’, Weine Wiqvist, CEO of the Swedish Waste Management and Recycling Association (Avfall Sverige) says.
Meanwhile, Swedish households keep separating their newspapers, plastic, metal, glass, electric appliances, light bulbs and batteries. Municipalities in Sweden encourage people there to separate food waste beside plastic, glass, ... Read More
- Agriculture & Food
- Construction, Development & Real Estate
- Dining & Entertainment
- Ecosystems, Wildlife & Biodiversity
- Environment & Climate
- Fair Trade, Finance & The Social Economy
- Healthcare & Nutrition
- Human Resources
- Oceans, Fisheries & Aquaculture
- Office Equipment & Supplies
- Personal Care & Cosmetics
- Spirituality & Consciousness
- Waste Management & Recycling
- Water Quality & Water Pollution