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The greening of construction (Part III): Buildings Ratings tools in international context

May 8, 2014    3 Comments

In the first article in this series a couple of weeks ago, I suggested that the trend towards sustainability in the construction sector was being driven by demand as the business case for green buildings becomes more widely appreciated by investors and tenants. This week, my aim is to survey the most widely used tools for determining a building’s sustainability in different regions and assess t...

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  • Flow_Dave#6
    The greening of construction (Part II): International development of EPDs
    May 1, 2014  

    Unless you have been living under a rock, or on the wrong side of the digital divide in a slum, you will be aware that last week I introduced the idea of EPDs, or type III environmental declarations, in the construction sector. I asserted that they were a useful and important addition to the armory of measures that currently vie to push human society towards the much vaunted but elusive goal of sustainability. The construction sector is leading other industries internationally in the development of EPD schemes so perhaps offers some sort of template for the wider use of EPDs. The Internatio...

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    In recent years humankind reached a significant milestone when we became a predominantly urban species. This trend towards urbanization is part of the transition from agrarian to industrial society that is radically transforming our social metabolism and threatening the earth system. Although Northern Europe established this trend in the 18th century, it is currently most pronounced in the developing world. In China for example, where rural migrants have for decades been flooding urban spaces, construction spending amounted to $1.25 trillion in 2012. Yet most construction still occurs in ri...

  • handprinter.org
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    April 17, 2014  

    A couple of years ago TIME magazine rated Handprints among the “10 ideas that are changing your life”. This statement would tend to suggest that either your life is pretty stagnant or that maybe it is worth examining what the handprint hype is about. Has it changed our lives? Handprints are the converse of footprints. Where footprints carry negative connotations – generally about the burdens that humans place on “the environment” – handprints exude positivity. Take for example the narrative of the Positive Handprints Foundation. It assures us that handprints are all about the five Ps of sus...

  • Product environmental footprinting: Harmonization or proliferation of standards?
    March 20, 2014    1 Comment

     Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a means of determining the environmental impact of a product, process or activity. It abstracts that “thing” from its surrounds and assesses its material interaction with the ecosystem in terms of particular impacts. Such impacts include climate, water, human health etc. With the burgeoning awareness in recent years of the unprecedented alterations that humanity is inflicting upon planet earth – especially its thermoregulatory system – demand has grown for LCA based product declarations: product environmental footprinting (PEF). The PEF World Forum defines a ...

  • ktf_umberto-tutorial
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    Right after driving, flying, heating, and cooling, consuming meat and dairy products weighs the most heavily on our lifestyle related climate budget. While it is clear that fossil fuel powered cars, airplanes, heaters and air conditioners have a terrible carbon footprint, what's the deal with cows, really? Is dairy all that bad? Assuming this to be the case, what options are there to replace them? How do soy milk and other alternatives score in their overall environmental impacts compared to traditional milk? In this article, we'll analyze the life cycle of milk and relate it to soy milk, and ...

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    Last week, I introduced you to the first three steps small and medium-sized companies need to take to increase their resource efficiency to a maximum. Today, you'll find the last two of the five steps involved in making the most use of material flow modeling. Step 4: Calculate Product Costs Related to Material Loss Broken down to one product, how much do my materials cost? That's an appropriate question. In addition, material flow cost accounting can determine how much material is “lost” in every single process and every possible material cost. Viere et al.: From the perspective of resource...

  • Material flow Network with Sankey Diagram Arrows, showing the mass flows of cotton (green) and water (blue)
    5 Steps towards Maximum Resource Efficiency: Material Flow Modeling Made Easy
    May 29, 2013    2 Comments

    When calculating and reducing business-related environmental effects, two different approaches are traditionally taken. There is the product centered concept on the one hand, and the production centered one on the other. A typical product-centered approach is the carbon footprint, for instance. The second category focuses on the emissions of the entire production process, usually found in sustainability reports or environmental certifications of production plants, e.g. EMAS or ISO 14001. Actually, this differentiation between product and production is quite arbitrary because products and pro...

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    How to Recycle Phosphorus, the Most Least-Known Scarce Resource
    May 6, 2013    2 Comments

    Picking up on “sustainable agriculture”, most people think of free range chicken. They imagine livestock on green pastures. Some better informed would probably imagine a few optimized chemical and physical cycles, drip irrigation, compost based fertilizer, and limited pesticides. Haber-Bosch, the couple of celebrated innovators that revolutionized nitrogen supply, may be a name that quite a few are familiar with. However, although every one of us consumes farmed products every single day, it goes beyond average knowledge that our crops need various nutrients to grow and only a relatively few p...

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    Environmental effects are extremely complex, that’s why they’re impossible to measure, so let’s not bother about them too much and keep producing and consuming the way we have over the past 100 years! Why should we change that anyway? Isn’t the GDP still growing after all? Don’t we lead a comfortable good life? Even though this approach may seem strikingly ignorant to some of you, it appears to be common sense among mainstream business people and a general majority in most societies. And, yes, everything is complex indeed: the supply chains of global retailers, the climate, the just-in-time...

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    There are manifold approaches to close the apparent gap between a shrinking resource base on the one hand and the ever rising human resource demand on the other. For the longest time, the world's big industrial players have followed a strategy to successfully ignore the former, since environmental and social costs were merely negligible external effects. We could call this approach a procrastinating one, because it is future generations who are forced to deal with the outcomes of today's ignorance. In the course of the last 20 years, however, corporate giants have shifted their strategy. It ...

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    September 11, 2012    1 Comment

    Last week, in part one of this article, we ended with the tragedy of the commons and the question of whether overfishing is a logical consequence of human nature. Luckily, not all things are as bad as they seem. Let's get back to our effort to increase comprehension and scroll to page 18 of Frank Asche's report (Green Growth in Fisheries and Aquaculture Production and Trade). He seems quite confident there. [T]here is no doubt that aquaculture can be carried out in a sustainable manner, independent of the level of intensity. Therefore, the real issue with aquaculture and sustainability is whe...

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    September 5, 2012    2 Comments

    Shrimp farms destroy sensitive mangrove forest ecosystems, salmon escape from designated aquaculture spots and spread parasites, fish trawlers leave nothing but empty seas behind and even organic fish farming could be unsustainable due to dependence on fish meal from wild catch. When it comes to seafood, the message transmitted across mainstream media channels is devastating: there is simply nothing left we can eat responsibly, be it from the wild or aquaculture. Does that mean we all have to go vegetarian? Well, in many cases, the good news is that fish performs better than meat, when it come...

20-20-20 Objectives

2012

3 scopes

3D printing

academia

ACHEMA

acidification

agriculture

air quality

aluminum

Ankara

antarctic ozone hole

apocalypse

assessment

atmospheric carbon measurement

B2B

Bachelor program

background database

BASF

battery change station

best practice

bio capacity

bio-economy

biocapacity

biodiversity

biological gas treatment

biomass

blogs

BMBF

books

Brazil

BREEAM

building sector

building standards

business opportunity

carbon

carbon accouting

carbon assessment

carbon emissions

carbon footprint

carbon footprinting

carbon free city

carbon intensity

carbon leakage

carbon management

carbon neutral

carbon neutrality

carbon reduction

carbon relocation

carbon tax

carbon-neutral travel

cargo shipping

carton

central america

central asia

certification

CFC

change

chemical industry

China

circular economy

circular flow economy

city

climate change

climate control

climate impact

climate neutral

climate protection

club of rome

co2-equivalent

cogeneration

collaborative consumption

combined reporting

commercial sector

commons

comparative life cycle assessment

Competence Center

composite indicator

compost

composting

consistency

construction

construction industry

consumption

container ship

copenhagen

corporate carbon footprint

corporate culture

corporate material flow modeling

Corporate Social Responsibility

cost accounting

cost-effective measures

Country Attractiveness

cradle to cradle

creative destruction

Creative Sustainability

Critique of the Green Economy

cross-collaboration

CSR

CSR report

customer-driven sustainability

cycling

dairy

Dashboard of Sustainability

database

Davos

de-growth economy

decarbonization

dematerialization

denmark

design

developing countries

developing world

development cooperation

distributed manufacturing

divestment

domestic fuel consumption

domestic sector

double decoupling

e!Sankey

e-car

e-mobility

e-sankey

earth overshoot day

Earth Sciences

Earth summit

eCarUs

eco city

eco design

eco label

ecodesign

ecoinvent

ecologic footprint

ecological footprint

ecological resilience

ecological tax reform

economic indicators

ecosystem disturbance

ecovillage

education

efficiency

efficiency factory

efficiency investment

efficiency measures

efficient construction

Effizienzfabrik

EHS

eLCAr

electric car

emerging economies

emission gap

emission relocation

emissions

EMS

energiewende

energy

energy contracting

energy efficiency

Energy Efficiency Directive

energy efficiency in production

energy efficient production

Energy Intensity by Sector

energy management

energy performance

energy reduction

energy sources

energy transition

engineering excellence

Enhipro

enms

environment

Environment Ministry

environmental accounting

environmental awareness

environmental capital

Environmental Contracting

environmental control

environmental cost accounting

Environmental Engineering

Environmental Goods and Services Sector

Environmental Governance

environmental impact

environmental labeling

environmental management

environmental management system

environmental performance

environmental performance indicator

environmental policy

environmental product declaration

environmental product declarations

environmental profit and loss statement

environmental regulation

environmental standard

Environmental Sustainability Index

environmental technology verification

Environmentally Harmful Subsidy

Environmentally Weighed Material Consumption

EPD

EU

Europe

European Comission

european commission

European Green Cars Initiative

European Sustainable Development Strategy

eutrophication

EVALEAU

events

external effects

fashion

FIFA

fish

fishery

food footprint

food industry

food production

food sector

footprinting

forest ecosystems

forestry

fouling

FPC

free trade

freighter travel

full cost accounting

gate-to-gate

gate-to-gate approach

geopolymer cement

Germany

Ghana

GHG emissions

GHG mitigation

GHG reduction

GHG reduction goals

glass

Global Compact

global justice

global warming

governance

green building

green buildings

green business

green business models

green Christmas

green construction

green consumers

green economy

green growth

green investment

green jobs

green living

green new deal

green paradox

green production

greenhouse gas emissions

greenhouse gas inventory

greenhouse gas protocol

greenhouse gas reduction

greenhouse gases

greenwash

GRI

handprinting

Happy Life Years

harmonization

HDPE

Herman Daly

HFC

holistic approach

holistic sustainability

human development index

HVAC

IEA

IFEU

ifu hamburg

ILCD Handbook

impact assessment

impact category

incentive

Incentive-based pay

incineration

India

industrial ecology

industrial location choice

industrial production

industrial sector

information design

innovation

input output

input-output databases

input-output economics

InReff

insulation

Integrated Reporting

integrative approach

intellectual property

internalization of externalities

international standards

interplant collaboration

IPCC

ISO

ISO 14000

ISO 14001

ISO 14015

ISO 14025

ISO 14031

ISO 14040

ISO 14046

ISO 14051

ISO 14064

ISO 14067

ISO 50001

Jevon’s Paradox.

knowledge economy

Kuznets curve

Kyoto protocol

LCA

LCA recommendations

LCA software

LCM Berlin

lean manufacturing

LEED

life cycle

life cycle analysis

life cycle assessment

life cycle engineering

life cycle inventory

life cycle management

life cycle thinking

life style

lifecycle

limits to growth

LinkedIn

living planet report

Long-Term Pay

low carbon economy

low-carbon transport

low-energy house

management models

manufacturing industry

masdar city

master program

material consumption

material efficiency

material flow

material flow accounting

Material Flow Accounts

material flow analysis

material flow balance

material flow cost accounting

material flow cost analysis

Material Flow Management

material flow modeling

material flowcosts

material flows

material footprint

meat

mechanical-biological treatment

media

metal industry

methodology

Mexico

MFA

MFCA

milk

modeling

Montreal Protocol

municipal solid waste

nature conservation

Nepal

NIMBY

nitrate pollution

nuclear phase out

nutrients balance

nutrients cycle

OECD

OECD Environment Policy Committee

oligolopoly

Online Resource Efficiency Platform OREP

operational efficiency

organic agriculture

outsourcing

ozone layer recovery

packaging

PAS

passive house

patents

PET

philippines

phosphorus

photovoltaics

pilot program

pinch analysis

plastic industry

policy

policy instruments

politics

pollution haven hypothesis

post growth economy

post oil age

PR

process engineering

process heat

process improvement

process modeling

Process Optimization

process system engineering

product carbon footprint

product environmental footprint

product stewardship

production

production circle

production planning

production system

Production-based CO2 Productivity

productivity

PUMA

PVC

qatar

quality

quality journalism

quantified self

Rapid prototyping

rebound effect

recycling

refuse-derived fuel plant

remuneration

remuneration of environmental performance

renewable energy

renewable energy in manufacturing

renewable heat

renewable hydrogen

renewable methane

renewable process heat

renewable raw material

Renewable Resources

renewable thermal energy

resilience

resource conflicts

resource efficiency

Resource Efficiency Framework

resource flows

resource politics

resource productivity

resources

retailer

reuse

RFID

Rio+20 summit

rising material demand

risk management

Rolf Dobelli

sankey diagram

saving potentials

savings

scope 3

seafood

season's greetings

seattle

shopping rage

smart grid

smart meter

SMB

social cost accounting

social media

social metabolism

Social-Ecological Resilience

software

solar energy

solar heat

solar thermal energy

South Africa

South America

South Korea

soy milk

stakeholder management

standards

statistics

steady state economy

steel

stranded assets

strong sustainability

studies

sufficiency

supermarket chain

sustainability

sustainability control

sustainability indicators

sustainability innovation

sustainability management

sustainability performance

sustainability projects

sustainability reporting

Sustainability Science

sustainability strategy

sustainability triangle

sustainable agriculture

sustainable architecture

sustainable business

sustainable construction

sustainable development

sustainable housing

sustainable lifestyle

Sustainable Living

Sustainable Process Index

Sustainable Resource Management

sustainable transport

sydney

system analysis

tajikistan

Tesco

textile industry

textile refinement

Tobias Viere

total material consumption

trade

transparency

transport

transport emissions

transport sector

trends

triple bottom line principles

Turkey

Umberto

umberto for carbon footprint

umberto user workshop

Umweltbundesamt

university

upcycling

urban carbon emissions

VDMA

vernon curve

vertical cooperation

Vertragsnaturschutz

virtual water

waste air treatment

waste cycle

waste disposal

waste hierarchy

waste management

waste prevention

wastewater

wastewater treatment

water abstraction rate

Water Consumption by Sector

water extraction

water filter

water footprint

Water Management

water stress

web 2.0

Wellbeing Index

wind gas

wind power

wine

with both eyes open

working conditions

world cup

world statistics day

world vegan day

YET

zero carbon

zero carbon city

zero emission mobility

zero growth

zero growth economy