Published every week, the new series charts how businesses and sustainability professionals are working to achieve their ‘Mission Possible’ across the campaign’s five key pillars – energyresourcesinfrastructuremobility and business leadership.

This edition of the ‘Achieving Mission Possible’ round-up highlights some of the tremendous progress we are now seeing right across the globe. From a drive-through cafe with a “living” roof to a campaign aimed at recycling two billion tonnes of beverage packaging, each of these projects and initiatives are empowering businesses and governments to achieve a sustainable future, today.

Achieving Mission Possible: The sustainability success stories of the week (30 June – 3 August 2018)

ENERGY: Senegal to build its first utility-scale wind farm this year

With the renewables revolution showing no signs of stopping, wind power continues to gain prevalence globally. Indeed, a 5% year-on-year increase in the proportion of the UK’s power which is generated from renewable sources has been largely attributed to the success of offshore wind farm projects.

Further afield, African utility Lekela recently announced that it had reached the final closure to build a large 158.7MW wind farm in Senegal – a project which is set to boost the amount of power produced by the region by 15%.

The project, called Taiba N’Diaye, is set to be fully operational by the end of 2020, with Lekela estimating that the 46-turbine facility will generate more than 450,000 MWh of energy per year.

The energy will be distributed to around two million African homes, with the firm predicting that the opening of the wind farm will prevent the emission of 300,000 tonnes of CO2e annually, compared with coal power generation.

“As the first utility-scale wind power project in the country, Taiba N’Diaye forms a critical component of Senegal’s clean energy strategy,” Lekela’s chief operating officer, Chris Ford, said. “The project will create an impact that lasts for generations.”

RESOURCES: PepsiCo Foundation commits $10m to boost US recycling rates

As consumer pressure for tackling packaging waste mounts, a number of food and drink companies – such as Costa and Coca-Cola – have recently made moves to lead the industry’s transition towards recyclability and circularity.

With plastics and packaging continuing to be some of the sustainability sphere’s most widely discussed issues, The PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of beverage giant PepsiCo, has partnered with The Recycling Partnership in the US in a bid to drive policy alterations, recycling infrastructure overhauls and actions from the private sector to boost plastic recycling.

Due to lack of infrastructure, widely varying municipal recycling programmes and low awareness of proper recycling practices, more than half of the material that could be recycled from US households is lost. In a move to tackle the issue head-on, the Foundation is donating $10m to spur the project and is targeting a further $25m of investment from businesses, matched with $75m of municipal funding.

If the project achieves $100m of funding, PepsiCo estimates it will help capture two billion tonnes of recyclable material over the next five years, including seven billion plastic bottles and metal cans.

THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT: Starbucks achieves LEED certification for UK store with ‘living’ roof  

Starbucks’ latest sustainability efforts have earned the company much media attention in the area of resource efficiency. But, turning to the built environment, the coffee chain this week announced that its newly-opened drive-through store at Willow Tree Lane Retail Park in Yeading, West London, has achieved LEED certification.

The coffee shop is fitted with a plethora of built-in sustainability features, including a “living” green roof packed with plants, a zone-controlled heat pump and energy-efficient LED lighting. As well as conserving energy through insulation, the green roof helps increase biodiversity around the store, reduces noise pollution inside the building, and captures carbon.

There are also several electric vehicle (EV) chargepoints in the car park of the store, which is built entirely from locally sourced materials. Starbucks also insists that all waste material generated through the construction of the store was diverted from landfill and sent for recycling.

“The purpose of the new design is to redefine the drive-thru experience at Starbucks and show how Starbucks is leading the way in building more sustainable LEED-certified stores,” Starbucks’ vice president of design, Ad de Hond, said. “The store will also set a new standard for the Starbucks experience; creating genuine moments of connection for both our driving and in-store customers.”

MOBILITY: UPS developing new electric delivery trucks in the US

As more and more businesses pledge to decarbonise their fleet, logistics giant UPS has continually stood out as a leader in sustainable mobility. It operates more than 9,300 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles globally, including 700 hybrid-electric and 300 fully-electric delivery vehicles in Europe and the US. 

In its latest mobility success story, UPS this week revealed that it has been collaborating with Thor Trucks to develop another fully-electric, medium-duty delivery truck, which it expects to deploy within its US fleet by the end of the year.

The Thor electric delivery trucks will have a driving range of approximately 100 miles and are currently undergoing a six-month trial in Los Angeles, California, to asses durability, battery capacity and technical integration potential.

BUSINESS LEADERSHIP: AB InBev unveils innovation accelerator for green startups

The owner of alcoholic brands including Corona, Stella Artois and Budweiser is calling on startups to join new innovation programme aimed at solving more than 100 sustainability challenges by 2025.

Ab InBev’s 100+ Accelerator scheme invites applicants to put forward their solutions to issues around water stewardship, farmer productivity, responsible sourcing and green logistics. Winning startups will receive funding, mentorship and access to new networks.

Successful partners will be announced in September during UN Climate Week in New York and will have their solutions showcased at the AB InBev brewery in Leuven, Belgium in Spring 2019.

AB InBev’s 100+ Accelerator global director Masie Devine said: “Today’s global sustainability challenges provide us with some of the greatest opportunities for development and innovation. We want to empower driven and committed entrepreneurs who are solving problems in their own communities. The 100+ Accelerator will draw on our company’s entrepreneurial spirit and our constant drive to deliver faster, better results.”

Sarah George

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