From hydrogen trucks to regenerative agriculture: The sustainability success stories of Climate Week NYC 2022
Over the past week, hundreds of events have been held in New York and online as part of Climate Week. Here, we recap on some of the biggest announcements from the private sector and beyond.
Since Monday (19 September), thousands of representatives from policy, business, science, academia, thought leadership and the third sector have been attending events virtually and in person as part of Climate Week NYC.
The event, orchestrated by The Climate Group, has been hosted annually since 2009 and coincides with the UN General Assembly. It’s one of the biggest and busiest climate events of the year involving the private sector.
To help summarise this whirlwind week, edie is rounding up all the key announcements coinciding with this event, splitting them in accordance with our Mission Possible campaign pillars.
- Energy developer Lyhfe launched a green hydrogen demonstrator project in Saint-Nazaire, France. The project will be operational for 18 months and will be powered by offshore wind.
- London-based community energy organisation Energy Garden has launched a community share offer, to enable people to invest in its work to bring rooftop solar to urban neighbourhoods.
- Power producer Kenlov Renewable Energy signed its first Power Purchase Agreement, for 60% of the output of the 400MW Tierra Bonita solar project in Texas. The offtaker is local electric utility CPS Energy, which supplies 900,000 residents in and around San Antonio.
- Renewable infrastructure investor and asset manager NTR successfully completed the combined financing of Murley Wind Farm in Northern Ireland and Ockendon Solar Farm in London. Rabobank has provided £38m of debt across the projects, while BT Group is supporting them through a ten-year PPA.
- A new campaign, ‘Power Up’, was launched in the aim of ensuring that African communities are heard and served in energy transition access. The campaign is calling for wealthy nations to increase climate adaptation and to provide funding for improving energy access, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Bloom Energy is installing an electrolyser at Xcel Energy’s Prairie Island nuclear plant in Minnesota, to produce low-carbon hydrogen. (pictured)
- Aldi UK has confirmed plans to add soft plastic collection and recycling points to all UK stores. Other supermarkets, such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s, have already installed similar points, as most UK councils do not currently collect flexible plastics from homes.
- L’Oreal USA forged a partnership with The Recycling Partnership to launch a Small Town Access Fund. The fund will be used to improve recycling infrastructure in small, rural communities across nine states.
- Premium British fashion and lifestyle brand Joules partnered with clothing resale platform Reskinned to launch an online take-back scheme.
- Ingka Group announced that IKEA stores across the world collectively generated 54% less food waste last year than in 2017, meaning that it has surpassed its ambitions in this area. The retailer has worked with Winnow to implement AI technology to help cut waste.
- HSBC Asset Management launched a new thematic fund on the circular economy. It intends to use the fund to back around 60 businesses working on circular economy solutions.
- The Mercedes F1 team has trialled hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) as a diesel treatment. HVO was used to power 16 of the team’s trucks for the 1,400km journey from the Dutch Grand Prix to the Italian Grand Prix. The team claims that the fuel generated 89% less freight emissions due to the change.
- The Airport Industrial Property Unit Trust raised £350m for a new sustainability-linked bond. Proceeds will be spent on renovation schemes that improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions.
- Recycling Lives has launched what it claims is the UK’s first fully electric skip trucks – two E-Tech DZE models from Renault Trucks. The vehicles, based in Preston, only need to be charged once a day and have fast charging capacity.
- UK Power Networks posted success with its work with four local councils in the UK, incentivizing chargepoint installers to fit infrastructure in underserved places.
- Amazon signed an agreement with Infinium to source electrofuels for its fleet in the US, as an alternative to diesel. Electrofuels are synthetic fuels made using captured carbon and renewable energies.
- The Climate Group launched the EV100+ initiative, aimed at convening businesses in phasing out the heaviest and most polluting vehicles. The founding members are Ikea, Unilever, JSW Steel, AP Moller-Maersk and DPD Group.
- Hitachi Rail unveiled a new hybrid battery train at Berlin InnoTrans. It will start running commercially in Italy before the end of the year, enabling trains to use battery or electric power, with diesel as a backup.
- British manufacturer Tevva launched its hydrogen-electric trucks in mainland Europe for the first time, choosing Germany as the starting point.
- Rare earth metals firm Pensana forged a partnership with Polestar as it works to deliver a “climate-neutral” electric car this decade. The firms hope to eliminate all emissions related to the extraction of raw materials.
- Transdev committed to supporting the modal shift from individual car ownership to public transport, and is urging other organisations to collaborate on this vision.
THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT:
- C40 Cities formed a partnership with Nordic real estate investor NREP to launch a proof of concept for the 15-minute city, set to be piloted in at least five cities. The learnings from this initiative will be shared more widely through C40’s network and with the UN.
- Schneider Electric confirmed that it has been working with Landsec to deliver The Forge – an office block in London designed to meet the UK Green Building Council’s net-zero carbon framework. The nine-story building has been topped out and will open shortly.
- Iberdrola set out a vision to have a net-positive impact on biodiversity in its operations and at its project by 2030. The firm’s chief executive and chair Ignacio Galan said it is “absolutely vital” for the energy transition to also benefit nature.
- Beauty brand Faith in Nature legally appointed nature to its board with the support of the Earth Law Centre and Lawyers for Nature. This means that nature is a director with voting rights. It is encouraging other businesses to follow suit by making the legal process open-source.
- The SME Climate Hub launched in the US, following its success in the UK. Small businesses represent around 90% of all businesses globally, and around half of employment, making them crucial in the net-zero transition. Businesses including Walmart, Mastercard, Siemens and Ericsson have signed up to help get their suppliers involved in the Hub.
- The Ikea Foundation and the Museum for the UN launched a new public engagement programme called the ‘global we’. 27 digitally connected ‘conversation portals’ will be installed in cities across the world before COP27, enabling international discussions on environmental topics.
- Terraformation, which describes itself as a “forest carbon accelerator”, has launched a new ‘Seed to Forest Alliance’ aimed at tackling bottlenecks to reforestation and improve research in this field. It will being together NGOs, businesses, academics and philanthropists.
- Del Monte Foods announced a commitment to donate at least $5m over the next ten years to improve the wellbeing of youth and communities across the US. It has, in the first instance, partnered with the Alliance for Healthier Generation, supporting its work to provide food to 7.5 million students in low-income communities.
- UK design companies, led by consultancy Morrama and the URGE Collective, have launched ‘Design Declares’. The campaign urges designers to declare climate and nature emergencies and act accordingly.
- Holcim launched a new science-based framework for decarbonising the cement sector in line with 1.5C, in partnership with the Science Based Targets Initiative. Concrete and cement generate as much as 7% of global annual emissions.
- Amazon forged a partnership with Water.org and set an ambition to provide safe water access to 100 million people. Wateraid estimates that 771 million people don’t have safe water access close to home.
- GSK launched a new Sustainable Procurement Programme. Suppliers will face new environmental requirements and receive the support to meet them. Topics covered include emissions, water, waste and deforestation.
- Futerra was named as the UN-backed Race to Zero Campaign’s first ‘Climate Solutions Provider’.
- PepsiCo and ADM signed a 7.5-year commercial agreement to collaborate on regenerative agriculture projects across their shared supply chains in North America. The projects should enable the more sustainable production of corn, soy and wheat.
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