Intelligent highways and underground bins: the best green innovations of the week
A number of eye-catching and potentially transformational innovations have emerged that could help businesses and nations deliver on resource efficiency, low-carbon transitions and combat climate change. Here, edie rounds-up six of the best.
Climate technology investments growing five times faster than average market rates
Venture capital investment into climate-related technology is growing five times faster than the average rate of all other industry investments, with new analysis from PwC finding that corporate and investor demands for low-carbon innovation led to $16bn being invested in 2019.
Microsoft to become water positive by 2030
Microsoft has built on its ambitious emissions reduction targets by committing to becoming a "water positive" business by 2030, pledging to replenish more water than it uses.
Princes turns to QR codes and blockchain for sustainability storytelling
Princes is printing QR codes on its Napolina brand tomato products which, when scanned, will provide consumers with information about supply chain sustainability.
Carbon capture and EVs: Amazon unveils first beneficiaries of $2bn climate fund
Amazon has announced the first beneficiaries of its $2bn Climate Pledge Fund, with organisations developing carbon removal technologies, nature-based carbon markets and electric vehicle (EV) innovations set to benefit.
Google offsets lifetime carbon emissions
Google has "eliminated" its entire carbon legacy, offsetting all operational emissions generated before it achieved carbon neutrality in 2007.
Retailers sign up to co-locate on UK's first electric forecourt
A host of retailers including WHSmith, Costa Coffee, Booths and Gourmade have enrolled into a new partnership with the UK's first electric forecourt, which is due to open near Braintree, Essex, this November.
How a focus on green technology can build back better from the coronavirus pandemic
BT's chief digital impact and sustainability officer Andy Wales discussing how low-carbon and technological innovation can "reboot" Britain to help deliver a green economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
Renewable and technology associations team up to drive corporate demand for clean energy
UK trade associations, techUK, the Solar Trade Association (STA) and RenewableUK are forming a new partnership to encourage companies to purchase more renewable energy in a bid to spur the net-zero transition.
UK slipping behind on build rate required for net-zero target
The UK is achieving less than half of the required build rate to deliver energy systems that will reach net-zero emissions by 2050, according to a new whitepaper from engineering consultancy Atkins.
HolyGrail 2.0: Major brands sign up to explore digital watermarks to improve packaging recycling
More than 80 major European brands, including P&G, PepsiCo and Mondi will collaborate to explore the feasibility of using "digital watermarks" to improve the sorting of recyclable packaging across the European Union (EU), as part of the HolyGrail 2.0 project spearheaded by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
Absolut to trial 2,000 paper-based drinks bottles
The Absolut Company will trial 2,000 paper-based bottle prototypes across Sweden and the UK later this year, to test the viability of paper as an alternative to single-use plastics in beverage applications.
Climate crowdsourcing: Government urged to put digital technology at heart of net-zero strategy
A new report has called on the UK Government to secure a windfall of the emerging digital climate tech sector by embracing low-carbon innovation through policy measures - a move which could help slash emissions and add billions to the UK economy.
Lenovo to halve emissions as part of science-based targets
Computer manufacturer Lenovo has unveiled new science-based targets to halve emissions from its operations and reduce value chain impacts by 25% by 2030, with a view to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.
Electric vehicle market to surpass 320 million sales by 2040
Electric vehicle (EV) sales are expected to reach 45 million unit sales a year by 2040, growing 35 times its current size, with the globe's EV stock set to surpass 320 million, according to new research from Wood Mackenzie.
Energy retailer IGS commits to net-zero by 2040
One of the US's largest energy retailers, IGS, has announced a new commitment to reach net-zero emissions for its operations and the services it provides to its domestic and business customers by 2040, pledging to provide 100% renewable electricity and carbon-neutral gas.
UK's CCS deployment lacking 'comprehensive' planning on non-cluster sites
The UK's net-zero transition is lacking a "comprehensive regulatory framework" to overcome challenges to "dispersed" sites that would be suitable for carbon capture technology (CCS) but that aren't located in industrial clusters.
Dixons Carphone to convert to electric and alternative fuel fleet by 2030
Dixons Carphone has signed up to the Climate Group's EV100 initiative, pledging to switch its commercial fleet to electric and alternative fuel vehicles by 2030 and to transition more than half of its medium duty vehicles.
Bus garage in London now hosting 'world's largest' V2G trial
A bus garage in North London has been fitted with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology and 100 buses adapted for bi-directional charging, as part of what is being described as the largest project of its kind in the world.
Hydrogen deployment could deliver 75,000 jobs and £18bn boon for UK economy
Utilising hydrogen production could generate £18bn for the UK economy and support more than 75,000 jobs over the next 15 years, according to a taskforce backed by the likes of Shell and BP.
Facebook backs major renewables projects in Ireland and the US as it closes in on 100% target
Facebook has made a string of new wind and solar purchases across the US and in County Tipperary, Ireland, as it strives to meet 100% of its electricity consumption with renewables by the end of 2020.
O2: 5G will play 'huge role' in decarbonising energy, transport and manufacturing
Telecoms giant O2 has published a new analysis of the role which ultrafast 5G could play in decarbonising the UK's economy, predicting that it could mitigate 269 megatonnes of CO2e emissions through to 2035.
Geothermal mines, low-carbon transport and floating wind projects bag Government R&D funding
The Government has awarded R&D funding packages to a string of projects which could assist the transition to net-zero, including floating wind farms in the South West, innovative heat recovery systems in Glasgow and a low-carbon transport cluster in the Midlands.
Nissan kick-starts V2G EV charging trials
Nissan has installed 20 electric vehicle (EV) chargers with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capabilities at its European Technical Centre in Cranfield, as it works to develop new 'smart' mobility packages for business customers.
Government urged to ramp up hydrogen spending through national strategy
The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) had called on the Government to implement a Hydrogen Strategy to assist in decarbonising carbon-intensive sectors, in the same week that the National Grid announced plans to build a new hydrogen testing facility.
Greenest team on the greenest grid: Can carbon-neutral racing energise the climate debate?
EXCLUSIVE: With Formula E team Envision Virgin Racing confirming that it has achieved carbon-neutral status, the company's managing director Sylvain Filippi believes the sport can use its platform to showcase "exciting" low-carbon solutions to inspire a broad audience.
Microsoft vows to become a 'zero-waste' business by 2030
Microsoft has pledged to bring its direct waste footprint to zero within a decade, as part of a new resources strategy which will boost the recyclability of its devices and see plastic packaging phased out entirely.
Dropbox targets carbon neutrality and 100% renewable electricity within a decade
File hosting firm Dropbox has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality for direct, power-related and business-travel-related emissions by 2030, as part of a sweeping new sustainability strategy.
Vodafone and Defra launch IoT tree monitoring system to inform climate policy
Vodafone has enrolled in a new partnership with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to use Internet of Things (IoT) technology to monitor and research tree growth to assist in tackling the climate crisis.
EU invests €350m in first domestic battery gigafactory
The European Investment Bank issued a €350 million loan on Thursday (30 July) to a Swedish company that hopes to corner a significant share of the global battery market by building the "greenest" power packs available.
Autonomous farming and AI-enabled energy trackers: The best green innovations of July 2020
Every month, numerous eye-catching and potentially transformational innovations are being developed to help businesses and nations turn their green ambitions into actions. Here, we round-up five of the best from July 2020.
World's largest network of AI-enabled residential batteries doubles in size
Smart battery giant Moixa has doubled the number of residential battery storage units it operates in Japan to 20,000, making the network the largest of its kind in the world.
Apple targets net-zero emissions across operations, value chain and products
Apple has announced major plans to become net-zero emissions across its business, supply chains and products by 2030, pledging to reduce emissions by 75% and develop carbon removal solutions for the remaining 25%.
Gas grid operators unveil plan for 'backbone' of Europe's hydrogen infrastructure
A group of eleven European gas infrastructure companies from nine EU member states have presented plans to create a dedicated hydrogen pipeline network of almost 23,000 km by 2040, to be used in parallel to the natural gas grid.
Investment to decarbonise aviation must be 'supercharged' in Covid-19 recovery plans, MPs urge
"Supercharging" investment in decarbonising the UK's aviation sector would provide a "golden opportunity" in the economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis, a coalition of 35 cross-party MPs have told the Treasury.
Fresh government funding for animal feed made from captured CO2
The UK Government has unveiled a £24m funding pot for innovations aimed at transforming the food system, including a project using captured CO2 to manufacture animal feed, amid fresh warnings of agriculture's links to illegal deforestation.
Energy storage planning regulations eased in bid to spur net-zero transition
The UK Government has moved to relax planning rules for large-scale energy storage arrays, in the hopes of speeding up the energy sector's net-zero transition and boosting investment in the sector post-lockdown.
edie launches top tips guide for smart grids
edie has published a new top tips guide, outlining 10 clear and concise pieces of advice for businesses looking to explore smart grid technology.
UK businesses betting on the future of e-mobility should think about batteries today
In his recent "New Deal" speech, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, identified batteries for electric vehicles as a high-potential technology for which a new science funding body will be created later on this summer.
Accelerating the smart grid transition: 10 top tips for business
Done right, the transition to smart, flexible energy systems can radically reduce carbon, increase business resilience, and open up exciting new revenue streams.
Facebook to capture and donate wasted heat from Danish data centre
The installation of a "hyperscale" district heating system at Facebook's data centre in Odense, Denmark, has been completed, setting the firm up to donate 100,000MWh of energy annually.
Sport broadcasters form new sustainability consortium
BBC, ITV, BT Sport and Sky Sports are some of the key broadcasters that have joined the BAFTA Sports Consortium, a new group set up to reduce the impact that sports broadcasting has on the environment.
Tesla Megapacks to provide grid flexibility in Dorset
A new energy storage project located in Poole will feature six Tesla Megapack batteries that will store and transfer green energy to and from the National Grid.
VW to remove petrol and diesel vehicle manufacturing lines from key factory
Volkswagen (VW) is set to remove production lines for all internal combustion engine vehicles from one of its key factories this year, replacing them with electric vehicle (EV) production capacity.
IEA: Most technologies needed to achieve net-zero aren't yet mature
Some 75% of the emissions reductions necessary to meet net-zero are dependent on technologies which have not yet reached commercial maturity, new analysis from the International Energy Agency (IEA) has found.
Net-Zero Business podcast: Exploring smart grids with E.ON and Nottingham City Council
In response to the accelerated pace at which corporates are examining and setting net-zero targets to help alleviate the climate crisis, edie has launched a new spin-off of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast. Up next, smart grid discussions with E.ON and Nottingham City Council.
Equinor to deliver world's largest at-scale hydrogen from carbon capture plant in Hull
Equinor has unveiled plans to develop the world's largest plant capable of converting natural gas to hydrogen in combination with carbon capture and storage (CCUS), as part of the zero-carbon industrial hub located in the Humber region.
'Green Swan' observatories and Europe's biggest electric plane: The best green innovations of the month
Every month, numerous eye-catching and potentially transformational innovations are being developed to help businesses and nations turn their green ambitions into actions. Here, we round up six of the best from June 2020.
McDonald's to install EV chargers at all UK drive-thrus
McDonald's UK & Ireland has unveiled plans to install electric vehicle (EV) charging points at all restaurants with a drive-thru, as part of a partnership with InstaVolt.
Seven key things to consider when implementing smart grids
Edie recently hosted a 45-minute masterclass webinar on smart grids, which saw expert speakers from E.ON and the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) provide best-practice advice on installing and operating flexible energy technologies. Here, we round up their key takeaways.
edie launches new explains guide for smart grid technology
Organisations looking to understand the benefits and opportunities of the smart grids revolution can access a free 'edie Explains' guide which breaks down everything you need to know about smart grids, energy flexibility and select technologies.
Macquarie issues joint venture on 1GW solar and battery project pipeline
Macquarie's Green Investment Group (GIG) has announced a new UK joint venture with Enso Energy to create one of the largest solar and battery portfolios that will enhance the biodiversity on each project site.
Available to watch on-demand: edie's smart grids masterclass focused on energy storage and demand-response
edie readers can now watch our 45-minute masterclass on smart grids, featuring speakers from E.ON and the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE).
ArcelorMittal Europe and Atos launch net-zero carbon roadmaps
Europe's largest steelmaker has vowed to reduce its carbon emissions by 30% by 2030 and bring them to net-zero by 2050, in the same week that ICT services giant Atos set a 2035 net-zero deadline.
45-Minute Masterclass: Accelerating the smart grid transition for your business
With distributed energy assets fast becoming a mainstream part of the UK power network, this live online masterclass will equip businesses with the insights and inspiration they need to decentralise, decarbonise and democratise their energy through smart grid technologies and systems.
Hydrogen 'could provide half of the UK's net-zero energy demand'
Around 500TWh of hydrogen-generated power could be consumed annually in the UK by 2050 - equivalent to 50% of national demand - provided that ambitious supports from policy and large businesses are put in place, new analysis has found.
Drax partners with Mitsubishi to scale up biomass carbon capture
Drax Group has confirmed plans to install a new carbon capture and storage (CCS) array at its biomass power station in North Yorkshire this year, as part of a partnership with Mitsubishi's Heavy Industries arm.
HP to cut plastic packaging use by 75% by 2025
Printing and electronics giant HP has committed to using 75% fewer pieces of single-use plastic packaging in 2025 than it did in 2018, as it revealed that its sustainable products and services generated more than $1.6bn (£1.27bn) in sales last year.
IEA: Electric vehicle sales will continue to rise despite Covid-19 crisis
While the overall passenger car market is set to contract by 15% this year, electric vehicle (EV) sales to both individual motorists and businesses are likely to remain steady, new International Energy Agency (IEA) analysis states.
Tesla targets cobalt-free batteries in bid to minimise environmental impact
Carmaker Tesla has unveiled an ambition to use cobalt-free batteries in all of its electric vehicles (EVs), in a drive to minimise the environmental and social impact of its supply chains and boost the longevity and recyclability of its technology.
Sustainable Business Covered podcast: Streaming and the environment
Episode 87 of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast sees edie discuss the energy impact of streaming and digitalisation, featuring interviews with former npower chief executive Paul Massara, UCL professor Yiannis Andreopoulos and vinyl CD manufacturer and retailer Key Production.
World's biggest liquid air battery under construction in Greater Manchester
Construction on the world's largest liquid air battery is beginning in Trafford this week, after the project secured a £10m grant from the UK Government.
Logitech to roll out carbon labelling
Electronics giant Logitech is set to introduce labels communicating the carbon footprint of products to its entire portfolio, starting this year.
Unilever launches €1bn climate and nature fund, targets net-zero emissions by 2039
Consumer goods giant Unilever has unveiled a new set of sustainability commitments, pledging to end its contribution to deforestation, promote regenerative agriculture, transition to biodegradable ingredients and reach net-zero emissions for products by 2039 - all supported by a new €1bn Climate and Nature fund.
Wales to play host to Gigafactory and marine energy hub
The green light has been given to a new £60m marine energy project in Pembrokeshire, in the same week that battery giant Britishvolt has unveiled plans to build a new Gigafactory in Wales.
Google partners with WWF on digital data platform for sustainable fashion sourcing
Google has joined forces with WWF to develop an environmental data platform for sourcing professionals in the fashion industry, providing them information on the pollution and emissions impact of their business decisions.
WeTransfer achieves B-Corp certification, pledges carbon neutrality
Digital file transferring service WeTransfer has today (10 June) confirmed that it has achieved B-Corp certification, joining more than 3,000 other businesses including the likes of Ben & Jerry's, The Body Shop and Cook.
What role will hydrogen play in green Covid-19 recovery plans?
Plans for major hydrogen facilities in Norway and the Isle of Wight have been unveiled this week, as business giants, banks and green campaigners call on world leaders to include hydrogen investment in their Covid-19 recovery plans.
Rolls-Royce commits to net-zero carbon operations by 2030
Manufacturing giant Rolls-Royce has announced an intention to become a net-zero carbon business by 2030, alongside a wider ambition to enable sectors it sells to in becoming net-zero by 2050.
edie's next online masterclass to focus on smart grids for business
edie's next masterclass has been confirmed for Thursday 25 June, and will outline how businesses can decentralise, democratise and decarbonise their energy use through smart grid technology.
NatWest's carbon calculator and Wilko's plastic pledge: The World Environment Day success stories
To mark World Environment Day (5 June) edie's Sustainability Success Stories arrive early, outlining fresh new commitments to sustainability across renewables, resources, the built environment and more.
Circularity in a post-pandemic world: An opportunity worth seizing
As part of the edie Explains: The circular economy guide for 2020, supporting partner Reconomy's business and industry divisional director Harvey Laud discusses the role of closed-loop ambitions in helping to deliver a green recovery.
Zalando unveils science-based targets, commits suppliers to set carbon goals
Online fashion retail platform Zalando has built on its commitment to carbon neutrality across its own operations by having targets to reduce operational carbon emissions by 80% and emissions from the production of private label products by 40% approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
Cooling sector lagging behind on low-carbon innovation
With news emerging that last month was the joint-warmest April ever recorded, new analysis from CDP has warned that major consumer electronic and cooling appliance firms are failing to innovate technology to spur decarbonisation.
BT launches innovation platform and UK electric fleet alliance
BT has today (1 June) launched two new platforms to help accelerate green innovation in the UK and drive the adoption of electric vehicle (EV) fleets, both of which the tech giant believes will contribute to a green post-Covid19 recovery for the UK.
Wind sector is getting bigger, in more ways than one
The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) has confirmed that the wind sector installed a record 63GW of new capacity in 2019, while the average size and performance of new turbines have also increased.
UPS offers month-long carbon offset incentive for deliveries
Logistics firm UPS will offer the option to pay towards the offset of carbon emissions of shipped parcel deliveries throughout the month of June, to mark World Environment Day this Friday (5 June).
BEIS approves UK's largest solar farm
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has this week approved what is set to be the UK's largest solar farm, located in Kent.
Energy Institute sets science-based targets to reach net-zero emissions
The Energy Institute (EI) has announced a new ambition to become a net-zero organisation, agreeing to science-based targets to reducing emissions by almost 68% by 2030.
Pursuing a Real Net-Zero
Six months since its launch, the 'Pledge To Net Zero' initiative already has over 40 organisations from the environmental sector demonstrating their own leadership in the transition to a Net Zero carbon economy.
West Sussex's £31m 'smart' local energy system to progress during lockdown
A Virtual Power Plant (VPP) project in West Sussex which is aiming to streamline how low-carbon energy is generated, stored, traded and consumed is still running "at full speed" despite the economic disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
UK's largest solar farm expected to be approved
Development consent for what would be the UK's largest solar farm is expected to be confirmed by the Government this week, which could also see the world's largest energy storage system co-located at the site in the Kent countryside.
O2 targets e-waste with new Klyk partnership
O2 has agreed to a new partnership with technology refurbishment start-up Klyk to tackle the growing issue of electronic waste (e-waste) in the sector.
Zero-carbon Humber cluster to rollout carbon capture and hydrogen production
Plans to create the world's first zero-carbon industrial cluster in the Humber region reached another milestone this week, as Phillips 66 and Uniper signed an agreement to deploy a carbon capture and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen production facility.
Europe's draft 'green recovery' plan leaked
The European Commission's promised green recovery plan will focus on building renovation, renewables and hydrogen as well as clean mobility and the circular economy, according to a leaked working document obtained by EURACTIV.
Government launches £40m Clean Growth Fund to assist with net-zero vision
The UK Government has unveiled a £40m Clean Growth Fund to support start-up companies in the fields of low-carbon power, waste, transport and buildings, with hopes that funding could rise to £100m by 2021.
Planning application for UK's first waste-to-jet fuel plant given green light
A planning application backed by Shell and British Airways to create the UK's first commercial-scale waste-to-jet fuel plant in North East Lincolnshire has been granted planning permission.
Report: UK manufacturers boosting profits by focusing on energy efficiency
UK manufacturers that have taken steps to improve energy efficiency and decarbonise operations are reaping benefits, with 40% reporting increased profit margins and 30% experiencing increased competitiveness.
Intel targets net-positive water use and world's 'most sustainable' PC
IT manufacturer Intel has unveiled new sustainability targets for 2030, committing to achieving net-positive water use, being powered by 100% renewables and launching the "most sustainable and energy-efficient PC in the world".
Viridor signs agreement on UK plastics chemical recycling initiative
Waste management firm Viridor has agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with chemical recycling company Plastic Energy to explore a system that treats non-recycled plastic waste using low-carbon electricity to create recycled plastic feedstocks.
Switching all UK cars to electric vehicles would slash emissions by 12%, researchers claim
Switching all cars on UK roads to available electric vehicles (EVs) like the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model 3 would cut the nation's emissions by almost 12%, new research from Nottingham Trent University (NTU) has found.
2,500 by 2030: Government unveils rapid charging vision for England's roads
The Government has unveiled plans to roll out 6,000 new electric vehicle (EV) charging points across A-roads and motorways by 2035, in order to spur the adoption of zero-carbon transport.
Northern Powergrid unveils community engagement decarbonisation plans
The distribution network operator (DNO) for the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire has unveiled a new community energy engagement strategy outlining steps to use community-based consumption and power to respond to the climate emergency.
edie launches free Decentralised Energy Toolkit for businesses
edie has today (13 May) launched a new toolkit, in association with UK Power Network Services, to outline and showcase how businesses large and small can explore distributed energy solutions to assist with decarbonisation strategies and give them more control over energy usage.
Severn Trent rolls out 350 electric vehicle charging point at UK facilities
The UK's second-biggest water company, Severn Trent, is installing more than 350 electric vehicle (EV) charge points across its sites, as part of its commitment to covert 100% of its transport fleet to electric by 2030.
Gravity-based energy storage project set for Edinburgh
A demonstrator project aiming to transform old mine shafts into energy storage systems is set to be up and running in December, after the company behind the innovation agreed to a land rental agreement at a site in Edinburgh.
Centrica and Lotus partner up on electric vehicle energy storage
Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, has announced a new strategic partnership with auto manufacturer Lotus to give electric vehicle (EV) owners more viability to store electricity and reduce household emissions.
New kids on the block: How Minecraft is shaping the next generation of green workers during lockdown
With 1.5 billion children globally unable to attend school during the lockdown, companies including TEDEd, EIT InnoEnergy and the makers of gaming sensation Minecraft have rolled out engaging online content aimed at harnessing the momentum of the 2019 climate strikes.
Green stimulus can repair global economy and climate, study says
Green economy recovery packages for the coronavirus crisis will repair the global economy and put the world on track to tackle climate breakdown, but time is running out to implement the changes needed, new analysis has shown.
Local energy trading market launched on Orkney islands
A trial focused on delivering real-time trading between renewable generation and local grid flexibility on the Orkney islands has been successful, with project lead Electron noting that more than 1,300 trades have been completed as part of a demonstration projected.