Evidence of our changing climate is now ubiquitous, and in many regions, there is boisterous demand for a sustainable, clean energy future. Old infrastructure and old mindsets - all need wholesale restructuring. Predictions exist that the world will obtain as much as 70% of its energy from clean sources by 2050, that new buildings and factories using zero net energy will be the norm by 2030, and that the combustion engine will be replaced by electric vehicles.
Sustainable solutions in the transportation, energy, waste management, real estate and water, exist – yet deployment is lacking. Private sector has a significant opportunity to invest in clean, renewable, and biodegradable solutions that promote the next generation of energy and a future where all sectors of society can achieve a better quality of life, while protecting our global home.
OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES & THEORY OF CHANGE
Advancing Clean Energy Technology. Renewable energy sources will play a critical role in the world's future. Solar, wind, geothermal, marine, biomass, biofuel, and many more sources provide energy free of air pollutants and greenhouse gasses. They generate reliable, affordable, environmentally sustainable, and renewable energy in a decentralized manner to meet rural and small-scale energy needs and can contribute in a significant way to emerging micro-grid strategies. Transforming the way we generate energy and power our economy through the use of clean energy technology is the only way we will truly be able to meet our sustainability goals of the future.
Scaling Waste to Energy Solutions. Important advancements are being made in the development of scalable processes for turning waste into energy. These processes can combust a wide range of waste feedstocks, including residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural waste at temperatures ranging from 3,000⁰C to 10,000⁰C, 5-15 times hotter than existing technology, and hotter than the surface of the sun. These extreme temperatures vaporize carbon, turning waste into remarkably clean synthesis gas (syngas). As part of an end-to-end system, this exciting technology opens up capabilities in untapped markets, including hospitals, industrial parks, residential communities, resorts, military installations, cruise ships and many more, where the gas can then be used to power engines and turbines or fed back into an energy grid. These processes can reduce greenhouse gases emitted in petroleum production by over 80%, and the technology produces its own operating energy, creating a self-sustaining and low-impact system.
Disruptions in Transportation Technology. The transportation sector is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases, contributing nearly 30% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Given the scope of their contribution, advancements in sustainable transportation solutions must play a critical role in our sustainable future. Electric vehicles are gaining more market share every day, as improvements in battery technology are advancing. Vehicles using hydrogen fuel cell technology are also gaining more interest as a number of carmakers are offering fuel cell models and are investing in future fuel cell development. Other advancements are being seen with flexible electric micro mobility ecosystems that connect light electric vehicles (e.g. micro cars, scooters, bikes, etc.) with convenient and intelligent battery exchange platforms. Accelerating light electric vehicle adoption with a battery exchange platform can help eliminate the need for battery ownership for both consumers, commuters and fleet operators like delivery services and government entities. Transportation systems that increase mobility, drive down pollution and create vibrant communities will be an important part of the solution.
Building in a Sustainable Way. Building technologies have become much more sophisticated over the past decade. Greater emphasis on GHG emissions reduction and human wellness have contributed to this advancement. Efficient lighting, green roofs and green infrastructure for water management and carbon reduction have become common place for new building construction. Developers, building owners and government need to be aware of these exciting advancements and stay poised to capitalize on the efficiencies and overall societal benefit of these and other sustainable building solutions.
Securing our Water Supply. By 2030, global demand for water is projected to outstrip supply by 40 percent putting communities around the world at risk of water insecurity. The ability of a community to safeguard sustainable access to adequate supplies of good quality water can be increased through an expanding variety of means, to include: demand management, which focuses on better use of existing water supplies before plans are made to further increase supply; enhanced reuse / recycle systems; and other improvements in water processing (e.g. desalination). With proper planning, siting, attention to all energy and environmental factors, and thorough evaluation of the full costs of operation, such innovations can be a significant part of a comprehensive water supply program that also includes advanced water conservation and effective drought management measures.
Improving Agriculture and Nutrition. Building better purchasing pathways for schools and communities to enable access to healthier food for all is a sustainability challenge that must be addressed. The agricultural supply chain is shifting away from chemically or genetically treated foods. And more citizens across the globe are realizing the potential health risks of a poor diet. Increased supply and demand for fresh and nutritious food will provide for health, wellness, and longevity of human life.
Enabling Sustainable Cities. A growing number of communities have adopted plans to become sustainable and resilient, but only a few have taken the comprehensive steps to align their codes, standards, funding programs, and policies to implement those plans. Without these changes, communities are unlikely to attract the private funds necessary to make these plans a reality. Though local leaders have made innumerable commitments to reduce environmental impacts, address climate change, and build resilient communities, their capacity to move from vision to execution is uneven. For this market to work, all of these stakeholders must have greater capacity to act. Elected leaders need creative least-cost solutions and partners to drive policy and political change in a variety of arenas, including transportation, water, energy infrastructure, and neighborhood investment. And they need talent who bring technical expertise and political savvy to modernize codes, remove policy barriers and create market incentives for the private sector to act.
Opportunity abounds to create financial value while helping to save the planet.