Posts

Greening the Emerald Isle: A Three-Leafed Approach to Sustainability?

Three-pronged approach to sustainability?.. How about a three-leafed approach? In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we’re serving up a shamrock’s worth of green facts on the Emerald Isle.

Environmental..
Renewable energy covered nearly 8% of final energy demand
According to a February 2015 energy report published by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, 7.8% of Ireland’s energy demand is met using renewable sources [2013]. This amount represents a 500% increase since 1990, and the halfway-point of Ireland’s 2020 binding target (16%) under the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive. The shift towards renewables has helped avoid 3 million tons of CO2 emissions and displace €300 million in fossil imports annually.

Economic..
Ministry for Energy announces boost to grants for residential energy efficiency improvements
The Irish Green Building Council reports a 25-50% increase in cash value for residential energy upgrade grants offered through the national incentive program, “Better Energy Homes Scheme”. Since the program’s launch in 2009, over 165,000 homes have undertaken efficiency improvements amounting to a total Government investment of €172 million. It’s estimated that the program has delivered CO2 emissions savings of 214.7kt, along with spawning (direct/indirect) 2,120 green jobs annually.

Social..
Guinness “Storehouse” recognized by Sustainable Travel International for environmental commitment
As the average pint contains 20 gallons of embodied water, breweries seek efficiency in operation and distribution to offset manufacturing impact. Sustainable Travel International, an authority on eco-tourism, accredited Ireland’s most popular visitor-attraction with a three-star rating for their improved policies in responsible sourcing, building energy usage, and lean packaging.

…slàinte!

Greenbuild Recap: Steven Winter Talks Building Science

As part of Hanley Wood’s Vision 2020 Sustainability Council, Steven Winter presented his thoughts on how building science can have a big impact on meeting 2020 energy efficiency targets.  The presentation took place on the first day of Greenbuild 2014 (10/22) in NOLA. (I should write out the city’s proper name, but it’s a fun acronym that I don’t often get to use!)

Some great themes to watch for: Thinking about large-scale impacts, the role that new technology will play, how to motivate change.

 

So, carrots or sticks? What do you think’s more effective?