Archive for the ‘Express 172’ Category

Social Impact & Sustainability for Arts & Sports

Posted by Ken on August 10, 2012
Posted under Express 172

Partnering with the London Olympic Delivery Council, Lend Lease build the village currently home to 17,000 athletes from 200-plus countries which will be sustainably transformed into quality residential estates. Now it’s working with the Sydney Theatre Company to “create positive social impact”. Actress and theatre director Cate Blanchett says: “The cultural ribbon stretching from the Sydney Opera House to The Rocks and Walsh Bay and through to Barangaroo can be one of the most exciting cultural districts in the world.” Read More

Lend Lease partners with Sydney Theatre Company to create positive social impact

Announcement on 16 July 2012:

Lend Lease has today entered into a strategic partnership with Sydney Theatre Company (STC). The four year partnership will focus on developing programs that facilitate awareness and engagement in the creation of sustainable futures.

It is anticipated that the programs will touch more than one million individuals over the period of the partnership. Key areas of engagement will include Environmental and Social Sustainability, Indigenous Engagement, Cultural Development and Workplace Safety.

Lend Lease clients and employees, STC patrons, Barangaroo tenants as well as surrounding communities will be engaged to drive awareness of sustainable futures and its importance. Much of the content developed will be further communicated across Australia and internationally.

Throughout the four year partnership, innovative events will be staged focused on improving the built environment and interactive online learning tools will also be developed to educate individuals about sustainable futures.

The partnership will also see the formation of the Lend Lease Ideas Consortium. The consortium will meet a number of times annually and involve key business leaders and government with a commitment to develop a blueprint for creating sustainable environments.

Chief Executive Officer for Lend Lease’s Australian business, Mark Menhinnitt, explained that Lend Lease was delighted to partner with an organisation that also aimed to influence and lead the adoption of sustainable behaviour.

“Wherever we have a presence, Lend Lease aims to leave a legacy for future generations. Whether it be through the communities we create, the infrastructure we develop or the assets that we manage.

“By partnering with Sydney Theatre Company, we can now also look to educate individuals on the importance of sustainable futures through the programs we create,” said Mr. Menhinnitt.

Andrew Upton said: “We are thrilled to welcome Lend Lease as a Major Partner for STC. The relationship is underpinned by shared goals to be culturally inclusive and community engaged; to create and leave behind something genuinely valuable to our companies and the community.”

Cate Blanchett added: “The cultural ribbon stretching from the Sydney Opera House to The Rocks and Walsh Bay and through to Barangaroo can be one of the most exciting cultural districts in the world. STC looks forward to working closely with Lend Lease to this end.”

In addition to working on new initiatives, STC will be involved in the Millers Point Youth & Employment Partnership (MPY&EP) an association that has a long heritage with Lend Lease. The two organisations will determine activities that will enhance Barangaroo community involvement with MPY&EP underpinned by the goal of building awareness around sustainable futures.

Along with the STC partnership, Lend Lease Australia has also kicked off relationships with the new western Sydney AFL team, the GWS Giants and the Lend Lease Breakers, Cricket NSW women’s cricket team. All partnerships support Lend Lease’s key principles; safety, sustainability and diversity.

About Lend Lease

Lend Lease is a leading international property and infrastructure group, with a focus on core markets in Australia, Asia, Europe and the Americas. We create innovative and sustainable property solutions, forging partnerships and delivering maximum benefits to clients, investors and communities. Sustainability has always been an integral part of our culture and through design and investment in new technologies, we are delivering the next generation of sustainable property solutions. Safety is our number one priority and Lend Lease is committed to operating Incident & Injury Free wherever we have a presence.



Jonathon Moore for Australia Unlimited (26 July 2012):

Under the direction of Tim Urquhart, Australian property and infrastructure giant Lend Lease has delivered London the most advanced Olympic Village yet. With up to 6000 people working each day, the A$2.2 billion project, which will be retro-fitted to become permanent housing in London’s east, is one that will have a lasting effect.

The London 2012 Athletes Village wasn’t built in a day – but it was built well before the Opening Ceremony. In the middle of London’s newest urban regeneration quarter, an Olympic Athletes’ Village has been redefined beyond imagination.

With Australian property and infrastructure group Lend Lease at the helm and a collective total of 40,000 hands on deck, the finished project contains 2818 apartments and everything a city of the world’s greatest athletes might want for in any given month.

Charged with the four-year creation and delivery of this monumental project Lend Lease brings a vital Games experience to the task. With involvement in construction and management of three of the four Summer Olympic Games including and since the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, as well as the Turin Winter Olympics in 2006 and the Rugby World Cup in 2003, few, if any, comparable firms match the Australian giant’s pedigree in this arena.

Tim Urquhart, who is Development Director Athletes Village for Lend Lease in London, has overseen it all since the beginning. “There’s no doubt we’ve been, for a long time now, a key part of a number of significant projects with the Olympic Games,” Urquhart says. “Interestingly it started out in America for the 1996 Atlanta Games where the local Lend Lease business had a large role in program management for most of the venues.”

It was four years later, however, that the company found itself responsible for an even bigger role delivering a number of major venues for the Sydney 2000 Games. Lend Lease was a joint developer for the Olympic Athletes’ Village, two critical venues – the Athletics Centre and International Aquatic Centre – within the Sydney Olympic Park precinct, the expansion of Sydney Airport as well as providing long-term project management and operational roles for the government and the Games organising committee.

After its success in Sydney, the company was charged with the daunting task of delivering the Athletes Village in London.

“The Village in London is the single biggest project that we’ve ever undertaken given the time frame – and, from a Games perspective, far more complex than any of the projects in Sydney,” Urquhart says. “The Village here is a A$2.2 billion project and we’ve been involved from day one – our role has effectively been identical to that of the Village in Sydney, however the Village for 2012 is a more complex project, probably by a factor of three.

“It was a huge task – looking after 6000 people a day, making sure they came to work and got home safely at the end of the day. All up we worked 25 million man hours to deliver the Village and it is the first time ever that a Village has been delivered without serious injuries, which is an extraordinary achievement,” Urquhart says.

Unlike the Village in Sydney, which was partly made up of temporary and portable accommodation, at the London Village every single dwelling will become a finished legacy apartment.

“Coming back after the Games, we will be fitting out all 2818 apartments into their final legacy state,” Urquhart says. “It’s a complex logistical job but we’ll do that in about 18 months, on a phased basis so people can start moving in by mid-2013.”

“There was a lot of consideration for future-proofing the development, with issues such as the sustainability credentials, where the future marketplace is going to be, and what sort of living amenity people will want potentially a decade down the track being key. Today’s residential purchaser is a lot more selective about what he or she wants to buy. So that’s been just part of the complexity.”

As an Australian who has been at the heart of such a monumental task within the broader project of delivering the London Games itself, Urquhart feels privileged to be involved.

“There’s always a great competitive relationship between the Australians and the Brits but you take a huge sense of pride in being involved in, not just the Olympics, but because it is London, one of the greatest cities in the world,” Urquhart says.

And for someone who has been close to many Olympic projects in the past, he agrees that the London Games certainly have an Australian feel.

“There have been a lot of Australians working in London – both individuals and many companies involved in a multitude of different capacities.”

Like many who have worked to deliver the London Olympic Games, Urquhart says he feels a unique level of satisfaction and enthusiasm for the success of the Games in 2012 and in the future.

“When Jacques Rogge, President of the IOC, stands up in the main stadium in August this year I’m almost positive that he will say, ‘London you have delivered the best Games ever’,” Urquhart says.

“I never thought I’d actually surpass my experience from having worked on the Games in Sydney,” Urquhart laughs. “I think already my personal pride and satisfaction have far exceeded my expectations in London, and it’s not even my home town!”


Two Solar Jobs for the Price of One

Posted by Ken on August 10, 2012
Posted under Express 172

Roof top tubes, developed by Naked Energy, are a kind of hybrid solar-energy contraption that make more efficient use of the sun’s energy to produce both electricity and hot water. This combines the benefits of photovoltaic panels with that of solar hot water heaters. Cogeneration like this can be ideal for users who do not need high level of energy production – suitable for households and apartment buildings. Read more

By Jesse Emspak in Discovery News (2 August 2012):

Look closely at these solar panels. They aren’t the flat panels commonly seen on rooftops, but arrays of tubular components.

These tubes, developed by Naked Energy, in Guildford, England, are a kind of hybrid solar-energy contraption that make more efficient use of the sun’s energy to produce both electricity and hot water.

They’re hybrid because they do two jobs. Most solar panels either making electricity or heat water, not both. The former is done by a photovoltaic silicon solar panel, familiar in small devices such as calculators and big rooftop installations. Solar hot water heaters are basically arrays of black plastic pipes that get heated up during the day.

The problem with either system by itself is that a lot of energy gets wasted. Photovoltaics operate at efficiencies of 20 percent, which means that most of the potential sunlight is not captured for energy and is simply lost. On top of that, when panels heat up (as they will, in the sunlight) they become less efficient — above about 77 degrees they start to generate less power. Meanwhile, a solar hot water heater can save on gas (or electric) heating, but they miss out on the chance to generate electricity.

Naked Energy’s array of tubes contains solar panels that capture sunlight to convert to electricity, but it’s also able to support water, which is pumped through the tubes, absorbing excess heat. Cooling the panels keep them running at peak efficiency. The panels thus double as hot water heaters, in a process called cogeneration.

Naked Energy isn’t the only player in the field. In California, Cogenra Solar has installed a combination photovoltaic and hot water heating system at the Kendall-Jackson winery near Santa Rosa, Calif., providing electricity and hot water for a bottling and blending facility.

The idea isn’t new. Solar thermal plants use the sun’s light to heat water for turbines, but that tends to be useful for big installations, covering hundreds of acres.

Cogeneration systems like these can make solar energy available to those who don’t need megawatts. Cogenra’s system, for instance, can produce about 241 kilowatts. That’s enough, according to the company, to save Kendall-Jackson some $30,000 per year in electricity costs. CEO Gilad Almogy told Discovery News that the basic model of the system provides about 30 kilowatts of heat, and is a good fit for apartment buildings.

There are differences in the way they work. Cogenra’s system tracks the sun, and consists of solar panels that are curved to focus the light onto the solar panels, with the pipes containing the water to be heated running behind them. Naked Energy’s panels are in vacuum tubes that can be mounted flat, with the water being pumped in pipes that draw the heat from the panel directly. (A similar innovation was unveiled last year by researchers at MIT and Boston College).

That also reflects a difference in purpose. Cogenra is for big buildings such as small factories and apartment houses, whereas Naked Energy is geared to homes. That’s one reason Naked Energy went with a design that doesn’t need motors to track the sun across the sky — such systems tend to be too expensive (and complicated) for the average homeowner to install.

Cogenera says it has systems installed in several states, and Alomogy said the payback on the system is five years, even given the low price of natural gas (the usual way water gets heated in many areas). Naked Energy is still a start-up, seeking enough investment capital to mass-produce the solar panels.


Ten Gold Medal Winning Sustainable Features

Posted by Ken on August 10, 2012
Posted under Express 172

As the London Olympic Games progress, the spotlight continues on the world’s top athletes as they compete for what is perhaps sport’s greatest honour: a gold, silver or bronze medal. Just as notable, though, are the sustainable features of the venues and services.  As the 2012 event is touted as the most sustainable one yet, here are some of the notable features. Read more

Racing to the top: 10 green Olympic facts

By Jessica Shankleman in Green (27 July 2012):

As the London Olympic Games progress, the spotlight continues on the world’s top athletes as they compete for what is perhaps sport’s greatest honour: a gold, silver or bronze medal. Just as notable, though, are the sustainable features of the venues and services supporting the event. Business Green highlights 10 features here.

1. The world’s first recyclable stadium

The 80,000 seat stadium was constructed with less than half the steel used in comparably sized stadiums, making it the lightest Olympic Stadium to date. It includes more than a third recycled content and is expected to require 60 percent less water compared to its counterparts. The ring beam that supports the roof is also made of reclaimed gas pipes.

2. Cycling’s sustainable surface

The VeloPark, which can seat up to 12,000 people, was constructed using mainly timber and has a lightweight roof that reduces its embodied carbon emissions by limiting the use of steel. It also has rainwater harvesting capabilities that will help cut water consumption by 75 percent. Best of all, the timber (including that used for the track) all came from certified sustainable sources.

3. A greener feed

London has set a new standard for Olympic food sourcing by becoming the first country to publish a “food vision” for the 14 million meals that will served during Games time. It includes requirements on caterers such as McDonald’s to source food to high environmental, ethical and animal welfare standards.

4. McDonald’s serves up eco-uniforms

Not content with merely serving sustainable-certified food, McDonald’s has kitted its 2,000 Olympic employees in new Wayne Hemingway-designed uniforms made from closed-loop compatible and recyclable materials. The designs are expected to be rolled out to McDonald’s 87,500 employees across the UK from the autumn, slashing the amount of clothing waste sent to landfill bny the company to zero.

5. VIPs and their greener Beemers

Anyone travelling through the capital over the coming weeks won’t be able to miss BMW’s brightly colored Olympic fleet, including 200 electric vehicles and 400 bicycles. Half the fleet will be BMW 320d Efficient Dynamic saloons, while another 700 will be BMW 520d Efficient Dynamics. The automaker has achieved its target of ensuring the London Olympics Games’ fleet does not exceed average emissions of 120 grams of CO2 per kilometer, while also pioneering the use of zero emission technologies.

6. Little use for landfill

The Olympic Delivery Authority has exceeded its target to reduce waste in construction and demolition. More than 90 percent of demolition waste is expected to be reused or recycled and at least 90 percent of construction waste was be diverted from landfill.

7. Coca-Cola closes the loop

Thanks to its new factory in Lincolnshire developed in partnership with ECO plastics, Coca-Cola has promised to turn all plastic bottles discarded at Olympic sites into 80 million new drinks bottles.

8. Faster, higher, stronger, greener for the Athlete’s Village

The 17,000 apartments in the Athletes’ Village represent the UK’s first substantial housing development to be built to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4. As such the buildings are 44 percent more energy efficient than 2006 building regulations required, while the estate boasts more than 10,000 square meters of green roofing. Moreover, after the athletes return home, the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) wants to turn the site into a 225-hectare park, boasting 45 hectares of biodiverse habitat and a network of pathways, cycle routes and waterways.

9. The smart metered Olympics

Energy giant EDF has this week unveiled a real-time energy monitoring system that has been deployed at some of the most high-profile venues, including the Olympic Stadium, the Velodrome, the basketball arena and the aquatics centre, as well as Tower Bridge and the EDF London Eye. The public can now track energy use at the facilities online as the games take place, while EDF will be offering the new service to businesses from the autumn.

10. Two weeks of sport and homeworking

Organisers are hoping that London’s public transport network will be freed up for visitors as the locals embrace technology that make working from home possible. Telco giant O2 certainly demonstrated what was possible in the runup to the games, getting 2,375 of its 2,500 staff to not turn up to its HQ one day earlier this year. Plenty of firms are now expected to follow suit as companies use the Games to trial emission cutting home-working programs.


Who’s Ranks on the Zero Impact Growth Monitor?

Posted by Ken on August 10, 2012
Posted under Express 172

New research by Deloitte in partnership with Volans to assess the sustainability strategies of companies, has found that just 10% of the companies surveyed – among them Unilever, Nike and Ricoh – have taken steps to overhaul their business plans towards sustainable growth. A Zero Impact Growth Monitor was developed to assess and rank 65 companies in their attempts to become more sustainable. Read more

By BusinessGreen Staff (3 August 2012):

Unilever, Nike and Ricoh are among just 10 percent of companies that have taken steps to genuinely overhaul their business plans to favor sustainable growth, according to new research by consultant firm Deloitte.

The company recently partnered with Volans, a green consulting firm, to assess how many companies have sustainability strategies that present a credible response to climate change and environmental threats.

Volans founder John Elkington has coined the term “zeronaut” to describe organizations that have taken the decision to try and grow the bottom line with zero environmental impact.

Drawing on Elkington’s definition, Deloitte developed a Zero Impact Growth Monitor that was used to assess and rank 65 different companies’ attempts to become more sustainable.

The resulting report produced in the wake of the Rio+20 summit, found 20 percent of companies have taken an “experimentation” approach towards becoming “zero impact,” meaning they are starting to tackle most issues around sustainability.

Meanwhile, just six businesses — Puma, Nike, Nestle, Natura, Unilever and Ricoh — have taken an “ecosystem” approach to delivering a zero impact company, with the report claiming they have embedded policies into a long-term strategic vision designed to make the organization genuinely sustainable. They are also in the process of establishing “sustainable business ecosystems” involving all of their suppliers and stakeholders, Deloitte said.

However, none of the businesses assessed had reached Deloitte’s top level of maturity, dubbed “economy” and characterised by the adoption of a workable strategy for delivering zero impact growth, including measurable short and long-term targets with clearly defined benchmarks.

Moreover, 70 percent of those firms assessed were said to have only adopted an “enterprise” approach to zero impact, meaning they have a clear vision of their sustainability goals, but lack a holistic and long-term approach.

Deloitte said the survey also found that most companies have strategies which aim to make them “less bad,” rather than positively good for the environment. In addition, it warned there was a lack of consistent definitions and descriptions that companies could use to adequately explain their sustainability efforts.

“Although the research focused only on the so-called ‘leading companies,’ there are still considerable differences in scores — even within the same industry,” said Deloitte. “We have seen the biggest gaps in some of those industries that will see the highest EBITDA loss in case of the internalization of additional external costs.”

“During our research we have also observed considerable differences in the scores of various industries, which in our view hinders potential innovation and collaboration in and between the industries,” Deloitte said.


Legacy of Sustainability Champion Ray Anderson

Posted by Ken on August 10, 2012
Posted under Express 172

The passing of Ray Anderson, the founder of Interface and a champion of sustainable business, last August has left behind a legacy of sustainable industrial practices, where his carpet tile company serves as a model for the closed-loop, restorative enterprise of the future. The Ray C. Anderson Foundation aims to promote initiatives that harmonize society, business and the environment through the funding of innovative and educational projects that advance the revolution in sustainable production and consumption. Read more

By Joel Makower in Green (31 July 2012):

Last Saturday, on what would have been his 78th birthday, a small group of friends and family of the late Ray Anderson, the founder of Interface and a giant in the world of sustainable business, gathered in LaGrange, Georgia, to inaugurate a foundation in his name to “champion a revolution in sustainable production and consumption.”

Anderson died of cancer on August 8, 2011, at age 77, leaving behind an extraordinary legacy as a Southern industrialist who dared to envision his carpet company as a model for the closed-loop, restorative enterprise of tomorrow.

The Ray C. Anderson Foundation, which will roll out online next week, aims “to promote a sustainable society by supporting and pioneering initiatives that harmonize society, business and the environment for the present generation and tomorrow’s child,” according to its mission statement. “We will achieve this mission through inspiring and funding innovative, educational and project-based initiatives that advance the revolution in sustainable production and consumption.”

The foundation itself isn’t entirely new. Anderson himself created it in 1989 — several years before the ephipany that would lead him to, as he later dubbed it, his “mid-course correction.” At the time, the foundation was used as a vehicle for Anderson’s own charitable giving, including to endow a chair at Georgia Tech, his alma mater. Over the years, it distributed midsized grants to some of Anderson’s pet organizations and causes, including several sustainability-related groups, such as the Rocky Mountain Institute.

But since his passing nearly a year ago, his family, colleagues, and friends have been pondering how to infuse the foundation with new life, transforming it into a vehicle to continue the kinds of innovative efforts that were the hallmark of Anderson’s life and work.

It wasn’t an easy task. “He didn’t give his family any kind of directions,” said Jo Ann Bachman, Anderson’s longtime executive assistant, now part of the foundation’s staff. “He didn’t give them any kind of pointers. It was just sort of ‘take it and run.’”

“Daddy left absolutely no instructions,” his daughter, Mary Ann Anderson Lanier, told me last week. “We were really at a loss.”

In early May, a small group gathered in Georgia to begin the process, including Lanier and her sister, Harriet Anderson Langford; Anderson’s wife of 27 years, Pat Anderson; Janine Benyus, the biomimicry guru; John Picard, a veteran sustainability strategist; the philanthropist Laura Seydel, Ted Turner’s daughter; and Julie Wrigley, co-chair of the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University. They and several others began to envision the foundation’s mission, vision and goals. A subsequent, larger meeting was held in June.

It began to take shape. “With the help of advisers who knew my dad really well, who were inspired by him and who inspired him, we’ve been able to identify a niche in the sustainability world that seemed to be unfunded,” said Lanier. “It was an area that we felt we could do the most good: funding research initiatives and projects that will advance the sustainable production and consumption cycle, specifically the sustainable manufacturing cycle.”

The relaunched foundation has four principal goals:

Funding innovative new ideas and projects that promote visionary change in the sustainable manufacturing cycle.

Educating the public and business leaders alike in meaningful ways that propel a revolutionary change in the way we produce and consume products.

Inspiring a new generation of leaders and consumers to be good stewards of the planet’s resources, igniting action that radically impacts the way products are created and used.

Connecting thinkers, builders, innovators and idealists to a shared, ethical responsibility to the environment.

The bulk of the foundation comes from Interface stock, so its size fluctuates with the stock price, but is estimated at between $25 million and $30 million. Talking to several individuals close to the foundation, it’s clear that the organization is in its early stages, with some of the rules and procedures still taking shape. It’s unlikely that the first grants will made until 2013.

At Saturday night’s birthday dinner, the small group — which included Anderson’s wife, children, four grandchildren and a great-granddaughter, as well as a few close friends — officially launched the foundation — a “soft launch,” Bachman emphasizes. They previewed the website, slated to go live August 7, and a just-launched Facebook page.

“The menu was five-star and toasts were raised to Ray and the future of the foundation,” says Bachman. “The spirited conversation and genuine warmth of all to one another was a fitting testament to the man we honored.”