Sustainability Tools, Technologies & Resources

Here are highlights -- a sampling of a few popular stories -- from our Issue Number 2:

How five multinationals are pursuing sustainability goals 

Here's what five firms - Rolls-Royce, Royal DSM, Panasonic, BASF and Henkel - are doing to become more responsible this year.

Think of sustainability and most people think of tree-planting and recycling. But multinational companies that have incorporated resource-light, ethical practices into their operations will attest that the S-word means more than a token corporate social responsibility gesture.

For a number of international giants, sustainability is a key part of their business. Targets are set and performance monitored, as with other key financial performance indicators.

Becoming more energy and water efficient trims operating expenditure while carbon-light products and services can plump up the top line. In short, sustainability pays off for business.

As 2017 gets underway, five multinationals based in Singapore report how they are making sure they walk the sustainability talk in the year ahead.

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PassivDom: Smart, modular home fully powered by solar

A completely passive building, requiring no external structures like foundations, plumbing and water tanks, the PassivDom zero carbon emission, autonomous home is 3D printed in modules.

Using proprietary window technology that eliminates nearly all heat loss, the windows are almost as warm as walls, allowing the home to be flooded with light, whatever the weather or climate.

Solar panels provide all energy needs, with extra capacity stored in a battery.

The modular design allows the home to be built in a variety of sizes and shapes, and its carbon and fiber glass frame makes it strong yet lightweight.

A PassivDom home can be set up in one day and comes equipped with all furnishings and appliances for immediate move-in.

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Gaviña to provide premium coffee with “greener” footprint

The history of our coffee company is a story about family. Brothers José María and Ramón Gaviña began this quest well over a century ago in 1870 when they left their native Basque region of Spain in search of a better life.

They settled in the fertile mountains of southern Cuba and planted the seeds of what would become Gaviña Gourmet Coffee.

Ever since, there have been Gaviñas running our coffee business - from our coffee growing roots in 1870 to our coffee roasting business in Los Angeles founded in 1967.

Today, we carry on the dream in our state-of-the-art coffee roasting facility just a few blocks from our original building.

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Back to earth

The archetypal vision of a modern cemetery is of carved and polished stones sprouting from a wide expanse of green lawn, meant to commemorate the lives of those buried beneath—often in caskets designed to fend off the natural cycle of decomposition -- for generations.

But in recent decades, more people have grown concerned with lessening, rather than maximizing, their posthumous presence. Green burials—after-death options aimed at reducing environmental impact and aiding in conservation efforts—have grown increasingly popular.

Matt Melugin, operations manager of the Nevada County Cemetery District, wasn’t familiar with the practice until someone called his office to request green services in 2014.

Melugin’s interest was piqued, and he spent much of the next two years paving the way for the county’s first green burial last summer.

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College student recognized for promoting sustainability

Nicholas Endorf is in his second year of college, and is a student at Iowa Western Community College (IWCC). He is pursuing his associate's degree in sustainable energy.

Endorf lives in Omaha, but he spends a lot of his time at the college in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

“I figured if I could do something I loved that benefited the planet and provide a healthy ecosystem for my son to grow up in, it would be the best of both worlds,” Endorf said.

His short-term goals include working as a wind turbine technician and then pursuing his BS degree in sustainability management.

His long-term goals include teaching higher-level education on sustainability and alternative fuels.

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DIY vertical garden helps feed local communities

The Growroom is a community garden structure, designed to feed multiple people with a minimal structural footprint.

Designed by SPACE10 as part of the Ikea Lab idea development program, the Growroom is an open source vertical garden.

Described by SPACE10 as an urban farm pavilion, Growrooms are 2.8 by 2.5 meters in size, and are designed specifically for effectiveness in small urban spaces.

Sphere-shaped, the structure’s design allows light and water to reach every level of the garden while still providing shade and shelter for visitors within.

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