From hydrogen trucks to regenerative agriculture: sustainability success stories from Climate Week NYC 2022

Scroll for our recap of a busy climate week in New York

Since Monday, September 19, thousands of representatives from politics, business, science, academia, thought leadership and the third sector have attended events virtually and in person as part of Climate Week NYC.

The event, orchestrated by The Climate Group, has been held annually since 2009 and coincides with the United Nations General Assembly. It is one of the largest and most attended climate events of the year involving the private sector.

To help wrap up this whirlwind week, edie is pulling together all the key announcements coinciding with this event, breaking them down according to the pillars of our Mission Possible campaign.

ENERGY:

  • Energy developer Lyhfe launched a green hydrogen demonstrator project in Saint-Nazaire, France. The project will be operational for 18 months and will be powered by offshore wind power.
  • Community energy organization based in London Energy garden launched a community sharing offer, to allow people to invest in its work to bring solar to the roofs of urban neighborhoods.
  • electricity producer Kenlov Renewable Energy signed its first power purchase agreement, for 60% of the production of the 400 MW Tierra Bonita solar project in Texas. The buyer is local electric utility CPS Energy, which supplies 900,000 residents of San Antonio and the surrounding area.
  • Renewable Infrastructure Investor and Asset Manager RNT successfully finalized the combined financing of Murley Wind Farm in Northern Ireland and Ockendon Solar Farm in London. Rabobank has provided £38m of debt through the projects, while BT Group is backing them through a ten-year PPA.
  • A new campaign ‘Power on’, was launched with the aim of ensuring that African communities are heard and served in access to the energy transition. The campaign calls on wealthy countries to increase climate adaptation and provide funds to improve access to energy, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Bloom Energy installs an electrolyser at Xcel Energy Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Station in Minnesota, to produce low-carbon hydrogen. (Photo)

RESOURCES:

  • United Kingdom confirmed plans to add soft plastic collection and recycling points to all UK stores. Other supermarkets, such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s, have already installed similar points, as most UK councils do not currently collect soft plastics from homes.
  • L’Oreal USA has partnered with The Recycling Partnership to launch a small town access fund. The fund will be used to improve recycling infrastructure in small rural communities in nine states.
  • Premium British fashion and lifestyle brand Joule has partnered with clothing resale platform Reskinned to launch an online take-back program.
  • Ingka Group announced that IKEA stores around the world collectively generated 54% less food waste last year than in 2017, meaning they exceeded their ambitions in this area. The retailer worked with Winnow to implement AI technology to reduce waste.
  • HSBC Asset Management launched a new thematic fund on the circular economy. Through this fund, it intends to support around sixty companies working on circular economy solutions.

MOBILITY:

  • The Mercedes F1 team tested hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) as a treatment for diesel. The HVO was used to power 16 of the team’s trucks for the 1,400km journey from the Dutch Grand Prix to the Italian Grand Prix. The team claims the fuel generated 89% fewer freight emissions due to the change.
  • The Airport Industrial Property Trust raised £350m for a new sustainability bond. Proceeds will be spent on retrofit programs that improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions.
  • Recycle Lives has launched what it claims are the UK’s first all-electric tipper trucks – two E-Tech DZE models from Renault Trucks. The vehicles, based in Preston, only need to be recharged once a day and have fast charging capability.
  • UK power grids has had success with its work with four local councils in the UK, encouraging charging station installers to install infrastructure in underserved locations.
  • Amazon signed an agreement with Infinium to supply electrofuels for its fleet in the United States, as an alternative to diesel. Electrofuels are synthetic fuels made from captured carbon and renewable energy.
  • The Climate Group has launched the EV100+ initiative, aimed at encouraging companies to phase out the heaviest and most polluting vehicles. The founding members are Ikea, Unilever, JSW Steel, AP Moller-Maersk and DPD Group.
  • Hitachi Track unveiled a new hybrid battery train at InnoTrans in Berlin. It will start operating commercially in Italy before the end of the year, allowing trains to run on batteries or electricity, with diesel as backup.
  • British manufacturer Tevva launched its hydrogen electric trucks in continental Europe for the first time, choosing Germany as its starting point.
  • Rare earth metal company Pensane formed a partnership with The North Star as it strives to deliver a “climate neutral” electric car this decade. The companies hope to eliminate all emissions related to the extraction of raw materials.
  • Transdev is committed to supporting the modal shift of individual car ownership to public transport and urges other organizations to collaborate on this vision.

THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT:

  • C40 Cities formed a partnership with a Nordic real estate investor NREP launch a proof of concept for the 15-minute city, which will be tested in at least five cities. Lessons learned from this initiative will be shared more widely through the C40 network and with the UN.
  • Schneider-Electric confirmed it was working with Landsec to deliver The Forge – a London office building designed to meet the UK Green Building Council’s net zero carbon framework. The nine-story building has been completed and will open shortly.

SUSTAINABILITY LEADERSHIP:

  • Iberdrola set out a vision to have a net positive impact on biodiversity in its operations and on its project by 2030. The company’s chief executive and chairman, Ignacio Galan, said it was “absolutely vital” that the energy transition also benefits nature.
  • Beauty brand faith in nature nature legally appointed to its board of directors with the support of the Earth Law Center and Lawyers for Nature. This means that nature is a voting director. It encourages other companies to follow suit by making the legal process open source.
  • The Climate Cluster of SMEs launched in the United States, following its success in the United Kingdom. Small businesses account for around 90% of all businesses globally and around half of employment, making them crucial in the transition to net zero. Companies such as Walmart, Mastercard, Siemens and Ericsson have signed up to help engage their suppliers in the Hub.
  • The Ikea Foundation and the Museum for the UN launched a new public engagement program called ‘Global Us’. 27 digitally connected “conversation portals” will be installed in cities around the world ahead of COP27, enabling international discussions on environmental topics.
  • Terraforming, which describes itself as a “forest carbon accelerator,” has launched a new “Seed to Forest Alliance” aimed at tackling barriers to reforestation and improving research in this area. It will bring together NGOs, businesses, academics and philanthropists.
  • Del Monte Foods announced its commitment to give at least $5 million over the next ten years to improve the well-being of young people and communities across the United States. He initially partnered with the Alliance for Healthier Generation, supporting its work to provide food for 7.5 million students in low-income communities.
  • UK design firms, led by consultants Morrama and the URGE Collective, launched ‘Designed Declares’. The campaign urges designers to declare climate and natural emergencies and act accordingly.
  • Holcim launched a new science framework to decarbonize the cement sector in line with 1.5C, in partnership with the Science Based Targets Initiative. Concrete and cement generate up to 7% of annual global emissions.
  • Amazon forged a partnership with Water.org and set the ambition to provide access to clean water to 100 million people. Wateraid estimates that 771 million people do not have access to safe drinking water near their homes.
  • GSK launched a new sustainable sourcing program. Suppliers will be confronted with new environmental requirements and will receive the support necessary to meet them. Topics covered include emissions, water, waste and deforestation.
  • futerra was named the first “Climate Solutions Provider” of the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign.
  • PepsiCo and ADM signed a 7.5-year business agreement to collaborate on regenerative agriculture projects across their shared supply chains in North America. The projects should enable more sustainable production of corn, soy and wheat.

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