Sustainable Development Update - February 2018 #2

by Allen Matkins

Sustainable Development Focus

More companies prefer green bonds, carbon taxes

GreenBiz - Feb 7 Companies that are serious about reaching aggressive emission-reduction targets are increasingly turning to green bonds, and in some cases an internal carbon tax, to pay for energy and water efficiency upgrades and renewable energy projects, according to experts who appeared at the GreenBiz 18 conference last week. In a recent example, Apple issued green bonds on two occasions. The first was $1.5 billion in green bonds and other debt. A Bank of America analysis found that more investors were interested in the green bond tranche, and less so in the other bonds. This past June, Apple issued $1 billion of green bonds to fund renewable energy, in a demonstration of “how a tech company can make huge commitments to clean energy and make the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and signal that this is something they’re involved in and interested in.”

Report shows how LEED helps achieve zero energy goals

Proud Green Building - Feb 8 The New Buildings Institute recently released its "Getting to Zero Status Update and List of Zero Energy (ZE) Projects for 2018," a compilation of almost 500 certified, verified, and emerging zero energy projects in the U.S. and Canada. The first list, published in 2012, included 60 zero energy projects, which shows the growth in market interest and development of zero energy buildings in the past six years. For the first time, the 2018 report also includes information on the LEED status of all zero energy projects. Of the ZE verified projects, 70 percent are LEED-certified or registered with LEED, with most reaching either platinum- or gold-certification levels. 

U.S. cities can save billions with green, resilient design, says report

Curbed - Feb 8 A new report, co-authored by Greg Kats and Keith Glassbrook, looks at the ecological and financial advantages that would come from promoting so-called “smart surfaces,” such as as green roofs, solar panels, and permeable and porous pavement, in urban areas. Using three different cities as case studies—El Paso, Texas, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.—the researchers examined how adding these features can lower excess heat and improve water quality and stormwater management, all costly environmental issues exacerbated by climate change. The analysis showed that each of the cities studied would realize significant savings if they embraced these changes: El Paso would save $540 million, Washington, D.C., would save $1.8 billion, and Philadelphia would save $3.5 billion. These figures already factor in the cost of making significant adjustments and investments to add new, green infrastructure (the report puts the cost of a smart surface program in D.C. at $838 million, for example).

S.F. breaking ground on wastewater recycling plant

San Francisco Chronicle - Jan 16 The sprawling lawns of Golden Gate Park and two major San Francisco golf courses are very thirsty places, and in the coming years, recycled wastewater will satisfy that thirst, thanks to a new treatment plant being built by the city’s water agency. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission will begin construction on the plant that, when completed, will pump around 1.6 million gallons of treated wastewater each day to sprinklers dotting Golden Gate Park, Lincoln Park Golf Course and the Presidio Golf Course. Those lush locales are now irrigated with drinking water — hundreds of millions of gallons each year that the city will soon be able to conserve, substantially adding to the store of drinkable water that can be tapped in the event of a natural disaster or other major emergency.

Kilroy to add energy storage to 6 CA assets

Commercial Property Executive - Feb 8 Kilroy Realty Corp. has tapped Stem Inc. to deploy over 7.5 MWh of artificial intelligence-driven energy storage to eight of the firm’s commercial buildings in California. Black Bear Energy Inc. acted as the owner's representative for Kilroy Realty. Stem will install Athena-powered storage at two office buildings in San Francisco and another four in Los Angeles. This will represent 20 percent of Kilroy’s stabilized energy portfolio. 

A car is optional at new Vista Canyon development in Santa Clarita

Bisnow - Feb 6 Building around the city’s new Metrolink transit center, JSB Development is developing the first sustainable community in Santa Clarita, JSB Development President James Backer said. The company is building a transit-focused, mixed-use community that when fully built out in the coming years will feature 1,100 residential units, nearly 1 million square feet of commercial and retail space, a new Metrolink station, and 21 acres of recreational areas. Ideally, the homes will feature solar panel roofs, and the town center will have charging stations for electric vehicles, Backer said. JSB is also constructing a “water factory,” a recycled water facility that once completed will be turned over to the city for operation. Water from the Vista Canyon community will be treated and recycled for landscaping, irrigation, and other uses throughout the community and other parts of the city.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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