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Chevrolet is purchasing carbon credits worth up to $5 million to help 11 colleges in the US pay for energy efficiency-based carbon reductions. The GM brand will retire the carbon credits to benefit the climate instead of using them to offset the emissions of Chevrolet vehicles or operations.
As part of its voluntary initiative to reduce 8 million metric tons of carbon from being emitted, Chevrolet during the last four years has supported US communities in aggressively and ingeniously reducing their carbon footprint.
Campuses for the first time can access funding from the US carbon market to fuel their large-scale energy efficiency efforts toward even greater progress, effectively using carbon performance methodologies Chevrolet developed to make money via their greenhouse gas reductions that result from energy efficiency.
As we kept inching closer to our carbon-reduction goal, we wanted to support colleges going above and beyond to help combat climate change, and open the door for other companies to contribute to such campus clean energy projects. This helps ensure campuses can continue to receive funding from companies’ carbon purchases long after Chevrolet completes its carbon-reduction initiative next year.— Greg Martin, executive director of sustainability, General Motors
For the last two years, Chevrolet has been the largest US corporate buyer of voluntary carbon credits by volume, according to nonprofit Forest Trends Ecosystem Marketplace. Of the nearly 8.2 million tons contracted from 36 projects, 69% have been retired. The balance is scheduled to be retired summer of 2015.
Chevrolet partnered with these colleges for their clean-energy performance: Ball State University; Valencia College; Portland State University; Spelman College; University of Illinois at Chicago; University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point; Boston University; Rochester Institute of Technology; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Grand Valley State University; and Southern Oregon University.
The Volkswagen brand’s “Think Blue. Factory.” environmental program remains on track to meet its 2018 goals of reducing energy and water consumption as well as the share in waste, CO2 and solvent emissions at all Volkswagen plants throughout the world by 25% compared with 2010 levels by 2018. This was the http://goo.gl/AudFww of an interim assessment made by more than 250 environmental experts from 27 plants of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, the Components business area and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles at a “Think Blue. Factory.” day in Wolfsburg.
Under the program, some 5,000 individual measures are to be taken by 2018. Volkswagen has already successfully implemented more than 2,700 projects and made its production processes 17% more environmentally compatible over the past three years.
Think Blue. Factory. is and remains the approach we have adopted to achieve the sustainability targets we have set ourselves for production and logistics at the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand by 2018. I am very pleased to see how effectively the methods and processes we have developed together are now being put into practice at our locations.—Thomas Ulbrich, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand responsible for Production and Logistics
Attendees presented innovative ideas and successful measures to reduce resource use from around the globe. For example:
Water used to test the firefighting system at the Curitiba plant in Brazil is recycled as cooling water following the tests.
The Zwickau and Pamplona plants have significantly reduced water consumption for vehicle tightness tests. (In vehicle production, this is the stage that requires most water following the paintshop.)
The Chemnitz engine plant is saving water, energy and lubricants by filtering cooling emulsion after use in an innovative process.
This year, Volkswagen also honored employees who had demonstrated special commitment in connection with the program. The award-winners are Jörg Kessler from the Hanover plant, Peter Solárik from Bratislava (Slovakia), and Peter Splitt, Udo Guenther and Karsten Folchmann from the Salzgitter plant. Awards for saving water at the plant level went to the Pamplona (Spain), Curitiba (Brazil), Zwickau and Chemnitz plants.
EnerG2, a Seattle-based company manufacturing advanced carbon materials for next-generation energy storage devices (earlier post), and BASF have entered a strategic partnership to collaborate to improve and to scale-up the production of EnerG2’s proprietary carbon materials for use in supercapacitor electrodes and as a performance additive in start-stop lead-acid batteries.
Engineered carbons enhance storage performance by providing higher voltage and energy in supercapacitors and by significantly increasing the charging rate of lead-acid batteries at a partial-state-of-charge. EnerG2’s patented carbon technology platform enables large-scale production of carbon materials that surpass the limitations of the carbons traditionally used in energy storage.
Controlling the molecular structure and synthesis of these advanced materials at early stages of production provides the ability to tailor the carbon properties to specific applications. This unique manufacturing process results in ultra-high purity material with customizable porosity.
BASF is providing funding, technical expertise, and marketing know-how in a partnership with EnerG2 to enrich its R&D initiatives and to accelerate its market penetration.
EnerG2’s technology platform complements the in-house activities of BASF’s research and development as well as BASF’s global business unit for battery materials. Energy storage materials are an essential part of BASF’s strategy to enable electromobility. Furthermore, EnerG2 will also work closely with BASF to broaden its global reach, particularly in Asia and Europe.
This alliance optimally blends EnerG2’s innovation and responsiveness with BASF’s stability and an unquestionable ability to scale. We will use the funding not only to bolster our operational capacity but also to explore market opportunities with BASF. This strategic partnership will be a game-changer: it will enable us to continue serving our customers with the highest purity and highest performing carbon products, but now with the participation of a truly global player. We look forward to exploring a host of additional opportunities with BASF as we deepen our relationship over the coming months and years—Rick Luebbe, CEO of EnerG2
EnerG2 has developed a unique approach that engineers the molecular structure of a polymer precursor in order to customize the nanostructure, and, therefore, the performance of the resulting carbon. EnerG2’s proprietary Carbon Technology Platform has two key components:
The combination of these elements results in a flexible, competitive process that can produce carbon materials for diverse energy storage applications.