Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Shoreline Amphitheatre Gone Green - by Rob Sidon (Common Ground Magazine)

This summer, whether your musical taste ranges from John Mayer to the San Francisco Symphony to Sarah McLachlan, or Rush to Rihanna to the Country Music Throwdown Tour or American Idols Live, you can experience your favorites at the iconic Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View knowing you’re an active participant in the greening of the music industry. Shoreline is the first major music venue in the country to be officially recognized with the Green Business certification, marking a milestone in a pilot program aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, and waste generated by music venues.  
 
Owned and operated by Live Nation, Shoreline, which attracts approximately 330,000 visitors per year, is also the largest outdoor concert venue to receive the certification. The Bay Area Green Business Program imposes an extensive verification process, thus making the environmental benefits of implementation significant at a venue such as Shoreline, given the size and frequency of its shows.
 
In order to understand the environmental impact of its business operations, Live Nation SF has been recording sustainability metrics for the last four years for all of its venues, including water and energy use and diversion of waste from landfills. Venues are thereby able to quantify the impact of sustainability initiatives.
 
According to Aaron Siuda, vice president of marketing for Live Nation in Northern California, Shoreline has implemented multiple initiatives to reduce its environmental impact, including:

Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.  Greenhouse gas emissions from audience travel are the greatest environmental impact of any concert. At Shoreline, carbon offsets are purchased for the emissions from audience travel, as well as employee commuting and artist travel to the venue.  Shoreline also purchases Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for their electricity use.  For every megawatt-hour of electricity used, Shoreline purchases a megawatt-hour of renewable energy for the electric grid.
 
To reduce the emissions from artist trucks, Shoreline has installed shore power, which allows truck engines to be turned off and instead plug into electrical outlets at the venue. This reduces fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions from idling engines.
 
Energy conservation.  Shoreline has insulated all hot-water pipes, water heaters, and storage tanks, as well as replaced 1,332 incandescent light bulbs with more-efficient compact fluorescent lamps. Light bulbs have also been replaced in exit signs for greater efficiency, and staff members in the office have been educated to conserve.
 
Water conversation.  Shoreline practices weather-based irrigation control. The system responds to weather forecast data using reclaimed water for irrigation. Mulch  ground cover is in place to prevent evaporation.  All 172 old toilets in the venue have been replaced with high-efficiency fixtures, saving 611,460 gallons of water per month.

Waste reduction.  The venue has recycling stations adjacent to every trashcan. From 2006 to 2009, diversion of waste from landfills increased from 27 percent to 39 percent.  In 2010, Shoreline expects to improve these diversion rates through a training program for all concert staff and educational materials for audience members. There are battery recycling receptacles in all backstage areas, and artists and their crews are encouraged to recycle batteries from electronic equipment. All toilet paper, hand towels, and napkins are made from recycled content.

Sustainable treatsLast but not least, to keep our favorite entertainers (and their roadies) happily fed and hydrated, organic, locally sourced produce is used in the backstage kitchen where possible.

Shoreline Amphitheatre is a founding member of Green Music Group (GMG), a high-profile coalition aiming to bring musicians, industry leaders, and music fans together to create widespread environmental change within the music industry and around the globe. This a great step forward. Common Ground magazine salutes you. Rock on!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Green ICT & Energy Efficiency Trade Mission

Green ICT & Energy Efficiency Trade Mission

As part of our ongoing efforts to support technology transfer and international trade in the green marketplace, the Green Technology Alliance (GTA) is proud to support the first ever Green Information and Communications Technologies and Energy Efficiency Trade Mission in Mexico City. This unique event is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce through their Commercial Service program that supports U.S. companies that desire expand their markets in other countries.

The U.S. Commercial Service in Mexico City flagship event this year is the first ever Green ICT & Energy Efficiency Trade Mission to Mexico City from September 27-29, 2010.

Learn more here... http://www.buyusa.gov/mexico/en/greenict_mission.html

Monday, June 14, 2010

Virgin Airlines: Powered by Pond Scum? - by Bruce Falconer (Mother Jones )

Virgin founder Richard Branson has set out to create a viable biofuel. Will his ecofriendly venture take off?

Before meeting with Al Gore over breakfast in 2006, Richard Branson, the swashbuckling founder of Virgin Ltd., an amalgam of over 200 companies sharing the Virgin brand, was long a global warming skeptic. But then the former vice president (and recent recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to combat climate change) spent two hours at the billionaire entrepreneur's home laying out his case. "Sadly, I'm now convinced that the world has a serious problem," he told ABC's Good Morning America that September with Gore at his side. Joining the former vice president in his environmental crusade, Branson pledged to funnel all profits from his rail and airline holdings over the next 10 years—an estimated $3 billion—into developing a non-ethanol-based, sustainable biofuel to power the world's cars, trains, and airplanes. Last fall, he and Gore went on to establish the Virgin Earth Challenge, a $25 million award for the development of technology that can suck greenhouse gases from the atmosphere for 10 consecutive years and "contribute materially to the stability of Earth's climate."

For more:  http://motherjones.com/environment/2008/01/virgin-airlines-powered-pond-scum