photo: World Economic Forum via http://www.grist.org
In current environmental news, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp has achieved its 2007 goal of going carbon neutral by 2010. GreenBiz reports that the company, which owns a huge variety of businesses including Fox News, 20th Century Fox, Harper Collins, Wall Street Journal, and MySpace, not only announced the achievement of this goal, but a new set of sustainability initiatives for the long- and short-term.
News Corp achieved its goals through tangible investments in its environmental impact profile – from retrofitting all of the lighting in News Corp facilities, to constructing massive solar arrays, to reducing the size of DVD packaging to save on raw materials and transportation emissions. What the company couldn’t tangibly change to reduce its carbon emissions, they accomplished through the purchasing of carbon offsets. Carbon offsets have raised a degree of controversy since 2007, when News Corp made its neutrality pledge, but News Corp has responded by pledging to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by 2015, compared to 2006 levels.
The company has set out a number of other 2015 goals, which include reducing GHG intensity by 15 percent, investing in clean energy equal to 20% of electricity used, engaging its 100 largest suppliers on improving their environmental impacts, and measuring and significantly reducing its waste footprint. News Corp has also set out a set of aspirational, deadline-free goals including 100% clean energy consumption, grow business without growing GHG emissions, minimizing all solid waste sent to landfills, and engaging readers, employees, and customers on sustainability.
Investing on energy reduction strategies has already seen a massive return on investment, Green Biz reports. Simply by making News Corps’ data centers centralized, the company is saving $20 million dollars a year; each ton of carbon avoided has already yielded about $180 in savings. Indeed, efficiency measures seem to have achieved a return on investment in less than two years, which is surely encouraging to any company (or person) seeking to reduce their energy consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions.
GREEN DEPOT SOLUTIONS
One of the ways News Corp is reducing its environmental footprint is through efficiency measures, including lighting retrofits. We’ll tell you more about energy-saving measures for the household or business, below:
While most people are aware that using compact florescent light bulbs is energy-saving, even more efficient are LED light fixtures. In the past, these were far too expensive for the home or business owner to consider, but in recent years prices have come down substantially. The LED Undercabinet Fixture replaces standard florescent fixtures. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, its innovative design is engineered to emit comparable light to a typical fluorescent under-cabinet fixture, but will use approximately 1/2 the energy. It has won the DoE’s Solid-State Lighting Quality Advocates label, which was created to assure and improve the quality of LED lighting products.
Motion sensors for light fixtures also reduces the amount of energy consumption from lighting. Green Depot carries several models. The WattStopper CH-250 Passive Infrared (PIR) Multi-way Vacancy Sensor helps save energy. Users must press the pushbutton to turn on lighting by turning off lights when no one is in a room. The CH-250 employs PIR technology to sense the difference between the infrared energy from a person in motion and the background space. It keeps lighting on as long as motion is detected and provides automatic shutoff, following a user-selected time delay, when motion is no longer detected. Users may turn the connected load off manually.
One of the most significant ways in which individuals contribute to greenhouse gas emissions is through their household energy consumption. Heating homes and heating water are two of the most energy-intensive activities that occur in a home. We’ve written extensively in the past about insulating homes and the added benefits of fitting your home so that it retains more heat, instead of losing it. This is better for reducing heating costs, and thus for reducing our environmental footprint – approximately 4 metric tons of carbon dioxide are emitted each year from residences, most of which is the consequence of home heating. Conventional fiberglass insulation is a suspected carcinogen, so using a green product like Bonded Logic Ultratouch Recycled Cotton Insulation is a major step towards making a greener home. For an even more efficient home, National Fiber Cel-Pak Cellulose Insulation is a blow-in material that settles into the tiniest corners and cracks of walls, ceilings, and attics.
Water heaters are one of the largest consumers of energy in the average home, and swapping out an older-model water heater for a new, energy-efficient model can substantially reduce energy costs. The GeoSpring Hybrid Water Heater is an especially energy-efficient model, qualified by ENERGY STAR. It combines heat pump technology with traditional electric elements to save the homeowner up to 62% on annual water heating expenses — even up to $320.
For green building materials, like eco insulation, as well as many othergreen products for a sustainable lifestyle, visit http://www.greendepot.com.