Toyota Takes the LEED in Texas

Toyota Headquarters Campus Achieves LEED Platinum from the U.S. Green Building Council, The Largest Commercial LEED Platinum Project in The State Of Texas, To Date

Plano, Texas (Sept. 22, 2017) – Everything is bigger in Texas. Everything, that is, except Toyota’s environmental footprint. 

Toyota Motor North America’s (TMNA) headquarters campus in Plano, Texas has officially achieved LEED Platinum from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Jonathan Kraatz, executive director, USGBC Texas Chapter, presented the prized Platinum plaque to Jim Lentz, TMNA president and chief executive officer, today at the new campus. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Toyota’s new campus is the largest commercial LEED Platinum project in the state of Texas, to date.


“At Toyota, we have a longstanding commitment to sustainability and preserving our natural resources,” said Lentz. “With the installation of greenspaces, thousands of solar panels, a massive rain water capture system, and natural light wells, we have designed our new headquarters to reflect the local habitat and enhance its biodiversity. Recognition as a LEED Platinum facility is a testament of our efforts to become a model for energy efficiency and sustainability, and speaks to our challenge to ourselves to create a net positive impact on the planet by 2050.”

“USGBC is proud to award LEED Platinum to Toyota, for their thoughtfulness in their campus energy planning and space design as well as the overall net positive impact on the community and environment,” said Kraatz. “Our mission at USGBC has challenged organizations to move faster and reach further than ever before, and Toyota’s new Texas campus is a great example of what can be accomplished with the right leadership.”


The state-of-the-art, 100-acre campus boasts a Platinum-sized list of sustainability aspects, from renewable energy to drought resistant landscaping:  

Renewable Energy

Largest onsite corporate solar installation among non-utility companies in Texas

8.79-Megawatt solar power system, designed and installed by SunPower Corp.

Produces up to 33 percent of daily electric needs for headquarters campus

Reduces annual carbon dioxide emissions by 7,198 metric tons

Creates enough energy to power 1,200 average US homes for a year

Installation of high efficiency lighting and building envelopes to reduce energy usage on campus

Specialized rooftop design teeming with plant life to manage rainwater, reduce heat and further insulate the buildings

Flexible energy contract to preserve and resell excess power generation back to the grid

Grid energy offset by Texas wind farm renewable energy credits

Repurposed Rainwater

State-of-the-art rainwater capture system will provide up to three months of water supply for irrigation use

Cistern water storage with a capacity to hold 400,000 gallons of harvested rain water

Estimated to save more than 11 million gallons of potable (drinking) water annually

Excess drain water will be collected and repurposed for sanitary facility use

Recycling

More than 99 percent of the construction waste was recycled

Construction waste was sorted offsite at North Texas’ first Construction and Demolition waste processing facility

Sustainable Landscaping

Exterior landscaping features drought-tolerant, North Texas indigenous plants like savannah, oaklands and wildflower meadows

Campus landscape will provide a natural habitat for endangered pollinators and monarch butterflies

Approximately 1,300 trees planted onsite by Toyota

More than 80 mature trees saved or relocated onsite, including a 100-year-old oak tree

Landscaping will be managed without expensive mowing, fertilizers, chemicals or artificial irrigation

Historic wetlands on the northeast corner of the campus were preserved to protect its natural state


Professionals who led this project include a host of Dallas-based firms: KDC Real Estate Development & Investments to develop and build the campus, architect Corgan Associates to design the campus, and Austin Commercial to manage the construction.

In late 2015, Toyota Motor Corporation announced the 2050 Toyota Environmental Challenge, a set of ambitious environmental goals to reach beyond net zero, and create a net positive impact on the planet. To learn more, please visit http://www.toyota-global.com/sustainability/environment/challenge2050/.

 

Solar Power Lights Up Amazon Communities Fighting Dirty Energy

September 19, 2017 — Three indigenous communities on the front lines of the Amazon rainforest’s most emblematic rights and resources struggles now have solar energy generation capacity and internet hubs thanks to a partnership between Amazon Watch and Empowered By Light.

While Trump administration denies the impacts of climate change on the disastrous weather events in recent weeks, indigenous communities in the Amazon are leading us toward a brighter future as they embrace clean energy while defending the living forest, as demonstrated in the new video released today by Amazon Watch and Credo Mobile.

“These communities are true climate leaders,” said Leila Salazar-López, Executive Director at Amazon Watch. “Lighting the way for our climate and our forests, these indigenous earth defenders know that the solution to climate change must include stopping the destruction of the Amazon rainforest.”

Solar micro-systems and radio communications infrastructure now power five Sápara communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon as they resist oil drilling on their lands; two Munduruku communities in the Brazilian Amazon as they demand legal recognition and protection for their territory; and four U’wa communities in the Colombian cloud forests as they defend their sacred sites. More installations are planned for late 2017 and 2018.

The astoundingly biodiversity of the Amazon is home to hundreds of distinct indigenous peoples whose futures are threatened by this resurgent wave of resource exploitation, often living in remote areas where they are vulnerable to violent repression. The solar power and communications systems being installed are critical for these communities to assure their safety and communicate their stories as they defend their traditional practices and territories. In the past, protecting themselves and their territories has meant using polluting and unreliable diesel and kerosene generators, with fuel being brought in from the outside at significant expense.

Photo credit: Amazon Watch

The solar and communications equipment allow these remote communities to communicate internally to improve their safety and engage in cross-community dialogue; tell their own story to the broader world directly through new communications technology and training, subsequently further increasing their visibility and safety; and have access to reliable, clean energy for other community needs without relying on dirty energy sources like kerosene or diesel.

“We hope the introduction of clean, renewable solar power will not only help these communities protect the Amazon rainforest, which is critical for climate stability, but that it will demonstrate to their governments that similar remote or off-grid communities can leapfrog fossil fuels,” said Moira Hanes, co-founder of Empowered by Light.

Collaborative project planning, along with maintenance and communications trainings, are integral parts of all of these projects in order to maximize both system longevity and impact. These projects, all of which were specifically requested by the communities, provide critical external and internal communications capacity, thereby allowing communities to increase both their personal safety and visibility for their emblematic campaigns.

For more information:

Amazon Watch: www.amazonwatch.org/solar
Empowered By Light: www.empoweredbylight.org

UPS FIRST COMMERCIAL CUSTOMER IN U.S. TO USE NEW DAIMLER ELECTRIC DELIVERY TRUCK

ATLANTA, September 14, 2017 – UPS (NYSE: UPS) announced it will place in service three medium-duty electric trucks from Daimler Trucks Fuso brand, called the eCanter. The company will be the first commercial customer in the U.S. to use this series-produced vehicle. UPS will deploy the trucks in the U.S. at locations to be determined. The new EV trucks build on UPS’s Rolling Laboratory fleet of more than 8,500 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles.  
“At UPS, we constantly evaluate and deploy advanced technologies that enable sustainable, innovative solutions for our fleet,” said Carlton Rose, president, global fleet maintenance & engineering, UPS. “Electric trucks make our fleet both cleaner and quieter. We have a long-standing global relationship with Daimler, and we welcome the opportunity to trial the Fuso eCanter as UPS continues to realize the benefits of electric trucks.” 

The all-electric medium-duty truck is Daimler Trucks answer to the public’s need for a zero-emission, zero-noise truck for inner-city distribution. The FUSO eCanter has a range of approximately 62 miles and a load capacity of two to three tons – depending on body and usage. 

 UPS trucks will be like this one but painted UPS brown!  Company to Initially Use Three FUSO eCanter EVs
UPS trucks will be like this one but painted UPS brown! Company to Initially Use Three FUSO eCanter EVs

The eCanter’s electric powertrain contains six high voltage lithium ion battery packs with 420 V and 13.8 kWh each. In comparison with a conventional diesel truck, Daimler says it offers savings of more than $1,000 in operating costs for approximately every 6,200 miles. 

The three FUSO eCanter vehicles join the more than 770 electric or hybrid electric vehicles UPS operates in urban cities around the world. UPS recently set a goal that by 2020 one in four vehicles purchased annually will use alternative fuels or advanced technology. The company has invested more than $750 million in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling stations globally since 2009.

Source: UPS

Teijin Aramid supporting student teams in solar car race


Arnhem, The Netherlands, September 14, 2017 – Teijin Aramid today announced it is supporting two student teams, one from KU Leuven and one from the University of Michigan, to compete in the ‘Challenger’ category of this year’s Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, held between October 8-12 in Australia. 

Powered only by solar energy, the 32 competing teams will race from Darwin to Adelaide, over the course of five days. Both teams are receiving both the material, para-aramid Twaron®, and technical support from Teijin Aramid. In particular, the University of Michigan team is using Twaron to reinforce the undercarriage of the car, choosing this material for its high abrasion resistance and high strength-to-weight ratio. Sarah Zoellick, from the University of Michigan team: “We’re very grateful to Teijin Aramid for generously supporting our needs, and helping us to meet the design deadlines at short notice.”

The KU Leuven team is using Twaron-based parts above the tracking box and in the driver safety canopy to allow electromagnetic signals to enter and leave the vehicle. Without this the car would not be able to send or receive communication or monitor signals.
The KU Leuven team is using Twaron-based parts above the tracking box and in the driver safety canopy to allow electromagnetic signals to enter and leave the vehicle. Without this the car would not be able to send or receive communication or monitor signals. 

Powered only by solar energy, the 32 competing teams will race from Darwin to Adelaide, over the course of five days. Both teams are receiving both the material, para-aramid Twaron®, and technical support from Teijin Aramid. In particular, the University of Michigan team is using Twaron to reinforce the undercarriage of the car, choosing this material for its high abrasion resistance and high strength-to-weight ratio. Sarah Zoellick, from the University of Michigan team: “We’re very grateful to Teijin Aramid for generously supporting our needs, and helping us to meet the design deadlines at short notice.”
Next to the para-aramid fiber Twaron, both teams also receive Tenax® carbon fiber from TohoTenax, like Teijin Aramid, a company within the Teijin Group.

Sources: www.umsolar.com and www.solarteam.be and Teijin Aramid and www.teijinendumax.com.

2017 HUDSON VALLEY DRIVE ELECTRIC WEEK POUGHKEEPSIE 

Now is a great time to buy an electric vehicle (EV)! There are incentives and support available to both you and your local government which make it attainable and affordable for consumers to purchase EVs, and make more public charging available.  
 

In this segment NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Communities Program will be outlined, including a case study of how the town of Red Hook was able to receive state rebates for their charging station installations, as well as a discussion about how to capture funding specifically for your municipality. There will also be a Q&A session at the end with time to mingle and get all of your questions answered.

Where:​ Marist College, in front of McCann Recreation Center

​(South entrance, closest to the Mid-Hudson Bridge and bear left)

Date:​Sunday, September 17th

Time:​ 1pm – 2pm 

There will be an electric car show running concurrently from 12pm-3pm where officials and the public can chat with local electric car owners to get their perspective on driving the cleanest and quickest cars out there. 

 All programs are free and open to the public. 

Search ‘Drive Electric Poughkeepsie’ to find the official event site, 

Or send email to hudsonvalleyev@gmail.com for more details or for any questions.