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/.

 

How Data Centers are Using Renewable Energy to Lessen their Carbon Footprint

Data storage is big business in today’s world. In fact, there’s a good chance all your photos, videos, documents and files are stored somewhere in the cloud. Moreover, setting up automated backups and syncing across all our devices is so effortless that we forget where this information really lives: huge data centers spread around the world. And these data centers consume a lot of energy.

So how do some of the biggest energy consumers lower their carbon footprint? That’s easy: through renewable energy sources and other innovative means to keep those servers cool. These are how today’s data centers are preparing for tomorrow’s world of energy.

Small Business

While one mega data center may have a large carbon footprint, its use of technology and systems pales in comparison to all the servers used by small businesses across the country. As you might imagine, small-to-medium-sized companies don’t have access to the same energy-efficient technology that major corporations employ — and those on-site server rooms take up a lot of space and plenty of energy needs.

How Data Centers are Using Renewable Energy to Lessen their Carbon Footprint
Of course, the cloud isn’t just for smartphones and PC and laptop backups. Small businesses are opting out of using local storage and instead are adopting enterprise-level cloud-based services like those sold by Mozy. Removing server rooms from small-to-medium-sized companies — and instead turning to cloud-based technology — allows data to be accessed anywhere, anytime.

Dell’s Liquid Cooling

Anyone who has ever assembled their own PC knows there are two ways to cool a CPU — by using a heatsink and fan, or a liquid pump and radiator. The latter means is more expensive upfront, but reduces heat much easier and faster. Likewise, data centers produce a lot of heat, which takes even more energy to cool.

That’s why companies like Dell are creating innovative ways to cool servers using liquid technology. Liquid-cooled data centers usually use ground or city water from central pumps, which can use a lot of energy to distribute. But Dell’s cooling technology, which is used at data centers owned by eBay, store water in towers above the servers and let gravity do most of the work to bring it into the server racks. In the end, there’s no central pump to contend with and much less power is required.

Apple’s Green Initiative

iCloud, Apple’s cloud storage system and the home to almost every uploaded photo, video and backup by iPhone users, now runs on 100 percent renewable energy. This is no easy feat, and Apple goes into great detail about how it reached that pinnacle in its 2017 Environmental Responsibility Report.

You may not know that most of Apple’s data centers operate in rural areas, where huge wind and solar farms power 100 percent of their energy needs. But because Apple relies on using so much of this land, the company has made it a point to create more renewable energy sources.

Next Steps

Major players like Google, Apple, Dell and Amazon have all committed to “going green” with Big Data. Indeed, these corporations certainly have the resources to build large solar and wind farms, but the next step in truly eliminating their carbon footprint is to improve efficiency — both in cooling and the servers themselves.

The Intel Xeon, a chip commonly used in servers, consumes more energy than CPUs in your standard PC. But Intel has made efforts to reduce the required wattage with each generation of processor it develops. Reducing energy dependency by five or 10 watts may not seem like much, but multiply that by hundreds or even thousands of servers and it adds up. Small increments like these can save enterprise-level companies millions of dollars on their utility bills.

Nearly 10 years ago, we talked in gigabytes, while today we talk in terabytes. And in the near future, we’ll be talking in petabytes. Big Data is growing exponentially, and it’s up to the big players as well as small-business owners to create new ways to power these data centers without increasing their carbon footprint.

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.

7 small steps to start making your business more green-friendly

Customers are increasingly looking towards the companies they shop with to be more environmentally conscious, and they like to see deliberate steps being taken towards a greener status. The good news is, going green can also help you to save money and increase your productivity in some areas. Here are seven small steps you can take today for great results.

1. Change to recycled paper

You may not have a choice about whether you print things out, but you can certainly choose how you do it. Select only recycled papers to fill up your printer – you won’t notice any difference in the quality, but you will be saving forests when you do it. Be careful about the brand you select: check that you are using paper which is made from 100% recycled materials, rather than a lower percentage.

7 small steps to start making your business more green-friendly

2. Switch to environmentally-friendly lightbulbs

It doesn’t make much sense why we are still using outdated lightbulbs for our offices and homes. Eco-friendly lightbulbs last longer, use less energy and thus cost you less over time, and help the environment. Not only that, but they’re usually the same price or cheaper than the lightbulbs you normally pick out, too. This may not have been the case ten years ago, but there’s no excuse now.

3. Use bike couriers, not cars

Switching to a bike courier will do the environment a huge favour. Skipping the exhaust fumes will be fantastic for the planet as a whole and also your own particular part of it, since these fumes are often responsible for dangerous air pollution. Bike couriers are also faster, which means an extra bonus on your side – the recipient will be hugely impressed at how quickly you make the delivery. 

4. Do an energy audit

You may be able to get an energy audit done for free, but you could also start the process yourself by simply taking a look around the office. Cracks and rotten wood around window or door frames, could be allowing heat to leak out, thus costing you energy. Look around the edges of the room too, across the ceiling, and in vulnerable places. Sealing up these leaks could cut as much as 20% off your heating or cooling bill and, of course, help save the planet by using less energy.

5. Encourage car pooling

Are your employees driving in individually from the same areas? Encourage them to start car-pooling or even taking public transport. Put a rewards system in place where the eco-friendliest travellers can win goodies like a free lunch or an hour in lieu time. This will help to cut down the emissions your workplace generates overall.

6. Recycle your furniture

Next time you need to replace a chair or get a new filing cabinet, consider going vintage. Second-hand or repurposed items help the environment too. eBay and Craigslist are both great places to search for vintage or barely-used second-hand furniture that won’t cost too much. 

7. Switch to green web hosting

Where is your company website hosted? Green hosting companies pledge to use renewable energy, plant trees, or offset their carbon footprint. Voting with your wallet and switching to green hosting will be a decisive gesture, and will be a badge of honour to display on your website as well. 

Any office can go greener very easily, as these seven small steps show. Once you have completed these and seen the difference that it can make when you are more eco-friendly, you’ll be looking for ways to improve even further.