• Amazon pledges $2 billion to projects fighting climate change

    Posted in Other Stuff on June 24, 2020

    Amazon on Tuesday pledged to invest $2 billion in projects aimed at combating climate change, stepping up efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of the tech giant and others.  Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will look to invest in the visionary entrepreneurs and innovators who are building products and services to help companies reduce their carbon impact and operate more sustainably. 

    The pledge follows an announcement by Bezos last year that Amazon would accelerate its own efforts to cut its carbon footprint while encouraging others to join his “Climate Pledge” aimed at meeting goals of the Paris accord on climate ahead of schedule. The pledge has been joined by other companies including Verizon, Reckitt Benckiser and India-based tech giant Infosys. Amazon is on track to run on 100 percent renewable energy by 2025. It also will deploy more than 100,000 electric delivery vans to replace gasoline-powered vehicles. 

    The new fund will invest in companies in multiple industries, including transportation and logistics, energy generation, storage and utilization, manufacturing and materials, circular economy, and food and agriculture. The news comes amid growing concerns on climate change and with the US administration on course to withdraw from the global agreement aimed at curbing emissions. Some scientists have warned that climate change is accelerating, making mitigation efforts more urgent. The last five years have been the hottest on record, as has been the last decade, according to the European climate monitoring network.

  • Logitech to Empower Consumers with Detailed Information on Products’ Environmental Impact Across the Portfolio

    Posted in Gadgets and Tech on June 18, 2020

    Logitech today pledged to communicate the carbon impact of all its products on packaging and the company website. Logitech will be the first consumer electronics company to provide detailed carbon impact labeling on product packaging across the entire portfolio. In doing so, it intends to empower and collaborate with consumers, informing the purchasing choices they make. It also wishes to galvanize an industry-wide shift to dramatically lower the impact of carbon on the environment. Logitech expects the first carbon impact labeling to appear on its gaming products later this year, followed by a rollout across the full portfolio.

    As an award-winning design company, Logitech designs for sustainability across all its brands, looking for ways to reduce the impact its products have on the environment throughout the design process. Until now, the carbon impact has not been visible to consumers looking to better understand their individual impact on the environment. Logitech’s carbon transparent labeling will quantify that impact, communicate it to consumers, and empower them to make more informed purchasing decisions.

    Carbon transparency further extends Logitech’s commitment to sustainability across its products, packaging, and operations. In 2019, Logitech neutralized the carbon in its gaming product portfolio, announced its support of the Paris Agreement, pledging to limit its carbon footprint to support the ambitious 1.5oC goal and committed that the Company will be powered exclusively by renewable electricity by 2030.

    Korean Researchers Develops Eco-friendly Plastic Production Technology

    Posted in Other Stuff on February 19, 2020

    The Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology has developed a new technology to produce eco-friendly polyethylene furanoate (PEF) plastic. PEF has been spotlighted as a new bio-alternative to replace PET plastic and is made of glucose, a sugar substance originating from plants. The PET alternative is made by turning glucose into fructose, during which the common practice of using enzymes was known to be costly since enzymes cannot be recycled.

    Another shortcoming has been that expensive devices are required to separate the remaining glucose from the fructose that has been created. The research team combined butanol with the commonly used hydrotalcite-based catalysts to create a new catalyst that is chemically stable and effective. The new catalyst costs only half the price of the enzyme-based manufacturing process since it can be reused, and expedited production is possible since it doesn’t require glucose to be separated from the fructose.

    Adidas to Launch New Fabrics from Recycled Ocean Plastic and Polyester

    Posted in Recycle on January 29, 2020

    Adidas will launch new fabrics made from recycled polyester and marine plastic waste and expand the product lines that use them after the success of shoes made with the Parley for the Oceans initiative. Adidas first teamed up with Parley in 2015 and gradually ramped up production of shoes using plastic collected on beaches and coastal regions to make more than 11 million pairs in 2019, still only a fraction of a group total of more than 400 million. Since 2012, Adidas has innovated new products and processes with sustainability-focused partners like Parley for the Oceans, Stella McCartney and the U.S. International Space Station.

    This year Addidas will launch PRIMEBLUE and PRIME GREEN performance fabrics, two new sustainable technologies where 100% of the polyester used is recycled. PRIMEBLUE, a performance fabric that contains Parley Ocean Plastic, is now included in some of the brand’s most iconic and visible performance products like Ultraboost shoes and in the uniforms of some of the biggest leagues and teams in the world.  In total, the German firm will produce 15-20 million pairs of shoes using ocean plastic in 2020.

    PRIME GREEN, a performance fabric that contains no virgin plastic, will be available later this year and will also be featured in key competitive products. Adidas wants more than half of the polyester it uses to be recycled in 2020, ramping up to 100 percent by 2024. Both performance fabrics will play a significant role in Adidas reaching more than 50% total volume of recycled polyester at the end of 2020 and its commitment to END PLASTIC WASTE. Nike uses recycled polyester yarn for the uppers of its popular Flyknit shoes, saying that it has helped it divert more than 4 billion plastic bottles from landfills.

    How to Determine the Value of Your First Business

    Posted in Other Stuff on January 22, 2020

    It is a dilemma that many entrepreneurs face at some point during their careers: How do you assess the economic value of your company? 

    There are many ways to value your business. There is no “right” way, although you could probably think of several wrong ones. Ultimately, the business is worth what you think based on the criteria you set. 

    However, you can make an estimate by evaluating the company in different ways and then choosing the mix that reflects your final value estimation. You can start by looking at the value of the company’s assets: What does the company own? What equipment? What inventory?

    Company valuation can, among other things, help you attract investors, set a fair price for employees, or grow or expand your business. Here are a few criteria to use to value your small business.

    Entry Cost

    This is a simple process. You simply find out how much it cost setting up an existing company similar to the one being valued? You have to take into account everything that has brought the business to where it is today. 

    Write down all start-up costs and then the property, plant and equipment. How much would it cost to develop products, build a customer base and recruit and train employees? 

    Then think about the savings you can make on set up. If you can save by moving the business to another location or using cheaper materials, subtract this from the estimate.

    When you’ve considered everything, you have your entry costs – and a valuation.

    Price to Earnings Ratio (P/E)

    Companies are often valued based on their price-earnings ratio (P/E) or multiples of the profit. This model is suitable for companies that have a proven track record. Determining an appropriate P/E ratio may depend on profits. If a company has high forecast earnings growth, this may indicate a higher P/E ratio. And if a company makes good repeat profits, it may also have a higher P/E ratio.

    For example, using a P/E ratio of four for a business that makes £500,000 post-tax profits means it would be valued at £2,000,000.

    How you get the right figures for your P/E can vary significantly depending on the business. Tech startups often have a high P/E ratio, as they are usually high-growth companies. A more common high street company like a real estate agency has a lower P/E ratio and is likely to be a mature business.

    Valuation of A Company’s Assets

    Stable, established companies with many properties, plant and equipment, are often suitable to be valued on these assets. Real estate and manufacturing companies are good examples of such companies.

    To perform an asset valuation, you first need to determine the transaction’s Net Book Value (NBV). These are the assets reported in the annual financial statements of the company.

    Then you should think about the economic reality surrounding wealth. This essentially means that the figures are adjusted to the actual value of the assets. For example, the real values of old stocks are reduced. If there are debts that are unlikely to be paid, you can take them out. And property could have changed in value, so adjust those figures too.

    Discounted Cash Flow

    This is a complex method of evaluating a company based on assumptions about its future. The system is ideal for mature industries that have stable, predictable cash flows, such as electricity and telecommunications companies.

    The discounted cash flow is calculated from the estimate of the future cash flow. You can get an estimate by applying a 15-year dividend forecast plus residual value at the end of the period. They measure the present value of each potential cash flow using a rate of discount, which reflects the risk and time value of the amount.

    The time value of the money is based on the idea that £1 is worth more today than £1 tomorrow because of its earnings potential. Usually, the discount rate can be between 15 and 25%.

    What works for one company does not always work for another. By giving you an overview of some common business valuation methods, we hope that you are closer to properly evaluating your first business. 

    Easy Ways to Lower Your Carbon Footprint in 2020

    Posted in Awareness and Hype on January 22, 2020

    From blazing fires in Australia to rising ice melting and rising seawater, it’s clear to see that the planet is experiencing chaos in 2020. In order to mitigate the effects of climate change, it’s imperative that we all come together to make a difference. If your goal for 2020 is to be kinder on the planet, we’re here to help.
    In this post, we’ll discuss some easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint this year.

    Reduce, reuse, recycle, repurpose

    If you consider yourself an environmentalist, you’ve likely heard of the “3 R’s” reduce, reuse, and recycle, but there’s another “R” that can help you reduce your carbon footprint this year. Repurpose! Here’s how you can demonstrate each:

    • Reduce: Stop buying things you don’t need! Food waste is one of the biggest offenders of climate change. As we continue to buy more and more food, we’re signaling to farmers and manufacturers that we need more than we’ll actually use. More food production means more equipment used and more energy wasted. Try to make a habit of going to the grocery store more frequently so that you only need to buy the amount of food you need for a few days rather than a whole week or more.
    • Reuse: Instead of relying on the convenience of single-use items, consider buying things that can be reused. A reusable water bottle or a reusable shopping bag can limit how much you rely on plastic items on a daily basis. Plastic is bad for the environment for several reasons, but two of the main issues are that its production contributes to carbon emissions and standard plastics are not biodegradable.
    • Recycle: Speaking of plastic, it’s time to start recycling! If you haven’t been recycling already, what are you waiting for? Cities and states all have their own guidelines for what is and isn’t recyclable, so be sure to check with your place of residence before mixing non-recyclable items into your recycling receptacle. If your residence doesn’t provide recycling services, you might consider using a private recycling service.
    • Repurpose: The last time you decided to throw away or get rid of a piece of clothing or toss food, did you take the time to think about how else you could use the item before ditching it? Repurposing is an easy way to reduce your waste. Let’s say you have a dress that doesn’t quite fit right anymore, think about turning it into a t-shirt instead of tossing it right away.

    As for food, oftentimes we’re too quick to throw out items that still have a shelf-life. Wilted greens, for example, can be mixed into smoothies, cooked into an omelet, or frozen for later. Next time you’re thinking about getting rid of an item, think carefully about whether it could actually have a second life.

    Consider alternative energy

    If you want to take a stronger approach to fight climate change, reconsidering how you source energy is a great place to start. There are many different types of alternative energy solutions these days, including solar, wind, and hydro energy. Solar energy is by far the most common for residential use and it is easy to implement. What’s more, solar energy is good for the planet and your wallet!

    There’s a big misconception that installing solar power is way too expensive and labor-intensive, but there are several resources out there that can help you make the transition. PACE financing is one option that homeowners can take advantage of to help them afford the upfront costs of transitioning to solar energy. There are also a number of tax benefits that can help lower the financial burden.

    Drive less

    Another really effective way to do your part for the planet is to drive less. Whether you use public transportation, walk, bike, or use a carpool service, having one less vehicle on the road will certainly make a difference!

    If you needed any more motivation than the safety of the planet, there are even apps that pay you to walk to work.

    Final notes

    In this time of climate crisis, it’s important that we come together as citizens of the world for the longevity of this planet. Use these tips in your day-to-day routine and convince some friends to join you in your mission!

    Toyota to Build A Prototype City Of The Future in Japan

    Posted in Gadgets and Tech on January 7, 2020

    Today at CES 2020, Toyota revealed plans to build a prototype city of the future on a 175-acre site at the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan. Called the Woven City, it will be a fully connected ecosystem powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Envisioned as a living laboratory, the Woven City will serve as a home to full-time residents and researchers who will be able to test and develop technologies such as autonomy, robotics, personal mobility, smart homes, and artificial intelligence in a real-world environment. 

    The city is planned to be fully sustainable, with buildings made mostly of wood to minimize the carbon footprint, using traditional Japanese wood joinery, combined with robotic production methods. The rooftops will be covered in photo-voltaic panels to generate solar power in addition to power generated by hydrogen fuel cells. Toyota plans to weave in the outdoors throughout the city, with native vegetation and hydroponics. For the design of Woven City, Toyota has commissioned Danish architect, Bjarke Ingels, CEO, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG).

    Residences will be equipped with the latest in human support technologies, such as in-home robotics to assist with daily living. The homes will use sensor-based AI to check occupants’ health, take care of basic needs and enhance daily life, creating an opportunity to deploy connected technology with integrity and trust, securely and positively. To move residents through the city, only fully-autonomous, zero-emission vehicles will be allowed on the main thoroughfares. In and throughout Woven City, autonomous Toyota e-Palettes will be used for transportation and deliveries, as well as for changeable mobile retail.

    Both neighborhood parks and a large central park for recreation, as well as a central plaza for social gatherings, are designed to bring the community together. Toyota believes that encouraging human connection will be an equally important aspect of this experience. Toyota plans to populate Woven City with Toyota Motor Corporation employees and their families, retired couples, retailers, visiting scientists, and industry partners. The plan is for 2000 people to start, adding more as the project evolves. The groundbreaking for the site is planned for early 2021.

    Waste Disposal and Recycling for the 21st Century

    Posted in Uncategorized on January 6, 2020
    Bulldozer working on the mountain of garbage in the landfill

    The rubbish will always be a problem for any society. The truth is that people constantly make waste material whenever they use products, conduct business or carry out the normal liver function. Communities are always trying to find the best ways to eliminate refuse. Recycling plays a major role in detritus removal. This presentation on rubbish removal, waste disposal and recycling for the 21st century will help you to better understand the recycling process.

    Aerial view of unrecognized Garbage man loading garbage truck. Rubbish and recycling concept with copy space

    Modern Recycling Practices

    Societies around the world utilize standard recycling techniques to manage their waste. Practices such as Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), paper recycling and metal recycling are commonly used for that purpose. Other types of recycling processes for wood, plastic and disposable products. Recycling is also conducted through drop-off sites, curbside collection, and buy-back centers.

    Waste materials are also being recycled through physical, chemical and solid waste reprocessing. There exist very few waste removal companies that collect, process and sell recycled items. Reduce, reuse and recycle is a common slogan for the recycling industry.

    New Recyclable Materials

    There are recently created recyclable materials that are now being commonly made. Potato starch is used for technical applications and foods and it is a by-product of potato waste. Blood bricks from animals, organic mushroom walls used for heating and packing applications and brick bottles for buildings are a few examples of new recyclable materials being produced today.

    Aluminium and steel, cardboard, glass, newspapers, and plastic bottles are still the most popular type of recycled products. Items such as plastic bags are often cut up into pellets which will be used to create new plastic bag materials. The recycling industry is creating new ways to use human rubbish and junk.

    The Problem of Hazardous Waste

    Items such as car batteries, aerosols, automotive waste, pesticides, paints, and solvents are considered hazardous waste materials. These products can run off the ground and mix into the local water supply. Hazardous materials can also contaminate the soil, plant life or pollute the air. Many communities have drop-off and collection points for hazardous materials as well as waste disposal and collection sites provided by local councils.

    People must Change the Way they Dispose of Trash Across the Earth

    Industries, nations, cities, communities, neighborhoods, and individuals are very aware of the modern waste problem. Still, it’s challenging to find useful ways to cost-effectively recycle rubbish. There are some beneficial recycling programs in place. However, there still is a problem with everyone doing their part to recycle debris. Thankfully, recycling is constantly evolving to meet the demands of waste reprocessing and disposal.

    Honda Plans to Begin Sales of BENLY e: Series of Business-use Electric Scooters in Japan from April 2020

    Posted in Transport on December 19, 2019

    Honda today announced plans to begin sales of BENLY e: Series business-use electric scooter models to corporate customers in Japan from April 2020. Developed with the concept of a “Business e: scooter perfect for everyday delivery services,” BENLY e: Series is equipped with a compact EV system that fits inside an easy-to-handle body size required for scooters used for various types of delivery services in Japan. BENLY e: models were developed as business-use electric scooters while giving consideration to user-friendliness in use for various pick-up/delivery services such as newspaper and package delivery services. 

    BENLY e: models are powered by two units of the Honda Mobile Power Pack (MPP) detachable and easily-swappable battery. In addition to outstanding environmental performance, which can be achieved only by clean and quiet electric mobility products which emit no CO2 in use, BENLY e: models demonstrate powerful and smooth starting and hill climbing performance even when carrying cargo by leveraging the unique characteristics of their motor which generates ample torque even from a low rev range. All BENLY e: models feature a meter panel which displays various information about the EV system in an easy-to-understand manner.

    In addition to the speedometer and a clock, the meter panel has settings to display the remaining battery level of MPPs, the reverse indicator which comes on when the scooter is put into reverse and the side stand indicator which comes on when the side stand is in use. BENLY e: models feature a large and flat rear deck which makes it easier for users to load items they will deliver, and a reverse assist function was adopted to increase user convenience in case the scooter needs to be turned around to face in the opposite direction in a narrow space or on an inclined surface. Price starts from (all Inclusive) 737,000 yen ($6721).

    Mitsubishi Motors Energy Solution Service At Okazaki Plant in Japan to Reduce Carbon Emissions by 1600 Tons A Year

    Posted in Uncategorized on December 11, 2019

    Mitsubishi Motors announced today its decision to introduce an energy solution service provided by Mitsubishi and Mitsubishi Corporation Power at Okazaki Plant in Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture, one of MMC’s main electric vehicles production plants. The energy solution service aims to reduce carbon emissions through the introduction of renewable energy. Specifically, MC and MCP will install a utility-scale rooftop photovoltaic (PV) system and battery energy storage system (BESS) composed of used batteries from electric vehicles. The PV system and BESS (Battery Energy Storage System) will reduce carbon emissions approximately by 1,600 tons a year and avoid peak demand of power consumption at Okazaki Plant.

    The construction of the rooftop PV system began in October 2019 and the scheduled commercial operation will start in May 2020. MC and MCP will install an initial capacity of 3MW (annual power generation: 3GWh) and plan to gradually increase the capacity. Okazaki Plant will then use the power generated from the PV system, thereby contributing to a sustainable approach to the production of MMC’s electric vehicles. The energy solution service thus enables MMC to use carbon-free electricity from the rooftop PV system without initial investment or possession of equipment, only by bearing electricity charges. 

    MC and MCP will install a battery energy storage system (BESS) and conduct a verification test in fiscal year 2020. The system is composed of used batteries from MMC’s Outlander PHEVs, with a maximum capacity of 1MWh. Once completed, the installed capacity will be one of the largest among non-FIT (Non-FIT is a renewable power generation business that does not rely on the subsidized FIT (Feed-in Tariff) scheme) rooftop PV system projects in Japan.