Daily Planet

This week’s ten biggest climate innovation stories — 31 August

Bee in action detail

Is it possible for a phone to repair itself? Which country has sold off its last oil company? And, how can plant waste make carbon fibre more sustainable?

This, and more, in the week’s ten biggest climate innovation stories.


Little London apartment building is made of Cross-Laminated Timber

Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT, or crosslam) was invented to use up bits of leftover lumber. Amin Taha Architects created an apartment building in London using the material, which cut carbon emissions by 15 per cent during the construction process. Crosslam has additional benefits, like keeping construction times down. It’s also fire-resistant.

Read more on Tree Hugger.

Sustainability finance lessons, from Adidas to Starbucks

Last year, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) released two financing guides that focus on innovative ways to secure capital for energy and sustainability projects. Since that time, RILA and IMT have released a newly updated version of the guides—complete with recommendations and real-world examples of the latest progress made throughout the industry.

Read more on Green Biz.


Welcome to the future, where your phone can fix its own smashed screen

From self-healing phone screens to concrete that repairs itself, businesses are investing in futuristic materials. But can it curb our throwaway habits?

Read more on The Guardian.


Sustainability: Coming to a platform near you

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offerings become more competitive every year, but there’s also something happening on a larger scale: They’re making entire communities more sustainable.

Read more on Green Biz.


Green cabs may get prime London ranks in plan to cut pollution

The City of London is looking at new taxi stands reserved for electric vehicles near the offices of Lloyds Banking Group Plc. and Macquarie Group, according to planning documents. The new ranks would let drivers plug their cars into charging stations while they await clients.

Read more on Bloomberg New Energy Finance.


World’s biggest wind turbine maker waves oil industry goodbye

In another sign that the petroleum era is drawing to a close, Denmark is selling off its last oil company. Denmark, which is also home to Vestas Wind Systems A/S (a company that produces more turbines than any other manufacturer on the planet), now gets more than 40 per cent of its electricity needs from renewable sources, according to 2015 data, and aims to reach more than 50 percent by 2020.

Read more on Bloomberg New Energy Finance.


Iberdrola exec: ‘We are becoming a digital company’

Spanish electricity utility Iberdrola is directing 42 per cent of new investments into networks, hoping to reap the benefits of an economy-wide electrification process currently underway in Europe and across the world.

Read more on Euractiv.


Plant waste could make less expensive, more sustainable carbon fiber possible

Researchers at Washington State University think they may have found a way to make carbon fiber that is less expensive and more environmentally friendly using lignin, a substance found in the cell walls of plants and trees.

More on Clean Technica.


Bee inspired: why Oslo has put ecological riches at the heart of the city

Norway wants urban gardeners to cultivate wildflowers and keep hives to reverse a decline in biodiversity. As well as the economic benefits that come from pollinators, a strong natural habitat is likely to be more resilient to storms and rising temperatures. It’s increasingly recognised that biodiversity is crucial for action against climate change.

Read more on The Guardian.


Every home in this UK neighborhood is its own power plant

An experimental neighborhood in the UK is on a mission to show that smart design can make a big difference when it comes to energy efficiency. 16 homes in Neath, Wales will be outfitted with cutting-edge technology that enables them to generate and store enough clean energy for 100 per cent of their electricity needs. The entire neighborhood will be connected to serve as one autonomous unit of clean energy production.

Read more on Inhabitat.