Tag Archives: Sustainable Cities

IBM Using Technology to Improve Water Sustainability

Written by Owain Jones, MBA in Sustainability student at University of Saint Francis Some things that people may take for granted on a day-to-day basis is the availability of freshwater. Our world is made up of massive amounts of water, however, the majority of this is salt water, about 97.5%. The remaining 2.5% is freshwater but only 30% of these freshwater sources are groundwater, the main source of water for human consumption. For a world population that is continually growing and consuming more and more resources, this staggeringly small amount of available freshwater cannot sustain it. This is highlighted by the fact that by 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in areas with an extremely scarce water supply (UN Water Statistics). Thus, a need is created to be able to better utilize our current freshwater resources and improve the sustainability of these resources. The root of water resource sustainability is water conservation, preached and advocated for all over the world. International Business Machines, most commonly referred to as IBM, has been developing computers and technologies for businesses for many years and has grown into one of the largest companies in the US. Currently, IBM has pushed a business solutions focus that involves analytics,  Continue Reading »

Emerson Helps Milwaukee Turn Waste into Energy

Written by Owain Jones, MBA in Sustainability student at University of Saint Francis Recently, Emerson Electric Company has been airing a fairly strong television advertisement campaign on many channels again, resurrected from a few years ago. The gist of the advertisements is that Emerson is providing cities and companies with solutions to problems that have “never been done before.” Originally these commercials were developed back in 2009 as the “It’s Never Been Done Before” campaign and they can be seen on Emerson’s YouTube Channel and explained in this Emerson news release. As it relates to sustainability, there is one very intriguing part of this campaign that seemed very out of the ordinary. It was the way in which Emerson has helped the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin increase its initiative to produce a substantial amount of electricity through its wastewater program. What the City of Milwaukee had developed was a methane producing system in its wastewater treatment plants to create electricity. Microbes are introduced into the wastewater tanks, where they digest the sewage to expel methane. The methane is then captured and turned into energy. This process is nothing new and Emerson was not the one to develop this for Milwaukee. However, what Emerson did was show  Continue Reading »

Banning Hard to Recycle Materials

Written by Owain Jones, MBA in Sustainability student at University of Saint Francis As we all know, there are materials out there that are so synthetic and manufactured that breaking them down into something that can be reused again is very difficult. The ability for these materials to even breakdown over time in landfills is barely there. This then provides a significant obstacle to sustainability initiatives, namely zero waste ones. However, most big businesses can easily do away with the materials to achieve zero waste because they control what comes in. But what about public facilities or whole cities that are attempting to step up their sustainability and lessen their impact on the environment? The much discussed Mayor of New York City (NYC) has proposed a solution to this, on top of his already highly publicized handling of high sugar beverages and smoking. In his last State of the City Address on February 14, 2013, Mayor Bloomberg proposed a ban on polystyrene foam, or the trade named Styrofoam. What this will do for NYC, Bloomberg proposes, is dramatically decrease the cost to taxpayers while increasing the sustainability and decreasing the overall environmental impact. NYC currently has to absorb the cost to collect and house  Continue Reading »