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Exploring the Fourth Wave of Environmental Innovation
Header banner - Innovation and the Environment by EDF
December 5, 2019 
Bill Gates's big climate bet
Heliogen, a start-up backed by Bill Gates, just announced a breakthrough that has the potential one day to offer a carbon-free power source to high emitting industrial processes like cement and steel manufacturing.
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The new era of data driven methane management

Reducing methane emissions is essential to fighting climate change, and BPX Energy (BP’s U.S. onshore oil and gas division) is bringing leading edge technology to the fight with impressive results. By moving to a largely drone-based leak detection program, BPX increased the number of wells surveyed in a given day by as much as 900% and reduced the cost per well inspected by 90%. “Minimizing methane emissions is the right thing to do — for the environment and our business,” Brian Pugh, chief innovation officer at BPX, explained in an interview discussing technology innovation, the role of methane regulations and creating a data-driven culture. 
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Also worth your time…

A traveler-supported case for higher airfares
Why it matters: A new EDF and University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business study found travelers would be willing to pay more for airline tickets if it meant that the additional cost went toward addressing the flight’s carbon emissions.
 
Analyzing the EV sales slump
Why it matters: The current slump in electric vehicle sales does not necessarily indicate a change in trend. Growth isn’t always linear, and considerable variation is to be expected. “Even if 2019 sales prove flat to 2018, the growth rate since 2013 will still average an impressive 25% per year.”
 
Is it possible to be profitable and virtuous? (NYT subscription required)
Why it matters: Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, is under pressure from consumers and investors alike to prove it can join the ranks of companies with a purpose beyond profit. They may have a shot. As the article states, “Studies support the idea that profit and sustainability are compatible over the long run.”
 
How VR can help people better understand climate change
Why it matters: “How do you show people and convince them of a future that has never been?” asks NPR’s Morning Edition host Rachel Martin. One way is to help them visualize likely climate change impacts through virtual reality, to bring immediacy and a sense of realness to the conversation.
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I look forward to sharing more news from the frontiers of environmental innovation. Please send me your thoughts and suggestions at innovation@edf.org.

Fred
 

Connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn, and join the Fourth Wave of environmental innovation conversation on Medium.

 


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