Archive for February, 2012
Sustainable finance is all about the investment opportunities directed towards the conservation of the environment. It also relates to investments in clean energy and water projects, production of renewable energy or any business activities that fulfill environmental concerns. The fact that sustainable investment trends are catching up despite the financial crisis, the concept of sustainable finance has become more attractive for investors.
Green investments can be extremely effective in providing stable returns in the long run. Anyone interested in combining ethics with investment can opt for green companies that carry their business activities with environmental issues as the main agenda. According to experts, sustainable investment is a great way to build a better environment. Business organizations need to focus on the protection of environment and eco-friendly living in order to achieve the goal of sustainable development.
In the last few years, demand for green stocks has increased to a great extent. Investors across the globe are looking for companies that are integrating the concept of ‘sustainability’ in their daily business activities. Many such companies are offering diverse investment opportunities to lure investors from all sectors. This certainly doesn’t mean that companies other than green companies are bad. It about choosing a better company that meets your criteria of socially responsible performance. The key to success lies in choosing a responsible company that will turn more sustainable in the coming years and reap higher profits.
So what all is covered under green investment? Traditionally, green investment includes exchange traded funds, mutual funds and stocks. Companies offering green stocks are partially or completely involved in the improvement of environment. From companies developing alternative energy technology to startups involved in the production of solar panels or bio-fuel, different types of businesses offer green investment stocks and funds. However, there can be variations as far as the understanding of “green investment” goes for different investors. Investing in an oil company may be sustainable for some while others may not consider the stocks as green investment because fossil fuel adds to global warming. Therefore it is very important to conduct a thorough research before investing your hard earned money in any green company stock.Tags: bio fuel, investment trends, responsible performance, stable returns, sustainable investment
What is Sustainable Agriculture?
Our goal is to tread lightly on the planet. We are mindful of the acts we do in our Philippine Flower Farm, knowing that each act of tilling, growing, harvesting and packaging, can do damage or save the planet. One of the most concrete steps we do this is through implementing sustainable agriculture. When we grow or harvest our Philippine flowers, we remove some nutrients from the soil. If we do not replenish these, the land suffers and we can no longer use the soil for farming. Sustainable agriculture means replenishing the soil while minimizing the use of non-renewable resources, such as natural gas or mineral ores. We engage in concrete steps to ensure that our Philippine Flower Farm produces flowers indefinitely, without causing irreversible damage to the health of an ecosystem. This would entail redefining our practices and processes on the soil, to produce Philippines flowers and foliage that are not only profitable but also healthy. The second is socio-economic, where we enhance the quality of life of our farm workers. Sustainably grown goes beyond organic, as organic refers only to specific chemical and pesticide free practices. Sustainability embraces a much broader perspective and deals not only with production but also in environmental and eco-system issues, and social matters such as the farm’s workforce and community.
OUR GROWING PRACTICES
Sustainable Crop Production Utilizing Native Methods
We have been fortunate to work with and among Philippine indigenous tribes or natives. They have worked with us imparting the wisdom and heritage of their ancestors on Philippine flower farming. These include sustainable farming techniques that rely on natural methods handed down from generation to generation by the Talaandigs; the Higaonon; and Bukidnon farmers. Alongside their wealth of knowledge on natural methods, we have merged technology and science, to implement agricultural techniques that build our Philippine flower farm soil fertility, while protecting our air, water and wildlife. We have merged and developed a deeply rooted natural system of production, pest management, and weed and fungal control. Among these:
We practice natural methods on cover cropping, composting, and crop rotation;
Our main source of soil fertility is legume cover crops, which provide nitrogen, micro nutrients and organic matter. We use nitrogen-fixing and leguminous plants that are native to our farm, that form symbioses with nitrogen-fixing bacteria called rhizobia. These are plants that modern farming would have otherwise deemed as weeds. The natives have taught us to use these plants as a viable source of fertilizer. Also, the cover crops provide habitat for beneficial insects, keeping pests very low. Our farm prides itself with beneficials such as lady bugs;
Our farm has learned to rely on natural controls for soil-borne diseases and to ward off pests. Among these, we use natural insect traps, neem tree extract and beneficial bacteria and fungi to treat our soil;
We hope to eliminate the use of toxic and persistent chemicals found in industrial pesticides and herbicides. That way, we control pests and diseases with the least environmental impact, phasing in organic products over time; and
We have learned to follow the cycles and phases of the moon in scheduling our pest management and control, taking into account that the life cycles of these creatures that coincide with the moon’s phases.
We embrace these practices in our Philippine Flower Farm and adopt them in our daily tilling, growing or harvesting. By relying on the knowledge handed by those whom we believe are most in tune with nature and the earth, we build healthy and rich soils to produce Philippines flowers and plants that are healthy and thriving.
Resource Conservation and Energy Efficiency
Our Philippine Flower Farm encourages careful water use, energy saving initiatives, greenhouse gas emission reduction efforts and product packaging minimization.
Our Philippine Flower Farm infrastructure has been planned and built bearing in mind our carbon footprint. Our greenhouses are built using renewable resources or recycled material. Among these are bamboo, wooden pegs, stones, old tires, and similar materials;
We have designed and positioned our greenhouses to ensure that we use the least amount of energy for our crops. Our buildings use natural ventilation, and rely on the strength or gentleness of winds for its natural ventilation. Thus, we eliminate the need for energy-powered fans;
We rely on the forces of gravity for our irrigation, taking advantage of the gift of natural spring water, and use trickle- irrigation to conserve water and prevent erosion;
Our irrigation systems do not use more water from the natural spring than is naturally replenished; and
Our greenhouses are designed so we can harvest and utilize rainwater to irrigate our plants and treat our Philippine flowers.
We wish to have minimal or zero waste on our Flower Farm and encourage composting and recycling of our agricultural and non-agricultural wastes;
We recycle crop waste, weeds, twigs (almost everything!) and livestock manure for composting; and
Packaging materials to send flowers to the Philippines nationwide are recycled and reused over time.
Protecting Ecosystems In and Around the Farm
Because of our efforts to use natural methods and products, and our minimal use of heavy equipment or machinery, we protect the ecosystems around the Philippine Flower Farm such as rivers and streams.
Taking Care of our People
Your flowers are the result of the dedication and diligence of a handful of farmers in Bukidnon, a number of them natives. They are led by Toto, a native from Bukidnon, whose passion for growing flowers is quite infectious. Our women team are led by Dadang, whose green thumb magically turns every plant green. Our farmers harvest the flowers at their peak freshness early in the morning. We try to get all the flowers in for processing before lunch. Early afternoon, our farmers are able to go home to tend their own farms or gardens, or play with their children. Our Flower Farm prides itself in ensuring a safe, equitable and healthy work environment. We provide our farmers with access to the principal needs. We also support our farmers and their local community through preferential hiring, purchasing, infrastructure improvements and community problem solving. We believe in balancing work and play, having passion for what we do, and celebrating the fruits of our harvest.
Each Flower Depot bouquet is hand selected, carefully arranged, and shipped fresh from our Philippine Flower Farm, with the dedication and commitment to wholly move our farm from traditional and commercial practices to sustainable farming. We hope to transition to a sustainable, organic or biodynamic agriculture in the future. Our ultimate goal is to protect our environment and also enhance the lives of our workers, as they are free from unhealthy and toxic pesticides. By practicing sustainable farming, we hope to build a better and more sustainable future, and lighten our footsteps on the planet.
Our farm is a happy and vibrant ecosystem. In fact, our farm is home to birds, toads, earthworms, snakes, bees and and many many more. What does this mean for your flowers? Since our flowers are grown from vibrant plants, our flowers are also healthy with rich green foliage and bright brilliant blooms.
Flower Depot Inc.
The term sustainable architecture is defined as architecture that uses environmentally conscious design techniques in the field of architecture. In the field of sustainability, sustainable architecture is framed by the larger discussion of how anything and everything effects the economic and political issues of our world.
With sustainable architecture, figuring out how to minimize the negative environmental impact of buildings by enhancing efficiency and moderation with the use of materials, energy, and development space is important. The idea of sustainability, or ecological design, is also meant to ensure that our actions and decisions today do not inhibit the opportunities of future generations.
When one is designing a home to be sustainable, one aspect looked at is energy efficiency over the entire life cycle of the building. Architects will use many different techniques to reduce energy needs of buildings and increase their ability to capture or generate their own energy.
In reducing energy needs, the inspection of how effective and efficient heating, ventilating, and the air conditioning (HVAC) system is within a well insulated building is important. A more efficient building requires less heat generating or dissipating power, but may require more ventilation capacity to expel polluted indoor air.
In buildings not designed for sustainability, large amounts of energy is wasted in the design of how water and air is utilized. There are a number of ways buildings can be designed to preserve energy. Some design on-site recycling technology. Others orient the building in a way that is the most HVAC effective.
Site and building orientation have some major effects on a building’s HVAC efficiency. Passive solar building design allows buildings to harness the energy of the sun efficiently without the use of any active solar mechanisms such as photovoltaic cells or solar hot water panels. Passive solar building are also designed to incorporate materials with high thermal mass that retain heat effectively. These buildings are strongly insulated which helps prevent heat escape. Low energy designs also require the use of solar shading, by means of awnings, blinds or shutters, to relieve the solar heat gain in summer and to reduce the need for artificial cooling. In addition, low energy buildings typically have a very low surface area to volume ratio to minimize heat loss. This means that sprawling multi-winged building designs (often thought to look more “organic”) are often avoided in favor of more centralized structures.
The proper use of materials also helps insulate a building. Masonry building materials with high thermal mass are very valuable for retaining the cool temperatures of night throughout the day.
If a home or building is designed for a climate with four seasons, then an integrated energy system will increase in efficiency.
Those designing homes and buildings with sustainable architecture also often use active solar devices such as photovoltaic solar panels. The electrical output of a solar panel is dependent on orientation, efficiency, latitude, and climate–solar gain varies even at the same latitude. In addition, roofs are often angled toward the sun to allow photovoltaic panels to collect at maximum efficiency. For any solar panel, a true-south facing orientation maximizes yield. If true-south is not possible, solar panels can produce adequate energy if aligned within 30° of south. However, at higher latitudes, winter energy yield will be significantly reduced for non-south orientation.
There are many ways a home or building can be designed to provide a sustainable architecture, all of which assist in the protection of the environment long-term.Tags: building architects, negative environmental impact, recycling technology, solar hot water, sustainable architecture
For modern building and construction industry, building information modeling (BIM) process enhances the structural engineer’s workflow and can position them to be actively involved in the sustainable design of a building. BIM is defined as an integrated process that allows professionals to explore a project’s key physical and functional characteristics digitally – before it’s built. The AutoCAD BIM solutions are based on coordinated, more reliable, high-quality information created with Autodesk Revit-based products and AutoCAD Civil 3D software.
By using BIM, design professionals can:
# Design – innovative, intelligent projects from the earliest stages
# Visualize, Simulate, and Analyze – real-world appearance, performance and cost
# Document – projects more accurately and efficiently
# Deliver – projects faster, more economically and with reduced environmental impact
BIM for structural engineers uses this same approach for the entire structural engineering process. The engineer’s virtual structural model can be used for coordination with architects, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineers, and civil engineers. That same digital model is integrated with analysis, design, and construction documentation, and is used as the basis for digital design-to-fabrication strategies and construction. Through BIM, structural engineers have the ability to track material quantities and explore design options that ultimately result in a more sustainable design.
At the core of the structural engineering BIM process is the Autodesk Revit Structure software. BIM and Revit Structure enable structural engineers to minimize waste and maximize the re-use of materials. With Revit Structure, structural engineers investigate building design options for long term use and future flexibility, maximizing design efficiency and minimizing waste and overall embodied energy. The rich intelligent information created through a BIM process can also be used for simulation and analysis–enabling structural engineers to make better informed decisions and optimize the structure for durability, flexibility and long term use.
Looking ahead we can observe industry trends such as BIM, integrated project delivery (IPD), sustainable design and design-to-fabrication continuing to drive the structural engineering market. As the market moves in this direction, it is our hope that sustainability will become a part of the foundation for all successful building projects with every material in the building process selected for its environmental factors and, once the building life ends, all building materials reused or recycled. A sustainable future is one that we can all aspire to.
For any queries related to BIM Modeling and Effective Project collaboration email us at email@example.com
Visit us at http://www.structuralcaddservices.com/building-information-modeling.php for more information.Tags: autodesk revit structure, design efficiency, document projects, material quantities, plumbing engineers