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6/26/17 at 07:51 AM 0 Comments

Trends in Sustainable Business Operations

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The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is a primary objective of many corporations in the United States, and globally. Sustainability certification is available from the ISCC, which operates out of Germany. This non-profit organisation is geared towards providing a framework of compliance for the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across Europe. For US companies seeking a foothold in European markets, it is imperative that the corporations gain the required ISCC certification. Indeed, companies seeking to operate their businesses and sell their products in states like California will soon be required to have this European certification as well. There are now talks underway between the European ISCC and California’s CARB (California Air Resources Board). In 2016, the European licensing agency set up an office in San Francisco.

How can US companies achieve the required certification to operate as sustainable businesses?

Ethanol production is a burgeoning industry in the United States, and globally. It is internationally accepted as an alternative fuel. What’s unique about it is that it is a fuel distilled from sugar, corn and biodegradable material. The use of alcohol-based fuels has existed for many years, and they are typically mixed with petroleum, and known as gasohol. When it is a blend of 90% gasoline and 10% ethanol, it is known as E10. Oil companies across the United States and Canada, and globally are now blending their fuel products in much the same way. The rapid rise of shale oil producers in the US (WTI crude oil) has stopped Brent crude oil producers (largely OPEC countries) dead in their tracks. For environmentally conscious advocates, the use of ethanol is indeed the proverbial bright light on the horizon.

Already, flex-fuel automobiles across the United States are using biodegradable fuels blended from ethanol and petroleum. E85 is one such mixture which contains 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Since ethanol is fully dissolvable in water, it is non-toxic and biodegradable. The emissions from ethanol-based fuels are dramatically better for the environment than their traditional gasoline counterparts. With decreases in gasoline expected in the next few decades, the popularity of ethanol as an alternative is going to increase dramatically. It is likely that E85 will become E90 or E95, to reduce the greenhouse emissions of toxic fumes and chemicals into the atmosphere. Unfortunately, there are side effects to the production of ethanol, notably the devastation to the price of corn and corn crops. One alternative is cellulose-based ethanol which is not based on food products, but rather on waste products and non-food agriculture.

How many people are purchasing Flex-Fuel Vehicles in the United States?

FFVs are growing in popularity in the United States. These vehicles encompass a wide range of economy efficient vehicles such as minicompacts, subcompacts, compact, mid-size vehicles, large vehicles, small station wagons and mid-size station wagons. The combined mpg for cars like a Fiat 500 E is 112, for a BMW i3 BEV (60 amp per hour battery) the mpg is 124, while vehicles like a Hyundai Ioniq Electric have a 136 mile per gallon efficiency. Vehicles like the Tesla model S AWD – 60 D and the Tesla model S AWD – 90 D also offers 104 mpg in a large vehicle size. The Chevrolet Bolt EV is a small station wagon with a 119 mile per gallon capacity.

The price of these electric vehicles should be weighed against the cost of fuel usage per annum. Many environmentally conscious individuals will be considering breaking out a personal loans calculator to see whether these vehicles are affordable; fortunately they are. For example, the annual fuel cost for a 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV is just $550, or $0.92 per 25 miles. The Hyundai Ioniq Electric vehicle averages 136 mpg between highway and city driving, and the annual fuel cost is $500 per annum, or $0.81. When you consider that the cost of the Hyundai Ioniq Electric starts at $29,000, it’s still within an affordable range of many new compact vehicles in the US.

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