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Blockchain, beer, and farms are redefining climate action | Purposeful Connections

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While most of America was reeling from the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Court dealt another massive blow to progress by curbing the EPA's authority over power plants. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA was able to regulate carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, which are the nation's "single largest source of carbon emissions that cause climate change." Beyond the obvious environmental impacts, Justice Elena Kagan's statement of dissent indicates the severity of this decision: "[the Court] does not have a clue about how to address climate change…yet it appoints itself, instead of Congress or the expert agency…the decision-maker on climate policy. I cannot think of many things more frightening."

Agrovoltaics are transforming modern farming. In recent years, farmers have increasingly leased non-arable or unused land to be used for solar arrays. Now, companies like BlueWave Solar are offering landowners an opportunity to get dual use out of their land. Agrovoltaic technology involves solar arrays which have been modified to allow for ongoing use of the land they're on. Spaced farther apart and lifted as much as 14 feet off the ground, such arrays allow farm equipment, workers, animals, and sunlight to reach crops. Electricity generated by the arrays is fed into local grids, bringing in additional income for farming families.

  • The New York Times: Can Dual-Use Solar Panels Provide Power and Share Space With Crops?

Representation matters. CSR and DE&I professionals know this adage well—but their teams don't always reflect it. New research from ACCP (Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals) found that 58% of CSR teams had "none/few" team members from the communities serviced by their company's CSR programs. More than 60% said they worked on teams with less than 25% BIPOC staff.

  • ACCP: Advancing Equity in the Corporate Social Impact Profession

  • Triple Pundit: The State of Corporate Social Responsibility? It's Quite a White One, Actually

You don't need to understand Web3 or the metaverse to know that blockchain has a massive energy footprint. Bitcoin—just one cryptocurrency—consumes more electricity than Norway, and the rise in NFTs, crypto, and virtual land sales (yes, that's a thing) have many sustainability leaders pushing for solutions. While some blockchains offer built-in offsets or rely on renewable energy, the hype surrounding Web3 is outpacing environmentally friendly options. Brands should carefully vet their blockchains before embarking on any Web3 / metaverse campaigns.

Hoppy, with a hint of sewage? Brewerkz, a craft brewery based in Singapore, is making a bold statement about sustainable water use with its NEWBrew—a blonde ale brewed with, yes, sewage. Produced in partnership with PUB, Singapore's national water agency, the beer uses NEWater, which the agency has sold since 2003. Recycled sewage water is perfectly safe, and using it for drinking water has become increasingly common in regions facing severe water scarcity. NEWBrew was developed to help convince the public that this recycled water is completely safe, palatable, and good for the environment.

  • Bloomberg: Beer Made From Recycled Toilet Water Wins Admirers in Singapore

  • South China Morning Post: Singapore's NEWBrew made from recycled waste water 'tastes just like beer'

Curious what else our team is reading, watching, or listening to? Here's what has inspired and informed us lately:

  • FastCompany: From industrial waste to floating wetlands, how Chicago's Wild Mile is reinventing the urban river

  • Triple Pundit: Tech Firms Are Up to Their Necks in the Abortion Rights Tar Pit

  • Bloomberg: How a Worker-Owned Business Model in Spain is Keeping Inequality in Check

  • The New York Times: As Federal Climate-Fighting Tools Are Taken Away, Cities and States Step Up


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