Photographer documents world’s oldest trees


Photographer documents world's oldest trees

Beth Moon, a San Francisco based photographer, has documented some of the oldest, rarest and largest trees in the world.

Using the rare practice of plantium and palladium printing in order to make the photos themselves look old, Moon’s choice of medium underscores the age of her subject matter.

Moon writes: “Standing as the Earth’s oldest and living monuments, I believe these symbolic trees will take on greater significance, especially at a time when our focus is directed at finding better ways to live with the environment.”

Take a look at more spectacular images here.

‘Your Life’ project shows how Earth has changed


Your Life on EarthThe BBC has launched a personalised dashboard showing how the world has changed since you were born.

As part of the new BBC Earth digital offering, the ‘Your Life on Earth’ dashboard visualises data on how humanity and the planet have changed since the user’s birth.

The graphics can be shared individually or as a whole across social media.

BBC Earth editor, Matt Walker, described the new site as ‘an incredibly rich destination for natural history and everyone with a curious mind and an interest in the world around them’.

Find out more about the new platform here and tell us if you’ll be trying it out.

A billboard that absorbs pollution


Air Purifying BillboardA university in Peru has unveiled a pollution-busting billboard designed to tackle the effects of the country’s industrial growth.

Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC) teamed up with ad agency FCB Mayo to create the billboard, which can purify 100,000 cubic metres of polluted air in a day.

The billboard uses a water filtration system to absorb the polluted air, which contains metal and stone particles as well as dust and germs, and discharges fresh, clean air back into the atmosphere.

UTEC has previously created a water-producing billboard, which won five Cannes Lions awards.

Watch the video below to find out more about this clever billboard, and tell us if you think more should be built.

The Sustainability Treehouse


Architectural practice Mithun has designed a tree-house with a difference in West Virginia – it educates visiting Scouts about sustainability.

The Sustainability Treehouse, which is 125 feet tall, has been designed to encourage ‘camp adventure, environmental stewardship and innovative building design’.

Using a weathering steel frame to rise through the trees, the tree-house incorporates wind turbines and photovoltaic panels for renewable energy.

With interactive galleries and educational spaces at ground, tree canopy and sky levels, the Sustainability Treehouse is an immersive and entertaining experience for any of its visitors.

Take a closer look at the structure here and tell us if you would like to see more ‘living buildings’.

Sustainability Communication for Formica Group


Formica Sustainability BrochureIf you popped along to Ecobuild a few weeks ago you may have come across the Formica Group stand. During the show they announced that they had completed the measurement of the carbon footprint of their entire range of High Pressure Laminate (HPL), Continuous Pressure Laminates (CPL), Compact Laminates and Bonded Worktops products, and in doing so their products now qualify to carry the Carbon Trust’s
Carbon Reduction Label.   
To recognise being the first laminate manufacturer to achieve this The Think Tank developed a brochure which communicates the Formica Group environmental policy and their commitment to reducing carbon emissions across all its operations.  
The brochure in full can be viewed here.

Smarter Buildings: Interacting with the environment


Experimenting with materials in architecture to achieve environmental benefits has led to the development of many outstanding innovations that have changed the way we interact with buildings.

Now architect Doris Kim Sung, assistant professor of architecture at the USC School of Architecture, is experimenting with how a building can interact with its environment through the materials used in its construction.

Her latest installation, “Bloom”, is 20-foot tall and made from 14,000 tiny sheets of metal that open and close with the sun manipulating the light within the structure.

Sung discovered a new use for a material usually used in thermostat coils that responds to temperature changes. The metal alloy, called “thermobimetal”, is made of two sheets of metal laminated together. Each metal expands at a different rate when heated, curling as the temperature rises and flattening when cooled.

The metal sheets curl upwards with the sun creating moving shaded areas within the installation when needed. Sung believes that it could be used to create canopies that close when the sun is above or vents that open when the air becomes too stuffy and is now working on ways to integrate thermobimetal with standard building components.

It looks fantastic and is a mixture of art and architecture that addresses an environmental need. See a video of the installation below and more can be found on their blog.

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Formica Group laminates achieve Carbon Trust qualification


This week saw the Formica Group announce that it has measured the carbon footprint of its range of High Pressure Laminate (HPL), Continuous Pressure Laminates (CPL), Compact Laminates and Bonded Worktops products, which now qualify to carry the Carbon Trust’s Carbon Reduction Label.     

Mark Adamson, CEO of Formica Group, said: “With our worldwide presence and manufacturing facilities, Formica Group leads the way in design and innovation for the production of High Pressure Laminate.  Now we are leading the way on this important facet of product manufacturing.  Displaying the Carbon Reduction Label on our products is a clear and effective way of communicating to all of our customers that we are working to reduce the carbon footprint of our products. Reducing our impact on the environment is a core part of Formica Group’s company-wide vision and values.”  

The Formica Group has set its own goals to reduce carbon emissions for all operations, vehicles and facilities by 5% by the end of 2012.

The Carbon Reduction Label signifies that the total greenhouse gas emissions from every stage of the product’s lifecycle including raw materials, production, transportation, preparation, use and disposal have been assessed. By displaying the Carbon Trust’s Carbon Reduction Label, Formica Group has made a commitment to measure and reduce the carbon footprint of its products over a two year period.  

To qualify to bear the Carbon Trust Carbon Reduction Label, Formica Group has had each product’s carbon footprint assessed to the PAS 2050: 2008 Specification for lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of goods and services, the Footprint Expert Guide TM and the Code of Good Practice for Product Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Reductions Claims.  

Darran Messem, Managing Director of Certification at the Carbon Trust, said:   “We congratulate the Formica Group of companies on the certification and labelling of their products. The Carbon Reduction Label allows Formica Group to easily and openly communicate the serious and credible steps it is taking to reduce carbon emissions. Certifying these products will have a positive effect on Formica Group’s reputation, and the business as a whole. We are pleased to be working with Formica Group, as it works to reduce the carbon footprint of its products.”  

Gavin Todd, Development Manager, Formica Group, who directs the company’s sustainability strategy, commented:   “Formica Group completed a Life Cycle Assessment on key products and their environmental impacts in all ten of our manufacturing plants. This has provided a benchmark for our processes and enabled us to set goals for the future.  Creating a company culture that demands continuous improvement and working to internationally recognised accreditations and certifications are part and parcel of our journey for excellence in sustainability.  Working with the Carbon Trust and being the first laminate manufacturer in the world to display the CRL is an exciting part of this.”  

Well done to Formica Group for leading the way and joining other prestigous household names in adding the Carbon Trust Label to its products.

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