Hello Energy Efficient Friends!
Just a quick note to let you know that June Stoyer from The Organic View will be interviewing Smartcool System's President & CEO, George Burnes (gracing us with his picture here) on Monday, Sept 12, 2011! They will be discussing energy efficiency and why energy conservation is a critical component concerning how we grow our food!
You can listen to the interview at 4:00 pm EST on the Organic View's internet radio station located here.
We hope you enjoy it!
Not sure if you’ve heard, but it’s summer here in Vancouver. By “summer”, I mean ‘it’s-been-mostly-terrible-weather-but-after-two-months-of-rain-and-cloud-we’re-finally-seeing-the-sun’. We’re not bitter…I swear. Ok, that’s a lie. We’re totally bitter about it. But, it’s out of our control, West-Coasters, so get out and enjoy the sun while it deigns to show its face! The bitterness comes from watching summer happen all over the rest of our continent. They have been experiencing some very warm (ok, very HOT) weather. However, while we West-Coasters may have want for a little more heat, we also know that a lot more heat can indeed be dangerous. Safety first, people.
A short while ago we discussed the European Union’s Energy Efficiency Plan and its goal to achieve a 20% improvement in its energy savings by the year 2020. Click here for a refresher on that. Basically, we found out that the initially instituted plan wasn’t totally working out as the European Commission had hoped, so they did some quick figuring and implemented another plan which would get everyone back on track. Handshakes and back-pats all around.
Back in 2006, the European Union realized that they were facing some serious energy challenges. These challenges were due to an increase in import dependency, global fossil fuel supplies, a “…clearly discernable climate change”, and a substantial waste of 20% of its energy due to inefficiencies.
Say what now? “A substantial waste of 20% of its energy due to inefficiencies”? Oh. Ok, we’ll be revisiting that shortly…
Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Remember that movie? I can never resist a good ‘80s movie, and to have Steve Martin and John Candy in on the hilarity? I mean, come on. That’s straight up comedy gold.
I do have doubts, though, that Steve and John were all that concerned with the energy efficiency of their various modes of transport. I think they were more concerned with getting home for Thanksgiving than they were with carbon emissions in the atmosphere. It’s a shame really – that movie could have been the figurative poster child for how not to travel efficiently. There’s a lesson there, people. A solid lesson.
Superpowers. Sometimes they get used for good, sometimes they get used for evil. I’m partial to the ‘using-them-for-good’ angle, as most people are. However, being totally honest, if I could see into the future, I would absolutely write down the winning lottery numbers and take that jackpot home! Don’t lie – you’d do it too…right…? I won’t be holding my breath for that to happen though, as that type of superpower doesn’t tend to exist outside of whatever superhero blockbuster is in the theatres at the moment. It’s July – Will Smith should be releasing something in 3…2…1.
However, in terms of big business, there does exist a fair amount – ok, a LARGE amount – of real-world superpowers. These powers can be used for evil – (see: swindling people’s life savings for your own profit) – and can cause a devastating ripple effect which impacts peoples’ lives in heart breaking ways. We’ve almost become accustomed to turning on the news and hearing about yet another big business with less than satisfactory regard for how it deploys its superpowers. So, it’s always a pleasure to see big, powerful companies using their superpowers for good - especially when those companies are in sectors typically seen as less than environmentally friendly. Let’s give a couple of those a shout out, shall we?
Smartcool’s head office is located in Vancouver, Canada. While that may be a random factoid for the majority of the world, for us it means that our office is all a flutter with furrowed brows, butterflies in tummies, and a serious case of nausea-inducing nerves. Why, you ask? Because Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals is tonight. The Vancouver Canucks are in it. And it’s a home game. The tension in the city is palpable and, to be honest, completely overwhelming!
We’ve never won the Cup before. And we’d do just about anything for it. So, there’s that.
Heavy sigh. I just read an article that dampened my day – and that’s saying something considering the rainy Vancouver weather we’ve been experiencing this spring. I read that the carbon dioxide emitted by energy use hit a record high globally in 2010. After a slight dip caused by the global financial crisis in 2009, CO2 emissions are estimated to have reached 30.6 Gigatonnes. That’s a lot of tons.
One of my least favourite things to do is to go grocery shopping. I’m usually there at the worst times (right after work, along with the rest of the population of Vancouver), I usually forget my list (and subsequently all the items of which I’m most in need), and I almost always end up in line behind someone who’s paying for their bill in nickels, dimes and pennies (or, you know, I’m that person). Some people love it, some people don’t. I definitely fall into the latter category. But, while I do not enjoy grocery shopping, I do enjoy food and therefore find myself at the grocery store at regular intervals.
What has never crossed my mind until quite recently however, was how much energy these supermarkets use to power their refrigeration systems. There are a lot of coolers and freezers in supermarkets and a lot of them are open to the air, which means they are running constantly and using up a significant amount of electricity.
It can be daunting, I know. This whole energy efficiency bandwagon that people and businesses keep jumping on is more popular than the Vancouver Canucks’ Playoff bandwagon – which, my friends, is one packed wagon. Energy efficiency is in the news, it’s on business websites, it’s all over the TV and radio.