2022-23 Winter Highlights
January 27, 2023
Happy new year! 2023 is in full swing and looking promising (except that we are missing the lovely snowflakes to mark the winter season). But before we leave 2022 behind, let’s take a look together at some highlights from the last quarter!
They say that all good things come in threes, so let’s look at the top three in each section. And don’t miss scrolling to the end for the best pictures!
“Accountability” was the word floating to the top of my mind last quarter while looking at the major news headlines.
1. There’s a global trend towards accountability in environmental claims by corporations. The Big 4 accounting firms are hiring experts in ESG, and the investment market is paying keen attention to the newly evolving standards — whether for or against — such as SBTi (I’m liking this one).
2. Are country pledges good enough? Here is what the UN secretary General Antonio Guterres said about the UN Climate Summit scheduled for September 2023. “The invitation is open, but there is a price of entry, and the price of entry is non-negotiable: credible, serious and new climate action,” Guterres said. “It will be a no-nonsense summit, no exceptions, no compromises. And there will be no room for greenwashers, backsliders, blame-shifters.” [more here]
3. The design-and-construction market is also moving from the idea of green/recycled materials that can be hard to compare to measuring embodied carbon – a powerful, numbers-based concept. Hint: Consider local materials like this school in India did. PennState even had a symposium on embodied carbon!
These are encouraging signs. Putting credibility and numbers to decarbonization – that’s what we love here at Energy Shrink.
Other Important Headlines
1. Internationally, the war in Ukraine and the pandemic in China were on our minds, but we celebrated the progress made with the Loss and Damage Fund at COP27. (Most people can’t agree on the movie to watch or what to have for dinner. So, let’s count this as a Big Win!)
2. Nationally, the most exciting news of the last quarter I thought was the adoption of Building Energy Performance Standards (BEPS) for *existing* Federal buildings. There are also requirements for clean energy and electrification going through the rulemaking process. More here
3. Locally, the Montgomery County Council in Maryland unanimously passed the “Comprehensive Building Decarbonization” legislation requiring the county to adopt all-electric standards for new buildings by 2027, three years too late for some, but still ahead of most in the Mid-Atlantic.
1. Energy Shrink won a contract with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) as part of the Cadmus team – one of only six teams to win the umbrella contract titled “Consultant support for greenhouse gas inventories, mitigation planning and implementation support, and climate adaptation/resiliency” or the MWCOG GHG contract. Now we are looking forward to delivering on task orders!
2. We continued to review the Climate Business Plans for the DC Public Service Commission. We can share more once our findings become public information. Until then, let me just say that it’s a most interesting project and we have a great team working on it.
3. We completed a study of residential heating systems for six cold countries aided by energy modeling.
We are in the process of signing two exciting new contracts. Watch our Spring newsletter for announcements!
1. The ACEEE Energy Efficiency Policy Forum was a treat as usual. It was held at the picturesque National Press Club Ballroom “where world leaders presidents, kings, queens, members of Congress and influential leaders in business, entertainment, sport and society have spoken for more than 110 years”.
2. I got invited to speak at the Pitch and Pilot event held jointly by Smart City Works and Fairfax County to represent the voice of the local small entrepreneurs. It was the first time I visited the George Mason University campus in Fairfax, and it is spectacular!
3. I was invited to present my webinar on “Decarbonizing Buildings: A Primer for the Systems Thinker” to THE Collaboration in Canada — a group of corporate sustainability leaders — virtually, by their enterprising executive Lynn Johannson who is the force behind E2M and Are You Climate Ready. The meeting was bound by the Chatham House Rule, so I shall say no more (and no, there are no pictures either).
We celebrated seven years of Energy Shrink being in business. Aristotle said, “Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man.” So, what have the early years of Energy Shrink shown? We are driven by:
- our mission of decarbonization of buildings with efficiency first, and
- our core values of integrity, data-centricity, and excellence,
- all fueled by a cautious ambition.
We hope to continue on our gentle trajectory of steady growth with the goodwill of our colleagues and clients. Your partnership and trust in us have been the key to our success and for that we are most grateful.
By the way, speaking of buildings …
Q. Do you know what breed of dog can jump higher than buildings?
A. Any dog, because buildings can’t jump!
Wish you a good rest of the winter… and a happy 2023 once again!