Sugarcane ethanol is a clean, renewable fuel that reduces greenhouse gas emissions by over 60% compared to gasoline and can save money at the pump. These are just a couple of the points made by various race drivers that compete with ethanol in the IZOD IndyCar Series, in two 30-second television ads that debut on Sunday, May 30, during the telecast of the 2010 Indianapolis 500 race.
The ads, produced for the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA), feature sequences of short phrases with facts about sugarcane ethanol delivered by Indy drivers, including Ryan Hunter-Reay, Ana Beatriz, Takuma Sato, Davey Hamilton, E.J. Viso and the pole sitter for Sunday’s race, Helio Castroneves, a three-time Indy 500 winner. Since last year, UNICA has provided 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol for the IndyCar Series.
“For the first time ever, we are taking our message about sugarcane ethanol to national network television during one of the most prestigious sporting events in the world,” said Joel Velasco, UNICA’s Chief Representative in North America. “These commercials seek to educate American consumers about sugarcane ethanol and how it can benefit their pockets, the environment and the market, by promoting competition on and off the track,” Velasco added.
The ads were produced especially for this year’s 99th edition of the Indy 500, the main event in the IndyCar season. The two 30-second spots will appear during the race telecast on Sunday, May 30, on the ABC television network. UNICA plans to continue running television ads throughout the season.
Marriott-branded hotels in the United Kingdom have successfully reduced carbon emissions and greenhouse gases collectively by 7.3 percent to earn Carbon Trust Standard certification, a government program launched in 2008 in response to the U.K.’s Climate Change Act to benchmark and assess company commitment and success in addressing climate change impact. In addition, 25 hotels will achieve Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) certification, a program validated by Visit Britain and the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT) which assesses energy and water efficiency, waste management and biodiversity, by year-end.
One of the improvements involves the greening of all Marriott golf courses. Last year, the company announced a goal to have all of its golf courses certified by the Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary, a program that helps golf courses protect natural wildlife habitats, improve efficiency and minimize potentially harmful effects of golf course operations. Today, 10 courses, which are located in the U.K., have earned Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary-certification, bringing the number of Marriott golf courses earning the achievement to 48 worldwide. (more…)
Nissan today broke ground on the project that brings Nissan LEAF production to the United States. The groundbreaking ceremony marks the start of construction on a manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tenn., that will produce the lithium-ion batteries that power the Nissan LEAF zero-emission vehicle. The all-electric Nissan LEAF will be produced at Nissan’s vehicle assembly facility in Smyrna beginning in 2012.
Nissan LEAF and battery production will create up to 1,300 jobs when the plants are operating at full capacity. The battery plant, one of the largest vehicle battery manufacturing plants in North America at 1.3 million square feet at full capacity, will be capable of producing 200,000 advanced-technology batteries annually. It will be located adjacent to the vehicle assembly plant, which will be retooled to accommodate production of Nissan LEAF and will be capable of producing 150,000 electric cars annually.
“Nissan is committed to affordable, sustainable mobility. What we’re doing here will radically transform the automotive experience for consumers. Today is a major step in helping create a green economy in the United States,” said Carlos Ghosn, president and CEO of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. “Production of Nissan LEAF and lithium-ion batteries in Smyrna brings the United States closer to its goal of energy independence, creates green jobs and helps sustain American manufacturing. Nissan is a leader in global manufacturing innovation, and this state-of-the-art battery plant will strengthen that leadership.”
“Tennessee has become a national leader in driving clean energy innovation, and Nissan’s commitment to build this advanced-technology battery facility here in Tennessee is a key part of that success,” said Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen. “Nissan’s investment in Tennessee began more than two decades ago, and this new manufacturing plant leads the way to the next generation of automotive and clean energy jobs in the Volunteer state.”
Combined, the construction of the battery plant and modification of the Smyrna manufacturing facility to accommodate Nissan LEAF production represents an investment of up to $1.7 billion, which initially is being supported by a U.S. Department of Energy loan for 80 percent of that investment, up to $1.4 billion.
The loan was issued as part of the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, a $25 billion program authorized by Congress as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The program is designed to accelerate the development of vehicles and technologies that increase U.S. energy independence, create cleaner means of transportation and stimulate the American economy.
Approximately 13,000 U.S. consumers have placed a reservation for Nissan LEAF since reservations opened on April 20. The reservation process, which is open to the general public via NissanUSA.com, is the first step in securing a place on the list to purchase or lease Nissan LEAF. Nissan LEAF begins rolling out to select markets in the United States, Japan and Europe in December, with increased availability beginning in spring 2011, and full market rollout in 2012. It initially will be produced in Oppama, Japan, and will be equipped with lithium-ion batteries being produced in Zama, Japan. The Renault-Nissan Alliance will also produce lithium-ion batteries in Cacia, Portugal, and Sunderland, UK, as well as in Renault’s Flins plant in France.
In North America, Nissan’s operations include automotive design, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program 2010, whose key priorities are reducing CO2 emissions, cutting other emissions and increasing recycling. More information on the Nissan LEAF and zero emissions can be found at www.nissanusa.com.
The United States has invested considerable amounts of taxpayer dollars to try to revive our economy. Too often, though, resulting jobs are being created overseas, as other countries invest in green technology deployment. As a result, the opportunity to improve our economic competitiveness is lost. Targeting our policies to help small U.S. technology producers is essential to keeping these jobs in the United States.
The United States is a leader in the research and development of green technologies, but to translate innovation into products for the market place, small businesses need private capital. Small companies introducing innovative new technology often face long odds in finding sufficient capital to fully develop new products and secure their place in the market. What government can do to help is encourage that private investment. If policies fail to do this, then innovation and jobs will likely go elsewhere.
To read the full article, visit Renewable Energy World here.