Igniting Creative Energy (ICE) Student Competition Marks 10th Year

Igniting Creative Energy ChallengeThe Igniting Creative Energy (ICE) Challenge, a national competition for kindergarten through twelfth grade students to share ideas about wise energy choices and environmental stewardship, is celebrating its tenth year. To mark this milestone, Johnson Controls and Kohler Co., the competition’s sponsors, announced the addition of ICE Water, a new category for the competition that aims to also educate student about water conservation.

Water efficiency is a growing concern. According to a 2008 study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, nearly 36 states expect water shortages within the next five years. Accordingly, ICE Water will encourage teachers to include water into their classroom discussions about energy and natural resources.

A total of five Grand Prize winners, four student winners and one teacher will travel to the 2011 United States Energy Efficiency Forum (EEF) where they will share their winning projects with national leaders and energy policymakers. In addition to the national winners, the highest scoring student in each qualifying state or province will receive recognition as the State or Province winner.

The ICE Challenge is administered by the National Energy Foundation (NEF) on behalf of Johnson Controls and Kohler. NEF has served as the ICE education partner over the life of the competition and continues to help create awareness about the competition among teachers and students throughout the nation.

All ICE Challenge entries must be postmarked by March 4, 2011; submissions postmarked by February 18, 2011 will qualify for additional early bird prizes. ICE Challenge winners will be announced in late March 2011.

Carbon Disclosure Project Releases First Report on Water’s Impact on Business

Carbon Disclosure ProjectThe Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), an independent, nonprofit organization that maintains databases of climate change-related information, reports that 39 percent of companies it surveyed are already experiencing detrimental impacts related to water issues. The water issues reported in the survey, which involved 302 of the world’s largest companies and was published in November 2010, include service disruptions due to flooding, drought, as well as declining water quality. These challenges can add to business operational costs, which ultimately must be paid for by the consumer.

According to the CDP, demand for water is projected to outstrip supply by as much as 40 percent in the next 20 years. The organization also estimates that as much as 80 percent of the world’s population already lives in areas where fresh water supply is not secure.

Some of the other findings from the survey include:

  • 89% of the companies surveyed have developed specific water policies, strategies, and plans to deal with potential water problems;
  • 62% have identified potential business opportunities as a result of water challenges, such as developing water efficiency systems and products; and
  • 67% now report water-related issues to their company’s top executive committees.

The CDP report indicates that the sectors most vulnerable to water risks in the future are food, beverage, tobacco, metals, and mining. It also lists global companies that have taken a leadership role when it comes to developing best practices for dealing with water problems. Many of these are American companies including Colgate-Palmolive, Ford, General Electric, and Proctor and Gamble.