The green economy: Does it include you?

As Brazil drew the world’s attention last week, it was not for its sandy beaches, tropical rainforests or beautiful models. It was also not for the upcoming Rio+20 Summit on Sustainable Development, which will be held from 20 – 22 June to follow up on the 1992 commitments into the 21st century. At least, not directly.

This year’s World Environment Day, hosted by Brazil under the theme “Green economy: Does it include you?” was particularly suited to be held in a country with such diverse topography and rich ecosystems. Even Gisele Bündchen, the world-famous model and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, shot a special video supporting environmental activities worldwide and planted the first of 50,000 trees as part of Brazil’s Green Nation Fest this week.

In Europe, sustainable consumption and production is an issue gaining more and more interest from policy makers, industry and the public by the day. According to the recently published Environmental Indicator Report 2012 by the European Environment Agency (EEA), the majority of key environmental pressures in the EU are from food and housing – which together account for around 60% of all material resources use!  According to the EEA, “total energy use related to housing, for example, has increased by around 10% since 1990.

As the EU Sustainable Energy Week opens next Monday, 18 June, join the Polyurethanes Passive House team for an on-site visit of the energy efficient and environmentally friendly housing project in Evere, Belgium.  The Polyurethanes Passive House project, started on 1 September 2011, uses polyurethane insulation and double or triple glazed frames to reduce energy consumption by up to 85% compared to conventional homes. The natural energy of the sun can be used to heat the house and, if solar panels are used, can provide additional power. At the same time, air is renewed with heat recovery, ensuring a constant flow of fresh air.

The Passive House site visit will take place in Brussels at 10.00 and 14.00 hrs on Monday, 18 June, and will provide an opportunity to discuss reducing energy consumption in buildings with policy and technical experts. Registration is open until Friday 15 June – be part of the Green Economy today!

Heat losses from a poorly insulated house (source)

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