The Effect of COVID-19 on Indoor Air Quality

Building Health
Research shows that coronavirus infections spread more easily indoors because of dense areas and shared airspace. With office spaces moving toward a more open concept, we are seeing more occupants, new ventilation improvements that allow for filtered air over fresh air and more energy-efficient offices. Indoor air quality is becoming the main focus as businesses reopen, and sustainability experts are hopeful that it presents an opportunity to create more sustainable ventilation systems.

A Tool for More Equitable Development in Atlanta

Communities
In this moment of social transformation, with the country and Atlanta in protest against police brutality, racially driven murder and the structural racism that has impacted the Black community for centuries, the need for development in our cities that recognizes potential displacement and needs of existing residents is more vital than ever.

How Utility Companies Should Communicate With Anxious Consumers

COVID-19 is changing the way energy is used at home. The significant increase in usage is causing higher bills and more anxious consumers. It is important now, more than ever, for utility companies to provide clear communication with their customers. The best practices in this article demonstrate how energy providers can create positive consumer engagement in these uncertain times.

World Environment Day

Events
World Environment Day has developed into a global platform for raising awareness and taking action on urgent issues affecting our planet. This year’s theme is biodiversity, which reminds us that we are intimately connected to all species on this planet. The coronavirus pandemic encourages us to appreciate all the ways that we are dependent on nature and our environment. Here are some ways you can participate this year!

Global Emissions Have Plunged, but Will They Continue To?

Climate Change
Government shutdowns and economic inactivity due to the coronavirus pandemic have caused sharp declines in greenhouse gases. Over 1 billion tons of carbon emissions have already been reduced, and it is projected we will see an overall annual decrease between 4-7%. Although these reductions are remarkable, scientists warn that more structural changes to the energy system need to be made for long-term success.

Renewable Energy Surpasses Coal

Renewable Energy
In April, for the first time, renewable energy from solar, wind and hydropower generated more electricity than coal every day for the entire month, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). In comparison, renewables beat coal only 38 days in all of 2019. This shift is tied to many reasons, including the economic slowdown from COVID-19.

How Will the Way We Interact With the Built Environment Change?

The threat of COVID-19 poses many new questions and uncertainties about what the future might look like, and the field of engineering and the built environment are no exception. Read this article on how engineers can adapt design approaches to protect the most vulnerable and shape design process to be more resilient in the future.

Creating a Sustainable Future

Renewable Energy
The future of the global economy remains uncertain due to COVID-19, and like many other industries, the energy sector has been hit hard. As governments refocus on reviving the economy, IRENA just published its first Global Renewables Outlook which draws a connection to advancing renewable-based energy with boosting the economy. By making the energy transition part of the overall recovery, governments can make strides in creating a more resilient future.

Boys & Girls Clubs Come to the Rescue of First Responders

Green Building
Always on the frontline of communities in need, nonprofits are now struggling more than ever to provide for those who depend on them, with competition for donation dollars fierce in the COVID-19 environment. Even so, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County, a grantee of Southface’s GoodUse program, immediately saw the need and partnered with other organizations to help first responders and their families by providing urgently needed childcare in the wake of school and daycare closures. Southface Institute talked with Sara Bealor, Director of Communications for Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County, Florida, to get the details.

COVID-19 Proves That the Economy Can Adapt to Climate Change

Climate Change
Harvard economist, Rebecca Henderson, has spent the last 15 years encouraging companies to prepare for climate change. The coronavirus pandemic is proof that if there is a natural threat to the economy, organizations can change the way they operate. Henderson emphasizes that businesses need to apply the same methods of response to tackle climate change.