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Sustainability

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The Wall Street Journal

A report by researchers from MIT’s Center for Transportation & Logistics and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals found that nearly half of supply chain professionals have remained committed to the same level of supply chain sustainability as before the Covid-19 pandemic, reports Laura Cooper for The Wall Street Journal. “The report, which surveyed some of 2,400 supply-chain industry professionals, also showed that 36% sought to increase their efforts to be more sustainable,” writes Cooper.

The Engineer

MIT researchers have developed an approach to control methane emissions by using zeolite clays with small amounts of copper, reports The Engineer. “The systems’ ideal location, the team concluded, would be in places with a concentrated source of methane such as dairy barns and coal mines,” according to The Engineer. “These already tend to have air-handling systems in place since a buildup of methane can be a safety hazard.”

Fast Company

MIT researchers have developed a new approach to removing methane emissions from the air using zeolite, an inexpensive material used in cat litter, reports Adele Peters for Fast Company. Prof. Desiree Plata explains that compared to carbon dioxide, “methane is actually much worse, from a global warming perspective. What this allows us to do is bring immediate climate benefit into the Earth system and actually change global warming rates in our lifetime.”

IEEE Spectrum

IEEE Spectrum reporter Prachi Patel writes that researchers from MIT and Google Brain have developed a new open-source tool that could streamline solar cell improvement and discovery. The new system should “speed up development of more efficient solar cells by allowing quick assessment of a wide variety of possible materials and device structures,” writes Patel.

Fast Company

Sean Hunt PhD ’16, M. Eng ’13 and Gaurab Chakrabarti co-founded Solugen after discovering a way to make chemicals from corn syrup instead of fossil fuels, reports Adele Peters for Fast Company. “Based on a detailed analysis of current products, the company estimates that it could theoretically produce 90% of the chemicals that are now produced by fossil fuels,” writes Peters.

The Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Janelle Nanos spotlight Spoiler Alert, an MIT startup that works with major food brands to save food that might have gone to waste. “One of our core beliefs is that waste is no longer a necessary or acceptable cost of doing business,” said Spoiler Alert cofounder and chief product officer Emily Malina MBA ’13. “Everything we do is geared towards moving perishable inventory faster to benefit brands, retailers, consumers, and the planet.”

Slate

Research fellow Laura Grego speaks with Slate reporter Seth Stevenson about the growing need to implement policies that help preserve space for all. “It’s not exactly any one person’s responsibility, it’s a shared resource,” says Grego. “We don’t have all of the laws and strategies and approaches to work on the military parts of space. We also don’t have all the regulations to work on the environmental aspects, what people call space sustainability, how do you create space that you can use for generations ahead? How do we make sure that we don’t pollute it? We have a lot of work to do.”

CNN

CNN reporter Jacopo Prisco spotlights Prof. Carlo Ratti and architect Italo Rota on their eco-friendly design of Italy’s pavilion at the Dubai Expo 2020. “One thing I do not like about temporary events – like various international exhibitions or the Olympic Games – is that a huge amount of waste ends up in landfills after just a few weeks or months,” says Ratti. “This is why we wanted the Italian Pavilion to address the temporary nature of the Dubai Expo 2020. Most architectural elements are recycled or recyclable, refused or reusable.”

Politico

Politco reporter Catherine Boudreau explores a study by researchers from MIT’s Real Estate Innovation Lab offers suggestions on how people can reduce their carbon footprints when shopping. “My biggest takeaway is to be a more mindful consumer. Try not to get in the car to go shop. If you do, make it a big shopping trip to avoid multiple trips. Walking and biking always wins,” explains research scientist Andrea Chegut. 

The Washington Post

The Washington Post Editorial Board highlights a new report co-authored by MIT researchers that finds keeping the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in California open would help the state reach its climate goals. "The experts project that keeping Diablo Canyon open just one more decade would cut California’s power-sector emissions by more than 10 percent, because it would burn far less gas, and save the state $2.6 billion in power system costs."

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times reporter Rob Nikolewski spotlights a report by researchers from MIT and Stanford University that finds keeping the Diablo Canyon Power Plant in California running would reduce electricity costs and help the state achieve its climate goals. “Nuclear plants – and Diablo Canyon is no exception – are one such clean and firm [source of] power capacity that we think should be preserved,” says Prof. Jacopo Buongiorno.

Smithsonian Magazine

MIT researchers have been working to turn polyethylene plastics into woven fabrics, reports Smithsonian Magazine reporter Frederick Reimers. “We strongly believe that adoption of PE textiles will be very beneficial for the world from the sustainability standpoint,” says Principal Research Scientist Svetlana Boriskina tells Reimers. 

Forbes

Forbes reporter Ken Silverstein highlights a joint study by MIT and Stanford researchers that finds that extending the California Diablo Canyon Power Plant will save customers billions while reducing carbon emissions. The researchers found that “if the plant stayed operational from 2025 to 2035,” writes Silverstein, “CO2 levels would drop by 10% a year and displace natural gas use, saving customers $2.6 billion.”

Mashable

MIT researchers have developed a new fiber, dubbed OmniFibers, that could potentially be used to help regulate breath, reports Ray White for Mashable. “When sewn into clothing, the fiber can sense how much it’s stretched. It then gives tactile feedback to the wearer via pressure, stretch or vibration.”

Bloomberg

Bloomberg reporter David R. Baker writes that a new report co-authored by MIT researchers keeping California’s last nuclear power plant open could help reduce energy costs and provide water to the state. Keeping the “Diablo Canyon open through 2035 would cut greenhouse-gas emissions from California’s power sector 10% each year, by reducing the amount of electricity needed from natural-gas plants,” writes Baker.