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Ando: Investing in Sectors and Subsectors

In order to create a future in which greenhouse gas emissions are substantially lower than they are today, we must make investments into the sectors that produce our energy (Energy Sector), as well as into the four main sectors where we use it (Transportation, Buildings, Industry and Agriculture).

The basis for these five sectors is derived from a number of third-party sources that include:

“We must make investments into the sectors that produce our energy, as well as into the four main subsectors where we use it.”

In short, these reports tell us that solutions exist today that can reduce emissions across these sectors.  Additionally, it’s anticipated that existing solutions will improve and new solutions will emerge over time.   

I have identified five different sectors and subsectors within each of them and provided a description of each.  These descriptions are based on The Drawdown Review published in 2020 (https://www.drawdown.org/drawdown-review).  Within each subsector, there may be different solutions.  For example, within the Solar Energy subsector, there is rooftop solar and utility scale solar. 

We at Ando aim to provide a balance between delivering sufficient information to you, while at the same time making sure that information is easy to understand (and not too overwhelming).  More than anything, never forget that the simple act of being an active Ando user and participating in Sustainable Banking is having a huge impact on reversing the effects of climate change, likely the single biggest thing an individual can do. Sustainable Banking needs to be the new normal, and we couldn’t take this journey without you. 

Clean Energy

Fossil fuels provide 84% of the world’s energy¹ and 80% of the energy consumed in the United States². The use of fossil fuels contributes about 75% of total U.S. anthropogenic GHG emissions³.

It’s not enough to simply stop funding fossil fuels. We must take the extra step and direct our money to fund renewable energy sources. Ando will direct a portion of customers’ deposits to fund different sectors which may include wind, solar, hydro and geothermal. By funding renewable energy sources, we will reduce our emissions and begin healing the planet.

Solar Energy

Concentrated Solar Power: Concentrated solar power uses sunlight as a heat source. Vast collections of mirrors concentrate incoming rays onto a surface to heat fluid, produce steam, and power turbines.

Distributed Solar PV: Rooftop solar panels are one example of distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Whether grid-connected or part of stand-alone systems, they offer hyper-local, clean electricity generation.

Utility-Scale Solar PV: Solar PV can be used at utility-scale—with hundreds or thousands of panels—to tap the sun’s clean, free fuel and replace fossil fuel electricity generation.

Wind Energy

Onshore Wind Turbines: Onshore wind turbines generate electricity at a utility scale, comparable to power plants. They replace fossil fuels with emissions-free electricity.

Offshore Wind Turbines: Winds over the seas and oceans are more consistent than those over land. Offshore wind turbines tap into that enormous power to generate utility-scale electricity without emissions.

Micro Wind Turbines: Micro wind turbines can generate clean electricity in diverse locations, from urban centers to rural areas without access to centralized grids.

Hydro Power

Hydropower systems capture the energy of free-flowing water without using a dam. They can replace dirty diesel generators with clean electricity generation.

Geothermal

Geothermal Power: Underground reservoirs of steamy hot water are the fuel for geothermal power. It can be piped to the surface to drive turbines that produce electricity without pollution.

Storage

Distributed Energy Storage: Standalone batteries and the ones in electric vehicles store energy. They can enable 24/7 electricity supply even when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.

Utility-Scale Energy Storage: Large-scale energy storage ensures electricity supply can match demand. It enables the shift to variable renewables and curbs emissions from polluting “peaker” plants.

Infrastructure

Grid Flexibility: Smarter, more flexible electric grids can cut energy losses during distribution. They are critical to enable renewables, which are more variable than conventional electricity generation.

Sustainable Transportation

Trains & Buses

Public Transit: Streetcars, buses, and subways offer alternative, efficient modes of transportation. Public transit can keep car use to a minimum and avert greenhouse gases.

High-Speed Rail: High-speed rail offers an alternative to trips otherwise made by car or airplane. It requires special, designated tracks, but can dramatically curtail emissions.

Electric Trains and Busses: Rail and bus electrification enable trains and buses to move beyond dirty diesel engines. When powered by renewables, electric trains and buses can provide nearly emissions-free transport.

Cars and Trucks

Hybrid Cars: A transitional technology, hybrid cars pair an electric motor and battery with an internal combustion engine. The combination improves fuel economy—more miles to a gallon—and lowers emissions.

Efficient Trucks: Fuel-efficiency is critical to reduce road-freight emissions. Existing fleets can be retrofitted, while new trucks can be built to be more efficient or fully electric.

Electric Cars: Electric Vehicles (EV) supplant gasoline or diesel engines, which pollute and are far less efficient. EVs reduce car emissions—dramatically so when powered by renewable electricity.

Shipping & Aviation

Efficient Ocean Shipping:  Huge volumes of goods are shipped across oceans. Fuel-saving ship design, onboard technologies, and new operational practices can improve efficiency and trim emissions. 

Efficient Aviation:  Various technologies and operational practices can lower airplane emissions to some degree. They include better engines, wingtips, and light-weighting to improve fuel efficiency. 

Infrastructure

Walkable Cities:  Walkable cities use planning, design, and density to maximize walking and minimize driving, especially for daily commuting. Emissions decrease as pedestrians take the place of cars. 

Bicycle Infrastructure:  Bicycles offer an alternative to cars and fossil fuel transport, especially in cities. Infrastructure is essential for supporting safe and abundant bicycle use, thereby curbing emissions. 

Electric Bicycles:  Small battery-powered motors give electric bicycles a boost. It makes them a more compelling alternative to more polluting forms of motorized transport, namely cars. 

Telepresence:  Telepresence integrates high-performance visual, audio, and network technologies, so people can interact across geographies. It cuts down on travel—especially flying—and its emissions. 

Green Buildings

Many improvements can be made to residential, commercial, and public buildings. 

Smart Thermostats:  Thermostats are mission control for space heating and cooling. Smart thermostats use algorithms and sensors to become more energy efficient over time, lowering emissions. 

Building Automation Systems:  Building automation systems can control heating, cooling, lighting, and appliances in commercial buildings. They cut emissions by maximizing energy efficiency and minimizing waste. 

Insulation:  Insulation impedes unwanted airflow in or out of buildings. In new construction or retrofits, it makes heating and cooling more energy efficient, with lower emissions. 

Dynamic Glass:  By responding to sunlight and weather, dynamic glass can reduce a building’s energy load for heating, cooling, and lighting. More effective windows lower emissions. 

Green & Cool Roofs:  Green roofs use soil and vegetation as living insulation. Cool roofs reflect solar energy. Both reduce building energy use for heating and cooling. 

Low-Flow Fixtures:  Cleaning, transporting, and heating water requires energy. More efficient fixtures and appliances can reduce home water use significantly, thereby reducing emissions. 

District Heating:  District systems heat space and water more efficiently. A central plant and pipe network channel hot water to many buildings, with lower emissions than on-site systems. 

High-Efficiency Heat Pumps:  Heat pumps extract heat from the air and transfer it, from indoors out for cooling or outdoors in for heating. With high efficiency, they can dramatically lower building energy use. 

Solar Hot Water:  Solar hot water taps the sun’s radiation, rather than fuel or electricity. By replacing conventional energy sources with a clean alternative, they reduce emissions. 

Building Retrofitting.  Retrofits address electricity and fuel waste with better insulation and windows, efficient lighting, and advanced heating and cooling systems. Improved efficiency lowers existing buildings’ emissions. 

Net-Zero Buildings:  Buildings with zero net energy consumption combine maximum efficiency and onsite renewables. They produce as much energy as they use annually, with low or no emissions. 

Sustainable Industry

Materials & Manufacturing

Bioplastics: Most plastics are made from fossil fuels, but bioplastics utilize plants as an alternative source of carbon. They often have lower emissions and sometimes biodegrade.

Refrigerant Management: Fluorinated gases have a potent greenhouse effect and are widely used as refrigerants. Managing leaks and disposal of these chemicals can avoid emissions in buildings and landfills.

Alternative Refrigerants: Fluorinated gases are not the only refrigerants available. Alternatives, such as ammonia or captured carbon dioxide, can replace these powerful greenhouse gases over time.

Recycling

Composting: Composting can range from backyard bins to industrial-scale operations. Regardless, it converts organic waste into soil carbon, averting landfill methane emissions in the process.

Recycling: To produce new products from recovered materials requires fewer raw resources and less energy. That’s how recycling household, commercial, and industrial waste can cut emissions.

Recycled Paper: Recycled paper takes a circular journey, rather than a linear flow from logging to landfill. Reprocessing used paper curtails extraction of virgin feedstock and lowers emissions.

Waste

Landfill Methane Capture: Landfills generate methane as organic waste decomposes. Rather than getting released as emissions, that methane can be captured and used to produce electricity.

Methane Digesters: Industrial-scale anaerobic digesters control decomposition of organic waste and convert methane emissions into biogas, an alternative fuel, and digestate, a nutrient-rich fertilizer.

Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry

Agriculture

Conservation Agriculture. Conservation agriculture uses cover crops, crop rotation, and minimal tilling in the production of annual crops. It protects soil, avoids emissions, and sequesters carbon.

Regenerative Annual Cropping. Building on conservation agriculture with additional practices, regenerative annual cropping can include compost application, green manure, and organic production. It reduces emissions, increases soil organic matter, and sequesters carbon.

Nutrient Management. Overuse of nitrogen fertilizers—a frequent phenomenon in agriculture—creates nitrous oxide. More efficient use can curb these emissions and reduce energy-intensive fertilizer production.

Farm Irrigation Efficiency. Pumping and distributing water is energy intensive. Drip and sprinkler irrigation, among other practices and technologies, make farm-water use more precise and efficient.

Plant-Rich Diets. Consumption of meat and dairy, as well as overall calories, often exceeds nutritional recommendations. Paring down and favoring plant-based foods reduces demand, thereby reducing land clearing, fertilizer use, burping cattle, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Reduced Food Waste. Roughly a third of the world’s food is never eaten, which means land and resources used and greenhouse gases emitted in producing it were unnecessary. Interventions can reduce loss and waste, as food moves from farm to fork, thereby reducing overall demand.

Managed Grazing. Managed grazing involves carefully controlling livestock density, and timing and intensity of grazing. Compared with conventional pasture practices, it can improve the health of grassland soils, sequestering carbon.

Perennial Staple Crops. Perennial staple crops provide important foods, such as bananas, avocado, and breadfruit. Compared to annual crops, they have similar yields but higher rates of carbon sequestration.

Abandoned Farmland Restoration. Degraded farmland is often abandoned, but need not be. Restoration can bring these lands back into productivity and sequester carbon in the process.

Tree Plantations (on Degraded Land). Degraded lands present potential locations for tree plantations. Managed well, they can restore soil, sequester carbon, and produce wood resources in a more sustainable way.

Bamboo Production. Bamboo rapidly sequesters carbon in biomass and soil and can thrive on degraded lands. Long-lived bamboo products can also store carbon over time

Forestry

Forest Protection.  In their biomass and soil, forests are powerful carbon storehouses. Protection prevents emissions from deforestation, shields that carbon, and enables ongoing carbon sequestration. 

Grassland Protection.  Grasslands hold large stocks of carbon, largely underground. Protecting them shields their carbon stores and avoids emissions from conversion to agricultural land or development. 

Coastal Wetland Protection.  Mangroves, salt marshes, and seagrasses sequester huge amounts of carbon in plants and soil. Protecting them inhibits degradation and safeguards their carbon sinks. 

Silvopasture.  An agroforestry practice, silvopasture integrates trees, pasture, and forage into a single system. Incorporating trees improves land health and significantly increases carbon sequestration. 

Multistrate Agroforestry.  Multistrata agroforestry systems mimic natural forests in structure. Multiple layers of trees and crops achieve high rates of both carbon sequestration and food production. 

Tree Intercropping.  Growing trees and annual crops together is a form of agroforestry. Tree intercropping practices vary, but all increase biomass, soil organic matter, and carbon sequestration 

Written by:

JP McNeill | Chief Executive Officer

JP McNeill is the founder and CEO of Ando, the leader in Sustainable Banking, where 100% of customer deposits are invested in green initiatives. Environmental advocacy isn’t fashion or a lifestyle for JP--it’s at the soul of his life’s work.

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