CleanFuture’s John Thornton to speak on “The Case for Freight Sustainability in Communities”

CleanFuture founder, John Thornton, will speak on “The Case for Freight Sustainability in Communities” at the Green Transportation Summit & Expo on April 11, 2017:


The Case for Freight Sustainability in Communities

Efficient goods movement is essential to establishing and sustaining economically viable communities. Yet local and regional planners must balance economic goals with livability and environmental concerns related to freight transportation in residential communities. This session will present innovative strategies for creating accessible freight networks that meet the needs of the communities of the future. Panelists will discuss solutions and best practices for addressing freight impacts at the local, state and regional levels.



Tracie Jackson-Hall – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, SmartWay



Robert Hillier- Freight Planning Coordinator, City of Portland

Jason Brown – North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG)

John Thornton – Principal, CleanFuture, Inc.


Energy Storage and the Smart Grid

Presentation from “Energy Storage and the Smart Grid” event for the Clean Energy Special Interest Group of TiE Oregon on April 21, 2010. See here for more information.

Graduate Seminar at Portland State University on Designing the Smart Grid for Sustainable Communities, April, 2009

Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Working Group meeting, June 2009

EV Roadmap Conference – working group on electric vehicle DC fast charging corridor planning – Willamette Valley and Puget Sound, November 2009

International Conference on Business and Sustainability, Portland State University in October, 2008

Presentation on “Designing Sustainability into the Supply Chain” at Portland State University’s 2nd Annual International Conference on Business & Sustainability: Designing Sustainability, bringing together leading industry practitioners and scholars to share best practices and leading edge research.  The conference theme “Designing Sustainability” embraces the philosophy that design is the primary determinant of the social, environmental and  financial impact of products, services, processes and business strategies. Deliberate forethought in conceptualizing and implementing sustainable business practices can significantly enhance social equity, reduce ecological harm and raise business value.

Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), February 2008

Supply Chain Environmental Footprint Baseline Assessment

CleanFuture takes a unique approach to evaluating your organization’s impacts and opportunities throughout your supply chain. Our Supply Chain Environmental Footprint Baseline Analysis provides a quantitative analysis of your major environmental impacts.

 This assessment is a powerful process, raising awareness within your organization, facilitating communication and understanding, and as a first step for meaningful, measurable change. Our standard assessment includes:

  • Assessment of Current Practices and Policies
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory
  • Ecological Footprint
  • Water Use Inventory
  • Solid Waste and Recycling Inventory

Advanced assessments can also include: Supply Chain Impacts, Product Lifecycle Analysis, Eco-friendly Materials and Process Selection / Management, and other customized approaches.


Walmart Supplier Sustainability Assessment

The Benefits of Energy Storage and how it helps the Smart Grid – Oregon

I am organizing an upcoming event on April 21, 2010 on “The Benefits of Energy Storage and how it helps the Smart Grid” for the Clean Energy and Clean Technology special interest group of TiE Oregon. 

Come to this TiE Clean Energy Special Interest Group event to better understand the technologies, trade-offs, market segments and future potential of energy storage.  By attending  you will hear about emerging applications and business startups involving energy storage. We will also discuss how people expect the smart grid to interact with energy storage facilities.

Energy storage is increasingly perceived as a necessary and vital component of any future smart grid, yet meaningful energy storage is still a scarce and missing component.  Why is energy storage so important?

  • Energy storage helps solve the variability issues with renewable energy (solar and wind) generation, and as such will help balance the grid as mandated renewable portfolio standards ratchet up.
  • Distributed energy storage located near the point of use will provide localized power, thereby decreasing the need to build new power plants and additional transmission lines.
  • Energy storage has been proclaimed by some as a “killer app” by utilizing batteries in parked electric vehicle (EV) fleets to feed stored energy back to the grid.  Such Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) applications have promise to feed energy back to the grid for special purposes to benefit both the utility and the electric car owner.
  • Significant utility-scale storage capacity solves an even bigger issue, capturing and utilizing the massive amounts of electrical generating capacity that is otherwise typically unused.

In addition to presentations by energy storage experts and local business leaders we will  discuss topic such as:

  • value chain elements of the energy storage industry
  • who are local champions of energy storage
  • what are the interests of the investment community
  • what does the policy and regulatory framework look like
  • how do customers value energy storage

Join our distinguished panel to gain an understanding of how energy storage and the smart grid can change the systems we use for electric energy generation, distribution and consumption to better meet the needs of society and associated entrepreneurial opportunities available.

Event details and registration are here.

Stay tuned for more information. See here for updated information.

Oregon’s Electric Vehicle (EV) and Alternative Fuel Vehicle Infrastructure Report

Here’s the report to Governor Kulongoski on Electric Vehicle (EV) and Alternative Fuel Vehicles Infrastructure, representing the culmination of work over the past year by a special working group on the topic.  The final report of the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Infrastructure Working Group was released here.

The report makes recommendations on alternative fuels, including electricity, biofuels and compressed natural gas, and the infrastructure needed for widespread adoption in Oregon. 

Among the group’s primary recommendations:

  •  A new Electric Vehicle Executive Council, created by an executive order from Kulongoski, to set a statewide agenda for introducing and deploying electric vehicles and the related infrastructure and services in Oregon.
  •  An effort by the state to work with utility regulators and other governing boards to consider policies designed to overcome barriers to the widespread deployment and use of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.
  •  New purchase standards for state-funded fleets to increase the percentage of alternative-fuel vehicles in the fleets.
  •  A new program to provide free home audits prior to installing charging equipment.
  •  The inclusion of electric vehicle manufacturing into the Business Energy Tax Credit program.
  •  A new Transportation Electrification Tax Credit for businesses and other organizations that buy electric vehicles and infrastructure.
  •  A new multi-disciplinary transportation electrification and “smart mobility” Center of Excellence, as a partnership between private industry, universities and trade groups.

Read more


Sustainable Design: Design for the other 90%

I read about the exhibit “Design for the other 90%” in an article in The Oregonian and thought it would be a good educational activity for my kids during winter break.  The exhibit features simple, low-cost design solutions to combat poverty.   Design for the other 90% explores a growing movement to design low-cost solutions for the other 90% of the world’s total population, 5.8 billion people of 6.5 billion people, that have little or no access to most of the products and services that most of us take for granted.

I ‘m fascinated with the innovation and simplicity of many the designs – not only simple objects for basic needs – but the innovations of how simple solutions can be implemented in a basic way to improve the lives of others.  One example was the Q Drum, a rolling drum to ease the effort of water transport in developing countries, a simple yet elegant way to ease the burden of carrying adequate quantities of potable water from a reliable source.

Over 30 designs and tools on display demonstrating the growing movement to design and offer solutions to the other 90%, helping with basic needs such as shelter, water, food, health, education, energy and transport.  Many of these projects employ market principles for income generation as a way out of poverty, helping poor rural farmers become micro-entrepreneurs, or helping cottage industries emerge in more urban areas.  My personal areas of interest have been along  the lines of water, energy and transport; though I’m becoming increasingly interested in microenterprise and social entrepreneurship as ways to affect positive change – particularly in developing countries.

First we visited The Action Center, an educational space where visitors can learn about global issues and learn about how to take action.  The Action Center is part of Mercy Corps, an organization that helps people in the world’s toughest places turn the crises of natural disaster, poverty and conflict into opportunities for progress.

I enjoyed the exhibit and the way it showcased how design can be a dynamic force for transforming, or in many cases, saving lives.  Granted these objects don’t necessarily fix the causal factors where poverty is endemic, I like the way these creative and innovative ideas are being applied to help others.

The Design for the other 90% exhibit was curated at The Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in NYC.  For more information, see here.  The exhibit is on display in Portland through February 27th.

EV Roadmap 2009 Conference Proceedings

EV Roadmap 2009 Proceedings

In two earlier posts I provided summaries of the recent EV RoadMap conference in Portland Oregon on November 9, 2009; both my own brief synopsis and another summary report written by Trip Hyde.  

Since the recently completed proceedings provides a much more comprehensive report, I’ve included the text below though I’d encourage a review of the EV RoadMap 2009 conference proceedings for additional detail. 

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Product Development

Arriving Soon....Program Management