A Carpet That Reduces Footprints…Carbon Footprints, That Is.

A Carpet That Reduces Footprints…Carbon Footprints, That Is.

July 15, 2021

 

The next time you step on a commercial market, you may be walking on stored carbon dioxide.

Interface, a maker of commercial flooring, has developed carpet tiles that have a negative carbon footprint. Their design involves the infusion and storage of carbon dioxide, and the processes to manufacture them are more energy-efficient. Other manufacturers are betting on this innovation to produce environmentally friendly plastics, fuels, concrete, and even fish food. The concept is attractive but it faces multiple obstacles before it becomes commercially viable and widely adopted.

 


Video Spotlight: Carbon as a Resource at Interface


This post is based on The New York Times article, Has the Carbontech Revolution Begun?, by J. Gertner, June 23, 2021, and the YouTube video, Interface FYI|Carbon, by Interface, January 27, 2019. Image source: lucato/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. What is carbontech? Give some examples of products involving this concept.

Guidance: Carbontech, or carbon utilization, involves the use or recycling of carbon oxides to make value-added products. The products “store” the pollutants, and the fabrication processes used to make these products add no emissions. Carbon neutrality remains a long-term goal for many businesses, but being carbon negative is already Continue reading

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Squeezing Every Cent from a Barrel of Oil

Squeezing Every Cent from a Barrel of Oil

July 13, 2021

A barrel of oil is no longer a leaky cask. Rather, it is an economic concept.

As a result, creating value along the supply chain has evolved from streamlining operations to exploiting operational and commercial synergies. The emphasis has shifted from vertical integration and expertise in specialized energy sectors to a tightly coordinated system in which every opportunity to increase profit margins is pursued. The agile system has the potential to quickly address supply-and-demand imbalances through access to energy storage and a focus on spot sales rather than long-term contracts. A certain quantity of oil can only be produced once, but it can be traded multiple times to maximize profit throughout the supply chain.

 


Video Spotlight: Difficult Cooperation in the Oil Industry


This post is based on the Forbes article, Is a Complex Value Chain Squeezing Every Cent from a Barrel of Oil?, by M. Ashraf, June 23, 2021, and the YouTube video, The Terrifying Oil & Gas Shock of 2021|$10 Gas Spike, by MHFIN, July 5, 2021. Image source: Grassetto/iStock/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. Why are vertical integration and specialization along energy product lines outdated? Are those systems essentially “leaky” barrels?

Guidance: Rockefeller, the Continue reading

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Ready to Travel Again? Be Prepared for Flight Delays and Cancellations

Ready to Travel Again? Be Prepared for Flight Delays and Cancellations

July 8, 2021

 

As air travel picks up this summer, passengers are reminded of the frustrations that come with it.

Long lines at the airports, delays, and even cancellations are to be expected. American Airlines passengers are especially affected because the airline is struggling to fill positions that had been eliminated at the height of the pandemic. What seemed like a sensible cost-saving strategy at the time has caused bottlenecks that are now hindering the economic recovery of the company and annoying its customers.

 


Video Spotlight: Flight Cancellations


This post is based on the NPR article, American Airlines Passengers Could Be in for a Summer of Delays and Cancellations, by V. Romo and D. Schaper, June 22, 2021, and the YouTube video, Hundreds of American Airlines Flights Cancelled Through Mid-July, by CBS This Morning, June 22, 2021. Image source: Shutterstock / B Calkins.

Discussion Questions:

1. Why are there long lines at security checkpoints?

Guidance: Waiting lines are caused by variable service and arrival rates and by insufficient capacity to meet demand. In the present situation, the surge in demand and staff shortages at security checkpoints have created bottlenecks that are expected to last for some Continue reading

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