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Earth Day 2024: Four groundbreaking technologies shaping the future of sustainability

Celebrated every year on April 22nd, Earth Day is a reminder of the importance of environmental conservation and sustainability, encouraging us to come together and take action for a healthier planet and brighter future to raise awareness, inspire change, and foster a deeper connection with nature. Today, as we celebrate Earth Day in 2024, it's important to reflect on the steps made in sustainable technology and their role in shaping a more environmentally conscious future. From renewable energy breakthroughs to innovative solutions, these four groundbreaking technologies are at the forefront of shaping the future of sustainability.   Next-generation solar panels: Traditional solar panels have long been recognised as a clean energy solution, but advancements in photovoltaic technology are making solar power even more accessible and efficient for powering homes, cars, boats, you name it! We need to ensure that we can continue to revolutinise the way we harness the sun's energy, as currently nearly all solar panels are made from silicon, which boast an efficiency of 22%. This means silicon panels can only convert about one-fifth of the sun's energy into electricity, because the material absorbs only a limited proportion of sunlight's wavelengths. Producing silicon is also expensive and energy-intensive. Scientists have been testing perovskite solar cells by stacking them on top of traditional silicon cells to make tandem cells. Layering the two materials, each absorbing a different part of the sun's spectrum, can potentially increase the panels' efficiency by over 50%. (1)   Carbon capture and utilisation (CCU):  Addressing the challenge of carbon emissions is crucial in the fight against climate change. CCUS involves the capture of CO2, generally from large point sources like power generation or industrial facilities that use either fossil fuels or biomass as fuel. CCUS facilities currently capture more than 45 Mt CO2 annually. (2) Since January 2022, project developers have announced ambitions for over 50 new capture facilities to be operating by 2030, capturing around 125 Mt CO2 per year. By doing this, it will help to tackle emissions in hard-to-abate sectors, particularly heavy industries like cement, steel or chemicals, and remove CO2 from the air to balance emissions that are unavoidable or technically difficult to abate.   Vertical farming and controlled environment agriculture (CEA): With the world's population continuing to grow, sustainable agriculture techniques are essential for ensuring food security while minimising environmental impact. Vertical farming and CEA methods utilise indoor farming systems equipped with LED lighting, hydroponics, and advanced climate control technologies to optimise crop production in urban environments. CEA allows us to produce crops with 70% to 95% less water than required for normal cultivation (3),  and therefore by reducing water usage, eliminating the need for chemical pesticides, and minimising land use, these innovative farming practices are revolutionising the way we grow food.   Electric and autonomous vehicles:  There is no doubt that transportation is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, especially with the increase of cars per household, but electric and autonomous vehicles (AVs) offer a cleaner and more efficient alternative. The widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), coupled with advancements in AV technology, promises to revolutionise the way we travel, reducing carbon emissions, easing traffic congestion, and enhancing road safety. In fact, under an appropriate pricing strategy, SAV deployment could reduce PM2.5 emission and energy consumption by 56–64% and 53–61%, respectively (4).   As we look ahead to a more sustainable future, these four groundbreaking technologies are paving the way for transformative change. Through innovation and collaboration, we can create a world where economic wellbeing aligns with environmental care, securing a healthier planet for future generations. This Earth Day, let's celebrate these technological advancements and pledge to advance sustainability even further.

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27 Sept 2023
spotlight
27 Sept 2023
Three years of growth, challenges, and family: Our journey in Austin, TX

The last time I wrote a post about moving offices was back in September 2020 (three years ago to the day). At that time, with the support of LHi, I made the decision to move from our New York office to Austin to establish our Piper Maddox division. This week, I find myself reflecting on the past three years as our LHi Austin office makes the transition from our shared workspace to our brand-new office in downtown Austin. This new space has the capacity for up to 60 consultants.   The saying "blink, and you'll miss it" couldn't be more relevant in this situation. These past three years have been some of the best of my life, but they've flown by. There have been plenty of exhilarating highs and a few rough patches to navigate. All in all, I wouldn't change a thing. When I first moved to Austin, I had a small team of two, and we faced the enormous task of building a market and client base from scratch.   The Relocation. My move coincided with the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, making things even more challenging. I'm a determined person, but this experience pushed me far outside my comfort zone and truly tested my resilience. After many long days (and nights), we managed to grow our pipeline of clients and began expanding our team. As things stand now, we have an Energy Storage division led by Lauren Fotta, a Business Development/Delivery team led by Lauren Jones, a Solar team (currently in the process of hiring a manager for this unit), and a Hydrogen/Clean Fuels division led by Oliver Buck. I'm incredibly proud of this team and how far we've come together. I can't wait to see us scale from 12 to 24 people! Piper Maddox experienced impressive growth, with a 53% year-on-year increase in 2022, and we've had an outstanding start to 2023, achieving over 162% of our target. We have strong plans to finish the year on a high note. What I'm even prouder of is what Austin represents within LHi Group across our leadership group and anyone who has visited the office and spent time with us. The feedback has always been that Austin feels like a real family, where everyone cares about each other's successes and offers support during tougher times. Jack Eldridge (our fearless leader), Ross Lewis (Head of Lawrence Harvey), Michael Tobin (Head of Harper Harrison), and I have worked incredibly hard to hire individuals who embody our LHi philosophy of 'family,' and you can genuinely feel it when you spend time here.   Our office values. Our office values are incredibly important to us: Empowering, World Class Basics, Passionate, And genuine.   We all believe in the simple principle of being good people, working incredibly hard with great customers, going above and beyond to help solve problems, and providing exceptional service. We've also implemented a minimum two-dog policy in the office, which means we have furry friends roaming around at all times. We even have a fish named Piper as a new addition to the family. We plan to add Maddox shortly, but Jack got two male Betta fish, which apparently have a tendency to fight. On a personal note, my life has undergone significant changes in the last three years. I convinced my boyfriend, Anthony, to move from New York to Austin and even pursue a career in recruitment (though not with Piper Maddox, unfortunately). I even managed to teach his English Bulldog to swim, which is no small feat but necessary for survival in the Austin heat. Honestly, I could go on, but I think you get the idea! If the next three years are anything like the last, we are in for one hell of a ride, and I can't wait to see what challenges are thrown at me. I intend to stay outside of my comfort zone. Bring it on.  

10 Jul 2023
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10 Jul 2023
Piper Maddox takes on Miami, Florida.

Piper Maddox, a leading recruitment brand in the clean energy industry, is thrilled to announce the opening of its new office location in Miami, Florida coming soon in October 2023. This expansion marks an exciting milestone for the company as it extends its reach into a thriving market and positions itself for significant growth in the region. Miami, with its proactive approach to renewable energy and a strong commitment to sustainability, presents a prime opportunity for Piper Maddox to further its mission of connecting top talent with leading organizations at the forefront of the clean energy industry. By establishing a physical presence in Miami, Piper Maddox is ready to tap into the incredible opportunities the market has to offer. The company is committed to making a meaningful impact, acting as a catalyst for sustainable change, and driving economic growth. The new office will be more than just a place to find extraordinary talent; it'll be a vibrant hub where we shape partnerships with clean energy companies, governmental organizations, and educational establishments. Together, we aim to drive the clean energy sector to new heights and provide tailored solutions to meet the evolving demands of clients and candidates alike. “Florida is among the top three states in the country for solar power generation and home to over 450 solar companies,” said Alex Cohen, Senior Director at Piper Maddox “It’s also the perfect regional hub to build an even deeper footprint across the entire Southeast, where more and more solar, electric vehicles and battery companies are investing billions in building out R&D and manufacturing facilities in what many are now calling the ‘Battery Belt’”. Cohen adds “Miami is also a vibrant, diverse, and growing city where we feel confident, we can build an amazing team of wonderful humans to help support our clients that are changing the world and have fun while doing it.” Piper Maddox prides itself on its ability to identify and attract top talent, placing highly skilled individuals in key positions within the clean energy industry. With its expansion to Miami, this marks a significant milestone in Piper Maddox's ongoing commitment to expanding its global footprint. With existing offices in several major cities across the globe, this expansion reaffirms the company's dedication to driving positive change on a regional and global scale, supporting the transition to a greener, more sustainable future.

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