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How Disney will power its theme parks with solar energy

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Disney is building on its Renewable Energy Plans for its Theme Parks around the world, and it’s not the only multinational ramping up company targets in order to achieve net zero emissions by 2030.

The most magical place on earth is about to get a lot more green…by powering the magic using the sun.

Walt Disney World, is the size of San Francisco city, approximately 30,500 acres.

In a bold move towards fighting the climate crisis, Disney is adding two new solar plants at Walt Disney World, Florida, alongside the solar farm already in operation (that is Mickey mouse shaped of course)

The facilities will produce almost half of the resort’s annual needs to power its four theme parks, 25 hotels and 2 water parks. 

It’s expected to open in two years.

The Mickey Mouse shaped solar farm is one of four facilities that will provide renewable energy to the Walt Disney World resort in Florida. 

Mickey Mouse isn’t the only guy powering the magic of Disney… sunny days before the fireworks, will bring more than just happy energy, it will power solar energy so the magic can go on.

Disney is revamping its renewable energy efforts, to reduce the carbon footprint of its theme parks, around the world. 

“Through the innovative use of space, and with a touch of Disney magic, we are using the sun to conserve energy and power up in a responsible manner,” said Mark Penning, Disney’s vice president for Animals, Science and Environment at its theme parks division. 

“Our new set of ambitious goals commit us to achieve net zero emissions for our direct operations by 2030.”

There are also new solar canopies being installed at Disneyland Paris that will provide shelter for 9,500 guest vehicles, as well as a solar facility that will provide about 70 per cent of the power used on Disney Cruise Line’s private island Castaway Cay in The Bahamas

The company’s total solar portfolio, can provide enough energy for 65,000 homes, or eight Magic Kingdom parks, for one year.

“Since 2009, Disney has operated under a long-term vision to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions, and we’re just getting started,” Penning wrote in a blog post.

walt disney company unveils updated renewable energy targets

Greener Apple

Disney isn’t the only major company aiming to achieve net zero emissions by 2030

Apple is investing in clean energy projects and tech in the US and around the world.

Apple is carbon neutral for all of its operations in the US and around the world, and last year committed to be 100 percent carbon neutral for its entire supply chain and products by 2030. (SOURCE: APPLE)

Apple is also making industry-leading investments in new clean energy projects and green technology in the US and around the world.

Just last month, Apple announced a massive new US energy storage project in California’s Monterey CountY.

This joins other energy storage projects the company has invested in, including its microgrid at Apple Park.

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Money

US energy stocks surge amid economic growth and inflation fears

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Investors are turning to U.S. energy shares in droves, capitalizing on surging oil prices and a resilient economy while seeking protection against looming inflationary pressures.

The S&P 500 energy sector has witnessed a remarkable ascent in 2024, boasting gains of approximately 17%, effectively doubling the broader index’s year-to-date performance.

This surge has intensified in recent weeks, propelling the energy sector to the forefront of the S&P 500’s top-performing sectors.

A significant catalyst driving this rally is the relentless rise in oil prices. U.S. crude has surged by 20% year-to-date, propelled by robust economic indicators in the United States and escalating tensions in the Middle East.

Investors are also turning to energy shares as a hedge against inflation, which has proven more persistent than anticipated, threatening to derail the broader market rally.

Ayako Yoshioka, senior portfolio manager at Wealth Enhancement Group, notes that having exposure to commodities can serve as a hedge against inflationary pressures, prompting many portfolios to overweight energy stocks.

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Shell Service Station

Energy companies

This sentiment is underscored by the disciplined capital spending observed among energy companies, particularly oil majors such as Exxon Mobil and Chevron.

Among the standout performers within the energy sector this year are Marathon Petroleum, which has surged by 40%, and Valero Energy, up by an impressive 33%.

As the first-quarter earnings season kicks into high gear, with reports from major companies such as Netflix, Bank of America, and Procter & Gamble, investors will closely scrutinize economic indicators such as monthly U.S. retail sales to gauge consumer behavior amidst lingering inflation concerns.

The rally in energy stocks signals a broadening of the U.S. equities rally beyond growth and technology companies that dominated last year.

However, escalating inflation expectations and concerns about a hawkish Federal Reserve could dampen investors’ appetite for non-commodities-related sectors.

Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel Corp., highlights investors’ focus on the robust economy amidst supply bottlenecks in commodities, especially oil.

This sentiment is echoed by strategists at Morgan Stanley and RBC Capital Markets, who maintain bullish calls on energy shares, citing heightened geopolitical risks and strong economic fundamentals.

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Money

How Australians lose nearly $1 billion to card scammers in a year

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A recent study by Finder has unveiled a distressing trend: Australians are hemorrhaging money to card scams at an alarming rate.

The survey, conducted among 1,039 participants, painted a grim picture, with 2.2 million individuals – roughly 11% of the population – falling prey to credit or debit card skimming in 2023 alone.

The financial toll of these scams is staggering. On average, victims lost $418 each, amounting to a colossal $930 million collectively across the country.

Rebecca Pike, a financial expert at Finder, underscored the correlation between the surge in digital transactions and the proliferation of sophisticated scams.

“Scammers are adapting, leveraging sophisticated tactics that often mimic trusted brands or exploit personal connections. With digital transactions on the rise, it’s imperative for consumers to remain vigilant and proactive in safeguarding their financial assets,” Pike said.

Read more – How Google is cracking down on scams

Concerning trend

Disturbingly, Finder’s research also revealed a concerning trend in underreporting.

Only 9% of scam victims reported the incident, while 1% remained oblivious to the fraudulent activity initially. Additionally, 1% of respondents discovered they were victims of bank card fraud only after the fact, highlighting the insidious nature of these schemes.

Pike urged consumers to exercise heightened scrutiny over their financial statements, recommending frequent monitoring for any unauthorised transactions.

She explained the importance of leveraging notification services offered by financial institutions to promptly identify and report suspicious activity.

“Early detection is key. If you notice any unfamiliar transactions, don’t hesitate to contact your bank immediately. Swift action can mitigate further unauthorised use of your card,” Pike advised, underscoring the critical role of proactive measures in combating card scams.

As Australians grapple with the escalating threat of card fraud, Pike’s counsel serves as a timely reminder of the necessity for heightened vigilance in an increasingly digitised financial landscape.

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Money

Workers rush back to their desks over job fears

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Workers across Australia are rushing back to their desks, driving office utilisation rates to their highest levels since February 2020.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays emerge as the busiest in-office days, contrasting with the continued reluctance to return on Fridays.

This insight, drawn from XY Sense data based on 18 enterprise customers in Australia employing approximately 68,000 individuals across 127 buildings, reflects a significant shift in workplace dynamics.

The surge in office attendance coincides with a resurgence in workplace attendance mandates and policies linking physical presence to bonuses and performance reviews.

However, co-founder of XY Sense, Alex Birch, suggests that rising job insecurity, rather than these policies, primarily drives this behavioral shift.

“The pendulum has moved towards the employer, and therefore people feel more obliged to go back into work,” commented Mr. Birch.

Job market

Danielle Wood, chairwoman of the Productivity Commission, anticipates this trend to persist as the job market softens.

She notes a disparity between employer and worker perceptions regarding the productivity benefits of hybrid work arrangements, hinting at potential shifts in the employment landscape.

Meanwhile, economists at the e61 Institute observe a partial reversal of the pandemic-induced “escape to the country” trend.

Rent differentials between regional and capital city dwellings, which narrowed during the pandemic, are now widening again.

This trend suggests a diminishing appeal of remote work options and a return to urban commuting.

Aaron Wong, senior research economist at e61, said the emergence of a “new normal,” characterised by a hybrid lifestyle that blends access to office spaces with proximity to lifestyle amenities such as natural landscapes.

While regional rents decline, rents for homes on the urban fringe surge, reflecting evolving preferences shaped by remote work opportunities.

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