Monday, August 20, 2018

Kofi Annan's Global Compact: A Proud Legacy

Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary General died in Switzerland on August 18 at the age of 80. He became the first black African secretary general in 1997, and four years later he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Born in Kumasi, Ghana, the son of a provincial governor and grandson of two tribal chiefs, Annon had a regal bearing, that was both elegant and dignified. Annan will be remembered as one of the world's most celebrated diplomats. The breadth of his career was considerable spanning his work at the UN and a host of positions in academia. This included being chancellor of the University of Ghana, a fellow at New York's Columbia University, and professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Call for Papers - Sustainable Innovation 2019 Conference

Sustainable Innovation 2019 conference: Road to 2030: Sustainability, Business Models, Innovation and Design will take place on March 4-5, 2019, at the Business School, University for the Creative Arts, Epsom, Surrey, UK. The 22nd international conference will provide a platform to discuss future visions of how sustainability will impact on business models, products, services, technologies, innovation and design in 2030.

Sustainable Innovation 2019 will include invited and refereed papers from academics, consultants, entrepreneurs, technology providers, designers, and innovation and sustainability directors.  The participation of people from large companies, SMEs, start-ups, academia, government and NGOs make this a unique space for learning, networking and thinking.

Event - Canadian Sustainable Development Goals Business Forum

Canadian Sustainable Development Goals Business Forum will take place on Friday September 7, 2018, in Toronto, Ontario. The Forum is geared towards helping the Canadian private sector to achieve the objectives of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Business leaders will explore sustainability, innovation and collaboration.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Talk - Selling the Sexy Science: A New Narrative on Climate Change

A talk titled Selling the Sexy Science: A New Narrative on Climate Change, will take place Wednesday, September 19, 2018, 12:00 - 1:15 p.m., Memorial Union, Room 207, Arizona State University, Tempe campus.  In today’s media, the future seems ominously uncertain. These “doomsday” narratives on climate change can serve to instill hopeless inaction, rather than spur positive societal change.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Webcasts - How to Protect Your Business from Global Megaforces

How to Protect Your Business from Global Megaforces: Top Tools for Strategic Growth and Sustainable Wealth, will take place on the 12th, 13th and 14th September 2018 11am -12.30pm PST, 20:00 - 21.30 GMT, 3pm - 4.30pm EST. The is a UN Global Climate Action Summit Affiliate Event.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Heat Connects Wildfires to Climate Change

A global heat wave is fueling wildfires from South America to the Arctic Circle.  Research links climate change to heatwaves and drought both of which are important catalysts for wildfires.

As reported by the BBC a recent study suggests that climate change has made heat waves more than twice as likely in Europe. The research concludes that the European heatwave of 2003 was 500% more likely due to climate change and the so-called "Lucifer" heatwave in Eastern Europe was made 10 times more likely by climate change. Studies show how heat and drought make vegetation and trees more combustible. We are even able to link some fires -- like the Canadian wildfires of 2016 -- directly to climate change.

The summer of 2018 is on track to be one of the hottest on record and this has spawned an anomalous number of wildfires. July was the hottest months in one of the hottest years ever recorded. Early in July it was becoming apparent that this was going to be a devastating year for wildfires.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Extreme Midsummer Heat in the Northern Hemisphere

Marked by record setting heatwaves in July, this has been an unusually hot summer in the northern hemisphere. All around the world we are seeing evidence of longer and more intense heatwaves. The temperature data over the last three decades clearly indicate that the world is getting warmer and 2018 is no exception. If the trend continues this will be one of the warmest years on record alongside 2015, 2016, and 2017.

July was the hottest month in one of the hottest summers in recorded history. This follows June which was the second warmest on record. Millions of people around the world are trapped in heat domes that are causing protracted heat waves.  Concurrent record setting heat plagued cities across North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

California is Burning Again

California is being ravaged by the worst wildfire seasons on record. Eight people are know to have been killed by the fires and thousands of homes have been destroyed. Megafires have ravaged The golden state in recent years 2016, 2017 and now 2018 are the three most damaging wildfire seasons in the state's history.

In recent years fires in California have killed hundreds of people and destroyed thousands of buildings. In 2017 the record breaking Thomas fire engulfed the southern California communities of Ventura and Santa Barbara. It burned 271,000 acres, destroyed more than 1,000 structures and prompted the largest deployment of fire resources in California history.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Call for Papers: IAFOR International Conference on Sustainability, Energy & the Environment

The theme for the 2019 conference is: "Independence & Interdependence".It will take place Thursday, January 03, 2019 ​to Saturday, January 5, 2019 at the Hawai'i Convention Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. The conference is seeking paper submissions for those who wish to present at the conference. Those who submit before August 21 can take advantage of  discounted registration rates.

Full and partial conference scholarships are available to cover registration fees for PhD students and early career academics to present at IAFOR conferences. This conference is organized in conjunction with the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa and Virginia Tech

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Event - International SEEDS Conference 2018 / Enabling Sustainability: Impacting all stakeholders

International SEEDS Conference 2018 will take place on September 6 & 7 at the Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland. The built environment has a greater impact on natural resources and produces more waste than any other industry. However, beyond the green rhetoric research is being applied on the ground to address the balance between the built and natural environment.

Event - Transportation in the US--Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference & Expo 2018

Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference & Expo 2018 will take place on August 22-23, 2018, at the Durham Convention Center. At this event you will discover the latest and greatest in sustainable fleet technology, operations, and implementation. It will showcase biofuels, electric, natural gas, and propane.

This conference will focus on data driven decisions and technologies. With over 50 speakers and more than 40 exhibitors, this event will highlight the leading edge of sustainable fleet practices and alternative fuel opportunities.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Webinar - Ready to Rise National Call

The Webinar Ready to Rise National Call will take place on Monday, August 13, 2018 5pm PT/8pm ET in advance of the Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice that will take place on September 8, 2018.

At this webinar you will hear from some of the inspiring grassroots leaders who are leading actions and events on September 8th. This conversation will get you ready and up to speed on everything that's planned for this global day of action and beyond.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Sustainability Trends and Obstacles for Corporate Leaders

The Sustainability revolution is being driven by some truly innovative trends. Astute business leaders see social ills, environmental degradation and the climate crisis as both serious threats and opportunities. A growing number of organizations are adopting forward looking strategies as a competitive necessity. For public facing brands the pressure is even greater.  According to an EDF survey more than 80 percent of business leaders indicated that they believe consumers will increasingly hold companies accountable for their environmental impacts.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Course - Business and Sustainable Development at the Arctic Circle (Rovala Community College, Rovala Opisto)

Two sustainability short courses will take place starting at the end of August and ending at the end of September. What makes these courses extraordinary is the fact that they are being held in Finland at the Arctic Circle where the impacts of climate change are already pronounced. 

Rovala Community College (Rovala Opisto) in cooperation with Arctic Values is offering two relevant courses related to sustainability issues of corporate actors in the North. The venue of the 3-day-courses is in Rovaniemi, the capital of Finnish Lapland.  In Finnish Lapland the impacts of climate change can be perceived in every-day life.
In autumn it rains rather than snows and numerous species are on the decline as they struggle to adapt to a rapidly warming climate. Corporate actions to enforce sustainable development are crucial.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Course - Sustainable Business Strategy at the Harvard Business School

Sustainable Business Strategy will take place Sept 26, 2018 - Oct 17, 2018.  This 3 week online course is offered by at the Harvard Business School (HBX). It addresses climate change, income inequality, social injustice and other big problems of our times. You will learn how businesses can thrive and grow while simultaneously playing a major role in solving some of these big problems. You will also learn how you as an individual can make a difference. 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Event - Disruptive Sustainability Technologies Summit

The Disruptive Sustainability Technologies Summit will be held on Thursday, August 23 at the Sheraton Palo Alto, CA. This conference is like no other, examining major trends in sustainability technologies and how they are likely to drive unprecedented changes inside multinational companies. Join others looking for the next big thing at this one of kind program.

Event - International Conference & Exhibition on Clean Energy

The 7th International Conference & Exhibition on Clean Energy (ICCE 2018) will take place Aug 6 - Aug 8, 2018, in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. ICCE 2018 provides a platform for researchers, scientists and Industry experts to share their work while the participants from industry can promote their products. This is an excellent opportunity for the delegates from industry and institutes to interact with the their colleagues.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Innovative Re-imagining of Sustainability

We must develop innovative approaches to sustainability if we are to ensure the survival of our species.  The sad reality is that our incremental applications of sustainability has proven to be insufficient to address the civilization altering threat of climate change. Despite great strides, we are confronted with devastating political realities especially in the United States where Trump has been a major impediment to sustainability. However, it is also true that corporate efforts extend beyond the reach of this pessimal presidency.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Certificate in CSR/Sustainability

If you are interested in a meaningful career you may want to think about applying to the Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)/Sustainability. In this "work as you learn" program you will gain core competencies for CSR/Sustainability and direct experience in a work based Capstone Project in the field. This program helps you to take your career in CSR and Sustainability to the next level.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Pruitt's Murderous Legacy

While he was at the head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Scott Pruitt's war on regulations made pollution worse. This is the same pollution that is known to cause asthma, cardiovascular disease and premature death. Calling the former administrator a murderer is not left wing hysteria it is a fact borne out by clear and unmistakable evidence.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Comprehensive Green School Information and Resources 2010 - 2017

In 2018 the Green Market Oracle (GMO) is reprising its annual Green School Series. Over the course of the last seven years the GMO has published almost 400 articles related to environmentally oriented academics, sustainable infrastructure and green initiatives in pedagogical settings. In the coming weeks we will post articles on a daily basis related to the green schools and sustainability focused academics.

These efforts contribute to the growth of a well informed population, a sustainable economy and ultimately a healthier planet. This focus is a key part of the GMO's mission to help facilitate the convergence of sustainability and the global environment.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Course - Business Sustainability Management (Online)

The Business Sustainability Management online course from Cambridge University starts on August 1.  Presented by University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership in collaboration with GetSmarter, this short course is compatible with the busy schedules of working professionals. It provides practical skills and knowledge to drive meaningful change.

Event - Bipartisan Conversation on Pricing Carbon Emissions

The Bipartisan Conversation on Pricing Carbon Emissions will take place on August 29, 2018 --- 1:15 PM to 2:45 PM EDT. Join Senator Sheldon Whitehouse for a discussion of current efforts to price carbon emissions. Co-sponsored by Arizona State University and moderated by Robert Litterman, co-founder of Kepos Capital, this panel will explore questions such as:

  • What is the most promising legislative pathway to pricing carbon emissions? 
  • What does a bipartisan solution look like? 
  • Where should legislative efforts focus - at the state or federal level? 

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Trump's America: State of Lies

Donald Trump deflects, distracts and exaggerates, but he is best known for his straight out lies. He has proven to be a master of the double-down. When he is caught lying he just lies some more. Even before he took office the New York Times wrote a piece titled, "Trump, Trapped in His Lies, Keeps Lying. Sad!". It is indeed sad, but the understandable outrage at his repeated deceptions misses the point.

Dishonest Don's malfeasance will live in infamy, however, his mendacity serves a darker end-game then most people realize. The unreality king lies to muddy the waters making it hard for casual observers to understand the issues, and that is the point.

The liar-in-chief has repeatedly deceived the American people and his own staff. The spin king lies about his business, he lies about his policy positions and now we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he lies about his philandering.

Monday, July 23, 2018

GMO's Annual Green Schools Posts in 2017


Each summer and fall the Green Market Oracle (GMO) publishes a series of posts addressing a wide range of green school related subjects. In addition to green buildings, this series reviews hundreds of sustainability-focused schools and accreditation. Last year GMO published 19 articles in this series bringing the total to almost 400.  In 2017 the articles focused on dozens of academic degrees, climate denial in early education, renewable energy and conservation in schools. The first article explains why business schools are getting a failing grade in environmental sustainability.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Event - Sustainability Summit 2018: Water

Sustainability Summit 2018 will take place on August 1 at the Tent of Enderun Colleges, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, the Phillipines. Enderun will tackle Water in its third Sustainability Summit.

Over 200 delegates from top corporations, business leaders, government, NGO professionals and the academe will attend the one-day event — to identify and discuss the more pressing issues, trends, synergies and challenges and ideate achievable and lasting solutions for one of the world’s more critical sustainability concerns: WATER.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Pruitt's War Against Science

During his rule as EPA administrator Scott Pruitt waged war on science. He ignored evidence, undermined scientific research programs, purged scientists, and demoted employees who disagreed with him. He has also replaced many of the EPA’s independent scientific advisors with industry insiders.

Incredible as it may sound Pruitt made it known that he does not support fact based policy decisions. He refused to craft  policy based on science and he repeatedly made inaccurate scientific claims. This includes untruthful statements intended to undermine the veracity of anthropogenic climate change. He once said, “I would not agree that [carbon dioxide]’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.”

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Pruitt is Gone but his Destructive Legacy will Endure

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned on July 5th in response to a litany of controversies including his relationships with lobbyists, inappropriate spending, and dozens of other abuses of his office. Pruitt is well known as a climate denier who is in a deeply committed long-term relationship with the oil and gas industry. His reign at the head of the EPA was defined by his efforts to kill Obama-era climate regulations and rules designed to protect Americans from pollution.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Event - Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice

The Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice mobilization event will take place on September 8, 2018. This is the weekend before San Francisco’s Global Climate Action Summit, the Peoples Climate Movement will lead this moving demonstration of the breadth and depth of the climate movement.  Across the country, tens of thousands of people will show their power by hitting the streets, holding community forums, and educating voters about the issues – all to ensure that elected and private sector leaders make action on climate a priority.

Event - Concordia Annual Summit

This years edition of the Concordia Annual Summit will take place on September 24-26, 2018 at the Grand Hyatt New York, New York. The Concordia Annual Summit convenes business, government, and nonprofit leaders to foster dialogue and enable effective partnerships for positive social impact. This global affairs forum takes place in New York City and examines the world’s most pressing challenges to identify avenues for collaboration.

Event - Global Climate Action Summit

The Global Climate Action Summit will take place from 12-14 September, 2018 at Moscone Center South in San Francisco, California. The Summit challenges people, communities, societies and economies around the world to ‘step up’ and take ambition to the next level across five key issue areas: Healthy Energy Systems, Inclusive Economic Growth, Sustainable Communities, Land and Ocean Stewardship and Transformative Climate Investments (for more information on these five areas see below)

Monday, July 9, 2018

Don't Let Them Fool You Carbon Pricing Works

Making polluters pay should not be a hard sell. Nonetheless, after so much progress we are moving away from this sensible approach to climate action in North America. Carbon pricing leverages market forces to reduce emissions. This efficient system assigns costs to major polluters commensurate with the amount of emissions generated. By making carbon intensive activities more costly it also incentivizes lower carbon alternatives and spurs investments in climate solutions. Carbon pricing does more than just combat climate change. It improves the quality of our air and our oceans.

The most obvious benefits of carbon pricing are laid out in this simple 2011 Australian government video:

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Webinar - Reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals

Ethical Corporation is hosting an exclusive webinar on SDG reporting on Thursday, July 12th from 9 - 12 EDT. This webinar is designed to help you successfully integrate the SDGs into your reporting process. It is being presented by Tetra Pak, PPGM, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company and WBCSD. The increasing focus and push towards the UN Global Goals and 2-degree target requires businesses to disclose accurate data to showcase future risks, demonstrate the long-term value of the business and show their impact on the SDGs.

Event - Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) annual meeting will take place on September 19-21, 2018 in New York, New York. Every September, the CGI community comes together in New York City for the Annual Meeting. This year the conference theme is: “Creating a unified foundation for the Sustainable Development: research, practice and education.”

Thursday, July 5, 2018

IKEA's Sustainable Supply Chain Leadership

The IKEA Group has demonstrated that it is a sustainability leader. Over the years IKEA has consistently increased its commitment and it is now fair to say that they have gone all the way with their sustainability planning. In previous years they led the retail space with their investments in renewables and efficiency and in 2018 they addressed the elephant in the room by committing to make all of their 12,000 products from renewable and recyclable materials by 2030. In this article the focus in on IKEA's supply chains, reforestation and packaging.

IKEA uses IWay, a code of conduct with precise environmental and social requirements for sourcing and distributing products. IKEA is investing more than $1.1 billion in sustainable supply chain including forestry and companies developing recycling technologies, renewable energy, and biomaterials. This is not just good for the planet it is a smart business move. These investments will help with risk management while stabilizing costs. A sustainable supply chain preempts disruptions and ensures long term access to materials. As a public facing brand IKEA's sustainable positioning also contributes to differentiation that offers reputational benefits.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Reflections on US Canada Relations in the Space Between our Birthdays

Canadians had reasons to be unhappy on their nation's 151st birthday. Canada Day takes place on July 1, just a few days before our neighbors to the south celebrate their independence on the fourth of July. Although I feel truly blessed to be born in Canada, the Trump administration's march towards authoritarianism makes me skeptical of even the mildest forms of nationalism.  In no way am I trying to suggest that Canada is beyond the reach of  destructive politicians. Canada has also fallen prey to political leaders who preach fear and eschew climate action. The election of Doug Ford in Ontario is but the most recent example.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Event - ICSD International Conference on Sustainable Development

The ICSD's 6th International Conference on Sustainable Development will take place September 12 - 13, 2018 at Roma Eventi Gregorian University, Piazza della Pilotta, 4, Rome, 00187, Italy Rome. TheConference theme is: "Creating a unified foundation for the Sustainable Development: research, practice and education". This ambition will proceed in a multidisciplinary way across the various fields and perspectives, through which we can address the fundamental and related questions of Sustainable Development. This interdisciplinary forum is for scholars, teachers, and practitioners from any professional discipline who share an interest in—and concern for— sustainability in an holistic perspective, where environmental, cultural, economic and social concerns intersect.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

IKEA is a Corporate Leader in Renewables and Efficiency

The IKEA Group is investing massively in renewable energy and efficiency, they are even helping developing countries adapt to climate change. Ikea has invested almost $2.5 billion in renewable energy since 2009. This is not only about responsible corporate conduct this is also about reducing costs and managing business risks associated with volatile energy prices. IKEA is committed to generating an amount of renewable energy equal to its power requirement by 2020. IKEA's renewable energy investments put the company on track to become energy independent within the next couple of years.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Warming Temperatures are an Urgent Warning

We are seeing more intense, frequent, wider, and longer heat waves as well as five times more heat records than we did when the climate was stable. The global average temperature has been surpassing the 20th century average for more than 42 straight years. Last year was no exception with record breaking temperatures exceeding 129°F (54°C) which according to some analysts is the highest accurately recorded temperatures ever documented. Last year was the hottest year on record after 2016 and 2015. The trend is clear, all of the hottest years on record have occurred in recent years. The five warmest years have all come since 2010, the 10 warmest years have occurred since 1998 and the 20 warmest years on record have occurred since 1995.

In the face of overwhelming evidence deniers continue to look for ways they can refute the scientific consensus on global warming. We continue to debate the veracity of this issue despite the fact that it has been settled by decades of science. It is unconscionable that mainstream journalists continue to publish alternative interpretations of the data. A good example is a recent Wall Street Journal article that casts aspersions on James Hansen's predictions.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Event - Companies Vs. Climate Change (Europe & US)

The European event will take place October, 9-10, 2018 at the Amsterdam ING Headquarters. The US event will take place on November 28-29, 2018 at the Adrienne Arsht Center, in Miami.

Companies vs. Climate Change (CvCC)  is an event series whose mission it is to bring together companies from around the world to discuss climate change and how they can work together to address it most impactfully. CvCC is a media and events company whose mission is to serve as a global forum for companies of all sizes to share best practices for solving climate change with wholly justifiable business value. CvCC strives to serve as a conduit that will bring companies together to create business driven solutions to the climate crisis. Certain things call for simplicity.