Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Carbon Trust Sustainability Certification

Carbon Trust offers certification for organizations in sustainability. This includes energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, water use and waste management. Carbon Trust independently validates and certifies organizational achievements in adopting more sustainable business models.

The certification process acts to identify inefficiencies in resource use and provides a framework for improving management processes. The Carbon Trust Standard helps organizations to measure, manage and reduce their environmental impact, whilst improving their resource management and operational sustainability.

Nobel Laureates Call for Action on Climate Change

At a recent gathering, Nobel laureates joined a large group of scientists in calling for immediate action to tackle the climate crisis. The call came as a group of 65 Nobel Laureates along with 650 young scientists met in Lindau, Germany. These two groups, with participants hailing from 88 countries, came together for the 65th annual Lindau Nobel Laureates conference that was held between June 28th and July 3rd.

The calls to action during this week of lectures and discussions included a plea to address climate change. The call came on the final day of the conference during meetings that were held on nearby Mainau Island.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Scotland Leads UK Renewable Energy Generation

Scotland derived half of its electricity needs from renewables last year. Renewable energy, once dismissed as a pipe dream by some, is becoming a reality for many nations including Denmark and Germany. According to data released by the Scottish government in June, Scotland generated 49.8 percent of all of its electricity needs from renewable sources in 2014.

The Scottish government has met its target of meeting 50 percent of electricity demand with renewables one year ahead of schedule. Scotland is now setting its sights on the goal of meeting all of its electricity demand with renewables by 2020.

Climate Action from American Corporations

On Monday July 27th the White House launched the American Business Act on Climate Pledge. Nations around the world have submitted their INDCs and corporations are also providing climate pledges of their own ahead of COP21. This significant climate change mitigation effort involves some of the world's largest enterprises. A total of 13 American companies have agreed to invest at least $140 billion in low-carbon technology and add more than 1,600 megawatts of renewable energy. This is in addition to preexisting company goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions by half and reduce water use. Together these companies have revenues of $1.3 trillion and a combined market capitalization of $2.5 trillion.

Monday, July 27, 2015

The United Nation's Corporate Sustainability Advocacy and Guidance

The United Nations has been at the forefront of helping businesses and investors to understand the value of sustainability as well as providing valuable research and resources. Through agencies like the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN Development Programme (UNDP) the United Nations has been a leading global force advancing the role of sustainability.

Renewable Energy Milestones in Germany, Denmark and the US

Germany, Denmark and the US are clean energy leaders that are proving that renewables can meet the electricity needs of modern nations. In Germany and Denmark they are producing so much power from renewables that they are exporting clean energy. In the US renewables continue to grow accounting for the vast majority of new energy production in the first half of 2015.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

International Conference on Electrochemical Energy Science and Technology (EEST2015)

The 2nd International Conference on Electrochemical Energy Science and Technology, (EEST2015) will take place on August 16th 2015 to August 22 2015 in Vancouver, BC, Canada. This is the second conference organised by the International Academy of Electrochemical Energy Science (IAOEES). It will comprise plenary talks, invited keynote speeches, and oralr presentations focusing on electrochemical energy research, development and applications.

Event - Wind Farm Development: European Offshore 2015

ACI’s 5th annual Wind Farm Development: European Offshore 2015 will take place on Wednesday September 2, 2015 to Thursday September 3, 2015 in London, UK. This event is the ultimate meeting platform for senior representatives to explore the opportunities within the offshore wind industry and discuss latest technology advancements to support recent industry growth.

Event - Women in Green Forum

The sixth annual Women in Green Forum will take place on August 26th 2015 from 8:00 am to 6:45 pm at TreePeople in the hills of Los Angeles (Coldwater Canyon Park, 12601 Mulholland Dr,, Beverly Hills, CA).

This unique event is the premiere series highlighting women's impact on the environmental industry. The event includes interactive workshops, and professional networking opportunities. This event will address issues in the built environment, community, government and the economy.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Corporations Call for Action on Climate Change as Part of Global Round Table

Major corporations involvement with climate change mitigation is not new as indicated by a formal statement that was signed more than five years ago. The statement was issued following the sixth meeting of the Global Roundtable on Climate Change, held in February, 2009, at Columbia University in New York. The statement said that climate change a moral issue and they it called for decisive action. Leaders of almost 100 world-wide corporations, including General Electric, Volvo and Air France, endorsed the statement that included calls for "prompt and decisive action on climate change." The statement sought to lay out a framework to combat climate change and stimulate economic growth. It explicitly called for more clean energy.

Global Compact Report: Progress in Sustainability and How to Further Growth (Video)

A new report chronicles the advances in the sustainability and what is needed to keep sustainability growing. The report is titled "Impact: Transforming Business, Changing the World," it was prepared by DNV GL for the UN Global Compact. The UN Global Compact is a voluntary initiative based on CEO commitments to implement universal sustainability principles and to take steps to support UN goals. By committing to sustainability, the Global Compact sees business as a force for good. Their efforts are premised on the belief that business can take shared responsibility for achieving a better world. To achieve this goal they call on companies to align strategies and operations with universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and take actions that advance societal goals.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Sustainability is Not a Choice it is a Market Dictate

Sustainability is a key business driver that is gaining hold in virtually every sector or the economy. It would be a mistake to view sustainability as a luxury investment or merely a public relations tool. Sustainability is a strategic imperative that is absolutely de rigueur for companies seeking to be a competitive part of today's marketplace. This view is supported by a recent sustainability guidance document assembled by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

As explained by ICC Secretary General John Danilovich:
"Sustainability needs to be understood as a key business driver, rather than a luxury investment or a public relations tool. A growing body of evidence shows that developing a corporate culture of sustainability is a major source of competitive advantage in today's economy."

Competing Visions of Capitalism Viewed through the Lens of Renewable Energy Investment Strategies

In the wake of the Greek financial crisis, and the Pope's Encyclical there is a lot of hyperbole about economic dysfunction. Fueled by popular resistance to austerity, wild allegations about the imminent demise of capitalism abound.  Contrary to the musings of some idealistic pundits, capitalism is alive and well. In fact, led by the sustainability movement, there is an economic renewal underway.  By marrying self interest and altruism a new brand of capitalism is emerging that has seen advances on both the social and environmental fronts.  However, this vision of capitalism is at odds with some basic tenants of conservative economics .  What follows is a review of these two competing interpretations represented by the renewable energy investment strategies of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.
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Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are philanthropists who are both invested in renewable energy. While their actions may appear similar, their diverging investment philosophies reflect two different visions of capitalism.

Renewable energy is a critically important part of sustainability oriented business practices and responsible investment strategies that are driving environmental and social change. Renewables are a low carbon energy source that can reduce our reliance on climate change causing fossil fuels. While renewables are an important part of solving the climate crisis, they are of interest to many investors largely because they offer impressive rates of return. A 2012 Forbes piece titled "Investors are Making Money with Renewable Energy," states that for "investors looking for financially sound, environmentally responsible, climate-friendly investments, renewable energy finance is worth a very close look."

It would appear that the market agrees with the Forbes assessment. As reviewed in a 2015 report, renewable energy investment increased by more than 17 percent to $270 billion in 2014.

Social obligations

While earning returns from investments is important, Gates and Buffet are two high profile examples of men who use their wealth for social betterment. Forbes, reports that Gates, who is worth $79 billion, is the richest man in the world and Buffet, who is worth a paltry $72 billion, is the third richest man in the world.

Both Gates and Buffet refute the stereotype of the wealthy one percent. They both see that their wealth comes with certain social obligations. Even the capitalist icon David Rockefeller understood this more than half a century ago when he said, "The old concept that the owner of a business had a right to use his property as a he pleased to maximize profits has evolved into the belief that ownership carries certain binding social obligations."

Gates has committed his life to his perceived social obligations. He first embraced philanthropy while at the helm of Microsoft, and now, through his full time involvement in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he has made social betterment the "primary purpose" of his life. His foundation is focused on improving people's health and education. "My full-time work for the rest of my life will be at the foundation," Gates was quoted as saying in a 2013 Telegraph article. So far, Gates has given away $28 billion to philanthropic causes.

Creative capitalism

Contrary to the writings of people like Naomi Klein and Paul Mason who believe that capitalism is profoundly flawed and destined to die, Gates argues that capitalism offers our best hope for social and environmental renewal. Gates is an advocate of system innovation, an approach that he calls creative capitalism.

Gates offers a form of ecological economics. His practical approach is grounded in the fundamentals of human psychology, while the ambiguous utopias insinuated by Klein and Mason are an offshoot of socialism, which has proven to be at odds with human nature.

According to Gates, capitalism can be made to serve those in need and the environment upon which we all depend. In his view, capitalism can harness innovation on the massive scale required to confront the challenges we face. Gates' approach seeks to leverage the fact that human nature is composed of two fundamental elements, self interest and the desire to help others.

In a January 24, 2008 speech at the World Economic Forum, Gates said, "The genius of capitalism lies in its ability to make self-interest serve the wider interest. The potential of a big financial return for innovation unleashes a broad set of talented people in pursuit of many different discoveries." Gates says. "This system driven by self-interest is responsible for the great innovations that have improved the lives of billions."

Gates believes we need to measure and publicize social responsibility to give consumers the tools they need to make good buying decisions. He also suggests that to make markets work, we need to see more collaboration between governments, businesses, and nonprofits.

"Creative capitalism takes this interest in the fortunes of others and ties it to our interest in our own fortunes—in ways that help advance both." Gates says. "There is a growing understanding around the world that when change is driven by market-based incentives, you have a sustainable plan for change—because profits and recognition are renewable resources."

Renewable energy

As reviewed in an Entrepreneur article, Gates has invested over $1 billion in renewable energy and now he is looking to double that amount. In an interview with the Financial Times, Gates said that investing in technology companies is the best way to find cost effective solutions to climate change.

"The only way you can get to the very positive scenario is by great innovation," he said. "Innovation really does bend the curve." He sites the case of current battery technology saying that if we are to fulfill the promise of renewables we will need more reliable energy storage than is currently available. However, Gates' approach to capitalism is anything but laissez faire. He explains that advancing technology requires the kind of massive investments that only governments can provide. Gates says that efforts to improve renewable technologies require Manhattan or the Apollo style government projects.

Another powerful man who has invested massively in renewable energy is Warren Buffet. Through his investment firm, Berkshire Hathaway, Buffet has invested $30 billion in renewable energy. Buffet has also given away more than $17 billion to philanthropic causes.

Buffet's stellar record of wealth creation has earned him a reputation as the world's foremost investment genius. In 2009, Buffet's investments in lithium show that he was already ahead of the sustainability investment curve. In addition to his other renewable energy investments, Buffet has invested more than a billion dollars in solar energy alone, this includes the massive Agua Caliente solar array in Arizona.

Climate ambivalence

Despite his philanthropy and investments in renewable energy, Buffet has garnered some well warranted criticism. Although Berkshire has invested in renewables, they also own Burlington North Railroad which ferries huge amounts of coal.

One of those who dare to criticize the Oracle of Omaha is Rob Berridge, the director of shareholder engagement at Ceres, one of the most important sustainability focused organizations in the world.

Buffet's supporters may point to the fact that in the fourth quarter of 2014, Berkshire sold its $4 billion stake in Exxon Mobil. However, withdrawing these funds was due to market conditions, not environmental or social concerns. His move was prompted by the falling price of oil and the realization that oil's glory days are gone.

Buffet has also been criticized for his suggestion that extreme weather is not on the increase due to climate change.

Despite what Buffet has said publicly, Berkshire is vulnerable due to its investments in the reinsurance business. Extreme weather is expected to substantially increase insurance pay outs.

Buffet is sending mixed messages said Berridge. "He'll undoubtedly go down as one of the world's greatest investors and most ethical businesspeople." Berridge said, however, "with climate change having such an important impact on the largest parts of his business, we'd love to see him be clearer."

Buffet's statements indicate that he acknowledges the science of climate change. However, his position suggest something far worse than denial. His investment decisions indicate that he is indifferent to climate change.

Buffet may be a titan in the field of renewable energy, but his motivations are suspect and his ambivalent stance on climate change is unlikely to be judged kindly by future generations.

Investment philosophies

Buffet and Gates have two different investment philosophies that are premised on two dissimilar visions of capitalism. Buffet seeks out investments that are exclusively about the returns that they generate. His investment philosophy is focused on value hunting, his gaze myopically seeks out companies that will generate returns. Conversely, Gates' investment philosophy considers issues beyond corporate profits.

On the surface, Gates and Buffet may appear to be very similar, but when it comes to their investment philosophies, the two men are profoundly different. While Buffet is interested in earnings, Gates wants to solve complex global problems. Gates invests in renewables to work towards global betterment, while Buffet invests to generate attractive rates of return.

Buffet makes vast sums of money with his investments and he is generous with his billions, but when it comes to climate change, he seems to be devoid of a higher purpose.

Source: Global Warming is Real

Related
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Primer on Four Economic Systems
Green Capitalism
Social Capitalism
The New Normal and Sustainability
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Video - George Soros Says We Need to Rethink Economic Theory
Video - Naomi Klein Argues Against Capitalism

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Best Practice in Sustainability Reporting and Sustainability Communications

Ethical Corporation has recently published its complimentary Annual Review on CR Reporting and Sustainability Communications. Ethical Corporation helps thousands of businesses all around the globe to be more responsible. They work with NGO's, think-tanks, academia, governments and consultancies. Their work not only benefits the wider world, it also makes good business sense for the organizations that they serve. Their efforts include work in CSR, compliance, risk and governance communities.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

EPA Announces ENERGY STAR Top Certifiers for 2014

Through its ENERGY STAR program, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regularly recognizes US based organizations that have played a leading role in saving energy. This Spring the EPA announced its ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year winners.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Hottest June Foreshadows the Hottest Year on Record

Last month's average global temperature set a record as the hottest month of June in recorded history.  The summer of 2015 is off to a hot start as heat records have been broken in large swaths of the Western world. Last June we saw record breaking heat but this June was hotter still. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, June 2015 was the hottest June on record. Record breaking temperatures in the first half of the year show no signs of abating making it a near certainty that 2015 will eclipse 2014 as the hottest year on record.

On-Site Solar Revolution in North American Businesses

On-site solar is growing fast all around the world and North American companies are installing solar panels in large numbers. One third of all medium and large size businesses in the US and Canada have installed solar panels. This record number of installations started several years ago and shows no sign of abating.

This is the finding in an E Source market research report titled, "How Photovaoltaics and Distributed Generation Will Disrupt Industry: 2015 Quantitative Research Results on Business Customer Acquisition of Systems."

Monday, July 20, 2015

Decoupling Economic Growth from GHG Emissions

Several new reports have shown how we can have economic growth and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. According to a report commissioned by France-based Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), there is evidence that economic growth is decoupling with GHG pollution. In 2014 the global economy grew by 3 percent however, carbon emissions remained unchanged. This remarkable turning point is due to a number of factors including the rapid increase in renewable energy in places like China and OECD countries.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

SURE HOUSE Tour, Networking Reception & Fundraiser

This event will take place on July 22, 2015 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at the Babbio Center Atrium, at Stevens Institute of Technology(across the street at SURE HOUSE). Attendees will convene at the Babbio Center Atrium, at Stevens Institute of Technology for networking + refreshments. The Babbio Center is located at the corner of River Street and 6th Street in Hoboken. If arriving by car, please use 600 Frank Sinatra Drive, Hoboken, NJ 07030. This will take you to the parking garage, and the elevator will take you to the Atrium. The Tour will take place across the street (Frank Sinatra Drive) at the SURE HOUSE 600 Frank Sinatra Drive, Hoboken, NJ.

Event - Energypath 2015 Conference

This event will be held July 20-24, 2015. Energy camps will be held July 20-22, followed by a day and a half of seminars, an expo and middle and high school science fairs. Energypath 2015 will be held on the campus of the University of Scranton in Scranton, PA. Energypath is the region's largest sustainable energy event attracting industry professionals, policymakers and academia throughout the region and across the United States. The goal of Energypath is to increase the knowledge of and passion for sustainable energy in the leaders of today and tomorrow.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Ethical Corporation (Video)

There are a number of truly great organizations that are at the vanguard of efforts to help make the business community more sustainable. One such organization is called Ethical Corporation. They provide a host of resources that give businesses the information and tools that they need to be more sustainable. They specialize in CSR, compliance, risk and governance communities. They offer topical and insightful business intelligence and meeting places.

Ethical Corporation's conferences focus on strategy and management and they are widely recognized as the best in the field. The Responsible Business Summits are their flagship events.

Canadian Premiers Reach a Deal that Tries to Combine Tar Sands Pipelines and a Climate Strategy (Video)

Despite some intense disagreements Canadian premiers and territorial leaders managed to reach a unanimous deal. The agreement strives to strike a balance between a national energy strategy that includes fossil fuels and climate change mitigation efforts. At the recent meeting of Canadian provincial and territorial leaders, the premiers of both Quebec and Ontario managed to put environmental concerns at the top of the agenda. The 2015 summer meeting of Canada's premiers in St. John's Newfoundland took place on July 15 - 17. The same old polemics emerged pitting the economy against the environment. However, Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne warned those present not to fall victim to this false choice. She stressed the importance of managing the tension between tar sands pipelines and climate change.

Oil Slick Spotted Near Australia's Great Barrier Reef

On Friday July 17, oil was spotted by a helicopter crew in reef waters south of Townsville, Queensland. According to a dispatch from Queensland Transport, the oily patches are about one meter in diameter, however the scope of the spill was not disclosed in the release nor was the origin. Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) said the slick was one kilometer long while other unconfirmed reports say that it is as much as 20 kilometers long.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Montana Oil Train Derailment and Spill

On Tuesday July 14th, a train containing 106 oil cars derailed in eastern Montana. A total of 22 cars came off the tracks and at least two of those cars are known to have spilled their load. The derailment took place near Culbertson close to the North Dakota border. In May another oil train derailed and 10 tanker cars caught fire in an incident near Hamberg, North Dakota.

One of the Largest Spills in Canadian History

One of the largest spills in Canadian history was discovered on July 15, 2015. A 42,000 barrel (five million litre) emulsion leak occurred south of Fort McMurray at a Nexen Energy pipeline's Long Lake tar sands facility. The emulsion, a mixture of bitumen, water and sand, has contaminated 16,000 square metres. The Nexen Energy spill is 14,000 barrels more than the Little Buffalo oil spill on April 29, 2011.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Selling Sustainability is about Changing Culture

There is an ever increasing pool of sustainability manuals and guides, and while these reports are valuable, they do not really change buying behaviors. When it comes to sustainability in addition to selling products or services, marketers must also work on the far more difficult task of changing the culture. Before sustainability can be truly mainstream, the general public must undergo a paradigm shift. While this is already happening far more needs to be done to make it easier to sell sustainability oriented products and services.

We Should Address Climate Change the Same Way We Approach the Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

There has been a great deal of talk about the national security threat posed by the nuclear capabilities of states like Iran, however we should be equally if not more concerned about climate change. This message was echoed by the UK's foreign minister, who said that the threat of climate change needs to be assessed in the same comprehensive way as nuclear weapons proliferation.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Marketing Guide to Selling Sustainability

Sustainability may be a hot and growing mega-trend, but selling sustainability is by no means easy. Sustainability is destined be the new normal, however, the question on marketers minds is how to get from here to there.  For many green businesses there will not be a future if they are incapable of capitalizing on sustainability in today's market.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Iran Poised to be a Renewable Energy Superpower

Now that Iran has reached a nuclear agreement with six world powers it is well positioned to become a global energy superpower that includes renewables. Iran's geographical position means that the nation has enormous potential for the production of different kinds of renewable energies, including geothermal, solar and wind power. Prior to the signing of the deal Iran was already working to expand its renewable energy sector. For both economic and environmental reasons Iran has indicated that it intends to be a serious player in renewable energy going forward.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Climate Change Fueling Forest Fires in the North American West

In North America the summer of 2015 has just gotten underway and already fires are raging across vast swaths of the continent. Forest fires are burning across the Canadian west and Alaska. These fires are getting worse and they are increasingly being attributed to climate change. Tens of thousands of people have had to be evacuated. In the sparsely populated province of Saskatchewan alone 13,000 people had to be moved, making this the largest such evacuation in the province's history.

Sustainability is a Strategic Imperative for Businesses and Investors

Sustainability continues to grow in value among members of the business community, investors and the general public. Sustainability is a superior long-term investment for both businesses and investors. Businesses benefit from decreasing their costs, increasing their revenues and good PR. Investors see the unbeatable combination of profitability, long term viability. Both the businesses community and investors see the merit of reducing their risk exposure.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Event - Renewable Energy India Expo (REI)

The REI event will take place on September 23 - 24, 2015 in Noda, India. The sessions at REI are interactive panel discussions. These sessions bring together leading Indian and global renewable energy developers, financial experts, sector knowledge experts and investors. Discussions will address key issues and trends related to renewable energy, with a particular emphasis on solar and wind power in India.

Event - Global Sustainability [Retail Food] Summit

This event will take place August 19 - 21, 2015 at the Sheraton Denver in Downtown Denver, Colorado. This event will address ways of strengthening your sustainability efforts in the retail food sector. It will include information on the demand for transparency, sustainable sourcing and CSR.

Event - Project NZ: Telling Good Stories

This event will take place on September 3, 2015 at AUT University in Auckland, New Zealand. While organizations are increasingly integrating sustainability into their practices, they must also be able to effectively share that information. Communicating sustainability in a compelling way affords a powerful competitive advantage. However there is a gap between sustainability initiatives and public awareness. At this conference attendees will learn how to share their sustainability stories with the general public and stakeholders.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Our Common Future Under Climate Change (Video)

An international scientific conference on climate change took place in Paris between July 7 and July 10. It focused on our current understanding of the science of climate as well as mitigation and adaptation efforts. The conference was titled Our Common Future Under Climate Change (CFCC15) and it was attended by 2000 scientists from nearly 100 countries who took part in 165 sessions that dealt with the physical, economic and social aspect of limiting and managing climate change. The conference is a precursor to the COP21 meeting that is scheduled for the end of this year.

"With a few moments to go before the world takes part in the climate change negotiations at COP21 here in Paris," Flavia Schlegel, UNESCO Assistant Director General for Science said. "Only an ambitious agreement on reducing CO2 emissions will move the world in the right direction of sustainable development."

Proof of Disinformation from Fossil Fuel Companies (Video)

The fossil fuel industry is widely known to be the driving force behind climate denying front groups and disreputable scientists. Their aim is to make the public question the veracity of climate scientists and by all accounts they have been successful. In the US they managed to increase public skepticism and gain control of the Republican party.

As revealed by a series of internal company and trade association documents the fossil fuel industry has funded climate denial. This summary of evidence from the Union of Concerned Scientists shows how the fossil fuel industry funds a campaign of deception. 

Here is an assemblage of some of the most compelling evidence to date:

Friday, July 10, 2015

Sustainability Manual: Towards Sustainable Business Models and Eco-Industrial Networks

A manual has been published that provides companies with guidance concerning the planning and building of sustainable business models and networks. It is intended for company decision-makers and it offers assistance with everyday routines.

Holistic Sustainability Guidelines: Inspire and Grow Your Business

A recently released sustainability guideline offers insight into the process of implementing sustainability into business operations. The updated International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Business Charter for Sustainable Development helps businesses to engage sustainability. The 3rd edition of the ICC Charter has a more holistic approach to sustainability. Based around eight guidelines, the Charter sets out a strategy framework to enable companies to place sustainability at the heart of their operations – from staff recruitment through to the development of new products and services. The new Charter helps businesses and SMEs in particular to begin the process of engaging the complex realm of sustainability.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Fiscal Sustainability: Stimulus or Austerity

Cost cutting and economic consolidation makes good fiscal sense particularly during difficult economic times. Conversely, stimulating your economy with investments that contribute to sustainable growth and job creation also makes sense.

The recession of 2009 put these two approaches to the test. At the start of the recession, the IMF's managing director said:

 “If there has ever been a time in modern economic history when fiscal policy and a fiscal stimulus should be used, it's now” and that it should take place “everywhere where it's possible. Everywhere where you have some room concerning debt sustainability. Everywhere where inflation is low enough not to risk having some kind of return of inflation, this effort has to be made".

China is Using Less Coal and Reducing Carbon Emissions

In 2014 coal use declined in China and this trend continues into 2015. China cut its coal use by 2.9 percent in 2014. This was the first time coal use diminished in country this century. In the first four months of 2015, coal use fell another 8 percent compared to the previous year. year on year. Reductions in coal use are having a commensurate impact on emissions. According to a recent analysis by Greenpeace, China's CO2 emissions have declined by almost 5 percent, year over year, in the first four months of 2015.