Monday, July 28, 2014

A New Collaborative Business Model Expedites Innovation

MBA students and faculty at UC Berkeley have developed a new collaborative business model to expedite the process of bringing clean tech innovations to market. The new model of collaboration helps venture capitalists and corporations to understand that the business case for sustainability is not only about the environment it is about the bottom line. This new model addresses a number of factors that impede the transfer of technology from the research and development to the commercial mainstream.

This work is the product of a new partnership between scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and students of the Berkeley Energy and Resources Collaborative (BERC), an interdisciplinary organization founded by MBA students at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business.

There are a wide range of disciplines contributed to this model, they include business, law, public policy, engineering, and molecular biology.

Interactive Map - Summer Heat in the US

Summers are already warmer than they were in the 1970s and they will get far worse in the future. An interactive map from Climate Central shows just how hot summers will get if we continue with business as usual.

By the end of the century, assuming the current emissions trends, summer heat is projected to be 7-10°F* warmer on average than it is now. Some cities will have summers 12°F warmer. In fact, by the end of this century, summers in most of the 1,001 cities analyzed by Climate Central will get far hotter.

To see the interactive map click here.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Event - Waste Management Executive Sustainability Forum

This event will take place on January 27, 2015 Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North in Scottsdale, AZ Join the innovators and opinion leaders of sustainability for the Waste Management Executive Sustainability Forum.

For five years running, the top names in the field have broken new ground at the Forum. Here, in a one-day event that includes keynote addresses, panel discussions and breakout sessions, Forum experts and attendees immerse themselves in the latest strategies and solutions for achieving environmental excellence.

Event - National Clean Energy Summit 7.0: Partnership & Progress

The 7th annual National Clean Energy Summit will take place on Sept. 4, 2014, at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, 3950 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada. The day-long Summit is the nation’s foremost clean energy conversation. The event will bring together clean energy visionaries and leaders, public officials, business executives, energy policy experts, entrepreneurs, investors, citizens, and students, to discuss empowering Americans to develop our massive clean energy supplies, secure greater energy independence, and create jobs.

Event - Global Sustainability Summit

The Global Sustainability Summit will take place on August 13 - 15, 2014 at the Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center in Boston, MA. As companies continue to grow globally, so does the reach of our sustainability programs. Which is why in 2014, The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) have elevated the international scope of our premier food, beverage and CPG industry sustainability event to create the Global Sustainability Summit.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Video - Fear is at the Heart of the Psychology of Climate Change Denial

At first glance climate change deniers are simply ignorant. However, when seen through the lens of climate psychology we realize that it is a far more complex issue. Denial is motivated by pain and fear. The harrowing reality of climate change augers despair and causes people to shut down. People are overwhelmed so in this context denial can be understood as a psychological coping mechanism. For more information on how the negative emotions associated with climate change are impeding action click here. For information explaining why we need a new climate narrative click here.

Video - The Psychology of Climate Action and Inaction

In this lecture Dr Gifford addresses his research into the psychology of climate action and inaction. In particular, he considered the question of how to engage people in actions to help mitigate climate change rather than just express concern about it, and he identified the seven key psychological barriers to individual climate action. In this way, he provided valuable insight into the behaviors which policy makers and companies need to target to ensure efficient energy use, in a cost effective manner.

Video - An Introduction to Climate Denial

This video reviews different types of climate denial. What it is, how it manifests and why it exists at all.

Video - Anti-Environmentalism: Coal Rollers and other Insane Americans

To protest clean air regulations and show their support for dirty energy a group of people known as "coal rollers" are modifying their diesel trucks so that they spew thick plumes of black smoke. Watch as these trucks "roll coal" and blanket other, cars, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and cyclists, with black smoke from their modified pickup trucks.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The US is the World's Leading Climate Denying Nation

The United States is the world's leading bastion of climate change denial. According to an international poll, the US is the nation with the largest percentage of people who refute the veracity of anthropogenic climate change.

A total of 52 percent of American agreed with the statement, “the climate change we are currently seeing is a natural phenomenon that happens from time to time.” India was tied with the US followed by China. In contrast, only 34 percent of Swedes, 26 percent of South Koreans, and 22 percent of Japanese agreed with the statement.

What Resistance to Evolution Teaches us about US Climate Denial

In this article a comparison is made between resistance to evolution and climate change denial. With roughly one third of Americans rejecting evolution and climate change, those engaged in raising awareness may be able to learn something from the comparison. Despite the pernicious ignorance of deniers, there are reasons that some of them may be forced to change their tune. While a cogent case could be made for the need to reach climate deniers, we may have to accept that there will always be some people who are beyond the reach of reason.

Those engaged in efforts to enlighten climate deniers can learn a great deal from the long history of the anti-evolution movement.

Almost one hundred years ago this month, a young high school teacher by the name of John Thomas Scopes went on trial for teaching Darwinian evolution. From its inception to this day, the science of evolution has been under siege.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Webinar - Energy Data as a Profit Lever

This webinar will take place on Wednesday August 6, 2014, 2 PM ET. It will explore how energy data can be used as a profit lever. Energy is expensive, in fact it is the third largest budget item for most American companies. To make matters worse, some organizations waste up to 30 percent of it. Understanding your organization's energy spend is a strategic starting point for identifying opportunities for cost reduction and profit margin improvement.

eSight Energy, Verdantix, and Urjanet partner on this webinar to discuss energy data as the new profit lever.

2014 Top Green Provider Award (Food Logistics magazine)

Food Logistics magazine's Top Green Provider Award for 2014 went to INSIGHT inc for the second year in a row. INSIGHT was chosen for helping companies lower their carbon emissions and energy usage through optimal supply chain networks.

The Food Logistics Top Green Providers Award recognizes companies whose products, services, or exemplary leadership is enhancing sustainability within the food and beverage industry. With a focus on sustainability in the global food supply chain, Food Logistics profiles companies who are exceeding industry standards in their sector. This year's list includes food producers and manufacturers, 3PLs, transportation and logistics providers, equipment manufacturers and others whose products and services are driving sustainability from farm to fork. The companies chosen as Food Logistics Top Green Providers are profiled in their June issue.

2014 Product and Project Awards (Environmental Leader)

Environmental Leader Product & Project Awards recognize and honor companies making the biggest difference in the field of energy, environmental and sustainability management. This list is intended to single out leaders with the aim of helping other companies to make smart decisions about the products they purchase and the initiatives they implement.

In alphabetical order here are Environmental Leaders' top products and projects in the energy, environmental and sustainability management space, as chosen by industry experts (see the list of judges at the bottom of the page).

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Top US States and Cities in Cleantech (Clean Edge)

The top cleantech states and cities are, for the most part, predictable. According to Clean Edge's 2014 US Clean Tech Leadership Index, California is ranked number one (the fifth year in a row that the state takes top honors). California is followed by Massachusetts and Oregon which have occupied the number 2 and number three spots for the last couple of years. Vermont and Connecticut moved into the top 10 in the 2014 State Index this year, while Hawaii and Minnesota dropped out.

Infographic - Increasing News Coverage of Climate Change

Businesses Feel the Heat from Declining Labor Productivity

There have been several studies that show how a warming planet will decrease labor productivity. Diminished productivity has negative economic implications both for individual companies and the economy as a whole.

A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) study warned that climate change is likely to have a significant negative impact on productivity for the US workforce as a whole.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Online Tools to Follow US Energy Legislation

PowerSuite from Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) has created a set of tools that allows you to search, track, and collaborate on energy legislation and regulatory proceedings from across the country with one, easy-to-use interface. This online tool tracks energy energy legislation and regulatory proceedings across all 50 states.

Among the tools in PowerSuite are Billboard and DocketDash. Users can search a database of dockets and legislation from states across the country. They can then track and collaborate on legislation using Billboard or utility commission documents using DocketDash. Notifications can be set up to alert users when there are changes in bills or dockets, and summaries, notes and other information can be shared with colleagues. Additional tools developed for PowerSuite in the future will share its common interface and functionality, AEE said.

David Suzuki's Blue Dot Tour

Starting on September 24th the David Suzuki Foundation is launching the Blue Dot Tour, a cross country celebration featuring David Suzuki and a star-studded line up of Canadian performers, artists and leaders.

The Blue Dot Tour is the celebration of a simple yet powerful idea: that all Canadians should have the right to drink clean water, breathe fresh air and eat healthy food.  The Blue Dot Tour will visit 20 Canadian communities between September 24th and November 9th.

June's Record Breaking Heat and the Global Warming Trend

On both land and sea last month was the hottest June in recorded history. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), June 2014 broke the record set in June 1998. What makes this data noteworthy is the fact that June 2014 is part of a much larger warming trend. These individual observations are not isolated events they are part of a wider meteorological trend.

June is the third straight month of record breaking (or tying) global high temperatures. Nine of the 10 warmest June's on record have occurred in the 21st century, including each of the past five years. The world has not experienced a cooler than average June in almost 20 years (1976).

Monday, July 21, 2014

Responsible Business Awards: 2014 Ethical Corp Awards Shortlist

Ethical Corporation nominees for the 5th annual Responsible Business Awards was drawn from nearly 400 entries. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony dinner in London on the 29th of September. A total of 91 nominees have been shortlisted for the 2014 awards.

The Growth of Environmental Consulting

The environmental consulting industry is growing fast. Multinational companies are increasingly demanding environmental consulting services, however, there are very few firms in a position to handle this growing demand.

According to a December 2012 report by Environment Analyst, 16 leading companies are part of a global environmental consultancy (EC) industry with revenues of $10.6 billion in 2011, representing a 10.4 percent increase over the previous year.

According to a 2013 Environmental Analyst report, in 2011 the total combined global EC industry grew 4.1 percent over 2010. the global EC market saw a 3.6 percent increase in 2012 over 2011. The global EC market reached $27.4 billion in 2012 and the growth rate of global EC for 2013 was expected to be 3.1 percent. By 2017 the industry is expected to be worth $31.7 billion.

Going forward water and waste management services which previously represented the largest portion of revenue shares for ECs will be eclipsed by contaminated land remediation.

Event - Climate Tour ahead of the People's Climate March

A number of events are planned to help expand the reach and the impact of the People's Climate March. The September 21st Climate March will be the largest climate oriented march in history. It is intended to pressure action from those convening for a historic summit on climate change.

Planing for the People’s Climate March is already underway for the event in New York City. But to make this the biggest climate march in history, the momentum can’t be confined to New York. Which is why they are organizing a tour up and down the East Coast to spread that energy. The purpose of these meetings is to meet local activists near you and create an organizing process that engages the east coast in the People’s Climate March and creates meaningful new coalitions and connections.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Event - Power-Gen Middle East

This event will take place on October 12 - 14 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emerites (UAE). This event will address a wide range of opportunities and challenges in the energy sector including developing independent power & water projects, MENA’s changing fuel landscape, nuclear power technologies and improving plant and power system efficiency, financing trends, renewable grid integration technology and asset Monitoring.

Event - World Water Middle East

This event will take place on October 12 - 14, 2014 at ADNEC in Abu Dhabi, UAE. With high demand for potable and sustainable water coupled with major investment to meet future demand and introduce new measures, WaterWorld Middle East is the must attend water and wastewater event in 2014.

Event - Advancing Compliance Assurance and EHS Management Systems

This National Association for Environmental Management (NAEM) conference will take place on August 5 - 6, 2014 in Auburn Hills, MI. EHS Management systems remain a cornerstone of how you fulfill your obligations to employees, the environment, stakeholders and communities. NAEM's 2014 EHS Compliance Conference is designed to help you identify risks, strengthen your systems and effectively manage transitions.

Event - COMMIT!Forum (Good Business Makes the Difference)

This Forum will take place on October 8 - 9, 2014, in New York, at the New York Downtown Marriott. COMMIT! To A Responsible Culture & Supply Chain. Professionals who attend this event will learn the latest best practices and how-to’s from experts. The COMMIT!Forum also allows networking opportunities with C-suite executives, CEOs, corporate communication pros, and CR professionals—industry leaders and many others.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Video - The E-Fan Electric Airplane: Construction and Testing

Airbus has developed an experimental electric plane that may signal the future of aviation. The plane is known as the electric E-Fan training aircraft. To build the plane Airbus used some highly innovative technology including an all-composite construction. Airbus Group and its partners are currently testing the plane with the aim of constructing a production version of the E-Fan at an industrial facility close to Bordeaux Airport.

Video - Healing Walk

Healing Walk 2014 from Zack Embree on Vimeo.

Over the course of the last five years people from around the world have been coming together alongside First Nations communities to protest the harmful impacts of oil production in the Canadian province of Alberta. These people have peacefully expressed their concerns about the impact on the planet and the health of First Nations communities in the region. The first Healing Walk took place in 2010 when people from the Athabasca region gathered together to pray for the land, the people, and the future. In 2013, the walk was joined by over 500 people from across Turtle Island and other parts of the world. The final healing walk took place on June 27th to 29th, 2014.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Leading Environmental and Sustainability Consulting Firms (Environmental Analyst and Verdantix)

Here are the top environmental and sustainability consulting firms. Environmental Analyst lays out the top firms according to revenues and Verdantix ranks firms based on the results of a survey conducted with leading companies.

Top Revenues (Environmental Analyst)

According to Environmental Analyst, the top ten firms ranked in terms of gross global EC revenues are: CH2M Hill, Tetra Tech Inc, URS Corporation, Golder Associates, AECOM, Environmental Resources Management (ERM), Arcadis, AMEC Environment & Infrastructure, MWH Global and Cardno. The next twelve are: Grontmij NV, RPS Group, SKM Consulting, ENVIRON, WorleyParsons, WSP Environment and Energy/GENIVAR, Parsons Brinckerhoff, ICF International, Mott MacDonald, ATKINS, SLR and Coffey International.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Most Innovative Companies of 2013

Here are some of the world's most innovative companies of 2013 according to Tomorrow's Value Rating and Lux Research. Innovation is key to a companies health and well being and this is particularly true of sustainability efforts. In today's economy sustainability has emerged as a leading driver of innovation.

Leading Companies in Corporate Social Responsibility (CR Magazine 2013)

Here is a summary of some of the leading companies for 2013 as determined by Corporate Responsibility Magazine. AT&T took top honors on the list of 100 Best Corporate Citizens followed by Mattel, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eaton, Intel, Gap, Hasbro, Merck, Campbell Soup Co. and Coca-Cola Enterprises.

Although not in the top 10, the magazine ranked Johnson Controls as the best company in the environment category, followed by IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Sprint-Nextel and Advanced Micro Devices.

The top-ranked company for climate-change efforts was UPS, which was 24th overall, followed by Exelon (99th), PepsiCo (43rd), IBM (11th) and Spectra Energy Corp (13th).

Quebec to Invest More Money into Lac-Mégantic One Year After Oil Train Disaster

The government of Quebec has announced new investments to revitalize the economy of the town of Lac-Mégantic. At a provincial government press conference on July 12th, Municipal Affairs Minister Pierre Moreau announced the new spending. The investment comes a little more than one year after the oil train derailment and explosion that killed 47 and destroyed the downtown core of Lac-Mégantic.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sustainability Quiz

So you think you know a thing or two about sustainability?

Do you know the country with the highest per capita emissions? How about the average life expectancy of people in Sierra Leone.

Try taking this quiz to find out just how much you know. 

Although it originates in the UK audience, it contains many questions that are pertinent for an international audience.

Top US Green Companies (Newsweek)

Here is Newsweek's 2014 rankings of the largest US companies on corporate sustainability and environmental impact. These rankings are assembled in a partnership that includes Corporate Knights Capital, leading sustainability minds from NGOs, and members of the academic and accounting communities. This list is ordered according to a percentage score which is assigned to each company.

Newsweek's annual rankings began in 2009, but there was no list produced in 2013. While the old approach favored technology companies, the new metrics are based on a different set of assumptions. For the 2014 edition, Newsweek worked with Corporate Knights. Their data-based approach uses metrics and methodologies that are more quantitative and less qualitative.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Top Global Green Companies (Newsweek)

Here is Newsweek's 2014 rankings of the world’s largest companies in terms of corporate sustainability and environmental impact. These rankings are assembled in a partnership that includes Corporate Knights Capital, leading sustainability minds from NGOs, and members of the academic and accounting communities. This list is ordered according to a percentage score which is assigned to each company.

Newsweek's annual rankings began in 2009, but there was no list produced in 2013. While the old approach favored technology companies, the new metrics are based on a different set of assumptions. For the 2014 edition, Newsweek worked with Corporate Knights. Their data-based approach uses metrics and methodologies that are more quantitative and less qualitative.

50 Best Green Global Brands (Interbrand)

Interbrand's 2014 report ranks the 50 "Best Global Green Brands." The list assesses a brand’s environmental performance and compares that to consumers’ perceptions.

Automotive, electronic & technology brands occupy nearly half of the Top 50. Ten brands hail from the automotive sector, while 12 brands come from the electronics and technology sectors. Since it began in 2011, automakers have dominated the top of the list, however, this year the highest honors went to Ford. The top spot had previously been awarded to Toyota for the past three consecutive years. Toyota has fallen to number 2 and Honda, Nissan and Panasonic retain their 2013 positions to round out the top 5.

To create the report Interbrand starts with its list of 100 brands that have a global presence and a demonstrated record of delivering value to their stakeholders.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Transformative Impact Practices in Sustainability

As explained by Jeana Wirtenberg in her new book titled, Building a Culture for Sustainability,  businesses are increasingly looking to sustainability to deliver a return on their investments and as a way of driving innovation. As explained by Wirtenberg, "the choice is deep change or slow death."

After spending two years embedded in nine major companies, Wirtenberg has identified three major emerging trends that can re-shape standard business practices. She calls these trends transformative impact practices in sustainability, or TIPS. As explained by Wirtenberg, these trends "form a powerful core for changing business culture and mindsets in ways that make sustainability and social responsibility indelible."

New German Law Supports Renewable Energy

Germany is already a global renewable energy leader and legislation passed by the nation's upper house of parliament on July 11th will make the nation's power supply even greener. The new law will facilitate the country's move away from nuclear and fossil-fuel generated power.

Renewable energy has boomed under a policy known as "energy transformation." The new law will go even further by replacing nuclear power with renewables over the next eight years. It will also end the countries reliance on most fossil fuels by 2050.

World Cup 2014: An Environmental Post Mortem

The World Cup is over and Germany has emerged victorious, but just how environmentally sustainable was the FIFA sporting event in Brazil?

Some are hailing the 2014 World Cup as the greenest ever. Simon Trace, CEO of Practical Action, is among those that are lauding the green accomplishments of the World Cup in Brazil. He cited the unparalleled use of solar energy saying, "the organisers and FIFA are to be congratulated for making a considerable financial investment and making this the greenest World Cup in history." 

Brazil generated more renewable energy than any other World cup before. The investment in green power is helping to grow the nation's renewable energy sector which employs a total of 894,000 people.