Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Two Pipeline Spills: Tar Sands and Brine

On August 29, 2014 Anterra Energy Inc spilled Over 300,000 Litres of Crude Oil and Salt/Produced Water from a pipeline into a nearby waterbody 63Km North of Slave Lake Alberta.

The Anterra spill follows a brine spill from an underground North Dakota pipeline on the weekend of July 4th.  Around 1 million gallons spilled down a bluff into local waterways. The brine contains petroleum and residue from hydraulic fracturing operations. The spill occurred in a pipeline owned by the Crestwood subsidiary Arrow Pipeline LLC.  

These spills are but the latest in a large and growing number of spills reinforcing the point that fossil fuels cannot be safely transported

462 Sustainability Focused Masters Programs (AASHE)

Here is the most comprehensive list of sustainability focused masters programs you will find anywhere. It was compiled by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). This alphabetized list includes the A to Z of sustainability graduate degrees. The 462 programs covered start with Appalachian Studies Concentration Sustainability in Appalachia to the Teaching Social Justice Program Masters Degree at Cambridge College. These links that enable people to get more information.

The Value of an Education in Sustainability

There was a time when sustainability education was reserved for environmentalists and idealistic visionaries. Now organization are increasingly seeing the expertise associated with sustainability as a critical success factor. As the value of sustainability degrees increase so too has the number of students who see the merit of such educational programs.

Net Impact's Business as Unusual Guide 2013 (PDF) indicates that making an environmental and social impact through business has gone from "nice to have" to "must have" for prospective graduate business students.

A full 91 percent of 3,300 graduate students reported that social and environmental issues are very important or essential to business's long-term success, and 85 percent said they wanted to address these issues.

KoAnn Skrzyniarz: A Leader in Sustainable Brand Innovation

KoAnn Skrzyniarz is a pioneer that is helping businesses to understand and engage sustainability. She has a long an distinguished career that demonstrates both her vision and her tenacity.

She worked for 18 years as SVP in a family owned trade publishing business helping to turn it into a $1 billion multi-national media powerhouse. In 2002 she launched OTW – a management consultancy focused on helping clients tap into a higher purpose as a way to engage teams and drive superior business performance. In 2005, she helped organize a conference with sustainability thought leaders Peter Senge (author of The Fifth Discipline and The Necessary Revolution) together with Michael Braungart and Bill McDonough (co-authors of Cradle to Cradle). In 2006 she started Sustainable Life Media.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Inhabitat's Back to School Pinterest Contest

To encourage you to green your back-to-school routine and share your smart green ideas with Inhabitat's readers. Inhabitat's Back to School Pinterest Contest gives those who enter a chance to win a brand new bike or a Voltaic solar-powered backpack!

They are looking for smart ideas that will lower your environmental footprint for the coming academic year, and our grand prize winner will receive a brand new bike decked out with a rear rack, a metal basket, and a brass bell (worth a total of $574!), and three runners-up will each win a Voltaic Converter solar-power backpack (worth $129).

Guide for Responsible Corporate Engagement in Climate Policy

In addition to making a compelling case for responsible climate engagement, this document contains guidelines for business to communicate effectively, responsibly and transparently on climate issues. This guide helps companies to manage and report on their direct and indirect influences on climate policy. It was put together by the UN Global Compact, in cooperation with seven leading international organizations.

As explained by Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute, "Those businesses that are serious about addressing climate change will follow the actions in this guide." 

Tar Sands Pipeline in Great Lakes Region Challenged by NWF

Enbridge has quietly secured approval from the US State Department to significantly increase its transport of Canadian tar sands into the Great Lakes region.

Enbridge will almost double the flow of tar sands oil transported in its Clipper Pipeline (aka Line 67).Enbridge's Clipper pipeline serves as the corridor between Alberta's tar sands and Line 6A.

The amount of heavy oil that will flow through the pipeline by 2015 is equivalent to the Keystone XL.

Failure to Reduce Emissions will Result in an Ecological and Economic Catastrophe (IPCC's Leaked "Synthesis" Report)

The latest leaked Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report reiterates three points that we already know and warns us of dire consequences if we fail to act. Climate change is here, it is caused by humans and it has a number of dangerous impacts. It is noted that extreme weather like heat waves, drought, flooding and rising seas are already serious problems today.

The document specifically states that as greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise we can expect the situation to worsen. This means more "severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems."

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Event - 24 Reasons for Hope

This event calls each one of us to do our part to combat the climate crisis. We have to get beyond the dire scientific predictions warning us about rising seas and devastating drought. It is time for hope, time for us to realize that we have a choice to do something about the climate crisis. It is time for us to act. This movement encourages people to "dedicate a day for action." This can include anything from voting to marching to speaking out in your community.

Event - Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo North America 2014

This event will take place on December 7 - 11 2014, Orlando Florida, Orange County Convention Center. Renewable Energy World Conference and Expo 2014 is breaking out of the vertical energy mindset and dividing up the renewable energy marketplace by size, application and region.

Cutting-edge conference sessions will cover the most pressing trends in renewable energy, giving you all the information you need to solve real problems and explore real opportunities in renewable energy.

Event - Sustainable Ag Expo: Sustainable Farming Conference and Trade Show

The 10th Annual Sustainable Ag Expo will take place November 17-18 at the Madonna Inn Expo Center in San Luis Obispo, California.

The theme of the 2014 Sustainable Ag Expo is “Balancing Water, Soil, and Nutrient Resources for Long Term Sustainability.” The Expo will explore ways of creating conditions that grow healthy plants in balanced systems, which require fewer inputs.

The Sustainable Ag Expo was launched in 2004 by the Vineyard Team. The goal of the Sustainable Ag Expo is to share information across crop types on important topics such as energy and water conservation, holistic management, integrated pest management and soil management.

Event - SXSW Eco

This event will take place on October 6 - 8, 2014 in Austin, Texas. SXSW Eco will take place over three days and feature more than one hundred inspiring sessions and more than three hundred top-level speakers. SXSW Eco attracts a global community to explore, engage and co-create solutions for a sustainable world.

Event - Sustainable Performance Forum

This event will take place on September 25 - 26, 2014 at the Aqua Tower in Chicago. With five hundred EH&S, Sustainability, Risk and IT professionals from the world’s largest corporations, over fifty sessions and countless opportunities to network with your peers, the Sustainable Performance Forum (SPF) Americas 2014 is the can’t-miss event of the year for future and existing Enablon Users across the Americas and Australia.

Why Attend SPF Americas

SPF Americas 2014 is a conference for forward-thinking EH&S, Sustainability, Risk and IT professionals, whether or not you are an Enablon customer. You will walk away with contacts to drive your initiatives and a wealth of knowledge from the agenda with a focus on people, processes and technology.

Featured Topics

SPF Americas hosts a value-packed program split into five tracks covering the hottest topics in EH&S, Sustainability and Risk Management. The program is designed to help you address industry challenges and to make the most of your Enablon investment.
OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

Performance Management, Project Management, Proficiency Management, Management of Change

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT

Air, Water, Waste, Chemicals Management, Regulatory Compliance Management, Audit Management

HEALTH & SAFETY MANAGEMENT

Health & Safety Management, Occupational Health, Industrial Hygiene, Job Safety Analysis

OPERATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT

Incident Management, Risk Management, Crisis Management, Security Management

Click here to see the conference agenda.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Video - Executive Master’s for Sustainability Leadership at Arizona State University


Executive Master's for Sustainability Leadership from Sustainability @ ASU on Vimeo.

The Executive Master’s for Sustainability Leadership at Arizona State University is an accelerated program that is designed for professionals working anywhere in the world. The solutions-based and outcomes-focused curriculum is focused on strategy, global context, communication and leadership.

Video - Student and Staff Perspectives on Masters Degree Program at Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT)


Watch this student and staff perspective on the Masters Degree program at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT). In this video students and staff share their views on what it is like to study renewable energy, architecture, sustainability and adaptation at CAT. They explain some of the unique features of a CAT MSc. Masters Degrees at CAT are structured around a series of residential modules, meaning the courses tend to ferment a unique collaborative environment.

Video - The Health Costs of the Electronics Industry




This short documentary reveals the tragic health costs of the electronics industry in China. Workers toil 15 hours a day, seven days a week. In the process, they and their offspring are poisoned by chemicals.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Solutions in Environment and Health from Epidemiologist Christopher Golden

Epidemiologist Christopher Golden has conducted research which has quantified the relationship between environmental trends and human health. Golden's research has specifically revealed a connection between disease and degraded biodiversity. His research not only demonstrates how environmental trends affect our health, he shows how the right interventions can solve problems for both sick people and sick ecosystems.

"The health of our planet can have powerful effects on the health of people. Understanding that complex relationship has never been more critical," Golden says.

His research demonstrates how changes in the environment can have a tangible impact on human health. He has elucidated the interrelationship of unsustainable hunting and adverse health impacts in Madagascar. He was also able to demonstrate that sustainable practices contributed to health. This approach is currently being used to explore how climate change is impacting the oceans which in turn impacts.

MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School

Presidio Graduate School’s MBA program prepares students to deal with the complex and interdependent issues that define sustainability. This includes climate change, cleantech, stakeholder engagement and social responsibility.

This MBA degree connects rigorous management theory and practice with ecological and social awareness, systems thinking and sustainable leadership. Their MBA curriculum weaves these elements together to empower students to become effective leaders, change agents and entrepreneurs in the service of a more just, prosperous and sustainable world.

Bastardizing Sustainability: The Cynical Business of Global Warming

There is more to the business of global warming than meets the eye. Some companies are bastardizing sustainability simply to reap a profit. 

Business opportunities associated with climate change are increasing as are profit opportunities for businesses focused on sustainability. However, a new book shines light on the cynical underbelly of climate adaptation. The book is titled, "Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming". Journalist McKenzie Funk spent six years traveling the world gathering information to write the book.

Funk's book exposes companies that position themselves to profit from a warmer world. Such opportunists welcome climate change as a gateway to tremendous profits.

He cites, Deutsche Bank's investments in climate mitigation technologies while pointing out that their "Climate Change Fund," includes companies that are banking on a warmer world. As explained by Funk, "the warmer the world...the bigger the windfall."

The Pearl in the Oyster - Leveraging the Climate Crisis for Human and Planetary Health

We may be able to leverage the threats posed by environmental degradation in a way the could contribute to human health and galvanize action on climate change. The deteriorating state of our environment has prompted research that shows how the preservation of the natural world augments our physical and mental well being. Adverse health impacts from climate change combined with the benefits of a healthier natural environment may be the best inducement we have to catalyze action.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Obama's End Run Around the Senate to Secure a Climate Deal

In an effort to bypass obstructionist Republicans the Obama administration is working on an international climate deal that does not require the approval of the Senate. A legally binding treaty would require the approval of two-thirds of the Senate. To circumvent partisan gridlock, in particular the anti science stance of Republican lawmakers, Obama is looking to craft a political agreement rather than a binding treaty. Republicans in the senate (alongside a handful of fossil fuel Democrats) will never ratify such a treaty. The sad reality is that these lawmakers, who represent less than 10 percent of the American population, have the power to kill a binding treaty.

This political agreement is being sought ahead of the December 2015 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (IPCCC) meeting in Paris.

Singapore Sustainability Training and Education Program

The Singapore Environment Council (SEC) has launched a sustainability training and education program for businesses and students. It will also provide companies with tools to start sustainability programs.

This initiative will meet the huge demand for such courses from the corporate sector, in addition to generating income for the non-governmental organisation.

The program was launched at the 17th Singapore Environmental Achievement Awards.

Educational Resource - Getting The Picture: Our Changing Climate

Earth Vision Trust has launched an education resource titled, "Getting The Picture: Our Changing Climate." This innovative visually rich online multimedia tool is designed to help provide accessible climate education.

Students and educators of all ages can use this free interactive educational tool to gain a fresh perspective on our biggest global challenge: our changing climate. Getting The Picture offers a modern, interdisciplinary approach to teaching climate science.

Especially useful for middle and high school levels, this educational content extends far beyond Earth science and biology and incorporates history, economics, geography, art science and social studies.

Critically acclaimed photographer James Balog and his team bring you the latest in climate science education, featuring unique archives of media, film, photography and first-hand accounts of our changing climate.

Singapore Environmental Achievement Awards 2014 (SEAA)

In August, 8 winners were recognized for outstanding sustainable business practices at the 17th Singapore Environmental Achievement Awards, the region's leading environmental achievement awards. These 8 companies were acknowledged by the Singapore Environment Council (SEC).

The winners were selected from among 19 applications from organizations in Singapore and the region. A panel of experts selected the winners in six categories (manufacturing, services, technological innovation, and public sector administration).

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Infographic: Investors and Sustainability


Online Certificates - Sustainability Management (University of Colorado Boulder)

The University of Colorado-Boulder is now offering online Non-Credit Certificates in Sustainability Management. This certificate is ideal for those wishing to increase their knowledge of sustainability and make tangible change in an organization. The content specializes in business or community sustainability management—or both.

This distance learning certificate provides interactive and practical programs lead by industry experts can help you learn how to develop sustainability initiatives, encourage stakeholder buy-in, and inspire employees and co-workers to act.

Lucrative Investment Opportunities are Driving the Growth of Sustainability

Climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts are helping to fuel the growth of stock markets. Investors are increasingly seeing the wisdom of factoring sustainability into their investment equations. The S&P 500 recently surpassed the 2000 level and surveys indicate that companies on this index are mindful of climate change.

According to a 2012 report from the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, almost 90 percent of S&P Global 100 Index companies identified climate change and extreme weather as current or future business risks. The growth of S&P mirrors the growth of the American stock market as a whole. One of the factors driving this growth is the increasing interest in sustainable investing.

The Growth of Business Opportunties from Climate Change

Climate change is a serious threat but it also affords some significant business opportunities. According to a 220 page report by Environmental Business International (EBI), companies positioned to help clients prepare for climate change can reap major dividends. Climate change and extreme weather in particular will drive rapid expansion of adaptation work in both the private and public sectors.

For the next two years companies will see modest growth, primarily from adaptation assessments, but once the work moves into the design, engineering and construction phases the growth will begin in earnest.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Course - Environmental Due Diligence (Online)

The Environmental Due Diligence, online course is being offered by Commonground University starting on October 13, 2014. This six week course covers approximately 30 hours. It provides the must-know information you need prior to conducting any type of environmental due diligence and includes Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs), Database Reviews, and Desktop Reviews.

Infographic - MBA Student Attitudes on Environmental and Social Factors


Make sure to see the article titled, "Comprehensive Green School Information and Resources."
It contains links to over 200 articles covering everything you need to know about sustainable academics, student's eco-initiatives, green school buildings, and college rankings as well as a wide range of related information and resources.

PVC Free Back to School Shopping

Plastic products are the single biggest problem when it comes to back to school supplies. Consumers are increasingly concerned about products that are toxic to human health and environmentally unsustainable. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl) is a commonly used plastic that stands out as a particular hazard. PVC has been linked to cancer, asthma, developmental disorders and learning disabilities. PVC contains dangerous chemicals including phthalates, lead, cadmium, and/or organotins.

PVC is also a major source of dioxin, one of the most toxic chemicals known to science. Dioxin has been targeted for international phase-out by a treaty signed by over 170 nations across the world. Both Congress and the President's Cancer Panel have called for greater regulation of such toxic chemicals in consumer product.

Researchers Discover Hundreds of Methane Plumes Off the East Coast

In a surprise discovery, hundreds of gas plumes have been found emanating from the seafloor. The plumes are thought to be methane and they were discovered during a survey of the US Atlantic Coast. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. The find was published on August 24th in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Course - Solar Photovoltaic

This two-day course on solar photovoltaics (Basic + Advanced) will take place on the 26th - 27th September 2014, at Edinburgh Napier University. It is also available online. The course is designed for technicians and individuals intending to learn how to install, maintain and repair Solar Photovoltaic equipment.

Participants of this course learn how Solar Panels work and gain a thorough understanding of solar PV systems, this allows them to apply for registration with an Microgeneration Certification Scheme.

The Top 20 Sustainability Programs According to the Business as Unusual Guide 2013

Top sustainability programs, as judged by students, according to the 2013 Business as Unusual Guide.
Credit: Net Impact

Make sure to see the article titled, "Comprehensive Green School Information and Resources."
It contains links to over 200 articles covering everything you need to know about sustainable academics, student's eco-initiatives, green school buildings, and college rankings as well as a wide range of related information and resources.




Human Health and Climate Change

Climate change makes us sick both physically and mentally. We often hear about the economic costs associated with climate change, however, the physical and mental toll is often overlooked. Research reveals that the adverse impacts of climate change can have serious implications for people's physical and emotional well being.

In 2012, it was reported that climate change was already killing 400,000 people each year. The IPCC WGII AR5 report published in 2013 has a chapter (PDF) that specifically deals with the health issues associated with climate change. Although the impacts of climate change on mental health are just beginning to be explored, the initial research suggests that it causes a wide range of psychological disturbances.

10 Back to School Tips to Save Money Energy and the Environment

As people prepare to return to school, large sums of money are spent on environmentally destructive products. According to the National Retail Federation, the back to school spend is expected to be more than $26 billion in 2014.

In addition to minimizing purchases, there are a wide range of more responsible products available to consumers. Here are ten back to school  tips that can save money, reduce energy usage and minimize environmental impacts.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Event - Climate Ride NYC-DC

Climate Ride NYC-DC will take place from September 20-24, 2014. Cyclists will ride from New York City, NY to Washington DC. From the exciting departure by ferry in Manhattan to the hero’s welcome and rally at the steps of the US Capitol, the east-coast version of Climate Ride is more than a bike trip – it’s an inspiring journey with 200 like-minded people who are united by their passion for sustainability, renewable energy, and bicycles - the ultimate carbon-free form of transportation.

Event - 2014 Climate Leadership Summit

The 2014 Climate Leadership Summit will take place on September 30 - October 3, 2014 in Boston, MA. This Summit is designed by Presidents for Presidents and Sustainability Staff in higher education.

The focus is on climate mitigation, resiliency, and regional and national collaborations will be discussed within the framework of: New Science and Solutions for a Changing Climate, Higher Education's Climate Leadership Imperative, Creating a Culture of Sustainability, Investment Strategies and Institutional Values: How, Why, and at What Risk? and Corporate Partnerships for Climate Leadership.

Event - The Evolving Financial Landscape for Renewable Energy

This event will take place on September 10, 2014 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., New York University School of Law, Lipton Hall, D'Agostino Hall, 108 W 3rd St, New York, NY 10012 The Evolving Financial Landscape for Renewable Energy will involve .eading experts from industry, finance, and government. They will provide insights into the current financing landscape for renewable energy.

Some of the questions they will address include:

What new structures are emerging to support renewable energy development?
What financing barriers remain?
What changes in tax policy are anticipated?

Event - A New Social Covenant

This event will take place on August, 27 and 29, in Cape Town, South Africa. Stellenbosch University and the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Values have arranged a series of events to investigate how the concept of a Social Covenant can make a contribution to the improvement of society.

The objective of the event is to facilitate a discussion on how the concept of a Social Covenant can make a contribution to the improvement of society.