Monday, April 30, 2012

10 Sustainability Initiatives for Small Businesses

Although the constraints of many small business often preclude the grand sustainability gestures of larger corporations, there are many things that these businesses can do to be more sustainable. Here is a summary of ten easy and inexpensive things that small businesses can do from Miratel:

Cambodian Environmentalist Murdered

A prominent environmental activist was murdered in Cambodia and that nation's military police have closed the investigation. According to police, there will be no further investigation into the shooting death of Chut Wutty because the officer who shot him then took his own life.

The Persecution of Environmentalists

Environmentalists risk harassment, torture and even death, simply for standing up for the Earth. Reports of injustice perpetrated against environmentalists may sound like medieval tales of brutality, but these horror stories are taking place today in countries all around the world.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Corporate Sustainability in Africa Conference

On May 21st to 25th, in Sandton, Johannesburg a conference will be held titled Corporate Sustainability in Africa. The event will feature a number of prominent speakers including:

NEMEX Sustainability Live Event

On May 22nd to May 24th The NEMEX (The National Energy Management Exhibition) 2012 will take place in Birmingham England. The event will showcase the latest advances in renewable energy products, energy management systems, and energy efficient technologies.

Wind Technology and Investment Congress Event

On May 10 and 11, 2012 the 5th Annual Wind Technology and Investment Congress will be held at the Radisson Hotel Shanghai Hong Quan, Shanghai, China. Wind power is expected to account for more than three percent of China's total power output by 2015, according to the latest report issued by State Electricity Regulatory Commission, which means in the next few years, China will add an average of about 25 million KWs of wind power installed capacity and invest almost 34 billion US dollar in the wind power market every year.

Green Solutions Conference for the Restaurant Industry (Event)

On May 15, 2012 at the Atlantic Cape Community College, Mays Landing Campus, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. a conference will be held titled "Green Solutions Conference for the Restaurant Industry." Mays Landing Campus is located at U.S. Rt. 322, 5100 Black Horse Pike, Mays Landing, N.J.

NJ Environmental Federation Conference: Recharge the Economy, Invest in the Environment (Event)

On May 12, 2012 from 8 a.m. until 5 p,m, Rutgers University Law School in Newark, will host NJ Environmental Federation Conference titled "Recharge the Economy, Invest in the Environment."

Introduction to Green Facilities Management (Event)

On May 17-18, 2012, (Thursday & Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m), the Atlantic Cape Community College Institute for Service Excellence at Hamilton Mall will be hosting "Introduction to Green Facilities Management"

New Jersey’s Forests with Leslie Sauer (Event)

On May 8, 2012 from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., the Great Swamp Watershed Association at 568 Tempe Wick Rd., Morristown, NJ will address questions about New Jersey's forests. What is going on with the woods? What threats do New Jersey’s forests face? Join Leslie Sauer, founder of the ecological restoration consultancy Andropogon Associates and author of The Once and Future Forest, as she speaks about the environmental and manmade threats facing New Jersey woodlands.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Environmental Problems and Activists Struggling Against Abuse

Some members of NGOs and their leaders are persecuted or even killed for their environmental work. The Jesuit nun Dorothy Stang she was killed at Brazilian Amazon rainforest defending the indigenous peoples rights. Unfortunately the list of abuses is long. This video was created by Amnesty International and many progressive freelance filmmakers. This is the story of main environmental rights activists. They are protecting and defending the defenseless minorities, indigenous people their rights against the powerful multinational companies and arrogant power structure of government who don’t care the principles of human rights and the rights of people and environment.

Related Posts
The Persecution of Environmentalists
Cambodian Environmentalist Murdered
Who Bombed Judi Bari? (Video Trailer)
Another Amazon Environmentalist Killed (Video)
Environmentalists Murdered for Protecting the Amazon (Video)
Murder of Two Environmentalists in the Amazon (Video)

Another Amazon Environmentalist Killed (Video)

In 2011 Brazilian police reported that yet another Amazon environmental campaigner had been killed. Adelino Ramos was known for openly denouncing those who illegally cut the rainforest. His is just the latest in a long line of murders of such environmental activists. How many will have to die before we do what is right in defense of our Earth?

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

Related Posts
The Persecution of Environmentalists
Cambodian Environmentalist Murdered
Who Bombed Judi Bari? (Video Trailer)
Environmental Problems and Activists Struggling Against Abuse (Video)
Environmentalists Murdered for Protecting the Amazon (Video)
Murder of Two Environmentalists in the Amazon (Video)

Environmentalists Murdered for Protecting the Amazon

Brazilian environmentalists Jose Claudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife were killed in an ambush in an Amazonian nature reserve in 2011. These murders are but two examples of many around the world. Like so many other brave souls, Ribeiro da Silva and his wife were true heros who persevered despite the dangers of protecting the Amazon.

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

Related Posts
The Persecution of Environmentalists
Cambodian Environmentalist Murdered
Who Bombed Judi Bari? (Video Trailer)
Environmental Problems and Activists Struggling Against Abuse (Video)
Another Amazon Environmentalist Killed (Video)
Murder of Two Environmentalists in the Amazon (Video)

Murder of Two Environmentalists in the Amazon

Two rainforest activists were gunned down in May 2011. Activists claim that the murders are linked to the ongoing battle that pits environmentalists and small farmers seeking to protect the Amazonian rainforest, against landowners who want to expand their crops and cattle ranching there. José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife, Maria do Espírito Santo, were killed on 24 May, six months after Ribeiro da Silva had predicted during an international environmental conference that he could be killed at any time. The activists were known for their vocal stance against illegal loggers, cattle ranchers and charcoal producers operating in Praia-Alta Piranheira, a remote Amazon settlement in Brazil's Para state, where they lived.

Who Bombed Judi Bari? (Video Trailer)

Here is the Movie Trailer for a feature length documentary on the persecution of two California environmentalists. Who Bombed Judi Bari? is a suspenseful story about people who risked their lives to save the California redwoods and took on the FBI for trampling their freedom of speech. It shines a light on an amazing protest movement that succeeded against all odds - with creativity, music, and humor. In 1990, a bomb blew up in the car of two redwood activists, Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney. They were accused of bombing themselves, but twelve years later they won a landmark lawsuit against the FBI, proving that officers falsified evidence and intentionally tried to frame them. To date, the real bomber has never even been searched for and remains at-large. For more information about the film click here.

Related Posts
The Persecution of Environmentalists
Cambodian Environmentalist Murdered
Environmental Problems and Activists Struggling Against Abuse (Video)
Another Amazon Environmentalist Killed (Video)
Environmentalists Murdered for Protecting the Amazon (Video)
Murder of Two Environmentalists in the Amazon (Video)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Arbor Day Business Partners

To honor their 50th anniversary, Enterprise Rent-A-Car formed a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant 50 million trees over 50 years. This is a gift that not only commemorates their history, but celebrates the future. To read about the partnership click here. Arbor Day has also partnered with 12 other companies.

Arbor Day 2012 Celebrations

Arbor Day began in 1872 as a way to promote the planting of trees in Nebraska and was proclaimed a national event in 1907 by Teddy Roosevelt. With the growing awareness of "going green" to help preserve the environment, National Arbor Day is also an opportunity for businesses to do good for the planet.

The Natural Step Framework

The Natural Step (TNS)Framework it is a comprehensive model for planning in complex systems. It is openly published and free for all to use. The TNS Framework is based on systems thinking; recognizing that what happens in one part of a system affects every other part. This scientifi­cally rigorous Framework gives organisations the tools to perform a gap analysis using the lens of sustainability, and then work toward closing the gap. Furthermore, The Natural Step Framework complements other sustainability tools and methodologies, such as life cycle analysis or environmental management systems, by providing the context and strategic vision that makes them more effective.

GRI Underutilized by Canadian SMEs

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada has indicated that although the the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is a valuable tool, it is being underutilized by Canadian SMEs compared to large companies. The Government of Canada includes the Global Reporting Initiative in its CSR Strategy for the Extractive Sector and recommends that organization large and small do the same.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

GRI and the Canadian Government

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada supports the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The Government of Canada includes the GRI in its CSR Strategy for the Extractive Sector and recommends it for Canadian businesses large and small.

GRI Reporting Tool is Good for Business

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) provides methods and metrics to help businesses with important new requirements.  Reporting is becoming a basic requirement in some markets and therefore it has become essential for businesses of all sizes. Most large companies already have supply chain standards that make stringent demands on their suppliers. 

Mexico Passes Climate Change Law

The Mexican legislature has recently passed a climate change law. As reported in Nature, the new  law will reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 30 percent below business-as-usual levels by 2020, and by 50 percent below 2000 levels by 2050. The law also mandates that Mexico will derive 35 percent of its electricity from renewable resources 2024. The climate change bill passed Mexico’s lower house with a vote of 128 for and 10 against and in the Senate the legislation passed unanimously.

The GRI Sustainability Reporting Framework

Global Reporting Initiative's (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Framework is a set of practical tools that companies can use to measure and report their economic, environmental, social performance. The Framework serves internal tracking purposes and transparency. The Framework includes Reporting GuidelinesSector Guidelines and other resources.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Partners of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Term Climate Pollutants

Here are some quotes from new partners that recently joined the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Term Climate Pollutants. These quotes come from the nations of Columbia, Nigeria and Norway as well as the World Bank.

Six Initiatives from the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Term Climate Pollutants

On April 24, six initiatives aimed at accelerating and scaling-up action against the short-lived pollutants were approved by the Ministers meeting in Stockholm. Here are excerpts of UNEP’s press release from the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Term Climate Pollutants meeting in Stockholm:

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Term Climate Pollutants

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Term Climate Pollutants was launched in Washington DC on 17 February 2012. The Coalition is one of the most important developments to combat climate change in over a decade. The coalition is focused on fast-action climate mitigation which has the potential to reduce a major part of climate pollution and build the momentum to successfully manage carbon dioxide from energy production.

The Guru's Guide to Implementing and Maintaining an Environmental Compliance System

Businesses need to address numerous and more often than not, complex environmental regulatory compliance obligations in order to operate. Savvy organizations take a proactive approach to this matter, implementing centralized and automated Environmental Enterprise Resource Planning (EERP) Systems.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Top Climate Innovators

GE, Alcoa, Johnson Controls, Ford, Intel and Hess are leaders in the innovation of clean-tech solutions and products, mitigation of climate change-related risks and management of carbon emissions, according to a rating by risk analysis company Maplecroft.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Earth Day Poll: Environment is Important

According to an Earth Day poll, 85 percent of respondents said being “eco-friendly” is very important or moderately important. is the web’s largest opinion-based community; in this survey they polled their users on the state of the environment, recycling, organics and hybrid cars.

Americans are Less Green this Earth Day

A green attitude poll suggests that Americans are actually less green this Earth Day. As reported in a recent Time Moneyland article, over the past few years, Americans have become less likely to say they care a great deal about the current and future state of the environment. Similarly, there is less interest in organics, water conservation, and waste.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day Marketing Mayhem ROI

Earth Day is now a marketing frenzy, but what is the return on the investment (ROI) for green marketing at this time of year? According to a recent GreenBiz article there is questionable value to environmental promotions at this time of year. Albe Zakes, the global vice president of media relations for TerraCycle, says Earth Day is not the best time for major initiatives. TerraCycle which helps companies with recycling programs, actively dissuades their customers from launching major initiatives on or around Earth Day.

Earth Day "Green" Shopping

There are a plethora of green promotions going on this Earth Day. A very wide range of products can be found with some sort of green marketing angle. A good illustration of the specials, discounts and other promotions are summarized in following two online sites:

Wide Range of Earth Day Promotions

Many different businesses are using Earth Day to promote their products. They run the gamut from green to greenwashing. Here are three examples of products that are using Earth Day as a marketing vehicle. As reported by the Go Green Guy Lowe’s Home Improvement is holding an Earth Day sale on LED light bulbs.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

One Stop Green's Earth Day Activities

One Stop Green is an e-commerce site that promotes sustainability and green living 365 days a year. The website offers Green Living products, applications, tools and tips. On Earth Day they are offering special promotions all throughout the site.

Sears' Earth Day Activities

On the eve of the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day Sears Holding Corp.’s is offering some big discounts on its green products. Sears is doing a range of different things for Earth Day from recycling old cell phones and computers to offering great deals on articles like efficient ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances.

Best Western's Earth Day Activities

Best Western International has formed a year long partnership with the Earth Day Network. Best Western is joining Bridgestone in sponsoring the massive Earth Day event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on April 22. As the centerpiece of Earth Day in the US, the National Mall event will attract Hundreds of thousands of people.

Bridgestone's Earth Day Activities

Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO) is sponsoring the massive Earth Day event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on April 22. As the centerpiece of Earth Day in the US, the National Mall event will attract Hundreds of thousands of people to the festivities on April 22.

Mobilize The Earth Video

Earth Day Everyday April 22, 2012 (Video)

Friday, April 20, 2012

What Businesses are Doing for Earth Day 2012

As reviewed in a Green Biz article titled How Corporations are Celebrating Earth Day 2012, the business community is getting involved in this high holy day of sustainability. Most sustainability executives interviewed see Earth Day as an opportunity to connect and engage with their employees. Companies are encouraging their employees to get involved in environmental activities like cleanups and other volunteer efforts.

Earth Day 2012 and Business

Earth Day is about sharing an awareness that results in lasting change and nowhere is this more important than in the business community. Everyone needs to be involved and invested to enact the scope of the changes required. But as a leading contributor of climate change causing emissions business has a unique responsibility. As part of efforts to raise awareness businesses are reaching out to employees, customers and their supply chains.

Earth Day 2012

Earth Day is on April 22, the event was established in the US in 1970 and continues to gain popularity every year with more and more people and organizations pledging to reduce, reuse, and recycle. In both our homes and our workplace, Earth Day is an opportunity to act in ways that represent a fundamental improvement in the way we treat the earth.

Scientists Defend the Lacey Act

A prominent group of scientists have published a report that claims the Lacey Act legislation curbs deforestation and enhances the competitiveness of US logging and wood processing industries. The new report urges Congress to leave the law alone and provide enough money to enforce it.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Challenge to the Lacey Act

Efforts are underway to erode the Lacey Act which protects Americans from wood that is illegally harvested. In March, two Republicans, Paul Broun, R-Ga., and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., introduced legislation to repeal the requirement that US companies comply with foreign environmental laws. Their bill would lower the penalties for violations under the Lacey Act. A bill introduced last fall by Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper of Nashville and Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Brentwood would eliminate penalties for people who procure illegal woods.

The Lacey Act Combats Illegal Logging

The Lacey Act protects forests making it one of the most important pieces of environmental legislation in US law books. An amendment to the Lacey Act is the first-ever law prohibiting the trade of products made with illegally logged wood. The Lacey Act was first passed in 1900 to ban the transport of poached game across state lines. It was amended in 2008 to bar importing wood that is illegally exported under another country’s laws.

The Costs of Illegal Logging

Illegal loggers undermine the competitive advantage of legal producers by selling unlawfully cut or stolen wood at artificially low prices. This practice creates trade distortions that decrease the global price of legal wood by about 16 percent.

Global Clean Energy Investment Sets Record

Global clean energy finance and investment grew to a record $263 billion in 2011. According to new research released by The Pew Charitable Trusts, this represents a 6.5 percent increase over 2010. The US reclaimed the top spot from China, which has led the global clean energy race since 2009. Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, India were all in the top ten for clean energy investment in 2011.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Cure for Green Blindness

Here is an article from Dr. David Suzuki on our lack of green vision, probable causes and perhaps even a cure. Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. This article was written with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Communications Specialist Jode Roberts.

CSR Standards Reduce Risk

As reported in an Environmental Leader article, Adopting CSR Standards ‘Helps Companies Reduce Risk of Failure. ’ According to Avril Cole, an attorney with Norton Rose Canada, adopting CSR standards could help companies with operations in emerging economies reduce their risk of failure, Corporate Underwriter reports.

The GfK MRI Survey of the American Consumer™

A total of 65 percent of American adults agree with the statement "preserving the environment is very important," according to the Survey of the American Consumer released by GfK MRI.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

People Want Fuel Efficient Vehicles

According to a Consumer Reports survey, 93 percent of respondents "support increased fuel efficiency." People want greener cars as is evidenced by the fact that 77 percent are in favor of car manufacturers producing more fuel-efficient vehicles, and 80 percent agreeing with fuel economy standards requiring fleet averages to top 55 miles per gallon by 2025.

Breakthrough in Affordable Hydrogen Cars

According to researchers from the University of Connecticut a new process for producing fuel cells could help bring the cost of hydrogen cars down significantly within 10 years.

Jaguar F Type a True Hybrid Sports Car

The F-Type production car will look like the C-X16 concept that was revealed at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Automobile Mag reports that the hybrid F-Type is “going to be fabulous.” Jaguar worked to maintain a pure, disciplined design that fits in with the car’s sporting nature. It will be launch as a roadster, with a coupe to follow at a later date. We will see the F-Type in production before the end of 2012, and it is expected to go on sale by the summer of 2013.

Jaguar C-X75 Electric Hybrid Supercar

Jaguar presented its C-X75 electric supercar at the 2010 Paris Motor Show and the car will be hitting the streets in 2013. This plug-in hybrid electric car runs on electric power that’s replenished by a gasoline engine. This vehicle has a 145kW electric motor on each wheel, powering it from 0 to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds with a top speed of at least 200 mph. According to Top Gear, those motors are expected to generate roughly 800 horsepower.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Russia Lining Up Investors for Arctic Drilling

In April Russian President Vladimir Putin made public his plans to attract foreign investment to Russia’s Arctic. As reported in Oil Change International, Putin has set his sights on exploiting Russia's Arctic oil fields while their is still a demand for oil.

Green Jobs Growth First Quarter 2012

According to a recent Green Job Bank press release, there has been a big increase in the number of US-based green job postings in the first quarter (Q1) of 2012. The green job search engine indexed 36,500 green job postings during the quarter, more than double the 16,300 green jobs it indexed in Q1 2011.

Green Job Bank

With well over 10,000 current green job postings, The Green Job Bank is the leading search engine for green jobs. The Green Job Bank indexes green jobs from many sources on the web, including the websites of green employers, green recruiters, green non-profit organizations, green trade associations, and green job boards.