Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Sustainability Advantage: Short Costs Long Growth

Businesses are showing leadership and driving sustainability. The relationship between businesses and the consumer is changing, people increasingly expect responsible conduct that incorporates sustainability. Sustainability is no longer only a way to reduce risk and prepare for a more stringent regulatory environment. Sustainability is a competitive necessity and sustainable business actions are becoming de rigueur.

Mitt Romeny: The Legacy He Will Leave for Our Children

Now that Mitt Romney has formally secured the Republican presidential nomination he is going on the attack with new ads that reveal his anti-environment agenda. These ads indicate that his top priorities include approving the Keystone XL Pipeline and the repeal of regulations designed to protect human health. Romeny wants to transport dirty tar sands oil from Canada, through highly sensitive areas of America, to the already endangered Gulf Coast. He has also indicated that he wants to repeal regulations like those put forth by the EPA. He dismisses the idea that some regulations are good and can actually create jobs while keeping people safe.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Business Case for REDD (Guide)

This complementary guide makes the Business Case for REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). It reviews what REDD is and why you need to factor it into your sustainability strategy. The guide addresses how businesses and stakeholders can benefit from REDD's effect to the carbon market. It also reviews how to get involved in REDD investment and the regulations involved.

Review of Five Socially Minded Legal Forms for Companies

There are a host of different legal options and requirements for companies who wish to be socially engaged. As reviewed in a May 25 Forbes article, here is a summary of five legal forms available to socially-minded companies. They include Benefit Corporations, California's Flexible Purpose Corporations, Maryland Benefit LLC, L3Cs and B Corporations:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

EPA's Carbon Pollution Standard has Strong Support

Over one million people have expressed their strong support for the EPA's proposed protections from dangerous carbon pollution produced by new coal-fired power plants. The EPA wants to create regulations as authorized by the Clean Air Act (see Laws Statutes for the Clean Air Act). NSR permits have been required by regulations since the 1970's but the EPA is working to update and improve these regulations. The EPA action to adopt carbon pollution standards will help clean up and modernize the way we power the country and prevent life-threatening air pollution like toxic mercury, dirty soot and the smog that triggers asthma attacks.

Energy Emissions Comparisons: Renewables vs Coal

No energy has zero emissions but clearly some sources of energy are better than others.  To help identify power sources that have the lowest energy requirements the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released an analysis that lets users compare, contrast and better understand what a lifespan of emissions means for project permitting, environmental impacts and future policy. Here are the lifetime carbon emissions of a clean source of energy compared with fossil fuels.

Monday, May 28, 2012

US Military: More Renewable Energy Less Fossil Fuels

The US military continues to support clean energy and the Department of Defense is stressing the importance of reducing its dependence on fossil fuels. This view was reiterated at a May 11th event titled "Mission Critical: Clean Energy and the U.S. Military." The DoD wants to reduce its use of fossil fuel, for both national security and economic reasons.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The 12th Annual Energy Summit: The End User's Energy Summit (Event)

The 12th Annual Energy Summit known as The End User's Energy Summit will take place on Friday, June 8, 2012 from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. This is an all-day conference featuring case studies on energy efficiency, smart grid and renewable energy. The 12th Annual Silicon Valley Leadership Group Energy Summit will feature case studies from NetApp, HP, California State University, De Anza College, Kaiser Permanente, SMUD, Intel Labs, Pecan Street Inc, SUPERVALU, EPRI, University of California - Berkeley, UCSF, Genentech, and Stanford University Featured speakers include Tony Earley, CEO of Pacific Gas and Electric Corporation and California State Controller John Chiang.

DEP Water Quality Management Planning in NJ (Event)

On June 8, 2012, an event titled "DEP Water Quality Management Planning in NJ" will take place from 8 am to 10:30 am at the College of New Jersey in Ewing, NJ. Join PlanSmart NJ, APA NJ and The Sustainability Institute for their first policy briefing exploring the changing landscape of DEP water quality management planning in NJ. Hear speakers representing different perspectives discuss the opportunities and challenges they face.

Pennsylvania Contaminated Property Management: Land Recycling Program (Webinar)

On June 7, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. EST a free webinar called "Pennsylvania Contaminated Property Management: Land Recycling Program," will be broadcast by the Pennsylvania’s office of August Mack Environmental, Inc. It will review of the Pennsylvania’s Land Recycling Program, more commonly referred to as Act 2, which allows the voluntary cleanup and reuse of contaminated residential, industrial, and commercial properties. The Land Recycling Program is based on a handful of principals that guide the cleanup of contaminated properties. This webinar will present the four main principals of the ACT program and discuss how taking a site through the Act 2 Land Recycling Program affords stakeholders with a greater degree of cleanup flexibility.

Fourth Annual Northeast Sustainable Communities Workshop (Event)

On June 7, 2012 the Fourth Annual Northeast Sustainable Communities Workshop will take place at John Jay College, New York, NY. This workshop will not simply add 'sustainability' to the list of issues related to Brownfields but will look deeply at the interconnections and confluences that make for creating sustainable communities through Brownfields redevelopment.

Impact of International Green Construction Code (Event)

On June 5, 2012 an event will take place titled, "Impact of International Green Construction Code (IgCC) on New Jersey." It will take place at Atlantic Cape Community College, Worthington Atlantic City Campus from 8:30am to 5:30pm. Over the last several years the International Code Council has been in the process of developing the International Green Construction Code (IgCC). This code is intended to serve as a model for various state building codes. It was prepared in collaboration with the USGBC, ASHRAE and AIA. The IgCC which is scheduled to launch later this Spring.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sustainability Planning (Video): Business Practice Part 1/10

This short video addresses the concepts and strategies of sustainability planning for a coherent approach. Sustainability planning is important because it helps and organization to develop a strategy that focuses their resources efficiently. Sustainability planning is also a means of coordinating an approach that involves tracking that forms the basis of reporting. Finally sustainability planning reduces the chances of missing important elements. This video is part one of a ten part series on sustainability. It is a step-by-step guide to sustainability planning and serves as a business guide to sustainability. The speakers include Alan AtKisson and Marsha Willard who tackle the issues faced by organizations attempting to implement sustainable practices, and explore the practical experiences of consulting firms AXIS Performance Advisors and The AtKisson Group in an international context.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Corporate Sustainability Experts Scoff at International Agreements

Corporate sustainability experts have little faith in international agreements to combat climate change. When asked to rank the most effective strategies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, these experts put international agreements like Rio +20 dead last.

Corporate Sustainability Experts Want a Tax on GHGs

Corporate sustainability experts indicate that a tax on greenhouse gases (GHGs) is the best way to combat climate change. These experts want to change the economics of energy, they see government involvement as crucial to create the right incentives and disincentives to reduce emissions. Twice as many of these experts believe that economic instruments work better than education to auger meaningful change.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Environmental Gap Narrowing Between Dems and GOP

The majority of Americans think that protecting the environment both fosters growth and creates new jobs while less than 20 percent think that environmental protection hurts the economy and job growth. Although Democrats tend to be ardent supporters of the green economy, there is evidence that more Republicans see the economic benefits of going green. This data has important implications for the choices Americans will be making between Democrats and Republicans this fall.

State of Green Business Report 2012 has released their fifth annual edition of the State of Green Business report. It measures the environmental impacts of the emerging green economy. In addition to documenting the environmental performance of different companies they track larger trends that will affect corporate America in 2012. This free, downloadable report measures 20 aspects of environmental performance, from carbon emissions to paper use and recycling, and attempts to answer the question, "Are we bringing a green economy into being?"

 Click here to download the free report from

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

8 Congressional Reports on Energy and the Environment

Here are eight recent reports by the Congressional Research Service related to the environment and energy. Congress does not release them to the public. These reports were released by the Federation of American Scientists' Government Secrecy Project.

New York Times Inadvertently Supports Denial

In May 2012, the New York Times published an article by Justin Gillis titled, "Clouds' Effect on Climate Change Is Last Bastion for Dissenters." This article lends legitimacy to the climate deniers subterfuge by unwittingly casting doubt.The article seems to infer that if you cannot predict with certainty the way clouds will behave you cannot predict that the earth will keep warming. The article explains that scientists cannot predict future temperature, so the inference is that we cannot predict global warming. "The result is a big spread in forecasts of future temperature, one that scientists have not been able to narrow much in 30 years of effort." 

Top 10 Green Employers in Canada (2012)

Here is a list of the top ten green employers in Canada. The list is from Miratel's "55 Greenest Canadian Employers 2012" In the past Miratel has featured the Top 50 Canadian CSR Business List, Top Diversity Employers in Canada 2012 and even the Top 500 Global Green Rankings which included 19 Canadian Companies. This list of Canada’s Greenest Employers has been compiled by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers and published through its editorial partner, The Globe and Mail.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

G8 Agrees to Cut Short-Lived Climate Pollutants

President Obama and the other leaders of the G8 have committed to cutting short-lived climate pollutants. According to a 21 May 2012, press release, the G8 has joined the new Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) with UNEP and World Bank. This announcement comes on the heels of a G8 Summit at Camp David, Maryland. Reducing short-lived climate pollutants mitigates near-term climate change, save lives, and improves crop yields.

Avoiding the Clean Tech Crash: Can Renewable Energy Achieve Subsidy Independence? (Webcast)

This free webcast will be broadcast live on Live on May 23, 11:30AM ET / 8:30AM PT. Federal clean tech funding is poised to decline 75 percent by 2014 compared to 2009, according to a recent report from a diverse group of think tanks titled "Beyond Boom and Bust: Putting Clean Tech on a Path to Subsidy Independence". The coming expiration of many policies and subsidies has raised concerns that the clean tech sector, and the pace of energy innovation in the U.S., may experience a collapse, much as it has in past years when funding similarly dried up

Sustainability Nears a Tipping Point - Why Companies are Profiting (Whitepaper)

This whitepaper is titled "Sustainability Nears a Tipping Point - Why Companies are Profiting." It is derived from the findings of the 2011 Sustainability and Innovation Global Executive Study and Research Project. The paper reviews how and why  companies are profiting from their sustainability activities.

To download the whitepaper click here.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Marketing for the Renewable Energy Industry (Courses)

Courses on Renewable Energy Marketing designed for individuals with no prior experience will be taking place at the Edinburgh Institute at the Business School in Edinburgh, Napier, on May 25th, 2012. These courses will address issues and challenges in marketing and strategic management in the renewable energy industry.

Sustainable Brands 12 Record Breaking Attendance

Sustainable Brands 12 has reported that this year's event will enjoy record breaking attendance. This is particularly impressive when you consider there are more than two weeks left to register. As of May 18 there were nearly 1,000 professionals that indicated they would be attending Sustainable Brands 12. These professionals span a wide variety of industries. The companies in attendance will collaborate and learn how to drive the positive shift our society is demanding.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

IAIA12 Energy Future: The Role of Impact Assessment (Event)

The 32nd annual conference of the International Association For Impact Assessement, Energy Future: The Role of Impact Assessment will take place in Porto, Portugal from 27 May - 1 June 2012. The conference will be structured around four thematic streams: Renewable energy, Fossil fuels, Electric powered transportation and Electric power leap.

21st Century Watershed Technology Conference & Workshop (Event)

On May 27 to June 1, a watershed technology conference will be taking place in Bari, Italy at the Palace Hotel. The event is subtitled, "Improving Water Quality and the Environment." This is one of a series of highly successful international conferences organized by ASABE.

The Effects of Green Marketing: Consumer Trends Drive Profit (Video)

There is a $230 billion marketplace that exists for products and services that meet the needs of consumers who buy based on their personal, social and environmental values. This marketplace is predicted to grow to $845 billion by 2015! Would you like to know if and how your business could get a share of the green marketplace?

Spring of Sustainability (Video)

Spring of Sustainability is a three-month event series that allows callers to interact directly with world-class visionaries by phone or webcast, at no charge.  The 100 speakers include a who's who of world leaders in the field of sustainability, amongst them are former member of the Obama Administration Van Jones and founder Bill McKibben.

LEED-certified Green House Tour (Event)

On May 30, 2012, at 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. a LEED event titled "Certified Green House Tour" will take place in Harding Township, New Jersey. Ever wondered what you could do to your home to make it a more environmentally friendly place to live? This unique tour highlights the planning and implementation that goes into constructing a LEED-certified home.  This event will teach people about LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and other eco-friendly building terms.

Solar Maghreb 2012 Congress and Exhibition (Event)

On May 22-23 May 2012, Solar Maghreb will convene in Morocco. This is the most established congress to focus exclusively on the North African solar markets. After dramatic changes in the region over the past year, Solar Maghreb will welcome official delegations from Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt and Libya to formulate the next steps for the region's solar market.

Sustainability Live! Birmingham UK (Event)

On May 22-24 the Sustainability Live! event will take place in Birmingham UK. Sustainability live! is the UK’s leading sustainability event for the environmental, water,land, energy and sustainable business sectors.

Friday, May 18, 2012

US Military may Stop Buying Biofuels

The House Armed Services Committee report on next year's Pentagon budget includes a measure that would exclude the purchase of biofuels.

As reported in Renewable Energy World, the US military has been a major supporter of the biofuels industry. The Navy plans to unveil its “Green Strike Force” at this year’s RIMPAC.

The Navy has pledged to use 50 percent alternative fuels by 2020, but the House Armed Services Committee are questioning the value of current biofuel blend which costs around $15 per gallon.

Duties on Chinese Solar Higher than Expected

On May 17, 2012, The US Department of Commerce announced stiff anti-dumping tariffs that were much higher than expected. These duties amount to around 31 percent on crystalline silicon solar panels imported from China. The duties come in response to the Chinese government's dumping of solar panels below the cost of production.

South Korea Passes Cap-and-Trade Legislation

South Korea has passed legislation that will see the introduction of a greenhouse gas emissions trading program in which companies will buy or sell rights to emit carbon dioxide. Although the legislation had bipartisan support working out the details may be difficult.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Low Carbon Green Growth Roadmap for Asia and the Pacific

The Low Carbon Green Growth Roadmap for Asia and the Pacific is offered to member States to help policymakers. The report from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) balances ecology and economic growth.

EPA's Top Green Powered Organizations (Q1 2012)

In April 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its list of the Top 50 Green-Powered Organizations. This quarterly list is part of the Green Power Partnership which works with a wide variety of leading organizations in the US. This includes Fortune 500® companies, local, state and federal governments, and a growing number of colleges and universities.

MIT Survey Shows More Businesses are Embracing Sustainability and Turning a Profit

More companies are getting serious about sustainability and they are turning a profit in the process. This is the conclusion of the third annual survey titled Sustainability and Innovation Global Executive Study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The 2011 survey gathered more than 4000 responses from executives and managers across all industries and regions. Results were published in January 2012.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Objection Handling: A Professional’s Guide to Overcoming Objections to Sustainability Adoption and Implementation

Insiders understand the value of sustainability, but many who are unfamiliar have resistance. When addressing these people it is important to know how to respond to the various reasons offered for resisting a sustainability program.

This discussion paper is titled "Objection Handling: A Professional’s Guide to Overcoming Objections to Sustainability Adoption and Implementation."

To download this complimentary discussion paper click here.

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Canadian Conservatives Silence Opposition to the Northern Gateway Oil Pipeline

Canada's ruling Conservatives have passed legislation to silence dissenting voices on the Northern Gateway oil pipeline and other environmental review processes. The Conservatives have made no secret of the fact that they want to quell dissent on environmental issues.

Canadian Conservatives Admit to Killing Environmental Dissent

Most of us know that Canada's ruling Conservatives cut environmental spending for ideological reasons, what we did not expect is that the government would admit this publicly. As reported in the National Post, Foreign Minister John Baird unabashedly announced that the Conservatives wanted to get rid of federally-funded environmental advocacy group because they do not agree with their recommendations.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sustainability Success Kit from Enviance

Internal and external pressures are forcing organizations to be more aware of the impacts they have on the communities in which they operate. Organizations are increasingly being held accountable. In addition, market, social and regulatory pressures increase every day for businesses to effectively manage their environmental programs.

Top 10 Transporation Software Systems

Transportation software helps companies to be more efficient by saving time, energy and effort. This type of software is part of a winning approach that saves money by ensuring that company vehicles follow the most expedient route. This also reduces the amount of fuel needed and burning less fuel diminishes a company's footprint. Below you will find the top ten transportation software systems:

The Supply Chain of CO2 Emissions (Paper)

This is a document reviews supply chain issues related to CO2 emissions. It was written by Steven J. Davisa, Glen P. Petersb, and Ken Caldeiraa at the Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Stanford, and bCenter for International Climate and Environmental Research–Oslo (CICERO). This document considers CO2 on a broader level than simply looking at the countries in which fossil fuels are burned.

Introduction to Sustainable Supply Chains

A good introduction to sustainable supply chains is available from 2degrees. The PDF document is called "Supply Chain Management." It is part of 2degrees Sustainability Essentials Series.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Ten Sources of Green Supply Chain Information

Here is a summary of some good information on sustainable supply chains. These links include everything from the basics to more sophisticated research on green sourcing, best practices and metrics. Most of the links provided below are free of charge and contain a wealth of searchable information. The exception being the "Institute of Supply Management's Sustainability Handbook" which costs between 29.99 (members) and 49.99 (non-members).

CIPS Sustainable Procurement Tool

Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) has introduced a tool to help organizations maximize the benefits of sustainable procurement. The CIPS sustainability review tool enables businesses to measure the sustainability of their supply chain, which can account for up to 50% of a company's carbon footprint, and for suppliers to demonstrate this to customers. The new tool is a response to increasing demand from businesses for help to benchmark their purchasing performance and progress towards putting sustainable procurement at the heart of their organizations.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

NJ Association of Energy Engineers 2012 Energy Forum (Event)

On May 16, 2012 an event about the future of energy will take place at Center Hall, Rutgers University Busch Student Center 604 Bartholomew Rd., Piscataway, New Jersey. The keynote speaker is Robert Hanna, President NJ BPU. 

PENPAC Legislative Roundtable (Event)

On May 16, 2012 from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. the PENPAC roundtable event will be taking place at CIANJ Headquarters, located at 61 S. Paramus Rd., Paramus, New Jersey. The event will address environmental regulations and laws which have a far reaching impact on business, affecting land use, air quality, water, energy, transportation, and infrastructure.

2012 World Environmental & Water Resources Congress (Event)

On May 20-24, 2012 an event on the environment and water resources will take place in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The event is intended for professionals who regularly face challenges associated with 'crossing boundaries' in their quest for sustainable solutions. Environmental and water resources issues extend across political, geographic, social, and technical discipline boundaries.

Sustainable Brands ‘12 Conference

Executives from CNN, Walmart, Safeway, Ford, Coca-Cola will be amongst the more than 1,000 Attendees at Game-changing Sustainable Brands ‘12 Conference in San Diego CA, taking place on June 4 – 7, 2012.  As reviewed in a May 8, 2012 press release, attendees at the Conference will collaborate and share sustainability strategies and insights in response to mounting environmental and social pressures and shifting consumer demand. The theme of SB'12 is “The Revolution Will Be Branded”, and over 80 sessions will explore the unfolding market drivers and cutting-edge strategies for building business and brand value by innovating for sustainability.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Launching of the New Global Green Economy Index (SM)

The 3rd edition of the annual Global Green Economy Index (GGEI) will be launched in September 2012. It measures perceptions and performance of 27 National & City Green Economies. The GGEI has a new index measuring cities, in addition to the 27 nations already being tracked. The enhanced 2012 GGEI will also feature more in-depth perception survey data and greater geographic sampling in emerging markets, solidifying its position as a leading analytic tool for international stakeholders in the green economy.