Saturday, June 30, 2012

Independence Day: Environmental Action Now!

Our nation has always been defined by innovation and a fiery will to overcome adversity. Our lives today are defined by the sacrifices, ideas, and most importantly the actions of our predecessors. They overcame colonial oppression and two World Wars, and heeded one President's call to reach for the stars. Millions now fight and die to secure what they achieved. But a new challenge is on the horizon. Climate change threatens to undo some of the progress that they made possible. And yet, we are at a crossroads, one that could lead us to a new and innovative future of clean energy and stewardship of the planet, or one that could lead back into ignorance and pollution. What will define your generation? What will future historians say about your time? The actions of our predecessors overcame tyranny from afar and built a nation of honor, innovation, and leadership. Will yours?

Related Post
Independence Day: Declaration of Freedom from Fossil Fuels

A Positive Environmental Message

It is easy to be overwhelmed with the plethora of fear inspiring environmental news. That is why it is so important to craft messages that encourage people to do something positive rather than merely ruminate on all the bad news. This simple message from the Mississippi Valley Conservancy is a positive message for those who want to prevent environmental catastrophe and save precious natural areas.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Canada's Clean 50 from Delta Management Group

The Clean50 list was compiled by Delta Management Group. In order to ensure that The Clean50 embraced all sectors, a total of 16 categories were constructed and then at least two people were recognized in each category, based primarily on their impact within the last two years.  Delta Management Group is a twenty year old boutique search firm with a growing practice in clean tech, corporate social responsibility and sustainability professionals. Formed in 1992, Delta has a long track record of building exceptional teams, and working closely with management and stakeholders on a long-term basis as a trusted advisor and true business partner.

Canada's Green Provincial Report Card

As reported in the Miratel blog here is the third bi-annual Green Provincial Report Card published by Corporate Knights. Corporate Knights “is a media, research and financial products company focused on quantifying and animating clean capitalism drivers for decision makers.” The criteria they used for the 2012 Green Provincial Report Card was: air and climate, water, nature, transportation, waste, energy and buildings, and innovation. In addition to these seven categories, they reviewed some 35 indicators to help analyze the environmental performance of each province and territory.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Best CSR Business Rankings from Miratel Blog

Miratel blog has published an impressive number of posts on corporate social responsibility (CSR) including a series of lists that rank the best companies in Canada and the world. Here is a brief summary of some of the rankings published in the Miratel blog in 2012.

Top Canadian Corporate Citizens (2012)

Here is the eleventh annual Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada in 2012 as reviewed by the Miratel blog. The list was compiled and published by Corporate Knights. Corporate Knights “is a media, research and financial products company focused on quantifying and animating clean capitalism drivers for decision makers.” Corporate Knights is a source of objective, data-driven ‘clean capitalism’ ratings for over 2000 companies globally.”
There is growing recognition among the country’s biggest companies that business-as-usual isn’t a sustainable option over the long term” Tyler Hamilton, Editor-In-Chief Corporate Knights.

Canada an Environmental Pariah at Rio+20

Canada has once again attracted attention for its environmental contempt. At Rio+20 Canada along with nations like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia tried to undermine a motion calling for a phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies. Even though the International Institute for Sustainable Development estimates that the federal government could save more than $1.3 billion per year if it phases out all of the existing subsidies for the oil and gas industries. Canada's federal government is fighting hard to do all it can for dirty sources of energy while US President Barack Obama has called for an end to oil and coal subsidies, and the European Union has called for a firm commitment to phase-out of fossil fuels altogether.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Three Solar Power Events (June 2012)

Solar Investment Forum 2012 in Munich On the 13th of June a solar investment forum will be held in Munich, Germany. Returning for its 5th year the 2012 Solar Investment Forum is an official Side Event of Intersolar Europe which will bring together leading experts from across the solar sector for a day of unrivalled networking and the opportunity to hear about the latest financing opportunities and developments in the solar sector. For more information or to register click here.  

Three Wind Power Events in London (June 2012)

Global Offshore Wind 2012 in London: On the 13th and 14th of June a conference will be held on wind energy in London, UK. This event is the world's first truly global offshore wind energy conference and exhibition. For more information or to register click here.  

Introduction to Wind Resource Risk in London: On the 25th of June a conference will be held Green Power Academy in London, UK. This one day conference will address the introduction to the economics, practical challenges and technological solutions to quantifying and mitigating wind resource risk. For more information click here.  

Siemens is Grooming Sustainability Leaders Through Students for Sustainability

Siemens is the world's largest provider of environmental technologies and they are helping to develop a new generation of sustainability leaders. Siemens brought six international student teams to Rio de Janeiro in order to present their sustainability-ideas to a panel of renowned experts. The winning teams will get assistance from Siemens in implementing their projects in their home country. The "Students for Sustainability" event is a joint effort by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Rio-based COPPE/UFRJ University and Siemens AG.

Green Growth and Developing Countries OECD Consultation

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) launched a consultation titled 'Green Growth and Developing Countries', was launched on June 17 at the Fair Ideas Forum, a Rio+20 side event, organized by the International Institute for Environment and Development. It involved high level discussions on a green economy draft document. Although the concept of a green economy has been heavily criticized by some developing countries, the goal is to reconcile the environment with economic growth and poverty reduction.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

40 Eco-Apps that Put Technology to Work for the Environment

Technology may not be a panacea to solve the climate crisis, but green applications (eco-apps) are helping to drive awareness and foster responsible action. There was a time when eco-apps did little more than provide lists of so-called “green” products and services. Now green-themed apps have turned mobile devices into portals for environmental education and sustainable action. The smartphone market share is now estimated to be more than 40 percent in the U.S. Around the world, smartphones are proliferating and green apps are growing along with them. Eco-apps can help people be more efficient and reduce their energy consumption.

Mandatory Emissions Reporting on the UK Stock Exchange

Starting in 2013, UK companies will have to report their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. At the Rio+20 conference in Rio, UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced that starting next April, companies that are listed on the London Stock Exchange will be required to publish their GHG emissions in corporate earnings reports. The rule affects about 1.800 businesses and in 2015, it will apply to all 24.000 large corporations based in the UK. Companies will be required to publish annual GHG emissions, measured in tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Rio+20 Sustainable Transport Agreement

One of the many announcements related to stimulating green development at Rio+20 involves a sustainable transport scheme. The Rio+20 meeting saw well over one hundred points of agreement from financial institutions and business groups. The sustainable transport agreement that occurred on the fringes of the conference involves $175bn fund. The group of international finance institutions involves eight international development banks led by the Asian Development Bank. The fund will go towards boosting sustainable transportation over the next decade.

The Corporate Sector can Save the World

The Business community may offer the best hope of saving the world from the ravages of environmental decay. In the context of the difficult economic times we are experiencing corporate initiatives may be our best hope for slowing the progression towards worsening environmental calamity. As reported in The Guardian, Peter Bakker corporate, the president of the World Business Council for Sustainable Business (WBCSD), "believes that the corporate sector currently offers the best opportunity for saving the world."In the wake of the disappointing outcome at Rio+20, Bakker is on a "mission to encourage business to implement change at scale." He believes that the short term fate of the world hinges on "the coalitions of the willing," comprised of local efforts, and responsible cities and countries.

The EPA Seeks Historic Proposal to Protect Clean Air

In the last couple of months, more than 2 million Americans have submitted comments in support of the EPA's efforts to reduce carbon pollution. The proposal has received more comments than any agency has ever received. Carbon pollution is linked to significant health hazards like asthma-inducing smog. Carbon pollution is a pandemic in the US with half of Americans (158 million) living in counties with unacceptable air pollution levels.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

IMPAC: World Sustainable Agriculture Congress Event

World Sustainable Agriculture Congress 2012 will take place on July 10-12, in Singapore. This is the start to the most important debate of the century on food security. This event is the only international meeting place that will bring together businesses from across the entire food value chain to explore ideas, strategies, partnerships and CSR initiatives to ensure food security, business sustainability and long term profitability.World Sustainable Agriculture Congress is the only conference where CEOs/CSR leaders of Asia’s food and agriculture industry meet to determine and identify new strategies for development of future agriculture sustainability strategies that propel the industry forward to ensure a sustainable future.

FP7 Public Private Partnerships (Event)

Information Day on FP7 Public Private Partnerships Information Day on 2013 Calls for Energy Efficient Buildings, Factories of the Future and Green Cars PPPs will be held on 9-10 July 2012 in Brussels. The agenda includes roundtable discussions on future outlook of these three PPPs under the EU’s next research and innovation programme. More than 800 participants coming from the EU and beyond are expected. Commission representatives and industrial partners will present the PPPs progress and success stories, and discuss about future opportunities and challenges. For more information or to register click here.

IV International Wildlife Management Congress 2012

On July 9-12, 2012 in Durban, South Africa an event will be held for Wildlife Professionals. This event will explore rising world population, competition for resources and space between humans and wildlife. Today, human-wildlife interactions are more common than ever before. In an effort to retain vital biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, we need to explore ways to live and flourish together with wildlife. The theme for this year’s conference is “Cooperative Wildlife Management across Borders: Learning in the Face of Change.”

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Education for a Sustainable Future (Video)

Education For A Sustainable Future is an independent film production and has been uploaded online for free download and distribution. This film reviews how today's practices in schools are socially unsustainable. The documentary film critically analyses what is considered socially relevant in a new education system which brings out the most potential in all of humanity whilst also detailing specific educational methods from a wide range of sources on how to nurture social skills, critical thinking techniques and a larger variety of important practices to positively reinforce from our earliest years onwards. It must be recognised that a sustainable education is one of the most critical components of any advanced society.

Green Education Online in the Wake of Rio+20 (Video)

In the words of the President of Green Education On Line, "we must understand the “average” person knows little of these issues. As was presented at RIO+20, while we want to assume many do understand these issues, they do not so internal training is crucial. What is lacking to move all forward at a much quicker pace is training resources on sustainability for both internal training in an industry business culture and for their own employees as well as to offer to their customers to educate their employees.

Interview with Elizabeth Thompson Executive Coordinator for Rio+ 20 (Video)

Rio+20 clips (Video)

Rio+20 our future generations are calling YOU! (Video)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Rio+20 Announcement: US Partners with CEOs to Reduce Deforestation Through Sustainable Agriculture

The US Government says within 100 days it will co-host, alongside companies of the Consumer Goods Forum, a Partnership Dialogue in Washington DC. This US Government announcement concerns companies of the Consumer Goods Forum, representing more than 400 companies and brands operating with combined annual revenues of over US$3.1 trillion, to support the Forum's pledge to achieve zero net deforestation in their supply chains by 2020.

“Individually both governments and business have already mobilized significant resources to address the challenge of deforestation but we all recognize that much more can be achieved if we align our efforts and work in partnership,” said Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever.

At Rio+20 Corporations Make a Natural Capital Declaration Pledge

At the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum, leading banks, investment funds and insurance firms pledged to integrate the Earth's natural capital into loans and investments. A total of 39 chief executives signed the so called "Natural Capital Declaration," which commits companies to transparency. These firms have promised full disclosure using natural capital accounting frameworks.

Clean Revolution Campaign Launched at Rio+20

In an open letter published on the eve of the G20 and Rio+20 summits, statesmen and business leaders called for a coordinated policy shift to save the world economy and the climate. Former British premier Tony Blair urged world leaders to usher in a "green industrial revolution".

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Corporate Sustainability Pledges at Rio+20 UN Forum

The United Nations Global Compact Corporate Sustainability Forum saw more than 150 tangible commitments from the business community. Business leaders pledged sustainable policies and joined a call for world leaders to usher in "a green industrial revolution" to save the planet. The 1200 CEOs made voluntary commitments to greater energy efficiency, reforestation, a lower carbon footprint and other green policies. This is all part of their policy recommendations which will be presented to heads of state at the conference. According to a UN Global Compact release, these pledges are "time-bound, measurable commitments on which corporations are required to report annually."

Mobile Gaming Promoting Sustainability and Social Responsibility at Events (White Paper)

An interactive mobile game called “Get Your Green On!” was created for use at 2011 Event Camp Vancouver—an idea-generating gathering for event professionals. The game enhanced attendee engagement and collaboration, while improving their understanding of sustainability and social responsibility issues.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Environmental Impacts of Refugees

The large scale movement of people from one place to another is a profound human tragedy but it is also profoundly environmentally destructive. Existing environmental problems are exaggerated when large numbers of people are forced to move from one place to another. The United Nations' (UN) World Refugee Day is observed on June 20 each year. According the the UN there are more than 30 million refugees and other persons of concern to UNHCR. UNHCR and other organisations try to help confine the impact of refugees with rehabilitation and clean-up operations.

Christiana Figueres on UNCCD World Day to Combat Desertification and Rio+20

Game Change Rio: An Interactive Game based on System Dynamics

Game Change Rio is a great way to understand the interconnected complexities facing our planet today. Based on a huge array of real-life data, players can explore the countless ways we can ruin our world or save the planet. Once more of us begin to understand the issues involved, we have a better chance of changing the game.

Success of #EndFossilFuelSubsidies Twitter Storm Directed at Rio+20

On Monday June 18, climate change activists used Twitter to send a message to end fossil fuel subsidies that has echoed around the world. People all over the planet understand that it's simply wrong to be spending tax dollars off to the richest industry in the world, an industry that's wrecking the atmosphere and endangering our shared future. The 24-hour "Twitter storm" garnered the support of hundreds of thousands of people and was the top ranked tweet of the day. According to the Guardian this was the top trending topic in the  US and second place globally while reported that it was the #1 story in the world. Politicians have also joined the storm, with messages streaming in from Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi in the US and former Prime Minister Helen Clark of New Zealand.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

UN Supply Chain Sustainability Tool Introduced at Rio+20

A supply chain sustainability tool was officially introduced at the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum on June 16. The tool was launched on June 12, 2012 by the UN Global Compact, in collaboration with BSR and Maplecroft. It is known as the UN Global Compact Quick Self-Assessment and Learning Tool, which is an online platform developed to help companies evaluate their approach to supply chain sustainability and identify areas for improvement. The scale, scope and severity of global economic, political, social and environmental challenges is making supply chain sustainability a topic of growing importance to business, governments and civil society; but effective and responsible supply chain management requires a coordinated response from all sectors of society.

End One Trillion Dollars of Annual Fossil Fuel Subsidies

Although governments try to hide the exact amount, an analysis by Oil Change International indicates that global oil subsidies total at least $775 billion to as much as $1 trillion or more in 2012. Rather than pay for an industry that is destroying the planet and compromising the lives of all of its inhabitants, this money could be put to better use for renewable energy, education, hunger and poverty.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum Program for June 18

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM: Accelerating Green Growth through Public-Private Partnerships

9:00 AM  -  10:30 AM:  Activities and Challenges to Promote Innovation for Sustainable Development

9:00 AM  -  12:30 PM:  Business Leadership and the Role of Cooperation in Sustainable Development

9:00 AM  -  12:30 PM:  CEOs and NGOs Views on Innovation for Sustainability

Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum Program for June 17

9:00 AM - 12:30 PM: A Changing World: Business as Unusual

9:00 AM  -  12:30 PM:  Aligning Business Practice with the Human Right to Water and Sanitation

9:00 AM  -  12:30 PM:  Anti-Corruption Risk Assessment as Basis for a Sustainable Organisation

9:00 AM  -  10:30 AM:  Business, Peace and Sustainable Development

9:00 AM  -  10:30 AM:  Children and Business: Making the Connection for Sustainability

Rio+20: Campaign to End Fossil Fuel Subsidies

As people converge in Rio for the "Earth Summit," it is time to pressure world leaders to end fossil fuel subsidies. Ending Fossil Fuel Subsidies topped the UN Rio Dialogues online vote, but the official UN text still lacks clear commitments. That stalwart friend of the environment, is partnering with Avaaz to promote a massive social media storm designed to pressure world leaders to put an end to fossil fuel subsidies.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Strategic Energy Procurement Webinar

On Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 11am PST/2pm EST Environment Leader presents a webinar on Energy.  From advanced metering, to enterprise software, to real time energy market prices ‘energy data’ is now more accessible than ever before. But many businesses and government agencies continue to struggle to actually utilize ‘energy data’ in their procurement process to gain insight and long term control over their energy costs. With the uncertainty of future energy rates and the fluctuation of end-user energy demand, businesses that can incorporate data into a strategic energy procurement plan can better forecast, plan and manage one of the top 5 business expenses – energy cost.

Introduction to PV Design and Installation and Exam Prep (Course)

Between Monday June 18th and Thursday June 21 a class on PV design will be taking place at the Atlantic Cape Community College, Mays Landing Campus East (an NABCEP approved training provider. The NABCEP PV Entry Level Exam is based on a set of learning objectives developed by NABCEP Committee of PV subject matter experts. PV design and installation concepts will be reviewed.

The Mediterranean City Conference: An Integrated Approach to Climate Change Adaptation (Event)

On June 25-27, 2012 at the Sheraton Downtown, Los Angeles an event will be taking place on Mediterranean cities and climate change. Although countries across the Mediterranean regions may have differing developmental priorities, the urban centers face similar challenges. The Mediterranean City Consortium will work to collaborate and develop integrated climate change adaptation strategies and seek to share resources, technology and information for regionally relevant responses.

Responsible Business Summit USA (Event)

Over 150 corporate executives will gather in New York on June 28 – 29 to discuss how to revamp and re-focus CSR and sustainability. This will include corporate vice-presidents from companies such as; Timberland, GAP, Life Technologies Corp, AT&T, HP, Mars Inc, ABB NAM, Fedex. They will address how to embed CSR into core business functions and gain competitive edge from sustainability at the Responsible Business Summit USA . All sessions will highlight how CSR is used to generate business value, enhance reputation and meet corporate citizenship demands.

3 Events with an Environmental Theme in London (July)

Here are three upcoming training courses taking place in London, UK, early in July 2012. The first is an introduction to carbon footprint accounting, the second is about carbon finance for renewable projects and the third is a condensed series of courses known as a "mini-MBA". These training courses are staged boy Green Power Academy.  

The 7 Graces Global Conference (7GGC Event)

The 7 Graces Global Conference (7GGC) is neither a trade show nor a training event. It is an emerging worldwide community of business owners, marketers, media professionals, journalists, eco-citizens and conscious consumers who will together create a paradigm shift away from big (and bigger) business, and towards a more holistic and sustainable model for commerce that is kinder to our health, our communities, our economy and our planet. Because we want the dialogue to be truly GLOBAL, you can attend either in person at the London event, or from anywhere in the world via Interactive Live Stream.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum

Global Compact Launches Web Platform to Mobilize Business for Rio+20

3rd Global Forum for Responsible Management Education at Rio+20 - PRME (Video)

Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum: Official Opening Ceremony (Video)

Desertification (Video)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Rio+20 Corporate Sustainabilty Forum Program for June 16

9:00 AM  -  10:30 AM: Building a New Ecosystem for Sustainable Economy
9:00 AM  -  12:30 PM: Corporate Respect and Support for Human Rights: A Key Foundation for Sustainability
9:00 AM  -  10:30 AM: Double Global Rate of Improvement in Energy Efficiency to Achieve Sustainable Energy for All
9:00 AM  -  10:30 AM: Enterprise 2020: Multi-stakeholder Planning in Ukraine
 9:00 AM  -  10:30 AM: Innovation & Collaboration for Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture
9:00 AM  -  10:30 AM: Partnering in Innovation for Sustainable Development

Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum Program for June 15

  •  9:00 AM  -  12:00 PM
    3rd PRME Global Forum: Setting the Incentives for Responsible Management Education 

    This session will review the external factors that facilitate change within the global business/management school system and the challenges of managing those change processes. Key drivers of these processes will be covered, including: accreditation and rankings; student demand; political/legislative change affecting curricula and funding at the national level. A plenary session will be followed by roundtable discussions focused on the question: What are the external incentives (e.g., accreditation, rankings of business schools), and how can they further support the values of sustainable development and responsible management education?

Rio+20 3rd PRME Global Forum

On the afternoon of June 14th, the 3rd PRME Global Forum opening session was followed by an session titled Business Capabilities for Achieving Sustainable Development. The 3rd Global Forum for Responsible Management Education is the official platform for management-related higher education institutions at both the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum and the UN Conference on Sustainable Development – Rio+20. This platform underscores the critical need for increased adoption and action to advance responsible management education and leadership.

Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum: Innovation & Collaboration for the Future We Want

The Rio+20 Forum is the most important corporate sustainability event of 2012. Preliminary events began on the 14th of June and the official start is on June 15th. The Forum will run until June 18th. The event is officially subtitled "Innovation & Collaboration for the Future We Want." This event is organized by the U.N. Global Compact and is being held in cooperation with the Rio+20 Secretariat, the UN System and the Global Compact Local Network Brazil. The week-long Forum is taking place in in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and consists of dozens of highly focused workshops and thematic sessions linked to the Rio+20 agenda.

Sustainable Supply Chain Data Book Q2

Supply Chain Executives Need data at their fingertips that will help them make smart business decisions. This free report includes opportunity-focused environmental, sustainability and energy-related supply chain data with an emphasis on competitive advantages and ROI. It also includes 20 data charts and accompanying analysis from Environmental Leader.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Keeping Up with Market Demand for Sustainable Products and Services

As reviewed in a 2012 Accenture study, executives report having difficulty keeping up with demand for sustainable products and services. There are three powerful initiatives that companies can embrace to help meet this demand. They involve design innovation, investing in understanding and reviewing supply chain capabilities.  These recommendations from Accenture Sustainability Services are intended to ensure that companies are better able to keep up with market demand for sustainable products and services. Here is a more detailed summary of the three recommendations:

Even with Premium Pricing Demand for Sustainable Products Outpaces Supply

A new survey of executives from Accenture reveals that despite concerns that consumers are reluctant to pay more for sustainable products and services, more than half are charging a price premium for these products. Although less than half (47 percent) of executives polled expressed concerns that consumers will not pay more for sustainable products and services, 60 percent admitted to charging premiums. Almost three quarters (68 percent) claimed they can charge between 5 and 20 percent premiums. 17 percent claim they can charge premiums of between twenty and fifty percent. Yet, despite charging higher prices, over one third (37 percent) of surveyed businesses say they cannot keep up with customer demand for sustainable products and services.

Study Finds Sustainability is Vital to Growth

According to new research by Accenture, the vast majority of businesses say that sustainability is vital to their future growth. More than three quarters (78%) of the 250 senior executives polled indicated that sustainability is vital to their future growth and almost half (44%) indicated that sustainability is critical. Nearly two thirds (62%) said that their sustainability initiatives were motivated by customer expectations and almost the same number (62%) said they were motivated by the opportunity to drive growth. Less than half (41%) said they were motivated by regulatory compliance and less than one third (29%) indicated they were motivated by the need to reduce energy and material costs.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Puma Wins the Guardians' Sustainable Business Award

The Guardian announced that German athletic brand Puma was the winner of its Sustainable Business Award. This award is given for corporate initiatives that tackle pressing environmental and social challenges. Puma was recognized for its ground-breaking Environmental Profit and Loss Account. The accounting method puts a direct monetary value on ecosystem services used by the business – such as fresh water, clean air, healthy biodiversity and productive land – and on the negative impacts a company has on the environment.