Friday, August 31, 2012

Obama Administration's New Vehicle Standards

New vehicle standards have been issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Obama Administration has finalized new standards of 54.5 mpg that will be implemented by 2025.These new vehicle standards in concert with previous Obama administration standards will almost double the fuel efficiency of future vehicles as compared to new vehicles currently on our roads today. The previous Obama administration standards for cars and light trucks for Model Years 2011-2016 raised average fuel efficiency to 35.5 mpg by 2016.

Mitt Romney’s Love Affair with the Fossil Fuel Industry

Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s “new” energy plan, relies on 19th century fossil fuel technology. It is but the latest incarnation of a longstanding Republican obsession with oil and gas. Romney’s energy strategy is reliant on Canada’s environmentally disastrous tar sands. He wants to expedite the Keystone XL pipeline, reduce regulations on hydraulic fracturing and ease the permitting process for offshore oil and gas. Romney wants to take regulatory power away from the federal government and give it to individual states. He wants to amend the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act and weaken the EPA’s ability to regulate pollution.While Romney is pushing for more oil and gas, his plan does not advocate either conservation or efficiency. Instead he would end subsidies for renewable sources of energy like solar and wind.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Car Sharing Programs a New More Efficient Way to Drive

Car sharing reduces the number of privately owned cars; and a proportional reduction in the number of parking spaces needed. Car sharing that relies on electric vehicles are of great environmental benefit. They have no emissions and fuel costs are typically 60-70 percent lower than comparable fossil fuel powered vehicles. Car sharing programs are an efficient way of using a car without having to buy one. These programs are particularly environmentally sustainable when they employ electric vehicles.

15 Institutions Offering 50 Green Certificate Programs

There is a large and growing number of certificate programs that are designed to meet the demand for a wide range of green skills. Unlike many other sustainability oriented degrees these certificate programs are often less time intensive. While many of these certificate programs are part of traditional academic environments like universities and colleges, others are part of online educational settings and are tailored to the schedules of working professionals. Here are 15 institutions and a broad cross section of 50 green certificate programs that they offer:

GOP VP Candidate Ryan’s Unsustainable Voting Record on Energy and the Environment

Paul Ryan is the Republican Party’s pick for VP and he is also an outspoken climate change skeptic. Representative Ryan is an unflinching supporter of the fossil fuel industry who has a very poor voting record on environmental and energy issues. Although he is touted as the intellectual leader of the GOP, Ryan has cast aspersions on climate science and he has inferred that unusual snowfalls suggest that global warming is not real.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Energy Managment Tips for IT (White Paper)

Energy Aware Planning and
Decision Making White Paper
ca.com
Proactive management of energy consumption is becoming increasingly critical. Businesses rely on IT, and IT relies on energy – often quite a bit of it in the case of corporate data centers. According to leading market research firm Freeform Dynamics Ltd* three consequences of this are:
 •  Energy consumption via the IT infrastructure is a significant cost, and therefore a potential constraint on IT-related activity when pressure to manage that cost is applied.
 •  Energy availability, i.e. being able to source enough energy to power the IT infrastructure and be confident in its supply, is fundamental to both growth and business continuity.
 •  Energy-related regulation will almost certainly have a direct or indirect impact on IT.

Historic Opportunities in the Green Economy

We have the means to reinvigorate the economy, create millions of jobs, increase energy security and open up vast new exports markets. If we are to keep carbon concentrations below 450ppm, we can anticipate clean energy investments exceeding $13 trillion over the next two decades. These investments lower energy costs and directly benefit manufacturers of cleaner cars, cleaner fuels, cleaner power and companies involved in improving industrial, power plant, and building efficiency.

While the clean energy industry offers significant growth opportunities, to capitalize on this historic opportunity we need comprehensive energy and climate legislation. Such legislation can create 1.9 million new clean energy jobs in the US by 2020. Globally the new green economy could generate 15 to 60 million additional jobs over the next two decades.

Top Ten Green Masters Degree Programs

There are a growing number of green masters programs in the US. With a global economy continuing to show signs of weakness people are flocking to educational programs that are associated with the growing green market. Forbes reports that there is already a $6 trillion clean energy business opportunity. While others suggest that there will be a $13 trillion dollar market for clean energy over the next two decades.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

GRI & Sustainability Reporting Framework in Business School Curriculum

This paper by Allison C. Lai of the Dominican University in California addresses the rising trend of environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting and makes an argument for the GRI as the leading framework in the US. It further examines why students studying sustainable business should learn the GRI framework. Finally it explores how to integrate GRI concepts into Green curriculums and who benefits from having GRI in the curriculum.

Although the paper specifically addresses GRI projects at the Dominican University of California's Green MBA, similar or identical projects can be administered at any business school or sustainability program.

EPA's 2012 Green Power Partnership: Top 20 K-12 Schools

The Top 20 K-12 Schools list represents the largest green power users among K-12 school partners within the Green Power Partnership. The combined green power use of these organizations amounts to more than 221 million kilowatt-hours of green power annually, which is the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power more than 19,000 average American homes each year.

The Green Power Partnership works with a wide variety of leading organizations — from Fortune 500® companies to local, state and federal governments, and a growing number of schools. The following Top Partner Rankings highlight the annual green power use of leading organizations within the US and across individual industry sectors.

Fossil Fuels are the Most Hated Industry in the US

Americans may not like government, but according to a new poll, they hate the oil and gas industry most of all. A new Gallup poll asked thousands of Americans how they feel about 25 of the nation's largest industries -- positive, neutral or negative. A total of 61 percent of those polled gave the fossil fuel industry a negative rating

To rank the most hated industries, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 private sector industries with the most overall negative views among the 25 industries Gallup included in its annual Work and Education survey. They also reviewed the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ASCI), which employs a multiequation econometric model to score industries on a 0-100 scale.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Teacher Resource: GoGreen the Database

Explore the ever-expanding trove of environmentally conscious teaching tools. Search for lesson plans, Web sites, and educational resources by topic, grade level, cost, or location, or add your resource. This fully searchable database enables users to explore information that is organized in a variety of ways and is an invaluable resource for teachers.

They also have some great coverage of working green schools and classroom guides.

Climate Denying Republicans Delay their Convention Due to Extreme Weather

The GOP may be dismissive of global warming but they cannot avoid the reality of extreme weather. Republicans were forced to delay their National Convention due to a hurricane that is expected to make landfall in Florida on August 27th, 2012. What makes this ironic is the fact that there is a clear link between climate change and extreme weather borne out in the research. This idea was evinced in the 2011 report, known as the "Current Extreme Weather and Climate Change" as well as many others studies (see "Related Posts" below).

Fledge: Green Conscious Company Incubator

This event will highlight seven new, green, "conscious companies." Fledge is the first conscious company incubator it ends on Sunday, September 23rd with the public presentation of its first seven "fledgling" companies. These companies have a combined potential impact reaching across billions of people around the world across a variety of means. On September 23rd, see these companies present their visions live, on stage, at the Playhouse/Intiman Theater at the Seattle Center. Tickets are free.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Life is a Highway…So be Efficient! (Event)

September 6, 2012, from 11 AM to 3 PM, the New Jersey Green Association and Ford Motor Company will introduce the public to its new electric and hybrid vehicles, the CMAX Hybrid and CMAX Plug-In Hybrid.

In addition to learning about Ford’s commitment to green technology, NJGA members and attendees will be able to experience these vehicles first hand as two of these vehicles will be available for test drive (a 100% electric vehicle and a hybrid vehicle). In addition to the test drive, the event will feature a couple of digital interactive displays.

Renewable Energy Finance Forum (Event)

Renewable Energy Finance Forum REFF-West returns to San Francisco on September 27-28 for its fifth edition. Join over 400 high-level attendees as we debate the latest trends in renewable energy financing and give you practical takeaway advice on how to move your projects forward.

The 2012 agenda has been revamped to reflect the changing state of the renewable energy industry, guaranteeing you a cutting-edge experience.

Corporate Sustainability Executive Forum 2012 (Event)

"Corporate Sustainability Executive Forum 2012, Your Company's Secret Weapon in Winning Market Share," will take place on September 23 - 26, 2012. This forum will review how sustainability officers can help to grow your company's market share. Consumers have high expectations with regard to corporate sustainability, according to the Natural Marketing Institute's 2007 LOHAS Consumer Trends Database. Nearly 80 percent of America agrees that "it is important for companies not just to be profitable, but to be mindful of their impact on the environment and society." This equates to 168 million adults who expect more than just profitability from companies.

Best Green Colleges: Sierra's Cool Schools 2012 (Video)



SIERRA magazine released its sixth annual ranking of the nation's "Coolest Schools," a salute to U.S. colleges that are helping solve climate problems and making significant efforts to operate sustainably. Watch and see what it takes to become a Cool Schools at top pick UC Davis.

Solutions for C&D Recycling (Event)

On September 23-25, the Solutions for C&D Recycling will take place at the Hilton Long Beach and Executive Meeting Center in Long Beach, California. This business event is designed to foster profitable recycling of C&D material. The C&D Recycling Forum is an event organized by Construction & Demolition Recycling in conjunction with the National Demolition Association and GBB.

The Event will Offer:

•Programming Focused on Operational Efficiency and Maximizing Recovered Material Value
•Exceptional Networking Opportunities
•Exhibit Hall filled with equipment and service suppliers.

Great Lakes Week (Events)

An unprecedented effort to restore the Great Lakes will be highlighted in Cleveland this September when hundreds of advocates, scientists, public officials and conservation leaders gather for Great Lakes Week 2012. The theme of this year’s event, on Sept. 10-13 in downtown Cleveland, is Taking Action, Delivering Results. It will focus public attention on efforts to rid the Great Lakes of toxic hotspots, reduce polluted runoff, restore fish and wildlife habitat, and prevent Asian carp and other invasive species from entering the lakes.

Great Lakes Week advances the federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the largest investment in the Great Lakes in two decades. The special week also gathers the annual meetings and conferences of various U.S. and Canadian organizations in one place, making it one of the most wide-ranging Great Lakes summits. Leaders will explore issues of importance to citizens on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Best Green Colleges: Princeton Review 2013 (Video)


Written for students or parents mystified by the confusing college admissions process, The Best 377 Colleges provides the facts and information needed to make a smart decision about which of the country's best schools to consider. Our new enhanced iBooks Author edition is designed for effortless digital reading with easy, linked navigation, colorful profiles, videos and school photos.

Butte College 2012: Grid Positive School (Video)



For the last five years, Butte College has worked toward the goal of producing more energy than it uses. Bank of America helped the college secure the financing needed to go green by installing solar.

Green School Buildings Serve our Collective Best Interest (Video)


Greener schools mean a brighter future for us all. Our schools house our most precious resource, yet many expose children to off-gasing toxins, artificial light and poor air quality. Conversely, green schools contribute to the health and well being of our children. Something as simple as more natural light can provide vitamin D which is crucial to human health. This video covers some of the many reasons why sustainable schools are good for all of us.

Friday, August 24, 2012

On-Line Sustainability Training Opportunities from the SLC

The Sustainability Learning Centre's (SLC) new e-learning Sustainability Education Series has over 50, 15 minute modules that focus on Green Core Competencies. The 50 modules range from Sustainability Planning to Green Fleet and Supply Chain Management.  Each module is 15 minutes, self-directed and complete with “tests for understanding”.  Participants can gain recognition toward sustainability learning certification.

GRI Sustainability Reporting on Anti-Corruption and GHGs: Call for Public Comment

GRI invites you to help shape sustainability reporting on anti-corruption and greenhouse gas emissions, by providing feedback on proposed new reporting guidance before 12 November 2012. The full G4 Exposure Draft is still available for public comment until 25 September 2012. You can comment on the whole draft, and on the proposed new guidance on anti-corruption and greenhouse gas emissions separately, by following a simple process:

1. Download and read the G4 Exposure Draft (click here), or anti-corruption (click here) or greenhouse gas emissions guidance (click here).

14 Environmental Compliance Case Studies (E-book)

This e-book is composed of 14 environmental compliance case studies. It helps readers to understand what environmental compliance success means and why it is important. This complementary e-book was published in 2012 by enviance. It draws on their experience working with leading companies in the US and around the world. These companies have made environmental compliance their corporate priority not only achieving regulatory goals, but most importantly saving time, money and resources.

Take a closer look at these companies and their case studies. Find out how they achieved success, improved internal communication and gained confidence in their compliance reports. You'll learn more from companies like the following:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

GRI Training from BrownFlynn

BrownFlynn is a women-owned sustainability and corporate social responsibility consulting firm. They advise organizations on how to integrate responsible practices into their strategies, communicate these practices internally and externally for bottom-line impact, and provide training to build skills and engage associates. BrownFlynn believes that training is an integral part of their service offering, building skills within your organization and in the process, educating and engaging associates in sustainability. As the first United States-based certified training partner of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), our team is dedicated to educating clients on how to utilize GRI's framework for sustainability reporting and as a management process to achieve bottom-line impact.

Top 12 Green Private Equity Firms

Green private equity is a vital funding mechanism that helps entrepreneurs secure sustainable venture capital. Green private equity firms supply venture capital to companies that are focused on sustainability. Private equity is capital that is not quoted on a public exchange. It consists of investors and funds that make investments directly into private companies or conduct buyouts of public companies that result in a delisting of public equity. Capital for private equity is raised from retail and institutional investors, and can be used to fund new technologies, expand working capital within an owned company, make acquisitions, or to strengthen a balance sheet.

Princeton Review 2013 Green Honor Roll Ranking of US Colleges

In this years Princeton Honor Roll, 21 colleges earned the highest score (99). The Princeton Review's fifth annual "Green Ratings" of colleges is a measure of how environmentally friendly the institutions are on a scale of 60 to 99. The Company tallied the rating for 806 institutions based on its institutional surveys of colleges in 2011-12 concerning their environmentally related practices, policies and academic offerings.

The "Green Rating" scores appear in the Princeton Review profiles of the colleges on www.PrincetonReview.com and in the new 2013 editions of two Princeton Review guidebooks published by Random House, Inc: "The Complete Book of Colleges" published August 7, and "The Best 377 Colleges" which went on sale August 21 in a print edition and a new enhanced eBook edition.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

EPA's Green Power Partnerships Top 20 Colleges & Universities

The Green Power Partnership works with a wide variety of leading organizations — from Fortune 500® companies to local, state and federal governments, and a growing number of colleges and universities. The following Top Partner Rankings highlight the annual green power use of leading organizations within the United States and across individual industry sectors.

Using green power helps reduce the environmental impacts of electricity use and supports the development of new renewable generation capacity nationwide. Usage amounts reflect U.S. operations only and are sourced from U.S.-based green power resources. Organizations can meet EPA Partnership requirements using any combination of three different product options: (1) Renewable Energy Certificates, (2) On-site generation, and (3) Utility green power products.

Going Beyond Compliance: Best-in-Class Environmental Performance (Webcast)

Reaching beyond EH&S regulations to enhance efficiency, improve competitiveness and reduce risks. This event was recorded on Wednesday, May 23, 2012. Register below to view the recording.

An increasing number of companies are re-evaluating their environment, health and safety (EH&S) programs. This re-assessment is leading to an expanded role for EH&S as companies look to not only ensure compliance, but also to better understand their risks and opportunities and deliver on business and sustainability objectives.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Greenest College Campuses (Infographic)

The Greenest College Campuses
Compiled By: Online Colleges Guide

Vermont Law School Online Environmen​tal Master’s Program

Vermont Law School's (VLS) offers the nation's first fully online master's degrees in environmental law and policy. VLS is the top-ranked environmental law school in the country. Vermont Law School has been ranked #1 in environmental law by U.S. News & World Report 15 times since the ranking began. They launched their online environmental law degree on May 16, 2011.

The degree is called "Master of Environmental Law and Policy" (MELP), VLS also offers online LLM in Environmental Law for post-JD attorneys. The programs currently have nearly 100 students, mostly from the US, with a few from other countries.

Led by Quebec Canadians Believe that Climate Change is Real

Of all Canadian provinces, Quebec is most likely to accept the reality of climate change, while people in the Prairies are the most resistant. According to IPAC-CO2 Research Inc., only two per cent of Canadians believe that climate change is not occurring. However, when it comes to the cause of climate change or what to do about it, Canadians are woefully ignorant. While most Canadians believe that Climate Change is real (54%), the majority still do not attribute it to human activity. When asked about anthropogenic climate change the East is better informed than the West. When asked whether they believed climate change is a man made phenomenon, twice as many people from the East agreed with the statement.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Green Education Services

Green Education Services is an approved EPA Trainer and USGBC Education Provider providing industry professionals world-class LEED Training, BPI Certification, & EPA Lead Certification seminars and workshops. They offer training to help people become experts in green building and design, through the LEED exam prep and continuing education. They also offer certification in lead renovator safety and energy audits.

America's Greenest Schools from Sierra

Each year Sierra provides complete comprehensive green rankings on America's institutions of higher learning. Here are their top 10 which they call "America's Coolest Schools."

10. Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina

ASU has America's longest-running program (it's existed since 1984) for the study of "appropriate technology"—eco-positive advances on a small, local scale. Students get hands-on lessons in alternative power, low-impact transportation, and organic agriculture. Above, participants in a geography class launch a weather balloon to gather data for snowfall-prediction research.

The Largest Recycling Operation in the World

Republic Services, Inc. has announced that it is constructing the largest and most extensive multi-stream material processing system in the world. The plant was previewed by media and community VIP’s on Thursday, August 9th 2012.

The facility is located at Newby Island Resource Recovery Park 1601 Dixon Landing Road, Milpitas, California.

Republic's world leading recycling operation can process up to 110 tons per hour of multiple waste streams. This facility sets a new standard for the recycling industry. The facility will process all of the commercial waste generated by businesses in San Jose.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

PennFuture 2012 Clean Energy Conference (Event)

On September 13-14, 2012 the PennFuture 2012 Clean Energy Conference will take place at the DoubleTree Hotel (Broad and Locust Streets) in Philadelphia, Pa. The event will focus on making the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions America's Clean Energy Hub. What does that mean?

We are talking about leveraging the significant market opportunities on the horizon for renewables and efficiency in the region. These opportunities will be driven in part by existing state laws including portfolio standards and efficiency requirements that will be ramping up in the near future. These expanding markets will make the region, a hub of activity for project and business development, positioning us as a national leader in clean energy growth.

IUCN World Conservation Congress (Event)

The IUCN World Conservation Congress will take place on September 6th to 15th 2012, in Jeju, Korea. This event is the world’s largest and most important conservation event. Held every four years, it aims to improve how we manage our natural environment for human, social and economic development.

The 2012 World Conservation Congress will be held from 6 to 15 September 2012 in Jeju, Republic of Korea. Leaders from government, the public sector, non-governmental organizations, business, UN agencies and social organizations will discuss, debate and decide solutions for the world’s most pressing environment and development issues.

Solar Power International 2012 (Event)

Solar Power International (SPI' 12) will be held on September 10th to 13th 2012 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando Florida. SPI '12 will host 21,000 professionals from solar energy and related fields for the industry's largest, most comprehensive solar energy event in North America. If your success is connected to the solar energy industry, you need to be in Orlando this September.  Network with manufacturers, distributors, installers and contractors, engineering firms, architects, builders and developers, investors and financiers. Meet face to face top suppliers and manufacturers. Compare new solutions, side by side—you’ll find product categories together on the exhibit floor. Check out your competition and spot new trends. Build up your knowledge base in the most extensive B2B conference program in the industry. Stay on top of policy developments that could affect your business—and talk to the policy makers themselves.

World Student Environmental Summit 2012 (Event)

The fifth edition of the World Student Environmental Summit (WSES) will be held in Lausanne Switzerland and runs from September 5 to 8, 2012. The 2012 summit is organized around the theme "Let's change!" It is obvious nowadays that without a radical change in the behavior of mankind, the environment - and by way of consequence, mankind itself - will undergo irreversible damage.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Bill McKibben on The Fight of Our Time (Video)



Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, global thinker and leader, and author of several books; including The End of Nature, and Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, shares this call to action for what could not only be the biggest fight of our time, but of all time. The fossil fuel industry is quickly destroying the planet, and making the fight to protect our future increasingly challenging as industry lobbying, and unabated growth continues. We all need to come together and rally behind leaders like Bill McKibben, 350.org, and countless others, to save this planet. How? With passion, spirit, and creativity, and as Bill says, sometimes putting our bodies on the line. Will you join the fight?

Using Sustainability to Enrich Your Curriculum (Video)



In this video, Angela Halfacre of Furman University discusses the importance of using sustainability to enrich a school's curriculum.

Sustainability in the Curriculum as a Commitment Focal Point (Video)



The Curriculum as a Commitment Focal Point (ACUPCC) as described by Furman University President Emeritus David Shi was started by the faculty and administration and then tricked down to the students.

Higher Education Leading the Way Towards Sustainability (Video)



As stated by Unity College President Mitch Thomashow, "We're in a very exciting time in thinking about conservation and sustainability.[...] Higher education has to lead the way, and college presidents need to step up and demonstrate that they're willing to make this commitment."

Second Nature | Education for Sustainability (Video)



Second Nature, a national non-profit based in Boston, works to create a healthy, just, and sustainable society by transforming higher education. Second Nature envisions a world in which all current and future humans are healthy, live in socially vibrant communities, and are personally and economically secure within a flourishing and sustainable life support system.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Billion Dollar Green Challenge Financing Initiative

The Billion Dollar Green Challenge is designed to support new energy efficiency financing. The goal is to encourage colleges, universities and other nonprofits to invest a total of $1 billion in self-managed “green revolving funds.” This funding will be used to finance energy efficiency upgrades they are also intended to be a great investment. According to Greening The Bottom Line the median annual return on investment is 32 percent (a portion of the returns from these projects are reinvested in the fund and used for future green projects).

AASHE Campus Sustainability Data Collector and the STARS Reporting Tool

Earlier in 2012, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) launched a portal for colleges and universities to report their data. AASHE launched its Campus Sustainability Data Collector to collect information for The Princeton Review Green Rating, Sierra magazine’s Cool Schools issue, and the Sustainable Endowment Institute’s College Sustainability Report Card. The information uploaded to the data collector will not be available to the public The tool is essentially a simplified version of AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). The data collector also includes some data points which the ranking organizations are interested in but that are not included in STARS.

National Wildlife Federation's Campus Case Studies

Each year National Wildlife Federation's (NWF) Campus Ecology program publishes case studies contributed by its members and partners showcasing their campus sustainability practices and global warming solutions for the past school year (2011-2012).  NWF will release these illustrated reports in Fall 2012 in their online searchable case study database (see bottom of page for links).

This year is the 23rd Annual call for submissions from NWF which invites students to submit a case studies on their campus sustainability efforts and green jobs training programs. The August 31, 2012 deadline is rapidly approaching but it is not too late to submit your entry now.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Academic Superiority of Green Schools

Green schools may be more conductive to academic success than traditional schools. As reviewed in a 2012 press release, the University of Colorado Denver (UCD) there is a positive correlation between green schools and academic success.

The research was funded by the GSNN and UCD. The research consisted of a survey sent to more than 350 primary and secondary schools that identified themselves as green. Schools that took part in the survey observe GreenPrint core practices as defined by the Green Schools National Network (GSNN).

There was a positive correlation between academic success and the following 5 GreenPrint core principles:

The UK's University of Bradford Wins Recognition for Sustainable Building

Despite stiff competition, the UK's University of Bradford has won recognition for its sustainable building programme. Although there were many excellent projects entered into the competition, the University won the 'Carbon Champion of the Year,' award for 2012. The award is given out by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).

Because green buildings educate while at the same time reducing their environmental impact, schools are the perfect place to lead the green building revolution.

Merkel and Harper: Two Opposing Visions of the Future

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's official state visit with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper highlights the stark contrast between the two heads of state. The have vastly different views on the environment and are leading their respective countries in diametrically opposed energy directions. Germany is a country that has invested heavily in renewable sources of energy while the Canadian government under Conservative leader Stephen Harper, has gutted environmental funding and invested in the tar sands, arguably the world's dirtiest oil project.

Merkel has been a champion of GHG reduction since the mid-1990s, when she was Germany's environment minister. At that time she brought together world leaders to try to limit GHGs. She was instrumental in getting everyone on board the Berlin Mandate of 1995, an agreement that eventually lead to the signing of the Kyoto Protocol two years later.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The University of Vermont's Advanced Certificates in Sustainability

The University of Vermont is now offering sustainability training that is designed to lead your organization to sustainability and profitability. The University of Vermont online sustainability certificate programs provide a flexible and convenient way for today’s organizations and busy professionals to learn the latest in sustainable operations models and maximize their current sustainability skills.

Sustainable Development is a High Priority for the UN

Earlier this year the UN High-Level Panel Global Sustainability released its report in Addis Ababa. The 99-page report is titled “Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing.” This document was created for the Rio+20 Summit, it offers cogent analysis and ways of moving sustainable development forward. The long-term vision of the Panel is to eradicate poverty, reduce inequality and make growth inclusive, and production and consumption more sustainable, while combating climate change and respecting a range of other planetary boundaries. The report makes a range of recommendations to realize the Panel’s vision for a sustainable planet, a just society and a growing economy.

Romney's Coal Fired Campaign Versus Obama's Wind Power

The election of 2012 offers the stark contrast between fossil fuels like coal and clean renewable energy. Obama Supports wind power while Romney supports energy derived from coal. Each candidate offers a different conception of America's energy future. Romney wants to see even more fossil fuel being burned while Obama wants to grow renewable sources of energy like windthat have no emissions.

The President derided Romney's stance on wind power while Romney said Obama is waging a "war on coal." The Obama administration through the EPA has enacted regulations on new power plants that make it harder to build new highly polluting coal-fired plants.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Education for Sustainable Development Toolkit

The Education for Sustainable Development Toolkit is based on the idea that communities and educational systems within communities need to dovetail their sustainability efforts. As communities develop sustainability goals, local educational systems and programs can modify existing curricula or create new programs to reinforce those goals.

The ESD Toolkit has proven to be effective for many audiences including national and provincial ministries, non-profit organizations, universities and colleges, teacher educators, school administrators, teachers, municipalities, and government officials. Although the ESD Toolkit w a s written for a North American audience, it has proven useful in countries and communities around the world.

Responsible Procurement Strategy (e-book)

A lot of companies do not know what they want to gain by investing in a Responsible Procurement Program. They are simply missing the strategic scope. In addition to pilot projects and a risk based approach to responsible procurement management companies need to ask what they can gain by investing in a Responsible Procurement approach. This complimentary e-book provides some key questions that must be answered to develop a strategic approach to responsible procurement management.

Having a plan improves the chances of reaching the target. Responsible Procurement is moving from "compliance" to "performance". From a consumer point of view much it is important to initiate actions which drive actual change. The brand has to have a stand. And the supply chain plays a vital role in creating the architecture behind.

The Dramatic Implications of Melting Arctic Sea Ice

New data suggests that Arctic sea ice is melting much faster than expected. The reduction of sea ice could further warm ocean temperatures and exacerbate greenhouse gas induced global warming which would cause ocean levels to rise. The data suggests that global warming and rising greenhouse gases could be contributing factors.

As reported by the CBC, Arctic sea ice could be completely gone by 2022.According to the European Space Agency the ice is melting 50 percent faster than previously expected, so fast in fact that there may be no Arctic ice might completely melt during the summers in 10 years. This finding comes from an analysis of the data from the CryoSat-2 probe that studies the thickness of Arctic ice. According to this satellite, 900 cubic kilometers of ice have disappeared every year since 2004. In 2004 there was approximately 13,000 cubic km of sea ice at the end of summer, in 2011 that number had shrunk to 7,000 cubic kilometers of ice.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Antioch University's Masters Degree in Urban Sustainability

In response to the challenges of global environmental, social, and economic inequality, Antioch University Los Angeles has created a revolutionary new M.A. program to train the next generation of urban problem-solvers. The Urban Sustainability program prepares students for leadership positions in public policy, corporate accountability, social justice organizing, and ecological practice.