Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Newsweek's Greenest Retailers in the US (2012)

Each year Newsweek compiles lists of all things green. This list of retail stores operate sustainable businesses and disclose the details of their operations and environmental impact. To compile the list of the greenest retailers they compared the largest companies according to their environmental footprint, management (policies, initiatives, controversies), and transparency. To generate ratings and compile these lists they partnered with Trucost and Sustainalytics, two leading research companies. The methodology was developed in consultation with an advisory panel of experts in corporate sustainability. Here is Newsweek's list of the top 15 retailers and their corresponding scores:

Newsweek's Greenest Tech Companies in the US (2012)

Each year Newsweek compiles lists of all things green. This is their fourth annual look at the most environmentally-friendly companies. For this list they compared America’s largest tech companies according to their environmental footprint, management (policies, initiatives, controversies), and transparency. To generate ratings and compile these lists they partnered with Trucost and Sustainalytics, two leading research companies. The methodology was developed in consultation with an advisory panel of experts in corporate sustainability. Here is Newsweek's list of the top 15 American tech companies and their corresponding scores:

Newsweek's Green Rankings Winners Reputation and Reality (2012)

In addition to Newsweek's rankings of all things green, they have included a new measure which factors consumer perception. Corporate brands are increasingly competing to be perceived as eco-friendly to vie for consumer attention and brand allegiance. This list of winners highlights the brands with high marks for both reputation and practices. Companies that landed on this list were among the top 25 percent in both the Newsweek Green Rankings and the Green Brands survey. Here is Newsweek's list of the top 15 companies that have done well in terms of both their reputation and their practices:

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Newsweek's Greenest Companies in the US (2012)

Each year Newsweek compiles lists of all things green. This is their fourth annual look at the most environmentally-friendly companies. They compared America’s largest companies according to their environmental footprint, management (policies, initiatives, controversies), and transparency. To generate ratings and compile these lists they partnered with Trucost and Sustainalytics, two leading research companies. The methodology was developed in consultation with an advisory panel of experts in corporate sustainability. Here is Newsweek's list of the top 15 American companies and their corresponding scores:

Newsweek's Greenest Companies in the World (2012)

Each year Newsweek compiles lists of all things green. This is their fourth annual look at the world's most environmentally-friendly companies. They compared the world’s largest companies according to their environmental footprint, management (policies, initiatives, controversies), and transparency. To generate ratings and compile these lists they partnered with Trucost and Sustainalytics, two leading research companies. The methodology was developed in consultation with an advisory panel of experts in corporate sustainability. Here is Newsweek's list of the top 15 companies in the world and their corresponding scores:

International Green Awards 2012 Short Lists Announced

The short list for the International Green Awards was announced on October 15th. “This year, the awards introduced a revolutionary new entry format in the bid to find organizations that have embedded sustainability across their processes. Organizations were evaluated on sustainability vision, level of innovation and advocacy against 8 sustainability indicators ranging from energy and carbon, through to supply chain and resources. Additionally, the awards have also partnered with WWF-UK to find one true ‘Green Game-Changer’ across products, services and business models.”

Monday, October 29, 2012

WWF Canada's Goal of 600,000 EVs by 2020

WWF-Canada has launched an initiative designed to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). Their campaign is called Transportation rEVolution, this program aimed at reducing Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation by encouraging the use of electric vehicles (EVs). To achieve this objective, WWF aims to have 600,000 electric vehicles in Canada by 2020.

According to a recent Environics study commissioned by WWF-Canada, almost three quarters (73 percent) of Canadians support government actions to promote electric cars, however, many do not understand the environmental value of driving EVs.

Hurricane Sandy Shows Us What Climate Change Looks Like

While climate change may not have been a high profile issue in the 2012 Presidential elections, the super-storm known as Hurricane Sandy will not let American voters forget the dire implications of a world ravaged by climate change. Even before hurricane Sandy strikes the US, it had already killed 65 people in the Caribbean. Sandy is almost one thousand miles across (1600 kilometers) and it will affect people from the East Coast to the Great Lakes. The mega-storm threatens 50 million people, many of which are expected to be left without electricity for days. In addition to the wind and rain, snow is anticipated to follow the initial onslaught. In places like the mountains of West Virginia weather forecasters are calling for as much as 3 feet of snow. A total of 7,000 flights in and out of the East have also been canceled due to the storm.

Taking Stock of President Obama's Environmental Efforts

On Tuesday September 4, 2012, Democrats opened their national convention by defending President Obama’s record and asking Americans to be patient. In their first four years in office, the Obama administration’s green efforts have been resisted by unprecedented Republican obstructionism and an electorate misinformed about the science of climate change. Others have criticized Obama for not doing enough to move the green agenda forward.

Despite a highly polarized political landscape, Obama has accomplished a great deal on energy and the environment. President Obama has worked to advance green jobs, electric vehicles, conservation, clean energy and efficiency.

Infrastructure Summit 2012: New Policy Technology and Finance (Event)

The Infrastructure Summit will take place on November 6th 2012 in London, UK and will once again bring together 150 leading policy-makers, business, academics and experts from transport, energy and digital communications. The event will explore new approaches to infrastructure and takes a strategic view of infrastructure opportunities in Europe and the UK.

As Europe's economy stagnates, infrastructure development offers one of the critical devices to generate growth. Yet we need new ideas. Traditional approaches are simply not working. We need to rethink our policies, embrace new opportunities offered by technology and rethink how we finance these.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Wind LATAM- Brazil (Event)

Windpower Monthly is pleased to announce the launch of Wind LATAM- Brazil, to be held on 26 -27– 28 November 2012 in São Paulo, Brazil. The programme for the event has been researched with over 40 wind energy experts to ensure we tackle the biggest challenges and will provide insights into hot-button issues that the wind energy industry faces in Brazil and other hot markets in the region.

This event will provide an excellent platform to enhance your business opportunities, where you can meet with Government representatives, local and international developers, leading manufacturers, funding institutions, independent service providers, associations, and other key players in the wind industry.

Wind Farm Construction & Operations Procurement Seminar (Event)

The Wind Farm Construction and Operations Procurement Seminar will take place on November 29, 2012, at Wolverton House, in London, UK. Attendees will gain an in-depth understanding of the procurement and contracting process for wind farm projects.

Getting the procurement and contracting process right first time is all important; making a mistake can be very costly in terms of time and money. This seminar is designed to develop your knowledge of construction procurement and operational procurement and the day is split into focusing on these two distinct areas.

Green Energy Business Seminar & Trade Show: Sustainable Growth for Northern Virginia (Event)

A Green Energy Business Seminar with be taking place on November 1, 2012, from 8:00 AM to 11:30 AM at the Mason Inn Conference Center in Virginia. The strategic seminar is subtitled "Sustainable Growth for Northern Virginia." The event is being conducted by Relerience, a green energy consulting company.

The Seminar will address the development of green business plans and offer strategic guidance in eight key areas.

The International Sustainable Energy Summit (Event)

The International Sustainable Energy Summit (ISES) will take place on November 7 & 8 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. SEDA Malaysia is organising its inaugural ISES event at the Putrajaya Marriott Hotel.

Recognizing the increasingly prominent role that RE and EE play in the world, ISES 2012 aims to share good practices and help identify means of providing necessary know-how, technology and financing for transformation towards energy independence and sustainable development. ISES 2012 also provides a platform and opportunity for RE and EE industry professionals in Malaysia and the world to meet, discuss and get latest updates and related issues on sustainable energy in Malaysia.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Obama Addresses Solutions to Climate Change Long Before Becoming President (Video)



Although President Obama addressed the topic of climate change in a recent MTV interview, he has taken a lot of heat from environmentalists for his failure to address the issue in the 2012 presidential debates. However, Obama has been a stalwart supporter of the environment for years, long before becoming President. As revealed in this video, when Obama was a Senator he boldly advocated for action on climate change. These statements were well ahead of the vast majority of his peers and the American public. While some are concerned that the President has abandoned his stance on climate change, it is more likely that he is playing it smart in a highly partisan and contentious election cycle, where many Americans have succumbed to misinformation.

US Presidential Elections 2012: President Obama Addresses Climate Change (Video)



Environmentalists who were bitterly disappointed that climate change was not on the radar in the 2012 presidential elections will be pleased to note that President Obama has finally broached the topic. On October 26, President Obama addressed the topic in an interview by MTV. In fairness, Obama had previously mentioned green energy and green jobs in the first debate. In the same debate Republican nominee Mitt Romney lied about the success of green jobs to undermine the President's record. However, none of the debates made any mention of climate change.

Why President Obama was Unable to do More on the Environment (Video)



Although President Obama has done more to reduce America's climate change impacts than any president in US history, many wish he would have done far more. Anyone who wants to know why the US has not made more progress advancing efforts to address climate change need only take a look at this video. As seen in this clip President Obama is laughed at during his state of the union address after referring to the "overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change". Further progress on the environment is attributable to the astounding failure of many in Congress to accept the facts about climate change.

President Obama Addresses Climate Change at the UN (Video)



"The threat from climate change is serious it is urgent and it is growing. our generations response to this challenge will be judged by history. For if we fail to meet it boldly and swiftly and together we risk consigning future generations to an irreversible catastrophe....The time we have to reverse this is running out, and yet we can reverse it."

President Obama Spells out his Climate Change Agenda Before Taking Office (Video)



At the 2009 conference of US governors, then President-elect Obama made the case for addressing climate change. Although he promised to open a new chapter on climate change, the President was soon confronted by obstructionism from Republicans and resistance from some Democrats.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Environmental Comportment Impacts Stock Valuations

According to a Deloitte report, information about a company's environmental conduct directly impacts its market value. The report from is titled, “Drivers of Long-Term Business Value: Stakeholders, Stats and Strategy.” The research drew on an MIT study of US publicly traded companies from 1980 to 2009. The 30 years of data reviewed in the study showed that stock prices dropped an average of 0.65 percent within a two-day window following the release of negative environmental news.

The risks from bad news appear to be greater than the benefits of good news. As reviewed in the study, investors tended to react more strongly to negative environmental news with the effect getting stronger with each passing decade. While positive news on a company’s environmental behavior produced an average increase of 0.84 percent in the stock price, the study shows that the increased valuations have decreased over time.

Communications Disconnect Revealed by the Sustainability Leadership Report

Although companies are adopting sustainability in record numbers, there can sometimes be a disconnect between these efforts and the perception of the general public. When corporate sustainability was first introduced it was a low priority issue that focused mostly on reporting, however it is now influencing core strategies and transforming businesses around the world. Companies recognize that a proactive stance on sustainability is becoming a competitive necessity in attracting investors, employment talent and supply chain partners, as well as customers. Because of this, those responsible for creating and maintaining brand relevance need to pay close attention to their company’s sustainability practices. However, engaging is sustainability is only part of a successful strategy, corporate communicators must reconcile operational practices and brand communications.

Project Management of Corporate Sustainability; Implementation Perspectives (White paper)

Whilst there is general agreement that CSR is founded on the three broad aspects of Social (People), Economic (Profit) and Environmental (Planet), the often referenced “Triple Bottom Line”, each of those aspects must be contextualized within the frame of reference of the particular organization or domain it is applied to. Consequently, the actual implementation of corporate sustainability with appropriate tools and processes is as varied (and underutilized) as the domains to which it is applied.

The aim of this paper is to examine the fundamental requirements that such tools and processes need to address and establish a set of implementation perspectives common to the majority of domains, setting a foundation for a framework that may be used across multiple domains and within organizations for multiple project types.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Small Businesses Need to Embrace Sustainability Too

It is often assumed that sustainability is only for big corporations, however, smaller companies also need to be looking at ways of going green. Big corporations are adopting sustainability in unprecedented numbers, and CFOs are increasingly seeing the benefits. While sustainability is an increasingly necessary component of business success, it is a double edged sword that implies both opportunities and threats. These potential threats make some small business owners reluctant, however, the reality of the emerging marketplace demands a long term sustainability strategy. Costs are the primary obstacle impeding the widespread adoption of sustainability by small businesses, but in most cases the savings far outweigh any capital outlay. Whether large or small, almost all businesses can benefit from adopting a long term sustainability strategy.

The Business Community is Moving Forward with Sustainability

The business community is moving forward with sustainability despite the weak economy. According to the findings of the fourth annual “BSR/GlobeScan State of Sustainable Business Poll 2012,”the global business community has made progress on 14 key sustainability challenges over the past 20 years. For the second year in a row, 62 percent of respondents identified the integration of sustainability into core business operations as the most important leadership challenge for business today.

The poll surveyed more than 500 business leaders from BSR’s global network of nearly 300 member companies. The survey asked executives to evaluate the past and likely future progress on 14 key sustainability challenges.

CFOs are Embracing Sustainability and Seeing Benefits

CFOs are embracing sustainability and getting results from doing so. As reported by Greenbiz, a global survey from Deloitte demonstrates that a growing number of chief financial officers (CFOs) are driving sustainability strategies. The survey, conducted by Verdantix, indicates that CFOs are realizing the key role sustainability plays in financial and business success.

Drawn from the responses of 250 CFOs in 14 countries including the United States, Brazil and South Africa, Deloitte found that two-thirds of CFOs are involved in their company’s sustainability strategies. More than half of those surveyed say their involvement has grown in the past year.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The 8 C's of Sustainability Branding by Marc Stoiber

In 2010, Marc Stoiber, creative director, writer, innovator and green brand specialist wrote a piece called the 5C’s of Sustainability Branding. In 2012 he has added some new C's. Here is his original 5C’s, followed by his new C's for 2012.

The 5C’s of Sustainability

1. Consumer-Facing - Not sure what to do first? Look at what the consumer is looking at. There are plenty of ways to improve corporate sustainability, but consumer-facing changes will have the most immediate impact on your brand’s public perception. Think of Method’s Omop, with its compostable / recyclable bamboo and paper packaging – it stands out like a beacon at shelf, where consumers can really notice the difference.

Governments and Sustainability

Difficult economic times have not arrested the growth of sustainability. Despite recent economic difficulties, states and localities have increased the number of sustainability directors as well as the number of new technologies deployed to monitor energy consumption. According to a Government Technology survey of senior policymakers and managers, more than half of the respondents said their jurisdictions have appointed someone to lead sustainability efforts.

Twenty percent of respondents said they have created dashboards and metrics to monitor energy consumption in government buildings, and another 16 percent said they are considering such deployments.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Free Energy 101 Webinar: Calculating Savings (M&V) for Energy Efficiency Projects

On Thursday, October 25, 2012 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM EDT, a webinar titled Free Energy 1: Calculating Savings for Energy Efficiency Projects. Need to calculate the actual energy savings from efficiency projects? Want to determine if the realized savings met or exceeded your project savings estimates? If so, this one-hour free webinar is for you. During the webinar, Noesis energy experts will discuss industry standards for assessing energy savings and demonstrate how to perform project measurement and verification (often referred to as M&V).

Specifically, the webinar will provide an in-depth look at IPMVP's Option C (Whole Building) for calculating project savings using meter or invoice data. During the webinar they will walk through a real life example and use the free Noesis energy management website to automatically determine the savings from a past retrofit. In addition, there will be a Q&A.

Regeneration Project: 20 Sustainable Development Pioneers Discuss the Life of Ray Anderson

We live in an era where annual corporate revenues often surpass the GDP of entire countries. With business influence mushrooming, sustainability Pioneers who once saw business as an adversary now want more involvement from corporate actors. Many believe that the best businesses should participate in societal dialogue, push regulatory frameworks and bring the laggards along.

See videos interviewing 20 sustainable development Pioneers from business, government and civil society on the late Ray Anderson. These Pioneers, notable for their long term commitment to sustainable development, generously shared their experiences and insights in a video series called the Ray Anderson Memorial Interviews.

National Governments Seen to be Lacking Political Will on Sustainable Development

There is a profound lack of confidence in national governments to act on climate change, these same governments are perceived to be lacking the political will to act. When experts were asked to rate a wide range of different groups on sustainable development, National governments received the worst rating. More than three quarters of sustainability experts surveyed said they think it will take an apocalyptic event to move governments forward.

According to 2012 survey released by GlobeScan and SustainAbility, more than 76 percent of sustainability experts think a major catastrophe will have to occur for national governments to take action on sustainable development. The survey was conducted by GlobeScan and SustainAbility who interviewed 1,603 sustainability experts in 117 countries.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Visionary Women: The Profiles of Two Important Environmentalists

Angella Nazarian's new book, Pioneers of the Possible: Celebrating Visionary Women, includes profiles of two important environmentalists. Marina Silva, who ran for president of Brazil last year and is referred to as the Al Gore of Brazil. She's been working tirelessly to save the Amazon and was at the forefront of passing legislation for the environment. Illiterate and living in the Amazon jungle as a rubber tapper until age 16, she is also the winner of the prestigious Goldman prize.

Wangari Matthai of Kenya, the first environmentalist to win a Noble Prize. She founded the Green Belt Movement that has led to more than 13 million trees being planted in Africa. Her movement has spread to other African countries.

Environmental Collaboration Transforming Government

Environmental issues are forcing governments to collaborate both internally and externally. Management of the vast number of interconnected environmental concerns demands that government collaborates both between various departments and with other governments. Focusing on collaboration between and within various agencies is a matter of efficient governance. Clearly environmental issues do not respect national boundaries. To get serious about containing climate change we must manage intra-governmental conflicts as well as transnational issues.

Sustainability Supported by Government Leadership

Tough economic times over the past few years didn’t stop states and localities from appointing sustainability directors and deploying new technology to monitor energy consumption, according to a new survey of senior policymakers and managers.

More than half of the respondents to a recent [2012] Government Technology survey said their jurisdictions have appointed someone to lead sustainability efforts. Twenty percent of respondents said they have created dashboards and metrics to monitor energy consumption in government buildings, and another 16 percent said they are considering such deployments.

The results are based on responses from 113 members of the Governing Exchange, an online community of government executives. The new survey findings track with an analysis of 2012 State of the State addresses released April 11 by the National Governor’s Association. More than 20 governors talked about energy priorities, according to the NGA, and nearly 20 mentioned environmental goals.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Regional Conference on Sustainable Data Centre (Event)

The Regional Conference on Sustainable Data Centre will take place on November 28, 2012 and November 29, 2012 5:00 pm, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Data centres are evolving rapidly in response to the rapid growth in the digital world. In order to reduce costs and increase flexibility, organisations are merging data centres and adopting innovative green technology strategies, ranging from virtualisation to new application in IT architectures and cloud computing.

SUSTAINABLE INNOVATION 2012 (Event)

Sustainable Innovation 12 is subtitled, Resource Efficiency, Innovation and Lifestyles. It is part of the ‘Towards Sustainable Product Design’ series of conferences The 17th International Conference will take place on 29th-30th October 2012 at Alanus University in BonnGermany. The event is being organized by the Centre for Sustainable Design with CSCP serving as the event s strategic partner. Venue partners include Alanus University (English) and Alanus University (German). Other partners for the event include Wuppertal Instititute, Borderstep Institute, Eco-innovation Observatory and World Resources Forum.

International Green Awards – Gala Ceremony and Dinner (Event)

International Green Awards – Gala Ceremony and Dinner will take place on November 20, 2012 6:30 pm - 11:30 pm, at Battersea Power Station in London, UK. The International Green Awards is a global platform for sustainability intelligence, innovation and leadership. This year, the awards are recognising the ‘most sustainable’ organisations across the globe, as exhibited by eight indicators of any holistic sustainability strategy.

The awards launched in 2006 to critical acclaim with the objective of recognising the best-in-class examples of sustainability communications and have gone from strength-to-strength since then. In 2009, the Awards introduced an ‘International’ category, encouraging applications from the world over. The response to this category was overwhelming and thus, in 2010, the Awards opened all categories to global participation and culminated with an international Grand Prix winner – China Environmental Protection Foundation in association with DDB-China.

Green Market Exposition (Event)

Over 50 businesses, organizations, sustainability experts and leaders will gather in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Thursday, October 25th, from 9:00am – 4:00pm, at City Hall Annex for the 4th Annual Green Market Exposition. Innovative solutions to urban challenges that will revitalize our economy, and strengthen our communities will be the topics presented and discussed by key leaders. Sustainability experts, national organizations and community members are invited to the Green Market Exposition for panels, exhibits, networking, and problem solving.

Brooklyn Weatherization Day (Event)

On October 30th, 2012, HCR Commissioner Darryl Towns to speak in Brooklyn on Weatherization Day. The event is sponsored by Community Environmental Center (CEC) and will be held in Brooklyn’s McCarren Park. The CEC EcoHouse will also be featured, it is a mobile environmental exhibit that resembles a house-on-wheels. The event will begin at 1:00 PM with a tour of the EcoHouse and a weatherization demonstration. The Commissioner is scheduled to speak at 1:30 PM.

Weatherization Day was conceived as a means to focus local, state, and national attention on the Program and the work being performed by dedicated members of the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) network. Capitalizing on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) declaration of October as Energy Awareness Month, Weatherization Programs across the country band together to make a strategic push to raise the public’s awareness of the work we do every day.

“It is vitally important to maintain a high level of funding for the federal Weatherization Assistance Program,” Richard Cherry, CEC’s president said. “Unfortunately, the Continuing Appropriations Resolution cuts federal funding for weatherization to way below pre-Stimulus levels. How can we help families who cannot afford energy efficiency home improvements on their own? How can we help them save money and live healthily? Weatherization Assistance is a great American program – it helps Americans live safely, creates American jobs and puts money back into the American economy. It should be as strong as possible.”

Saturday, October 20, 2012

GE Ecomagination VP Mark Vachon on Climate Change and Energy Solutions (Video)

Here are some comments by GE's Ecomagination VP, Mark Vachon made at the Investor Summit on Climate Risk and Energy Solutions. He emphasizes the importance of sustainability, not only as a competitive advantage but as a matter of corporate relevance.

GE's Ecomagination Program (Video)


This video addresses GE's innovative ecomagination program. Through this initiative GE is developing innovation and technology for alternative energy and eco-friendly solutions such as electric car technology, clean coal, biofuels, and wind power. GE believes ecomagination is more relevant today than ever. Find out why in this video presented by Steve Fludder, the former vice president of GE's ecomagination, and Mark Little, director of GE Global Research.

GE's Mark Vachon Says Greentech Opportunities are in the Developing World Not in the US
GE is Helping Nestle to Save Millions of Gallons of Water
GE's Investments in Green are Paying Off
Video: GE Creating Jobs with Fuel Efficient Airplanes
GE's Immelt Calls Current US Energy Policy "Stupid"
GE is one of the Top Climate Innovators
Cleantech Partnerships
Best Green and Sustainable Business Twitter Feeds
Growing US Corporate Investment is Powering Sustainability
Video: Ecomagination Winniner Solar Roadways
The World's Greenest Companies
Green Public Relations
US Cap-and-Trade: Obstacles and Solutions
US Cap-and-Trade: Positioning

Friday, October 19, 2012

Students Advocating Divestment from Fossil Fuels

American higher education endowments represent $400 billion worth of investments and there is a movement afoot to divest these funds from fossil fuels. The EPA, the IPCC, and many others have stated that fossil fuels are the primary driver of climate change. However, rather than moving away from fossil fuels, the US is intensifying its exploration efforts. Right now ExxonMobil spends $100 million a day trying to find more hydrocarbons. For companies like ExxonMobile who are stalwart supporters of dirty energy, divestment is a powerful instrument to induce change.

In finance and economics, a divestment is the reduction of an asset (the opposite of an investment). Historically, a good example of ethical divestment was the withdrawal of support from companies doing business with the apartheid regime in South Africa.

Fossil Fuels and Staying Within the 2 Degree Limit

The UK−based Carbon Tracker Initiative estimates that oil, coal and gas companies have five times as much carbon in their reserves as is safe to burn. If burned, our planet would heat up at by at least 5 to 6 degrees Celsius, well beyond the 2 degrees Celsius limit agreed to by the international community in 2009. As Bill McKibben explained, we can only burn 565 gigatons more carbon before going over the UN-sanctioned 2 degree upper limit for warming. The 2 degree concept was central to the "IPCC Second Assessment: Climate Change 1995" published by the International Panel on Climate Change. In 2002, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), incorporated the concept as the focus of its formal Framework Convention policy:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

GE is Helping Nestle to Save Millions of Gallons of Water

On the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act (CWA), it is fitting that we take a look at a stellar example of a business that with the help of GE, is saving more than seven million gallons of water per year. The CWA was passed 40 years ago on October 18th, 1972, it establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into U.S. waters. US corporations are increasingly looking to sustainable water management standards that go far beyond the statutes of the CWA.

GE, a leader in an advanced water-treatment chemical technology, is helping industry reduce their water consumption and discharge. Thanks to this technology Nestle USA’s Pizza Division has reduced its water usage and sewer discharge by 7.4 million gallons per year at its factory in Little Chute, Wisconsin.

GE's Mark Vachon Says Greentech Opportunities are in the Developing World Not in the US

According to Mark Vachon, a 29 year GE veteran and the leader of ecomagination, the best opportunities for greentech are in the developing world and not in the US. GE has adopted a business strategy that has invested $5 billion in clean tech research and development and generated $106 billion in revenues through 2011. Ecomagination is an innovative program that is crowdsourcing green ideas. The program is developing innovation and technology for alternative energy and eco-friendly solutions. Ecomagination underscores GE’s commitment to imagine and build innovative solutions to today’s environmental challenges while driving economic growth.

As reviewed in the Daily Beast, Vachon disagrees with those who say we have to choose between economy and the environment. We really do not have to make a choice we can have both.

10 Charts on Climate Change

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Comprehensive Review of Climate Change Science

The evidence for anthropogenic global warming is unassailable. In 2009, 18 scientific groups — including the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Meteorological Society — issued a joint statement indicating that human activities are the “primary driver” of climate change. The National Academy of Sciences (the gold standard for objective scientific assessment) have also clearly supported the body of evidence on anthropogenic global warming.

“Some scientific conclusions or theories have been so thoroughly examined and tested, and supported by so many independent observations and results, that their likelihood of subsequently being found to be wrong is vanishingly small. Such conclusions and theories are then regarded as settled facts. This is the case for the conclusions that the Earth system is warming and that much of this warming is due to human activities."

The Stark Partisan Divide on Global Warming

A huge gulf exists between Americans who accept the reality of climate science and those who do not. According to an October 15, 2012, Pew Research Center poll, Democratic voters are more than twice as likely to embrace the facts on global warming than their Republican counterparts.

A growing number Americans, including voters who identify as independents and those from both major parties, believe global warming is occurring. Predictably many Republicans continue to ignore the powerful body of evidence supporting the existence of global warming. This should come as no surprise as the GOP presidential nominee is now leading the climate denial train.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Climate Change and Biofuels on World Food Day 2012

October 16 is a special day for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Each year at this time food becomes the center of attention and this year agricultural cooperatives are the focus of World Food Day 2012. The day is intended to raise awareness and understanding of approaches to ending hunger. The 2012 theme was chosen to highlight the role of cooperatives in improving food security and contributing to the eradication of hunger. Interest in cooperatives and rural organizations is also reflected in the decision of the UN General Assembly to designate 2012 “International Year of Cooperatives.”

Two major issues that directly impact World Food Day are climate change and biofuels. In 2012 climate change induced extreme weather has wreaked havoc on world food prices and threatens to increase global hunger. The use of agricultural lands for Biofuels have also increased the likelihood of global hunger. In the US, 40 percent of maize yields are converted to ethanol to power vehicles. The UN estimates that 1 in 8 people on the planet are now living in chronic hunger conditions.

September 2012 was the Warmest in Recorded History

A wide range of temperature data indicate that the earth continues to get warmer. September 2012 was tied for the warmest September since the dawn of temperature records. These were the findings of the State of the Climate Global Analysis, September 2012 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center.

Global Averages

The average combined global land and ocean surface temperature for September 2012 tied with 2005 as the warmest September on record, at 0.67°C (1.21°F) above the 20th century average of 15.0°C (59.0°F). Records began in 1880. The globally-averaged land surface temperature for September 2012 was the third warmest September on record, at 1.02°C (1.84°F) above average. The globally-averaged ocean surface temperature tied with 1997 as the second warmest September on record, at 0.54°C (0.97°F) above average. The average combined global land and ocean surface temperature for January–September 2012 was the eighth warmest such period on record, at 0.57°C (1.03°F) above the 20th century average.

Using Trees to Generate Electricity is Not Green Energy

Despite the value of trees to human and planetary health, an increasing number of American companies are cutting down forests to convert trees into pellets for electricity. It is tragically ironic that trees are being destroyed in the name of renewable energy. It is often said that trees are the Earth's lungs, they sequester carbon, produce oxygen, prevent erosion and are one of nature's most aesthetic creations. While coal is widely understood to be environmentally destructive, many do not understand that burning wood for electricity is even more harmful.

According to a Dogwood Alliance article, "burning trees for electricity will actually result in increased carbon emissions, when compared to coal." While it is good that European utilities are transitioning away from coal, it is a travesty that they are adopting wood based biomass as a replacement. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

How We Can Engage Businesses and People in Efforts to Combat Climate Change

Effective communications are crucial to efforts to change behavior and integrate sustainability into a corporate culture. Climate Change is an irrefutable scientific fact, but not everyone is on-board, and many of those who accept the science, are not personally engaged. Effective ecological communications involves more than scientific discourse or economic diatribes.

Blog Action Day 2012: The Power of We

In 2012, Blog Action Day takes place on October 15. This year the theme is the Power of We. According the Blog Action Day organizers, Community, Equality, Transparency/Anti-Corruption and Freedom, and People Power are sub-themes of the event. Blog Action Day is the one day of the year where thousands of people come together to focus on one important global topic, and help raise awareness.

Founded in 2007, Blog Action Day brings together bloggers, vloggers, podcasters, data producers and social media users. Hundreds of thousands of people take part in Blog Action Day from a hundred countries all over the planet. They will cover a wide range of interests in dozens of languages. On this day everyone comes together to address one important global topic all on the same day.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

AWEA's Wind Energy Fall Symposium (Event)

AWEA's Wind Energy Fall Symposium will be held in Carlsbad, California on November 14 and 15, 2012. This exclusive, high-level event sets the stage for sharing successes, strategies, and lessons-learned with your wind industry peers. Giving you the information and tools you need to operate in a complex and global marketplace, the AWEA Wind Energy Fall Symposium's educational program will outfit you with a competitive edge to advance your organization and enhance your career. This year's program includes sessions that address not only industry trends and innovations, but teach you how to best communicate wind energy's benefits to external audiences —both steadfast and skeptical.

VERGE @ Greenbuild (Event)

The VERGE event will be held on November 13 and 13 at The InterContinental San Francisco, 888 Howard Street, San Francisco, California. VERGE brings together business innovators, entrepreneurs, and leading public officials to illuminate the opportunities for radical efficiencies created through technology advancements in energy, buildings and transportation. As explained by Steve Avadek of CitiGroup, "VERGE was the most valuable conference I have attended."

Toronto Greenhouse Green Business Strategy Summit 2012 (Event)

Expert panels, a facilitated workshop and case studies along with insightful keynotes from accomplished executives combine at GREEN BUSINESS STRATEGY SUMMIT 2012 on November 8th, 2012 at One King West Hotel in Toronto, Canada to provide the foundation for a tangible business strategy that you can implement immediately.

Global investment in "clean" technology is exploding, the world’s largest corporations have embraced environmental sustainability and your customers are making purchasing decisions based on how "green" your products or services are. What is your strategy?

The National Clean Energy Workforce Education Conference (Event))

The 5th national Clean Energy Workforce Education Conference (CEWEC) is scheduled for November 13-15, 2012 at the Albany Marriott, Albany, New York. This event offers the most current information on instructional strategies, curriculum development, credentialing and best practices for training in the renewable energy and energy efficiency fields. There will be more than 60 presentations over three days including a look forward at some new and thought-provoking next generation technologies and workforce needs.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

Help Reader's Digest Find Canada's Greenest Towns

Reader’s Digest is holding a competition for "Canada’s Most Interesting Towns" and one of the categories is "Canada's Greenest Cities." Canadians from coast to coast are welcome to share their stories and images. To participate simply send a story and photos reviewing a town that leads the way in environmental issues and action.

Some of the accomplishments that qualify a city as "Canada's Greenest," include: