Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Infographic - Sea Level Rise and Global Warming

Source: Union of Concerned Scientists

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The Dangerous Trajectory of CO2 Growth Since the 1880's

Levels carbon dioxide (CO2) have grown steadily since the dawn of the industrial revolution and the trend is accelerating. While CO2 levels have grown steadily since the dawn of the industrial revolution, 2012 saw the second largest increase since record keeping began in 1959. In 2012, CO2 levels jumped by 2.67 parts per million (PPM) to just under 395 parts per million.

With an increase of 2.93 PPM of CO2, only 1998 had a bigger annual increase in carbon dioxide. From 2000 to 2010, the world averaged a yearly rise of just under 2 parts per million. While in the 1960's levels rose by less than 1 PPM. The most recent observations put CO2 levels at 400 PPM.

C02 Concentrations are the Highest in 3 Million Years

For the first time in 3 million years, carbon dioxide (C02) concentrations in the Earth's atmosphere hit 400 parts per million (PPM). In April 2013, levels of atmospheric CO2 at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii hit more than 400 PPM. Levels of 400 PPM have also been recorded in the Arctic.

Many leading environmentalists, including Bill McKibben have indicated that the safe upper limit is 350 PPM others suggest the limit could be as high as 450 PPM. At the current rate it appears likely we will surpass 450 PPM of carbon dioxide (CO2) which will result in catastrophic global temperature increases of around 5 degrees.

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Green Market Oracle Surpasses a Million Page Views

The Green Market Oracle is proud to announce that we have surpassed one million page views! When we published the first article in The Green Market Oracle (then called The Green Market) five years ago, one milestone we never considered reaching was the magical one million page-views marker. In the first months The Green Market was getting just over 5000 page views per month. Since that time our traffic had steadily increased and we now generate over 70,000 page views per month (and growing).

The Green Market Oracle is widely recognized as a leading site for providing cutting edge news and views on sustainability, environmental science and the green economy. Our mission has been focused on providing information that helps the business community and others to understand and embrace sustainability.

New Discoveries of Lithium Deposits

There is an increasing demand for Lithium that is putting upward pressure on the cost of this rare earth mineral, but the discovery of new deposits will help address this growing demand. Lithium is an element that powers the modern world. A vast and growing number of portable devices including electronics like phones, tablets and laptops depend on lithium and so do electric and hybrid cars.

Some of the top producing countries for lithium are Chile, Argentina and Bolivia. These three countries are known as the “lithium triangle.” Chile is the world’s leading source of the element, turning out around 40 percent of global supply, however discoveries in Bolivia, (which opened its first lithium pilot plant in January), suggest that the country may have 50 percent of the world’s reserves, which is enough to power 4.8 billion electric cars.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Event - Accelerate: Collaborating for Sustainability Conference

Accelerate: Collaborating for Sustainability Conference, will take place on June 10 - 11 2013, in Guelph, Ontario. This conference focuses on the prescient topic of collaboration as it applies to sustainability. Change-makers throughout society are increasingly calling for greater collaboration to solve complex challenges, especially around sustainability issues. But there is precious little expertise in how to convene diverse groups and steward multi-stakeholder change processes.

Event - Climate Ride California

Climate Ride California will take place on May 19 - 23, 2013. Rider will go from Fortuna, CA to San Francisco, CA. Climate Ride California begins near Eureka in the midst of Northern California's majestic redwoods. From there they travel along the coast, soaking in expansive ocean views and coastal bluffs. On the fourth day, they will pedal inland along the Russian River to cruise through California's famed Wine Country, considered some of the best cycling in the US. The final day is an epic ride goes through Marin and across the Golden Gate Bridge to reach the final destination, San Francisco. Climate Ride is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that organizes life-changing charitable events to raise awareness and support sustainability, bike advocacy, and environmental causes.

Event - Business 4 Better Conference: Saving the Planet Through B Power

Mightybytes’ Tim Frick presents “By Pixel and Pedal: Saving the Planet through B Power” at the Business 4 Better conference in Anaheim, CA, May 1st-2nd, 2013. Business 4 Better (B4B) is a two-day conference designed for people from mid-sized businesses who work in the areas of social responsibility, community outreach and corporate volunteer programs.

At this conference Tim Frick will address how Mightybytes partnered with Climate Ride, a charity bike ride for sustainable solutions, and used the B Corporation framework to spark a successful partnership that benefits both organizations.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Video - Bill McKibben on Faith & Fossil Fuel Divestment

350.org founder and author Bill McKibben talks about the need for churches, synagogues, mosques and other religious institutions to divest from the fossil fuel industry. To learn more and join the campaign visit: http://gofossilfree.org

Video - A Debate about the 350.org Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign

DemocracyNow.org hosted a conversation about how to confront global warming it with 350.org founder Bill McKibben and journalist Christian Parenti. Some have called 2013 "year zero" in the battle over climate change. This comes as 2012 was a year of extreme weather, from the melting of the Arctic, to Superstorm Sandy, to the massive typhoon in the Philippines. It was also the warmest year on record in the United States, with massive droughts and frequent wildfires. In the U.S. presidential debates, neither of the major party candidates took on climate change. But right after the election, McKibben and 350.org hit the road to begin a campaign focused on confronting the role of the fossil fuel industry -- what McKibben calls, "Public Enemy Number One to the survival of our planetary civilization."

Video - Bill McKibben Makes the Case for Fossil Fuel Divestment at Middlebury College

350.org and Middlebury Schumann Distinguished Scholar Bill McKibben makes the case for fossil fuel divestment at a Middlebury panel about the endowment and socially responsible investing. The Go Fossil Free divestment campaign has spread to over 200 campuses across the country.

Video - Do the Math: The Movie

In just 42 minutes, Do The Math: The Movie, tells the story of the growing climate movement, from the new fossil fuel divestment campaign to the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline. Thousands of people screened the movie for Earth Day 2013. As we have yet to agree on global solutions to climate change, people need to understand what is at stake and what people are doing about it. The movie is brought to you by 350.org, and they want as many people as possible to see it as it is intended to be the springboard for the big plans they are making for this summer and beyond. Please share as widely as you can, it may very well be one of the most important things you do this year.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Report - Corporate Sustainability Reporting Budgets And Priorities

Sustainability reporting is an important pillar of corporate sustainability programmes and firms seek to communicate progress and meet stakeholders’ demands for sustainability disclosure. This report helps executives in sustainability, marketing and communications roles and firms selling into these functions, to understand where responsibility and budgets lie for corporate sustainability reporting activities.

Verdantix spoke to 250 sustainability leaders in 13 countries across 21 industries. This report delves into responsibility, budgets and priorities with regard to corporate sustainability reporting and segments data by industry and region.

Click here to register for access to this report.

Noesis Pro Energy Reporting Portal Overview Webinar & Kindle Giveaway

This webinar will take place on Tuesday, May 7th 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM EDT. It is designed for those who are tired of creating charts in Excel and attaching them to reports to share with colleagues and clients. The Noesis Pro Energy Reporting Portal (ERP) makes it easy for users to create, customize, schedule and distribute energy reports to facility managers, executives, and anyone else apart of the energy management team.

Join us for a 30-minute webinar where we'll discuss all aspects of the Noesis Pro ERP, including custom industry benchmarking report templates, automated scheduling/distributing, and pricing.

Whitepaper - Top 5 Energy Reporting Mistakes

Energy reporting is a crucial process for energy managers. There is no standard procedure for energy reporting and yet there are common mistakes which can lead to bad decisions and missed opportunities. Solid energy reporting can shed light on real performance leading to intelligent and measurable decisions which result in substantial savings. Don't let a tedious energy reporting process lead to common mistakes which effect decision making and impact the bottom line.

 Noesis consulted their users and in-house experts to build this short e-book designed to help awareness and avoidance of these common mistakes. Use the resourceful information in this book to your advantage.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Canadian Minister Attacks Leading Climate Scientist

Canada's natural resources minister Joe Oliver is stepping up personal attacks against climate scientists. Oliver may be feeling insecure about the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline in the wake of the release of a recent EPA report that clearly outlines many concerns with the pipeline project which if completed will ferry unprecedented amounts of carbon-heavy tar sands bitumen from Alberta to Texas. In the face of a scientific consensus and growing popular support for efforts to combat global warming, Oliver appears to be pulling out all the stops to sell his government's support for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project.

During a visit to a Washington DC Thinktank, Oliver lambasted NASA climatologist James Hansen, saying he should be "ashamed" of his warnings about the dangers of the tar sands and his opposition to the Keystone XL.

For more than a quarter century Hansen has been raising public awareness about climate change, more recently he has been focusing his efforts on opposing the Keystone XL. However, Oliver told the audience at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, "this is exaggerated rhetoric. It's frankly nonsense. I don't know why he said it but he should be ashamed of having said it."

Video - Homage to Environmental Pioneer Rachel Carson

To celebrate Earth Day 2013 Open Road Media honored Rachel Carson. "Miss Carson, you are the lady who started all this." ­ said Senator Abraham Ribicoff, to Rachel Carson as she testified before congress in 1963 Indeed she did.  Carson's message that we must hold a sense of responsibility to the natural world speaks to us still, inspiring us all to greater awareness of our impact on the planet we inhabit. “I think Rachel Carson was one of the most important writers of our time,” says author and leading marine conservationist Richard Ellis. Carson dedicated her life to celebrating the natural world, whether it meant taking readers to the depths of the ocean with books such as The Sea Around Us or awakening the American public to the dangers of pesticides with Silent Spring. Her impact is felt to this day, and she is widely recognized as the mother of the environmental movement.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Video - It's all in our heads: The psychology of sustainability

The psychology of sustainability is an increasingly important subject. In this video Simran Sethi explores how our psychology and geography shape the ways we engage and share with each other, and how the stories we tell can catalyze sustainability.

To see the video at GreenBiz click here.

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The World's Most Sustainable Companies: The Global 100 (2013)

The Global 100 is an annual project initiated by Corporate Knights Inc. The Global 100 is the most extensive data-driven corporate sustainability assessment in existence, and inclusion is limited to a select group of the top 100 large-cap companies in the world. Launched in 2005, the annual Global 100 is announced each year during the World Economic Forum in Davos. The Global 100 methodology for evaluating companies' sustainability or "clean capitalism" performance was cited as a leading global practice (by SustainAbility in their Rate the Raters research program, Phase 4). Here are the top 10 most sustainable companies in the world, followed by their country of origin and their sector:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

EPA Slams State Department on the Keystone XL

In a letter to the State Department, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) raised serious objections to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. A State Department's draft report in March said the project would not create significant environmental impacts. Describing the State Department's analysis of the project's environmental impact as "insufficient," the EPA said "oil sands crude is significantly more GHG intensive than other crudes and therefore has the potentially larger climate impacts"

The EPA quotes DSEIS reports which indicates that the lifecycle GHG emissions from oil sands could be 81 percent greater than emissions from the average crude refined in the US. The incremental emissions from the oil sands crude would be 18.7 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent based on the project's capacity of 830,000 barrels per day. Over a 50 year time span that could amount to 935 million metric tons.

Powerful New Tool Analyzes Website Sustainability

Mightybytes is a Chicago-based company that is working to help green the digital space. They are pioneers in the often overlooked area of digital sustainability. They have launched a free innovative web-based app called EcoGrader that helps companies to assess and improve the carbon footprints of their websites.

As a certified B Corporation and a three-star certified Eco-Andersonville green business, Mightybytes has sustainability woven into their DNA. They embrace an imperative for sustainability and apply that passion to their work, their office environment, and their personal lives. They are committed to making a social impact with their work and they are equally passionate about environmental stewardship.

Mightybytes helps organizations to solve communication, design, and technical problems, build online brands, create software-based business solutions, nurture and support customer communities, reach new targeted audiences and develop digital products that meet specific marketing goals.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Toshiba's Greenwash Fiasco

Toshiba is a great example of a company that is vulnerable to accusations of Greenwash. While they produce highly efficient LED lights and have committed to reducing their carbon footprint, there are other aspects of the company's operations that are questionable.

In 2007, Toshiba Corporation established its Environmental Vision 2050, which is the company's long-term commitment to contribute to a better environment by recognizing and responding to environmental issues. Part of this initiative involves improving the value and eco-efficiency of its products and business processes and to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by the equivalent of 57.6 million tons per year in FY2025 compared with FY2000, while concurrently working to enhance its environmental efficiency.

The Business of Earth Day Greenwashing

Just because you paint an oil rig green does not make it environmentally friendly. Businesses have cashed in on the popularity of Earth Day with an avalanche of what can only be described as greenwashing. However, businesses are increasingly understanding that sustainability is about far more than trying to benefit from media attention one day per year. Despite the flurry of marketing activity that tries to capitalize on the event there is a growing awareness that engaging sustainability is about a serious and sustained long term commitment.

The data is clear, corporate sustainability is growing, Numerous sustainability reports support this contention and new research indicates that consumer awareness is driving this growth.

According to The Generation Roadmap, consumers believe that as a society we need to “consume a lot less to improve the environment for future generations.” Research shows that 66 percent of American executives think their social responsibility strategies improve their corporate reputation.

Infographic - Chronological History of Earth Day in the US

Earth Day History

Source: Care2.com

This Earth Day infographic was created by Kars for Kids – a group that takes car donations to help out kids in need.

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The Historical Roots of Earth Day and its Relevance Today

Earth Day is celebrated around the world on April 22nd, and it is now one of the world's most popular global events, but it has a long history that dates back more than four decades. Quite understandably Earth Day has been criticized as being only one day on the calendar year, but increasingly Earth Day is about promoting responsible environmental conduct all year long.

As Explained by the Earth Day Network, April 22, marks the anniversary of what many consider the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. Earth Day was born out the cultural foment that saw the hippie movement, flower power and protests against the Vietnam war.

This was a time when Americans showed a flagrant disregard for the environment. They drove gas guzzling behemoths and industrial growth polluted the air and water.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Event - Innovations in Technical Education to Advance Sustainability: Student Leadership

Innovations in Technical Education to Advance Sustainability: Student Leadership will take place on June 6-8, 2013 at Alfred State SUNY College of Technology, NY. The conference, with its unique focus on technical education, is an excellent opportunity to connect and build working relationships with a diverse range of education and sustainability professionals. This year's conference will feature keynote presentations from Leith Sharp, a campus sustainability pioneer who was the founding director of Harvard’s Office for Sustainability and who served as Executive Director of the Illinois Green Economy Network, and Roger Ebbage,Executive Director of the Association of Community College Energy and Water Educators and Energy Management Program Coordinator at Lane Community College.

Event - Developing a Campus Sustainability Living Lab

Developing a Campus Sustainability Living Lab will take place on June 7-9, 2013 at Portland State University, OR. This workshop will introduce systematic efforts to break through the current curricular and operational paradigms and form a new model for both education and sustainability action—the campus living lab. Participants will leave with: a plan and a set of actions/strategies for implementing a living lab at their campus; a deep understanding about the underlying theory and value proposition in implementing a sustainability living lab on campus; clear typology and definition for a living lab program and courses that increase sustainability education; a network of peers; and more.

Event - The Conference Board Summit on Sustainability

The Conference Board Summit on Sustainability will take place on June 4 and 5, 2013 in New York, NY. The Summit brings together sustainability experts, practitioners, and institutional investors share the latest perspectives on how corporations are transforming their global operations by integrating sustainability into a long term return-on-investment strategy.

Businesses, foundations, universities, governments and consumers are actively seeking solutions for an increasing number sustainability concerns, creating a new “sustainability market.” In this environment, corporations benefit by promoting innovative technologies, resource-efficient business processes, and new methods and partnerships for research and development.

Event - International Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainable Development

International Conference on CSR and Sustainable Development will take place in Bangkok Thailand from June 3, 2013 to June 6, 2013. This conference aims to provide a common platform to the corporate, government agencies, NGOs, civil society, academics and the other groups to share their expectations, aspirations and responsibilities. Conference also has the objective to bring together representatives from various parts of the globe to share their experiences, challenges and opportunities. Research in the domain of CSR and Sustainable Business along with Climate Control, Work Life Balance, Philanthropy, social impact and other topics shall be shared in the form of Paper presentation, poster exhibition by researchers and professionals from various universities and institutions. international conference with aimed at exploring emerging issues in corporate responsibility and sustainable development. Presentations and debates will highlight current thinking and how these issues are being addressed around the world nowadays.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Video - Earth Day 2013: The Face of Climate Change

The theme of Earth Day 2013 is The Face of Climate Change. This campaign seeks to harness the power of Earth Day to personalize the massive challenge that climate change presents, while uniting people around the globe into a powerful call to action. Earth Day Network is collecting images of people, animals, and places affected by climate change as well as images of people doing their part in the fight against climate change.

On and around Earth Day (April 22), an interactive digital display of all the images will be shown at thousands of events around the world — from schools to parks to government buildings. The display will also be made available online to anyone who wants to view or show it.

Learn more and upload your photos at earthday.org/2013.
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Video - Earth Day 2013

Created for Earth Day 2013. Mobilize the World. Copyright (c) 2012/13 Michael Knight. Earth Day is on the 22nd of April 2013. Are you going to do your part? | Created in After Effects CS5.5 & Photoshop CS6.

On April 22, more than one billion people around the globe will participate in Earth Day 2012 and help Mobilize the Earth™. People of all nationalities and backgrounds will voice their appreciation for the planet and demand its protection. Together we will stand united for a sustainable future and call upon individuals, organizations, and governments to do their part.

Attend a local Earth Day event and join one of our Earth Day campaigns as we collect A Billion Acts of Green® and elevate the importance of environmental issues around the world. http://www.earthday.org/2012

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Video - Beautiful Arctic: A Look at the Awe Inspiring Beauty We Stand to Lose

While the warming of the Arctic has very destructive global repercussions, there is also an unspeakably catastrophic loss of what can only be described as awe inspiring beauty. What kind of civilization would we be if we allowed our avarice to lay waste to such natural splendor?

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Video - Arctic Warming: Risks for Methane Emissions

Dr. Ronald Prinn, TEPCO Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT shares the result of his project measuring the rates of change in atmospheric concentrations of trace greenhouse gases. After more than 30 years of research, he and his colleagues recently noted an unexplained increase in methane concentrations. He outlines the risks posed by this finding in his discussion of "Arctic Warming: Risks for Methane Emissions, Sea Ice Loss, and Ocean Overturn." This talk is part of Cambridge Forum's After Copenhagen: Global Climate Change Conference.

Video - Warming Arctic, Changing Planet

On November 12, 2012 The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Earth Institute, Columbia University and Quebec Government Office presented an exciting discussion about the effects of climate change on the Arctic. Experts highlighted how Arctic sea ice, climate, marine mammals, tundra, and indigenous communities have been affected by and are adapting to climate change. In addition, each expert addressed how these effects of climate change go far beyond the polar bears and may even impact you.

Video - I Love Arctic (Greenpeace)

Climate change impacts the Arctic more than almost anywhere on earth and to make matters worse the life forms that live there may be more susceptible to the toxic environment created by global warming (for more information click here).  Join the call for a global sanctuary in the uninhabited area around the North Pole.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Arctic's Dangerous Combination of Environmental Toxicity and Genetic Vulnerability

The Arctic is often perceived to be a pristine environment free of environmental toxins, however recent research reveals that this is not the case. There are many unique features associated with the distinctive flora and fauna of the Arctic and one of those defining characteristics is fragility. Life forms that inhabit the Arctic appear to be more vulnerable to environmental insults. This is true of the landscape and of the animals and plants that occupy the region, it is also true of the people that inhabit the area around the North pole.

Arctic haze is pollution that travels all the way from much more densely populated locations. Even seriously toxic bioaccumulation of things like PCB's (polychlorinated biphenyls), fluorinated and brominated compounds, bisphenol, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chlorinated pesticides and polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs), have been found in Arctic wildlife and people.

More Evidence of Historic Arctic Warming: Lake Sediment and Ice Cores

The Arctic is getting warmer and the implications for the entire Earth are dramatic. In addition to impacts on local wildlife and local peoples, Arctic warming is altering the climate around the world. It has been widely documented that Arctic sea ice is at historic lows. Research also shows that Arctic summers are warmer than they have been in six centuries and the North Atlantic current is warmer than it has been for almost two thousand years.

Arctic Summers are the Hottest they have been in Six Centuries

The past several summers in the Arctic have been the warmest in at least 600 years, according to a new study published in Nature. According to research by Harvard University, a combination of temperature readings, ice cores, lake sediments and trees indicate that the summers of 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2011 were all warmer than any previous summer in the past 600 years. The summer of 2010 was most likely the warmest ever recorded in western Russia, the Canadian Arctic and western Greenland.

Why the Fate of the Arctic Should be of Concern to Us All

What at the first glance looks like a cold and barren north is really a treasure of life and beauty, home to people and amazing wildlife. The Arctic and subarctic regions are home to approximately 30 different peoples with unique cultures and traditions. The Indigenous Peoples in the Arctic, many of them called Inuit, inhabit the most northern regions of North America, Asia and Greenland. Although modern times have changed the everyday life in the Arctic, people in the region still live in very close connection with and depend on their natural environment and the Arctic wildlife.

The Greenpeace I ♥ ARCTIC Campaign

Join Greenpeace on April 20 2013 as people around the globe create iconic images for world leaders saying: "I ♥ ARCTIC." Thousands of people will come together this Saturday, to form human banners spelling out I ♥ Arctic. Together we will call on our political leaders to protect the Arctic from activities that put this fragile environment at risk, such as oil drilling and industrial fishing.

What happens in the Arctic affects us all - that's why we need to take action on April 20. This event is being organized ahead of the Arctic Council which is meeting in Sweden in May.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Canada's Leader of the Official Opposition on the Keystone XL Pipeline

Thomas Mulcair is the leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) and the official opposition in Canada's federal parliament appears to be of two minds on the Keystone XL pipeline. He is a lawyer, university professor, and politician. Mulcair is a NDP Member of Parliament for the electoral district of Outremont in Quebec since 2007, he was selected as the leader of the New Democratic Party on March, 2012, with 57 percent of the votes on the fourth and final ballot. Mulcair succeeded the late Jack Layton.

Previously Mulcair was a member of the Liberal Party of Quebec where he was the provincial Member of the National Assembly (MNA) of Quebec for the riding of Chomedey in Laval from 1994 to 2007. He served as the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks from 2003 until 2006, in the Liberal government of Premier Jean Charest. Elected MP for Outremont in a by-election in 2007, he was named Deputy Leader of the New Democratic Party, jointly with Libby Davies, shortly afterwards, and has won re-election twice.

New Jersey Supreme Court Ruling Undermines Enforcement of Wetlands Protections

Sometimes laws that protect the environment are emasculated by precedent setting rulings by the courts. In New Jersey, the state's highest court has made it harder to enforce environmental protections. The New Jersey Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of upholding the state's wetland protections but added an unsettling caveat.

A 1987 law in New Jersey was supposed to give the state's Department of Environmental Protections the mandate to protect wetlands. The law protects drinking water, prevents flooding, and preserves important habitats for fish and wildlife. However, a recent unanimous decision by the New Jersey Supreme Court erodes the law.

Guides - Sustainable Events

The Sustainable Event Guide (SEG) was developed to help you find the resources and services to make your events as sustainable as possible. It is a document filled with guidance, resources, and simple advice about organizing an event that benefits the community, promotes ethical purchasing, and reduces waste. For some, this guide may simply act as an information resource about environmentally and socially responsible retailers and/or as a guide in reducing the waste produced at an event. For those who have never organized a big event, this guide may act as a framework for the "how to" of organizing. Regardless of past experience in event organizing, we suggest browsing through the entire guide - it may inspire new ideas or stir up old ones. 

We believe everyone can make a difference through the way they host academic, social, and fundraising events. Although this guide includes many Concordia University specific resources, there is plenty of information that event planners from other universities and organizations may find very useful as well.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Canada's Hopes for an Environmentally Friendly Federal Leadership Now Rest with Justin Trudeau

The federal Liberals officially named 41 year old Justin Trudeau as their new leader on Sunday April 14, 2013.  The ruling Conservatives are telling Canadians that they have to make a choice between the economy and the environment, Trudeau believes this is a false choice.

Justin believes that the Conservative doctrine of forcing Canadians to choose between the economy and the environment is reckless and dangerous.

As he explains in his website, "Instead, it is increasingly obvious that a healthy economy is dependent on a healthy environment, and the two will thrive resiliently if we engage in responsible actions based on long-term thinking."

Justin won the support of about 80 per cent of Liberals who gave him an overwhelming first-ballot victory, 45 years to the month after his father took the same position. Justin is the eldest son of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre E. Trudeau.

Canada at Odds with US and China on Climate Change

The groundbreaking deal between the world's biggest polluters could have major implications for Canada's tar sands and by extension the Keystone XL. The planned expansion of the Alberta tar sands will triple greenhouse gases (GHGs) by 2020. James Hansen, the retired NASA climatologist said. If we build pipelines to transport the tar sands, “there is no hope of keeping carbon concentrations below 500 p.p.m. — a level that would, as earth’s history shows, leave our children a climate system that is out of their control.” As Hansen succinctly put it, exploiting the tar sands means "game over for the climate."

This expansion is largely dependent on the building of pipelines such as the Keystone XL. The Keystone is already a very controversial issue in the US. Resistance to the Keystone XL is the focus of climate activists across America and around the world. Public hearings on the pipeline open in Nebraska Thursday April 18.

The ruling Canadian Conservative government has said it is in line with other developed countries. However, the deal between the US, China, and Japan will make it very difficult for the Conservatives to continue making this claim.

US China Japan and Others Agree to Fight Climate Change

The world's two biggest economies and worst polluters have signed a groundbreaking agreement to reduce climate change causing greenhouse gases (GHGs). On April 14, 2013, the United States and China announced that they would accelerate action by advancing cooperation on technology, research, conservation, and alternative and renewable energy. In a joint statement the US and China said they “consider that the overwhelming scientific consensus regarding climate change constitutes a compelling call to action crucial to having a global impact on climate change.”

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

2013 Insider Knowledge Report on Environment and Sustainability

Environmental Leader’s 2013 edition of its complimentary Insider Knowledge Report provides lessons learned from corporate environmental, sustainability and energy decision-makers.

Executives from Walmart, Tesco, US EPA, Humana, General Motors, DuPont, Eastman Chemical Company, TD Bank, Anheuser-Busch, Alcoa, Applied Materials, L’Oreal, Method, Nokia, Staples, SC Johnson, Symantec and more than 100 other enterprises contributed to the report. The sponsor of this report is Schneider Electric.

Click here to download this free report.

Ecotech's Free Online Course: “Introduction to Sustainability”

Ecotech Institute is offering its first free online course titled “Introduction to Sustainability.” This ten-week course offers education on a wide variety of sustainable topics. Anyone around the world who has an interest in sustainability can now access some of the specialized education offered by Ecotech Institute – online and free. Ecotech Institute, the only college entirely focused on sustainability-related job training, is now accepting registrations for its “Introduction to Sustainability” course.

This is Ecotech’s first “massive online open course” (MOOC) through the Canvas Network, a popular way for highly esteemed educational institutions to offer free courses to the public. Kyle Crider, Ecotech Institute’s Program Chair and Manager of Environmental Operations will teach the class, beginning on May 6.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Keystone XL Pipeline: Your Last Chance to Say NO!

This is the final official comment period for Keystone XL pipeline. Both 350.org and the Sierra Club are joining many others in sending a message to President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry. They want to make it clear that this project is not in the national interest and Americans along with people around the world are against it.

The Keystone XL pipeline will put more dirty money into the pockets of big oil and worse, it will accelerate tar sands development in Canada, some of the dirtiest oil on earth. That's the definition of reckless.

James Hansen's 2012 Research Linking Global Warming and Extreme Weather

The retiring NASA physicist and climatologist James Hansen has made some unequivocal statements about climate change. According to Hansen there is strong evidence to indicate that extreme weather is related to anthropogenic climate change. Hansen, with co-authors Reto Ruedy, also of NASA, and Makiko Sato, of Columbia University, have crunched decades’ worth of readings from more than 1,000 weather stations around the world as well as satellite observations and measurements from Antarctic research stations.

The peer-reviewed paper Hansen and his colleagues submitted stated “with a high degree of confidence” that some extremely high temperatures are in fact caused by human induced global warming.

Relationship Between Warming Over Land and in the Sea

As we continue to pour billions of tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution into our atmosphere each year the evidence continues to show that this is warming our climate both on land and at sea. The abundance of evidence for global warming comes from temperature records, atmospheric pollution readings, in ice cores and statistical analysis. A couple of recent studies reiterate this warming trend and help to explain the relationship between warming on land and at sea.

Since the 1980s each successive decade has been hotter than the one before.  Not a single month’s temperatures have fallen below the 20th-century average since February 1985. Half the world’s population is now too young to have lived through the last colder-than-average month. In worldwide temperature records going back to 1880, the 19 hottest years have all occurred since 1985. Eight of the nine hottest years on record were in the last decade.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Event - Energy, Jobs and the Economy

The Energy, Jobs and the Economy event will take place at Ramapo High School (331 George Street, Franklin Lakes, NJ) on April 18, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. North Jersey Public Policy Network's Distinguished Expert Series Presents: "Energy, Jobs and the Economy," a thought-provoking discussion of the economic implications of moving away from fossil fuels and investing in renewable energy.

The talk features Professor Joseph Robertson of Villanova University and The Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) and Professor Bruce Mizrach, Associate Professor of Economics at Rutgers University. Matt Polsky, of the Institute for Sustainable Enterprise will moderate the discussion.

Event - 28th Annual Clean Ocean Action Beach Sweeps

On April 27, 2013, is the day for the 28th Annual Clean Ocean Action Beach Sweeps Clean Ocean Action (COA). This event invites citizens and organizations to participate in an Annual Spring Beach Sweeps at over 60 sites along the Jersey Shore.

This year’s event is in combination with the fifth Wave of Action, a program that is responding to the impacts of Superstorm Sandy and helping to improve and protect the marine environment through monthly volunteer actions.

Event - 2013 Annual Spring Environment Conference

On April 18, 2013 the Business Council is hosting the 2013 Annual Spring Environment Conference at the Hilton Albany in Albany, NY. Climate change, natural resources and industrial energy efficiency are among the topics which will be discussed during The Business Council of New York State, Inc.’s 2013 Spring Environment Conference.

Event - Urban Forests & Political Ecologies Conference 2013: Celebrating Transdisciplinarity

This event will take place April 18 - 20, 2013 at Hart House, University of Toronto, 7 Hart House Circle, Hoskin Avenue and Queen's Park Crescent West. It will be held in Toronto and is presented by the Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto.

Registration is now open! On Conference days, registration opens at 7:30am. Along with the Conference itself on April 18th and 19, 2013 from 8:30am-5:00pm in Hart House's Great Hall, there is an art exhibit running simultaneously in the East Common Room.

Festivities also include a Networking Soiree on April 18th from 7-10pm at the Panorama Lounge at $30, and on April 20, 2013, field tours of the Humber Arboretum & Centre for Urban Ecology, and the Alternative Campus Tour at York University at $35. Cost Information: Full Registration - $375; One Day Registration: - $200; Full Student Registration - $150; Networking Soiree - $30; Field Tours - $35

For more information and to register:
Email: a.veneziano@utoronto.ca
Phone: 416-978-5480

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Video - Evolution and Global Warming Denialism: How the Public is Misled

How can so many be so woefully misinformed about the veracity of anthropogenic climate change? To help answer this question we need only look at the history of the teaching of evolution. Teachers have long been pressured to teach "alternate views" of evolution. Now they're being pushed to deny that global warming is happening, or if it is, that humans aren't a major factor. In this video Genie Scott dissects the tactics of climate change deniers, and the parallels with anti-evolutionists.

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Video - The Business Case for Sustainability

The Business Case for Sustainability & The Green Economy by L. Hunter Lovins, President and Founder, Natural Capitalism Solutions (NCS). In this video Lovins discusses the Natural Capitalism Solutions' mission and how to innovate and integrate sustainability into business, government and civil society.

Video - The Late Margaret Thatcher's Views on Global Warming

Margaret Thatcher, died on Monday April 8th 2013 at the age of 87 and while she was widely maligned for her economic and social policies, she was a surprisingly ardent supporter of action on global warming. This view was on display in a speech she gave in 1990 at the second World Climate Conference, in Geneva, Not only did she believe that climate science was credible, she acknowledged that global warming was threat to the UK and the world and she applauded the work of groups like the UN's IPCC.

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Video - James Hansen on his Retirement from NASA and What Needs to be Done to Combat Global Warming

In this video Dr. James Hansen explains why he left NASA and his next steps. He also explains how the energy industry is impeding urgent climate action, and his wish for his grandchildren and future generations.

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Hansen is Retiring from NASA not the Fight Against Global Warming

James Hansen is retiring from NASA to get more directly involved in efforts to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. During his 46 year scientific career at the space agency, Dr. Hansen has issued some of the clearest and starkest warnings about the dangers of climate change. Hanson is leaving the Goddard Institute for Space Studies so that he can invest his energies into political and legal means of slowing humanity's reckless heating of the planet.

Dr Hansen is already a leader in the environmental movement, he regularly attends climate protests and he has even allowed himself to be arrested or cited many times. He has repeatedly indicated that if we are to have a chance of keeping global climate from surpassed critical maximum thresholds we will have end our dependence on fossil fuels, particularly tar sands oil, which has more GHG emissions than conventional oil.

Is Sustainability Still Possible?

In this April 9, 2013 Press Release, State of the World asks "can we get there-and what happens if we fall short?"

Washington, D.C.---In today's society, the word "sustainable" has become practically meaningless, with most sustainable products just a step less bad than conventional alternatives. Because of the power of "sustainababble," the world has largely ignored the rich spectrum of political, cultural, and technological changes that would set us on the path to a truly sustainable future. Although the science of sustainability is clearer than ever, we still face the question of whether transforming our society into one guided by sustainability is even possible.

This new volume of State of the World 2013----which features contributions from experts at the Worldwatch Institute as well as from environmental thought leader David Orr; freshwater expert Sandra Postel, ecological economics pioneer Herman Daly, The Story of Stuffauthor Annie Leonard, science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson,and others----sets out to answer the question, Is Sustainability Still Possible?

The Death of Mikhail Beketov and Environmental Journalism

Mikhail Beketov, was killed for reporting on environmental destruction and corruption in the Moscow suburb of Khimki. Like so many other environmental journalists he was silenced for reporting the truth. His investigative journalism earned the ire of those whom he had accused of malfeasance. A savage beating five years ago left him severely brain damaged and unable to speak, it also forced doctors to amputate one of his legs and several fingers. Prior to the attack, Beketov received numerous death threats, his car was set on fire and his dog was killed and left on his doorstep.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Building Resilience to Supply Chain Disruptions due to Climate Change

Anticipating problems associated with climate change and planning appropriate strategic responses are critical elements of contemporary business. Companies need look ahead to identify environmental vulnerabilities attributable to climate change and find ways of addressing them. As climate change worsens supply chain disruptions can be expected to increase.

The global nature of modern day procurement means that things like extreme weather events in one part of the world can have far reaching impacts. The destructive effects of climate change are already reverberating up and down supply chains around the world the disruptions associated with climate change are almost certainly going to get far worse. Some estimates indicate we are going to see a six degree rise in temperature by the end of the century.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Top 10 Best Selling Hybrid Cars in the US (2013)

There are a number of hybrid vehicles that have flooded the marketplace in the last few years. The number of available hybrid brands in the US market has more than doubled since 2007. There were a total of 434,498 hybrid electric vehicles sold in the US in 2012. The EIA estimates that in 2010 there were about 9 million alternative fuel vehicles in the United States. According to Annual Energy Outlook 2013, in 2010 there were 1,890,265 Hybrid Gas/Diesel-Electric vehicles in the US. As reported in June, 2012 there were 2,180,000 hybrid cars in the US.

Toyota has consistently offered the most fuel efficient hybrid vehicles. As of 2009 Toyota had captured almost three quarters of the US hybrid market. Although Toyota now has considerably more competition, they remain the dominant force in US hybrid sales in the 2013 model year with two best selling hybrid cars and five cars in the top 10.

Here is hybridCars' 2013 list of the ten best selling hybrid cars in the US along with their fuel efficiency numbers and price tags:

Mandating Corporate Sustainability Data

Corporate sustainability data is vital information for investors to make informed decisions and as such disclosure should be mandated by law. This is the view expressed in a white paper by Harvard University’s Initiative for Responsible Investment titled On Materiality and Sustainability: The Value of Disclosure in the Capital Markets.

The paper points out that mandated sustainability data would have a number of positive corollaries including diminished financial risks and improved investment opportunities. It can also reduce distrust in capital markets, cut excess speculation and short-termism, and help prevent financial crises.

Among those that do share sustainability data there are widely differing interpretations of what needs to be disclosed. Standardization would make this data easier to interpret and compare.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Institutional Investors Pushing for Government Action on Climate Change

Institutional investors are increasingly conducting climate risk assessments and demanding more action from governments. Socially responsible investing (SRI) is gaining wider market acceptance and it is becoming a ubiquitous part of institutional portfolios, albeit a small part. Government policy could significantly increase the growth of SRI among institutional investors.

A 2012 IIGCC survey of institutional investors managing over $12 trillion in assets showed that 57 percent of those polled conducted climate risk assessments and 26 percent made changes to their investment strategies as a result. Climate change policy factored into manager selection for 78 percent of investors, and over 60 percent of them invested in climate solutions.