Thursday, January 31, 2013

Senate Endorses Kerry for Secretary of State

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), a champion of action on climate change, was approved by the Senate to be Secretary of State. At his Senate confirmation hearing on Jan. 24, Kerry pulled no punches and took a strong position on climate change and the role of renewable energy in revitalizing the US economy.

At the Senate hearing Kerry responded to a question from Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) by saying:

Sustainability Past and Future: Executives Review 2012 and Make Predictions for 2013

Here is a Greenbiz article by Liz Enochs titled "What will sustainability look like in 2013?" This January 03, 2013 article asked executives for their views on what they anticipate for the year ahead. They obliged by telling Greenbiz about their accomplishments, frustrations, lessons learned, their thoughts about the biggest issues of 2012 and what they think will drive sustainability in 2013.

A few big themes emerged: the failure to make significant progress at major global conclaves -- Rio+20 and the Doha Climate Change conference in particular -- the lack of urgency and action from policymakers on climate change, and the need for stronger, more transparent standards and ratings systems to meet increased consumer, investor, and corporate demand.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Will 2013 Bring a New, Sustainable World?

This article was written by Pavan Sukhdev and published in Guardian Sustainable Business Blog on January 4, 2013. Pavan is an environmental economist and board member for Conservation International. He is also the UN Environment Programme's goodwill ambassador. A former banker, he led the UNEP's green economy initiative and is author of a new book, Corporation 2020.


The new year brings with it a host of ecological, governmental and social issues but a new world is, and has to be, possibleThey were right, the world has ended. The world as we knew it came to an end more or less when the Mayan calendar ran out, on winter solstice, 2012.

Organizations Leading the EPA’s Annual Green Power Partnership Lists

The EPA’s annual Green Power Partnership lists includes dozens of organizations that are now using 100 percent green energy to power their US operations. Organizations achieve this amazing feat with the help of renewable energy certificates, on-site generation and utility green power products.

13 Sustainability Predictions for 2013

Here are some sustainability predictions published in the UK based site BusinessGreen. Accordingly, most of the predictions focus on the UK. They were written by By James Murray, the founding editor of BusinessGreen. James is one of the UK's leading commentators on the low carbon economy. He writes occasionally for the Guardian newspaper and has also reported for BBC Radio on a number of green technology stories. He reports daily on a wide range of green business issues, with a particular focus on low carbon policy, economics and technology.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Verdantix: Eight Predictions for Energy Management in 2013

Here are some forecasts found in a Verdantix report titled "Eight Predictions for Energy Management in 2013."  As predicted in this report, companies will ramp up on-site power generation, from pilot projects to multi-site deployments.

On-site power generation will grow and energy storage will be the hot smart grid technology this year. The report says Ikea has already installed solar PV at 40 of its stores across seven countries, and has funding for an additional 124 projects, while BT plans to install 250MW of renewable energy across its UK sites by 2016.

Consumer Awareness Driving Corporate Sustainability in 2013

Companies can anticipate that growing consumer awareness about the environment will continue to drive sustainability in 2013 and beyond. The American economy appears to be inching slowly in a positive direction and a spate of extreme weather events over the last couple of years is contributing to consumer's burgeoning environmental awareness. Increasingly consumers are looking beyond the barcode to help them make their purchasing decisions. Businesses need to respond to consumer demand to gain customers and avoid losing their market share. Here are three consumer driven sustainability trends for 2013:

Top 5 Sustainability Trends for 2013

This article was written by Brandon Tidwell and published in Environmental Leader at the beginning of the year. Bandon is the manager of sustainability for Darden Restaurants. Here are his top five sustainability trends for 2013.

In years past, companies would provide recycling receptacles and install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and consider themselves “green.” But with pressing forces of climate change, strained resources and transparency, corporate sustainability has evolved and become embedded deeper in business decisions. It now defines company culture and corporate reputation.

A number of significant sustainability developments occurred in 2012, contributing to our need for increased collective action around climate change. The Dodd-Frank Act mandated companies to disclose information related to their supply chain. The US drought grew and became more extreme, impacting agriculture and commodity prices. Conversations after Hurricane Sandy showed the need for increased adaptation and resiliency necessary for the future.

Monday, January 28, 2013

New Support for the Interconnectedness of the Environment and the Economy

Two new reports reiterate the scientific veracity of anthropogenic climate change while reinforcing the interconnectedness of the economy and the environment. The World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Risks Report 201 clearly points to the interrelationship between the environment and the economy.

A draft of the third National Climate Assessment Report indicates that climate change is both an environmental and economic issue. The draft report was prepared by a federal committee and offers a comprehensive analysis of the latest and best peer-reviewed science on the extent and impacts of global warming on the US. The report restates the fact that climate change will have a wide range of impacts ranging from agriculture to water.

Climate Change Highlighted at the WEF in Davos (2013)

As we emerge from a global recession, climate change is once again on the global agenda. During the week of January 21 -25, many of those present for the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos Switzerland, acknowledged that climate change has very significant economic ramifications. Both President Barack Obama and UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon highlighted climate change as a top priority in Davos.

"There was mostly silence on climate change for the last two years at Davos," said Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense "But that has changed. The US drought, especially, has grabbed people's attention here in Davos because that has had a real effect on prices."

National Day of Action in Canada Protesting Conservative's Assault on the Environment

On January 28th Canadians from across the country will be protesting the environmental policies of the ruling Conservative government. Last year the Harper Conservatives made countless efforts to undermine democratic protections, including two massive omnibus budget bills that gutted environmental laws, cut services and infringed on Aboriginal rights and title.

Canada's Members of Parliament are returning to Ottawa on Monday, January 28th, and people from across the country are planning a national day of action to show the government that Canadians are coming together to stand up for our democracy.

The Pervasiveness of Sustainability: Three Trends That Matter in 2013

This article was written by Carol Sanford and published at the end of 2012. Carol is CEO of InterOctave, Inc., a global consultancy and author of The Responsible Business: Reimagining Sustainability and Success (Jossey Bass). Carol has been leading major consulting change efforts in both Fortune 500 and new-economy businesses for more than 30 years. Her client list includes Colgate Europe and Africa and DuPont Canada, US, Asia and Europe. She also works with new-economy companies like Intel, Agilent and leaders of corporate responsibility such as Seventh Generation.

Carol was shortlisted for Best Business Book of the Year (out of 11,000 Biz books) and was named to Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior for 2012. She combines her economic development experience with her extensive business education and background when working with Responsible Governance in Community, Provincial and Regional Policy and Education.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Event - Rutgers University Course: Environmental Funding

On January 30th 2013, Rutgers University is offering a one day seminar course on Environmental Funding. The seminar will take place from  9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. This one-day seminar will introduce strategies to fund environmental remediation, economic development and renewable energy projects. Participants will have ample opportunity to present specific concerns to speakers throughout the day.

Funding opportunity mechanisms to be discussed include: 
  • State and federal grants
  • Private financing resources
  • PILOTs
  • Incentives for solar projects.

Event - Green Tourism & Hospitality Conference

On February 12th 2013,  the Green Tourism and Hospitality Conference will take place at the DoubleTree Somerset Hotel and Conference Center in Somerset, NJ. At the event participants can connect with the leaders who are driving sustainability in the hospitality and tourism industries. The Green Tourism and Hospitality Conference is presented by the New Jersey Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Fairleigh Dickinson University, and the Somerset County Business Partnership.

A dynamic keynote address will be delivered by Internet giant Travelocity and workshops will be facilitated by other top companies like DOW, Honeywell and Wyndham Worldwide.

Event - First Annual Edison Energy Forum

On February 12th, 2013, the first annual Edison Energy Forum will take place between 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Edison Municipal Complex, 100 Municipal Boulevard Edison. This event is being presented by the Township of Edison and the Edison Chamber of Commerce.

The event will focus on opportunities for Edison and Greater Edison businesses to reduce energy consumption and costs with the help of  a variety of grants including:

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Video - The World's First Carbon for Water Program



A new film by Evan Abramson and Carmen Elsa Lopez looks at the world's first carbon financed water scheme. Vestergaard Frandsen, a company that makes products to prevent disease in the developing world, shows how providing safe drinking water while cutting more than 2 million tons of carbon emissions a year is good business.

Video - Exxon Hates Your Children



Here at Exxon we hate your children, we all know that the climate crisis will rip their world apart, but we don't care because it is making us rich. Every year Congress gives the fossil fuel industry over 10 billion dollars in subsidies, that's your tax dollars are lining our pockets, making a fortune destroying your kids future at Exxon that's what we call good business. See exxonhatesyourchildren.com

Video - Cradle to Cradle: Certifying Products to Create the Future We Want for Our Children



The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute was created to bring about a large scale transformation in the way things are made. Cradle to Cradle (C2C) provides third party certification of products, they are working to create a future of abundance for our children. In this video they ask the question "how soon will you join them" the answer must be "now." C2C endeavors to provide a new standard of quality around the world. It has five levels of certification that begins with Basic. The other levels are Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

Friday, January 25, 2013

World Agrees on a Treaty Restricting Mercury

After protracted negotiations that spanned almost half a decade more than 140 countries have signed on to the world's first legally binding international agreement to control mercury emissions. The agreement puts in place rules that limit mercury emissions from power plants and industrial boilers as well as certain kinds of smelters handling metals like zinc and gold. The treaty phases out mercury laden products, like batteries and thermometers as well as certain types of fluorescent lamps, soaps and cosmetics. The agreement also establishes rules for direct mining of mercury and addresses safe storage of mercury waste.

UNEP Mercury Study: Levels of the Toxic Metal are Increasing

A UNEP study released in January 2013 found mercury pollution in the top layer of the world’s oceans has doubled in the past century. In the past 100 years, man-made emissions have caused the amount of mercury in the top 100 metres of the world's oceans to double. Concentrations in deeper waters have increased by up to 25 percent. The study also indicates that hundreds of tons of mercury have leaked from the soil into rivers and lakes around the world. The report says an estimated 260 tonnes of mercury - previously held in soils - are being released into rivers and lakes.

Corporate Sustainability Report: 4 Ways to Transition from 2012 to 2013

In 2012 a solid majority of North American companies indicated that they had or were creating a sustainability plan. According to SCA's Tork Report, the 2012 sustainability data was much improved compared to the year before. Their study shows that 64 percent of US companies had a sustainability plan or were planning to draft one in 2012. This is almost twice the number of American companies who indicated that they were doing so in 2011.

The survey which is titled "The Sustainability Gap," indicates strong similarities in both the American and the Canadian data. A total of 31 percent of US firms and 30 percent of Canadian firms said their sustainability plans are having a positive impact on the bottom line. Only 12 percent of US companies and 10 percent of Canadian companies said their sustainability initiatives negatively impacted their bottom line. The rest (57 percent of US companies and 60 percent of Canadian companies) indicated they saw no impact on their bottom line.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Environmental Leader’s Top 15 Supply Chain Stories for 2012

Here is a countdown of Environmental Leader’s top 15 supply chain stories for 2012, based on reader interest:

15. Survey: Sustainability an ‘Important Factor’ in Supply Chain Choices
Seventy-two percent of US companies say sustainability influences their purchasing decisions and is an important factor when selecting a service provider, according to a survey by cloud computing firm Rackspace Hosting. Outside of the US, 91 percent of companies said sustainability has been built into their purchasing decisions on either a periodic or standard basis…

2012 Review: Sustainable Supply Chains

This review of sustainable supply chains in 2012 was written by Julie Urlaub and published on Wednesday, December 26, 2012. 

When you toss a pebble into a pond, a series of concentric ripples propagate out extending far beyond the point of entry. With a number of business sustainability pebbles being tossed into the pond today, one can’t help but wonder what effects the resulting ripples might have on the supply chain. With legislative pressures and shifting consumer expectations positioned to effect business consumption, are the supply chains ready to respond? Will your business ride the high or low of the ‘green’ bullwhip in 2013?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The State of Our Oceans: We are Headed Towards a Marine Mass Extinction

Oceans are the defining feature of our planet and they are indispensable to life. People are also intimately connected to oceans whether we live inland or on the coast. The world/s oceans are an essential part of life on Earth, they generate most of the oxygen we breathe, they provide valuable sources of food and they regulate our climate.

One of the greatest threats to oceans comes from acidification. According to 2012 research from the University of Bristol, ocean acidification is occurring at unprecedented rates. This is mainly due to the absorption of carbon dioxide emitted by humans.

Andrew Winston: Top 10 Sustainable Business Stories of 2012

Here is Andrew Winston's top 10 sustainable business stories of 2012. Andrew is the founder of Winston Eco-Strategies, he is the author of Green Recovery and co-author of Green to Gold, the international best-selling guide to what works - and what doesn't - when companies go green. Andrew is a globally recognized expert on green business, appearing regularly in major media such as The Wall Street Journal, Time, BusinessWeek, New York Times, and CNBC. Andrew is dedicated to helping companies both large and small use environmental strategy to grow, create enduring value, and build stronger relationships with employees, customers, and other stakeholders. His clients have included Bank of America, Bayer, Boeing, HP, IKEA, Johnson & Johnson, and Pepsi. Andrew also serves on the Sustainability Advisory Board of the Kimberly-Clark Corporation, the Executive Environmental Advisory Council for Hewlett-Packard (HP), and as a Sustainability Advisor to PwC.

Victoria's Secret, the Benetton Group and Uniqlo Sign-On to Detox Fashion

Due to pressure from Greenpeace, Victoria's Secret parent company Limited Brands as well as the Benetton Group and Uniqlo have all agreed to eliminate hazardous chemicals from their supply chains and products by 2020. Greenpeace is behind the consumer driven pressure campaign that has succeeded in changing the business practices and processes of some of the world's largest clothing companies. In less than a year over a dozen big fashion brands have been forced to capitulate.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2012 Review of Forests and Trees

In 2012 we saw some very significant findings related to the importance of forests for the health and well being of the planet. We also saw destructive trends that are compromising forests as well as efforts to undermine forests protections. While forests create jobs and significantly contribute to the economy they also play a crucial role in mitigating climate change. Forests cover 30 percent of Earth's land surface and store 45 percent of the carbon found in terrestrial ecosystems and sequester as much as 25 percent of annual carbon emissions from human activities.

Forests reduce the impacts of climate change by sequestering carbon and releasing oxygen, however, less trees means more carbon and less oxygen. This constitutes a dangerous feedback loop. Declining forests are being impacted by global warming and this is interfering with the natural processes that mitigate climate change. In addition to reducing atmospheric CO2, forests are important for drinking water, they protect against soil erosion and contribute to biodiversity that provides habitats for countless species of plants and animals.

2012 in Retrospect: An Economic Hit Man's Tips for Creating a Glorious Future

Reflecting back over the past 12 months, a few things stood out as significant events in the CSR world. Here is an editorial published in CSRwire by John Perkinsthe author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and Hoodwinked: An Economic Hit Man Reveals Why the World Financial Markets Imploded – and What We Need to Do to Remake Them among others.
“We all knew this. We all knew that it would take more time than any of us want to dig ourselves out of this hole created by this economic crisis.” -- President Barack Obama

Monday, January 21, 2013

President Obama's 2013 Inaugural Address: "We Will Respond to the Threat of Climate Change"

President Obama marked the start of his second term with a bold inaugural speech at the Capitol. With renewed determination the President reached beyond the partisan divide and showed true leadership. Speaking directly to the American people the President clearly stated that the United States will engage climate change.

Here are excerpts of the President's remarks:


For more than two hundred years, we have...made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.

Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.

Green Inauguration of President Obama: "Faith in America's Future"

The public Presidential inauguration ceremony took place on Monday, January 21, and event organizers paid unprecedented attention to environmental sustainability. The official Inauguration Day was January 20th. However, as that date falls on a Sunday in 2013, the public swearing-in ceremony was held on Monday, January 21, 2013, at 11:30 a.m. ET, with the official event taking place at 11:55 a.m.

This year's official theme is "Faith in America's Future." One of the unique touches that define the unique quality of President Obama's inauguration are the efforts to make the event more environmentally sustainable.

2012 in Retrospect: New Economy, Banking and Guns

Reflecting back over the past 12 months, a few things stood out as significant events in the CSR world. Here is Francesca Rheannon's look at the New Economy, banking and the gun trade as published in CSRwire:


Tipping Points On The Climate Front?


Cynics point out that it was only when Wall Street got walloped by Superstorm Sandy that human-caused climate change finally was acknowledged by the mainstream. Politicians like Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo made open reference to it – and Bloomberg Businessweek featured an article, “It’s Global Warming, Stupid.” (Even President Obama managed to say the “C” word – but only after he was safely elected.)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Event - Inspiring Engagement: Enabling Habits That Drive Sustainable Change

Inspiring Engagement - Enabling Habits That Drive Sustainable Change will take place at Network Orange, ING DIRECT Downtown Café 221 Yonge Street (Yonge & Shuter), Toronto, ON, Canada. This event is being held by SPRING and will feature Christine Wickett, Senior TEEM Program Manager, Energy Advantage.

Event - OFA Annual Conference: Our Working Forest

The 64th annual Ontario Forest Association (OFA) annual conference will take place on Friday Feb 8, 2013, in Alliston, Ontario. This OFA conference will be exploring the theme of "Our Working Forest". It will explore the importance of forest products in our daily lives, and the value of forest industry to our culture and economy. Over-reliance on fossil fuels, coupled with population growth is driving the need to fully harness the potential of our truly renewable resource; wood.

Event - IMN Inaugural Impact Investing Summit

On March 14-15 in Huntington Beach, CA, IMN will be hosting the inaugural Impact Investing Summit. The conference will bring together experts in the exciting impact investing arena to discuss the key topics of interest with their industry peers.

As investors and asset managers alike look to increase their involvement in impact and sustainable investments, this conference will provide a practical overview of opportunities for returns, offer routes to entry, and clarify what defines true impact investing.

Event - The World Green Energy Symposium (WGES)

The World Green Energy Symposium (WGES) will take place on March 26 in New York city at Hunter College. WGES has a track record in showcasing new, alternative, sustainable and innovative product development and opportunities for businesses and the public. The WGES attracts the best minds and top decision makers through a carefully planned strategic process which has developed into the foundation leading to an outstanding premier technical program providing a world stage for a platform of education and information exchange on new and existing advances in sustainable energy.

WGES has made its mark consecutively since its inception in 2008, the program focuses on green/renewable energy technology and innovations in existing technologies as the vantage point in the new economy creating and maintaining jobs, contract and exporting opportunities, and new policies leading to economic vitality and a healthier planet.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Video - Narratives on Carbon Pollution: Are Individuals to Blame for Carbon Pollution?



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Video - Bipartisan Scientists Call for Bipartisan Solutions to Climate Change


Republicans are well known for their steadfast resistance to action on climate change. In the last presidential election the Republican contender chided President Obama for his efforts to address climate change. What makes this video so interesting is the fact that it is a bipartisan effort from two scientists, one a supporter of the Democrats and the other a supporter of Republicans. Both men strive to point out common ground on efforts to address the serious problems associated with climate change.

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Video - Bill McKibben: Climate Change is an Environmental and Economic Problem



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Friday, January 18, 2013

2012 in Retrospect: Are We ‘Chasing Our Own Tail’ On The Circular Economy?

Reflecting back over the past 12 months, a few things stood out as significant events in the CSR world.  Here is a CSRwire editorial by Philip Monaghan, founder & CEO of Infrangilis and a writer and strategist in the fields of economic development and environmental sustainability.
_______________________________________________

Despite sector growth that bucks the recession trend, not only is the green economy uncompetitive when pitched against the brown economy, it is not a serious enough rival to other green issues such as street litter.

Steven Chu is Leaving his Post as Energy Secretary

According to a Bloomberg report, Energy Secretary Steven Chu is going to announce that he is leaving his post in President Barack Obama's cabinet. Chu has worked to advance a low carbon economy in the US. He was the 12th US Secretary of Energy, he is well known for having won the Nobel Prize in 1997 for his research at Bell Labs in cooling and trapping of atoms with laser light.

Chu was a professor of physics at Stanford University and at the time of his appointment as Energy Secretary, Chu was a professor of physics and molecular and cellular biology at the University of California, Berkeley. He was also the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where his research was concerned primarily with the study of biological systems at the single molecule level.

Top 10 Sustainability Reports of 2012

As 2012 winds down, 2013 looks to be an even more promising year for sustainability reporting. More companies are integrating corporate social responsibility within their overall corporate strategy, rather than treating it as some pesky public relations maneuver relegated to the basement office. Plenty of forces are at work: more countries are close to mandating integrated reporting (combining financial and CSR information into one report); the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is mulling even more suggested disclosures; and, at a core level, companies realize that their stakeholders are demanding more transparency about their effects on the environment and society. Information, not platitudes and pictures, reign in the best of the best CSR reports.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

2012 in Retrospect: Pitchfork Politics, New-Age Style

Reflecting back over the past 12 months, a few things stood out as significant events in the CSR world. Here is a CSRwire editorial by Dave Wann, a community gardener and author of 10 books about social change and sustainability

Citizen-consumers can support climate friendly farming by helping reverse two key dietary trends of the past half-century – fossil-fueled food and relentless increases in meat consumption.

Ernst & Young: 2012 Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards

Corporate reporting practices globally are undergoing radical revisions as increasing stakeholder demands and resource limits are forcing companies to critically re-evaluate how they communicate their operations in a transparent manner. Integrated reporting, as mandated by the third King Report, seeks to address the integration of critical financial and non-financial performance measures not only into reporting but also into long term corporate strategy. South Africa is leading the way internationally in this regard, being the first country in the world to take on integrated reporting on scale.

National Solar Jobs Census 2012

On November 14th, 2012, The Solar Foundation released its third annual National Solar Jobs Census report, which found that the U.S. solar industry currently employs 119,016 Americans. This figure represents the addition of 13,872 new solar workers and a 13.2 percent employment growth rate over the past 12 months. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the overall economy grew at a rate of 2.3 percent during the same period*, signifying that 1 in 230 jobs created nationally over the last year were created in the solar industry. The report, produced by The Solar Foundation and in partnership with BW Research and Cornell University, was released at the Interstate Renewable Energy Council's Clean Energy Workforce Education Conference in Albany, NY.

2012 in Retrospect: Better Together, Corporate Responsibility Grows Up

Reflecting back over the past 12 months, a few things stood out as significant events in the CSR world. This editorial published in CSRwire is by Andrea LearnedSenior Social Media Strategist with Pyramid Communications and author of Don't Think Pink: What Really Makes Women Buy - and How To Reach Your Share of this Crucial Market.

Now that we've started to understand how social responsibility can be a competitive advantage, how do we move forward together? You don’t have to be an octogenarian, especially in the ever-evolving business world, to sit back in amazement and think “Wow, how things have changed.”

Webinar: Finding the Right Energy Management Software Match

On Thursday, January 17, join Janet Lin, Senior Manager, Verdantix for a 60 minute webinar based on unique, ground-breaking research. Live Verdantix webinars are free of charge. Simply register before the number of limited places runs out. The energy management software market emerged in the 1990s in response to corporate challenges to manage increasing energy prices, risk from energy market volatility and rapidly evolving energy and carbon regulations.

Heads of energy, facilities, finance and sustainability who are looking for enterprise software to support their energy management activities should join this webinar to understand how to shortlist suppliers. Based on responses to a 134 point questionnaire and interviews with 15 buyers of energy management software from firms with revenues of over $1 billion.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Global Risks Report 2013: Interconnectedness of the Economy and the Environment

The World Economic Forum (WEF) released the eighth edition of its Global Risks Report 2013 which ranks climate change from rising greenhouse gas emissions as a major global threats. Also high on the list is the failure of governments and businesses to mitigate or adapt to climate change. The 2013 report indicates that ongoing economic weakness detracts from our ability to tackle environmental challenges.

The WEF works with governments to develop mechanisms for managing risk. The report rates the top global risks based on a survey of over 1000 experts from industry, government and academia. The 2013 report sampled respondents from more than 100 countries, although the majority came from Europe and North America. A total of 40 percent of respondents came from a business background.

2012 in Retrospect: Top CSR Executive Stories

More Evidence for Anthropogenic Climate Change from the 2013 US National Climate Assessment Draft Report

A draft report released on January 11 suggests that the evidence for anthropogenic climate change is stronger than ever. The 1,146 page draft was prepared by a US federal committee.  It offers a comprehensive analysis of the latest and best peer-reviewed science on global warming. The National Climate Assessment report reiterates the widely understood fact that climate change will have a wide range of impacts ranging from agriculture to water. The report further indicates that the US requires better national plans for adaptation to a changing climate.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2012 in Retrospect: CSR & Sustainability in the Press

Today's editorial is by Elaine Cohen, a contributory writer for CSRwire, author of CSR for HR: A necessary business partnership to advance responsible business practices and a prolific advisor on CSR and sustainability reports.

The first press release posted in 2012 was titled Two Senate Climate Hawks Team Up for a Must-See Colloquy posted by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Anyone see that must-see colloquy? The story was about two Democrat Senators repudiating climate change denialists and arguing for serious U.S. action on climate change.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Cleantechnica: Top 10 Wind Power Stories of 2012

Cleantechnica recently posted its list of the top wind power stories of 2012. These stories include turbine technology, the Obama administration, leading wind power countries, costs and the US PTC, . Here is the unedited list of Cleantechnica's top 10 wind power stories of 2012.


10. Floating wind turbines take several steps forward. 

In various ways, it’s clear that a lot of work is still being put into research and development of wind turbines. Floating wind turbine news was particularly noteworthy this year. Here are several notable floating wind turbine stories from 2012:

Legally Binding Treaty to Reduce Mercury Emissions

On Sunday January 13 delegates from more than 130 nations began a final round of negotiations with the intent of creating the world's first legally binding treaty to reduce mercury emissions. Mercury contamination is a major problem which has serious implications for pregnant women, women of childbearing age and young children. Mercury accumulates in fish and wildlife and goes up the food chain.

According to the U.N. environment program, which is also one of the sponsors of these talks, over the past century ocean based mercury contamination has doubled. The report demonstrates that hundreds of tons of mercury have leaked from the soil into rivers and lakes around the world. High rates of mercury pollution are largely attributable to coal burning, chemical production and small-scale mining, particularly what is known as artisanal gold production.

Cleantechnica: Top 10 Solar Stories of 2012

Cleantechnica recently posted its list of the top solar stories of 2012. These stories include leading solar countries, new solar technologies, trade wars, and the reelection of Obama. Here is the unedited list of Cleantechnica's top 10 solar stories of 2012.

10. Giant US CSP power plants move along as planned, ready for completion in 2013.

While we didn’t see any big CSP power plants go online in 2012, a lot of work was going on behind the scenes, setting the stage for a boom in such utility-scale solar power plants in 2013. As noted less than a month ago:

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Event - Green Schools National Conference

Green Schools National Conference will take place on February 22- 24, 2013, in West Palm Beach Florida.  The Green Schools National Network (GSNN) advances the national green and healthy schools movement by connecting like-minded and passionate education, non-profit, corporate and public sector individuals and organizations.

GSNN is nationally recognized as the premier partner in advancing collaboration to integrate a green and healthy culture in schools to ensure that current and future generations of students are environmentally literate as well as practice and promote sustainability in their community.

Event - Renewable Energy Finance and Infrastructure Summit

The fourth annual Renewable Energy Finance and Infrastructure Summit will take place on February 27th – 28th, 2013 in Vienna Austria. Concrete efforts in the energy sector are moving Renewable Energy towards a truly sustainable role within the global energy market. Despite this, both European and other countries are continuing to face difficulties related to National budget cuts, changes to financial markets, and instability in both the regulatory and policy environments.

These issues continue to prevent smooth progress with Renewable Energy projects. In the face of these obstacles, finance and investment professionals in the renewables sector have continued to find innovative approaches to increase the contribution that their projects can make to both energy markets and sustainable approaches to energy production.

Event - The 2013 GreenBiz Forums (New York and San Francisco)

The 2013 GreenBiz Forums New York will take place on February 19, 2013 - February 21, 2013. The 2013 GreenBiz Forums San Francisco will take place on February 26, 2013 - February 28. These two events are framed by the 2013 State of Green Business report. The 2013 GreenBiz Forums bring together thought leaders and sustainability executives to define the trends, challenges and opportunities in sustainable business today. Great topics, speakers, absolutely relevant presentations and information.

Why You Should Attend the GreenBiz Forums


  • Gain insight. The information-packed Forum coincides with the release of GreenBiz.com's "State of Green Business 2013," the acclaimed annual status report on corporate environmental trends and progress. Understand the trends.