Thursday, August 31, 2017

Hurricane Harvey and Trump's Hypocritical Resistance to Climate Resilience

Hurricane Harvey is a clarion call to climate deniers like Donald Trump. Extreme weather is one of the hallmarks of a world ravaged by climate change. Severe storms and catastrophic flooding illustrate the dangers of global warming more graphically than any research ever could. 

Hurricane Harvey now ranks as the worst rainstorm in US history. The storm saw winds as strong as 132 mph and some of the largest downpours ever recorded. It should be noted that this extreme rainfall is clearly consistent with climate models. One of the cities hit hardest was Houston, where heavy downpours have increased 167 percent since the 1950s.

Hurricane Harvey and the State of Climate Science

Storms are complex phenomena but we can say with a good degree of certainty that Hurricane Harvey and other extreme weather events are exacerbated by global warming.

Hurricane Harvey is the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than half a century. It smashed into the coast of Texas on Friday as a Category 4 hurricane. It then dumped over a meter of rain submerging streets, homes and vehicles. Thousands of people were stranded on rooftops in scenes reminiscent of Hurricane Katrina. In addition to widespread property damage Harvey is known to have killed at least 14 people and almost seven million people have been affected.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

15 Greenest US Colleges & Universities (2017)

BestColleges.com has named the top 15 US colleges and universities in 2017 based upon AASHE's ratings. Each year the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) creates a list of green schools that have engaged in successful eco-initiatives on-campus and within their surrounding communities.

AASHE's list of green schools is consistent with their efforts to coordinate and strengthen campus sustainability efforts. Although this list is not endorsed by AASHE, it does rely on the organization's STARS ratings which spotlights schools that have launched the most impactful initiatives to reduce on-campus waste and energy consumption, promote alternative transportation, provide funding to student and faculty-led green proposals, and take other measures that benefit the environment.

Hurricane Harvey and the State of Climate Science

Storms are complex phenomena but we can say with a good degree of certainty that Hurricane Harvey and other extreme weather events are exacerbated by global warming.

Hurricane Harvey is the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than half a century. It smashed into the coast of Texas on Friday as a Category 4 hurricane. It then dumped over a meter of rain submerging streets, homes and vehicles. Thousands of people were stranded on rooftops in scenes reminiscent of Hurricane Katrina. In addition to widespread property damage Harvey is known to have killed at least 14 people and almost seven million people have been affected.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Bannon has Left the White House but his Influence Remains

Steve Bannon may be out of the White House but a paint by numbers version of his ideology has been grafted onto the brain of the US Commander and Chief. Bannon's insane ideology will endure in the Executive branch as long as Trump remains in office.

Bannon was advising Trump well before becoming a formal adviser on August 17, 2016. Bannon cemented his relationship with Trump in the 2016 election. He earned himself a senior position in the Trump administration because he is the matchmaker who delivered the alt-right vote. Trump cannot eschew the alt-right because he is so widely reviled outside of this group that he really has nowhere else to turn. Without the alt-right Trump's support could plunge to single digits.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Webinar - Rise of the Philanthropreneur (Class)

This webinar will take place on Monday, September 4th 2017. The webinar will explain a new kind of education that gives you the tools to be a philanthropreneur. This free online class is focused on impact the very thing that millennials are having trouble finding in the work environments of today. The class will also focus on building a movement that allows you to live a life of wisdom, adventure, and profit.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Al Gore on Climate Action and Trump's Denial (Videos)

Former Vice President and climate crusader Al Gore was initially non-committal about Donald Trump.  Gore met with Trump in December last year and many hoped that he would be able to explain the science, economics and politics of climate change to the then president-elect.

In January, Gore was part of a panel moderated by Amy Goodman at the Sundance Film Festival. In this interview Gore indicated that he was still waiting to see what the the Trump administration does on the climate front. Gore was more forthcoming in his assessment of Trump's Secretary of State, the former CEO of Exxon, Rex Tillerson.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Energize Schools Energy Conservation Competition

The Energize Schools Energy Conservation Competition is a three-week challenge that gives schools in Southern California the chance to compete for prizes by reducing their energy usage. Since 2014 Energize Schools has worked with Energy and Facilities Managers to help Southern California schools reduce their energy by 391,383 kWh saving $58,883 and slashing 192,884 lbs. of CO2.

Responsible Business : The Rapid Growth of the B Corps

Business that are forces for good also see bottom-line benefits. This is not only about seeing value, or even securing a competitive advantage, this is a matter of survival. The number of companies with a social conscience has been steadily growing. This is exemplified by the growth of B Corps certified companies that are investing in environmental sustainability and focusing on workers’ rights. Since 2007 tens of thousands of companies have earned B Corp certification this includes SMEs and well-known brands like the internet sensation Kickstarter and outdoor clothing giant Patagonia.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Corporate Environmental Financial Disclosure Tool

The current corporate reporting trend is a critical aspect of sustainability. Investors are increasingly demanding more detailed information to assess material risks and make sound investment decisions. We have seen a number of shareholder actions that demonstrate the changing landscape. Public disclosures, particularly as the relate to the environment and the climate demonstrate responsible corporate conduct. This trend growing in the US and around the world.

New York Certified Sustainability Practitioner Trainings

The next Certified Sustainability Practitioner Training will take place on September 28-29, 2017 in New York City. Attendees of the training will walk away with The latest updates and key concepts on corporate sustainability including GHG emissions, GRI reporting, stakeholder engagement, and best practices.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Sharing Sustainability Matters Now More than Ever

Sustainability may be the most important strategy we have to build a better world. The business community has the power to transform society and never before have they been more important. The world needs the business community to lead efforts to combat climate change and promote social justice.

A growing number of businesses are championing sustainability and engaging in responsible corporate conduct. As demonstrated recently by corporate America this is about far more than just a marketing angle, this is about both moral stewardship and the bottom line.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Training - Toronto Certified Sustainability Practitioner

Certified Sustainability Practitioner Training will take place on October 26-27, 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This globally recognized CSR-P Certification will cover best practices and enable participants to create a two-year sustainability plan for integrating sustainability across their organization’s value chain.  The training is offered by the only global sustainability training firm with CMI global professional certification for corporate sustainability.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Event - Yale Sustainability Leadership Forum

This event will take place on September 12 - 15. Are you and your company on top of the megatrends in sustainability? The Yale Sustainability Leadership Forum is an intense program exploring sustainability as an overarching framework for life in the 21st century. An integrated policy concept, sustainability diverges from approaches to environmental protection and economic development that were pursued in the 20th century.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Corporate America Fires Trump for Deriliction of Duty

An unprecedented number of American business leaders have come out to oppose Trump. Waves of resignations from the CEOs of America's leading corporations have forced Trump to disband his business councils.

Large numbers of companies have issued statements and internal memos condemning Trump. Ford, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Coca-Cola, have all spoken out against this administration. To protest Trump's egress from the Paris Climate Agreement more than two dozen major businesses took out full-page ads.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

CEOs Condemn Trump in the Wake of the Nazi Terror Attack in Charlottesville

The business community is railing against Trump's horrifying response to the Charlottesville terror attack. Corporate leaders are stepping up to challenge Trump in the wake of his failure to condemn the murderous rampage of white nationalists. Businesses are overtly refuting Trump's narrative and championing both diversity and inclusion. So far more than a half dozen CEOs have publicly resigned from their positions as presidential advisors. Trump initially refused to single out the racist groups that took part in the alt-right rally in Charlottesville and he did not condemn the hateful beliefs of white supremacists. Trump also conspicuously failed to mention the neo-nazi that murdered Heather Heyer and injured 19 others.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Charlottesville Terrorist Attack: Trump and his Alt-Right

The fact that neo-nazi Trump supporters have committed a murderous act of terrorism should come as no surprise. Trump has pandered to the alt-right movement that includes many neo-nazis and white supremacists. They not only helped to get him elected they form the militant core of his base.

On Friday August 11, neo-nazis held a torch-wielding protest at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. As they marched through the campus they screamed hate speech and hurled racial insults. This was followed on Saturday August 12 with a white supremacist rally where a neo-nazi terrorist attack killed one and injured more than a dozen others.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Event - World Design Summit of International Organizations

The first World Design Summit of International Organizations will take place October 23-25, 2017 in Montreal, Canada.

Great design can transform the world and this summit will be an unprecedented moment of global unity focused on design-driven solutions. This summit will create an international action plan for solving global issues through design. Designing for the future is a 10-year, design-driven international action plan for creating a world that is environmentally sustainable, economically viable, socially equitable and culturally diverse.

The world is facing complex challenges and the more complex the problem, the more the need for synthesis. The power in Design is the power of synthesis. The road to convergence has been forged by focusing on that which is common between the disciplines and on the shared desire to strategically actuate the unique capacity of design to address pressing global needs.  

Event - Sustainable Innovation Forum

The 8th annual Sustainable Innovation Forum will take place on November 13-14, in Bonn, Germany. As explained by Erik Solheim, the Executive Director of UN Environment: "We need to prove that protecting the environment is profitable and in everyone's best interests. We can do this by holding up successful examples."

Friday, August 11, 2017

Businesses Support Sustainability and Oppose Trump

Trump may be an impediment to climate action from the federal government but he cannot stop the growth of sustainability in the US. Market forces have made sustainability a mainstream phenomenon. Paradoxically the Trump administration's rejection of responsible climate policies may have increased climate action and activism from the business community.

The acknowledgement of the veracity of climate change is widespread. In addition to the scientific consensus and corporate leadership all branches of the US military and most economists agree that climate change is a significant threat.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

ebook - Renewable energy: Understanding the Basics from the University of Calgary

If you are curious about clean power check out this ebook from the University of Calgary.  This free introductory level ebook on renewable energy is titled Renewable energy: Understanding the basics.

Currently, the world gets most of its power from burning hydrocarbons, or fossil fuels. But renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind and hydro, are becoming more and more widespread.

In this ebook, you'll learn about the basics of renewable energy, some of the advantages of different types of renewable energy sources, and how adopting cleaner energy benefits us all in the long run.

 Click here to download Renewable energy: Understanding the basics.

Make sure to see the article titled, "Comprehensive Green School Information and Resources." It contains links to over 350 posts covering everything you need to know about sustainable academics, green school buildings, student eco-initiatives, and college rankings as well as a wide range of related information and resources.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

10 Things Corporations Can Do to Combat Climate Change

There are a number of things that corporations can do to limit global warming. Never before has corporate leadership been more important. Never before have the stakes been so high and never before have the potential returns been as large.

Corporations must play a leadership role in the effort to keep temperatures from exceeding the upper threshold limits (1.5°C-2°C above preindustrial norms).

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Studying Climate, Renewables and Sustainable Development at TERI University in India

TERI University, New Delhi has a wide range of courses and programs geared towards sustainability. This includes everything from renewable energy focused distance learning diploma's to a wide range of environment, climate and sustainability focused PhD programs. It also has similar programs at the Masters level (MSc, MBA, MA, MTech) suitable for candidates with a bachelor's degree.  TERI University claims it is the only University in India offering unique courses around Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Renewable Energy.

More Decoupling: Corporate Emissions Reduction are Compatible with Growth

The CDP tracks corporate emissions. The figures in the 2016 report serve as a baseline for corporate climate action following the Paris Agreement. This annual report also ranks companies according to their carbon emissions and in so doing it reveals both leaders and laggards.

One of the salient findings to emerge from the report is the connection between climate action and profitability. Corporations that are acting on climate change are improving their balance sheets by capitalizing on new business opportunities and revenue streams. The report specifically suggests that there is a competitive advantage associated with greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction. Corporations that reduced emissions grew significantly while those that didn't saw their fortunes decline.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Course - Climate Change and Energy at Harvard Kennedy School

Harvard Kennedy School is offering a one-week Executive Education program titled "Climate Change and Energy: Policy Making for the Long Term."  This intensive course will take place October 15-20, 2017.  The application deadline is August 15, 2017. In this course leading experts will address mitigation, adaptation, economics of climate change, geoengineering, and other topics.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Webinar - Sustainable Urban Infrastructure: Green Buildings and Liveable Cities

This Sustainable Urban Infrastructure webinar will take place on August 23, 2017. As the world continues to focus on sustainability, our definition of environmental sustainability is moving beyond flora and fauna to include the humans in the ecosystem as well. And there is no better front line than the buildings where we spend most of our time. With estimates suggesting that up to 70% of the world’s population will be living in urban areas by 2050, cities are under pressure from all angles to minimise the required inputs of energy, water, food, waste and output of heat, air & water pollution. Buildings and constructions account for 32% of global energy expenditure, are responsible for 19% of greenhouse gas emissions and, based on projections and construction trends, emissions from the building sector could double by 2050 if we carry on business as usual.

Event - Companies Vs Climate Change

Companies vs Climate Change is a B2B climate solutions event series. The first event takes place on October 4 - 6, at the Raddison Blu Royal Hotel in Brussels. The second event will take place on November 29 - December 1 at the Hyatt Regency Miami.

This is an event series whose mission it is to bring together companies from around the world to discuss climate change and how they can work together to address it most impactfully.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Graduate Certificate - CSR/Sustainability at St Michael's College (Video)

The Graduate Certificate in CSR/Sustainability at the University of St. Michael's (University of Toronto) is a program that accommodates people who are working full time.

There are already 200 graduates of this program from around the world. They work for a wide range of organizations including for-profit, not-for-profit and government organizations.  The personal and professional benefits of education are numerous. A strong business case that can be made for higher learning. Click here for a business case presentation (PDF) or here for a program impact assessment as described by program graduates.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Course Certificate - Leading Organizations & Change at MIT Sloan School of Management

MIT Sloan School of Management is collaborating with world renowned faculty to offer instruction in the prescient realm of organizational change. In today's complex interconnected world an organization's strategies and tactics must be encouraged to evolve. Course alterations are essential in response to changing business environments. In the face a barrage of unprecedented challenges, an organizations ability to pivot on a dime has become critical.

Tesla's Revolutionary Gigafactories

Tesla is building some of the biggest lithium-ion batteries and electric car manufacturing facilities in the world. These highly efficient, self-reliant manufacturing plants are so massive they are being called "gigafactories". Their capacities are so great that Forbes quotes Tesla Founder Elon Musk as saying 100 such facilities could completely transition the entire world to renewable energy.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Comprehensive Green School Information and Resources 2010 - 2016

In 2017 the Green Market Oracle (GMO) is reprising its annual Green School Series. Over the course of the last seven years the GMO has published more than 350 articles related to environmentally oriented academics, sustainable infrastructure and green initiatives in pedagogical settings. In the coming weeks we will post articles on a daily basis related to the green schools and sustainability focused academics. These efforts contribute to the growth of a well informed population, a sustainable economy and ultimately a healthier planet. This focus is a key part of the GMO's mission to help facilitate the convergence of sustainability and the global environment.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Telsla's Elon Musk Thinks Trump is Bad for Business

Elon Musk is arguably the greatest sustainability focused business builder on the planet and he thinks Donald Trump is on the wrong track. The contrast between Musk and Trump could not be more stark. Musk is a sustainability titan, and an innovator. while Trump is a dated caricature of a businessman. Shortly after winning the US presidential election in November 2016 Trump tapped Musk to be his strategic policy advisor. Five months later Musk quit the president after the latter pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Accord.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

GMO's Annual Green Schools Posts in 2016

Each summer and fall the Green Market Oracle (GMO) publishes a series of posts focused on the growing green schools movement. In 2016 this comprised both buildings and academics, it also includes best practices and information useful to sustainability professionals, students, instructors and other stakeholders. In addition to green buildings, this series reviews hundreds of sustainability-focused schools and accreditation. Last year GMO published 32 articles in this series bringing the total to more than 350.  In 2016 the predominant themes included early education, tools, resources and awards.

13 Applications of Tesla Batteries that are Revolutionizing Renewables

Tesla Energy is revolutionizing the renewable energy space by making large-scale battery power more accessible.  Efficient and inexpensive power storage has long been the holy grail of renewable energy. By storing renewable energy Tesla is helping to lessen the need for pollution causing fossil fuels. As the leader in the rapidly growing energy storage sector Tesla's cost effective battery systems are making clean power truly viable in a broad range of settings.