Sunday, December 31, 2017

Event - GLOBE Forum 2018: Leadership Summit for Sustainable Business

This event will take place on March 14 - 16, 2018 in Vancouver, BC. The GLOBE Series is the largest and longest running leadership summit for sustainable business in the world.   GLOBE Forum and the associated Innovation Expo, showcasing cleantech and sustainable innovation, attract nearly 10,000 delegates from more than 50 countries, sparking inspiration, collaboration, innovation and enhanced corporate responsibility. There will be over 700 Presidents and CEOs in attendence as well as 250 exhibitors; and 300+ international media.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

One Planet Summit Highlights the EU's Climate Leadership

As evidenced by the recent One Planet Summit, the EU and its member states are leading climate action. In the EU, governments, businesses and investors are all engaged in hopeful efforts and initiatives designed to combat climate change.

On the anniversary of the signing of the Paris Climate agreement on December 12, French President Macron convened a summit to encourage private and public financing for the implementation of the Paris agreement. The One Planet Summit was attended by governments, corporations and other organizations. At this event the European Union announced that it would invest at least €9 billion (US$10 billion) on clean energy, sustainable cities and agriculture. Even Theresa May, the less than green-minded prime minister of the UK, acknowledged the need for wealthy nations to help the developing world. She pledged to contribute £140 million to help poorer countries manage climate change.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

France Shows Trump What Climate Leadership Looks Like

France is leading climate action. The host nation for the signing of the historic Paris Agreement has repeatedly refuted Trump's climate denial while adopting a raft of measures as part of an ambitious national climate plan.  It is fair to say that with its support of science, climate focused political agenda, and progressive climate plan France is one of the most sustainable countries in the world.  French efforts have been ongoing for years and include everything from mandatory sustainability reporting to the problem of food waste. In May France announced that it was moving forward with 17 GW of clean energy investments. These are just some of the reason France has emerged as a global climate leader.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Event - Sustainable Investment Forum Europe

The Sustainable Investment Forum Europe (SIFE), will take place on March 13, 2018, in Paris France. This event is subtitled "Financing Innovation for a Low Carbon Future". Leaders will convene to discuss concrete solutions to the current challenges of the European and global climate finance market. SIFE will host more than 200 organizations including governments,  investment agencies,  NGOs, corporations, and think tanks. Attendees will hail from from more than 30 countries and include leading members of the finance community.  At SIFE you can meet sustainable investment thought leaders including C-Level representatives, investment decision-makers, influencial policy-makers and regulators.

Event - High-Performance Building Conference 2018

Hosted by Maine CSI (Construction Specifications Institute), the High-Performance Building Conference 2018, will take place Thursday, March 15, 2018 from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM (EDT) at the Holiday Inn Portland, in Portland, Maine. The conference is for all those who design, manage or build structures in New England. The event will gathers architects, contractors, designers, engineers, facility managers, building owners and other industry professionals with an interest in learning about high-performance enclosures in New England. The full-day event features a slate of nationally recognized speakers, who each offer expertise on aspects of high-performance buildings. In addition, more than 20 suppliers will be available to approach with questions on products and services related to high-performance building design and construction. The confereence features AIA accredited sessions by top industry leaders and exhibits by leading manufacturers.

Corporations Need to Get Over their Fear of Reporting Failure

Corporations, particularly those who purport to be interested in sustainability, need to bravely report where no reports have gone before. Many firms instinctively shield their failures from the public, however, forward looking corporations know that even here there is value to transparency.  

Although it is hard to avoid getting defensive about shortcomings, being forthcoming about weakness augurs transformative opportunities. Those who have the courage to honestly acknowledge the facts are in a position to change the paradigm. Problems are transformed into an exercise in problem-solving. Identifying weakness becomes an invitation to improve. 

Event - Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) Impact 2018

This event will take place on April 24 - 26, 2018 in San Francisco, California. More than 350 attendees will get inspired, learn, make new connections and leave with actionable takeaways for their daily work through thought-provoking presentations, interactive sessions, engaging panels, interesting tours and fun business networking functions.

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Art of Effective Science Based Climate Communications

Science-based communications have failed to effectively counter the barrage of misinformation about climate change. This is partly due to the sheer volume of politically motivated subterfuge. This is especially true in the United States where climate change denial is being sold to the public by both the president and his party. This administration and most GOP legislators have made it clear that they are opposed to a fact-based understanding of climate change. Nonetheless, science is critical to the health of a society and if we are to reach larger numbers of people we need to be more effective.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Climate Communication Strategy to Bridge the Political Divide

Despite the urgency of the climate crisis, Americans have been reluctant to make climate action a top-tier voting priority. It is not that people are confused by the science it is that they are confounded by the politics.  The politics of climate denial practised by the GOP and the Trump administration are the foremost impediments to climate action in the US.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Event - World Future Energy Summit

World Future Energy Summit will take place on January 15-18, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The theme is "Driving the Global Energy Transformation". This event is dedicated to innovation, digitalisation and transformation in the global energy mix. The World Future Energy Summit is the leading event worldwide that connects hundreds of international suppliers, decision makers and thought leaders across the entire renewable energy industry. Network, do business and gain insights into the latest industry trends and advancements in dedicated energy sectors in one place over four fully packed business days. More than 30,000 attendees from 175 countries will converge on Abu Dhabi for this event. It will include 639 exhibiting companies and feature 110 speakers.

Event - Eighth Session of the IRENA Assembly

Eighth Session of the IRENA Assembly will take place on January 13 – 14, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Assembly is the Agency’s supreme decision-making body and brings together Heads of State, Ministers, government officials, and representatives from the private sector, civil society and other international organisations to reaffirm the global renewable energy agenda and make concrete steps to accelerate the global energy transition. This Assembly will deliberate on IRENA’s progress on the Work Programme and Budget for 2016-2017 and decide upon the new strategic and programmatic direction in the context of the Work Programme and Budget for 2018-2019 and Medium-term Strategy 2018-2022.

Event - Ontario EcoSchools SuperConference: Building Environmental Leadership

Ontario EcoSchools SuperConference will take place on Feb 22, 2018, at Le Jardin event centre, 8440 Hwy 27, Woodbridge, Ontario. This day-long event offers interactive learning and networking that will focus on building environmental leadership in school communities. The critical importance of education makes this an event for everyone (including teachers, school staff, outdoor education centres, administration, EcoTeam leads, and the general public).

There will be a keynote address and workshop sessions. There will be presentations both of Canada's official languages (English and French). The 50 – 60 minute long presenations will align with the conference theme of Building Environmental Leadership. Presenations will be delivered by teachers, school board representatives, or community members. In addition to speakers and adult-only workshops, there will be a stream specially designed for students.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Emotion is the Key to Communicating Sustainability and Climate Messaging

Emotion is a critical part of effective communications. This is particularly true when marketing sustainability efforts and crafting effective climate message strategies. Research in the social sciences and particularly cognitive psychology help us to understand how our communications are perceived. Texas Tech climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe has said that the "greatest advances" in our understanding of climate change over the past decade have come not from the physical sciences, but from the social sciences.

Here is an informal summary of some of the lessons we have gleaned from the social sciences. Research in pyschology reveals that facts alone are not enough to get through to people.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Republican Tax Scam is a Crime Against People and the Planet

The Republican's tax plan impoverishes Americans while enriching the one percent. It is unconsciounable that those who control 90 percent of America's wealth are being given an even greater share of the pie.  The bill that passed in both the House and the Senate is a windfall for the few but it has devastating implications for everyone else. It is a nightmare for wealth inequality and no better for planetary health. The tax scam, as some are calling it, favors oil and gas development while weakening the cleantech sector.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Getting Ready to Report Educational Forum on Ontario's Energy and Water Regulation

This event will take place on Tuesday, December 5th, 2017 from 11:30AM-1:00PM at St. Jerome's University, 290 Westmount Rd. N Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G3.

By July 2020, most buildings over 50,000 square feet will be required to publicly report data about their energy and water usage. This is in accordance with Ontario Regulation 20/17 "Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking for Large Buildings." Michael Brophy from the Ministry of Energy will give an overview of the regulation and help organizations prepare for for mandatory public reporting of waste and water.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Why Trump Does Not Want a Science Advisor

The Trump administration has not filled dozens of key scientific posts. This includes senior positions at the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and most notably, a science advisory job in the White House. Many are asking why Trump is not naming a science advisor when every president since Eisenhower has considered this to be an important positiion. The Science advisor is charged with giving the president scientific and technical advice in areas of national concern. If there was ever a president in need of a science advisor it is the current commander and chief.

While almost everything Trump does is a source of concern, his failure to hire a science advisor is especially worrisome. The vacancy effectively deprives the White House of a much needed voice of reason. Having an adult in the room is particularly important when you consider the erratic behavior and the irrational decisions of the man that occupies the Oval Office.