The top green business stories for the week:
SAP Moves Further Into Sustainability Arena, Acquires Green IT Leader Clear Standards. Triple Pundit’s own Andrew Burger reported that the software giant had announced a deal to acquire Clear Standards in a move that brings serious financial muscle into the emissions reporting IT industry. Of its announced intention to acquire Clear Standards, SAP Co-CEO Leo Apotheker said, “It is essential that organizations gain actionable insight into their carbon emissions, water consumption, energy use and other environmental factors so they can lower their environmental impact.”
Chicago First to Ban Baby Bottles with Suspected Toxin BPA Plastics. Bisphenol-A, or BPA, is a suspected culprit in heart disease and diabetes in adults, as well as cancer and accelerated puberty and other developmental risks for children. The chemical is used, among other things, to harden plastics, and is a common ingredient in baby bottles and sippy cups (as well as the popular Nalgene bottles, so switch to more eco-friendly Sigg or Klean Kanteen). Chicago passed the measure unanimously, citing the Federal government’s inaction on the chemical. During the Bush Administration, the FDA had ruled that BPA was safe at the levels in which it was found to leech into food and beverages, but a recent scientific panel condemned that research for flawed methods and ignoring important independent findings elsewhere. Chicago’s decision may force bottle makers and plastics manufacturers to decide whether to continue to use the product, as other cities and states are likely to follow suit. (From our Friends at the Environmental News Network).
General Electric to Open Battery Plant in NY. The announcement came Tuesday as GE continues to leverage itself to become a leader in the power storage sector. The plant should create 350 new manufacturing jobs, and will produce 10 million cells each year if the plant runs at full capacity. The company is seeking funding from the Federal government’s stimulus funds for clean energy, and may promise a brighter future for electric cars and plug-in hybrids. (From our friends at GreenBiz.com)
House of Representatives Finds Compromise on Clean Energy Legislation. President Obama and Rep Henry Waxman (D-California) had originally supported and sponsored a much higher renewable energy standard for the US, proposing 25% of our electricity come from renewable sources by 2025. Southern Democrats concerned over their region’s inability to meet the criteria helped sway the House toward a much smaller commitment to clean power. The southern US lacks much of the wind and geothermal resources of western states and would instead need to substantially develop biomass and solar resources in order to cover the power generation mix. Sponsors and environmentalists were disappointed, citing the much higher per-state standards already in place. New York, for example, is well on its way to meeting its goal of 25% by 2013. (From our friends at Red, Green, and Blue).
Questar Gas Company, Others Sue Interior Department For Revoking Oil & Gas Drilling Leases Near National Parks in Southern Utah. In a move that is largely viewed as one to force the hand of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, three oil & gas companies as well as three counties in Utah sued the Interior Department this week over the revocation of lease permits back in February. Salazar had said the Department would review the leases authorized by the Bush Administration to determine the impacts on air quality in the National Parks, and that if, upon further review, the play still stood, the leases would be renewed. The lawsuits seem to be an attempt to move the process forward as quickly as possible, and perhaps to circumvent some of the study and due process required. (From our friends at TreeHugger.com).
Scott Cooney is the author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and hopes that someday, the green economy will simply be referred to as…the economy.