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IBM: Managing Risk in the Global Supply Chain

“Ultimately, if a supplier cannot be compliant with requirements on the environment and sustainability, we’ll stop doing business with them.” This quote, from John Paterson, IBM’s vice president of global supply and chief procurement officer, in the April 14 NY Times, is more than a hollow Earth Month pledge to reduce impact. It represents the … Continued

What If We Never Had Fossil Fuels?

As I sit here wondering how we can successfully make the transition to a sustainable society, I think about the things that are going to have to change, like the relationship between ourselves, our possessions and our sense of satisfaction. And the way we’ll need to change our food system and begin to refocus on … Continued

From Coal to Carbon to Baking Soda?

Over the past few years, we have heard much talk about carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), which has done little except raise even more questions about the viability of this technology.  Recently, more clean technology companies have emerged on the scene that strive to turn dirty carbon emissions into clean profits. One such firm is … Continued

NBC Uses Behavior Placement During Green Week

We are familiar with product placement in television shows. Last week, NBC Universal (NBCU) tried what it calls ‘behavior placement’ which attempts to get viewers to adopt behaviors they see television characters doing. Beginning April 19, NBCU outlets featured about 100 hours of green-themed programming. Examples of the type of programming include Law & Order … Continued

Greens Pound Democrats For Climate Bill Collapse

In a rare political turn-about, leading environmentalists are blaming an unusual suspect in the collapse of a landmark climate bill over the weekend: the Democrats. Leading green opinionators Joe Romm of Climate Progress and Thomas Friedman of the New York Times are pointing the finger of accusation at Democratic Senator Harry Reid and the White … Continued

What Is All the Fuss About Sara Lee’s EarthGrains Bread With Eco-Grains?

The famous advertisement says, “Nobody does it like Sara Lee.” Considering the controversy surrounding the advertising of Sara Lee’s EarthGrains bread, I think the jingle fits. The mega food company launched Eco-Grain wheat in its EarthGrains bread in February with a major public relations campaign that “blanketed the Web, Facebook, Twitter, and National Public Radio,” … Continued

Consumers Reluctant to Hand Over Control to Smart Appliances: Survey

A new survey suggests steep discounts in electricity prices would be needed to cajole consumers into giving utilities remote control over their appliances, a key component of future energy efficiency plans. The survey of more than 9,000 consumers in 17 countries by consulting firm Accenture showed that, without an offer of a price discount, a … Continued

Opportunity Fund Responds to NYTimes’ Critique of Microlending

By Eric Weaver I was very excited to see the article in The New York Times questioning the business practices and transparency of some of the organizations making loans to very poor people around the world.  There are clearly abuses going on, and much greater scrutiny needs to be applied to businesses adding the increasingly … Continued

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As Walmart Gets Greener, Major Labor Lawsuit Looms

Can the wrath of women scorned undermine the strides that Walmart has made with respect to environmental sustainability over the past five years? The mega-retailer claims its sustainability programs, which include using renewable energy to power its stores and cleaner transportation to drive its trucking fleet, is going to save the company millions in operating … Continued

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Collapse of Climate Bill Blow to Green Sector’s Hopes

The much-anticipated announcement of a bipartisan climate bill today has been indefinitely postponed after its lone Republican sponsor abandoned the effort over the weekend. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who had been working with Democratic Senator John Kerry and Independent Senator Joe Lieberman on the bill, walked away from negotiations after reports that the … Continued

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Pricing Emissions: Political Will Needed

Paul Krugman, the 2008 Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times op-ed columnist, offers this riposte to those that say addressing climate change is too costly, too traumatic and too radical: We can afford to tackle climate change. And we must do it. Writing about Green Economics in the April 11 New York Times Magazine, … Continued

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What Does the Catholic Church Have to do with Carbon Offsets?

The Catholic Church more or less invented offsets in the Middle Ages when it put a price tag on sin and sold forgiveness in the form of “indulgences.”  While the practice was condemned by many Christians and helped fuel the Protestant revolution, we find ourselves, once again, trying to buy our way out of our … Continued

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Fortune Brainstorm Green: What Do Environmentalists Want?

By Evelyn Lee Scattered among the innumerable shakers in green business at last week’s annual Fortune Brainstorm Green Conference, the public sector had ample opportunity to chime in on a panel discussion entitled: What Do Environmentalist Want? Making their way to center stage at the intimate business conference was Frances Beincke, president of the Natural … Continued

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Houston Launches $23 Million Building Efficiency Project

The City of Houston has agreed to pay Schneider Electric $23 million to retrofit 19 city buildings to increase energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. As part of the contract, the company guarantees the city will save $1.8 million a year over the 15-year contract, or they’ll pay the difference. The deal highlights the no-brainer … Continued

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Solar-Powered Internet Cafés Bring Hope to Remote Zambian Villagers

Macha, a sparsely populated region in southern Zambia, is about as far from London as one can get.  This region, smaller than the US state of Delaware, has no commercial industries or agriculture.  Its people, who live in smaller villages, live off of subsistence farming, consisting mostly of maize and peanuts.  But thanks to Computer … Continued