Harry Stevens is a freelance reporter covering climate change, corporate social responsibility, social enterprise, and sustainable finance. Harry has contributed to several media outlets, including Justmeans, GreenBiz, TriplePundit, and Sustainablog. You can follow Harry on Twitter: @Harry_Stevens

Seamless's eco-friendly ordering option has already saved more than one million napkins and sets of utensils in 2013.

New York Startup Seamless and its Great Idea to Help the Environment

The leading online service for ordering delivery and takeout food says that its customers are increasingly making “eco-friendly” orders, asking delivery drivers to hold the plastic utensils and napkins.

Seamless, a New York-based company that lets users order food from more than 12,000 top restaurants in the United Stated and the United Kingdom, announced this week that eco-friendly orders processed through the website increased by 155 percent from 2010 to 2011, and by another 216 percent from 2011 to 2012.

This artist's rendering shows the forthcoming Whole Foods Market location in Gowanus, Brooklyn, complete with rooftop greenhouse.

Whole Foods to Grow Produce on Roof of New Brooklyn Store

Whole Foods Market will build a greenhouse farm on the roof of its forthcoming store in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Scheduled to open this fall, the greenhouse will be the first commercial scale farm of its kind integrated within a retail grocery space.

american flag sun

U.S. Solar Record Set in 2012

Installations of solar photovoltaics in the United States grew by 76 percent in 2012, making solar the fastest growing energy source in the country, according to a new report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industry Associations (SEIA).

The report, U.S. Solar Market Insight: Year-in-Review 2012, shows that the U.S. installed 3,313 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaics (PV) in 2012, setting a new industry record.

servers

‘Cloud Computing King’ Salesforce to Power Data Centers with Renewables

Salesforce, the software-as-a-service company that Bloomberg Businessweek recently called “a cloud computing king,” announced last week that it is “committing to work to steadily increase the amount of renewable energy we use in our data center operations, to reach our goal to be fully powered by renewable energy.”

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Watchdog Group Calls Chevron’s $2.5m Super PAC Donation Illegal

A collection of government watchdog and environmental organizations has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against Chevron and the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC to which Chevron donated $2.5 million during the 2012 campaign.

The U.S. government is reviewing which of the green building certification systems it should use to certify federal buildings.

Government Considers Dropping LEED’s Preferred Certification Status

A review of certification systems has some commentators worried that the federal government is about to weaken its green building requirements for construction and upgrades of federal buildings.

Last week, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has announced it will be seeking public input regarding the federal government’s use of third-party green building certification systems. GSA published a notice in the Federal Register seeking public comments on which green building certification schemes, if any, “are most likely to encourage a comprehensive and environmentally-sound approach to the certification of green Federal buildings.”

Volkswagen's ultra-green Chattanooga factory will receive power from an ocean of solar panels that lie on 33 acres to the north of the plant.

World’s Greenest Auto Plant Has Massive New Solar Park

Volkswagen has flipped the switch on a gigantic new solar park that will help power its ultra-green Diesel Passat factory in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The park is the largest solar installation ever built in Tennessee. A veritable ocean of solar modules – 33,600 in all – occupy 33 acres and produce enough electricity to power 1,200 homes each year.

While the New York Times says the closure of its environment desk will not affect coverage, others remain unconvinced.

Concern Remains as NY Times Downplays Significance of Environment Desk Closure

The New York Times is closing its environment desk in coming weeks, assigning its seven reporters and two editors to other departments and eliminating the positions of environment editor and deputy environment editor. The paper insisted that the closure of environmental desk will not make the paper’s environmental coverage any less aggressive or comprehensive, but many are unconvinced.

tesla store

In a Blow to Car Dealers, Court Affirms Tesla’s Right to Operate Company-Owned Stores

A lawsuit brought by Massachusetts auto dealers against Tesla Motors seeking to prevent the company from selling its electric vehicles in company-owned retail stores has been dismissed.

The suit, brought by the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association (MSADA) in Norfolk County Superior Court, alleged that Tesla was violating state franchise laws by opening a company-owned store in Natick, Mass., last September. Judge Kenneth Fishman dismissed the case based on the auto dealers’ lack of standing and failure to state a claim.

notbox

Notbox Sustainable Packaging Solution Coming to North America

The Notbox Company, a seven-year-old venture led by former Wall Street financier Thomas Hellman, has announced that it is bringing its “leaner, meaner and greener” packaging solution to North America. The London-based Notbox, which has been serving European clients for several years, offers reusable packaging products that provide alternatives to unsustainable cardboard packaging.

Corporations cannot be expected to pay more taxes than legally required. To increase public revenue, governments must amend tax codes.

Don’t Blame Google and Starbucks For Minimizing Their Tax Bills

Publicly traded companies like Google and Starbucks are fiduciarily beholden to their shareholders to maximize profits and minimize losses. Companies that fail to take advantage of tax loopholes made available by governmental tax codes are remiss in their financial duties and are subject to commensurate legal repercussions. If governments hope to raise additional revenue from corporations operating within their borders, they will have to alter their tax codes accordingly.

Investors on Wall St. are beginning to see a correlation between sustainability and financial performance.

Record Number of U.S. Companies Issuing Sustainability Reports

2011 was the first year ever that a majority of companies in the S&P 500 publicly disclosed their sustainability performance, according to new research from Governance & Accountability Institute. Moreover, companies that issued sustainability reports enjoyed higher financial returns than their non-reporting competitors.

Union Pacific Delivers Cargo Load of Innovation to Meet EPA Emissions Standards

Union Pacific Corporation, the company that owns and operates the iconic Union Pacific Railroad, has added a new locomotive to its ultra low-emission diesel fleet at the Chicago rail yard. With the addition of the new locomotive, Union Pacific has now unveiled seven of the so-called “Genset” (short for generator-set) switcher locomotives in Chicago.

DuPont's construction site in Nevada, Iowa

DuPont to Build World-Class Biofuel Refinery in Central Iowa

DuPont has broken ground on a $200 million biofuel refinery in Nevada, Iowa. The facility will be among the world’s first and largest commercial-scale cellulosic biorefineries. DuPont, the world’s third largest chemical company says the new facility will generate 30 million gallons annually of cellulosic ethanol, an entirely renewable energy source.