3p Contributor: Mary Mazzoni

Mary Mazzoni Based in Philadelphia, Mary Mazzoni is a senior editor at TriplePundit. She is also a freelance journalist with a passion for storytelling and sustainability. Her work has appeared in the Philadelphia Daily News, Earth911, the Huffington Post, Sustainable Brands and the Daily Meal.

Mary is a lifelong vegetarian with an interest in climate resilience, clean tech and food justice. You can contact her at mary@triplepundit.com or @mary_mazzoni on Twitter.

Recent Articles

3p Weekend: 5 Celeb-Backed Green Marketing Campaigns We Can Actually Get Behind

Mary Mazzoni
| Friday March 28th, 2014 | 1 Comment
Oscar-nominated actor and longtime environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio recently purchased an EV racing team to inspire drivers to go electric.

Oscar-nominated actor and longtime environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio recently purchased an EV racing team to inspire drivers to go electric.

With a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there’s no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads, and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business.

Celeb-backed environmental campaigns are often sigh-inducing displays of greenwashing, but we’re all for giving a pat on the back when things are done right. Campaigns incorporating celebrities can bring the conversation to a far wider audience — an ultimate necessity if we hope to move the needle forward on issues like climate change and ocean health. With that in mind, this week we rounded up five celebrity-backed green marketing campaigns that we can actually get behind.

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Transparent Panels Signal the Future of the Solar Industry

Mary Mazzoni
| Thursday March 27th, 2014 | 4 Comments
The ultra-thin, 40 percent transparent solar cells unveiled by German manufacturer Heliatek lend themselves perfectly to the integration between glass panes to help buildings become carbon neutral.

The ultra-thin, 40 percent transparent solar cells unveiled by German manufacturer Heliatek lend themselves perfectly to the integration between glass panes to help buildings become carbon neutral.

Imagine a world where every glass surface produces solar power. You’d wake up to the alarm on your fully-charged smartphone, pluck it off the windowsill and hop into a hot shower — courtesy of a solar water heating system powered by your enclosed patio. You stroll out to your electric vehicle and flip on the radio, powered by your sun roof, and head off to your net-zero office building — which skirts the grid thanks to its majestic floor-to-ceiling windows.

This scenario may sound like science fiction, but recent developments in solar technology suggest that it barely scratches the surface of where the industry may be headed in the coming decade. Earlier this week, German solar company Heliatek unveiled a 40 percent transparent organic solar cell that’s ideal for generating energy from windows, façades and glass car roofs.

The development holds potentially groundbreaking implications for the new generation of net-zero smart buildings, as well as the alleviation of electric vehicle range anxiety.

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3p Weekend: 8 New Electric Vehicles and Plug-Ins We Can’t Wait to Drive

Mary Mazzoni
| Friday March 21st, 2014 | 0 Comments
The BMW i8, set to ship in June 2014.

The BMW i8, set to ship in June 2014.

With a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there’s no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads, and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business.

Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids are inching closer to the mainstream. U.S. plug-in electric and hybrid vehicle sales nearly doubled in 2013, and EV production worldwide is projected to increase by 67 percent this year. Almost all automakers have at least one electric vehicle in their portfolios, and some truly drool-worthy rides are set to hit the market in 2014. Everyone has their favorites, but here are eight new EVs and plug-ins that we can’t wait to drive.

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‘B the Change’: 92 B Corps Honored as ‘Best for the World’

Mary Mazzoni
| Thursday March 20th, 2014 | 0 Comments

B the Change StampAccording to the nonprofit B Lab, “B Corp certification is to sustainable business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk.”

B Corp certification does not confer legal standing and is completely voluntary. However, it does provide the validation of an independent body acknowledging that the company has met a responsibility performance standard — and B Corps across all industries are well known for positive impacts on both people and planet. We at Triple Pundit received our B Corporation status earlier this month — joining more than 900 other forward-thinking companies.

Yesterday, the Wayne, Pa.-based B Lab honored 92 of these global companies for creating the most positive overall social and environmental impact with the release of its third annual “B Corp Best for the World” list. Including companies from 31 different industries, the list honors businesses that earned an overall score in the top 10 percent of all B Corps on the B Impact Assessment, a comprehensive assessment developed by B Lab that rates a company’s impact on its workers, community and the environment.

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3p Weekend: 7 Booming Job Sectors Fueling America’s Green Economy

Mary Mazzoni
| Friday March 14th, 2014 | 0 Comments
Freer Water Control and Improvement District (FWCID) Manager Diana Adame tests for arsenic using a test strip.

Freer Water Control and Improvement District (FWCID) Manager Diana Adame tests for arsenic using a test strip.

With a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there’s no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads, and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business.

Before we get on to this week’s 3p Weekend, let’s pose a question: What is a green job? It’s a simple question but one that has no official answer. In March 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) took a crack at defining green jobs and calculating their saturation in the market in a detailed survey of the green economy. There are some limitations to their definition, but it’s consistent with most that came before it (and it makes sense to us for the most part). So, let’s decide to use it as our go-to for this list.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s move on to the fun part: It’s tough to deny that the green jobs sector is making waves across the country, even as overall unemployment rates are slow to decline. BLS determined that green employment is growing at a faster rate than the overall economy, with no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

The saturation of green jobs is growing across all industries, but a select few are leading the charge. Read on for seven booming green job sectors set to explode in the 21st century. 

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How the Power of Story Can Save Our Oceans

Mary Mazzoni
| Wednesday March 12th, 2014 | 1 Comment

Boat

This is the first in our new series of articles on Sustainable Seafood. Please follow along on our main landing page here

In many ways, the ocean is an open history book — relaying grim tales of waste, pollution and shortsighted management of our planet’s natural resources. The ocean covers 71 percent of the Earth’s surface and contains 97 percent of its water, yet a growing number of factors continue to threaten the health of our oceans and, by extension, the sustainable future of our planet.

As the Earth warms, so do the oceans — causing increasing rates of acidification that concern scientists and lawmakers alike. President Barack Obama noted acidification as a key climate-related concern in an Executive Order he issued last year urging Americans to embrace climate change awareness. Scientists note that acidification has happened before in Earth’s history — but never at such rapid rate. The most comparable event, which took place about 65 million years ago, is estimated to be 10 times slower than current acidification.

Though human activity indirectly impacts ocean health through climate change, direct actions may pose even greater concerns. To keep up with demand for certain species, massive commercial fishing vessels empty large swaths of water in one pass, then simply move on to another. Known as overfishing, the serial depletion of fish populations that leaves few adult fish to repopulate the seas, this phenomenon poses a real and imminent threat to ocean biodiversity — which could endanger sea life all the way up the food chain and have potentially devastating effects on underwater ecosystems. Meanwhile, currents draw millions of tons of trash to an area the size of Texas in the Pacific Ocean, known as the North Pacific Gyre or trash vortex, where it swirls in perpetuity and grows larger by the day.

Outspoken consumer advocacy, thoughtful legislation and greater industry transparency can go a long way to ensuring a healthier ocean for our children. But another factor may play an even greater role in determining a brighter future for the world’s fish — the power of story.

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3p Weekend: 8 Clean Tech Trends to Watch in 2014

Mary Mazzoni
| Friday March 7th, 2014 | 1 Comment
A supporter of climate action holds up a sign at the Walk Against Warming in Melbourne, Australia in 2007. A great deal has changed in clean tech since then.

A supporter of climate action holds up a sign at the Walk Against Warming in Melbourne, Australia in 2007. A great deal has changed in clean tech since then.

With a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there’s no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads, and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business.

Clean tech is a hot topic in sustainable business – combining sustainable thinking with high technology. To make sure you don’t miss a thing, this week we rounded up eight clean tech trends to watch in 2014. Have something to add? Tell us about it in the comments. 

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3p Weekend: 10 U.S. Companies That Pay Above Minimum Wage

Mary Mazzoni
| Friday February 28th, 2014 | 11 Comments
Fast food workers strike for higher wages in New York City last summer.

Fast food workers strike for higher wages in New York City last summer.

With a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there’s no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday (starting today) TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads, and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business.

With the federal minimum wage increase a hot topic on everyone’s mind, this week we rounded up 10 U.S. companies that pay each of their employees a living wage. You may be surprised by who made the list.

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The Higg 2.0 Index and the Journey to an Industry-Wide Sustainable Apparel Standard

Mary Mazzoni
| Wednesday February 19th, 2014 | 1 Comment
Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Released in July 2012 by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), the Higg Index is a sustainability measurement tool that allows apparel companies to measure the impacts of their products across the value chain. Late last year, the SAC–a trade organization comprised of brands, retailers and manufacturers–announced an updated version of the index reflecting 18 months of development effort.

As we prepare to explore the environmental and social impact of fashion in an in-depth, four-month series, we thought it would be a good idea to take a closer look at the Higg Index 2.0.

The SAC represents companies totaling nearly 40 percent of the apparel and footwear market, Executive Director Jason Kibbey told TriplePundit, and the index is already being widely adopted at all levels of the value chain, so its reach and relevancy is clear.

As more companies jump on board, could the index inspire industry-wide sustainability standards? And what would this mean for the future of sustainable apparel?

What’s new in Higg 2.0?

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Sustainable Design in Masdar City: Photo Essay

Mary Mazzoni
| Monday February 3rd, 2014 | 0 Comments

A modern take on ancient architectureFor those interested in design, architecture and sustainability, Masdar City is something of a living museum: Everywhere the eye wanders, something new and intriguing makes it stop and look twice. I felt as if I could spend weeks poring over every crevice, examining each facade and gently running my fingers over whatever curious material sparked my interest.

Some have criticized Abu Dhabi’s low-carbon eco-city for just this phenomenon – calling it everything from “a green Disneyland” to a playground for tourists and the rich. But the fact remains that the city is an experiment. Tailored specifically to Abu Dhabi’s harsh desert climate, it is a testament to what’s possible if sustainability is placed at the core of urban planning – rather than tossed in as an afterthought. Masdar is upfront about the fact that it’s willing to entertain multiple approaches and technologies. As a general rule with such experimental projects, some methods work, and others don’t.

It’s also worth mentioning that, as one of the most oil rich nations in the world, Abu Dhabi doesn’t have to do this. Its government didn’t have to invest in Masdar, the nation’s renewable energy company, or put its dollars behind the city in the first place. But the fact that it’s doing so, and that the UAE has an integrated approach to sourcing 7 percent of its energy from renewables by 2020, speaks volumes about how proactively the emirate is addressing the reality that one day the oil will run out – a lesson large swaths of the Western world could stand to observe. 

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Refurbished Wind Turbines to Power the Developing World at a Profit

Mary Mazzoni
| Thursday January 30th, 2014 | 1 Comment

V47 at Silkeborgvej 15 Farre 8472 Sporup DenmarkThe rise of the developing world was a recurring theme at this year’s Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. The event’s opening ceremony featured a panel on development in Africa, where Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State in the United Arab Emirates, and three African heads of state predicted rapid urbanization and economic growth across the continent in the coming decade.

The need is great as more than 1.3 billion people around the world currently live without access to electricity. Two-thirds of those that have access to electricity get it from fossil fuels. With fossil fuel prices fluctuating and demand on the rise, energy costs are sent soaring in large swaths of the developing world – meaning those who can’t foot the bill are often left behind.

As energy demands increase to keep pace with forthcoming economic booms, devising a solution that meets these needs sustainably may prove not only an environmental win, but also a sound business decision for organizations that get in on the ground floor.

Formally announced in a panel discussion at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi last week, the commercially-based Wind for Prosperity initiative claims to have devised just such a solution.

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Siemens, GE Open Up Shop at Masdar City

Mary Mazzoni
| Friday January 24th, 2014 | 0 Comments
Siemens Middle East headquarters in Masdar City

Siemens Middle East headquarters in Masdar City

Steve Severance, manager of program management and investments for Masdar City, rightfully noted at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2014 that, “It’s one thing to use less energy, it’s another thing to create an attractive real estate development that uses less energy.”

Now, it seems that Masdar City – Abu Dhabi’s low-carbon, low-waste sustainable eco-city – is doing both. This week, global electronics powerhouse Siemens inaugurated its new Middle East headquarters at Masdar City – a pivotal turning point in the city’s growth and the beginning of a wave of high-profile corporate tenants.

The building itself is somewhat of an architectural marvel. Designed by acclaimed architects Sheppard Robson International, in collaboration with Masdar City Design Manager Chris Wan, the structure is the first LEED Platinum building in the region and is designed to slash energy usage both inside and out. During the design and planning process, Siemens and Masdar agreed that the building should not cost more than an average office building of its size. That goal was achieved, while also cutting water and energy use by 50 percent compared to conventional office buildings in the region.

“When we look at the success of Siemens headquarters, it shows that we kind of cracked the formula or broke the hypothesis that being sustainable means that you need to be more expensive,” Dr. Nawal Al-Hosany, director of sustainability at Masdar, told TriplePundit.

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Interview: Steve Severance Makes the Business Case for Masdar City

Mary Mazzoni
| Tuesday January 21st, 2014 | 3 Comments

Steve SeveranceAbu Dhabi’s sustainability week – one of the largest sustainability gatherings in the world – draws more than 30,000 participants from 150 countries. As a key organizer of the event, Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, receives a great deal of attention from visiting dignitaries, world leaders and media alike.

Yesterday, I had a chance to sit down with Steve Severance, manager of program management and investments for Masdar City, to discuss how the company is walking the fine line between sustainable innovation and savvy business management.

TriplePundit: Can you speak to how Masdar City balances its position as a trailblazer in sustainable innovation and design with its need to attract business interest and corporate tenants?

Steve Severance: You rightly point out that it’s one thing to use less energy, it’s another thing to create an attractive real estate development that uses less energy.

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Abu Dhabi’s Sustainability Week Kicks Off with Panel on Development in Africa

Mary Mazzoni
| Monday January 20th, 2014 | 2 Comments

2014-01-20 00.03.28Abu Dhabi sustainability week (ADSW), one of the largest sustainability gatherings in the world, launched today with a panel on the future of renewable energy development in Africa. Moderated by Adnan Z. Amin, director-general of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and featuring comments from the presidents of Senegal, Sierra Leone and Ethiopia, the panel addressed the opportunities for economic growth in Africa and what the continent needs to grow sustainably.

“Ahead of us lies a future with a tremendous potential for sustainable growth,” Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State in the United Arab Emirates and CEO of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, said in front of a crowd of dignitaries, world leaders and media this morning. “Nowhere is this opportunity more evident or immediate than in Africa.”

“Africa is undergoing unprecedented and sustained growth,” Amin added. “It has been one of the fastest growing regions of the past decade, with a GDP expected to grow in the coming years on an average from 5 to 6 percent annually.”

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Boosting Security in the Mobile-for-Good Space

Mary Mazzoni
| Tuesday January 14th, 2014 | 0 Comments

Kiambiu 4It seems as if high-profile privacy breaches are everywhere in the news these days. Snapchat made headlines earlier this year when hackers downloaded the phone numbers and usernames for as many as 4.6 million users, and the most recent data suggests that Target’s December security lapse could affect up to one-third of the U.S. population.

With privacy issues still fresh in our minds, Deb Levine – founder and president of YTH, (which stands for youth+tech+health), the partner of choice for developing, evaluating and refining technology solutions that advance youth health and wellness, is bringing the conversation into another arena: mobile technology in the social good space. YTH has piloted dozens of mobile apps and text messaging services since its inception more than a decade ago – each tailored to the needs of specific groups of young people.

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