An initiative called “Wasteless in Seattle” launched by the city of Seattle’s Public Utilities is poised to become the first model for a “zero waste” city. To do this, Seattle plans on drastically reducing their need for landfills, as well as decreasing transportation and energy costs.
The key to their plan is waste prevention rather than just simply recycling. This idea includes default double sided copies for all city documents, more electronic documents, a move towards “Green Purchasing” for all city cleaning supplies, and encouraging businesses to adopt product “take back” campaigns.
Read full article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Is it possible to maximize profits and find deep spiritual meaning in our work at the same time? A new book written by Peter and Monika Mitchell Ressler, a husband and wife from New York called Spiritual Capitalism: What the FDNY Taught Wall Street About Money, offers answers to that question with bold new voices from the dog-eat-world of Wall Street itself.
As Co-Chief Executive Officers of a premier Wall Street headhunting firm, they make the surprising claim that the new practice of “Capitalism with a Conscience” is taking the business world by storm. From the depths of the cutthroat world of Wall Street high finance comes these refreshing words of wisdom.
In conjunction with the discussions of climate change at the G8 meetings, socially responsible investment (SRI) research firm KLD Research & Analytics announced their launch of the KLD Global Climate 100(GC100) Index in collaboration with the Global Energy Network Institute (GENI), a research nonprofit whose mission is “to accelerate the attainment of optimal, ecologically sustainable energy solutions in the shortest possible time for the peace, health, and prosperity of all.”
The GC100 is a benchmark of companies deemed to be proactively addressing climate change. Read full story along with evaluation criteria in CSRwire.
Many companies have basic employee incentive programs, but not too many have incentives like Timberland, Hyperion Software, and Topics Entertainment who are giving employees cash money to switch from large cars and SUVs to more eco-friendly hybrids.
Read this amazing story in the Seattle Times.
According to Silicon Valley venture capital companies, the “Clean Tech” revolution is upon us. Clean Tech refers to companies opertaing in solar energy, water purification systems and alternative automotive fuels. Investor interest in clean-energy tech firms has jumped in the past year to over $520 million, fueled in part by escalating global demand for electricity and the rising price of oil.
“The reason we’re allocating dollars to this sector is we think we can deliver attractive returns,” said Ira Ehrenpreis, a venture capitalist at Technology Partners in Palo Alto, CA who also serves as co-chairman of the advisory board of the Cleantech Venture Network.
Read full story in the New York Times
I’ve been using a great, free site called CorporateRegister.com for awhile and wanted to share it with all the 3p-ers. Their website provides access to all current CSR/Sustainablity reports, and an archive of all reports published since 1990. It’s the world’s most comprehensive directory of corporate non-financial (environment/social/sustainability/CSR) reports. You can also sign up to receive free “alerts” when new CSR/Sustainability reports are publically available (See www.reportAlert.info). Happy Searching!
The MTA’s Stillwell Ave. Station in Brooklyn will be completely solar powered. Hailed as one of the most environmentally responsible mass transportation sites built in the U.S, a 76,000-square foot state-of-the-art solar roof, manufactured by RWE SCHOTT Solar, is expected to contribute approximately 250,000 kilowatt hours a year to the subway station’s non-traction power needs.
For the first time, the city’s subway system will have a clean and efficient source of energy, an environmentally sound way to keep this terminal up and running round the clock, year round,” says Donald Press, General Manager, Advanced Materials. He adds that NYC Metro Transportation Authority, “has surely set an example for the rest of nation.
Click here for the detailed story on Sustainable Business News.
Each year The GLOBE Foundation and The Globe and Mail (Canada’s national newspaper) proudly supports the commitment of leaders of sustainably driven corporations by recognizing outstanding achievement in environmental stewardship with the GLOBE Awards for Environmental Excellence.
Canadian mining firm Alcan Inc. has won a 2005 Globe Award for Environmental Excellence for demonstrating a commitment to sustainable business strategies. According to eSource Canada Business News Network, Alcan has cut its carbon dioxide emissions to three million tons lower than 1990 levels, primarily by reusing bauxite residue and redesigning its packaging. Read about the other 2005 Globe Award winners.
Backed by over 28% of ExxonMobil’s largest shareholders (Over $80 billion in market value), including the CalPERS and CalSTRS public pension funds in California, and the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), a resolution that the company’s board of directors undertake a comprehensive review on how it will meet the greenhouse gas reductions targets in countries participating in the Kyoto Protocol was requested yesterday.
According to Mindy S. Lubber, president of Ceres, a coalition of investors and environmental groups that has been coordinating shareholder filings with oil and gas companies:
Today’s vote sends a loud and clear message that shareholders want and deserve more action from ExxonMobil on the climate change issue, which will have significant long-term financial ramifications for the company and its investors.
Read Full Report in CSRwire.
Just found a great article from Jeffrey Immelt (GE CEO) and Jonathan Lash (WRI) from Saturday May 21st’s Washington Post. They say our (US’s) primary objective must be to revolutionize the way we produce and consume energy and that fundamental change will require three things:
1) The brainpower to develop new technology
2) A market that makes clean technologies profitable
3) A strong dose of American will.
They argue that we currently have 2 out of 3.
Read artcle without signing up via TRUTHOUT.org
According to a survey of 600+ young adults aged 18-24 from Lichtman/Zogby International, young people coming into the workforce overwhelmingly value honesty and integrity, with 92% saying they believe that doing the “right thing” is more important than getting ahead in their career. These young workers place loyalty to friends, and love above honesty in business dealings.
The survey finds that, despite 96% saying honesty and trust are important in the workplace, when faced with a number of potential ethical dilemmas, a substantial number are more likely to value loyalty to friends (43%) and “forbidden office romances” (32%). Check out the study here.
Unilever, one of the world’s largest consumer products companies, has just come out with a fantastic new Social & Environmental (CSR) Report that raises the bar even higher. Check out the Unilever website for all the details. Highlights include: greater transparancy within their supply chain, a new business partner code of conduct, coming clean on their mistakes & failures, and working proactively with NGOs. CSRwire has additional information.
The Fair Labor Association (www.fairlabor.org) is an NGO that accredits companies who add greater transparancy to their supply chains and has all their factories audited to the FLA’s code of conduct. The FLA Workplace Code of Conduct specifies compliance with forced labor, child labor, harassment, abuse, nondiscrimination, health and safety, freedom of association and collective bargaining, wages and benefits, hours of work, and overtime compensation. Read CSRwire story here.
Companies such as Nike, Reebok, Liz Claiborne, and Adidas among others are finding that by implementing a social accountability program, they are able to make more sound and profitable business decisions.
A sophomore at a Cortez, Colorado high school has created a model car powered by hydrogen. The football-size car runs on distilled water. A solar panel provides energy to begin the reaction that splits hydrogen from water, so it can drive around and create hydrogen at the same time. As a result, the fuel source is never depleted, and the car never needs a fill-up.
“When it’s running, it’s making water,” Biard said. “When it’s stopping, it’s turning it back into hydrogen.”
Why didn’t I learn this stuff in High School? Read article here.
ED NOTE – May 14:If only it were that simple. One of the greatest things about the blogosphere is the virtually instantaneous system of fact checking that exists. No sooner was this post published than avid readers brought it our attention that this kid did little more than put together a ready-made kit. (see comments below) Still a neat demonstration of technology, but hardly a newfound prodigy (sorry kid).
Consumer watchdog magazine Consumer Reports has launched a web site dedicated to the environmental impact of consumer products, called Greener Choices. It provides health and environmental information (including an energy efficiency rating) on cars, food, garden products, consumer electronics and home appliances.
An online survey of 1,200 adults found 70 percent are willing to pay more to recycle large products such as TVs and computers. The Kansas City Star reports that 43 percent are willing to pay more for electricity from environmentally sound sources, and the survey suggests that people are seeking energy-efficient appliances, as well as organic foods and are trying to avoid dangerous chemicals in the products they buy.
Greener Choices director Urvashi Rangan says:
While consumers do not want to be labeled green, they are searching for green labels… [and] not only do consumers care, they are willing to put their money where their mouth is.