Each winner of the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize is something of an environmental hero: Some faced death threats, prison or loss of livelihood for standing up for their communities’ safety and survival. And in every case, the adversary was their own governments. Read on to meet them.
Climate & Environment
This category is climate change in relation to sustainability and CSR and how these segments effect one another. This includes how climate change has started to cause a wide range of physical effects with serious implications for investors and businesses, and how the business sector discloses climate risks and manage them.
Israeli transplant Yeloha has raised more than $3.5 million and launched a solar-sharing service that could pave the way for renters and property owners to share the many benefits of clean, renewable solar energy generation.
California’s cap-and-trade program has $832 million earmarked for energy efficiency, public transit, affordable housing and other projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At least 25 percent of the funds are required to be invested in the state’s most disadvantaged communities, such as Fresno’s Roosevelt neighborhood.
For those of us who are or have indulged in gardening, misshapen fruits and vegetables can be one of the joys of growing your own food. But as a society, something gets lost in translation when we go to the local supermarket or warehouse store: We expect our fruits and vegetables to be uniform in color, size and texture. To that end, the Oakland, California, startup Imperfect Foods is trying to change attitudes toward funny-looking fruits and vegetables while increasing waste diversion.
Oregon was on the leading edge of domestic climate policy in the late ’90s with the nation’s first carbon dioxide regulation, but it has not kept pace, admitting failure on its own climate impact goals established in 2007. There are several promising Oregon bills that would bring the state back to the forefront of climate action.
It may seem a touch hyperbolic to say that mobile apps and video games can have any impact on the environment, but in fact, that is the very goal of numerous apps now available for iOS, Android and Windows devices. The idea is simple: Through gamification, an app can promote sustainability, recycling and other green initiatives.
For a few rare companies, achieving zero waste within their own operations simply isn’t enough – they set their sights on waste reduction throughout their entire value chain, and better still, aim to influence their industry at large.
Ferrero uses 25 percent of the world’s supply of hazelnuts to make 180 million kilograms (397 million pounds) of its Nutella spread each year. Now those hazelnut shells won’t be going to waste every year.
Aditya Birla, global maker of rayon fibers, has a new fiber sourcing policy that seeks to embed sustainable sourcing into company’s supply chain. The main aim of the new policy is to stop sourcing from ancient and endangered forests.
If nature is like a bank, then we are borrowing without understanding the terms or planning a repayment schedule. In many ways, the impacts associated with our global sustainability challenge might be explained as penalties for default, or even foreclosure. Is Nature too big to fail?
Ohio, it’s fair to say, isn’t known as a leader in the transition to renewable energy. Yet, in northwest Ohio’s Van Wert County sits Blue Creek Wind Farm, a 300-megawatt set of turbines that repudiates such resistance. In fact, the wind farm is a textbook case for why renewable energy deserves a public-policy tailwind, argues IEEFA Executive Director Sandy Buchanan.
The global humanitarian community is feeling the strain from increasing numbers of disasters. Climate change is a big contributor to the trend, as it increases risks and vulnerabilities from natural hazards such as drought, floods and storms and impacts peoples’ livelihoods, health and food systems. Leaders in the humanitarian community recognize that a shift must be made toward an approach that addresses the risks, shocks and stresses to which people are vulnerable, rather than only fixing problems after they occur. There are numerous good-practice examples that can be scaled-up to form the basis for systemwide change.
The definition of stakeholders in materiality is broadening beyond people. Let’s ask Nature or the Future whether our current sustainability challenges constitute a crisis, since both have a stake in the outcomes. It’s not as crazy as it sounds, has precedent and could be a way to engage in more effective sustainability.
One year after announcing its plan, Method opened its South Side Soapbox factory last week in the Pullman Park district of Chicago. Cradle-to-Cradle pioneer William McDonough + Partners designed the factory, the first such LEED Platinum certified facility within this sector.
The powerful Church of England is putting its pounds and pence where its mouth is: The body that administers the worldwide Anglican Communion last week announced it is divesting from thermal coal and tar sands.