This week marks the 10-year anniversary of the launching of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, a “key reference point for Sustainability Investing for investors and companies alike,” a DJSI media release reports. Investment bigwigs SAM, STOXX Ltd., and Dow Jones will join Chicago Climate Exchange founder Richard Sandor, Dow Jones Indexes editor John Prestbo, and others in Tuesday’s celebratory ceremony in New York (detailed on NYC Climate Week’s website), from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. EST. Others may join the celebration online, via Twitter and the DJSI blog. Dow Jones reps will be blogging and tweeting that night, covering the party live online and welcoming input from participants.Click to continue reading »
In advance of the UN climate conference in the Big Apple, a number of ethical investment groups representing more than $13 trillion in assets have called for climate leadership from the world’s industrial nations. At the International Investor Forum on Climate Change, a coalition of 181 investors expressed confidence that a strong and binding international treaty is vital to combating global warming and catalyzing the massive global investments needed to transition to a low-carbon world.
“We must chart a new course toward long-term, sustainable business practices,” said New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, head of the $116.5 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund. “We cannot drag our feet on the issue of global climate change. I am deeply concerned about the investor risks climate change presents, and the human cost of inaction is unthinkable. As investors in the global economy, we can lead the way toward a future of lasting prosperity.”Click to continue reading »
Inflammatory pundits be warned: progressive organizations are learning to leverage the power of advertising boycotts – and major brands are listening. After Fox News host Glenn Beck called President Obama a “racist” last month, Color of Change, the largest online African-American political organization, launched an advertising boycott. As of last week, Beck’s show lost 62 of its advertisers.
According to data collected about advertising revenue, at its highest, Beck’s program took in $1,060,000 for the week ending August 2, 2009. Color of Change launched the boycott at the end of the week. Beck’s show had an estimated advertising revenue of $492,000 for the week ending September 6, 2009, according to collected data.Click to continue reading »
By Angela Nahikian, director of Global Environmental Sustainability at Steelcase
The more fellow sustainability practitioners I’ve met, the more I have come to realize that while our industries vary, experiences are the same. Though we may progress at different rates, our organizations follow similar patterns of evolution and face many of the same challenges. Oh yes, and one more common thread – we are all exhausted by the sheer scale of the challenge.
But we’re equally inspired to take it further, because sustainability offers fertile ground for learning, innovation, and the opportunity to build a better model. I am sure you see it too. Whether at conferences, or sharing thoughts on blogs or in business settings, there is a new determination to broaden the impact of our work.
This determination is not born of pie-eyed naiveté. We have enough daily reminders this is still the front edge of the learning curve – investing countless hours managing the ripple effects of our work through the layers of a global supply chain; mentoring brand new team members who think sustainability is a “green product feature” in a market where customers demand authenticity and a holistic approach; wrestling new IT infrastructures into being.Click to continue reading »
Here’s a change to savor after the approach taken by the previous administration: the Environmental Protection Agency is actually taking major steps to protect the environment and might even smack-down the powerful coal industry and its well-heeled lobby.
An almost startling case in point: The EPA is withholding action on 79 pending mountaintop coal-mining projects in four Appalachian states while it takes a detailed review of the permit applications.
Or to put it even more strongly, the agency determined that all 79 of the proposed projects under review would violate the Clean Water Act.
In an initial review of the applications, the EPA found that all of the proposed projects likely would cause water quality impacts that trigger additional reviews under the Clean Water Act.Click to continue reading »
This just in from the Office of Tony Blair: a bold, collaborative climate deal will create millions of jobs while bolstering all major economies. His recently-released report, entitled “Cutting the Cost: The Economic Benefits of Collaborative Climate Action”, details the difference it would make if countries worked together (versus individually) to fight climate change. In addition to achieving huge cost savings, collaboration would spread the benefits to all countries and create 10 million new jobs over the next 10 years.
The report’s introductory paragraphs elucidate the connection between climate change and economy: “dealing with climate change is also primarily an economic issue, affecting investment…, international trade, competitiveness, jobs, equity and growth itself. It is this economic characteristic – coupled with the fact that climate change can only be successfully addressed at a global level – that has made reaching an ambitious international agreement so difficult, particularly in times of economic crisis.”Click to continue reading »
Something amazing is happening. This week in NYC, Climate Week is in progress, with leaders from 90 countries gathering for a United Nations-organized event focused on climate change. And there, along with 1000 events in 100 countries on September 21st, an unprecedented alliance of people and groups will be gathering for a truly global “Wake Up Call” to world leaders as part of the TckTckTck campaign.
In NYC today, people will form a giant earth moving through an hourglass: the ‘Human Countdown’. The event aims to demonstrate that the time to act on climate change is running out. The event’s actions are many, but its goal is singular, according to Kumi Naidoo, Chair of the Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA): “Ultimately we want world leaders to commit to attending the talks in Copenhagen , where they must sign a deal that is fair, ambitious, binding and that reflects the latest science.”
I recently had a chance to interview Naidoo about TckTckTck, and asked:
“What about this will help leaders see this as more than a well organized protest with colorful, but ultimately dismissable people involved?” to which Naidoo firmly answered, “This isn’t a protest. We’re looking to have a proactive influence on the decision making process. The size and breadth of the TckTckTck coalition demonstrates that this is something that leaders should listen to. If world leaders see support from their electorate for a fair, ambitious and binding deal at Copenhagen, they will have the space they need to take action. TckTckTck is about mobilizing a massive number of people from a broad cross-section of society and ensuring that world leaders take action in Copenhagen.”Click to continue reading »
Jonah Sachs, and his long-time friend Louis Fox, started Free Range Studios 10 years ago as a creative agency with a conscience. Sachs, named one of the “The Thirty People Cleaning up the Earth” by Shift magazine in 2001, first realized the tranformative power of media as the editor of his college newspaper. He recalled, in a recent interview, releasing issues and seeing the entire student body reading the paper. He realized then that producing media at scale has the potential to amplify conversations about issues that press the world today.
Recently the agency, with offices both in Berkeley, CA and Washington, D.C., announced its Youtopia grant, a pledge of $15,000 worth of free design and strategy services to a non-profit and socially responsible business. The grant program, despite name changes, is in its 7th year of existence, and past winners include Green for All and the Global Resource Center for the Environment (GRACE), most recognizable for its viral flash video, The Meatrix (see video at Free Range’s site).Click to continue reading »
The upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December, and the G20 Summit this week, are on the front burner for the European Union, which issued a plea Thursday pressing Obama on some of the matters the conferences will cover. Specifically, the EU asked Obama to increase emissions standards in the upcoming climate change pact, and to limit bankers’ pay, the Enquirer-Herald reports.
The EU countries agreed on the plea at a preparatory meeting for the G20 Summit, which is scheduled for September 24th and 25th. All 27 EU nations are reportedly unified against bonuses for bank executives, as the countries believe such bonuses prompted banks to take huge risks and, in turn, caused the recession. While the EU did not reveal the exact value of the cap on bonuses it is seeking, it did reveal a desire for G-20 nations to impose sanctions on banks that pay excessive bonuses to execs.
In the meeting, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt also reportedly said that the U.S. needs to do more “to reach the levels [they] have in Europe.” The EU is urging other developed countries to pledge to cut emissions by 20 percent by 2020, thereby matching the EU’s pledge. It is particularly important that the U.S. comply, since the U.S. and China are the world’s top two polluters. Failure to adopt an adequate climate bill could threaten the homes, food supplies, and lives of billions of people.
This is the this is the second post in a series on the business of sustainable agriculture by the folks at Bon Appétit Management, a company that provides café and catering services to corporations, colleges and universities. To read the first post, click here.
By: Maisie Greenawalt, Bon Appetit Management
What does slavery look like in the United States in the year 2009? After visiting Immokalee, Florida, I know.
As we drove down a highway surrounded by swamps and passed signs warning people of panthers, I looked out the window trying to find evidence of the atrocious working conditions of tomato pickers about which I had read. We sped by orange groves and tract housing but no tomatoes.
Entering Immokalee, I saw a modern-day ghost town – dusty streets full of potholes, boarded up businesses, and rundown trailers. Had I been there at 4:30 a.m., it would have been a different scene. Each morning thousands of workers gather in the parking lot of an abandoned store to load onto buses that take them upwards of an hour away to the tomato fields. Calling Immokalee a city is really a misnomer. It’s a labor camp and, as a federal prosecutor called it, “ground zero for modern-day slavery.”Click to continue reading »
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Green Power Partnership (GPP) awards 17 organizations annually out of the 1,000 who take part in its voluntary renewable energy purchasing program. Three organizations were awarded Green Power Partner of the Year, including Kohl’s Department Stores who ranked number one of the three. Kohl’s ranks number one on the GPP list for the retail sector, third among Fortune 500 companies, and third overall.
This year is the third consecutive year Kohl’s received a GPP award. In 2007, Kohl’s received an award for its green power purchase, and in 2008 for its on-site renewable energy generation. Kohl’s joined the GPP in 2006.Click to continue reading »
There are a handful of conferences every year that 3p gets involved with. One of the longest running and most worthwhile, especially for folks in the green building sector is West Coast Green – to be held from October 1-3 in San Francisco’s Ft. Mason.
Bigger and better seems to be a running theme this year at the events we frequent – always a good sign in the context of spreading sustainability far and wide. Look for two tracks at this years West Coast Green that will expand the agenda outside of the building sector – Business & the New Economy as well as Social Innovation with speakers and panelists ranging from Mayor Gavin Newsom, Ray Anderson and yours truly.
As always – 3p readers can get a healthy discount as follows:
1) FREE Tradeshow Floor Passes
2) 20% off the full conference pass
We’ll be giving the event lots of coverage, so if you’re not local, don’t forget to follow us on twitter and check back for updates right here.
Renowned artists Maya Lin has memorialized the Civil Rights movement and lost landscapes. Her most recognized memorial is erected in Washington DC and honors the lives lost in the Vietnam war. Now, Lin has embarked on a multi-site, multi-media memorial that honors the species we’ve lost—but also examines the reasons we’ve lost them and what can be done to avoid losing many, many more.
Lin debuted the exhibit, called What Is Missing?, at the California Academy of Sciences this week, and also presented a lecture during the LEED-rated museum’s weekly Nightlife event. The focal point of the exhibit, four years in the making, is a massive steel-and-(reclaimed) redwood outdoor “listening cone” meant to mimic a megaphone. Viewers peer into the cone and experience a looping 20-minute video and audio presentation that documents the underlying causes of species loss and serves as a clarion call for viewers to help protect biodiversity and prevent the habitat loss that is a root cause of species extinction.Click to continue reading »
This is a story about a 120 year old start up. Or re-start up, as it were. Oak Hall Cap & Gown is a US based company doing what, for the most part, has been moved overseas: Making what we use in our graduations. Often by hand.
They’re one of those rare companies that eschews laying off people in seasonal lulls, treats people as family, and has a dedicated workforce as a result. They’ve made many of the gowns for honorary degree ceremonies, and were infamously seen twice in the swearing in of Barack Obama.
They were in search of a way to make their product more current, and apparently on a visit to one of the 1,600 colleges and universities they serve, EVP Joseph D’Angelo was looking at a biodegradable spork while at lunch, and thought, “If a spork can be environmentally friendly, why not a graduation gown?”
After getting “terrible” results trying bamboo, they went with recycled PET (plastic bottle) based fabric that mimics polyester cloth. After thoroughly testing it, Greenweaver robes were created, and will be ready for the December 2009 graduation season. Graduations can be a source of a tremendous amount of waste, but here are some greener graduation suggestions we shared earlier. With GreenWeaver, each uses the equivalent of 23 bottles.
While only one part of graduation, these robes could serve a larger purpose then just their one time use there:Click to continue reading »
There’s a lot of doom and gloom out there when it comes to the climate change issue, ranging from mild concern to full scale panic, but Live Earth decided to take a different approach with their “Love, the Climate” initiative. From September 15th through September 25th, you can give the environment a voice by sharing creative messages that will be used to help communicate the importance of passing the Climate Bill to senators, and motivate them to take action in a compelling, optimistic way.
As someone who’s developed a series of exercises that anthropomorphize brand traits to help devise resonant marketing strategies, a program like this is right up my alley. Personification is a powerful tool for driving key messages home in a memorable way. And what could be more fun than cooking up fun stories and vignettes for what the environment might say, like Shira Lazar’s sunflower love scene below?Click to continue reading »