Over half of the state’s 24,000 executive branch employees have been working 10 hours a day, four days a week, over the course of the past year in an effort to reduce energy consumption and cut utility costs. According to the “Working 4 Utah” website, the initial projected energy reduction from the program was estimated to be 22,452 Mbtu’s, the environmental equivalent of over 600 vehicles annually. After only nine months the state of Utah had saved $1.8 million.Click to continue reading »
Like millions of other Mac owners I dutifully plonked down $29 for the new Snow Leopard operating system last week. It’s a nice improvement and well worth the price. But, why in the modern world I am required to send for a physical DVD to make my installation possible has left me somewhat dumbfounded. To make matters even more hilarious, Apple sent me a cardboard box 15.6 times the size of the DVD case contained within (I did the math).
With all of Apple’s green claims, this just doesn’t compute.
They could have popped the DVD into a NetFlix style envelope, saved massively on shipping and handling and made me feel less like a wasteful chump. For that matter, the whole thing should have been downloadable.
Why, dear Apple, why?
“There’s no alternative to sustainable development” begins the recent Harvard Business Review article, “Why Sustainability Is Now the Key Driver of Innovation.” Sustainability and green initiatives are no longer optional contend the article’s authors — Ram Nidumolu, C.K. Prahalad and M.R. Rangaswami. Not only is the business case getting stronger, but embracing a sustainability agenda can stimulate innovation, pushing companies to rethink their operations, products and business models.
The authors studied the sustainability initiatives of 30 large companies and discovered what they describe as a “mother lode of organizational and technological innovations that yield both bottom-line and top-line returns.” From their research, they’ve developed five distinct stages of change that transforms a company from sustainability laggard to leader. Each stage has its challenges, required competencies and abundant opportunities as the authors illustrate through case study examples.Click to continue reading »
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The blogosphere’s been a-buzz the past few days about Disney’s multi-billion dollar acquisition of Marvel, but there hasn’t been much press about the million dollars in donations they’re planning as part of their “Friends for Change” initiative. In fact, though I hesitate to admit this publicly, if I hadn’t gotten sucked into The Jonas Brothers marathon on the Disney channel over the long weekend, I wouldn’t even have known about it. Granted, I’m not their target audience, but after digging deeper, it’s actually a worthwhile program that makes effective use of popular icons like Miley Cyrus and The Jonas Brothers in making kids and teens aware of the important issues facing our planet in a memorable way.
By Carol McClelland, PhD and author of Green Careers For Dummies
View 101 Cleantech Startups in a larger map
Thanks to the power of Google Maps, organizations that are researching the viability of green jobs and the green economy have a powerful tool at their fingertips. With a bit of data, these organizations are creating maps that show where green companies are located, which provides job searches and green career seekers with a powerful tool.
In this map, you see a map of 101 Cleantech start ups with distinctive icons that indicate which 12 clean tech industries they represent. Hover over the icon and some summary information about the company including what the business focus is, who the key players are, where their funding is coming from and links to blog posts about the company. (If you want to see more details, click on the link below the map and check out the left side of the page to see the companies that fit under each of the following categories.)Click to continue reading »
Just five years ago, there were a mere handful of educational and training programs available for those interested in clean tech, primarily in advanced-degree university programs. Today, there are hundreds, if not thousands, with new ones popping up every day as a result of stimulus funds flowing to colleges and universities to fund green jobs training.
These programs are targeted to candidates at every level of experience, from those with a GED to engineering and chemistry graduates looking to develop next generation solar technologies. And while a clean tech training program won’t guarantee you a job in the industry, it will help you stand out—and deliver marketable skills as stimulus money gets spent.Click to continue reading »
The following is a guest post by Dr. Stephanie Burns, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Dow Corning Corporation:
This month’s second annual National Clean Energy Summit was an amazing opportunity for me to discuss the transformation of United States’ energy policies with some of this country’s influential names in innovation, sustainability and energy efficiency. The energy, commitment and concern expressed by former President Bill Clinton, former Vice-President Al Gore, President Obama’s cabinet secretaries Steven Chu and Hilda Solis, T. Boone Pickens, and organizer Sen. Harry Reid was contagious and I, as well as the thousands of others who attended, left with optimism that we are on the forefront of a clean-energy revolution that will create millions of jobs nationwide and place us firmly on a path toward energy independence.Click to continue reading »
By Nick Ellis, Managing Partner of Bright Green Talent
If you’ve applied for a job—green or otherwise—in the past year, you’ve probably found that it’s often a messy, slow, unsatisfying process.
According to a recent Harvard Business Review article, “current hiring practices are haphazard at best and ineffective at worst. And even when companies find the right people, they have difficulty retaining them.”
I run an environmentally-focused recruiting firm called Bright Green Talent in San Francisco, and have been working for the past few years to help environmentally-minded companies grow out their teams. I’ve seen first hand how something is hugely amiss in the hiring practices of most organizations—and yes, this includes green companies.Click to continue reading »
By Amy Berry
Last April, amid a freezing cold rain and intermittent snow showers, more than 600 people stood in and around a tent to hear Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm celebrate the opening of the Windspire wind turbine factory in Manistee, MI. The crowd cheered as Granholm and Windspire parent company Mariah Power’s CEO Mike Hess spoke of the transformation of the facility: from manufacturer of automation equipment for the automotive industry to near closure and then finally now to the manufacturing of small wind turbines. The hero of the day was the factory’s general manager John Holcomb, who received the loudest cheers from the Michigan crowd when he challenged businesses across the state and country to think bigger about what is possible.
A veteran of the automotive industry, Holcomb’s business was devastated by the automotive industry’s crisis. His clients, all of the major car makers, stopped ordering equipment. He was forced to lay off almost his entire staff. Working with local community entities, Holcomb convinced Mariah Power that his team could make the Windspire wind turbines for a cost that was competitive with overseas manufacturers and with far better quality. The facility was retrofit with new machinery and the laid off workers were rehired to start building the Windspire turbines.
In honor of Labor Day, John Holcomb answered some of our questions about his new green job:Click to continue reading »
By Cathy Calfo, Executive Director of The Apollo Alliance
The green jobs movement has come a long way, baby. Just five years ago, the notion that we could end U.S. dependence on foreign oil, reduce dangerous carbon emissions that are destabilizing our climate, and create “green” jobs here at home was considered by many to be a pipedream. Now, as we seek to revive our economy, the phrase ³”green jobs²” is on the lips of policy makers,
business leaders and labor union officials across the nation, and green jobs measures are being proposed and enacted in cities from Gainesville, Fla., to Kansas City, Mo.
“Fighting global warming and transforming the United States into a green economy is a massive and defining challenge for our time,” argue Robert Pollin and Jeanette Wicks-Lim of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. “It is the work of a generation, and specifically, the work of millions of people, performing the jobs needed to build the green economy.”Click to continue reading »
Essay by Steve Pierson
Labor Day came into being in the late 1880′s and early 1890′s, during a wave of popular sentiment toward organized labor. Industry was on a steep upswing at that time, powered by leading-edge fossil fuel energy technology. Furnaces became the driving force of what is now the developed world. Big furnaces cooked metals out of ore. Smaller furnaces drove pistons and performed mechanical work. Furnaces were everywhere, behind every mechanical thing and every manufactured product. Mines fueled steel mills that built railroads that distributed goods. Manpower was in short supply, and a mass migration occurred from rural farm jobs to industrial jobs.
Eventually, cities like Detroit, and companies like General Motors, became central to the very definition of America. Fossil fuel was behind it all, and the furnaces were still behind and inside everything. Seemingly unlimited quantities of fantastically concentrated photosynthesis energy, sequestered over hundreds of millions of years of life on Earth, were extravagantly consumed in little more than a human lifetime. As more people relocated to urban areas, as population grew, and as machines became more sophisticated, the shortage of manpower gradually eased and became a surplus. Labor, especially organized labor with its ability to extract concessions from management, became an expensive liability.
The factories followed the periphery of the developed world, and are now far away from where they first emerged. Today, the industrial portion of the American heartland is known as the Rust Belt. Detroit is rapidly depopulating, and vacant lots are replacing thousands of houses. Large numbers of capable human beings are unemployed or underemployed. Where Labor was once a powerhouse, it’s now increasingly idle.Click to continue reading »
The National Clean Energy Summit 2.0, sponsored by Senate Major Leader Harry Reid, UNLV, and the Center for American Progress took place last month in Las Vegas, and boasted an impressive roster of participants like President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, General Wesley Clark, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, and several others.
The event was an attempt to bring together some of the most respected leaders from industry, science, government, and advocacy organizations to discuss a policy agenda for creating good jobs in the new economy by accelerating the deployment of clean energy and energy efficiency, advancing energy independence, and ensuring long-term prosperity for Nevada, the nation, and the world.
Below are several videos of the event, including special remarks by Mr. Clinton, Mr. Gore, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, and T. Boone Pickens.Click to continue reading »
Labor Day is more than just a mere day off, but a day to honor the men and women past and present who fought for labor reform. Part of the fight to obtain better working conditions and pay included the advent of Labor Day. In 1882, New York City workers took an unpaid holiday, calling it Labor Day. A year later, the Central Labor Union held a second Labor Day holiday. By 1885 Labor Day was “celebrated in many industrial centers of the country,” according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
In 1898, four years after President Grover Cleveland signed legislation making the first Monday of September a holiday, Samuel Gompers called it “the day for which the toilers in past centuries looked forward, when their rights and their wrongs would be discussed.”Click to continue reading »