The More Climate Regulation, The Better? A Report…

| Monday November 16th, 2009 | 1 Comment

lawbooksA new report out of UC Berkeley argues the stricter the regulation of greenhouse gases, the better it is for state economies, from California to Connecticut, and everywhere in between.

The report, entitled “Clean Energy and Climate Policy for U.S. Growth and Job Creation,” argues that improvements in energy efficiency, as well as a government mandated shift away from fossil fuels, will result in increased income for Americans, and higher job growth, as less income is spent on energy and new technologies spur industry.

From the report:

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Interfaith Power & Light: Energy From Heaven

Bill Roth | Monday November 16th, 2009 | 4 Comments

ip&l2“The faith community must be heard, now is the time for people of faith to take a moral stand to save our planet.” –Reverend Canon Sally G. Bingham, president of The Regeneration Project Interfaith Power & Light

I was raised by a God-fearing mom with a strong affinity for fire and brimstone preaching that grounded me with a strong respect for the power of the pulpit. So when someone introduced me to the Interfaith Power & Light (IP&L), an organization of 10,000 churches, synagogues, mosques and temples covering the religions of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism, my internal radar started to buzz. If I were a business person in America I would post this article on my bathroom mirror to reflect upon every morning because 85 percent of Americans define themselves as persons of faith.

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AdaptivCool Greens Data Centers by Solving Air Distribution Problem

Kathryn Siranosian | Monday November 16th, 2009 | 0 Comments

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Green Data-center-energy-efficencyOdds are, your data center feels as cold as a meat locker.

And if it does, you’re wasting energy –and money.

Data centers don’t need to be ice cold, says Rajesh  Nair, the founder and CTO of Degree Controls, Inc., based in New Hampshire. Rather than over-compensating for server heat loads, he explains, companies need to focus on what’s really important: air distribution around the servers.

“In a data center, the heat load keeps changing over time and place,” Nair says. “But, the typical data centers has a static cooling system. That means there’s static cooling for dynamic heat flow –and that’s why there’s a problem.”

In fact, once you change the air distribution in your data center, it’s likely that you’ll be able to shut down 20 to 40 percent of your air conditioners, he adds.

But, how can you re-design the air flow?

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Business Not As Usual: Twitter Commentary On Corporate Succession Planning

John Laumer | Sunday November 15th, 2009 | 0 Comments

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  1. When corporate executive change gossip spills outside the pages of financial pages of record and onto thousands of cell phones, something big and new is going on.  Wouldn’t you know,  the first big example has something to do with maintaining  a company’s green image. See Vattenfall Wakes Up to VattenFAIL Reputation: Did Twitter Help Topple CEO? for discussion. Business significance: U2/C3
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John Perkins: Learning from the Economic Meltdown

Jennifer Elder, The Sustainable CFO | Sunday November 15th, 2009 | 0 Comments

John PerkinsJohn Perkins, author of “Hoodwinked” and “Confessions of an Economic Hitman” says he had a hand in creating the current economic crisis.  As an “Economic Hitman” his job was to promote corporate interests at the expense of anyone, anywhere; an unjust, untenable, and unsustainable practice he referred to as “Predatory Capitalism”.   Speaking at the 2009 Net Impact Conference, he discussed this side of  multi-national corporate behavior with a surprisingly positive outlook.  According to Perkins we still have an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of predatory capitalism and turn the economy around.

Predatory Capitalism, according to Perkins, is a mutation of capitalism that comes about when the single focus of a corporation is to make profits – ie, an extreme adoption of Milton Friedman.  In the predatory world, when profit making conflicts with the public interest, profit making wins no matter the cost or consequences to others.  As an Economic Hitman, Perkin’s job was to find Third World countries with desirable resources.  He would arrange large and seemingly attractive loans loans for infrastructure development contracted out to US corporations.  These loans were much larger than needed and ultimately the country would be unable to pay back the debt.  When the country could not make the required payments, the financing group would extort payment in the form of economic resources.

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America Recycles Day: A Look at Single-Stream Recycling

Wes Muir | Sunday November 15th, 2009 | 5 Comments

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By Wes Muir, Director of Communications, Waste Management

Since November 15 is America Recycles Day, this is an appropriate time to take a step back and consider what we can be doing better for the planet. From a resource management perspective, the four Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle and recover – have long guided solutions for dealing with the abundance of waste produced on a daily basis.

Building on this principle, communities and neighborhoods around the U.S. have joined to support waste reduction by participating in curbside recycling programs that enable every person to have a positive impact on the environment. In turn, roughly 33 percent of paper and cardboard waste is recovered and processed in the United States, according to a 2007 report from the EPA.

You may be thinking, “Only 33 percent? Shouldn’t this rate be higher?” It should, and it can be.

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Honest Tea Says It Will Stay Honest with Coca Cola Partnership

| Saturday November 14th, 2009 | 1 Comment

green-tea-honest-mdHonest Tea‘s President and “TeaEO” Seth Goldman doesn’t think he’s sold out. During the closing keynote address at the 2009 Net Impact Conference today, Goldman explained his decision to allow Coca Cola to acquire 40% of Honest Tea by reassuring event goers that his commitment to producing a healthy, organic, less sweet drinks has not changed since the multinational became a majority player in his company.  According to Goldman, the only thing that’s changed is that more people around the country have access to good iced tea.

When Goldman first started to make tea using thermal bottles and empty Snapple containers in 1998, he probably never thought that his home-grown business would be connected to Coca Cola, a producer of high fructose corn syrup drinks.  From the beginning, Goldman wanted to produce a low-calorie, low-sugar, organic drink that was a healthy alternative to the high-sugar carbonated beverages already in the market.

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Johnson & Johnson’s Sustainability Strategy Includes Avoiding Greenwashing

| Saturday November 14th, 2009 | 2 Comments

johnson_and_johnsonWhen you hear the name Johnson & Johnson, you might think about baby oil, baby powder and band-aids–and not necessarily think of them as leaders in sustainability.  At a speaker panel at the Net Impact Conference on Friday, several J&J company leaders spoke to how the company’s Credo is the backbone of its sustainability strategy and how they have avoided greenwashing as they implement their “Healthy Planet 2010 goals.”

During the talk, Al Iannuzzi, Senior Director of J&J’s Worldwide Environmental Health & Safety unit, told a story of his early days as an environmentalist in the 1970s who believed that “corporations are evil.”  He resisted working for big corporations until he read J&J’s Credo–which upholds its responsibility to its employees, the environment and communities–and found an interesting job within the company.  He’s been with J&J now for nearly 30 years and wants everyone to know how J&J is using business for good.

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Adam Werbach’s Strategies for Sustainability

Matthew Savage | Saturday November 14th, 2009 | 2 Comments
Photo by Andrew Paytner

Photo by Andrew Paytner

When Adam Werbach talks, people listen. And for good reason – his career track has been explosive, from being elected the youngest-ever President of the Sierra Club at age 23 to his more recent work with Walmart attempting to engage all 2 million or their Associates. Currently, he is the CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi S, the sustainability arm of Saatchi & Saatchi.

I listened to him speak today at the 2009 Net Impact Conference where he gave a fascinating set of guidelines and strategies for corporations and anyone interested in sustainability, loosely based on his new book, Strategy for Sustainability.

Adam holds the view that sustainability has not even begun yet (well, maybe just begun) and asserts that if we look back in history, we will call 2007 and 2008 perhaps the beginning of a new relationship forming between large corporations and their customers.

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Sustainable Brands Boot Camp Kicks Off: Interview With Founder, Koann Vikoren Skrzyniarz

| Saturday November 14th, 2009 | 0 Comments

sb-bootThe first online Sustainable Brands Boot Camp produced by the folks at Sustainable Life Media who convene the annual Sustainable Brands Conference kicked off yesterday.

CEO KoAnn Vikoren Skrzyniarz recently spoke to one of the SB community members, Diane MacEachern, Founder and CEO of Big Green Purse about what drove the launch. We’ve published the whole interview below. The Boot Camp, which continues weekly for 13 weeks, pulls together many of the top sustainable business consultants and teachers in the US to provide an inexpensive, convenient 360 overview of the principles and current best practices of building a sustainable brand. 3P readers looking to boost their career would do well to consider participating.

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Will GM Declare “Environmental Bankruptcy”?

| Friday November 13th, 2009 | 0 Comments

gm-logoOne of the nice things about bankruptcy is that certain debts are forgiven and you get something of a clean slate. That may be fine in a strictly financial sense but when environmental externalities are concerned it may be playing fast and loose. General Motors, long criticized for being a laggard on many fronts, agreed some time ago to be a primary participant in a voluntary resource recovery program known as End-of-Life Vehicle Solutions (ELVS). One of the primary purposes of ELVS is to recover Mercury from automotive switches when vehicles are scrapped. A massive 39,000 pounds of the substance remains to be collected according to activist group Mercury Policy Project.

ELVS Has Not Left the Building, But He’s at the Door…

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DripTech Offers Dirt Cheap, Scalable Irrigation for Developing World

| Friday November 13th, 2009 | 2 Comments

startup friday

drip-tech-logoThe Net Impact conference is as much about great speakers as it is about fortuitous encounters. Today at lunch I had the pleasure of sitting next to Peter Fyrkman of DripTech, a startup company aiming to tackle poverty by providing very cheap, easily scalable drip irrigation technology to small farmers around the world. Ever since I saw Paul Polak speak last year, the apparent ease by which one can bring a family out of poverty to something approaching a middle class lifestyle where education and other opportunities become reachable really struck me. With a small investment in better irrigation, a family can double or triple their agricultural output, feeding themselves and having enough left over to sell at a modest profit. In fact, Paul Polak is on the board of DripTech, inspiring Frykman to refer to the project as “Polak 2.0″.

Frykman told me: “There are 100s of Millions of small farmers suffering from the scarcity that need appropriate drip irrigation to thrive, current commercial products are too large and too expensive for them, it just can’t scale down…”

How does DripTech create a more affordable solution?

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Net Impact Leaders’ Advice on Activitating Member Base

| Friday November 13th, 2009 | 0 Comments

event-net-impactNet Impact chapter leaders from around the country kicked off the 2009 Net Impact Conference today to share best practices on how to successfully manage a social impact club that adds value to people’s lives and their communities. Many words of wisdom were imparted, especially about finding new ways to inspire member action and participation. If your city or school does not have a Net Impact chapter, keep reading because much of that advice can also be applied to various types of clubs and organizations.

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eBay Builds State-of-the-art Green Data Center in Utah

Kathryn Siranosian | Friday November 13th, 2009 | 5 Comments

green-data-centers-bannerWelcome to UtahOnline auction site eBay is building a $334 million state-of-the-art, environmentally responsible data center in the suburbs of Salt Lake City, Utah.

eBay says this data center will showcase the best and most innovative thinking in green data center design, technology, construction and operation, and Triple Pundit asked Mazen Rawashdeh, VP Technology Operations, eBay Inc., to fill us in on all the details.

Triple Pundit: Does this new data center represent new capacity, or will it consolidate other eBay data centers?

Mazen Rawashdeh: The new center is being opened as part of a corporate-level, four-year  data center consolidation strategy that is moving us from a handful of co-located data center facilities – largely space that we rent from data center providers – to space that we own and can manage to the highest standards in both cost and environmental efficiency. In short, it’s a consolidation strategy. Our business model is unique; we know the rhythms and availability requirements that are specific to eBay’s platform. By designing an environment for our data and compute power – both in terms of physical data center, hardware and software infrastructure that goes into it – we can innovate and manage it in the most efficient way possible. The facility in Utah will host the core technology that runs our business – including the eBay.com marketplace, PayPal and some of our adjacencies, including StubHub.com and Shopping.com.

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ColdWater Tide: Provoking the Ah-Ha Moment at Procter & Gamble

| Friday November 13th, 2009 | 0 Comments

tide-coldwaterBig brands move slowly. There’s a certain inevitability to that, as unfortunate as it sounds.

In the cleaning products arena we’ve often heaped well-deserved praise on our friends at Ecover, Seventh Generation, and Method. Larger companies, like Procter & Gamble get more reserved recognition but as most of our readers know, have the potential to make a much larger impact on reducing society’s overall footprint on the earth – if only they’d get moving. I had a chance to talk to Len Sauers, Vice President of Global Sustainability at P&G at last weekend’s Opportunity Green conference and the evidence of motion is stronger than I’d assumed.

Len was proud to tell me that P&G has been thinking about sustainability, at least in principal, for a long time. The company made corporate responsibility a core value as early as the 1860s and employs a staggering 700 people in its product safety department, many of whom have doctrine degrees in toxicology, as well as other impressive credentials. These folks have been focused largely on compliance, keeping the worst chemicals out of peoples’ bodies and the ecosystem, and looking at ways for the company to lower resource use and cost.

But things changed in late 2007 which led to a surge in innovation, the creation of new corporate roles focused on sustainability (Len’s job, in fact) and some big product changes resulting in substantial and measurable decreases in the corporate footprint. The prime catalyst – an energy audit leading to the introduction of Coldwater Tide.

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