Creating Sustainable Competitive Advantage

| Thursday July 23rd, 2009 | 1 Comment

beads-mod.jpgLast month, Geoffrey Barneby wrote about FairRidge’s Sustainability Management Maturity Model (SM3), a tool to help businesses assess their readiness to address sustainability challenges and opportunities. Five management components were reviewed — Strategy, Organization, Process, Measurement, and People – which all relate to an inside-out perspective of the business.
As we’ve continued to evolve the model, another dimension has emerged for evaluating sustainability infrastructure: the outside-in perspective. This refers to the level of competitive differentiation and advantage that’s desired by the leadership team. On the scale of laggard to leader, how is your business perceived in the minds of customers, and is it where you want to be? This market-facing, aspirational consideration can drive both the internal infrastructure required for a market leadership position, as well as external initiatives to improve marketing, customer experience and ultimately competitive differentiation.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

podium[Your News Here]

Study Finds High and Low Income Shoppers Equally Likely to Buy Green

Mary Catherine O'Connor | Thursday July 23rd, 2009 | 0 Comments

green-purse.jpg

It’s appears to be a big time for green shopping surveys. Earlier this week we shared the results of a Cohn & Wolfe Green Brands survey that showed that the recession has not squashed consumers’ desire for green products. Another survey, this one conducted by Miller Zell, a retail consulting firm, dispels the notion that only well-heeled shoppers are willing to pay premiums for green products.
Miller Zell conducted an online survey of 999 consumers, with a portion of the questions devoted to their attitudes around products that are marketed as being green, or eco-friendly. Respondents were asked whether they would pay a premium for a green product, and then, if so, how much of a premium they’d pony up. Consumers fell into three income categories – high, middle and low – and while more low-income respondents said they were unwilling to pay any premium for green good than respondents in the other income categories, those low-income respondent who would pay a 10-cent premium outnumbered the middle and high income respondents who would pay that amount.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Laundry Product Mogul Launches “Cleaner Planet Initiative”

| Thursday July 23rd, 2009 | 0 Comments

unilever logoWhen it comes to the consumer-manufacturer sustainability dance, it takes two to tango: manufacturers must make green products, and consumers must use them sustainably. Unilever, multi-national corporate owner of numerous food, beverage, and cleaning products, has taken the lead in its dance with consumers: the company is seeking to make consumer habits, as well as more of its products, more eco-friendly.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

California Program Rewards Climate-Friendly Small Businesses

| Thursday July 23rd, 2009 | 0 Comments

california-coastline-cliffs.jpgA new Small Business Award program, orchestrated through Cool California.org (a partnership seeking to provide all Californians with the tools necessary to prevent climate change in their state), is supporting the underdog. It will reward small businesses demonstrating “climate leadership” through the implementation and promotion of climate-friendly practices.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Rural Texans Save Big by Installing Wind Power

| Thursday July 23rd, 2009 | 0 Comments

small wind turbineThere is a saying that, in Texas, it’s “so windy we’re using a log chain instead of a wind sock.” The adage is true: according to the [Texas] State Energy Conservation Office, the state has been the number-one wind producer in the nation for the past two years. While this isn’t the best weather for maintaining that perfectly coiffed up-do, it holds great potential for rural residents seeking to trim their electricity bills. Thanks to federal tax credits instated to promote small windmill installation, ranchers and other rural Texans who set up the wind-harnessing technology for home, business, or personal use may be able to save a pretty penny.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

While the Oceans Gently Weep: Climate Change & Marine Life

Richard Levangie | Thursday July 23rd, 2009 | 1 Comment

grouperGlobal warming has serious consequences for the international fishing community, but I’m also concerned that our soaring sense of wonder about something greater than ourselves might also be at risk.
A study published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicates that individual fish have lost half their average body mass, that fish populations have thinned drastically, and that smaller species are starting to dominate European fish stocks. Although overfishing probably played a significant role, the long, steady increase in fresh water and ocean temperatures caused by global warming takes the lion’s share of the blame.
“It’s huge,” said study author Martin Daufresne of the Cemagref Public Agricultural and Environmental Research Institute in Lyon, France. “Size is a fundamental characteristic that is linked to a number of biological functions, such as fecundity – - the capacity to reproduce.”

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

One Small Step? US, China Agree on Clean-Energy Research Center

Bill DiBenedetto | Thursday July 23rd, 2009 | 0 Comments

China US FlagSmall steps. Keep reminding yourself that the transformation to a globally green and sustainable mindset eventually will happen if enough small steps are taken.
From that perspective, the agreement between the United States and China to establish a jointly-owned clean energy research center fits right in. The agreement between the planet’s two most prolific polluters involves an investment of only $30 million, but maybe it’s a precursor of more to come.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

India: Economic Development vs. Climate Change

| Thursday July 23rd, 2009 | 1 Comment

hillary india
Major developing democracies face an interesting predicament these days. They have fought through decades of poverty and political irrelevance and have now landed on the world stage. Sure, a large percentage of their population may still live in shantytowns (India), or they may manufacture billions of inexpensive plastic items for export to America (China), but they have become socioeconomic forces to be reckoned with.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Whole Foods: All Stores Now Certified Organic

| Thursday July 23rd, 2009 | 0 Comments

By Deborah Fleischer, Green Impact (Photo Credit: Davidson Read)
Whole Foods Market has announced that each of its 273 U.S. stores has been individually certified organic by CCOF, a non-profit, USDA-accredited third-party organic certifier.
“…It’s important for Whole Foods Market to maintain its certification as an organic retailer so our customers can trust that the organic food they choose has been sourced, stored, handled and marketed according to organic requirements,” said Joe Dickson, quality standards coordinator for Whole Foods Market.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Jon Stewart Explains Cap-and-Trade

| Wednesday July 22nd, 2009 | 1 Comment

In case you’ve been bluffing during all those happy hour Waxman-Markey debates, Jon Stewart is here to help you out in figuring out what this cap and trade stuff really means:


The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Greener Postures
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJoke of the Day


And then he ends up with a great interview with Energy Secretary Stephen Chu (“of the Charleston Chu’s”) See below the fold…

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

A Green Portfolio: Green Century Balanced Fund Releases the First Ever Mutual Fund Carbon Footprint

| Wednesday July 22nd, 2009 | 1 Comment

green%20century.jpg By Deborah Fleischer, Green Impact
The Green Century Balanced Fund breaks new ground today with the release of its carbon footprint analysis, performed by leading environmental data and analysis firm Trucost.
The results are summarized in a new report, A Green Portfolio: 2009 Carbon Footprint Analysis, now available on their web site.
The Green Century Balanced Fund is the first mutual fund in the country to disclose its carbon intensity. Based on measuring the tons of carbon emissions per million dollars of revenue of the companies held by the Balanced Fund, and those of the companies included in the S&P 500 Index, the carbon intensity of the Balanced Fund is 66 percent less and has outperformed the index.
Sub-Prime Carbon Assets
According to the report, at a 2008 investor summit, “Al Gore encouraged people to give their investments a closer look and warned many may be exposed to ‘sub-prime carbon assets.’ Green Century believes that companies with lower carbon intensities will likely be best positioned to maintain financial competitiveness in a carbon constrained economy.”

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Could Healthcare Reform be ‘Blood in Water’ for Climate Change Legislation?

| Wednesday July 22nd, 2009 | 0 Comments

Obama-speech-waving.jpgWashington’s recent debate over healthcare reform has been quite a back and forth, to say the least. But, if a ClimateWire expert’s report is correct, the debate’s outcome could be more than complex: it could leave “blood in the water” for climate change legislation. Ick….

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Consumers’ Desire for Green Products Still Strong – Despite Rotten Economy

Mary Catherine O'Connor | Wednesday July 22nd, 2009 | 2 Comments

green brands surveyDeveloping brand and communications strategies to promote green products is top of mind for most consumer goods manufacturers and retailers, so they should be encouraged by the overall findings of the 2009 Green Brands survey that, despite the poor global economy, consumers still want green products.

green-brands-2009-sm.gif

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

China, the U.S., and Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Payment Plans?

| Wednesday July 22nd, 2009 | 0 Comments

gary-locke.jpgThe struggle to establish guidelines by which the world will cut greenhouse gas emissions continues. The newest development? China should, according to statements made Monday by U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, have to invest more definitively in environmental protection measures. In other words, China will, should Locke’s plan come to fruition, have to “pay” to decrease greenhouse gasses.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Austin Struggles with Keeping Green Power Affordable

| Wednesday July 22nd, 2009 | 0 Comments

windturbinerepair.jpgAustin Energy, Austin’s municipal power utility, was the first in the nation to give consumers the option of buying green-powered electricity. And as recently as last year the city’s green power program, called GreenChoice, was number one in the nation, in terms of sales.
This year, 99% of the city’s allotment of green power remains unsold, even after seven months on the market, according to the Austin Statesman. The reasons for the abrupt failure of the GreenChoice program serves as a warning to other green power programs nationwide, as well as a case study in how, with renewable energy, sometimes when you win, you still lose.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »