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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Sustainable Minds Release 1.0: Greener Products from the Start

| Friday November 13th, 2009 | 0 Comments

ban-startup-friday

091012_lsp_1_0Consumers increasingly want the ability to make informed decisions through a better understanding of the human health and environmental impacts of products, processes and activities. Though many products claim to be “green,” the inputs and outputs that comprise them aren’t always environmentally friendly. Suppliers are now demanding adherence to specific green standards and those companies that comply are realizing that reducing negative impacts on the environment can also lower manufacturing costs by conserving energy, water and raw materials.

For businesses interested in greening their existing product line or designing greener products from the start, let me introduce you to Sustainable Minds. Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Sustainable Minds is a greener product design software and information company dedicated to bringing environmentally sustainable product design into the mainstream. Its impressive customer list includes Yakima, Whirlpool, Motorola, Pratt Institute and UCLA.

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Guiding Principles for the New Economy

Scott Cooney | Friday November 13th, 2009 | 3 Comments

gbconfAs the Green Business Conference wraps up its second and final day before giving way to the world’s largest green event (San Francisco’s Green Festival, also put on by Green America), Bryan Welch, Publisher and Editorial Director of Ogden Publications, lent his weight to the festivities, giving the keynote address.  In it, he laid out four guiding principles for the new economy and how these questions can help us create a three dimensional vision for the future of business, species, and planet.

Welch’s resume is impressive.  Ogden Publications publishes Utne Reader, Mother Earth News, Herb Companion, and Natural Home magazines.

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SproutBaby: Eco-Friendly Products for Babies & Families

Jace Shoemaker-Galloway | Friday November 13th, 2009 | 1 Comment

ban-startup-friday

Sprout Baby

As people around the world become more aware of the many environmental issues and challenges we face, finding products that are safe and healthy for our children and also environmentally friendly can be a daunting task.  

Whether you are a new parent or seasoned grandparent, SproutBaby is much more than an online store.  SproutBaby is a one-stop-shop for healthy, eco-friendly products.  Founded by Jody Sherman and Balaji Gopinath, the social shopping site is committed to help parents make healthy and eco-conscious product choices.  The family-friendly products, which include baby food, books, media, gentle mom and baby care items, are all researched, tested, reviewed and approved.

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Relationships: The Key Ingredient to a Green Data Center

3p Contributor | Friday November 13th, 2009 | 0 Comments

green-data-centers-banner By Mike Leber, president and founder of Hurricane Electric
Green data centers have been getting more attention in the media in the last six months. Although much of that coverage has been on how green data centers are reducing carbon footprint, they also serve another importance purpose: reducing data center operating costs. Given that energy costs can account for up to 30 percent of a company’s IT budget, there is substantial economic incentive to improve energy efficiency in the data center.

Whether it is an existing data center or a new center in the process of being built, decisions need to be made not only on the type of technologies that will be utilized within a center, but also the facility’s design. Vendor relationships as well as one with the local power company are key to creating an energy efficient data center.

It is critical to have open discussions with vendors to find energy-efficient products. It is not only important to know how the product works, but how it may work in an energy-efficient mode, why it is energy efficient and how much energy may actually be saved. Only through open discussions with vendors, can these answers be found and the right energy-efficient sever, UPS, HVAC system or airflow management solution be deployed.

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Why Copenhagen Could Be a Social Tipping Point

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
| Friday November 13th, 2009 | 0 Comments

“The world is looking to the United States for measurable, verifiable action,” the New York Times’ Andrew Revkin declared on November 4 while speaking at the Bard Center for Environmental Policy’s National Climate Seminar. Revkin is not optimistic that Congress will pass a bill reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions before Copenhagen. The House passed a bill this summer that requires a 17 percent reduction in carbon emissions, but the Senate has yet to pass a bill.

“The table I see being set at Copenhagen is with some pretty stark divisions.” Revkin said. Developing countries want $100s of billions in financial assistance to cope with climate change. In October, developing nations asked developed nations to give up to $400 billion a year. Around the same time, the EU’s 27 national leaders agreed that developed countries will have to offer developing countries around $147 billion a year.

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How Target Invests In Sustainability

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
| Friday November 13th, 2009 | 0 Comments

180px-Illinois_Target_StoreTarget Corporation, one of the largest general merchandise store chains in the U.S., focused on making its stores more energy efficient in 1989 when it began using an energy management system (EMS) to conserve energy. The system at the company’s headquarters allows for company-wide energy policies to be implemented.

In the early 1990s, Target began selling used cardboard to recyclers. The majority of its stores now return their cardboard to distribution centers on the same trailers that deliver merchandise to stores. Target stores recycle electronics, both product returns and company equipment. Target stores also repair and refurbish damaged shopping carts. When the carts are not fit to be used anymore, the plastic and metal is recycled. As of 2007, 983 million pounds of cardboard and 47,000 broken carts were recycled.

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