Twitter for T-shirts: Procter & Gamble Tests Social Media with Tide Loads of Hope

| Thursday March 12th, 2009 | 1 Comment

Consumer brands heavyweight Procter & Gamble is done sitting on the social media sidelines. Recent rumors have revealed the company has determined that social media is the future of marketing. This isn’t surprising, with the great success and evangelism-charged growth of smaller, values-driven companies such as Seventh Generation. Fast-growing Seventh Generation is now also distributing to Wal-Mart and maintains a deep, authentic connection with its community via its popular newsletter, blog, CEO Jeffrey Hollender’s blog, community, and even Twitter. As a bonfire brand, it practically markets itself. Yet P&G has yet to put any serious effort in social media until right now.
P&G’s social media experiment is a campaign called Loads of Hope, in promotion of its Tide brand and benefiting Feeding America. The company flew over a hundred social media experts to Cincinnati headquarters to meet with brand managers, divided them into four teams and kicked off a fund raising competition via Twitter, blogs, social networks, etc., to drive traffic to one of the four tracking sites (tide1.com, tide2.com, etc.). The goal: raise $100k toward disaster relief and prove the value of social media. Of course, the bloggers and twitterers involved have plenty to gain by winning. By impressing the brand managers of the largest consumer brands company, they will improve their chances at winning a piece of the company’s over $6.7 billion annual advertising budget, as it tests the waters for a better way to market its products.

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Van Jones to be Obama’s Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

| Wednesday March 11th, 2009 | 0 Comments

van-jones-roof.jpgWhen Van Jones speaks, people listen. Whether it’s a public library full of unemployed high school drop-outs, an audience of environmentalists at San Franciso’s Green Expo, or a board meeting of Wall Street big shots. And it’s not just due to his piercing brown eyes and boyish charm (sorry, ladies; he’s married).
Whether you’re talking grassroots minority issues or a nationwide renewable power superhighway, Van Jones is a leading voice of our time. So, it’s no surprise that the Obama administration is all ears to his ideas about how to solve our nation’s two biggest problems – unemployment and climate change – at the same time.
Though he is not exactly our nation’s new “Green Jobs Czar,” as, like many excited folks in the blogosphere, we reported earlier, we can hail Van Jones as the new Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. (He was quick to point out that the word “czar” was never a part of it, though I personally think it sounds way cooler). His job, as described by him, will be to help shape the administration’s energy and climate policy, so that climate solutions produce jobs and justice for all Americans.

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MediaMatching: Helping For-Profits Put the Mission in Their Corporate Mission

| Wednesday March 11th, 2009 | 0 Comments

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A majority of this series to date has focused on the philanthropic missions of for-profit organizations in an attempt to showcase conscious capitalists committed to giving back, and shine a light on a growing trend that is fast becoming the standard model for doing business. But I think it’s equally important to highlight the nonprofit organizations who are helping to bring these corporate missions to life, and in the case of Media Matching, a UK-based service that connects for-profit companies with volunteer opportunities, materializing missions is all they do.
A division of Media Trust, Media Matching works in partnership with the media and communications industries to build effective communications for the charity and voluntary sector. It does this through media training seminars and workshops, film and TV production, broadcasting (they run the digital TV channel, Community Channel), news distribution, media matching, and campaigns. Essentially, they give a voice to the nonprofits they support, and the for-profits become the megaphone for spreading the word.
Their online service allows charities to upload a request for help, where media and communications professionals (or “advisers” as they call them) can register, and view all the charity requests. If the adviser feels they can help, they respond direct to the charity via the site and the “match” is made.
In addition to the online service, they also offer “bespoke” matching and Speedmatching events. Speedmatching works a bit like speed dating where 10 charities and 10 advisers are invited to enjoy drinks and light fare in a friendly atmosphere, and then each adviser gets 5 minutes to speak to each charity to offer on the spot advice and ideas, and can choose which charities with whom they want to connect further for volunteering and partnership post-event.
While it may be going too far to call Media Matching the “cupid of consiousness,” one thing’s for certain: they help enterprise put their money where their mission is.

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Wrigley’s Is Sweet on LEED: Innovation Center Earns Gold Rating

Mary Catherine O'Connor | Wednesday March 11th, 2009 | 0 Comments

wrigley.jpgAt the new Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company’s Global Innovation Center in Chicago, food scientists are developing the next generation of minty-green gum. But that’s not the only thing that’s green about the Global Innovation Center (GIC). The building has recently earned Gold-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
The building, which is located on historic Goose Island near Chicago’s North Side, opened in 2005. At that time, the facility already complied with many of the Gold LEED requirements, including a green roof used to help insulate and cool the facility, reduce wasteful run-off water, instituting a major recycling program, and providing facilities to encourage employees to take alternative and public transportation, including showers and locker rooms for bike riders.

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Time to Sell Your Oceanfront Property?

Richard Levangie | Wednesday March 11th, 2009 | 2 Comments

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The world’s leading climate scientists are convening in Copenhagen, so we’re expecting a busy week for environmental news, and it begins with a startling report by British Antarctic Survey scientists. In a nutshell, many coastal areas in both the developed and developing world are at great risk for devastating floods over the next 90 years. Bangladesh, Florida, the Maldives, and The Netherlands will all face catastrophic flooding and most of the world’s major coastal cities will need to invest a fortune in flood defenses, according to a story in The Guardian.
“It is now clear that there are going to be massive flooding disasters around the globe,” says Dr. David Vaughan, of the British Antarctic Survey. “Populations are shifting to the coast, which means that more and more people are going to be threatened by sea level rises.”

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Veranda Solar – Bringing Solar Power to a Windowsill Near You?

| Wednesday March 11th, 2009 | 13 Comments

veranda%20solar.jpgSolar power. It’s talked about by many, it’s seen on many consumer goods, but as of yet, it’s not seen on many roofs. Not without substantial government subsidies. It’s often difficult and time consuming to install, requiring a team of professionals and reams of paperwork.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Veranda Solar is readying another option. One that requires little more then a screwdriver and a few hours, able to be plugged into a standard home outlet, putting power directly into the system, where duplex plugs are the norm. And it can cost as little as $600.

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Solar Energy Powers Iraq

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
| Wednesday March 11th, 2009 | 0 Comments

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The climate in Iraq is hot and dry with plenty of sunshine. Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the electricity infrastructure has been in shambles. The actual electricity production in IraqIraq is about one-third of the electrical grid’s capacity. The U.S. government, as of July last year, spent $4.91 billion repairing the Iraqi infrastructure, but only there is only a few hours of electricity a day for most Iraqis. Enter solar energy.
In Baghdad, 6,000 solar powered street lights have been installed, and thousands more have been ordered from the German company, Phaesun, by the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity. Street lights were also installed in Basra, Fallujah, Kharma, and Sakalaweyah with the help of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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France, Bulgaria, Greece: Emerging Clean Energy Markets

Sarah Lozanova | Tuesday March 10th, 2009 | 0 Comments

wind%20farm%20construction_small%20133.jpgAlthough some of the heavy hitters are still major players, 2008 has shown growth in renewable energy markets that had been weak previously. New players however are entering the renewable energy field, according to Clean Energy Trends 2009 report released today.
France
The vast majority of the electricity generated in France is from 59 nuclear reactors. It has not been considered a global leader in renewable energy, but France has taken some bold steps to support growth in this industry.
The government plans to have 23% of its electricity generated from renewable energy sources including hydroelectric power by 2020. A feed-in tariff of 30 Euro cents for commercial buildings has been introduced to encourage solar energy growth.
France now exceeds Denmark in wind energy capacity after adding 950 MW in 2008. The country currently has 3,400 MW of wind power and plans to increase this to 25,000 MW by 2020.

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Energy Efficiency Finds a New Friend in Washington

Thomas Schueneman | Tuesday March 10th, 2009 | 3 Comments

The story of energy efficiency moves forward with new interest from WashingtonThe story of energy efficiency is hardly new. But like all good stories, an evolving plot effectively – one might say efficiently – moves the narrative forward. Gone are the days of energy efficiency dismissively referred to as little more than a sign of “personal virtue” with no “basis for sound national energy policy” – suddenly replaced with an “almost frantic excitement” over the possibilities of incorporating efficiency as a cornerstone not of only energy policy, but also economic recovery.

And the sudden buzz in Washington over efficiency has Collin Breakstone, VP of Business Development for Agilewaves, eager to spread the message, if perhaps just a little bemused. After all, Collin, with whom we first spoke last year, along with his colleagues at Agilewaves, have been leaders in the efficiency market since those dark days when all they had going for them was their “personal virtue.”

The truth is that Agilewaves, like many others, has long understood efficiency as the low-hanging fruit of energy sustainability. Through development of their innovative Resource Monitor (voted one of Sustainable Industries Top 10 Green Building Products for 2008), Agilewaves has helped bring the concept of energy efficiency into real-world practice. That Washington has been slow to catch on only shows how it is incumbent on visionary businesses like Agilewaves to help lead the way. Something that Washington itself has apparently realized.

Change, my friends, is in the air.

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Emergency Climate Science Summit Convenes in Copenhagen

Richard Levangie | Tuesday March 10th, 2009 | 6 Comments

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Politicians aren’t listening, so climate scientists have convened an emergency meeting in Copenhagen over the next three days to collate the latest scientific findings so they can exert pressure on the negotiating teams that will meet in Copenhagen next December. The International Scientific Congress on Climate Change will feature keynotes by leading advocates for dramatic global warming policies, as well as a who’s who of climate scientists.
Several well-known universities are organizing the ISCCC to address outstanding issues leading up to the UN-sponsored climate summit, including the likely costs of inaction, and the threat to global security and world poverty posed by dramatic climate change.

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PlanetTran Scores Funding to Expand Green Livery Service

Mary Catherine O'Connor | Tuesday March 10th, 2009 | 0 Comments

planettran_logo.gifGreen livery service PlanetTran just got a little greener, with cash. The Boston-based company, which operates fleets of hybrid vehicles for livery services, has completed its first institutional round of financing from Cue Ball Capital, a Boston-based venture and early growth equity investment firm. PlanetTran has not disclosed the amount raised, but says it will use the funding for expansion and to further develop its proprietary reservations and paperless billing system.
PlanetTran markets its services to executives and corporations and competes with fleets of luxury (and far less efficient) vehicles, such as Lincoln Town Cars. Aside from green street cred, PlanetTran customers get to enjoy an in-car wireless Internet connection as they are whisked away or toward an airport or meeting.
The company is the brainchild of 34-year-old Seth Riney, a Yale grad who started PlanetTran in 2003 and now employs around 100 people. It maintains two main fleets. One serves New England and the other is in Northern California.

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Pun Alert: Geothermal Energy Gains Steam

Nick Hodge | Tuesday March 10th, 2009 | 9 Comments

geothermal steam Geothermal is the bastard child of renewable energy.

Constantly overlooked in articles and headlines in lieu of the much sexier solar and wind, which have become the go-to cleantech representatives, geothermal energy use could quietly double in the next six years.

It requires no fuel, can provide baseload power, and is emissions-free after initial plant construction. Yet not many people know about geothermal’s immense advantages and capabilities.

Here’s to changing that.

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Bike-Based Businesses Make a Buck While Helping the Environment

| Tuesday March 10th, 2009 | 1 Comment

Bike-Based%20Business.jpg On this site, we often focus on what large multinational corporations, cleantech ventures, or even governments are doing. But sometimes, some of the most interesting and innovative projects happen on a much smaller scale. In almost every major metropolis, bike messengers have been institutions for a long time. However, in recent years – responding to increases in both gas prices and consciousness for personal health and the environment – bike-based businesses have been springing up across the country.
“I think the recent explosion in biking is both a return on our communities’ investments in encouragement programs and infrastructure – bike lanes, paths, bike boulevards, etc. – and a sign of increasing concern about economics, health, and the environment,” said Stephanie Noll, the City of Portland’s Bicycle Transportation Alliance Programs Manager.
If you think about it, “concern about economics, health, and the environment” is another way of talking about Triple Bottom Line ethics, and for many of these small business owners, thinking about these issues in conjunction is making more and more sense. And these business owners are bringing this thought process to the local, community level.

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Join 3P at Green:Net09 conference – March 24

| Tuesday March 10th, 2009 | 0 Comments

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GigaOm’s Green:Net09 conference is just around the corner and if you’re an IT professional or a Green Entrepreneur with a technical lean, this will likely be on of the year’s key gatherings.
It’s being billed as “The First Green Conference for the Internet Technology Industry” and judging by the impressive roster of speakers and attendees, is not to be missed. As a 3P reader you’ll get 15% off the admissions price if you follow the link below.
« March 24th at the Golden Gate Club in San Francisco »

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Breaking News: Van Jones Chosen as Obama’s “Green Jobs Czar”

Thomas Schueneman | Monday March 9th, 2009 | 10 Comments

van jonesEd Update: Now it’s official!

While still not officially confirmed, the buzz from those in the know is that Van Jones, green visionary and founder of Green For All, will be tapped as president Obama’s “Green Jobs Czar.”

A central focus of the Obama administration’s American Reinvestment and Recovery Plan is the creation of 3.5 million new jobs as well as providing $500 million “to prepare workers for careers in energy efficiency and renewable energy.”

In terms of green jobs and building the green economy, Van is the Man. Through his work at Green for All and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, which he founded in 1998, Jones’ work has been a force for both human rights and the environment. Jones is a firm believer that doing right by the earth and creating a green economy will help “lift millions out of poverty.”

It’s just this brand of visionary that can also help lift a beleaguered economy into a new, sustainable, and prosperous future. The triple bottom line goes to Washington.

TriplePundit will have more on this story as it develops.

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