Texas Instruments Saves Big with Efficiency

| Friday July 17th, 2009 | 0 Comments

texas instruments CSRIn 2008, Texas Instruments (TI) saved $5.1 million through reducing energy use by 5% and water consumption by over 7%. As a result, TI reduced its worldwide carbon footprint to 2.07 million metric tons of CO2, which represents a 2.8% reduction in the company’s worldwide carbon footprint.
The company’s 2008 Corporate Social Responsibility Report outlines the 159 distinct initiatives that were undertaken to realize the company-wide savings. Entitled, “Building a Better Future,” the new report organizes the company’s environmental performance into eight categories including air quality, climate change, energy use, alternative transportation, water use, materials usage & recycling, sustainable site policies and principles.
However, the most captivating elements of the report are the environmental performance highlights.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

podium[Your News Here]

Coming Soon to Best Buy: Motorcycles?

| Friday July 17th, 2009 | 7 Comments

startup-friday.jpg
enertia%20electric%20motorcycle.jpg“I bought my motorcycle at Best Buy,” is a sentence I bet you never thought you’d utter. And yet, that may be exactly what you do in the near future, if you were to buy an Enertia electric motorcycle from Brammo.
Along with the comic book sound effect name, Brammo has put a lot of thought into this bike. And they have answers for the questions people may have about them. Like the fact that regular motorcycles are already a lot more efficient then automobiles. True, twice as efficient, they acknowledge. And up to 15 times the emissions of them as well. That’s something I’d never heard before.
Addressing the deeper question of evenly comparing the environmental impact, they mention that on the gasoline based side, there’s the transport of the fuel to stations, and on the electric based side, there’s the emissions of the possibly coal and nuclear powered facility on the other end. I can appreciate their going beyond merely saying the vehicle itself has no emissions, end of story.
So how do they compare?

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Carbon Offsets: New Boon for Business? Or Trouble for the Forests?

| Friday July 17th, 2009 | 0 Comments

carbon offsetsBy Deborah Fleischer, Green Impact
No matter how you feel about carbon offsets, if the The American Clean Energy and Security Act becomes law, offsets, both domestic and international, will be a central component.
According to Carbon Positive:

The US cap and trade bill currently stands to deliver a huge stimulus to the clean energy and forest carbon sectors in North America and in the developing world. Whatever final form the scheme takes, it will produce the world’s biggest single carbon market from 2012, eclipsing the EU ETS. And it’s already clear generous international carbon offset provisions and linkages with other national emissions trading schemes will ensure the carbon market spreads well beyond U.S. borders. This is particularly so for the emerging avoided deforestation, or REDD, sector.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Sustainability Lesson One: There Is No Such Thing

| Friday July 17th, 2009 | 7 Comments

yvon chouinardEarlier this week, Walmart announced their plans to unveil a new sustainability index that will grade various suppliers and products by a range of environmental and sustainable factors. The move will allow consumers to easily discern the sustainability of one product over another. Walmart, the nation’s largest retail giant, has had its fair share of criticism over the years, but is taking sustainability more seriously these days. It has even sought the guidance of Yvon Chouinard, environmental advocate and founder of the gear and clothing company Patagonia.
The unlikely pair have been working closely on establishing criteria for sustainable clothing, which is difficult given there’s not enough organic cotton in the world to supply Walmart’s needs. The goal is to stop the idea of consuming-discarding. Chouinard is determined to help companies like Walmart change they way they think about our resources. But you won’t find him simply resting on the promise of sustainability. Why? Because there is no such thing.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Are Aluminum Bottles Greener than Glass?

| Friday July 17th, 2009 | 3 Comments

AluminumBottle.jpgAluminum as a substitute for glass bottles has been inching its way into the consumer experience in the last few years, most notably in the US in the form of beer bottles from Anheuser-Busch and Iron City Beer, a popular regional brand founded in Pittsburgh. Coca-cola has also announced plans to roll out aluminum bottles in this country, though only in limited venues.
Now Rexam, one of the world’s largest consumer packaging companies, has developed a lighter, resealable aluminum bottle that it hopes will replace glass bottles for many beverages, including wine.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Re-Imagining: A New Approach to Sustainable Packaging

| Friday July 17th, 2009 | 2 Comments

We hear the terms reduce, recycle and reuse a lot. The words have practically become battle cries in most elementary schools these days. One company, though, is applying a new phrase to its sustainable packaging efforts: re-imagine. Icebreaker, a New Zealand outdoor apparel company, is asking its younger customers not to throw away or even to recycle the wrapping in which their fleece arrived. Icebreaker is designing packaging that can be turned into objects of creativity: toys, jewelry boxes and pencil cases.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Greening the Cocktail Industry – San Francisco Organization Helps Bars Become Eco-Friendly

| Friday July 17th, 2009 | 0 Comments

startup-friday.jpg
cocktailSan Francisco, well known for implementing city-wide sustainability measures, is also renowned for its nightlife. But, as San Fran-based startup Green & Tonic asks, does San Fran’s eco-focus impact the city’s clubs and bars? If the organization’s numerous projects – aimed at helping the bar industry become more sustainable – are any indication, the answer is yes.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Climate Change and Border Conflicts – Military Researchers’ Two Cents

| Friday July 17th, 2009 | 0 Comments

glaciers.jpg
Those concerned with border-related conflicts and those concerned with climate change may, if the Center for Naval Analysis is correct, share some unexpected common ground. The Center, an American military-research institute, reported that climate change has the potential to multiply instability in some of the world’s already volatile regions. The report is aptly named: “National Security and the Threat of Climate Change.” It begins, “…Global climate change presents a new and very different type of national security challenge.”

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Plan to Plant GMO Eucalyptus Trees Stirs Up Hornet’s Nest of Protest

| Friday July 17th, 2009 | 2 Comments

lunapic-124783958768299.jpg

The US Dept. of Agriculture’s proposed approval of an ArborGen plan to plant more than 250,000 genetically engineered eucalyptus trees on 330 acres of land across seven southern US states has resulted in a storm of protest and more than 17,400 negative public comments.
The trees have been genetically engineered to be tolerant to cold weather, produce less lignin and altered their fertility characteristics in an effort to produce a fast growing feedstock for cellulosic ethanol. Dubbed “frankentrees,” environmental groups including the regional Dogwood Alliance have quickly put together a STOP GE Trees Campaign.
Industrial eucalyptus tree farming is already a highly contentious and heavily criticized issue. Adding genetic modification to the mix only compounds the high risks and potential costs of the plan. Among the many and varied criticisms of the proposal, environmental groups point out that eucalyptus trees are not native to North America, are highly invasive, reduce biodiversity and push out native species. Yet more disruptive, they soak up large amounts of ground water, are highly flammable and exacerbate drought conditions, critics of the plan point out.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Brazilian Program Results in 90% Recycling of Agrochemical Packaging

| Friday July 17th, 2009 | 0 Comments

brazil-agrochemrcycl.jpg

Thanks to an environmental law, effective regulatory and recycling systems, and the cooperation of the agricultural industry, Brazil has become a world leader when it comes to recycling the wide variety of plastic and cardboard containers used to store agrochemicals.
Established in December 2001, the country’s non-profit National Institute for Processing Empty Containers (INPEV) has had remarkable success in implementing a shared system of responsibility for collecting, recycling and disposing of agrochemical packaging– from cardboard and plastic drums to cement containers and fuel oil packages.
Up to now, financed 17% by recycling revenue and 83% by the agrochemical industry, the program is costing Brazil R$50 million (~$25.9 million) a year. That’s due to change. Aiming to make it self-sufficient by 2015, Brazil has opened a facility that can produce new, certified agrochemical packages from recycled plastic sourced from used packages–the first of its kind in the world– and earned international certification for the products.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Will Talking Trash Really Address the Root Waste Issues?

Mary Catherine O'Connor | Thursday July 16th, 2009 | 2 Comments

trashtalk.jpg

People don’t really think that when they toss an empty cup–or an old ink cartridge, or whatever–into a trash can, that the item just, poof, disappears. Right? I mean, no one really thinks that. Regardless of whether they do, many people act as if that’s the case. Out of site, out of mind.
And so in an effort to give a face and a story to some of the trash that’s tossed in test sites in London, New York City and Seattle, a group of MIT researchers plan on using crews of volunteers to help them toss a few thousand wireless tracking devices out along with the trash. Then, they’ll use cellular networks and a cool GUI to track the whereabouts of the garbage for the next few months, giving an end-of-life story to the discarded goods and – hopefully – telling the tale of what happens to stuff after it’s thrown away. They say doing so will make everyone think twice before they eighty-six stuff rather than recycling it or disposing of it in a proper manner.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Screw the Environment, Get Sued?

Nick Hodge | Thursday July 16th, 2009 | 2 Comments

gavel2.jpg
This is probably way off, and may not even happen, but it certainly paints a nice picture of growing positive sentiment for cleantech.
According to a Reuters write-up of a United Nations report released this week, “Investment advisors and asset managers could be sued for negligence if they do not consider the environment and other social issues when making investment decisions.”
Now, I’m not much on religion, but that would certainly be an Hallelujah moment.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Don’t Just Save a Tree, Replant a Whole Forest

| Thursday July 16th, 2009 | 0 Comments

cause-marketing.gif

REFOREST CALIFORNIA

A “plant-a-tree” campaign doesn’t necessarily leap to mind as the pinnacle in innovative cause marketing. In fact, when I first heard about Government Solutions Group, a company that facilitates cause-related marketing between brands and state parks, it conjured images of elementary school students filing into fields with their seedlings tucked inside paper cups for a group planting. I had no idea of the magnitude of GSG’s work and how strategically sound their programs are in authentically uniting brands with a cause that literally touches every community, every generation and just about every environmental issue you can think of from water to wildlife. Shari Boyer, CEO, took some time to expand my view on state park programs, and share her unique insights on how to effectively align your brand with a cause that’s as close as your own backyard.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

AIG Closed Climate Change Program Last Month

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
| Thursday July 16th, 2009 | 3 Comments

AIG wordmarkLast month American Insurance Group (AIG) closed its climate change program, which included keeping an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions. The only thing left is the Global Marine and Energy division, but nothing that directly tackles climate change. The Global Marine and Energy division contains some of the “company’s most robust portfolio of renewable energy providers,” as a New York Times article put it.
AIG has not released an official statement about closing the climate change program, so the reasons why it closed it are only speculation. However, according to Treehugger, “It’s assumed that it was a budgetary decision–clean energy is deemed too risky, too low on reward right now.”

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Esurance: Creating Innovation with a Paper-Less Model and a Cartoon Character

| Thursday July 16th, 2009 | 0 Comments

green teamEsurance%20logo.jpg


Esurance was founded in 1999 during the peak of the dot com boom. It was the first auto insurer to offer its services exclusively online, from quotes to purchasing to communications to policy documents. As the company capitalized on a technological revolution, it helped create an innovative new business model, one that is inherently greener than its rivals, in an industry that has been seemingly anchored in institutionality and tradition.
“Beginning with the online model, the environmental message was baked into the product,” said Joann Lee, Community Relations Manager for the insurer.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »