Red Bird System Filters Water With the Help of the Sun

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
| Friday October 2nd, 2009 | 0 Comments

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Water is a precious resource. Consider a few facts about clean drinking water. Twenty percent of the world’s population lacks access to clean drinking water. By 2050 over two billion people will not have access to clean drinking water. Less than one percent of the earth’s water supply can be used for drinking water. An estimated 1.6 million lives could be saved by providing access to clean drinking water. The earth has the same amount of water as over a million years ago, but six billion people now live on the planet.

Enter a company called Cardinal Resources which specializes in high capacity water filtration. Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the company formed in 2004. Last year’s revenue totaled $4.4 million from the company’s environmental engineering and remediation work, with $25.6 million in revenue projected for 2011.

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Corporate Response to Climate Change Consistent Despite Economy

Sarah Lozanova | Friday October 2nd, 2009 | 0 Comments

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As the Copenhagen climate talks approach, the opportunities and liabilities around climate change are evident

Despite the economic climate, corporate response to climate change has grown slightly from 2008 to 2009.  Numerous organizations are using emission reduction goals as an opportunity to differentiate themselves from the competition, lower costs, and lure investors.

“There’s an increase in companies that are seeing opportunities instead of risk around climate change,” says Sonal Mahida, Vice President of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).  “We are seeing this trend globally.”  Excelling in the area of climate change mitigation can offer a strategic edge.

“The global recession has provided good opportunities for companies to recover consumer trust and investors’ confidence by reducing their climate change impact,” says Mark Robertson, Communications and Development Manager, Experts in Responsible Investment Solutions (EIRIS). “The economic downturn brings a number of risks and opportunities. There are risks associated with near-frozen capital markets as well as uncertainty and opportunities linked to government stimulus packages focused on energy efficiency, cleaner technologies, renewable energies, taxation, and forest protection.”

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Harrah’s Entertainment Bets On Green

| Thursday October 1st, 2009 | 1 Comment

0Environmental stewardship and casinos don’t seem to sit well together in the same sentence. Just step foot into one and you are bombarded with that amusement park feeling of bright lights and the sounds of cascading coins – a hotbed of excess, but not exactly the poster child of sustainability, right?

Maybe, maybe not – but Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. is putting $60 million over six years toward green projects at their resorts – and since the formation of their Corporate Energy and Environmental Group in 2003, they’ve estimated to have saved more than 100 million kilowatt hours in energy use – enough to power 10,000 homes each year.

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A Rainforest SOS To The World

| Thursday October 1st, 2009 | 1 Comment

300x250Yesterday The Prince’s Rainforest Project launched a global campaign to raise awareness for deforestation. The public campaign was originally launched back in May, garnering over 4 million views of their campaign frog videos and a long line of celebrity and corporate endorsements.

The Prince’s Rainforest Project dates back to 2007 as a reaction to reports issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on tropical deforestation. The group embarked on long research effort, engaging in top officials in government, business and NGO’s to both understand the economic drivers of deforestation and come up with workable solutions to help prevent it.

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With Free Water Bottles, Camelback Taps into Bottled-Water-Free Bundanoon

Mary Catherine O'Connor | Thursday October 1st, 2009 | 4 Comments

More articles on the controversy surrounding bottled water can be found here!

camelback_bottleCamelback, the Petaluma, Calif.-based maker of reusable water bottles, has donated 2,000 water bottles to the residents of Bundanoon, a small tourist town 90 miles southwest of Sydney, Australia. When it decided in July to ban the sale of bottled water, Bundanoon became a poster child for the fight against bottling and selling water in communities that already have clean tap water.

Camelback’s gift was timed with a turning-on-the-tap celebration throughout Bundanoon last weekend, a party that included the christening of three public water fountains, providing free, filtered water (courtesy of Culligan Water) with which to tap off those Camelbacks.

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Is Nike’s Environmental Stance Connected to its Earnings?

| Thursday October 1st, 2009 | 0 Comments

nike logo Nike made a couple big announcements yesterday. The first, as we saw here, was its resignation from the board of the US Chamber of Commerce. The second, and slightly overshadowed, was a higher than expected earnings report, which caused shares to shoot up in Wednesday trading.

The timing of the announcements could have very easily been a coincidence. A company as large as Nike, with so many wheels turning, it’s very possible that the two developments occurred mutually exclusive from each other. But what if they didn’t?

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British Airways Increases Business Class Services despite Green Claims: What Gives?

| Thursday October 1st, 2009 | 3 Comments

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A recent decision by British Airways (BA) has green lobbyists up in arms. Despite its pledged support for trimming the airline industry’s carbon dioxide emissions, BA added a new twice-daily business service (read: fewer seats) between London City Airport and New York. (The London City Airport also plans to increase its flights by 50 percent.) Environmental lobbyists are concerned that the decision is a step backward in curbing overall aviation emissions, which are a significant source of global emissions. Moreover, given the potential financial benefit (in the short term, anyway) of adding the flights, the debate could get pretty sticky. In a sense, it boils to down to a basic question: is sustainability a bigger-picture long-term goal, or is a nod to eco-consciousness sufficient, if it provides a much-needed short-term fix?

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China Caps Investment in Industry – May Limit Green Technology Development

| Thursday October 1st, 2009 | 0 Comments

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China ordered sweeping limits on investment in cement, steelmaking, and other industries Wednesday, in an apparent effort to curb overexpansion and its snowball effect. (China’s hefty stimulus package, and a mandate that banks increase lending sharply in the first half of the year, spurred an investment boom that has analysts worried.) While preventing these issues is crucial, the investment limits could also decrease the country’s ability to create certain renewable energy technology. What impact will this development have on China’s expansion into sustainable industry?

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Kohl’s: A Big Box Retailer With Green Credentials?

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
| Thursday October 1st, 2009 | 0 Comments

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The department store chain Kohl’s is being recognized for its environmental efforts. In Newsweek’s Green Rankings it ranked 18th overall, out of 500 companies. In addition to the overall ranking, Newsweek ranked Kohl’s number one among retailers for having the biggest solar power program of any retailer in the world, and pursuing green building certification. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Green Power Partnership recently awarded Kohl’s its Green Power Partner of the Year award, along with two other companies.

On the company’s website, Kohl’sGreenScene.com, it cites recycling as priority. In 2007, Kohl’s implemented a new plastic recycling program in which stores remove all plastic shipped with merchandise and return it through the company’s distribution network to be recycled into plastic pellets. The plastic pellets are then used to manufacture items such as plastic shipping totes and garbage cans. Last year, Kohl’s expanded the program to all of its stores.

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Nike Resigns From Board of US Chamber of Commerce, Citing Climate Change Differences

| Wednesday September 30th, 2009 | 4 Comments

Nike, a global leader in sustainability issues, announced today it was resigning from its position on the US Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors because opposition by the chamber to proposed climate change legislation. Nike will continue to hold membership in the 3-million strong trade association.

This news follows the resignation from the chamber of three utility companies in the past week or so — PG&E, PNM, and Exelon. While those companies have many motives in openly opposing the chamber, including financial motives, Nike would appear to be the first company to take a similar move with no direct financial incentives.

Nike’s move comes on the same day a bill to control carbon emissions is due to be introduced in the Senate.

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A123: The Hottest New Player in the Clean Stock Market

Shannon Arvizu | Wednesday September 30th, 2009 | 0 Comments

IMG_1053Reuters reported this morning that clean tech investments have risen substantially this year. In the third quarter report just released, there were 112 deals totaling $1.9 billion that included investments in solar power, smart grids, biofuels, green building materials, and electric car technology.

Much of this enthusiasm is believed to be led by a new IPO entry in the clean stock market, A123. A123 stock increased 50% since last week and it is billed as “the most attractive” of recent public offerings.

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Exelon Leaves Chamber of Commerce Over Climate Change

Sarah Lozanova | Wednesday September 30th, 2009 | 1 Comment

As a sign of growing corporate support to climate change legislation, a string of companies have left the chamber in recent weeks.  Exelon, one of the largest utilities in the US and the third to leave the Chamber, made the announcement Monday.

The Chicago-based company sells electricity and gas in four states and is the largest national operator of nuclear power plants.  Exelon plans to spend $290 million each year for five years on energy efficiency and demand response programs.  John W. Rowe, Exelon Chairman and CEO urges climate change legislation that puts a price on carbon.

“The carbon-based free lunch is over. But while we can’t fix our climate problems for free, the price signal sent through a cap-and-trade system will drive low-carbon investments in the most inexpensive and efficient way possible,” says Rowe. “Putting a price on carbon is essential, because it will force us to do the cheapest things, like energy efficiency, first.”

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Can California Meet Renewable Energy Goal with a Mandate?

Mary Catherine O'Connor | Wednesday September 30th, 2009 | 2 Comments

Just before the California legislative season ended in mid-September, lawmakers passed two bills that would require 33 percent of California’s energy to be generated from renewable resources by 2020—a more aggressive goal than what the three-year old AB32 (California’s Global Warming Solutions Act) had set and the most aggressive renewable energy requirement in the nation.

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How Newsweek’s Green Rankings Could Be More Effective

3p Contributor | Wednesday September 30th, 2009 | 4 Comments

newsweek-green-rankings.300wide.200highBy Julian Dautremont-Smith

Last week, Newsweek released its first “Green Rankings,” which ranked the 500 largest U.S. companies on environmental performance.

The rankings have been welcomed by many the sustainability community, and certainly, there is a lot to like about them.  They provide a reasonably objective tool to inform to inform purchasing and investment decisions by consumers and investors.  Similarly, they enable companies to compare themselves with others in the same industry, or even in other industries.  This can stimulate competition among companies to improve their environmental performance and thereby improve their relative standing.  More generally, the rankings help keep sustainability on the minds of business leaders and the public.

As to be expected with a first attempt like this, there is room for improvement.  Indeed, certain aspects of the methodology and presentation of the rankings seem likely to reduce the rankings’ overall contribution to sustainability.  In the spirit of constructive criticism, here are four suggestions to enhance the value and impact of the rankings:

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Solar City, Tesla Building Fast Charge EV Stations Bridging SF and LA

| Wednesday September 30th, 2009 | 0 Comments

Leading solar power installer Solar City, Tesla Motors, and Rabobank have partnered to instal five fast-charge checkpoints for electric vehicles along Highway 101 between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The charge stations are at Rabobank branches in Salinas, Atascadero, Santa Maria and Goleta, with the fifth in a public parking garage in San Luis Obispo.

The network highlights both the increasing in-roads made by EV technology — and its major weaknesses.

The stations use ClipperCreek technology to provide a 240 volt charge, for free (that’s more than twice the volts of a standard 110 v wall socket). Right now the stations only work with Tesla vehicles, but a company spokesman said it was working with the Society of Automotive Engineers to add standardized plugs, at which point users will have to pay for a charge.

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