Here’s another nice artice that hits home with the message that environmentally proactive policy on the part of business is indeed profitable, more so than doing nothing. Madison Magazine profiles three local companies (a printer, a cleaner, and an electeonics disposal company) and the ways that they have become more environmentally responsible. Mostly, the companies are reducing harmful chemical use, energy use, and following the principals laid down in The Natural Step. The net effect? More customers, good press, higher sales, and more satisfied owners!
- Modern philanthropists prepared to give more – in the right circumstances
- YOUtopia: Public Gardens Pledge to Reduce Impact of Climate Change and Inspire Visitors
- How to Solve Wicked Problems
- Why It’s Important to Track the Results of Your Employee Volunteer Program, and How to Do It
I just stumbled upon a rather fascinating take on economics – an article entitled “The Carbohydrate Economy” – the premise being that plants (carbohydrates) once provided the principal basis for the economy as raw materials & fuels. Over the last century fossil fuels and mineral based materials have come to almost shut out this “bio based” economy. But, things seem to be swinging back the other way – with all sorts of consequences good and bad, easy and challenging. Check out the article for more.
So the house passed a law approving offshore drilling in the United States for natural gas and oil. What’s curious about this is the fact that it passes the responsibility to the state level. In other words, states that don’t want drilling can still keep it illegal, but states that approve of it get a hefty royalty when the drilling begins. Grist calls this a bribe to get coastal states to reconsider their traditional opposition. I think they’re absolutely right.
The thing that really bugs me about it is that the government continues to to absolutely nothing to encourage efficiency. By rewarding myopic companies with continued cheap fuel, the administration discourages innovation and promotes backward thinking business leadership. If we had already taken all the steps we could think of to use resources more effectively, then drilling might not seem like such a bad idea, but the fact is it amounts to nothing more than a hand-out to oil and gas interests, aka corporate welfare to people who hardly need it.
Still, with both Florida senators opposed to it, as well as California’s Governor Schwarzenegger it may not amount to much in those states, but you can bet states like Louisiana and Texas won’t have the leadership to keep it from happening. Either way, the bill still has to go through the Senate, where it may very well stop.
That’s what happens when you need a break. Anyway, I need your help. I’m spending so much time on Treehugger these days that 3P is getting a little neglected. We’re very interested in partnering up with organizations and individuals to keep 3P going as the blog for a pro-business environmentalism, a showcase for green MBAs, and a think tank for all perspectives on the relationship between business, people, and the environment.
If you or your organization or school has any interest in looking into a partnership with or in writing for 3P. Please contact Nick Aster at Nick2-at-646industries.com
Serious inquiries only!
The crew who write the blog for the National Association of Manufacturers really have it out for global warming. I don’t know a whole lot about the organization, only that when you google topics related to global warming, the blog comes up a lot.
So, although I have to respect people who want to think critically about exactly what the effects of climate change will be or whether or not we can actually do anything to stop it, I find it hard to belive that anyone still doubts that it’s happening at all. I find it even harder to agree with a group that seems to be only obsessed with cheap energy and getting more of it from more fossil sources regardless of the cost and location – as opposed to advocating efficiency as a priority, which has obvious, and much greater, immediate benefits. Furthermore, when an organization takes glee in disparaging anyone who suggests that humans have caused problems on this planet, as they repeatedly do with those who advocate action on global warming, they undermine their own credibility.
That’s sad news for America’s manufacturers. News flash – Environmentalism is NOT a socialist plot. Let’s stop there for now and see if anything sinks in.
Well, so it goes again that 3P will be neglected for a little while as I take a short and much needed vacation. Should be back to action next week!
A moratorium on new wind energy farms in the midwest has been imposed by the FAA and the Military who say that more studies need to be made to be certain that the towers don’t interfere with radar. This seems like a reasonable concern, but there is fear that a delay will cause great damage to the emerging wind industry. Will this be a quick study with a conclusive decision? Or will it drag on indefinitely to the detriment of the industry, consumers, and the environment? And what if if the turbines really do play havoc with radar? More here.
Joining the ranks of other leading companies, Bank of America will now offer up to $3,000 per employee as a reimbursement for purchasing a hybrid vehicle. That’s pretty cool. The project will be evaluated in select markets, and possibly rolled out nationwise.
I’m curious if BofA manages to share in some of the tax benefits that hybrid car purchases give to consumers, or they’ve calculated a more intangible payback in terms of employee health and happiness?
Wal Mart continues to amaze: This time they have brought in the masters of sustainability, the Rocky Mountain Institute, to consult with them about efficiencies in transportation as well as in stores. (article here)
With the likes of Amory Lovins discussing anything with high level officials from Wal Mart, the result is bound to be world-changing. Speaking of high level officials, this statement (PDF here) by Lee Scott (Wal Mart CEO) is a few months old, but if you havn’t read it yet, please do so. The environmental part looks like it came straight out of the pages of Natural Capitalism and is almost unbeliveable.
Worldchanging points to a great article outlining the massive demand for solar water heaters in China. It’s a perfect example of the entrepreneurial opportuities that await in China – a country growing so rapidly it’s blinding, but were environmental consiousness is finally starting to sink in at a level where leapfrog technology, like solar heaters, can finally gain ground.
Now, fron an ecological perspective, if China is happy with solar water heaters things will be great, but if they start cashing them in for gas models, like switching from bikes to cars, then we might see a problem. But given the quality of good solar water heaters, that scenerio should be unlikely.
The Climate Change awareness tipping point approaches, shoved to the precipice of rational understanding by four things: outspoken scientists, anecdotal observations of private citizens who see for themselves that climate is changing, the US release of “An Inconvenient Truth”, and the looming prospect of intensified storm damage. Being optimistic at root, Americans should have no shortage of ideas for coping with climate crisis. Blogs and mainstream print media regularly document the products, technologies, and services that can deliver high resource efficiency and climate change adaptive lifestyles. Sensing the market shift, industry seems ready to satisfy the ‘climate survivalist’ market, becoming designer’s of elegant efficiency. But progress has been slow, with the pragmatism of science and the response of free markets still constrained to a political, academic, and industrial minority.Click to continue reading »
It’s about time Apple did something like this – they offer free recycling for old computers (regardless of manufacturer) when you purchase a new one. The process is said to result in nothing hazardous being shipped overseas either.
Although this is a great move, it’s only a baby-step in terms of any sort of meaningful recycling process for eWaste. First of all, there is very little information about exactly what happens to the old computers, how their parts are reused or not. It would also be nice if Apple offered a discount for returning customers in the same manner that they do with iPods – this would greatly increase participation. Finally, the hope is that this process jump starts a new approach to manufacturing for Apple – with the ideas of reuse and recycling a part of the process from the begining, not a slapped-on afterthought.
More on Green Biz.
Paul Sheldon of Presidio sent in this photo of his Bio-Beetle rental in Los Angeles last weekend. Paul reports that the ride was smooth and came complete with pamphlets to hand out to other drivers (does this remind you of a certain South Park episode?). At any rate, Bio-Beetle looks like a business off to a great start. Next time I’m in LA I just might grab myself one! (www.bio-beetle.com)
US News recently interviewed R. Glenn Hubbard, Dean of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business on the state of business and the merits of an MBA. Firstly, he discusses the “bad rap” that business seems to have aquired over the years, stating that business is indeed “noble” and that an MBA is one of the best ways to learn to deal with globalization. With regards to scandels such as Enron, the dean says that they’ve offered invaluable learning experiences for current students of business. But he adds that taking an ethics course may not be enough and that lessons from experienced professionals are more valuable. I’m inclined to agree for the most part…
Everyone knows that the staggering appetite for energy and resources in China and India is going to get bigger and bigger and cause untold strain on the world’s ecosystem as well as economy. But instead of throwing up your hands, think of it as a vast untapped opportunity for entrpreneurs who offer green technology, efficiency measures, and other clean tech services. Joel Makower wraps up this viewpoint in today’s GreenBiz.