Costco™ – An Emerging E-Cycling Leader?

| Friday July 10th, 2009 | 2 Comments

Costco Electronics Recycling ProgramAt Costco™, you can buy Spam® in bulk, stock up on toilet paper, and… recycle your used electronics?
The bulk-sale superstore has adopted some new buzz words – “you get paid to be environmentally responsible” – and introduced a new program, powered by Gazelle.com, by which customers can trade in old gadgets in exchange for Costco™ cash. The list of recyclable items is long: cell phones, digital cameras, MP3 players, PDAs, laptops, GPS devices, gaming consoles, camcorders, and more. The website also provides information on where to recycle electronics Gazelle.com doesn’t accept online so that consumers can be rid of these items without flooding local landfills.

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GM Spinning Green

Bill DiBenedetto | Friday July 10th, 2009 | 0 Comments

GM.jpg As much as it might want to, GM doesn’t stand for Green Motors. The legendary but gasping company should get a few props for trying though. The trick now for the General and other U.S. carmakers is to get greener fast while reorganizing, rolling through their bankruptcies and bleeding greenbacks.
Sarcasm and skepticism is easy when considering GM and its recent legacy of management failure, choices in car offerings, design, performance and quality and its late seating at the green table.
At the same time it is also possible that despite that company’s sorry recent past and desperate present it has learned a lesson for the future. It must do this or reap the whirlwind.

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International Climate Policy Is in a Global Gridlock

| Friday July 10th, 2009 | 0 Comments

gridlock
On Wednesday of this week, the G8 leaders failed to unanimously pass a climate bill to mandate a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050. The group’s failure to agree is further evidence that international agreements on a global climate change policy are stalling. The cause of the gridlock stems from disagreements among national leaders on primarily two fronts: efficacy and equity. History plays a part as well, as exemplified by Obama’s struggle to overcome the legacy of the Bush administration’s inaction on the climate issue.
As progress towards an international agreement stalls, climate change policy critics are gaining a stronger voice in the debate over the issue. In fact, an international group of academics are now encouraging world leaders to simply abandon their current climate change policies. Instead, the authors advocate for the G8 nations and developing countries to emphasize improvements in energy efficiency and to deploy low-carbon technologies.

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Hohm: Microsoft Enters Home Energy Management

| Friday July 10th, 2009 | 0 Comments

hohm.jpgThe field of competitors within the emerging field of energy management software now includes Microsoft. Earlier this week Microsoft launched Hohm, a home energy management application that delivers appliance specific energy consumption data to users through a web interface. The intention behind Hohm is to enable consumers to gauge their electricity usage and determine strategies for reducing consumption.

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Bottled Water: If You Must, New Report Scores Best Brands

| Friday July 10th, 2009 | 0 Comments

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


Photo: Telegraph.co.uk
Bottled water was in the headlines several times this week, including a piece in the New York Times.
Not only is bottled water a poor environmental choice, but according to two new reports, one from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the other from the Environmental Working Group (EWG ), filtered tap water may actually be a safer and healthier choice.
Unlike providers of tap water, who must provide detailed information about the source and treatment of their water, the bottled water industry is less regulated, therefore bottled water labels can be misleading or lacking in information.

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UPS Pledges 20% Emissions Reductions from Air Operations by 2020

| Friday July 10th, 2009 | 0 Comments

In its 2008 Corporate Sustainability Report released earlier this week, UPS announced plans to cut emissions from its aircraft operations 20% by 2020. UPS Airlines is the ninth largest airline in the world, and account for 53% of its total emissions.

In 2008, UPS became the first shipping company to join the Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leadership Program. Partner companies in the program commit to reducing their environmental footprint by first conducting a comprehensive carbon inventory, setting aggressive emissions reduction goals and then annually reporting their progress back to the EPA.

UPS is also a charter member of the EPA’s SmartWay program, winning the SmartWay Environmental Excellence Award in 2008 for energy conservation and reducing emissions.

So UPS takes their environmental and social corporate responsibility seriously (as we’ve noted on several occasions at TriplePundit here, here, and here for a start), but how do they plan to reduce the emissions from their air operations by 20% in barely more than a decade? That was my first question upon hearing the news, because if the ninth largest airline can do it, why can’t others follow suit?

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San Francisco to Enter Great Electric Vehicle Race

| Friday July 10th, 2009 | 0 Comments

great-electric-vehicle-race.jpg

In a kick-off speech for the Great Electric Vehicle Race Wednesday, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom invited the City (and Bay Area) to join in the electric vehicle (EV) challenge – the creation of the world’s first city-wide EV infrastructure. In Newsom’s words, winning the challenge could make the Area the “epicenter of EV technology.”

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San Francisco Mayor Announces Regional Food Policy

| Friday July 10th, 2009 | 0 Comments

gavin newsom garden

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom issued a comprehensive food policy for the City Wednesday – the first ever of its kind – and a sweeping plan for improving food accessible in the region. The plan, which seeks to ensure that area residents are able to obtain nutritious food, is expected to increase support of local farms, thereby impacting all of Northern California.

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The Surfboard Cradle-to-Grave Project

3p Contributor | Friday July 10th, 2009 | 3 Comments

Surfboard Cradle to Grave ProjectBy Tobias C. Schultz
As the surf community has been made aware of its own environmental footprint, the interest in creating a surfboard from “green” materials has grown exponentially. But without a life cycle assessment of the baseline materials used in surfboard manufacture, it is impossible to make informed decisions to reduce the footprint of the sport.
What part of the board contributes the most to its environmental footprint? Which parts of the manufacturing process will be the easiest, and cheapest, to improve? These are the questions the surf community needs to answer before real improvements can be made; these are the questions the Surfboard Cradle-to-Grave (SCG) Project was started to resolve.

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Nau Seeks Athletes, Artists and Activists for a Grant for Change

Mary Catherine O'Connor | Thursday July 9th, 2009 | 0 Comments

grant4change.jpg

Need a little dose of inspiration? Check out the nominees for Grant for Change, a $10,000 year-long grant campaign that triple-bottom-line clothier Nau has just launched. The company says it plans to award a grant each year, with a new focus each time. But the overall goal is to support people who are creating what Nau calls “lasting, positive change in their communities.”
The focus for recipients of this year’s grant is on athletes, artists and activists. The nomination process is open to individuals or groups whose work can be categorized thusly, and so far there are some great nominees.
Take, for example, Wendy Tremayne and her Swap-O-Rama-Rama events. What started as clothing swaps at her friends’ homes has evolved into public events, where people bring a bag of clothes they no longer want, along with a $10 donation, and then they find items the desire in the hundreds of pounds of others’ cast-aways. After that, they can visit one of many sewing stations throughout the swapping grounds and, with the help of trained seamstresses, modify the clothing to their liking. Clothing gets recycled and swappers walk out with funky, customized, one-of-a-kind get-ups.

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LA to End Use of Coal Power by 2020. Somehow.

| Thursday July 9th, 2009 | 1 Comment

LA’s wounded-but-still-standing mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, perhaps in an attempt to pump some air into what could be a limp second term, has vowed in his inaugural address that LA “will be a coal-free city in 2020.”
According to a press release on the Mayor’s website, the city aims to replace the 40 percent of electricity currently coming from coal-fired plants with renewable energy or energy from cleaner sources, like natural gas.
Lacking from the speech or accompanying press release, is how.

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How Sustainable Is My Plumber? … And Why You Should Care

| Thursday July 9th, 2009 | 0 Comments

plumber_5-small.gifYou’re probably already familiar with the ongoing debates over greenwashing, and the various sustainability standards that enable companies to credibly avoid this label. We discussed these issues in the recent post “How green is my product?” But what about services? Do they matter, and do we need to care? After all, isn’t sustainability just concerned with tangible products that use up or destroy the planet’s resources?

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PwC: Climate Change is Big Business (and it Explains Porsche’s Bid for VW…)

| Thursday July 9th, 2009 | 3 Comments

PwC-CCReport-Cover.jpg
Here is a killer wake-up call: The global carbon market may be worth over $2.0 trillion by 2020. (That’s almost larger than the entire UK economy.) Almost half of that wealth will reside in the US, meaning carbon could account for a staggering 7% of US GDP by 2020.
In short, climate change is big business. And PwC got the memo. When I spoke with Scott Gehsmann, a Partner with PwC’s Transaction Services, he stated the firm’s position on climate change succinctly: “Doing nothing right now is not an acceptable response.”
In the last two months, Gehsmann has seen a flurry of demand for carbon & climate change risk management, including in the deal making arena. That’s where Porsche and VW appear in the storyline…

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The Wind Energy Industry will survive without T. Boone Pickens

Jeff Siegel | Thursday July 9th, 2009 | 2 Comments

pickenswind.jpgI was pretty bummed out this morning after hearing that T. Boone Pickens would be cancelling his 4 GW wind farm project. Not so much because that beautiful 4 GW wind farm won’t be built in Sweetwater, TX – but because this little piece of news is likely to serve as an excellent opportunity for renewable energy naysayers to leave a fresh trail of misinformation about the wind energy industry.
It’s already plastered all over message boards and blogs.
Here are a few comments that I found on one particularly hostile message board. . .

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Greening the Fast Food Industry?

| Thursday July 9th, 2009 | 7 Comments

green mcdonalds

The world is becoming a greener place. I see hybrids on the road more than any other car. Fortune 500 companies are totally rethinking their corporate operations in an attempt to be more sustainable. The movement is spreading! It’s exciting, undeniably. But with the increased awareness come calculated marketing crusades, questionable motives and high-profile smear campaigns. We all know the dangers of green-washing, but I’m starting to notice an even more manipulative hidden agenda: sustainability “advances” that totally ignore or exclude the human dimension and instead make showy moves in the environmental field. Allow me to explain.

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