Volvo Dealer Offers Loaner Bicycles

| Monday April 27th, 2009 | 2 Comments

volvo%20loaner%20bicycle.jpg
It seems like it’s impossible to avoid news about the auto industry these days. Who is closing how many plants? Which company will buy out the other? GM this morning just announced its “survival plan” to avoid bankruptcy. Hybrid car sales dropped for the first time ever last year. Yet, amidst the looming dark clouds of an industry that held one of the largest footholds in our nation’s – and world’s – economy, Volvo with one simple gesture offered a shining light that all is not lost in the world of four-wheeled machines.
Clive Brook Volvo in Yorkshire, England announced last week that it would offer customers the option of taking a traditional loaner car or a loaner bicycle when they drop off their Volvo for servicing.
The dealership is touting it as an anti-crisis initiative. “It’s cheaper from a supply and insurance point of view but it’s also cheaper for customers as there is no need to fill a bicycle up with petrol and there is also the convenience factor,” Clive Brook, the managing director of the dealership, said in an interview. But according to PSFK, “The dealership [also] hopes that offering bicycles will motivate customers to think about green transportation and getting some fresh air and exercise.”

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

podium[Your News Here]

Cultivating Change: Slow Money in Practice

| Monday April 27th, 2009 | 0 Comments

Slow%20Money%20Institute.jpgThe Slow Money movement calls for the creation of new capital markets–markets that channel the flow of investment to small enterprises to bring about sustainable growth in local economies. This grand vision strives to support “tens of thousands of independent, local-first enterprises at the base of the restorative economy.” And now, towards the middle of 2009, the practical fruition of this vision is beginning to unfold across the US.
Woody Tasch, chairman and president of Slow Money, argues that money moves too fast around the globe and that free markets don’t always know best. He dares us to step away from the overpowering “economic and fiduciary nonsense” that controls our financial system and reconsider how we invest for the rebuilding of communities and wealth, protection of the environment, and sustainable food production. Since our previous review of the pioneering book Inquiries Into the Nature of Slow Money, we can now see the snow-balling practical success of this initiative taking place throughout the nation.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

On the Shoulders of Giants

| Monday April 27th, 2009 | 0 Comments

preidio-buzz-bar.gif
pwoerpolitics.jpg
Reflections on Power Politics by Arundhati Roy and the Presidio MBA Program
As we move forward and pursue our definition of progress, we must bear with all the “complexities, contradictions and demands” (p.6) that the world bestows upon us. This is no small task. Leaving it to the experts is no longer an option – after all that’s just a “convenient way of shrugging off our own role in the circuitry” (p. 26). The author’s point about the distinction between valuing a resource and putting a market value on that resource, reinforced how difficult a task we have before us.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

SunChips Pushes its Environmental Cred with Compostable Chip Bag

| Saturday April 25th, 2009 | 4 Comments

b_roll_thumb_lg.jpg
The familiar sight of plastic chip bags littering the ground could soon be a thing of the past if companies follow multigrain chip brand SunChips’ lead. SunChips rolled out a serious Earth Day initiative earlier this month–compostable chip bags. No, really. The bag will crumble in the dirt after only 14 weeks.
The new SunChip bag’s outer layer will be made with polyactic acid (PLA), a compostable, plant based renewable material. By Earth Day 2010, all North American Sunchips bags will feature the new 100% compostable packaging. SunChips’ switch is expected to cut greenhouse emissions significantly and eliminate the use of petroleum in packaging

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Earth Aid: Selling Carbon Credits for Households

Mary Catherine O'Connor | Friday April 24th, 2009 | 3 Comments

startup-friday.jpg
earthaid_jpg.jpgThere’s no shortage of free online services aimed at helping consumers do things like track their energy consumption, see how much they consume compared to their peers and lower energy consumption using various tools and incentives. You’ve got Wattzon, Ecomap, Wattbot and others. The carrots these consumers are chasing are lower utility bills and the satisfaction that comes from knowing they are lightening their footprint on the planet. But the startup Earth Aid is offering consumers a new kind of carrot: hard, cold, green cash.
That’s the idea, anyway. Participants won’t see any money for their efforts until they lower their power consumption for a full year, meanwhile giving Earth Aid a look-see at their utility bills so that the company can verify the numbers (the bills show Earth Aid how much energy the participating household used each month, and how much the utility company charged for each therm and kilowatt hour).

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

The News You Might Have Missed

| Friday April 24th, 2009 | 0 Comments

fail%202.jpg5 Earth Day Pitches that Failed For all the earth day haters out there, Green-Biz has a nice feature on the companies that tried to pimp their green cred on Earth Day but greenwashed themselves into a corner.
blog-landfill-new.jpgPlastic Bag Manufacturers Aim for 40% Recycled Content by 2025 That includes 25% post consumer plastic, my friends. In case you missed it, check out this great vid on the dangers of our plastic bag addiction.
walmart-logo.gifWal-Mart Doubles Solar Power Arrays Tricky math headline alert! Wal-Mart currently has panels on 18 stores and they are planning to add panels to another 10-20 stores over the next 18 months. Not super exciting, but with store energy consumption as high as it is, this represents a total solar energy capacity of 32 million kWh per year. Ahhh, economies of scale.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Case Study in Sustainability: Symantec

| Friday April 24th, 2009 | 0 Comments

green team
The Evolution of a Responsible Enterprise
symantec.gif

The sustainability guru, Bob Willard, developed the very useful Sustainability Continuum to describe the five stages companies go through as they evolve and integrate sustainability initiatives into their business operations. After speaking with Cecily Joseph, Director of Corporate Responsibility at Symantec, who provided the detail below, I would say Symantec is making all the right moves evolving beyond compliance (Stage Three) to a fully integrated strategy (Stage Four) to gain enhanced business value.
Symantec provides a range of security, storage, and systems management solutions that help businesses and consumers secure and manage their information. And they also offer an excellent template for other companies considering a move up the sustainability continuum.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Green By Design: Enabling Sustainable Choices

| Friday April 24th, 2009 | 0 Comments

startup-friday.jpg

GreenbyDesign.jpg

As the “green” buzz continues to become more mainstream, there is a staggering number of products, websites and communities popping up in an attempt to capitalize on today’s eco-conscious consumer. But the onslaught of information may actually be a deterrant to embracing a green lifestyle for novice consumers who are forced weed through overwhelming amounts of data with little knowledge around how to distinguish hype from fact, or even where to begin. Enter Green By Design, a new blog-slash-product-review-slash-ecommerce portal focused on connecting users with journalistic-quality green content and products that elevate eco-awareness, and reduce the barriers to adoption. Funded by Noribachi, a venture accelerator out of New Mexico, Green By Design aims to fill a very targeted segment of the green market. One that is dedicated to debunking green myths, providing top quality products that meet rigorous standards and deliver on their environmental claims, and guides and reference materials for successfully integrating sustainable practices into your daily life. Somewhat of a personal green advisor, Green By Design scours the eco-web and handpicks the stories, products and resources that make living sustainably simple. You might say it’s by design.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Live Webcast: Joel Makower on Selling Green in the Age of More More More!

| Friday April 24th, 2009 | 0 Comments

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

Hot Trends in Social Venture Finance

| Friday April 24th, 2009 | 0 Comments

preidio-buzz-bar.gif
dollar_forest.jpg
The world of social capital is small, but it’s hot. With rising uncertainty about both the moral and economic underpinnings of the traditional financial sector, finance for socially conscious enterprises has become a destination for those looking to put their morals behind their money and those who see good social and environmental stewardship as hallmarks of success in tomorrow’s economy.
At the Presidio School of Management we were lucky to sit down and talk with three leaders in this space: Joe Glorfield of TBL Capital, Esther Park of RSF Social Finance and Deb Parsons of Investors’ Circle. Here are some trends they identified in social venture finance:

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Corporations Are Integral Components to a Sustainable Future

| Friday April 24th, 2009 | 0 Comments

grassglobe.png
The goal of this post is to make the point that corporations are one of our greatest assets in moving towards a sustainable future. There are two points that I propose to support this point:
1. Corporations represent a remarkable platform for the industrial capacity that is required to create the materials necessary for renewable energy systems.
2. Corporations represent a remarkable asset in terms of human knowledge and skills.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Will the US Be the Leading Market for Electric Vehicles?

| Friday April 24th, 2009 | 6 Comments

think.png
As industry leaders watch closely the consumer response to new electric vehicles, ideas are quickly taking shape in regards to where manufacturers should target their sales and production. While North American, European and Chinese auto manufacturers race to bring a viable electric car to market, the question remains, who will arrive first and where will the manufacturing centers be located?
A recent announcement that Think, Norway’s pioneering electric carmaker, will open a manufacturing plant in the US is an indication that the US may be overtaking Europe as more lucrative marketplace for the production of electric vehicles.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Better World Books Thrives Despite the Recession

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
| Friday April 24th, 2009 | 1 Comment

Better%20World%20Books%20logo.gif
We have already published two posts about Better World Books, one in February by Amie Vaccaro, and the other by me last June. Why should there be another post? During an economic recession when people are buying less of everything, Better World Books is thriving. Started in 2003 by college students, seven percent of its revenues go to non-profit organizations and libraries. It has raised over $5 million for those organizations and libraries. In other words, Better World Books is a triple bottom line company that is managing to make a profit.
On CNN’s website, an article pointed out that other online bookstores have more revenue. In 2008, Half Price Books had $186 million in revenues, and Amazon.com had $177 million during the first three months of this year alone. However, unlike Half Price Books and Amazon.com, Better World Books does not charge shipping and handling fees within the U.S., and only charges $3.97 worldwide. That coupled with the low cost of its books, gives it a tremendous opportunity for continued growth.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Another Earth Day Rant

Jeff Siegel | Thursday April 23rd, 2009 | 0 Comments

earth_day_comment_09.gif.jpeg
Watching all the Earth Day coverage yesterday was pretty exhausting. Let’s face it: Most of those talking heads on television are only repeating what one of their researchers likely found on the internet. They are not the experts, and they don’t often seek out the real experts when it comes to reporting on the environment or sustainable development. Generally speaking, of course.
How many times do we have to hear about changing light bulbs, carpooling, and turning down your thermostat? Don’t get me wrong. I certainly appreciate all the attention the cable news networks devote during Earth Day. But it’s really become a broken record falling on deaf ears.
Truth is, most people in this country only respond to two things: Fear and Greed. And if you don’t tap those buttons, you’re just spinning your wheels.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Socolite: Where Social Consciousness is Always in Style

| Thursday April 23rd, 2009 | 0 Comments

phil-in-five.gif

Socolite.jpg

One of the primary goals of the Philanthropy in Five series is to feature companies who are committed to giving back, and serve as a framework for making social consciousness the standard way of conducting business.
In similar fashion (bad pun intended), Nicole D’Alonzo is launching Socolite.com, an online destination for spotlighting the philanthropic efforts and social innovations of local businesses and entrepreneurs in a fun, contemporary way. Her vision is to transform the idea of a socialite into a “socolite,” where being socially conscious, embracing a green lifestyle and being eco-aware are the height of style.
She refers to her concept as the web equivalent of a lounge where people can congregate to share goodwill, collaborate and use their collective power to make a difference in ways that are compelling, memorable and fashionable. From charity fundraisers to black-tie benefits to casual networking events, Nicole is chronicling these experiences through video and compiling documentaries to help inspire ongoing change, and shape a culture rooted in consciousness. In a society built on the concept of it being chic to spend, Nicole is showing that it’s chic to give. And that’s a cause that’s more than just a passing fad.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »