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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.
TriplePundit: Reporting on the Triple Bottom Line & Sustainable Business News
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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 »
Last 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.”
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 »
Close but no Cigar – Companies Report Sustainability Performance in Record Numbers but Remain a Minority
More companies now than ever – a record 1,000 organizations – are reporting their sustainability performance to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the GRI reported Tuesday. But while this 46 percent increase from the previous year is good news, it is not, GRI Chief Executive Ernst Ligteringen emphasized, adequate for addressing the global environmental crisis.Click to continue reading »
Chido Govero, a young woman from Zimbabwe, just won the Sustainability Award at the 2009 Specialty Coffee Association of America conference. The association celebrated her contributions to sustainability and innovation within the coffee industry. The award is not only a critical success for Chido and her partners at the ZERI Foundation, it is also a triumph for sustainable development.Click to continue reading »
IBM and Cisco (CSCO) (a supplier of Internet networking equipment and management systems) are partnering in a pilot designed to help residents of the City of Amsterdam make more informed decisions about their energy consumption. By doing so, the pilot will help the City as a whole (as well as Dutch utility Nuon) make smarter use of energy. The pilot is part of the City’s Smart City initiative, which fosters collaboration between individuals, government, and companies in the creation of a sustainable Amsterdam.Click to continue reading »
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Wal-Mart will host a Sustainability Milestone Meeting this morning (July 16th) 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. (CDT) in Bentonville, Ark. Follow the conversation on how Wal-Mart is working to launch a new project that will develop a sustainability index for their products. The meeting will be webcast live, and available for streaming following the meeting. You can also follow the meeting on Twitter via @Walmartmeeting.
As reported yesterday by Sarah Harper, the proposed index is controversial. There are many unanswered questions. Who will define what green is? How will the information gathered be shared?
Wal-Mart is planning quite a “first”: it will implement a new “sustainability index,” by which it will report the environmental impact of each and every piece of merchandise available for sale. Many of the corporation’s 60,000 suppliers are up in arms, as compliance will likely require them to dig deep into their supply chains. But many proponents of sustainability are also skeptical. Will the index be yet another incomplete measurement of so-called sustainability that ultimately leads consumers astray, or worse?Click to continue reading »
Non-hydroelectric renewable energy from wind, solar and biomass provided 3.7% of America’s energy needs this year through April, up from 3.1% for the same period last year, according to the Electric Power Monthly, a newsletter released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
That figure surpasses a goal of generating 3% of the nation’s energy from renewables by 2013 in a version of the Waxman-Markey climate bill now in the Senate. The House passed a version of the bill on June 26 that calls for a 6% minimum by 2012, although there are loopholes in the legislation.
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Subaru, a company that you may assume creates significant waste, recycles 97% of its manufacturing waste and reuses the rest to generate electricity. (Photo: Eric Castro on Flickr)
I make products out of what would otherwise be garbage. That’s all we at TerraCycle do. So of course garbage is an issue that’s front of mind for us. But what about your company? What about any company? Does every company have a waste problem? Or turned around, a waste opportunity? Is there any company that doesn’t have a waste problem?
Maybe fuel giants aren’t exempt from global sustainability efforts after all: Exxon Mobil Corp, the largest Western oil major, has agreed to invest $600 million or more in biofuel made from algae. The corporation confirmed Tuesday that it will invest in research and development of the fuel through an alliance with a private gene-based research company, Synthetic Genomics Inc. Click to continue reading »
Philippe Starck, the French designer best known for his interior and product designs, will launch a cashmere line called S+arck With Ballantyne. It is ironic that Starck is launching a clothing line because in January he told British newspaper, The Guardian, “Let’s hope fashion in design will disappear. There is a lack of respect when the media says, ‘You must be dressed in pink,’ and some poor girl dresses in pink, and six months later, when it says, ‘You must dress in green,’ she’s a monster in her pink dress. We can’t accept this kind of manipulation.”
Starck told French newspaper Le Figaro before the line debuted in Florence, “Although the work of [its] creators is fantastic, I will never be idiotic enough to do fashion. The public will take maybe three years to understand the concept. It’s not fashion. We won’t be very big in the newspapers. The clothes are non-photogenic. But intelligent people will know to discover us.” Click to continue reading »
As part of the first phase to build a 4,000 MW wind farm in the Texas panhandle, Pickens ordered 667 turbines from GE. These turbines are to be ready in 2010 and 2011, but the wind farm was called off due to funding and transmission problems. Now that’s a boondoggle.
The economy and the wind energy market were very different just over a year ago when this order was placed. The wind industry was booming and a massive 8,900 MW of wind energy capacity was installed in 2008 in North America – this represents 40% of all total new capacity. Steel prices were sky high and demand greatly exceeded turbine supply. Prices soared and it was difficult to buy small quantities of turbines.Click to continue reading »
The solar power industry has a couple of well-worn factoids it loves to whip out to impress people. One is that the planet receives more energy from the sun in an hour than humanity uses in a year. Another is that 100 square miles (or thereabouts) of solar plants in Arizona could power the entire United States.
Well, here’s a new one: 90,000 square kilometers in the Sahara. That’s how much land it would take, covered in solar thermal power stations, to power all of human civilization, according to Desertec, a partnership of European companies, governments and NGOs which was officially launched on Monday. Desertec aims to build a network of solar plants spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East that would provide a significant percentage (15% or more) of the electricity needs of all three regions. Click to continue reading »