Energy Efficiency Finds a New Friend in Washington

| Tuesday March 10th, 2009 | 3 Comments

The story of energy efficiency moves forward with new interest from WashingtonThe story of energy efficiency is hardly new. But like all good stories, an evolving plot effectively – one might say efficiently – moves the narrative forward. Gone are the days of energy efficiency dismissively referred to as little more than a sign of “personal virtue” with no “basis for sound national energy policy” – suddenly replaced with an “almost frantic excitement” over the possibilities of incorporating efficiency as a cornerstone not of only energy policy, but also economic recovery.

And the sudden buzz in Washington over efficiency has Collin Breakstone, VP of Business Development for Agilewaves, eager to spread the message, if perhaps just a little bemused. After all, Collin, with whom we first spoke last year, along with his colleagues at Agilewaves, have been leaders in the efficiency market since those dark days when all they had going for them was their “personal virtue.”

The truth is that Agilewaves, like many others, has long understood efficiency as the low-hanging fruit of energy sustainability. Through development of their innovative Resource Monitor (voted one of Sustainable Industries Top 10 Green Building Products for 2008), Agilewaves has helped bring the concept of energy efficiency into real-world practice. That Washington has been slow to catch on only shows how it is incumbent on visionary businesses like Agilewaves to help lead the way. Something that Washington itself has apparently realized.

Change, my friends, is in the air.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

podium[Your News Here]

Emergency Climate Science Summit Convenes in Copenhagen

Richard Levangie | Tuesday March 10th, 2009 | 6 Comments

copenhagen-mermaid.jpg

Politicians aren’t listening, so climate scientists have convened an emergency meeting in Copenhagen over the next three days to collate the latest scientific findings so they can exert pressure on the negotiating teams that will meet in Copenhagen next December. The International Scientific Congress on Climate Change will feature keynotes by leading advocates for dramatic global warming policies, as well as a who’s who of climate scientists.
Several well-known universities are organizing the ISCCC to address outstanding issues leading up to the UN-sponsored climate summit, including the likely costs of inaction, and the threat to global security and world poverty posed by dramatic climate change.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

PlanetTran Scores Funding to Expand Green Livery Service

Mary Catherine O'Connor | Tuesday March 10th, 2009 | 0 Comments

planettran_logo.gifGreen livery service PlanetTran just got a little greener, with cash. The Boston-based company, which operates fleets of hybrid vehicles for livery services, has completed its first institutional round of financing from Cue Ball Capital, a Boston-based venture and early growth equity investment firm. PlanetTran has not disclosed the amount raised, but says it will use the funding for expansion and to further develop its proprietary reservations and paperless billing system.
PlanetTran markets its services to executives and corporations and competes with fleets of luxury (and far less efficient) vehicles, such as Lincoln Town Cars. Aside from green street cred, PlanetTran customers get to enjoy an in-car wireless Internet connection as they are whisked away or toward an airport or meeting.
The company is the brainchild of 34-year-old Seth Riney, a Yale grad who started PlanetTran in 2003 and now employs around 100 people. It maintains two main fleets. One serves New England and the other is in Northern California.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Pun Alert: Geothermal Energy Gains Steam

Nick Hodge | Tuesday March 10th, 2009 | 9 Comments

geothermal steam Geothermal is the bastard child of renewable energy.

Constantly overlooked in articles and headlines in lieu of the much sexier solar and wind, which have become the go-to cleantech representatives, geothermal energy use could quietly double in the next six years.

It requires no fuel, can provide baseload power, and is emissions-free after initial plant construction. Yet not many people know about geothermal’s immense advantages and capabilities.

Here’s to changing that.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Bike-Based Businesses Make a Buck While Helping the Environment

| Tuesday March 10th, 2009 | 1 Comment

Bike-Based%20Business.jpg On this site, we often focus on what large multinational corporations, cleantech ventures, or even governments are doing. But sometimes, some of the most interesting and innovative projects happen on a much smaller scale. In almost every major metropolis, bike messengers have been institutions for a long time. However, in recent years – responding to increases in both gas prices and consciousness for personal health and the environment – bike-based businesses have been springing up across the country.
“I think the recent explosion in biking is both a return on our communities’ investments in encouragement programs and infrastructure – bike lanes, paths, bike boulevards, etc. – and a sign of increasing concern about economics, health, and the environment,” said Stephanie Noll, the City of Portland’s Bicycle Transportation Alliance Programs Manager.
If you think about it, “concern about economics, health, and the environment” is another way of talking about Triple Bottom Line ethics, and for many of these small business owners, thinking about these issues in conjunction is making more and more sense. And these business owners are bringing this thought process to the local, community level.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Join 3P at Green:Net09 conference – March 24

| Tuesday March 10th, 2009 | 0 Comments

green-net.gif

GigaOm’s Green:Net09 conference is just around the corner and if you’re an IT professional or a Green Entrepreneur with a technical lean, this will likely be on of the year’s key gatherings.
It’s being billed as “The First Green Conference for the Internet Technology Industry” and judging by the impressive roster of speakers and attendees, is not to be missed. As a 3P reader you’ll get 15% off the admissions price if you follow the link below.
« March 24th at the Golden Gate Club in San Francisco »

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

Breaking News: Van Jones Chosen as Obama’s “Green Jobs Czar”

| Monday March 9th, 2009 | 10 Comments

van jonesEd Update: Now it’s official!

While still not officially confirmed, the buzz from those in the know is that Van Jones, green visionary and founder of Green For All, will be tapped as president Obama’s “Green Jobs Czar.”

A central focus of the Obama administration’s American Reinvestment and Recovery Plan is the creation of 3.5 million new jobs as well as providing $500 million “to prepare workers for careers in energy efficiency and renewable energy.”

In terms of green jobs and building the green economy, Van is the Man. Through his work at Green for All and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, which he founded in 1998, Jones’ work has been a force for both human rights and the environment. Jones is a firm believer that doing right by the earth and creating a green economy will help “lift millions out of poverty.”

It’s just this brand of visionary that can also help lift a beleaguered economy into a new, sustainable, and prosperous future. The triple bottom line goes to Washington.

TriplePundit will have more on this story as it develops.

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

IceBreaker Clothing Company: Get to Know Your Sheep

| Monday March 9th, 2009 | 2 Comments

new-zealand-wool.jpg

Some time ago, Ryan Mickle wrote about a pretty advanced move by Dole Corp. to give buyers of bananas a window into who actually picked and processed the banana they just bought. The idea was that every sticker on every banana was tied to an actual time and place during production and packaging that can let you identify and inspect the farm and facility the banana came from. It was a novel, but very significant move toward a very literally more transparent supply chain. I’m surprised it hasn’t gotten more attention.
Here’s something a little more micro, but equally interesting: IceBreaker, a New Zealand company who make merino wool outdoor clothing claim to offer a closer look at the actual sheep farms where the wool came from using a fancy website and “baacode” imprinted on the tag of your sweater or other item.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Strategies for Breaking into Clean Tech

Frank Marquardt | Monday March 9th, 2009 | 0 Comments

cleantechFM.jpgGiven the economic downturn, job seekers are smart to look at areas of opportunity likely to grow even in an ongoing downturn. Naturally, many have turned their attention to clean tech, where investment should only continue thanks to the stimulus package and global efforts to address climate change.
The dicey economic outlook and competition from the rising number of unemployed complicate the challenge of breaking into clean tech, however. If you’re among the growing number of job seekers who recognize the opportunity and want to break in, you’ll want to think strategically, prepare carefully, and practice persistence and patience. Realize that many people are competing for jobs, but by working all the angles to break into this industry, you’ll position yourself to grow with it, reducing the likelihood of economic uncertainty those in other industries are likely to continue to face. Here are six quick tips for getting started.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

How Corporate Social Responsibility Will Shift with the Bear Market

3p Contributor | Monday March 9th, 2009 | 3 Comments

Sleeping-Bear%20%28300%20x%20240%29.jpgBy Ann Logue
In this miserable stock market, it may seem that nothing anyone does will make prices go anywhere but down. But some investors are out there, investing. They are the brave, the opportunistic, and the institutional. In a market like this, corporate social responsibility becomes important for investors. First, they are looking for transparent companies that are less likely to be the victim of bad news from outside of the market. Pension plans, charitable foundations, and institutional endowments have to invest, and many of them receive new cash inflows every year. They are battered, and they want to do better.
Second, investors may use the weak market to find badly run companies and apply pressure for change. In fact, that’s exactly what the Federal government is doing in its bailouts of Citigroup and AIG. Those companies made themselves targets for Federal takeovers by mismanaging risk

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Twin Crises: Economy and Climate Are the Opportunity of Our Times

| Friday March 6th, 2009 | 0 Comments

lunapic-123633474665085%283%29.jpg The twin economic-climate change crises are just that–intertwined–and they present societies worldwide with the greatest opportunity, as well as challenge, since the Great Depression, according to UK economist Nicholas Stern in a McKinsey Quarterly video interview.
Just as there are those strongly advocating the idea that the US can and should address the economic crisis and climate change in an integrated fashion, there are those strongly arguing that the government should tackle the economic crisis first and then address climate change.
Separating and dealing with the two crises individually is misleading and misses, or avoids, the point entirely, Stern asserted in the McKinsey interview. “To take the opportunities of the kind I described, there are a number of things that we have to overcome. One is the idea that the economic crisis takes precedence over the climate crisis. That’s just confusion. That just misses the point about how we can put our policies on these two things together in a very constructive way.
“So we can be much more energy efficient. We can insulate our homes and get unemployed construction workers back into work. Those are the kinds of ways in which we can put things together. So to say that first one and then the other is just analytical confusion. We have to look at what’s involved in doing both and see and recognize how one can support the other.”

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

McCarty Partners: Cause Innovation With a Personal Touch

| Friday March 6th, 2009 | 0 Comments

cause-marketing.gif
Awareness_Ribbons-McCarty%20Partners.jpgWhile the definition and nomenclature around cause marketing varies considerably, there are certain elements that everyone can agree on from an execution standpoint. It must be a) transparent, b) authentic, and c) integrated. The belief is that if a cause marketing initiative upholds these tenets, it will be effective in connecting the consumer, company, and cause in ways that benefit all parties. The consumer feels good about doing their part and supporting a socially conscious company. The company elevates it’s brand position by outwardly demonstrating a commitment to core values and strengthens relationships with both customers and the non-profit partners it supports. And the cause gains greater visibility and awareness in the market, and access to the funds and resources needed to drive change.
But Phil McCarty, Founder of McCarty Partners, seeks to take that formula one step further by insuring that the personal connection to the cause is intricately woven, not only in the external marketing efforts, but in the behind-the-scenes activities that the consumer may never even see. In that spirit, Phil and his team work tirelessly to match up nonprofits with companies to create a deep, sustainable connection that transcends a singular promotion or campaign. Somewhat of a nonprofit matchmker, Phil seeks to forge the relationships that change lives. From shareholders to C-level management to human resources and employees, McCarty Partners solidifies ties where the entire origanization is personally invested — and contributing — to the outcome. Innovating change, McCarty Partners takes the mechanics of cause marketing and infuses them with meaning to make them both memorable and measurable.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Weekly Green Business Wrap-Up

| Friday March 6th, 2009 | 0 Comments

sandwich.jpgGE, Google, Waste Management: Three Fortune 500 Firms with Emerging Roles in Clean Energy 3P regular Sarah Lozanova gives us the scoop on the new trend in big business exploring renewables. Everyone wants a seat at the table of the new green economy. 3P says “Come on, eat, eat, you’re too thin, can I fix you a sandwich?”
EDF Launches Google Mash-Up of Green Jobs CompaniesNow you don’t need to use the “pin the tail on the donkey” method of choosing your next city. You don’t even need lists of sustainable cities from formerly defunct start-ups In these trying economic times, its nice to be able to see where there might actually be burgeoning industries!
pouring_water_c.jpgFlorida to Tax Bottled Water Companies by the Gallon Nestle and the other 22 bottled water manufacturers in Florida profit 10-100 times the cost of each bottle they produce. No longer! Florida plans to tax these companies for the privilege of sucking the state’s water coffers dry.
Method_28oz_bottles.jpg
Method Earns Cradle to Cradle Certification for 20 products
The C2C certification process, administered by William McDonough’s McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry (MBDC), looks for environmentally safe materials, design for material reutilization (recycling, composting, etc.), use of renewable energy, water and energy efficiency, and company social responsibility practices. Method was already well loved in eco circles, but what makes me love them even more is that the official title of their environmental strategist is The Green Giant.
heirloom_tomatoes.jpgHeirloom Culture Gets Facelift at Greener Gadgets Conference Instead of electronics companies releasing new models of their products every six months to a year, hardware and all, they would only release software to update the electronics. This way, people could take advantage of gains in technology without having to throw out the existing product. Yes, yes, of course. But what is this going to do to our GDP?
Fresh_Potatoes.jpg NYT Investigates Who is Greener: Couch Potatoes or Mall Rats Here’s the million dollar question – to buy online or in the store? Shoppers sitting in their living rooms and ordering items like hair-dryers or cameras online used 35 percent less energy, the study found, than people who shopped the old-fashioned way. We wrestled with this issue at 3P yesterday when it came to ebay’s new claim to green

Finally, here at 3P things have been really hot this week. We discussed whether living sustainably should entitle you to breaks on your loan rate ,
Whether Ford has a chance to top Toyota and Honda on fuel efficiency, and a hot off the presses argument about water vs. electricity usage with the President of Coolerado.
Happy weekend!

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

Is Clorox’ Green Works Range as Green as They Claim?

| Friday March 6th, 2009 | 0 Comments

clorox.jpg Household cleaning is turning more and more into an arena where product choice is an environmental decision. The Clorox Green Works product range is one of the largest and most affordable in the natural cleaning market, but is it a genuinely “environmental” product range or has it been greenwashed? If it is the real deal, how are the products changing the quality of our environment, how can people be sure that it’s as effective as traditional cleaners, and why, if it is a success, does is not replace the whole Clorox range?
According to the company’s website, the product is made from biodegradable ingredients and is not tested on animals, meeting its own sustainability goals. In a market where a standardized industry definition of “sustainable” does not exist, this appears to be a strong step towards producing environmentally responsible products. The Sierra Club has endorsed the product range in line with one of its primary goals “to foster vibrant, healthy communities with clean water and air that are free from pollution.”

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »

Waste to Energy Firms: A Greener Waste Solution?

| Friday March 6th, 2009 | 0 Comments

With landfills across the nation bursting at the seams, there are signs of renewed interest in burning solid wastes. Using advanced gasfication methods, companies can now produce energy from a host of materials with virtually no emissions.
And while this is certainly better than just dumping trash in a landfill, is it really better than simply recycling and reusing those materials?
Burn, Baby, Burn!
Plasco Energy Group Inc., an Ottawa, Canada-based firm has introduced an innovative system based upon an electric plasma torch system whose combustion process burns cleaner than traditional trash incinerators.
In the plasma burn design, temperatures are raised to greatly elevated levels compared to traditional incinerator systems. At this higher temperature, gasification opens the door for a “superior combustion” potential – so much so that Plasco claims that it can divert 99.8% of solid waste from landfills. Its Conversion System is “the only waste transformation technology that can generate more than a megawatt-hour of net power per ton of waste processed.”
And Plasco is not alone. Another rising star on the horizon of gasification includes Ze-gen, which launched a functioning pilot plant a year ago in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Click to continue reading »

Permalink CONTINUES » discuss Discuss This »