As most readers know, Sustainable Brands 2009 is just around the corner and if you haven’t registered yet, now is the time to do so with a generous 20% discount by using the code “trprsp09″ right here.
If you’re not able to make it to the entire conference, an excellent one day alternative on Monday, June 1st. Admission to the unconference, which also includes access to the ongoing trade expo for all three days, is only $99. However, Sustainable Life Media has generously given us a handful of free unconference passes for people who can commit to leading an interesting conversation during the day.
An unconference is a set of casual (powerpoint-free) conversations which are moderated by anyone with a good idea. That’s where you come in.
Here’s how it works. Sign on to our unconference wiki here. (the sign-up instructions are in the right-hand sidebar). Have a look at the proposals which people have submitted. Then, simply edit the wiki page to add your proposal. Be careful not to over-write someone else’s proposal.
Once you’re done, send us a message via Twitter with #3p #sb09 in it mentioning your unconference topic. We’ll follow up with you and get a free unconference pass to you while they last. If you’re feeling shy, then you can still qualify for a pass, just let us know via Twitter that you’re interested and we’ll put you in the running.
TriplePundit: Reporting on the Triple Bottom Line & Sustainable Business News
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If deliveries completely replaced shopping in “distant stores” there might be a 80 to 90 percent reduction in carbon emissions, according to George Monbiot in his 2007 book, Heat. Monbiot acknowledged that will not happen. However, delivery only grocery stores have a lower overhead because you do not need displays, cash registers, and “fancy packaging.” Monbiot calls delivery only stores the “warehouse model,” and believes that it “allows far more companies to play.” Online grocery store, SPUD (Small Potatoes Urban Delivery) would agree.
SPUD describes itself as “an organic grocery delivery company.” It delivers 100 percent organic fruits and vegetables. Fifty percent of its grocery products are organic, and do not contain additives, preservatives, or artificial ingredients. Any animal products come from suppliers who do not use hormones or antibiotics. The delivery is free for most orders, and the company claims its prices are “competitive.” Most of their produce is brought in and delivered within 24 hours.
By Lisa Bingham
When I first found out about BALLE’s conference in Denver, I jumped at the opportunity to attend. A conference on sustainability in Denver, my home town? Sure! Sign me up! Then I started wondering, just what is BALLE? And what are these living economies they are supporting?
BALLE, I soon found out, is the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, a national networking organization that provides opportunities for people involved in the business community to connect at a local level. It brings together small business owners, economic developers, government officials, and other interested members of an area, providing an opportunity to share ideas, give support, and work together to make their community a better place. There are chapters all across the United States and Canada, and they are all working to support their local economies in a more sustainable way.
A while ago I posted about Tony Hsieh’s inspiring keynote address at last March’s South by Southwest Interactive Conference in Austin, TX. I had hoped to have the video up then, but it wasn’t available until more recently. If there’s one thing worth spending 15 minutes on today, it’s watching Tony’s talk – whether you’re a manager, an entrepreneur or just someone who thinks companies can be run better. Here it is in two parts, the second after the jump. Enjoy and let us know what you think!
Though the economic news continues to be shaky, innovation hasn’t disappeared. In fact, at events like the New Venture Exchange, it’s being celebrated. As we reported earlier, this is a chance for consumer oriented green start ups to get seen by some of the most influential people in the green business realm, at the Sustainable Brands conference.
Among other things, one will get an iPhone application created for them by green mobile app developer, 3rdWhale Media, complete with a strategic analysis on how to extend their brand on a mobile platform, together a value of $30,000.
3rdWhale, creator of the first location based green business finder, and Greenpeace’s first mobile app, has decided to open up the decision making process to the public, creating a Facebook forum for you to learn about the contenders and vote for which one you think deserves the app, all votes to be submitted by June 1st.
As we here at Triple Pundit are all about exposing new start ups to the world, here’s a quick summary of all 9 contenders:
When Obama first came out in support of electric cars, the opposition quickly attacked these vehicles as nothing more than “glorified golf carts.” They loved it. They used it as an opportunity to scare the public into believing that the only electric cars available were Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs). These electric vehicles, also known as “Low Speed Vehicles” are basically 4-wheeled vehicles with a top speed of more than 20 mph, but not more than 25 mph.
Now we know the truth. We know that at this very moment, there are electric vehicles and plug-in electric vehicles in development and on the road that are not glorified golf carts, but rather highly efficient vehicles that really represent the future of personal transportation.
There’s a lot going on with David de Rothschild, and not all of it is TV glitz, eco-PR and his highly-publicized bid to become the world’s leading “adventure ecologist.”
Yes, he is one of those Rothschilds–a handsome, 30-year-old heir to the famed European banking fortune. He’s the guiding light behind the Adventure Ecology eco-community and also the star/host of the Sundance Channel’s aptly named Eco-Trip show, which features a mostly bemused, angry or surprised de Rothschild confronting various ecological topics and absurdities on a weekly basis.
One of his recent shows spotlighted the obscene amount of land devastation that goes into the mining and making of a simple gold ring.
But the thing that is getting him the most publicity is his Plastiki Expedition. Click to continue reading »
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By Kevin Whilden
Imagine Surfboards has developed new surfboard manufacturing techniques to build more “ecologically friendly” surfboards at reasonable cost and with superior performance on the waves. The boards are made from recycled polystyrene cores (e.g. used coffee cups), “glassed” with bamboo cloth, and have bamboo fins. Imagine has started winning major awards for its innovative designs and sales are skyrocketing. It appears that ecological surfboards have that “cool factor” which can wield significant influence on the market place, and the surfboard company’s suppliers are improving their environmental performance as a direct result of Imagine’s green approach.
Surfing is one sport that desperately needs to make being “green” more “cool.” It is immensely popular, with USA sales alone estimated at $7.5B in 2006. However, sustainable branding and ecologically friendly products are notably absent from the surfing industry, which is surprising considering that pollution and sea level rise directly harm the very waves upon which the industry thrives. It seems like a no-brainer for the industry to rapidly move to a more pro-actively environmental stance, but risk-averse major surfboard manufacturers are still promoting 1960’s board construction technology that is highly toxic to workers and the environment — because that is what sells best. It seems that the bigger the profits, the bigger the resistance to change. We have heard that one before.
The start of Sustainability 2.0 picks up where Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth leaves off: Climate change and sustainability are realities, not just the obsessions or paranoia of a few scientists or activitsts. Sustainability is, rather, the urging to live within our means, to take a much more common sensical approach to the way we live our lives and interact with the world around us. It is the common sense that “impels us to turn off the lights when we leave home and to not leave the tap running while we brush our teeth.”
Sustainability 2.0 is a 205-page compendium of the sustainability movement. It is the recent effort by Ernesto van Peborgh and El Viaje de Odiseo (Odyssey’s Journey), a sustainabilty and new media consultancy group based in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
It starts with establishing the framework laid down at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, through the nascency of the current iteration of the sustainability movement in the 1990s, to the current trends and issues we face today, including the intersection of sustainability and “participative” media.
Sustainability 2.0 is a very linear, logical look at the trends of the past generation and how they affect the challenges we face as a society. It summarizes the theories of major green influencers, such as Malcolm Gladwell, John Elkington, Ray Anderson, Paul Hawken, Yvon Chouinard, Anita Roddick, and the minds behind the The Cluetrain Manifesto, as well as includes lesser-known anecdotes such as a case study of a mine in Argentine Patagonia.
The following is a short post from Opportunity Fund Founder and CEO, Eric Weaver. Opportunity Fund is producing the now sold out Microfinance California, on May 28th at Stanford. If you are finding out about it for the first time now, don’t kick yourself too hard, you can still catch the webcast tomorrow. -Ryan and rest of the 3p Team
As the federal government shells out hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money to prop up failing financial institution, with no end in sight, there’s one sector that is not only in the bloom of health, but is offering hope and help to many around the world.
Many people know of microfinance as a successful strategy for overseas development, but don’t realize that microfinance has been helping low income people in the US for the last ten years. Now, in the wreckage of the recession, the country is looking for fresh strategies for fighting poverty and patching income loss. Microfinance is about to become one of the significant solutions on the table.
This month my organization, Opportunity Fund, is co-sponsoring California’s first ever microfinance summit. The sold-out conference takes place on Thursday, May 28 at Stanford University. Participants — both those who want to lend a helping hand through investing in new entrepreneurs, and those who have their own great ideas for starting small businesses – – will learn about the power and potential of microfinance.
The conference webcast will be available live at 9:00 am PST, when Premal Shah, Founder of Kiva.org will join John Stumpf, Wells Fargo’s CEO for the opening keynote: microfinancecalifornia.org/webcast/.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Speaks at the World Business Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addressed a gathering of global business leaders last week in Copenhagen for the World Summit on Climate Change. As the international community prepares for the COP-15 talks this December, Ki-moon called on business leaders to “lead by example” with ingenuity and vision that others, “including governments,” lack.
Secretary General Ki-moon characterized climate change as a “grave global threat” putting humanity at one of its most critical moments in history. With this grave threat comes incredible opportunities that “we must seize.”
“We need your voice, your influence, and your example,” he said, to help “seal a deal in December.” To that end, the Secretary General asked business leaders to sign the Copenhagen Call, issued at the conclusion of the meeting, to help send a message to policy makers and the public.
Following is video highlight of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s address followed by the full text of his speech:
If you’ve ever been to a trade show in Vegas, you probably have seen a “booth babe.” This cringe-inducing term is meant to describe the attractive female representatives that many companies hire to hawk their products at trade shows. Well, I saw a couple booth babes, so to speak, at a green business conference last week. I did a double-take.
It was all in good fun. The women were dressed in mini-dresses made of superfluous packaging materials and they were successful in their efforts to attract people to a booth about a new project launched by the green-minded website Greenopolis (a subsidiary of Waste Management) in partnership with Whole Foods. The pilot project is called Re-Source and it’s designed to improve recycling rates of PET plastic bottles by offering incentives to consumers.
Here’s the idea: Re-Source creates PET beverage containers made with 25 percent recycled PET. These bottles are used for sales of Re-Source-branded bottled water and sold at Whole Foods. Consumers then bring the empty bottles back to Whole Foods and deposit them in a collection box provided by GreenOps. The consumer earns store credit for each empty bottle returned (a bar code scanner built into the collection box is used to count the returns). The more Re-Source bottles the Re-Source people can collect, the higher percentage of recycled content they can use in making new bottles.
Coffea charrieriana, one of 2008’s “most interesting new species discovered by scientists”, is the first known coffee plant that contains no caffeine. It was discovered in Cameroon, where an extremely wide variety of coffee plants exist.
Under the common name Charrier coffee, the plant was named after a scientist who managed coffee breeding research in central Africa’s diverse jungles for 30 years. Scientists posit that the new species could be used for breeding naturally caffeine-free coffees.
There is potential for this plant to replace the methylene chloride chemical extraction process used in most coffee production to remove caffeine (methylene chloride is a potential carcinogen and pollutant). How big is the market for decaf coffee?Click to continue reading »
If you’ve spent any time on the social web, you’ve probably come across Geoff Livingston, marketing strategist, communicator and PR pro with a no nonsense approach to business. He’s best known for his decisive commentary on the social media space at The Buzz Bin, recognized by the Washington Post as one of the top ranked marketing blogs in the region, and co-author of the book, “Now is Gone,” a primer on new media for executives and entrepreneurs. Signature photos of him atop his trusty motorcycle are likely a close second! But above all, Geoff is known for getting things done, and is using his power for good in igniting social change for clients and advising nonprofits on harnessing technology to advance their causes. He has also been working with Qui Diaz and Beth Kanter on the concept of Philanthropy 2.0, and recently published the results of their Social Media for Social Causes Study.
For all these reasons, I thought Geoff would be the perfect person to comment on the recent market shift toward a more philanthropic enterprise model as part of this series, but the following quote cinched the deal for me:
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“Corporate America has come under the spotlight for immoral behavior. Americans are tired of profiteering and empty promises to our communities. In the 21st century, companies have to do more. Philanthropic intent must be backed with action.”
WNSF West Coast Summit Explores the Convergence of Businesswomen, Technology and Sustainability
Silicon Valley’s businesswomen gathered on Thursday, May 21, at the Intel Headquarters in Santa Clara to discuss the topic of “Clean Tech’s Advantage for Growth.” The gathering was the first West Coast Summit held by the Women’s Network for a Sustainable Future (WNSF). Attendees explored how clean tech can help organizations achieve their sustainability goals and discussed the unique contribution businesswomen can make to this effort.
WNSF is “committed to three things: women, business and sustainability,” said Ann Goodman, the WNSF Executive Director, in her opening remarks. The New York-based non-profit provides opportunities, like the West Coast Summit, for business and professional women to meet, reflect and act on the issues of corporate social responsibility and sustainable development.