The Promise Of Green Jobs In Hard Numbers

| Tuesday September 30th, 2008 | 1 Comment

martians.jpgThe rise of new green jobs –in renewable energy, buildings and construction, transportation,basic industries, agriculture and forestry– is the first tangible result of efforts to tackle climate change. But that’s just about all we can say for certain. A recent UNEP report, entitled Green Jobs: Towards Decent work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World, sets out the real (future) green jobs scenario in a few brush strokes. Two buzz terms are ‘adaptation to climate change’ and ‘efforts to reduce carbon emissions’.
These two factors are going to be two continuous themes in the future green jobs sector, which yes, will see the creation of millions of new green jobs but which will also witness effects of climate change on existing jobs that are going to be rather negative.

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ClimatePULSE: The Government Can Still Help the Carbon Market

| Tuesday September 30th, 2008 | 3 Comments

lightglobe.jpg In wake of yesterday’s disapproval of the financial rescue package, ClimatePULSE will take a look at the status of the carbon market and how it is affected by the financial services sector. Although carbon and stock trading do not occur side-by-side, they certainly interact and influence one another through various connections. In many ways, the carbon market relies heavily on the financial status of both the country and individual companies. A sliding financial market may affect the allocation of money and credit and slow the development of the national carbon market. Recent and future milestones in the carbon industry, however, are more than capable of powering the carbon market to a very successful future.

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Reduce Supply Chain costs with Reusable Packaging

3p Contributor | Tuesday September 30th, 2008 | 0 Comments

plastic-cont.jpgReusable packaging companies have been around for while, but with more and more companies concerned about climate change, reusable packaging appeal is growing throughout the U.S. Reusable plastic containers are now used at companies like Pepsi, Walmart, Safeway, Ghirardelli Chocolates and John Deere to protect and transport everything from tractors to fresh vegetables with great success.
The 2008 “Choose Reusables!” Education Forum sponsored by Reusable Packaging Association (RPA) and StopWaste.org highlighted these success stories this past week. The forum covered many aspects of reusables such as the EPA’s support of reusables, a life cycle analysis of boxes vs. plastic containers, and the challenges encountered by customers implementing reusable packaging.

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How Green Is Your College?

| Tuesday September 30th, 2008 | 1 Comment

campus.jpg Last week, the Sustainable Endowments Institute released its 2009 Green Report Card. As GreenBiz reports, it compiles the green and not-so-green aspects of 300 colleges and universities through the United States and Canada. The Report Card was designed to identify those schools that are leading by example through their commitment to sustainability initiatives on campus.
Schools were graded across categories including administration engagement, green building, food and recycling programs, transportation, and climate change policy. While no school earned an outright 4.0, there were many with A- grades that received the distinction of Campus Sustainability Leader by excelling in at least three of the categories listed above.

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Incentive Schemes For Cycling To Work Or College

| Monday September 29th, 2008 | 1 Comment

velor.jpgNew employer? New college? As you commit to new things in your life it’s worth finding out if your new place has an incentive scheme in place encouraging you to cycle in. More and more companies and universities are offering deals.
Ripon College in Wisconsin offers freshmen a brand-new Trek 820 mountain bike plus accessories (including a hyper expensive lock) for free if they won’t bring their car to college. Students who signed up for the deal, a phenomenal 60% of all freshmen this year, did so because they saved on petrol and they help save the environment. That’s besides getting the free wheels of course. The college itself wants to reduce its carbon footprint, save on parking spaces and encourage healthy lifestyles.

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Wave of Policies to Increase Demand for Green Building

| Monday September 29th, 2008 | 0 Comments

green-wabe.jpgThousands of home-owners and business-owners swarmed the convention center floor at West Coast Green this past weekend, fawning over the energy-efficient windows, lighting, textiles, and home performance specialists that would help them save money through energy efficiency in their homes, offices, and warehouses. The vendors there knew that they were not just delivering a trendy product or service. They were positioning themselves at the forefront of a fundamental market shift that is being created by a wave of green building policies soon to be sweeping the nation.
I sat down with Michelle Moore, Vice President of Policy at the U.S. Green Building Council, to discuss the policies that will create an increasingly large market for green building products and services. In the past few years, substantial legislation has been introduced at the federal, state, and local levels to support green building practices.

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Up Close and Personal with Green Cars

Shannon Arvizu | Monday September 29th, 2008 | 0 Comments

mmresized6.jpg Last Friday, Triple Pundit was invited to attend a unique event in the green car field. Consumer Reports brought together major automakers, entrepreneurial companies, and other electric vehicle innovators to display their latest clean technology vehicles to both print and online journalists. I had the opportunity to test some of these future cars on the Consumer Reports test track in Connecticut, including two fuel cell vehicles – the Chevy Equinox and the Honda FCX Clarity. We also engaged in a two-hour q&a discussion with automakers to discuss feasibility, projections, and tech specifics of the vehicles on hand. My favorite part of the event, however, was the opportunity to discuss the emergence of the Myers Motors NmG, a personal electric vehicle that is a resurrection of Lee Iacocca’s Sparrow.

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Sustainable Agriculture in practice: Reconnecting the dots along our food chain

| Saturday September 27th, 2008 | 0 Comments

whittenranch-baca.jpg Looking to restore a healthier, more sustainable balance and a stronger, more direct connection between agriculture, society, economics and environmental conservation, George Whitten and Julie Sullivan are among the growing number of ranchers and farmers striving to work out and put into practice their own custom tailored brand of sustainable agriculture.
A husband and wife team, Whitten and Sullivan drive, graze and manage a growing herd of grass-fed, organic-certified cattle with a head count that now numbers close to 450 across a nearly 14,500-acre mix of private and public lands high up in Colorado’s San Luis Valley.
Motivated by an infectious natural inquisitiveness, a love of nature and an inclination to educate themselves as well as participate in effecting broad, positive, progressive societal change– as well by ecological and economic necessity– Whitten and Sullivan are proponents of their own still evolving formulation of sustainable agricultural principles and practices, one that is rooted in their own long and varied experiences and the influences of a broad and varied range of researcher-practitioners that not only believe that there is a better, more sustainable way to develop and manage agricultural resources, but that doing so has become a socio-economic and environmental imperative.

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The Next Bull’s Green

| Saturday September 27th, 2008 | 0 Comments

greenbulll.jpgAdmittedly, it’s a bit obscene to talk of a new bull market now that Wall Street is heavily sick and in need of a trillion dollar bailout. But perhaps it makes sense to do it anyway because it’s very likely that the next bull’s going to be colored brightly green.
Green investing is set to become easier as new markets are emerging and platforms dedicated to the general grey economy’s pollution problems begin to take off in earnest. “A whole new multibillion-dollar green economy will rise–and with it the kind of massive financial opportunity that could get not only America but also Wall Street back on its feet”, writes to Glenn Hurowitz in a report entitled “The Next Bull Market” in The Nation.

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West Coast Green: Former California Governor Jerry Brown and VP Al Gore Remain Optimistic on the Financial Crisis on Wall Street

| Saturday September 27th, 2008 | 1 Comment

al_gore.jpgEven as the US is at the cusp of a $700 bn bailout of Wall Street and stock prices are fluctuating like crazy, both closing keynote speakers former California Governor Jerry Brown and Vice President Al Gore remain optimistic about the state of the US economy.

The danger we are facing is quite grave, but the opportunity is right front of us.”

The past thirty years and and rapid climate change reflects the recklessness of the US government and a general disregard for the laws of basic economics. “Everything has a limit–our bodies have a limit, the earth’s resources have a limit,” Jerry Brown said.
“Ecology and economics are closely tied together”
Vice President Al Gore echoed these sentiments by stating, “We need to stop bailing out the financial crisis and bail in green energy. Green revolution is the solution to the financial crisis.”
SubPrime and the Short Term View
Gore pointed to the subprime mortgage, which the finance world assumed that a greater volume of subprime mortgages backed up by securities would handle the risk, and that assumption was wrong.
It is particularly not sustainable for solar companies who have included renewable tax credits in their business plans when government has allowed renewable tax credits to expire at least 17 times. This causes investors to turn over 80% of their portfolios, because they are driven mainly be short-term quarterly earnings.
To be sustainable, businesses have to look at the long term view and recognize the limits of natural resources.

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West Coast Green: IDEO’s Approach to the Demand Side of Sustainability

| Friday September 26th, 2008 | 0 Comments

Where does innovation take us now that words like green, organic, recyclable, locally-sourced are flying around? Is it enough for businesses to simply cut costs to improve efficiency?
IDEO says it’s not enough and companies need to look at how to improve demand for innovative products by looking at individuals to understand their needs better and to tell stories that help consumers understand what it is that they are buying.
Transforming Green Hype into Sustainable Demand
IDEO is a creative design firm headquartered in Palo Alto that looks at opportunities to change products, services, and other offerings. Yesterday, IDEO hosted a workshop called “The Demand Side of Sustainability” to answer questions about how to get consumers attracted to sustainable products. With all the hype around “green” and some companies claiming they are green, more eco-conscious customers are more likely to be dubious about how sustainable a product really is.

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Schwarzenegger on Global Warming: “Washington is Asleep at the Wheel”

| Friday September 26th, 2008 | 0 Comments

arnold.jpg
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger took the stage today in San Francisco at a Commonwealth Club event to celebrate the state’s success in its global warming fighting leadership. If it wasn’t obvious that the bodybuilder-turned-superstar actor-turned-governor wasn’t the typical politician, it was as he was received with a standing ovation as a Republican in one of the most progressive cities in the world, during a particularly heated election season.
In his usual self-deprecating style, Schwarzenegger compared cutting the state’s carbon footprint to the approach one might take to losing a few pounds through dieting–something the former Mr. Universe and 7-time Mr. Olympia might know a thing about–by stepping on the scale, setting a goal, and making changes in one’s lifestyle. The California (pronounced Cal-ee-for-KNEE-a, since Schwarzenegger took office in 2003) legislation that he signed into law 2 years ago commits the state to cutting emissions to 1990 levels, a 25% reduction, by 2020, and to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, sidestepping Washington’s rejection of Kyoto.
Global Warming and Man on the Moon
While the implementation of such dramatic cuts in carbon emissions is easier talked about than done, Schwarzenegger drew parallels to Kennedy’s commitment to transport man to the moon, leading with vision, inspiration, and support, rather than R&D that should have been left to NASA. Kennedy was leading a movement and Arnold has clearly demonstrated his interest in playing a leading role in fighting global warming. He also appealed to the typical Californian who can cut her footprint by 25% immediately by making small changes in her life that add up, such as driving less, washing clothes in cold water, considering solar power, turning lights off, etc.

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A Look at Mexico’s Fight Against Climate Change

Tori Okner | Friday September 26th, 2008 | 3 Comments

greenmexico.jpegMexico is emerging as a fascinating climate change case study.
Four years ago, the Mexican government asked companies to voluntarily report their emissions using the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. The GGP offers a metric for tracking and managing greenhouse gas emissions. Intended for both public and private use, it was developed by the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), in collaboration with businesses, governments, and environmental groups. Mexico became the first country in the developing world to implement the program on a national scale.
The Mexican Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Program focuses on outreach and education, translating materials and hosting workshops that reflect the stated needs of corporations. According to the WBCSD, emissions from participating corporations account for approximately 35% of the industrial emissions in the country.

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West Coast Green: Greenwashing and the Business of Branding

| Friday September 26th, 2008 | 1 Comment

sustainable%20life%20media.jpgAt a talk from 1:30 to 3:00 at the San Jose Convention Center, attendees gathered to tap into the power of sustainable branding.
It is both good news and bad news for green building businesses that more people are entering the marketplace. The growth of the sustainable or green building industry leaves many questions for business owners, namely, “How can we differentiate ourselves from one another?” and “How can we distinguish ourselves from the hype and greenwashing?”
Koann Skrzyniarz of Sustainable Life Media has been working towards helping companies to become sustainable since 2004. She and her her colleagues Celia Canfield of Ecovertex and co-chair of Sustainable Brands International Pam Van Orden, spoke to a varied audience to make the distinctions of how good branding works.
Sustainable branding means taking innovation to a whole new level beyond simply telling stories from the ground level up.

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New Global Carbon Budget Numbers Show Global Economy Has Accellerated Greenhouse Gas Growth

| Friday September 26th, 2008 | 0 Comments

emissss.jpgThe new Global Carbon Budget’s out. The numbers, compiled by the Australia-based Global Carbon Project, an international consortium of scientists that tracks emissions, show that despite an increase in the international community’s efforts to combat pollution, the growth rate of the emissions continued to speed up. The recalculations indicate that atmospheric CO2 concentration was 383 parts per million (ppm) in 2007. That means that our emissions have grown four times faster since 2000 than during the previous decade.
Emissions from the combustion of fossil fuel and land use change reached 10 billion tones of carbon in 2007. Natural CO2 sinks are growing but slower than the atmospheric CO2 growth, which has been increasing at 2 ppm since 2000 or 33% faster than the previous 20 years.

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