Heartbleed Continues to Threaten Internet Security and Consumer Trust

Sarah Lozanova | Wednesday July 2nd, 2014 | 1 Comment

Heartbleed threatWhen news of the OpenSSL Heartbleed vulnerability was announced to the public, its risk dominated the press. This infamous security vulnerability allows hackers to intercept communications and obtain information from vulnerable servers. OpenSSL is used for countless services, including Web servers, mobile applications, operating systems, routers and email clients. Articles quickly spread across the Internet with recommendations — some of which were counterproductive — yet many users took no action at all to protect sensitive information.

“This is a serious vulnerability,” wrote Forbes cybersecurity columnist Joseph Steinberg about Heartbleed. “Some might argue that it is the worst vulnerability found (at least in terms of its potential impact) since commercial traffic began to flow on the Internet.”

Consumers trust banks, retail stores and communications companies with personal information, including phone, credit card and social security numbers. Despite a couple of months passing since Heartbleed was announced, the bug continues to haunt consumer, technology firms and corporations alike. Consumer trust was severely violated during this security debacle, as judged by the overwhelmingly negative sentiment shared online Heartbleed immediately after the breech was announced. Companies need to rebuild trust and educate consumers to protect their data — but some are responding with ambivalence and inaction, the opposite of what is needed.

A study by Errata Security found 309,197 servers were still vulnerable (down from 600,000 in April), some of them critical. “This indicates people have stopped even trying to patch,” says Robert Graham, Errata’s owner. “We should see a slow decrease over the next decade as older systems are slowly replaced. Even a decade from now, though, I still expect to find thousands of systems, including critical ones, still vulnerable.”

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From Coffee and Tea to Fish in the Sea: A New Frontier of Fair Trade

Fair Trade USA | Wednesday July 2nd, 2014 | 0 Comments
A Fair Trade fishing village in Indonesia.

A Fair Trade fishing village in Indonesia.

By Maya Spaull

All too often the news reports about marine species are grim: We read about declining fish stocks, illegal and unregulated fishing and the increasing degradation of coral reefs. Why is this happening? What factors motivate fishing practices that create such harmful outcomes to our precious marine resources?

Fishermen are often on the losing end of global trade, facing low market prices and lack of tools to improve resource management. Fair Trade USA believes there is a missing piece to this complex, yet critically important and ever-evolving puzzle – that we cannot have truly sustainable seafood unless we make sustainable livelihoods for fishing communities a top priority. We believe that Fair Trade can be part of a larger effort to make wild-caught seafood better for people and planet.

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Detroit Water and Sewage Department Issues Shut-Off Notices to 46,000

Lauren Zanolli
| Wednesday July 2nd, 2014 | 13 Comments

running waterIs access to clean water a fundamental human right? According to the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights, not exactly. But if you ask George McGraw, the founder and executive director of the DIGDEEP Right to Water Project, the answer is a resounding ‘yes.’

The goal of McGraw, who is also an international human rights lawyer, and DIGDEEP is not just to increase access to clean water or educate people about water issues, but also to fundamentally change the way we think about water — starting at home.

“When it comes to water it is really easy to silo people into groups, to treat other people as beneficiaries and see ourselves as donors,” McGraw told Triple Pundit after speaking at the Ford Trends conference in Detroit last week. “As a human rights organization, we really try to break down those barriers and get people to think about these issues differently.”

Our conversation was especially timely — as we talked next to an indoor fountain at a pricey hotel, thousands of homes in the city outside were without running water. Starting in March, the Detroit Water and Sewage Department (DWSD) sent out shut-off notices to 46,000 homes for overdue bills, arguing that people can afford to pay, but refuse.

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Former BP CEO Makes the Business Case for LGBT Equality

Alexis Petru
| Wednesday July 2nd, 2014 | 13 Comments

LGBT Rainbow FlagA few years before Tony Hayward resigned as head of BP after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the previous BP CEO, John Browne, was forced to bow out from the company over a much different scandal: He was outed as gay by a British tabloid. Now the former executive has written a book about his experience, “The Glass Closet: Why Coming Out Is Good Business,” and is advocating for the rights of gays and lesbians in the workplace.

Released in May, “The Glass Closet” details Browne’s double life as a CEO and a closeted gay man and tells the stories of other gay and lesbian professionals coming out at work. The book concludes with an open letter to CEOs about why promoting an inclusive environment for LGBT employees isn’t solely a civil rights issue or moral imperative for companies – it’s a smart business decision.

“Inclusion creates a level playing field, which allows the best talent to rise to the top,” Browne writes, in a book excerpt published in Fast Company.

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Ford and the Sustainability of the Family Legacy

| Wednesday July 2nd, 2014 | 3 Comments

1912-Ford-Model-T_thumb2My grandfather worked as a plant manager at Ford Motor Co. for 34 years. When I ask him about his experience, he does not refer to Ford as a company, but as a family. Since his retirement, Ford has remained an important part of our own family. F-150s have served as the toolbox for our family farm for years. Ford minivans have transported us on exciting journeys to faraway destinations, albeit fraught with epic battles between siblings in the backseat. I learned how to drive behind the wheel of a Ford and emerged unharmed from a Ford following a nasty collision. My family has never purchased a vehicle that wasn’t a Ford. I would venture to say that Ford has left a far greater influence on the lives of my family and I than any large corporation in the world.

As I toured the factories in Dearborn, Michigan during last week’s annual Ford Trends Conference, I listened to today’s employees echo my grandfather’s talk of the Ford family. The same employees glowed with pride about the recent announcement of Ford’s No. 1 ranking on Interbrand and Deloitte’s Annual Best Global Green Brands list.

Throughout the conference, I couldn’t help but ponder the intersection of these two sentiments. What does family have to do with a company’s commitment to sustainability? The answers are probably most obvious in smaller, family-owned companies. However, I might argue that many of our most recognizable brands represent even more powerful testaments to sustainability of the family legacy through cultures that endure for generations despite the added pressures of public ownership and attention.

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Global Ocean Commission Charts Course for High Seas Recovery

| Wednesday July 2nd, 2014 | 1 Comment

GarbageShoreCovering nearly 75 percent of the Earth’s surface, the ocean is the single largest ecosystem on the planet. From influencing weather patterns and climate trends and providing food, essential nutrition, livelihoods and recreation for billions to supplying the oxygen we breathe, it’s difficult to overestimate the influence of the ocean on the development, evolution and maintenance of life and human civilization.

Unfortunately, the health of the global ocean is in decline. “Habitat destruction, biodiversity loss, overfishing, pollution, climate change and ocean acidification are pushing the ocean system to the point of collapse,” according to an introductory letter from the co-chairs of the Global Ocean Commission.

“Governance is woefully inadequate, and on the high seas, anarchy rules the waves. Technological advance, combined with a lack of regulation, is widening the gap between rich and poor as those countries that can, exploit dwindling resources while those that can’t experience the consequences of those actions. Regional stability, food security, climate resilience, and our children’s future are all under threat.”

In “From Decline to Recovery: A Rescue Package for the Global Ocean,” the Global Ocean Commission Report 2014 puts forth a package of eight proposals that it believes can turn the tide and reverse the degradation of the global ocean within the next decade. That’s if the proposals are “expeditiously acted upon,” which is why the commission is also issuing “Mission Ocean,” a call to action for public and private sector leaders and concerned individuals the world over.

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Moringa Bar Startup Nets $350,000 in Funding

Mike Hower
| Wednesday July 2nd, 2014 | 1 Comment

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 12.01.33 AMKuli Kuli, which makes moringa “superfood” nutrition bars, recently raised $350,000 in a seed round of funding.

The campaign through investor sourcing site AgFunder brought in several notable investors, including Brad Feld of the Foundry Group, five-time CEO and former venture capitalist Derek Proudian, and Mary Waldner of the recently-acquired food company Mary’s Gone Crackers.

Following the passage of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act in 2012, companies such as Kuli Kuli now have been able to publicly advertise fundraising and accept investment from accredited investors through sites like AgFunder. While the latest round of funding comes from accredited investors, Kuli Kuli has previously leaned heavily on the crowd to finance its growth.

In May 2013, Kuli Kuli raised more than $50,000 on Indiegogo, which became one of the highest-grossing crowdfunding food campaigns of all time. Since then, the company also has received a $25,000 grant from online votes and a $5,000 loan from Kiva lenders.

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How to Make Your Home Smart and Energy Efficient

3p Contributor | Wednesday July 2nd, 2014 | 0 Comments

syn devicesBy Jessica Oaks

You may not realize it, but at this very moment, you’re probably wasting electricity. Don’t feel too bad though; the fact of the matter is, most people are using more electricity than they need. The home is filled with electronic devices, and keeping track of them all can be a real hassle. Most of us tend not to think about it. After all, what damage can possibly be done by leaving the lights on in a room or setting the thermostat a couple of degrees cooler? Well, more than you probably think.

When it comes to electrical usage, one should think of the age-old economic theory, the Tragedy of the Commons. The principle is simple: Individuals acting rationally and in their own self-interest can actually act against the best interests of the group, by wasting a common resource needed by the collective whole. You may not believe that you’re using an exorbitant amount of electricity, but over time, this usage adds up. And this usage burdens the electrical grid and increases your spending. Thankfully, by being conscious of this fact, you can make changes that benefit your wallet, and the community as well.

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How Business Leaders Can Drive Seafood Supply Chains Toward Sustainability

3p Contributor | Tuesday July 1st, 2014 | 1 Comment

13703828353_fa2d9709f3_zBy Cheryl Dahle

In the last 10 years we’ve seen 25 of the top U.S. retailers make commitments to purchasing sustainable seafood. We’ve seen a lot less traction and follow-through on those commitments. The fact remains that there is not enough responsible fish — whether you define that as Marine Stewardship Council certified, Monterey Bay Aquarium green-listed, or some other eco-label — to satisfy current demand for fish. As a result, many companies are defaulting on their promised timelines, or disguising a lot of questionable fish purchases from farms that are certified or in the process of being certified. As you might guess, the loophole in that bolded phrase is big enough to pilot a commercial trawler through it.

The truth is that leading companies could be doing a lot more to drive supply chains in the right direction other than just committing to buy better fish. Here’s a short list of ways that next generation leaders are engaging:

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LinkedIn, VolunteerMatch Team Up to Connect Nonprofits with Volunteers

Alexis Petru
| Tuesday July 1st, 2014 | 0 Comments

VolunteerMatch logoJust like private companies, nonprofit organizations are in need of talent: There are approximately 2 million nonprofit board member seats that need to be filled each year, and over 90 percent of nonprofit organizations say they would like to use skilled volunteers to help them carry out their mission, according to LinkedIn. And individuals are hungry to offer their services – from students hoping to build their resumes, professionals who want to give back to retirees and stay-at-home parents looking to keep their skills fresh.

But how can these nonprofits seeking skilled volunteers and individuals with just the right expertise find each other? LinkedIn and volunteer engagement network VolunteerMatch aim to solve this challenge, announcing last month that the two organizations will partner to make it easier for nonprofits to successfully recruit experienced volunteers and board members.

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Killing 6 Birds with 1 Stone: Harder Than It Sounds

| Tuesday July 1st, 2014 | 1 Comment

5-sales-woman-at-ndzilo-store-maputo-mozambique-300x200 Two years ago I reported on an inspiring project kicking off in Mozambique: clean cookstoves, powered by locally produced ethanol made from locally grown cassava, sold neighbor-to-neighbor. CleanStar Mozambique attempted to tackle deforestation, land degradation, malnutrition, poverty, indoor air pollution and carbon emissions with one innovative initiative.

It appeared they’d thought of everything: The plan featured plenty of job development with a biofuel plant in the Sofala province, contracts with local farmers to grow cassava, a locally relevant marketing plan, and a pack of international investors to give the project a boost.

However, the project faced formidable challenges from the beginning.

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Why We Care: Valuing Both Economy and Environment

3p Contributor | Tuesday July 1st, 2014 | 0 Comments

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on the Erb Perspective blog, a publication of the Frederick A. and Barbara M. Erb Institute at the University of Michigan.

Andrew Hoffman entering Yosemite National Park on his motorcycle.

Andrew Hoffman entering Yosemite National Park on his motorcycle.

By Andrew Hoffman

To protect something, we have to love it.  And to love it, we have to take the time to appreciate its beauty and value. Last week, I took some time to do just that.  After giving a keynote address at the new Center for Climate Communication at the very-green University of California Merced, I added three extra days with a old friend to tour the Sierra Nevada and Yosemite National Park on the back of a motorcycle (Harley Davidson Road King for those who care about such things).

Those three days reminded me of what our work is about, allowed me time to reflect on our purpose and, at the most basic level, helped to restore my soul. Experiencing the countryside on a motorcycle is a special way to explore.  It’s not like seeing the world through the framed barrier of a windshield.  The world is right there beneath your feet. You can reach down and touch it, and sometimes it reaches up and touches you – at one point, a bee landed inside my leather jacket and proceeded to sting me twice before I could come safely to a stop.  As you ride, you feel the slightest change in temperature, and you smell everything – fruit groves, grape vines, pine forests, mountain waterfalls, barbeques and dry fields. As you lean and balance through the switchbacks of the back roads, you are effortlessly part of the environment around you; it feels like thought into motion.

The weekend traversing Yosemite Valley was a visceral reminder of what we need to preserve for future generations (just as Teddy Roosevelt and Ansel Adams did before us). Our National Park system is still, as Ken Burns described it, “America’s Best Idea;” and our affection for it crosses political divides, geographic boundaries, and income levels. But while we love nature, our relationship with it is not always easy and the signs of that uneasy relationship were visible throughout the ride.

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How the Citi Foundation is Helping to Build a Marketplace for U.S. Community Investments

3p Contributor | Tuesday July 1st, 2014 | 1 Comment
CDFIs finance affordable housing in underserved markets.

CDFIs finance the development of affordable housing, and a wide range of other activities, in underserved markets.

By Kristen Scheyder

If you’re a regular reader of Triple Pundit, chances are good that you’ve heard of “impact,” “sustainable” or “mission” investing, which according to their broadest definitions mean investing to generate a social and/or environmental impact, alongside a financial return.

Chances are slimmer, however, that you’ve heard as much about CDFIs (community development financial institutions), which have a 30+ year track record of investing in underserved U.S. markets for social and environmental impact. CDFIs make loans and investments to foster economic equality, environmental sustainability, food access, health care, education, affordable housing and more. As financial intermediaries, CDFIs offer a convenient way for mission-driven investors to target their capital towards particular economic or environmental issues – while prudently managing risk.

The Citi Foundation has supported CDFIs for more than two decades, believing in their power to create economic opportunity for low-income individuals, families and their communities. CDFIs are one way to increase the flow of capital and the supply of financial products and services in the open market to those outside the economic mainstream. Through thought leadership, pro bono involvement and our financial support, we aim to build and expand this important industry to ensure greater access to capital for all.

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World Bank: Climate Change Policies Will Boost Global Economy

Bill DiBenedetto | Monday June 30th, 2014 | 5 Comments

WorldBank_Smart0Development0MaThe economic argument against taking action on climate change — i.e., “It’s just too expensive!” — is fast becoming passé, with a World Bank report this month noting that policies to cut carbon pollution might actually boost the global economy by up to $2.6 trillion a year.

Yes, that’s trillion!

This is the first time that “climate-smart” project scenarios have been tallied on such a large scale to find out how government actions can boost economic performance and benefit lives, jobs, crops, energy and GDP – as well as emissions reductions to combat climate change.

The 88-page report, “Climate-Smart Development: Adding Up the Benefits of Actions that Help Build Prosperity, End Poverty and Combat Climate Change,” focuses on five countries – Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and the United States – plus the European Union. Big benefits will flow by 2030 if that group implements just three sets of policies on clean transportation, energy efficiency in industry and energy efficiency in buildings, the report asserts.

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Business Leaders Call on Congress to Extend Clean Energy Tax Credits

| Monday June 30th, 2014 | 0 Comments

GE1.7WindTurbine Business leaders are calling on Congress to take action and extend clean energy tax incentives. A total of 302 companies and business associations signed a letter urging Congressional leaders to vote ‘yes’ and pass the EXPIRE Act, which would extend the tax credits they say “are critical to the continued growth of clean energy technologies.”

Listed among the 62 tax incentives included in the EXPIRE (Expiring Provisions Reform and Efficiency) Act are renewable energy production and investment tax credits that have been seminal in fostering rapid growth in wind, solar, biofuels and other clean renewable energy sources across the U.S. The EXPIRE Act would extend these provisions for an additional year, through Dec. 31, 2015.

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