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Over the past three years the book industry needed three to four million tons of paper which translates to at least 60 million trees worldwide. The paper industry ranks number four in carbon dioxide emissions among manufacturing industries.
The Society of American Foresters released a 2007 study titled the State of Americas Forests which acknowledged that the U.S. is one of the biggest “producers and consumers of forest products.” U.S. consumption of forest products is greater than its production by 4.2 billion cubic feet.
TriplePundit: Reporting on the Triple Bottom Line & Sustainable Business News
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Personal wind turbines are more often invented than actually manufactured. Those that make it to the commercial stage are mostly available at several thousands of dollars. That’s why it is all the more surprising that as of next September you’ll be able to buy a true designer windmill for way less than that.
Philippe Starck has reignited his genius once again and designed a not so fully fledged personal mini windmill on the market. Stark’s temporary break from his self imposed retirement from design which he had declared ‘dead‘ is a breath of fresh air. Literally. Starck called the turbine the Democratic Ecology, which sounds heavy enough for what you see but which probably sums up what’s been on Starck’s mind lately.
Many readers of Triple P consider themselves socially-responsible investors. But what about socially-responsible creditors? How do banks use the profit they make from interest fees, late fees, annual fees, and balance fees? Which banks use our money to further projects of greater worth, and which invest in projects that degrade the plant and contribute to global income disparity? The cover story of this month’s Real Money, distributed by Co-op America, gives us the inside scoop on the best credit cards for our conscience. Many of these cards have great APR, no annual fee, and directly fund several social/eco endeavors.Click to continue reading »
The tagline on nvohk.com (pronounced invoke) says it’s “an eco-clothing company managed by the people who wear it.” Having officially launched at the end of June, the company already has over 300 activated members and thousands queued up in what is one of the latest and maybe one of the more innovate examples of crowdsourcing.
Crowdsourcing was first made popular in 2006 by Wired Magazine, and some well-known examples of such are Wikipedia, MoveOn.org, and Threadless.com. It is a very 2.0, user generated approach to running a business, referring to the act of taking tasks traditionally performed by employees or contractors and outsourcing them to a larger collective or the public.
So the next climate deal is another watered down soapy substance now that China and India pulled the plug at the G8 meeting held in Japan. The stalemate that’s visible was exactly what was feared by everybody; diametrically opposed parties over the emissions by the world’s largest energy consuming countries.
Time for a change in approach? Perhaps it’s time for a change in accounting methods. Take China for instance. At least 23% of this country’s carbon emissions are from goods that are exported to industrialized countries. So is it fair that the country is held responsible for all of its emissions in the new climate deal?
A small startup based in Santa Barbara, California is testing an alternative to carbon sequestration that, in a sense (perhaps more poetic than scientific), turns the second law of thermodynamics – entropy – on its head by taking waste CO2 and tailings from mining operations and turning the mix into materials of a “higher order” for use in a variety of industrial, agricultural, and environmental applications.
Carbon Sciences, founded by CEO Derek McLeish, has developed a relatively simple technology that puts the brew under pressure and temperature to create PCC (precipitated calcium carbonate). Traditionally, calcium carbonate is produced through an energy-intensive process using expensive materials such as limestone; the “GreenCarbon” technology takes this normally exhaustive process and simplifies it, thus producing a useful, benign material while transforming carbon emissions instead of simply sequestering it – a method of carbon mitigation that McLeish considers high-risk at best.
From paper to plastic, wallboard to fertilizer, PCC is a common component of many everyday products, materials, and industrial processes. According to McLeish there is a $12 billion demand for PCC.
One of McLeish’s first major target markets for the GreenCarbon technology is the paper industry.Click to continue reading »
Imagine you have a TV that is no longer seeing service in your home. Or a computer. Or a monitor. You know that tossing it in the garbage is a big no no. Where do you take it? More than likely, if you’re in the US, to Goodwill. Or if you’re really progressive, you make a little money by going through Second Rotation or Tech Forward. A fine step forward, for sure. But what happens to donations to your local Goodwill?
Depending on where it is, a number of things: If it’s functional, it may get resold. If it’s not, it could get recycled. Or “demanufactured,” that is, disassembled and the parts sold to vendors who can use them to create new machines. Or in some cases, especially with old CRT televisions, consumers don’t have options via their local waste management company or charitable organizations, and it ends up dumped. Goodwill, which makes a point to recycle them, generally has to pay per pound for the right to do so. 17 cents in the case of Austin, Texas, apparently one of the lower fees in the US.
Now do the math: Each television is at least 30 pounds. Austin processes a truckload worth each month. 48 pallets. And in 2009, with the plug being pulled on non HD TV signals, there will be millions of televisions rendered useless, unless people make the effort to buy a signal converter. And where will those go? You guessed it…
Dubbed the “missing greenhouse gas,” nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) was found by a recent study to have a global climate impact 17,000 times greater than carbon dioxide. The chemical is found in the LCD panels of cell phones, televisions, and computer monitors, as well as in semiconductors and synthetic diamonds. The chemical is not one of the greenhouse gases monitored by the Kyoto Protocol, due to the fact that LCDs were not produced in significant quantities when it was drafted.
What kind of impact is this suppose to have, you ask? The chemical is found to stay in the atmosphere for 550 years and there is no force of nature known to remove it. This year, nitrogen trifluoride emissions are expected to have an impact equal to Austria’s CO2 output. Production of the chemical may double in 2009. The study points to a number of NF3 manufacturing facilities opening up in the US, Korea, and China. The production increase is due in part to the switch to digital television which will lead to increased LCD consumption and the disposal of older sets, some of them early LCD models.
I was contacted this morning by Jerry Witt of ProSpectro.com, an alternative and renewable energy recruiting firm placing technical, sales, and marketing positions within the “Western Triangle” of the U.S. West, from Denver to San Diego to Seattle.
Jerry wanted me to know he is looking to place a Business Development Manager within the solar energy sector. TriplePundit doesn’t normally act as a job board or employment agency, but when Jerry asked if I could get the word out about this position, the obvious resource of potential candidates for this opening is right here on 3P.
Here are the details:
- Qualifications/Experience: 5+ years successful sales/marketing experience with solar energy products, including PV cells, modules, inverters, and integration. Commercial, residential, utilities sales experience preferred.
- Compensation: Base Salary $90K-$100K; total compensation $150K+
- Reason for Vacancy: Rapid growth of leading multi-vertical alternative energy company, branching into new vertical solution, for $5B vendor.
- Education/Training: B.S./B.A. Degree required, or special extra experience or career background may be considered in lieu of no B.S./B.A. Degree.
- Location/Travel: Based in Northern or Southern California, 50% travel to clients, sales, trade show events.
If this interests you and you think you have the chops, or know someone who does, contact Jerry at: jerry at prospectro.com. You can also find Jerry at Linkedin.com.
Green jobs for everyone!
Government leaders need to act quickly and establish clear, consistent, inclusive and long-term climate change policies, according to a global survey of key climate change decision makers and scientists conducted by GlobeScan.
Consensus is lacking and actions taken to date to mitigate climate change by national governments and other key institutions has been inadequate, according to GlobeScan’s WAVE 1 survey, for which 1,351 climate change experts were polled in an effort to foster meaningful action and consensus among world leaders as the G8 Summit opens in Hokkaido, Japan and as the UNCCC’s December 2009 15th Conference of Parties in Copenhagen approaches.
National governments and other key institutions need to take a holistic approach to climate change decision making within the context of sustainable development, provide political support, policy development and regulatory clarity in their own countries and internationally, according to respondents.
Protecting biodiversity is viewed as a key element of effective climate change mitigation plans. Technology development and transfer – particularly when it comes to demand management, energy efficiency and conservation – are other key elements that should be addressed by nations individually and consensually, according to the survey results.
You think you understand renewable energy credits (Renewable Energy Credits 101). You’re sure you understand Carbon Offsets (Carbon Offsets, Why No Two are Created Equal). You are fuzzy on the details about how they differ and when the purchase of one or the other might be appropriate. Never fear! If you can tackle those two monstrosities, this one will be a cakewalk. If you don’t understand those other monstrosities, go skim those articles and come back to me.
The first difference is the way that offsets and Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) are measured. Carbon offsets are measured in metric tons of C02 or C02 Equivalent. Renewable Energy Credits are measured in kilowatt hours, which are a standard electricity measurement metric. A kilowatt hour is the amount of work that can be performed by one kilowatt of energy in one hour. Picture a lonely, dim lightbulb hanging from the ceiling that turns on for one hour each day by which you feverishly darn socks in a carbon constrained world – that’s a watt, and for the privilege of its use, you’ll be charged for 1/1000 kwh of electricity each day. These days, you probably use a several kwh per day.
For years environmental management for businesses has been focused on the task of ensuring compliance with environmental regulations. Traditional business and financial analysis was not a critical component of their decision-making as much as simply ensuring that the organization was maintaining compliance status. Paper-based systems, Excel spreadsheets, and Access databases often satisfied the needs of most environmental professionals.
GHG management is most often still the domain of environmental professionals, but because GHG emissions may be viewed as potential liabilities, and present financial opportunities for some, in the near future, company executives are increasingly looking for greater visibility into the data.
Biodiesel processors are in strong demand now that the price of petrol is going through the roof. (Small) businesses are increasingly beginning to produce their own biofuels and in an effort to breath more life into the new market, the U.S. Biofuels Exchange Inc. (USBE) has launched a biofuels platform. The new platform matches biofuel producers of all sizes with buyers.
The USBE is internet based and works very similar to eBay; it has a rating system to track and follow deals, display real time pricing and quantities on sale.
A board member of the exchange, James Kaufman, told Ethanol Producer Magazine that “the efficiency in the [biofuels] marketplace doesn’t exist because there are too many ‚Äòback room’ small deals and no central exchange.” The new exchange is set to change this and Kaufman has had and overwhelming amount of reactions from interested parties, he said.
The ‘back room producers’ of biofuels range from domestic people to small or large companies and they’re doing nothing secretive. Biofuel processing equipment being marketed comes in various shapes and sizes and levels of sophistication. It¬¥s easiest to brew your own bio diesel from used vegetable oils and producer kits that allow you to do this make one gallon to 300 gallons of bio diesel, says Muna wa Wanjiru, an expert at Merpet Sales, which sells various brands of biodiesel production equipment to individuals and businesses.
The European Union has been far more united and proactive than the US federal government when it comes to policies ushering in post-petroleum and fossil fuel era by restructuring and retooling its energy and industrial infrastructure.
Germany is at the forefront of this wave of change. Energy consumption in Germany dropped 5.6% – the equivalent of 18.5 tons of oil – in 2007 as its economy grew 2.5%, according to BP’s latest statistical review of world energy, illustrating that economic growth is possible while clean technology is put in place and alternative, renewable energy resources are developed.
The BP report and latest figures were released just days after Germany’s cabinet passed legislation committing the country to reducing CO2 emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2020.
In contrast, world energy consumption increased 2.4% in 2007, led by rapidly developing China and India while US energy consumption rose 1.7%.
With an abundance of companies going green, and a corresponding explosion of green themed conferences sprouting up, this is to be applauded. And yet, there’s a remnant of the old paradigm that sticks up like a weed out of the smooth green path: Swag. You know, those little things that companies give away at conferences with the hope they’ll stay in your mind. Those little things add up to a lot. Multiply each attendee with a bag full of knick knacks, many of which are made from non renewable materials, are not recyclable, and you’ve got the potential for an enormous amount of waste, and resources used.
Eco Imprints shows a different way. Rather than being a quantity driven tschotske pimp, they are a company committed to sourcing and creating memorable, sustainable, and custom tailored eco friendly promotional items that will serve their clients, recipients, and the planet equally well. And they have a few tricks up their sleeve: