This week, GreenBiz.com launched its inaugural report, “State of Green Business 2008.” In it, you will find a wealth of information on green business trends with a cross-sectoral approach. Over the next week, we will bring to you a synopsis of some of those trends. To start off, here’s a list of the “Top Green Business Stories of 2007.”Click to continue reading »
TriplePundit: Reporting on the Triple Bottom Line
Safeway has announced the conversion of its entire trucking fleet of more than 1000 trucks to burn B20, a blend of 20% biodiesel and 80% ordinary diesel.
By fueling their commercial fleet with B20 ,Safeway estimates a reduction of up to 75 million pounds of CO2 emissions annually, equivalent to 7,500 passenger cars disappearing from the roadway – at least in terms of emissions, there’ll still be a backup at the Bay Bridge toll plaza every morning.
Safeway says the move is part of its Greenhouse Gas Initiative that includes a partnership with Solar Power Partners on a project announced last fall to install solar panels on 23 of its stores. The company is also one of the largest retail purchasers of wind power, utilizing 87,000 megawatts annually of wind generated electricity.
The company has had a recycling program in place for decades. If you’d care to imagine a pile of cardboard, plastic, and compostable material covering six football fields some 35 feet high, you’d get a very visual idea of the material Safeway recycles on an annual basis (500,000 tons).
Companies like Safeway can set an example of transition from less efficient and sustainable processes into better methods of energy use, efficiency, resource management, and sustainability. It may not be perfect (there are many legitimate concerns over the use of biofuels for instance), but it is a step – or several steps – in the right direction.
Some already established companies are proving to be particularly adept change artists, capitalizing on the green and clean tech trends to craft and carry out corporate strategies that transform their organizations from the top-down and from the bottom-up. Many are found in Europe, where new EU laws and regulation are establishing new ground rules for the energy and power industries.
Ireland’s NTR – up until 2002 known as National Toll Roads – was best known as the operator of Ireland’s West-Link and East-Link toll bridges in Dublin and the North-Link toll motorway on the M1. That was then. Under the helm of CEO Jim Barry and founding director Tom Roche, it has since transformed itself into a leading player in the renewable energy, sustainable waste and environmental management and infrastructure markets, not only in the Irish Republic but in the U.K., Europe and North America as well.
Today, all acroos the country, participants are tuning in and submitting their two-bits on solutions to global warming in a “teach in” called Focus the Nation. More than 1,600 institutions, the majority of which are colleges and universities are involved in this solution think tank.
This gathering of minds involves faculty-led symposiums and round table discussions. The nice feature to it all is there will be an online ballot for anyone who wishes to submit what they think the top five solutions to global warmning should be.
Tonight, at 8 ET, there will be a live webcast coined The 2% Solution, which is produced by the National Wildlife Federation. The title is directly linked to the proposed goal of reducing carbon emissions 2% a year.
The webcast will host a live panel discussion as well as clips from the actor/activist Edward Norton, including many high profile scientists and global warming experts. The viewers will be able to send in text messages on how they might choose to spend $100 billion in a clean energy revolution.
The webcast will be broadcasted through Earthday Network TV and can be viewed at www.earthdaytv.net More information can be found at focusthenation.org
Here’s something I didn’t see coming: Publicis Groupe have acquired Adam Webach’s Act Now Productions and will bring them under the Saatchi & Saatchi S name. (The additional “S” is for Sustainability)
The idea is to take the highly successful PSP (Personal Sustainabilty Project) concept that ActNow developed for Wal-Mart and combine it with the global reach of Saatchi. Seems like a big win for both parties, and another big validation for green innovation. Of course, with ever bigger fish trying to jump in the game, the stage is set for greenwashing and watering down of real sustainability principals. Nonetheless, ActNow made huge progress with WalMart (yes, we all know Wal Mart could do more) and if their new, bigger team remains true to their principals then that huge progress will only grow.
Congrats to Act Now! What do you think?
Although the number of “conscious consumers” has risen in recent years, Steve Bishop (Global Lead Designer from Ideo) cautions against focusing marketing efforts solely towards green consumers. His article, “Don’t Bother with the ‘Green’ Consumer,” is featured in a new installation from the Harvard Business Review, www.hbrgreen.org. In it, Bishop says that companies don’t want to get stuck in the “green ghetto,” which is “virtuous, but limited in scope.”Click to continue reading »
“It’s the economy, stupid”
Ah yes, we remember the early nineties fondly and the phrase that in recent weeks has been resurrected in the wake of high energy prices and the mortgage loan debacle. Suddenly the economy doesn’t seem quite so stable to the average American and both the White House and Congress agree that an economic “stimulus” package is needed to help stem the downturn.
Writing in the Huffington Post, Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope writes in, in part, that green jobs and alternative energy is getting increased attention in terms of how the “green sector” can create jobs and foster a sustainable and economically viable alternative energy future.
This isn’t new to this blog or its readers, but the idea is seeping into mainstream consciousness and it’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be ignored or squandered.Click to continue reading »
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The proposed future of air travel is quite a marvel. Seems unfathomable compared to the pollutant, oil-guzzling airliners of today. With the endless and testing delays, the awkward security, and greenhouse gas-emitting beasts, it’s a wonder why solutions have not yet come to fruition.
It just so turns out, it is all happening rather quickly behind the scenes. One proposed aircraft that seems wildly impossible is actually on the slate for possible funding for testing. The concept hypersonic jet has been developed by Reaction Engine and it is aptly called the A2. It is a Mach-5 (3,400 mph) wicked aircraft capable of holding 300 passengers and produces, get this, ZERO carbon emissions!
The project has been supplemented in part through funding from the European Union’s Long-Term Advanced Propulsion Concepts and Technologies project, otherwise known in short as (Lapcat). Lapcat is in search for an airliner that can cruise from Brussels to Sydney in less than 4 hours. The A2 can meet the expectations without leaving its footprint behind.
Dear Pablo, Assuming that one can’t break the habit of drinking pop, what kind of container is more environmentally friendly, aluminum cans or plastic bottles (2 liter)?
Aluminum cans take a great deal of energy and natural resources to process and transport. Aluminum begins as bauxite ore, is refined into aluminum oxide, and ends up as blocks of aluminum, a supply chain that can take it halfway around the planet. Next the blocks are heated and turned into large rolls of aluminum before being transported yet again. The sheets are stamped and manufactured into cans, which are then filled and distributed to stores. After weeks or months of travel and processing, the aluminum can is used for maybe a few minutes and discarded.
Continue reading at Salon.com
Waste management. Two words that have in the past been little more then a euphemism for trash pickup, one step to the dump. Now, the company which bears that name has made a concerted effort to shift the perception of what it does to be far wider, and much cleaner then simply a means to convey your trash to the dump, end of story.
Their recently launched site does an admirable job quickly conveying just what it is that they’re doing. And it’s a lot. Ironically, the Flash heavy site itself is a bit of an energy hog, clocking in at 96% of my current generation Macbook’s capacity.
Ignoring this one misstep, it’s clear to see that Waste Management is putting their money where their garbage is.
A new publication, “Citizen’s Guide to Carbon Capping,” presents an interesting concept for making a cap-and-trade system more effective in our nation. This 22-page book (free and downloadable on onthecommons.org) presents concise and innovative ideas for crafting a carbon policy in the U.S. that reduces emissions and enhances our country’s economic well-being. The gem of the plan relies on the idea of the “Sky Trust,” which is a cap-and-dividend system that cuts carbon while supplementing household incomes. Basically, “You gain if you conserve and lose if you guzzle.” The idea is true genius. Lawmakers and presidential candidates that promote the Sky Trust in the coming months will be sure to come out on top with public support.Click to continue reading »
I’m not a big reader of magazines or periodicals but one I always look forward to receiving is High Country News, especially when it comes to the environment, politics and the West, one of my favorite reads is High Country News…Check that, I’d say that it is one of my favorite periodicals period.
Decrying our lack of a national energy policy, HCN senior editor Ray Ring in a Jan. 21 feature article resurrects the words of then Pres. Jimmy Carter thirty years ago when the U.S. was facing the first oil and energy crisis. He also offers presidential candidates some advice: pay more attention to the West and its specific needs and issues, particularly in light of growing voting populations and the need to balance social, economic, security, energy and environmental needs.
Click to continue reading »
The 1980’s witnessed the inception of wood-pellet stoves but the benefits and efficiency of this innovative product, has not showed its face until recently. A pellet stove is a small electric unit that burns small pieces of recycled and compacted sawdust pellets. The advantages to wood pellet stoves are many, for one, they are extremely efficient, use inexpensive fuel and produce very little waste.
The fuel are the tightly compressed pieces of sawdust which are released into the stoves through some complicated machinery which adds new pellets to the fire when more fuel is needed. All that is required of the user is dumping pellets into the hopper when it is empty. The mechanical auger transfers the pellets into the fire as needed.
Click to continue reading »
Are you curious to know your energy consumption within your home or business? Here is a simple and easily integrated device for your home or business. Considering the world-wide focus on green building sustainability this is a good measurement point for determining your energy consumption. E-Mon has recently introduced a line of Green Class meters. The E-mon D-mon Green Class meters are a useful tool for monitoring your energy usage data.
The meters provide a wealth of information such as usage trends and a record of the impact that your home or business is having on the environment. For example, a responsible business recently incorporating an energy retrofit will be able to verify the continual effectiveness of an energy savings initiative. It can even be displayed as a statement piece in a lobby or waiting room, highlighting your company’s resolve on reducing its footprint.
Back in December I wrote about the upcoming launch of a Greenwashing Index website from EnviroMedia in partnership with University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication.
The site is now live and I’ve just spent some time taking a look at what they’ve accomplished.
In their own words, the goal of the index is to:
- Help consumers become more savvy about evaluating environmental marketing claims of advertisers
- Hold businesses accountable to their environmental marketing claims
- Stimulate the market and demand for sustainable business practices that truly reduce the impact on the environment.
All visitors can view the ads, there are about 50 currently posted, and registered users can submit and rate ads based on a five-point criteria. The site also offers pertinent news and commentary. The idea is to present both good examples of green marketing as well as pure, unadulterated greenwash. If you’re interested in any aspect of green marketing consider taking a moment or two to check out EnviroMedia’s Greenwashing Index.