For your weekend listening, check out the KPFA (Berkeley) program Terra Verde, featuring Presidio World College Provost Ron Nahser and New College’s Jon Ragatz. The program is an in depth look at the Sustainable MBA movement from some of the pioneers in the field. It’s only 30 minutes, and you can download it right here.
- Live Twitter Chat: Kimberly-Clark Marks Fifth Anniversary Of Forest Conservation w/Greenpeace
- 20 Ventures Named to Accelerator Phase of Big C Competition to Change the Way the World Lives with Cancer
- Oscar Nominees, Halo and Freekibble.com Feed Los Angeles Pets in Need
- Launch of New Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at Caesars Resorts Revs Up Sustainable Experience for Guests
As the market for sustainably grown and organic meats and produce increases, farmers are taking on more management challenges in getting their goods to the table. In fact, Iowa State University now offers an MBA with a minor in sustainable agriculture. The overall goal, of course is to increase the value chain from food to fiber, and farm to family. Additional details can be found on the Iowa State website. (thanks bob!)
A shining example of the ways climate agreements such as Kyoto may actually stimulate economic growth (as opposed to the opposite), I present AgCert. The business model is simple: Help farmers reduce their greenhouse gas emissions below required standards, then sell the resulting credits to industry who can then pollute a little more than they would otherwise be allowed to do. Currently, the system would be dificult to implement in a voluntary market such as the United States. But the company seems to be off to a great start in Europe. Check out the official site.
(via Private Sector Dev Blog)
If NASA can do it, why not Singapore? Being a small island nation, self sufficiency is high on Singapore’s list of priorities. Water is no exception. The country has embarked on an innovative campaign called “NEWater” that will be producing drinking water from waste water. Jokes aside, the program seems to be working and people claim to notice no difference in taste from the tap.
(thanks mark!)(image swiped from Wired)
The latest report from GreenBiz reports that “Local economies benefit when manufacturers efficiently manage their energy use and their industrial waste”. That often means complying with local regulations, ideally in a proactive manner. The whole report, by the Alliance to Save Energy is available here to download.
There was a great article a few weeks ago in the New York Times (requires registration), about some of the differences between Costco and Wal Mart. Granted, the comparision is not flawless given the somewhat different product offerings the two companies offer. Still, they’re both massive big-box retailers on the surface. The big differences in terms of how the companies are run: 85% of Costco employees have health indsurance compared to less than half of Wal Mart’s, average pay at Costco is 42% higher, employee turnover and theft is lower at Costco… the result? In the last yeah, Costco stock is up 10%, while Wal Mart’s is down 5%. Just another lesson that doing the right thing pays off. (Via Simran Sethi at IntentBlog)
Just a reminder to those of you in New York City – Tonight at Glass Lounge in Chelsea, the Treasure America team is having a fundraising event to support the effort to document the environmental and economic argument against opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil development. Proceeds are going to pay for the video production, a short portion of which will be shown at the event. For more information, go to www.treasureamerica.org.
6:30 PM, Glass Lounge, 287 10th Ave @ 26th St.
I had always heard that despite its benefits, organic farming was generally less productive than its heavily fertalized brethren. However, according to a study reported on Energy Bulletin, organic corn and soybeans can be grown with yields as good as “conventional” farming, but with significantly less energy, water, and no pesticides, among other benefits.
There’s been a lot of talk about the high amount of greenhouse gas emissions put out by aircraft lately. I wanted to find out if airplane travel really is worse than automobile traffic, on a per person basis. This is the document I stumbled upon.
According to the FAA, including idling and taxiing, an airplane gets about 48 miles to the gallon per seat. That’s a heck of a lot better than I’d thought, though it obviously depends on a myriad of other factors: Long flights are more efficient, newer planes are better. But a rule of thumb suggests that traveling solo in an SUV is probably more harmful in terms of emissions than buying a plane ticket, but carpooling, even in an SUV, is probably better then flying.
According to The Australian, a jet aircraft flying from London to Hong Kong puts out an astonishing 2.76 tons of carbon dioxide – per passenger. That’s not trivial. Interestingly, it’s not the airlines that are bearing the brunt of criticism for this quantity of emissions. Rather, it’s business travellers. When a firm is audited for its climate footprint, business travel ranks as one of the most important sources of greenhouse gas emissions. HSBC alone accounted for 96,000 tons in 2004. Typically, rather than curbing travel, firms have turned to carbon offsetting schemes to try to account for the effects of their emissions.
John Deere, no stranger to the intricacies of American agriculture is making a $60 Million investment in various rural wind projects across the country. It’s a great match for the company, which already has a strong relationship with farmers. It’s also a great win for farmers eager to cash in on the growing market for wind farms, especially in the upper midwest.
This morning I went to the shop to get some breakfast food and included some Dannon yogurt in my purchases. As I got home and opened one I thought, “why must they have these plastic lids, in addition to the foil?” Anyway, no sooner did I have that thought when I saw, under the plastic lid, printed on the foil: “3.6 Million Pounds of Plastic…” and a link to this website.
It turns out, beginning later this year, Dannon will in fact eliminate plastic lids from yogurt containers, sparing us the aforementioned quantity of plastic, sparing me a headache, and undoubtedly saving them a nice chunk of change. More on the Dannon site.
The inaugural issue of the new Progressive Investor newsletter has an interesting list of the World’s Top 20 Sustainable Stocks including Timberland, Sharp, Whole Foods Market, and Herman Miller among many others.
The Progressive Investor is a new monthly sustainable investment newsletter for socially responsible business people. It is created by founder of SustainableBusiness.com, Rona Fried. It draws on a group of world-class sustainable investment analysts from companies such as: Progressive Investment Management, Winslow Management, Adam, Harkness & Hill, Lowell, Blake & Associates, Trillium Asset Management, and others to produce each monthly issue.
Read the list and sign up for a subscription here.