Adding Up The Costs of Air Pollution

| Wednesday April 5th, 2006 | 0 Comments

We’ve all seen reports that talk about adding up the financial burden caused by “externalities” such as air pollution, but it never hurts to be reminded. The SF Chronicle reports that that the cost of air pollution in California’s San Joaquin Valley is an astonishing $3 Billion a year when asthma, lost work days, and other hospital costs are added up. The valley has the unfortunate luck of being a very effective catchment for much of the state’s pollution and the smog tends to add up rather than dissipate. But that dosn’t mean it should be discounted as an anomoly – the measureable & destructive costs of emissions are everywhere.

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

podium[Your News Here]

Barak Obama Does it Again – Excellent Article

| Tuesday April 4th, 2006 | 0 Comments

Short post: Check out Barak Obama’s recent remarks on climate change and oil dependence. [link here]

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

Chopsticks Tax Coming to China?

| Tuesday April 4th, 2006 | 0 Comments

chopsticks2.jpgI’ve mentioned before that I hold Chinese restaurants in much higher regard if they provide real chopsticks instead of those disposable ones which make you feel like you’re eating chalk. China goes through an inconcievable 45 billion pairs of chopsticks a year resulting in major deforestation and the diversion of bamboo resources that would probably be much better spent elsewhere.
As a result, the Chinese government will place a 5% tax on the sale of disposable wooden chopsticks in an effort to encourage the use of durable ones. Whether it has any effect remains to be seen! BBC article here.

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

Investor’s Circle Conference Offers Up Opportunity

| Monday April 3rd, 2006 | 2 Comments

investores.jpgInvestors’ Circle, in collaboration with the Skoll Foundation, is pleased to announce our spring conference and venture fair: “Patient Capital for a Sustainable Future” May 10-12, in San Francisco. Join a leading group of investors, philanthropists and entrepreneurs for two days of deal doing and the most innovative thinking in socially responsible venture investing. Early-bird pricing ends April 15th; for more information and to register, check out the conference site.
If you are an MBA student, there are volunteer opportunities avaiable! Check out the website above, or get intouch with Elizabeth U – elizabeth at

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

A San Francisco Congestion Charge?

| Friday March 31st, 2006 | 2 Comments

cchxarge.jpgI lived in London when the famous congestion charge went into effect, and I have to say that it definitely reduced the traffic on my street making the neighborhood far more pleasant and less smoggy. To top it off, London seems to have gotten quite used to it, and has sinced raised the daily fee for a car entering central London to £8 without a great deal of griping nor any lost commerce (that I’ve seen).
Thusly, cities around the world are considering doing the same thing, most recently – San Francisco. The idea, of course, is to cut down on the amount of traffic in the central city, which would make things far more pleasant and more convenient for those who choose not to drive. The problem is, it can also been seen as a rather innefficient revenue grab by city officials, and it costs an absolute fortune to implement and run, with no guarantee of even covering the operating expenses of the charging system itself.
London is a really big city, with excellent transportation links (despite local complaints). I could see a congestion charge working well in Manhattan, but I question whether San Francsico is really big enough to pull this off. The public transport in SF is decent, but by no means world class. Bike lanes are lacking, and many other proposals exist that might accomplish the same benefits without costing anywhere near as much such as smart parking meters that adjust their price according to demand.
What do you think?

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

The Corporate Players in Organic Foods

| Thursday March 30th, 2006 | 2 Comments


As we’ve talked about quite a bit lately, organic food is becoming big business. This is both good and bad of course : less pesticides and a healthier population are good things, but there’s understandable fear that with big money involved quality standards may be compromised and the small farmer further decimated. I tend to fall on the side of believing this is part of a positive evolution – and the chart above illustrtates that almost every big player in the food industry is getting involved with organics to one extent or another. Click the chart to go full screen (courtesy of the Certified Organic Associations of British Columbia).
Soon, we’ll see Wal*Mart on that map too.

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

Bainbridge Graduate Institute Scores High in International Case Competition

| Wednesday March 29th, 2006 | 7 Comments

bainbridge_logo.jpgBeating out traditional heavyweights like Yale, Berkeley, Duke and Stanford, the Bainbridge Graduate Institute finished 4th in its first case compeition among business schools. (CSRWire report here)
BGI is one of a handful of new business schools founded on the principals of sustainabilty and offering a curriculum that integrates environmental and social considerations with a core business education. Congrats to the BGI Team!

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

What’s your Social Footprint?

| Tuesday March 28th, 2006 | 2 Comments

footprints.jpgYou may have heard of the concept of an environmental “footprint”, or perhaps a “carbon footprint”, but now the Center for Sustainable Innovation has proposed measureing a company’s impact on society with a “social footprint” measurement. LOHAS article here. The concept builds on the Global Reporting Initiative and can be read about here.

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

Interesting Dialogue Opportunity on McDonald’s CSR Blog

| Monday March 27th, 2006 | 2 Comments

mclogo.jpgMy collegue, Steve Kopfl has been engaging McDonald’s on their “CSR Blog” and asked them about their lack of a ‘fair trade cofee’ policy and their continued use of polystrene foam cups. The answer (see here) that was give, although thoughtful, seems to miss the point of what Steve was asking. Namely – that there are probably negative health effects steming from the use and manufacture of this type of cup. Also, that thicker paper cups, assuming they are from trusted sources like FSC certificed forests or post consumer recycling are not necesarily worse for the environment. Finally, they never responded at all to his question about Fair Trade Certified coffee. Seem like a missed opportunity on their part. Check it out here.

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

Wal Mart’s Organic Commitment Pushes Us Further Past the Tipping Point

| Monday March 27th, 2006 | 13 Comments

walmartplastic.jpgWal Mart Stores plan to double their organic grocery offerings next month, in addition to a strong commitment to responsibly caught seafood and organic cotton in clothing (AP Article here). The best thing about this is the inevitable effect on Wal Mart’s massive supply chain – increasing the likelyhood that many other retailers and suppliers will follow their lead.
The assumption is still that organic is more costly, and is therefore part of a Wal Mart strategy to lure “more affluent” shoppers. Hopefully, however, with a move this sweeping, it will start to bring the price down for everyone, and expose Wal Mart’s regular clientelle to something a little more savory.

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

AASHE Releases Its First Publication

| Friday March 24th, 2006 | 0 Comments

aashe.jpgThe Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has just put out a great digest on “campus sustainability news stories and resources from the past year”. It’s a great big PDF that you can download here containing hundreds of stories about various sustainable initiatives on university campuses, ranging from transportation to SRI, to Green Building. It’s great to hear about so many things going on at universities everywhere, and even better to see them all collected in one place!

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

Great Ray Anderson Interview on BBC

| Friday March 24th, 2006 | 2 Comments

interface.jpgThere are few business leaders as well known as Ray Anderson in terms of having an epiphany about sustainability. Andersons’s company – Interface Carpet – is a leader in the quest to create a truly cradle to cradle company with a goal of having “Zero Impact” on the environment. I could go on and on, but for your weekend enjoyment, please listen to this BBC Rado interview and hear all about it. [Listen Here]

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

Environmental Defense – New Global Warming PSAs

| Thursday March 23rd, 2006 | 2 Comments

tick.jpgEnvironmental Defense Fund has put together a couple new public service messages about global warming. Both are very dramatic and feature children as key players – and the recipients of the negative consequences of climate change. They are quite high on the “doomsday” scale, which may very well be correct, but I wonder how much more doomsaying people need? That’s a fundamental question when it comes to educating the public about this sort of thing, and it’s possible that these ads might be very effective in generating public outcry. Anyway I much prefer the train video than the one with the series of kids. How about you?
[View the PSAs here]

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

3P in SF Newspaper – Story on Green Blogs

| Thursday March 23rd, 2006 | 1 Comment

Our own TriplePundit Chief Blogging Officer, Nick Aster, has gotten a fantastic quote on San Francisco’s largest newspaper, the SF Chronicle. It also mentions 3P’s fellow green blogs such as: Treehugger, Grist, Worldchanging, and City Hippy to name a few.
Read the article here.
The world is indeed changing and we are on the face of the wave!

Permalink discuss Discuss This »

Dictionary of Sustainable Management

| Wednesday March 22nd, 2006 | 0 Comments


At long last, the Dictionary of Sustainable Management is finally live. The dictionary is an open resource of business-related terms that deal with issues of sustainability. All definitions are open to comment. The project was spearheaded by students at the Presidio School of Management, and is hosted here on Triple Pundit. Enjoy!
If you have a blog, there is a special feature I’ve added that takes advantage of trackbacks. If you reference a particular term in a post, it will be noted at the bottom of the page for that term. This way, every term has an “official definition”, an open comments area, and a listing of recent usage in the blogosphere.

Permalink discuss Discuss This »