Amory Lovins’ Oil Free Vision

| Friday January 27th, 2006 | 2 Comments

ebunny.jpgI’m amazed Amory Lovins doesn’t get more press. Having heard him speak on a number of occasions the depth to which this man has thought about our fossil-feul based economy is unprecidented, and the optimistic solutions he and the Rocky Mountain Institute have come up with are enough to delight even the most jaded doomsayer. (That said, he does have critics).
Nonetheless, check out this article in Discover Magazine. Mr. Lovins has outlined what seems to be a reasonable (and profitable) plan to elimite fossil fuels from the economy in less than 35 years while the economy itself continues to chug along, like the energizer bunny.

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Compeititve Advantage Goes for CSR

| Thursday January 26th, 2006 | 0 Comments

The Competitive Advantage has an interesting short piece on CSR which states basically what we’ve been saying all along – that companies that do not address some interpretation of social/environmental responsibility will ultimately be at a competitive disadvantage.
The article also exposes a debate – how much of this can be expected voluntarily, and how much will require additional regulation? Although 1/3 of companies in the article are addressing the issue in some manner (however superficially) a mere 1% are actually bringning in third-party ‘auditors’ to validate their own claims. The expectation, therefore, is that increasing regulation is not only needed, but inevitable.

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ICI NYC Party Tonight

| Wednesday January 25th, 2006 | 0 Comments

icinyc.jpgIf you’re in New York, drop by Libation on the Lower East Side for a smashing affair tonight called ICInyc. It’s “a roving celebration of front line visionaries blending fashion, design, media and the arts with the modest task of saving the planet”. More info on Treehugger. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and a template for events to follow. I’ll be there representing Triple Pundit and Treehugger, so get in touch if you want to meet up.

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Matisse & Jack’s Energy Bar Mix Solves the Clif Bar Wrapper Problem

| Wednesday January 25th, 2006 | 0 Comments

trailblazer.jpgEveryone loves Clif Bar, and recognizes them as one of the more admirable companies out there by just about any measure related to the integrated bottom line. But there’s one problem that Clif bar has never been able to solve – packaging. In order to keep Clif Bars fresh, the packaging has to be made out of material that is generally not recyclable nor compostable.
A little start up called Matisse & Jack’s seems to have an solution for those people seeking a better packaging solution for their energy bars: They sell the mix to bake them yourself at home. Not only is it better from a sustainability concept, but you can tailor the recipe to your taste, have a bunch of fun, and know exactly what you put into it. Check it out!

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Forth & Towne to go 50% Renewable

| Tuesday January 24th, 2006 | 0 Comments

ftLogo.gifThe Gap’s upscale Forth & Towne brand will offset its energy comsumption by purchasing renewables equivalent to 50% of its needs. The new, 5-store chain with purchase “Green tags” from a variety of sources “In this case, the certificates support a wind farm in Minnesota. But that’s not all. A portion of the proceeds from the farm will also support orphanages in Bangladesh and Southeast Asia.”
So far, this is The Gap’s first foray into renewable energy. We’ll see if it expands across the company!
(source – Gap internal doc I can’t link to)

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Japanese Firms Thinking About “Warm Biz” Winter Wear

| Tuesday January 24th, 2006 | 2 Comments

coat.jpgBy turning down the thermostat a little bit during the winter, you can save a lot on energy costs and reduce various emissions. It also gets colder inside. Japan for Sustainability reports that some firms are considering doing just that – while encouraging employees to wear warmer fashions.
At first glance, I’m picturing thousands of cubicle workers shivering at their desks, but the temperature reduction is actually not that enormous. Still, it makes me wonder if better insulation and green building techniques might accomplish the same thing while keeping people toasty.

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EPA Heads Denounce Current Administrations Stance on Global Warming

| Monday January 23rd, 2006 | 2 Comments

elalogo33.jpgThe Washington Post reported Friday that 6 former heads of the EPA are speaking out against the lack of environmental leadership coming from the Bush administration. What’s particularily interesting is that 5 or the 6 are Republicans.
To me this is more evidence of a turning point toward greater awareness of environmental issues in general, and in particular, global warming and the role we may be playing in it. It’s satisfying to see republicans take a more proactive stance in, at the very least, talking about it. Will their words result in better leadership at the top?

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Where Do Your Tax Dollars Go?

| Friday January 20th, 2006 | 3 Comments

gov_spending.jpg

Ever wonder exactly what happens to your tax dollars? This fantastic graphical chart (Click here for the full size view) gives a proportionally displayed breakdown of pretty much everything the US government spent money on in 2004. Not suprisingly, the department of defense gobbles up the lion’s share. It’s an interesting and rather illuminating picture!

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Walgreen’s Pharmacy Experiments With Solar Power

| Thursday January 19th, 2006 | 2 Comments

wallgreens.jpgAmerica’s largest drugstore chain, Walgreen’s Corporation has taken a HUGE step this week in partnering with a Denver-based clean energy solutions company, ImaginIt Inc., to install solar electric systems in approx. 115 stores and distribution centers in California and New Jersey. The solar roof tiles will enable each Walgreen’s facility to generate between 20% and 50% of its own electricity on site. Read about it in GreenBiz.
Is it me or is clean energy, sustainable business, and CSR starting to become main stream?

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Carbon Trading 101

| Wednesday January 18th, 2006 | 0 Comments

carbon.jpgGreen Biz’s Gil Friend has a great primer called “The Nuts and Bolts of Carbon Trading” which is worth having a look at. It lays out the concepts and systems behind emissions trading, and offers some examples and critiques on the current schemes. Also pointed out is thie great Wikipedia entry – which states “Emissions trading is an administrative approach used to reduce the cost of pollution control by providing economic incentives for achieving emissions reductions.” Read on.

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Interesting Report Promotes Ocean Power

| Tuesday January 17th, 2006 | 0 Comments

oceanpower.jpgRenewable Energy Access just put out a pretty interesting report on the future of “ocean energy” – that combination of often forgotten ways of generating electricity that includes wave and tidal power. Despite the obvious enormity of the ocean’s energy, it’s been very difficult to capture economically. However, according to the report, 2006 is likely to be a landmark year in terms of new technologies and developments that may make it economically feasable in the very near future.
One can’t forget, however, that real energy progress is more likely to be made by a combination of “green” generation techniques and a more widespread adoption of efficiency as a priority. Continuing to be gluttons in one way or another will still have negative consequences.
(Story via The Future is Green)

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Johnson Controls Ties Business to Inner City Revival

| Monday January 16th, 2006 | 0 Comments

jon_con.jpgJohnson Controls, one of the foremost makers of building interiors and mechanical & efficiency systems for buildings, has embraced an interesting growth opportunity where few major companies have trodden Specifically, with their “MetroMarkets” program, they aim to stimulate the troubled economies of American inner cities by spurring the construction of housing, schools, community & jobs centers, especially in hurricane ravaged New Orleans (article here).
The company obviously benefits by being the lead contractor on construction projects, but by championing projects the company benefits the local community as well. By recognizing and responding to the severe lack of basic infrastructure in blighted cities, a long term investment in the health of the community is made, and that’s a profit motive for all.

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Whole Foods Goes for Whole Wind

| Friday January 13th, 2006 | 0 Comments

wholefoods22.jpgAs widely reported (USA Today, Grist) Whole Foods Market will become the nation’s largest consumer of wind energy by purchasing credits equivalent to 100% of its estimated 2006 energy usage. That’s incredible news. A company with pockets as deep as Whole Foods’ may find this easier to do than other companies, and will enjoy an enormous PR benefit, but the net effect will most certainly benefit everyone else: Further encouragement for the development of the wind energy industry and cleaner air for everyone, not to mention cheaper wind power down the line – that’s a great investement any way you slice it.
Whole Foods is the first Fortune 500 company to make an investment like this and will undoubtedly soon have followers.

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California Solar Initiative Passes

| Thursday January 12th, 2006 | 1 Comment

ggbridge.gifBig News: Despite a number of roadblocks, the California Solar Initiative has apparantly just been passed by the California Public Utilities Commission. The initiative is a $3.2 billion solar incentive program spread over 11 years that aims to create 3 Gigawatts of solar energy, or the equvalent of one million solar powered homes. Read more about it on the VoteSolar page here.
If you are in San Francisco, there is a party tonight at 4:30 at City Hall with Mayor Gavin Newsom, Bill Reilly and Elliot Hoffman. Details on this PDF.

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“Green” MBA Schools Highlighted in new York Times

| Thursday January 12th, 2006 | 10 Comments

nytimeslogo.jpgLast Sunday’s NY TImes (requires login) has a great piece highlighting the emergence of the “Triple Bottom Line” philosophy as it is now being applied to business education. New College, Bainbridge Graduate Institute, and the Presidio MBA are singled out as the leaders in this new focus. Check it out.

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