Alcan Inc. Wins The 2005 Globe Award for Environmental Excellence

| Thursday June 9th, 2005 | 0 Comments

alcan.jpgEach year The GLOBE Foundation and The Globe and Mail (Canada’s national newspaper) proudly supports the commitment of leaders of sustainably driven corporations by recognizing outstanding achievement in environmental stewardship with the GLOBE Awards for Environmental Excellence.
Canadian mining firm Alcan Inc. has won a 2005 Globe Award for Environmental Excellence for demonstrating a commitment to sustainable business strategies. According to eSource Canada Business News Network, Alcan has cut its carbon dioxide emissions to three million tons lower than 1990 levels, primarily by reusing bauxite residue and redesigning its packaging. Read about the other 2005 Globe Award winners.

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FedEx Kinkos Improves Post Consumer Recycled Content

| Thursday June 9th, 2005 | 0 Comments

fedexkinkos.jpgFedExKinkos will increase post-consumer content in its ‘full service’ paper area from 10% to 30%. The ‘full service’ paper area is Kinko’s biggest paper consumption area (what you get behind the counter). The move should conserve almost 20,000 tons of wood per year and have a major impact on the price and availability of post-consumer paper. (FedExKinkos Press Release)

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More LED Potential for Developing World

| Thursday June 9th, 2005 | 4 Comments

led2.jpgWorldchanging has an entire category called “leapfrog nations” – the phenomenon of developing countries making technological leaps forward without the burden of making the mistakes other countries made in their evolution. If Evan Mills’ work at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab pans out, then LED lighting may be the next great leapfrog technology (press release). LEDs are supremely efficient light sources that are getting cheaper and more powerful by the day. With a market as vast as the developing world, the business potential is an enormous as the potential to light people’s worlds:

Commercially available 1-watt WLEDs require 80 percent less power than the smallest energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps and can be run on rechargeable batteries charged by a solar array the size of a paperback novel… Such LEDs could actually deliver more light to tasks than even 100-watt light bulbs.

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Can Better Business Strategy Prevent Terrorism?

| Wednesday June 8th, 2005 | 0 Comments

wallstflag.jpgIf one assumes that in most cases terrorism is a symptom of a set of circumstances – “neglect, despair, dashed hopes, thwarted opportunities” etc… then it can also be seen to be a side effect of unsustainable development. Although we have managed to lock up a great many potential threats, the underlying economic and cultural circumstances do not seem to have changed much. Stuart Hart addresses this problem in a new book (introduced on Next Billion) that looks for non-political answers:

The major challenge–and opportunity–of our time is to create a form of commerce that uplifts the entire human community of 6.5 billion and does so in a way that respects both natural and cultural diversity. Indeed, that is the only realistic and viable pathway to a sustainable world. And business can–and must–lead the way.

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Massive Wind Farm Proposed to Power 25% of London

| Wednesday June 8th, 2005 | 2 Comments

wind_london.gifA truly massive wind-farm has been seriously proposed for the Thames Estuary off the coast of England by ShellEnergy. If built, the farm could power as much as 25% of greater London – a metroplex of over 10 Million. It’s so gigantic that it could singlehandedly mark the tipping point after which wind energy ceases to be a trivial component of the world’s production. Not only that, but it’s enormously significant for Shell as well. I’ve no idea what kind of percentage of Shell’s revenues are currently generated by alternative energy, but this would certainly change things. (via Alt-e blog)

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Denver Mayor Embraces ‘Triple Bottom Line’

| Wednesday June 8th, 2005 | 1 Comment

Denver mayor John Hickenlooper takes sustainability seriously enough to author a special article in the Rocky Mountain News business section on the concept of the Triple Bottom Line. In the article, he outlines some of the outstanding steps the city has taken to embrace sustainability, and makes reference to his past as a small business owner aware of the needed balance between society, environment and economy.

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Yamaha Promotes “Eco-Commuting”

| Tuesday June 7th, 2005 | 1 Comment

yamaha.jpgA company that manufactures gas-powered vehicles would not ordinarily be expected to take steps to reward employees for NOT driving to work. Nonetheless, Japan for Sustainability reports that Yamaha is rewarding communters with a small allowance if they walk or ride a bike (pedal bike that is). Employees report feeling healthier and less stressed.

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Financial Times Praises Higher Pollution Costs

| Tuesday June 7th, 2005 | 0 Comments

dirtymoney.jpg“If there is one price we should want to see rise, it is that of a permit to pollute”. So says the Financial Times, among the world’s leading business publications. The price they are referring to is the cost of emitting a ton of carbon into the air as defined by the EU carbon trading market – the price has been rising due to a number of factors explained in the article. Ultimately, this price rise is likely to result in less pollution in general. It’s great to see the FT taking pollution seriously, but also great to see that a market-based system for reducing it that works efficiently and keeps business happy.

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New Society Publishers Goes Carbon Neutral

| Tuesday June 7th, 2005 | 0 Comments

newsociety.jpgNew Society, a small Canadian printer of generally activist material, has become the worlds first “carbon neutral” print shop. How’d they do it? By purchasing enough carbon credits (in the form of tree planting and controbutions to a solar energy organization) to literally offest the carbon the company emited in day to day operations.
Although the company is small and specifically oriented toward sustianabilty as a mission, it serves as a great example of what’s possible! (Via Greenbiz)

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US Private Sector Begining to Act on Climate Change

| Monday June 6th, 2005 | 2 Comments

corp.jpgColumbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs writes, in an article entitled “Thank Goodness for the American Corporation“, about the wake-up call many US companies have received about global warming. In it he reports on some of the positive changes that companies such as GE have recently made despite the lack of leadership in Washington. Notably, the often overlooked roll of pension funds is mentioned. As necessarily long-term investors, pension funds stand to lose in the long term if serious investment in the long term future is not made. Furthermore, as shareholders, pension funds are able to easily absorb short-term losses that sometimes result from proactive environmental steps, making them ideal change agents.

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Apple Moved to Recycle iPods

| Monday June 6th, 2005 | 3 Comments

opod.jpgConfronting the eWaste debacle head on, Apple Computer will now offer customers a 10% discount on a new iPod if they return their old iPod to a store rather than discarding it (Article on Cnet). Environmentalists and others are especially concerned that the iPod’s toxic battery components were not being properly disposed of. The new policy promises that the iPods will be “processed” in the US and that no hazardous material will be sent overseas. Exactly what the meaning of “processed” is was not addressed, however. (Apple press release).

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Manure to Energy – Less Stinky, More Profitable

| Monday June 6th, 2005 | 1 Comment

manure.jpgManure, that age old fertilizer, is finding new use as a source of modern energy, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. A company called GHD Inc. has produced a successful line of cow manure digesters that ultimately produce hot water for the farm, fertilizer, methane for electricity production.

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Triple Bottom Line Audit for Australia – Balancing Act

| Friday June 3rd, 2005 | 0 Comments

aussie.gifKnowing that a glass of apple juice took as much water to produce as your daily shower may sound like trivia, but the math behind that calculation represents an incredibly valuable tool to audit the real-world effects our lifstyles and economies have on natural systems. The Australian government agency CSIRO has just completed an extensive nationwide analysis based on “triple bottom line” principles. It’s a monster of a report (over 800 pages), so add it to your weekend project list! (download here) (via Treehugger)

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Dell Ups the Standards on Product Recovery

| Friday June 3rd, 2005 | 1 Comment

dell.jpgSpeaking of e-waste, Dell computer announced yesterday that they have upped the ante on recovering and recycling disused products. The goal – 50% more product will be recycled in 2006 than in 2005, and Dell will make it easier for consumers to properly dispose of outdated equipment.
(Source – Austin Business Journal)

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Big Banks Seek to Green Project Lending

| Friday June 3rd, 2005 | 0 Comments

greenmoney.jpgTime Magazine reports this week that, largely in response to activist preasure, major banks such as JPMorgan Chase are begining to account for the environmental and social effects of their project lending. In fact, 30 major private banks have signed on to the Equator Principles. We’ve reported on this before, but it’s especially noteworthy to see a “mainstream” magazine such as Time make reference to the ‘greening’ of high level finance. However, it’s too bad that the article leans heavily on the ‘activist’ angle – investing responsibly is usally as beneficial to business as it is to activists.

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