Tackling the “E-Waste” Debacle

| Thursday June 2nd, 2005 | 0 Comments

The disposal of outdated computers and other electronic equipment is a complex and growing problem. According to a code-green study on SF Bay Area companies:

roughly 30% did not fully engage in e-Recycling. Over 60% of businesses surveyed claimed managing their e-Recycling project “takes more effort than it should”. Only 35% were clear about the e-Recycling reuse and recycling options available to them. These responses may explain the low rates of e-Recycling among small-to-midsize businesses.

While there’s clearly a problem, there is also clearly a business opporunity as much “e-waste” can be broken down and profitably recycled or reused. (Thanks Bob)

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Schwarzenegger Promotes Carbon Cuts, Acknowledges Environmental Problems

| Thursday June 2nd, 2005 | 0 Comments

schwartzenegger.gifDeviating from the GOP party line, California guv Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday proclaimed global warming an “immenent threat” and announced statewide goals to curtail greenhouse gas emissions.
The new goals, like the governor’s huge solar initiative will likely leverage the power of the California market to influence major changes nationwide. Despite possible initial costs, the effect on businesses should be ultimately positive for innovators and companies which emphasize efficiency.

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Japan Loosens Neckties for Energy Savings

| Thursday June 2nd, 2005 | 0 Comments

necktie.jpgThe traditionally formal Japanese workforce may have the chance to dress down for the summer, thought not for laid-back reasons. Government offices reckon they can save money on air conditioning bills and reduce carbon emissions by raising the thermostat while employees lose their jackets and go short-sleeved. Will it be a hit in a culture as conformist as Japan’s? It may take time. Read more on MSNBC.

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DOE/USCAR Seek High-Strength, Light Weight Materials

| Wednesday June 1st, 2005 | 0 Comments

carbon_fiber.jpgFor every 10% you shave off a vehicle’s weight, you save around 7% in fuel costs. Research that can help automakers make lighter vehicles without compromising saftey is therefore immensely valuable, as well as environmentally progressive. The US Department of Energy has just announced, in conjunction with the US Council for Automotive Research, a $70 Million program to speed up research and development in the area of advanced, lightweight materials. Some of the most advanced are said to reduce vehicle weight by as much as 70% – you do the math. (Source – DOE Press Release)

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ExxonMobil Says No to Solar & Wind Investment

| Wednesday June 1st, 2005 | 0 Comments

exxon.jpgAlthough their shareholders are making a solid effort to address climate change and alternative energy, ExxonMobil officials are dead-set against dabbling in solar and wind power. The reason – Exxon claims to be against investing in areas that require government subsidy to profit. This hasn’t stopped BP from making renewables a very visable (if tiny) part of their strategy – plus oil extraction is (arguably) also heavily subsidised if security spending is taken into consideration.
Is Exxon just being honest about their intentions while the likes of BP pull off saavy marketing moves? Perhaps, but many would argue that a superficial effort is better than no effort at all. (via Daily Grist)

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Office Depot Advertisments Now 75% Post Consumer

| Tuesday May 31st, 2005 | 1 Comment

officedepot.jpgAlthough many consumers still have a hard time recognizing the difference between “recycled” and “post-consumer recycled“, Office Depot has taken advanced, proactive steps to make their advertising inserts a showcase of sustainability. In the Canadian market, Office Depot exceeded their own goals and now boasts 75% Post consumer content in their newspaper-insert advertising. That may sound like a small market, but it amounts to over 23,000 trees. More info on GreenBiz.

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Israeli Economy to Gain $181Mil Per Year with Solar

| Tuesday May 31st, 2005 | 0 Comments

israel_solar.jpgIn a recent study, Eco Energy reports that Israel stands to reap as much as $2 Billion in economic gains over 10 years by investing heavily in solar energy.

The report says most of the benefit to the economy will come from avoiding carbon dioxide emissions and other pollutants, saving electricity transportation costs, and savings in foreign currency, since solar energy does not use imported fuel to produce power.

The report bases its calculations on the installation of 2,500 Megawatts by 2025. (source – Globes Israel)

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Beijing Announces Energy Hotline to Cut Waste

| Tuesday May 31st, 2005 | 0 Comments

hotline.jpgThe Chinese government is taking steps to curtail runaway energy use in Beijing by offering a telephone hotline for people to report violators. (Source – China Daily) The idea is that if wasteful companies are publically shamed, energy use will fall into line with the city’s current capacity. To be honest, this set-up sounds a little creepy – I’m not sure why it’s better to publicaly report companies than to approach them directly, but maybe it’ll work.

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Can Ranchers Save the Rainforest?

| Tuesday May 31st, 2005 | 2 Comments

cattle.jpgClear cutting of the rain forest for the purpose of cattle grazing is seen by many as the number one enemy of the Amazon. Ironically, it may be that those doing the cutting are the future saviours of this vast expanse of land often dubbed the “lungs of the earth”. Through an incentive program similar to that employed in the logging industry, producers of Amazonian soya and beef could slap a sustainability seal on their products if they adhere to environmental laws that restrict the amount of clear cutting being done in the cultivation of these foods.

Last month, The Nature Conservancy….announced an agreement by which Cargill, a huge American agriculture company, will buy soya near its export terminal at the confluence of the Amazon and Tapajos rivers only from farmers who obey the law or are clearly moving towards doing so.

Read more in this week’s Economist

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Enjoy the Long Weekend!

| Friday May 27th, 2005 | 0 Comments

usaflag.jpgIt’s the start of a long weekend here in the USA, in honor of Memorial Day. Our thoughts go out to everyone (soldiers and civilians alike) caught up in Iraq and elsewhere. From all of us here at 3P, have a great, safe weekend, and as always, give yourself a break and don’t work too hard, unless it’s at the BBQ. See you on Tuesday!

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BP Solar Lights the Way for Entire Company

| Friday May 27th, 2005 | 3 Comments

bp.jpgWhat’s a major oil company to do when faced with an evolving market moving steadily toward a renewable energy future? While some oil companies might stick their heads in the sand (literally in the case of Alberta), farsighted companies might rebrand themselves as “energy” companies and begin large scale investments in non-oil based energy sources.
British Petroleum, now known as Beyond Petroleum is now one of the world’s largest producers of solar energy. Leading the way in a market that grew 40% last year, BP’s solar division is keeping the company viable and competitive as oil begins its inevitable decline. Full article on LOHAS journal.

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Valuing Corporate Values

| Friday May 27th, 2005 | 0 Comments

values_corp.jpgStrategy+Business has a long article for your weekend reading on companies’ increasingly common practice of expressing ethically based corporate values. It’s a great thing on paper, but how much of it is really taken seriously and where is it headed? And what are broad, ethically minded values statements really based on?
Booz Allen Hamilton and the Aspen Institute conducted an international study to find out. The results conclude that there is generally a very positive correlation between having clear ethical codes writen into a company’s mission statement and being successful. The key seems to be whether or not management takes it seriously.

Full article available here
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Green MBA Podcast from KQED

| Friday May 27th, 2005 | 0 Comments

podcast.jpgHere’s something good to load up for your weekend. KQED’s Forum with Michael Krasny (San Francisco Public Radio) recently had a program on “green MBAs” – “the trend of teaching business students environmentally and socially sustainable business practices.” The program features guests from two sustainable MBA programs, Bainbridge and Presidio. It’s downloadable as a podcast here.

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Presidio World College Announces Graduating Class

| Friday May 27th, 2005 | 1 Comment

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A new breed of business professional will enter the workforce after Presidio World College graduates its first class from the MBA program in Sustainable Management. Following two years of intensive, collaborative studies at the San Francisco-based school, the Class of 2005 will be awarded diplomas on Saturday, June 4, at the Presidio Golf Course & Clubhouse. George Lakoff, Ph.D., renowned speaker, best-selling author on progressive politics and linguistics professor at UC Berkeley, will deliver the commencement address.

Presidio joins Bainbridge Graduate Institute and New College of California in leading MBA education toward a more sustainable tommorow. (full press release on CSRWire)

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Rainwater Collection Makes Good Business

| Thursday May 26th, 2005 | 3 Comments

rainwater_guy.jpgCollecting rainwater, especially in dry climates, is a great way to reduce one’s water bill, and in some areas get better quality drinking water. Richard Heinichen of appropriately named Dripping Springs, TX had had enough with hard-water wells and decided to start collecting and filtering rainwater in barrels. Over the years this has led to a thriving business setting up rainwater harvesting systems in his local area as well as selling how-to books and videos. (see www.rainwater.org for more)

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