Green Business Wrap-up

We end this week looking expectantly to the start of what is hopefully a new beginning in government, green business, and sustainability. I write this week’s business wrap as I prepare for a trip to Washington DC to attend the inauguration of Barack Obama as president of the United States. I’m a bit giddy. If I can, I’ll post here on TriplePundit my thoughts and observations on the historic event. But for now, let’s wrap!

Apple Puts Green Makeover at Risk with CSR Snub
Say it ain’t so Apple! Apple has been pushing the debut of their new green products, much on display at last week’s Macworld show. But the Green Apple may have some worms in it with the news that the company has urged shareholders to vote against a shareholder resolution by As You Sow, an environmental advocacy group co-sponsored by the New York City Office of the Comptroller and the Green Century Equity Fund. The resolution calls greater CSR transparency, requiring Apple to publish a CSR report by July that details its approach to greenhouse gas emissions, toxins, and recycling. It also would mandate that Apple define their idea of “sustainability”. I’m as much a Mac fan as the next guy (having recently returned home from too many years in the Windows wilderness) and I hope that Apple will do the right thing. With the news of Steve Jobs’ leave of absence over health issues and the consequent plunge in the stock, it’s been a tough week for Apple.

MTA Considering Green Metrocard Program
The New York Metropolitan Authority has green plans. A special MTA environmental committee has put forth a proposal that would let riders make tax-deductible donations toward sustainable transportation programs through a “green MetroCard” option. Customers will have the option of paying the extra charge at MTA vending machines, when purchasing the E-Z Pass, and for commuter rail. With a tough economy and planned fare increases, it remains to be seen whether commuters are willing to fork over some extra cash for the promise of a more sustainable transit system.

Carbon Market Worth $118 Billion in 2008
According to New Carbon Finance, the value of the worldwide carbon market climbed 84% last year to $118 billion. Allowances representing 4 billion tonnes of carbon changed hands in 2008, up 42% from the ’07. By far the majority of those transactions were European Union Allowances (EUA). New Carbon Finance estimates the global carbon market could grow to $150 billion in 2009, “shrugging off” the general economic downturn.

World Cocoa Foundation Sets Guiding Sustainability Principles
Urging a need for sustainability within the industry since 2000, The World Cocoa Foundation has announced development of a series of sustainability principles and goals to prioritize activities, assist cocoa farmers, and guide industry efforts and best practices. The foundation is comprised of about 60 members, including such yummy luminaries as Hershey, Mars, Jelly Belly, Starbucks, Kraft, Ghirardelli, Dagoba, See’s, and Chocolove. The current principles were developed over the past two years with input from more the 50 of the foundations members. As with any well-thought and effective sustainability principles, the foundation’s work focuses on “3P”: People, planet, profit. Image credit: star5112,flickr

Obama Stimulus Package May Include $25 Billion in Renewable Energy Tax Credits
Barack Obama apparently remained true to form over the weekend, listening to the concerns of Democratic lawmakers over Obama’s proposed economic stimulus package. In so doing the Obama team has added more proposed funding – up to $25 billion – for the renewable energy production tax credit and other “green” incentives, including a credit for the purchase of plug-in vehicles and and extension of the biodiesel credit.

That’s a wrap! I’m off to DC and Jen will be back at the Green Business Wrap helm next week.

Tom is the founder, editor, and publisher of and the TDS Environmental Media Network. He has been a contributor for Triple Pundit since 2007. Tom has also written for Slate, Earth911, the Pepsico Foundation, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, and many other sustainability-focused publications. He is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists

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