This Week in Green Business

SF%20SOLAR%205MW.jpgWelcome to Friday’s Green Business Roundup from around the blogosphere! I’ll be filling in for the lovely and talented Jen Boynton for the next two weeks on this regular column as she finishes up her Green MBA at the Presidio School of Management. Send her positive energy and caffeine telemetry!
The City of San Francisco, long known as one of the greenest in the country, if not the world, and a terrific place to grow an organic garden, will now have California’s largest municipal solar project, thanks to an effort spearheaded by Mayor Gavin Newsom, and this week passed by the city’s Board of Supervisors (artist’s rendition pictured above). A company called Recurrent Energy will begin construction on a 5 MW solar facility that will provide a portion of the city’s power. Newsom, who will be running for governor of California in 2010, called the project an important step to “help lead the state towards a future of clean, renewable energy.”
1ford.gifIn a beautiful and hopeful sign of the times, Ford this week announced plans to retool a former SUV manufacturing plant in Michigan to produce the all electric Ford Focus. The first battery-electric Focus is set to roll off the assembly line there in 2011, and in the meantime, the plant will produce its fuel-efficient Focus in a facility that used to make Lincoln Navigators and Ford Expeditions. The facility is one of three that Ford operates that is shifting from trucks and SUVs to more fuel efficient and higher tech vehicles. (From our friends at
2blind.gifCap & Trade legislation, as it turns out, will not mean offshoring of jobs, according to Pew Research. But that hasn’t stopped Republicans and conservative think tanks from lining up their whisper campaigns! It’s a blind man’s bluff, as described by John Laumer, to get congressional Democrats running in different directions and to obstruct any progress on climate change legislation. (From our friends at TreeHugger.)

3ethanol.gifBoston-based Mascoma has announced a major breakthrough in the production of cellulosic ethanol. The process is expected to greatly reduce costs of cellulosic ethanol production. Mascoma currently has a pilot lab in New York, and plans to build a commercial scale refinery in Michigan to produce cellulosic ethanol. (From our friends at TreeHugger.)
4washington.gifThe state of Washington this week passed a green paper law. The law requires all state agencies and state colleges to purchase 100% post-consumer recycled paper by the end of 2009. It also requires that all buildings with 25 or more employees must recycle all of their office paper and reduce printing and copying use by July 2010. Not simply an altruistic leap of faith, the law is expected to save Washington state taxpayers $1M annually, saves 43,000 trees, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 350 cars from the roads. (From
And in this week’s updates on the ever-quickening pace of global climate change, EcoWorldly reported that hairy, meat-eating spiders in Greenland were getting significantly bigger, thicker, hairier, and MORE GROSS as a result of longer summers and warmer days, and that the world’s largest ski run has completely melted away.
Scott Cooney is the author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and hopes that someday, the green economy will simply be referred to as…the economy.
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Scott Cooney, Principal of and author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill, November 2008), is also a serial ecopreneur who has started and grown several green businesses and consulted several other green startups. He co-founded the ReDirect Guide, a green business directory, in Salt Lake City, UT. He greened his home in Salt Lake City, including xeriscaping, an organic orchard, extra natural fiber insulation, a 1.8kW solar PV array, on-demand hot water, energy star appliances, and natural paints. He is a vegetarian, an avid cyclist, ultimate frisbee player, and surfer, and currently lives in the sunny Mission district of San Francisco. Scott is working on his second book, a look at microeconomics in the green sector.In June 2010, Scott launched, a sustainability consulting firm dedicated to providing solutions to common business problems by leveraging the power of the triple bottom line. Focused exclusively on small business, GBO's mission is to facilitate the creation and success of small, green businesses.

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