Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sustainable & Responsible Businesses - 2008 Recap

Each week we highlight a "Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week." We want to give you a broad picture of for-profit companies pursuing positive economic, environmental, and social impacts. Fortunately, the list is growing of companies that are models for success and of companies leading change in this new era of sustainable business.

If you are not familiar with these companies, read our posts and visit their websites! We look forward to highlighting more Sustainable & Responsible Businesses of the Week in the upcoming year and we hope you'll pledge to make your business more sustainable in 2009. "Because sustainable business is good business!"

To recap from 2008, here are our picks for Sustainable & Responsible Businesses of the Week:

Alaffia/Agbanga Karite

Asha Imports


Better World Club

BetterWorld Telecom

Brilliant Earth

Boutique Mix


Clean Air Lawn Care

Clean Green Collision

Durango McKinley Paper Company

Earth Tones

ECO Car Wash

Fair Trade Sports


Frog's Leap Winery

Gaia Napa Valley Hotel & Spa

Galactic Pizza

Greyston Bakery

Great Lakes Brewing Company

Green Microgym

Greenway Maid

Higher Grounds Trading Company

Hopworks Urban Brewery


Immaculate Baking Company

Indigenous Designs

Izzy's Ice Cream

Juice Peddler

LJ Urban

Massanelli's Cleaners

Mom's Best Naturals

Natural Fusion Hair Studio

Newman's Own

Palm Theater

Pinehurst Inn

Pizza Fusion


SunNight Solar

Tropical Salvage


White Bear Racquet & Swim Club

White Dog Cafe

Zambezi Organic Forest Honey

Happy Holidays from your friends at Sustainable Business Design Consulting.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week: If they can do it, so can you!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Want to be Carbon Neutral for a Day?: Brighter Planet's One Day Campaign

Brighter Planet is offering you the chance to be carbon neutral for a day through its One Day campaign. According to Brighter Planet's website:
The One Day campaign is a small way to show your support to fight climate change. For every participant, Brighter Planet will donate 136 pounds of offsets -- the equivalent of one day's worth of CO2 emissions (based on the estimated average American footprint of 24.78 tons). The more people that give the gift of carbon neutrality for one day, the better. Thousands of gift recipients and givers will know that the climate movement is spreading far beyond the typical “environmental” realm and into the norm. All that Brighter Planet asks in return is that you consider conserving during the holidays.

One Day from Brighter Planet

We have been issued 25 certificates. To claim your One Day Carbon Free certificate, visit Please note that there are only 25 certificates available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Who is Brighter Planet?

Brighter Planet helps people take smarter steps for a healthy environment. With practical, carbon emission reducing solutions for consumers and businesses, Brighter Planet is committed to demonstrating that small, day-to-day actions can make a huge difference for the environment. To date, Brighter Planet members have offset 58 million pounds of CO2. The renewable energy projects they help build in communities across the United States decrease our national dependence on carbon emitting energy sources.

Why carbon offsets?

Carbon offsets play a crucial role in building a sustainable society. Many renewable energy projects are well suited to produce energy and meet stringent standards, but lack sufficient financing. Carbon offsets fill that void by investing in these projects.

What kind of offset projects does Brighter Planet support?

Renewable energy projects in communities across the U.S. decrease our national dependence on carbon-emitting “dirty” energy sources like coal burning power plants. Some are wind power in public school districts or open lands and others are cow power on family farms. They all meet Brighter Planet’s stringent project standards.

Where does conservation fit in to all of this?

The first step to reducing your footprint is to minimize the amount of dirty energy you use. Changes in your everyday life — some simple, others harder — will help. There are lots of ways you can conserve during the holidays and all-year long. While conservation is critical, it’s practically impossible to reduce your personal emissions to zero. You still need a place to live, a way to get to work, food to eat, and clothes to wear. This is where carbon offsets can be of great value.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Galactic Pizza - Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week

Galactic Pizza (Minneapolis MN) makes excellent pizza from local and organic ingredients. But it's not the mouth watering pizza that makes Galactic Pizza our Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week. The company emphasizes environmental and social responsibility in its operations. Just take a look at this long list of sustainability initiatives (from their website):

  • When conditions allow, our food is delivered to your door using 100% electric vehicles.
  • All of the power purchased to run our restaurant is renewable wind energy.
  • All of our mozzarella cheese comes from independent family farmers who humanely raise grass fed cows not treated with rGBH growth hormones or antibiotics.
  • We have incorporated a number of organic items into the menu.
  • We have the Second Harvest Heartland pizza, where $1 is donated to this hunger relief organization every time the pizza is ordered.
  • We strive to use packaging that is either made from recycled materials, or is 100% biodegradable.
  • We incorporate hemp products into each menu category, and print our menu on hemp paper. Hemp is not only good for you, it is also very good for the Earth.
  • In season, we try to purchase all of our produce from farms here in Minnesota or in nearby Wisconsin.
  • We have an in depth waste reduction program utilizing composting for food waste and recycling whenever possible.
  • 5% of our pre-tax profits are donated to charity.

Galactic Pizza has been featured by MSNBC, CNNMoney/Fortune, and Discovery's Planet Green, to name just a few. Galactic Pizza was founded by Pete Bonahoom.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week is a weekly behind-the-scenes look at what businesses are doing to be more sustainable and responsible in their operations.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week: If they can do it, so can you!

U.S. Sugar Wants to Turn Sugar Into Fuel

U.S. Sugar Corporation (Clewiston FL) hopes the waste generated from sugar production can be turned into fuel. The company is currently exploring the feasibility of building the world's largest second-generation ethanol facility which would convert sugar cane leaves and sugar-processing waste into ethanol. It is also hopeful that the facility will be able to process waste from other farming operations.

The announcement comes at a time when the Everglades Coalition, an alliance of environmental organizations dedicated to preserving the Everglades, has filed lawsuits to stop agricultural runoff polution created by sugar cane processing facilities.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"We Need a Green New Deal"

Last Thursday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called on Obama and the E.U. to create a plan to confront the twin climate and economic crises.

He appealed for a modern, global environmental equivalent of U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt's 1930s "New Deal," which lifted the United States out of the Great Depression. "We need a Green New Deal," Ban declared. Coping with the financial crisis would need a "massive stimulus," he added. "A big part of that spending should be an investment -- an investment in a green future."

This sentiment has been echoed by many, including the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP)under its Green Economy Initiative. The Green Economy Initiative is a partnership between UNEP and leading economists to provide research on creating a new green economy.

A Green New Deal economic stimulus package would invest in energy efficiency, renewable energy, support a low-carbon economy, and would create millions of green collar jobs.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dallas Plans Country's First Self-Sustaining Urban Block

The city of Dallas TX has announced plans to create the country's first fully sustainable urban block. The 2-block area in downtown Dallas is across from City Hall and is currently a parking lot. There will be an international design competition to help design the area, which is envisioned to be an off-the-grid residential community - the first of its kind in an urban area.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Is Your Company's Website Carbon Neutral?

An often overlooked component of a green or sustainable business is the website. If your company intends to communicate its commitment to green or sustainable business practices, then consider a carbon neutral web host provider.

A carbon neutral web host provider invests in renewable energy , renewable energy credits, or carbon offsets for the amount of energy consumed in hosting websites for its customers. The customer (your business) can then proudly display a carbon neutral badge on the company website.

A keyword search of the Internet will find numerous carbon neutral web host providers. Here is a small sampling:

A2 Hosting

Acorn Host

Affordable Internet Services Online (AISO)


Go Green Hosting



Solar Energy Host

Think Host

Web Hosting Buzz

Free Electric Cars for Businesses in Ireland

Ireland has "a massive renewable wind resource" that helps make this plan feasible. A task-force has been established to work toward a state-wide network of recharging stations. The government will also provide a budget for research and promotion of electric vehicles. The government's goal is for electric vehicles to account for 10% of all vehicles by 2020, which represents approximately 250,000 electric cars over the next 12 years.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Planet Connect Grant Program

Calling all high school students: you could win $500 to implement a creative environmental solution at your school or in your community and an additional $500 for a local environmental internship.

Planet Connect is sponsoring the Planet Connect Grant Program. Planet Connect is a new online network for High School students to learn about the environment plus green college and career options.

The deadline for applications is January 20, 2009.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Immaculate Baking Company - Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week

Immaculate Baking Company (Hendersonville NC) bakes delicious gourmet all natural and organic baked cookies and organic ready-to-bake cookie dough. The company philosophy is "Bake well, be creative, have fun and give back."

What makes Immaculate Baking Company sustainable and responsible? Immaculate Baking Company works hard to maximize its social impact by baking "Cookies With a Cause." The company created the Folk Artist's Foundation to provide support and exposure for folk artists. Folk art also adorns all cookie packaging. In addition, the company created Soul Food Fund "artreach" programs to reach kids both young and old to help them creatively express themselves. As an aside, the company holds the distinction of baking the World's Biggest Cookie in 2003; 102 feet wide and over 40,000 pounds.

Immaculate Baking Company was started in 1995 by Scott Blackwell.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week is a weekly behind-the-scenes look at what businesses are doing to be more sustainable and responsible in their operations.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week: If they can do it, so can you!

Ethical Corporation's 10 Ethical Leaders of 2008

Ethical Corporation has published its list of the 10 Ethical Leaders of 2008 who have done the most to advance the cause of responsible business.

  1. Barack Obama, US president-elect - For making the perfect start to addressing the world’s biggest challenges in 2009

  2. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and philanthropist - For outlining the opportunity side of responsible business with his vision for creative capitalism

  3. Richard Lambert, director-general, Confederation of British Industry - For proactive business leadership in setting the UK climate change agenda

  4. Donald MacDonald, chairman, UN Principles for Responsible Investment - For leading the UNPRI through the most significant year of its history

  5. Jessica Sansom, sustainability manager, innocent drinks - For turning the innocent founders’ commitment to sustainability into tangible results in the supply chain

  6. Howard Pearce, head of environmental finance and pension fund management, UK Environment Agency - For proving that asset owners can call their fund managers to account on ethics – provided they are committed enough

  7. Chris Wille, chief of sustainable agriculture, Rainforest Alliance - For helping to take ethical food and drink into the mainstream market

  8. Patrick Alley, director, Global Witness - For well-chosen campaigns on corporate complicity in human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo

  9. John Ruggie, UN special representative for business and human rights - For getting the business and human rights agenda back on track

  10. James Hansen, climatologist and head of Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies - For outspoken and informed criticism of government and business inaction on climate change

Read the full article here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Companies Warned: Go Green or Go Under

According to the results of a report released last week by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and global consulting firm A.T. Kearney, companies in the fast-moving consumer goods sector were warned that if they do not implement sustainable environmental strategies, their earnings could be cut in half by 2018.

Fast-moving consumer goods include food, beverages, personal care items and household care items. The analysis "concludes that physical climate change, water scarcity, deforestation and climate change policies could significantly increase the price of commodities, packaging, manufacturing and logistics." Many fast-moving consumer goods are "tied to natural resources at risk from environmental pressures," such as oil, natural gas, electricity, cereals, grains, soy, sugar, palm oil and timber.

Some recommendations of the report include changes in design and packaging, a network of more and smaller manufacturing sites spread across the country, and more local sourcing of production inputs. "Cost increases for FMCG companies that do not implement such strategies could diminish company earnings by 13 to 31 percent in 2013 and by 19 to 47 percent in 2018..."

Monday, December 8, 2008

The 2008 Forecast Earth Hot List

Who were the 2008 movers and shakers in the effort to mitigate climate change? The 2008 Forecast Earth Hot List "reflects individuals, groups or companies that during 2008 initiated, undertook or encouraged positive action aimed at meeting the challenge of mitigating long-term global climate change."
This year's honorees include:

Remember GoodShop for Your Online Shopping

GoodShop: You Shop...We Give!
Online retailers are experiencing robust sales. Online sales were up over last year by 1% on Black Friday and by 21% on Cyber Monday.

If you still have some online shopping to complete, please remember to visit GoodShop. GoodShop is linked to hundreds of national retailers. When you shop participating retailers through the GoodShop site, a percentage of the sale will be donated to the charity of your choice. The charity must be registered with GoodShop; over 70,000 nonprofits are currently registered.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wal-Mart CEO Scott to Retire

The news that Lee Scott is retiring in February 2009 as CEO of Wal-Mart came as a surprise to many. Scott has championed Wal-Mart's vision of environmental sustainability since 2005; laying out three sustainability goals: to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy, to create zero waste, and to sell products that sustain our resources and the environment. The company has achieved many noteworthy accomplishments in these areas.

The company has established Sustainable Value Networks, The Personal Sustainability Project for employees, the Sustainable Packaging Scorecard, has increased purchases of local and organic products, and continues working to green the 60,000+ suppliers that make up its supply chain. Wal-Mart has also announced a wind power purchase with Duke Energy that will provide up to 15% of the energy requirements for stores and other facilities in Texas. And the company has most recently announced the formation of a Green Jobs Council to foster the development of green jobs in the U.S.

There have been many other pioneers of socially and/or environmentally sustainable business models and operations. Yet by virtue of the sheer size and the magnitude of Wal-Mart's reach, Scott's influence in bringing "green" to mainstream business can't be denied - he has helped bring "green" into the lexicon of everyday business.

Wal-Mart has yet to address its social sustainability issues with the same fervor. But Scott recently addressed suppliers in China and "outlined a series of aggressive goals and expectations to build a more environmentally and socially responsible global supply chain."

We are all hopeful that Wal-Mart will continue its leadership in green (and sustainability) efforts under new CEO Mike Duke.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wal-Mart Launches Green Jobs Council

Press Release

Wal-Mart Launches Green Jobs Council
Council to Identify Opportunities for Green Job Creation

Bentonville, Ark., Dec. 2, 2008 -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) has established a partnership with many of its leading sustainability suppliers to facilitate the creation of green jobs in the United States. The Wal-Mart Green Jobs Council is comprised of representatives from throughout the retailer’s divisions, including store operations, real estate, logistics and sustainability, and representatives from suppliers across a variety of industries.

“We believe that creating green jobs is essential to keeping the United States competitive in the global marketplace,” said Leslie Dach, executive vice president of corporate affairs and government relations for Wal-Mart. “At Wal-Mart we believe that by bringing these companies together and working collaboratively we can help develop a larger green job workforce in this country.”

As part of its company-wide sustainability goals, Wal-Mart is committed to being supplied 100 percent by renewable energy, creating zero waste and selling environmentally-friendly products. The company is moving toward these goals by using sustainable sourcing practices including energy efficiency, waste reduction, renewable energy and lifecycle management. These initiatives are making Wal-Mart a more sustainable company and helping create a favorable environment for green job creation.

For example, Wal-Mart recently announced its first substantial purchase of wind energy in the U.S. which will lead to the creation of green jobs in Texas. The wind power will supply up to 15 percent of the retailers’ total energy load in approximately 360 Texas stores and other facilities. This is one example of the dozens of projects Wal-Mart is implementing across its operations with green job creation potential.

At an inaugural meeting of the Wal-Mart Green Jobs Council, participants identified their top catalysts for creating green jobs, including government policies, executive leadership for sustainability programs, and market drivers such as increased customer demand. Top barriers identified by the group include a lack of a trained workforce and lack of access to capital, especially in the current economic environment.

Participants are also working to more clearly define standards for green jobs and to work collaboratively towards facilitating green job development. More than 30 suppliers participated in the inaugural meeting, including large and small companies such as BP Solar, Dematic, General Electric, HydroPoint Data Systems, Lennox, ReCold, Schneider Electric, SwissLog, Systecon, Thermastor, and Zurn.

“Wal-Mart’s Green Jobs Council is driving collaboration among a variety of companies that are focused on America’s most valuable resource; the American worker,” said Christopher Spain, chairman and chief strategy officer for HydroPoint, Data Systems in Petaluma, Calif. “To overcome both rising unemployment and dwindling natural resources, we must invest in our nation’s workforce through the development of jobs that preserve the environment for generations to come. I believe the goals of the Green Jobs Council are highly achievable. ”

Wal-Mart plans to convene its next Green Jobs Council meeting in Washington, D.C., in early 2009.

About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart discount stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam’s Club locations in the United States. The Company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom and, through a joint venture, in India. The Company's securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting Online merchandise sales are available at and

Hopworks Urban Brewery - Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week

Hopworks Urban Brewery (Portland OR) is a brewpup offering organic beer and restaurant menu items made from local ingredients. But it's what goes on behind the scenes that makes Hopworks Urban Brewery our Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week.

Hopworks Urban Brewery refers to itself as an Eco-Brewpub and touts everything from composting to rain barrels to being powered by 100% renewable energy. No one tells it better than Hopworks Urban Brewery's own website:

Sustainable Points-No LEED green washing, just the facts G


  1. Biodiesel fired brew kettle using HUB fryer oil

  2. Waste pizza oven heat captured to heat brewing water

  3. Organic barley malt

  4. Zero VOC epoxy floor coating with walnut shell broadcast for texture

  5. Cool-Fit pre-insulated glycol pipe-most energy efficient pipe available

  6. T8 fluorescent lights-cool running and energy efficient

  7. Flow meter on brewing water to minimize waste

  8. Organic spent grain used by local cattle rancher

  9. Biodiesel fired delivery truck

  10. Wort heat exchanger hot water recovered for subsequent brew

  11. Walk in cooler compressor remote operated on cool roof

  12. Tasting room bar base constructed from recycled material


  1. Building professionally deconstructed- all useable material recovered and sorted

  2. 1/3 all framing material used recovered from deconstruction

  3. Ceiling blasted with corn cob instead of sand-eliminates risk of silicosis for blasters

  4. Booths constructed entirely from ceiling joists

  5. Finish trim constructed from recovered trim

  6. Vault finished with recovered ship-lap sheathing

  7. Bar base constructed from recovered framing, office paneling, and ceiling joists

  8. Bar foot rail made of old boiler pipe

  9. Tables recovered from restaurant remodel

  10. Low and zero VOC finishes

  11. Reflective membrane roof w/3" rigid insulation-74% UV radiation reflected, no heat island, significantly lower operating environment temp for mech equipment on roof

  12. Air conditioner economizers

  13. 93% efficient gas furnaces, 4 residential furnaces provide zone heating more efficiently than commercial gas packs

  14. Insulated, low-E window and door upgrade

  15. Skylights provide natural light to mezzanine

  16. Hot water recirculation provides hot water on demand-no wasted line purge

  17. Low flow toilets- 1.28 GPF

  18. Hand dryers eliminate paper waste- fastest, most energy efficient dryers available

  19. Plentiful covered and uncovered bike parking

  20. Bike repair stand at front door

Parking and Landscape

  1. 6000 sqft Eco-paver west parking lot- rain water remains on-site

  2. Native species used exclusively for landscaping

  3. South Parking lot features 5000 gallon retention/settling pond

  4. Rain barrel captures roof run off- used for irrigation, general wash down, and future greenhouse

  5. South retaining wall constructed of recycled basement slab


  1. Organic Made from scratch Roma Tomato Sauce

  2. Use of Shepherd's Grain "Food Alliance Certified" flour for our pizza dough & other bread items (pretzels, foccacia bread)

  3. Organic Milk

  4. Organic field greens, romaine & various seasonal vegetables

  5. Dressings made from scratch, less packaging

  6. 100 % post consumer waste

  7. 100% recycled dinner napkins

  8. Waste recycling programs that strive for zero waste

  9. Recycling food waste for animal feed & composting

  10. Organic coffee from Stumptown "Holler Mtn"

  11. All to go material 100% post consumer 100% recycled material

  12. Compostable plastic to go cups (corn based)

Hopworks Urban Brewery was founded by Christian Ettinger in 2008.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week is a weekly behind-the-scenes look at what businesses are doing to be more sustainable and responsible in their operations.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week: If they can do it, so can you!

Monday, December 1, 2008

More Green Jobs on the Horizon

In a recent Democratic Radio Address, President Elect Barack Obama announced that his economic team is developing an Economic Recovery Plan that will create 2.5 million jobs by January 2011. The plan will

put people back to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing schools that are failing our children, and building wind farms and solar panels; fuel-efficient cars and the alternative energy technologies that can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and keep our economy competitive in the years ahead.

Obama's commitment will help green jobs continue to grow. Recent reports suggest green jobs are on the rise. In California, it is reported that the green job sector is booming. The alternative energy industry, and solar in particular, has exploded in California, resulting in thousands of new jobs.

To learn more about green jobs, visit the Green for All and Apollo Alliance websites.

Monday, November 24, 2008

"Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy" Coalition Formed

A new coalition has been created that will lobby Congress for policies that encourage energy efficiency, renewable energy use and green job creation, while discouraging higher-polluting technologies. Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP) founding members include Levi Strauss & Co, Sun Microsystems Inc., Timberland Co., Nike Inc, Starbucks Corp., and Ceres. BICEP is calling on next year's Congress to create strong U.S. climate and energy legislation in early 2009.

According to BICEP's website, the coalition is calling on Congress to consider the following principles:

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050

1) Set greenhouse gas reduction targets:The United States must achieve a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 and at least 25 percent reduction below 1990 levels by 2020.

2) Establish a cap-and-trade system: The United States must establish an economy-wide cap on greenhouse gas emissions and allow for a trading system which (i) incorporates a 100 percent auction of allowances, (ii) promotes energy efficiency, and (iii) accelerates clean energy technologies that help achieve the targets mentioned above at the lowest possible cost.

Promote Energy Efficiency

3) Establish aggressive energy efficiency policies: The United States should move forward with aggressive energy efficiency policies -- including, but not limited to, stronger building codes, appliance standards, vehicle fuel efficiency standards, and tax incentives, and the establishment of a nationwide energy efficiency resource standard (EERS) -- to promote at least a doubling of our historic rate of energy efficiency improvement.

4) Encourage transportation for a clean energy economy: The United States should utilize standards, incentives, and other policies to promote efficient vehicles, plug-in electric hybrids, low-carbon fuels, reduction in vehicle miles traveled and transit-oriented development.

Invest in a Clean Energy Economy

5) Increase investment in technology while eliminating subsidies:The United States should ensure public investment in energy efficiency; renewables and carbon capture and storage technology while eliminating subsidies for fossil fuel industries.

6) Ensure public investment in new jobs:Federal climate change legislation must create a stimulus for job growth and increased productivity through mobilization and investment in climate-based solutions. Special attention should be given to establishing “green collar” jobs in low-income communities and communities vulnerable to economic impact from climate change.

7) Adopt a renewable portfolio policy: The United States should require that nationally 20 percent of electricity be generated from renewable energy sources by 2020, and 30 percent by 2030.

8) Capture and store carbon emissions from coal-fired power:The U.S. government should (i) limit the construction of new coal-fired power plants to those that capture and store carbon emissions, (ii) incentivize the installation of best available emissions control technologies on new and existing plants, and (iii) require carbon capture and storage capability in all existing plants by 2030.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Earth Tones - Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week

Earth Tones (Denver CO) is "The Environmental Internet & Phone Company." The company offers internet access, long distance and wireless phone services.

Earth Tones is a for-profit company created in 1993 by a coalition of nonprofit environmental organizations. The company donates 100% of profits to environmental organizations, including Environment America, National Environmental Law Center, The Green Life, Campaign to Save the Environment, Toxics Action Center,, Recycling Action Campaign, and Free the Planet!.

Earth Tones offers online billing or (recycled) paper billing and phone recycling for customers. In addition, the website has resources available to everyone, including Green Alerts and a marketplace.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week is a weekly behind-the-scenes look at what businesses are doing to be more sustainable and responsible in their operations.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week: If they can do it, so can you!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

United Environmental Flight Reduces Carbon Emissions by Nearly 33,000 Pounds

Press Release
United Environmental Flight Reduces Carbon Emissions by Nearly 33,000 Pounds
November 14, 2008
Flight from Sydney to San Francisco showcases potential savings with new technology
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 14, 2008 – United Airlines charted a new path across the Pacific as the first U.S. carrier to participate in the Asia and South Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions (ASPIRE), saving 1,564 gallons of fuel and 32,656 pounds of carbon emissions on a single flight, showcasing real savings gained from next-generation technology. United flight 870 from Sydney, Australia made a smooth, continuous descent into San Francisco International Airport at 10:20 a.m. Pacific Time after using 11 fuel saving initiatives from gate-to-gate.

“I am pleased to have seen first-hand the technologies that have helped our state be at the forefront of aviation’s future,” says California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who greeted the flight at the airport. “The reduction in fuel usage and carbon emissions is another example of businesses both reducing costs and helping the environment.”

Prior to the flight’s arrival, Governor Schwarzenegger joined United Boeing 777 Captain Rick Shay in the cockpit of a United Boeing 777 to receive a tutorial on Tailored Arrivals, a special arrival procedure that generates additional fuel savings with a smooth, continuous descent rather than the traditional step-down approach. United and partner Boeing have expanded the program this year with a substantial increase in the number of flights permitted to conduct Tailored Arrivals, each of which saves around 60 gallons of fuel.

‘ASPIRE United’ reduced fuel burn and emissions by using up-to-the-minute fuel data, priority takeoff clearance, normally restricted airspace around Sydney’s airport, and new arrival procedures – all of which are possible with new technology.

“’ASPIRE United’ has demonstrated the tremendous environmental and fuel savings potential if our nation invests in next-generation technology and in updating our air traffic control system,” says Pete McDonald, Chief Administrative Officer – United Airlines. “We are pleased to have reached another milestone with our partners as we use safe, modern technology that reduces our carbon footprint.”

ASPIRE is a multilateral partnership of the Federal Aviation Administration, Airservices Australia, and Airways New Zealand. Data from the flight will be analyzed by the FAA in its ongoing effort to accelerate the development and implementation of operational procedures to reduce the environmental footprint for all phases of flight.

About United
United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAUA) operates nearly 3,000* flights a day on United and United Express to more than 200 U.S. domestic and international destinations from its hubs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago and Washington, D.C. With key global air rights in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and Latin America, United is one of the largest international carriers based in the United States. United also is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides connections for our customers to 975 destinations in 162 countries worldwide. United's 52,000 employees reside in every U.S. state and in many countries around the world. News releases and other information about United can be found at the company's Web site at
*Based on United's flight schedule between October 2008 and October 2009.

Using Winter Snow to Beat Summer Heat

The City of Ottawa has commissioned a study to explore how snow removed in the winter could be used in the summer to cool buildings. Last winter, the city removed more than 13 feet of snow at a cost of $88 million.

The snow removed in the winter could be insulated with wood chips. As the snow melts into cold water, it could be treated and run through pipes in buildings to cool them. Similar cooling systems are already being used in Sweden, Japan, and downtown Toronto.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Green Bonds Issued by World Bank & SEB

The World Bank and SEB have partnered to issue the first "green bond." As part of a wider World Bank effort to "direct large-scale institutional money to tackling climate change," the money raised will be invested in technologies to reduce greenhouse gase emissions, energy efficiency projects, reforestation, avoid deforestation, and help emerging economies adapt to climate change.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

NBC Green Week

NBC is hosting another Green Week from November 16-22. "Throughout the week, 42 NBCU brands will feature 150 plus hours of environmentally themed programming across the company's television and digital platforms."

As part of Green Week events, viewers are invited to tell their "green routine" for a chance to win an eco-vacation.

Green Week kicks off on Sunday night, November 16 with Sunday Night Football.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Green Microgym - Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week

The Green Microgym (Portland OR) is one of the few fitness facilities in the world operating partially on solar and human power. While the facility is fully equiped with all the standard equipment found in any gym, the equipment has been retrofitted to capture, store, and reuse the energy.

Here are some of the "green" features of the gym:

  • Treadmills use 30% less electricity than others

  • Solar panels generate an average of 8 Kilowatt Hours per day

  • The Team Dynamo and Spin Bikes collectively generate up to 350 watts continuous

  • Working with on ways to capture the excess energy from our elliptical trainers

  • Recycled rubber, marmoleum, and eco-friendly cork flooring

  • Ceiling fans are EnergyStar rated

  • All lights are compact fluorescents

  • Televisions are LCD TV's which use less electricity than plasmas

  • Lights, televisions, and ceiling fans are member controlled, so they will only be on when needed

  • Double flush toilets

  • Non-toxic soaps and cleaning supplies

  • Paper towels and toilet seat covers in the bathrooms are made from recycled content

  • Personal trainers often take their clients outside for workouts

  • Work from local artists are featured in the gym

  • Automated payment and billing systems to reduce paper usage

  • Goal is net-zero energy usage

  • The "Burn & Earn" program pays members $1 for every hour spent generating (or saving) electricity

The Green Microgym was opened in 2008 by Adam Boesel.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week is a weekly behind-the-scenes look at what businesses are doing to be more sustainable and responsible in their operations.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week: If they can do it, so can you!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Holiday Cards With a Purpose

The holidays are quickly approaching and many businesses prefer to send cards via mail rather than e-cards. A business can still pursue its sustainability goals through the purchase of socially- and/or environmentally-friendly holiday cards.

Here are just some of the places to find just the right cards to support your sustainability efforts. Cards that are socially- and/or environmentally-friendly can be purchased through Gifts With Humanity, Green Field Paper Company, Kidbean, Global Exchange, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Ten Thousand Villages, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Cool People Care, World Wildlife Fund, The Literacy Site, The Rainforest Site, Real Goods, and Hammond Greetings & Promotions.

For a very extensive list of the environmental attributes of a variety of cards and/or the social causes supported through the purchase of the cards, please visit Conservatree.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Net Impact Conference: The Sustainable Advantage: Creating Social & Environmental Value

This week, over 1800 graduate business students and business professionals will convene in Philadelphia PA at the Net Impact 2008 North American Conference. The Sustainable Advantage: Creating Social and Environmental Value conference will take place November 13-15 at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Speakers scheduled for this year's conference include John F. Brock, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., Carter Roberts, President and Chief Executive Officer of World Wildlife Fund, Matt Kistler, Senior Vice President of Sustainability at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., John Wood, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Room to Read, and Kate Roberts, Founder of YouthAIDS.

Session tracks include Corporate Social Responsibility, Energy and Environment, International Development, Social and Environmental Impact Finance, and Social Entrepreneurship.

The conference will also feature a Career Expo to bring together students interested in sustainability careers with organizations and businesses promoting sustainability in their operations and/or mission.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

How to Recycle Cut Hair

Have you considered what happens to your hair clippings when you get a hair cut? In many cases, the hair will be swept into the trash and sent to the landfill. So why not donate those hair clippings and keep them out of the landfill?

If you have long hair, you already know that you can donate 8 inches of hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, 10 inches of hair to Locks of Love, or 12 inches of hair to Wigs for Kids. But what if you're just getting a cut or trim? Your hair cut can still make a difference.

Hair clippings of any length can be donated to Matter of Trust to be used in the creation of hairmats to clean up oil spills. Hair is naturally oil adsorbant (meaning that oil naturally clings to hair). The donated hair is woven into a mat for use in emergency oil spills, machinery, pipelines, and other instances where oil cleanup is needed.

In addition to collecting hair clippings for oil cleanup, the hair clippings can be used as a source of protein for soil and can prevent water evaporation in soil by as much as 50%. Matter of Trust also collects used nylon hosiery which can be filled with hair clippings to create booms that surround and contain oil spills. So the next time you go in for a cut, encourage your salon, beauty shop, or barbershop to participate by collecting and sending hair clippings to Matter of Trust.

But don't stop there. Matter of Trust also takes donations of animal hair. You can encourage your local pet store, boarding kennel, pet groomer, zoo or petting zoo, or veterinarian to collect and send in donations.

In the spirit of sustainability, not only have you made a difference, but the business will reduce its waste (possibly saving money on refuse removal costs), divert and recycle its waste for environmentally-friendly usage, and make an important environmental contribution.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Durango-McKinley Paper Company - Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week

Durango-McKinley Paper Company (Prewitt NM) uses over 700 tons of waste corrugated cardboard daily to manufacture paperboard for corrugated packaging. The company has several locations throughout the southwestern United States.

Durango-McKinley Paper Company is not your standard paper mill. Consider the company's environmental efforts toward cleaner production methods:

  • 100% of raw materials are from reycled paper, no fresh cut trees are ever used.

  • the company utilizes a closed circuit manufacturing process which produces zero emissions.

  • 100% of water used in the manufacturing process is treated, recycled, and used again. This has reduced water usage from an average of 2.5 million gallons a day to 150,000 gallons a day.

  • this is a factory that requires no environmental permits because it does not emit any gas or liquid into the environment.

  • the company has won several environmental awards. For example, in 2005, the company won awards for exceeding its materials use reduction goal by 1,000 tons, showed a 20 percent improvement in materials efficiency over three years, reduced its water use by two million gallons per year and its landfill waste by over 3,200 tons and its annual electricity use by almost 5,000 MwH, and showed an 11 percent improvement in electricity efficiency.

Parent company, Corporacion Durango of Mexico, has recently filed bankruptcy and will sell Durango-McKinley Paper.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week is a weekly behind-the-scenes look at what businesses are doing to be more sustainable and responsible in their operations.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week: If they can do it, so can you!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Home Parties That Make a Difference

Most of us grew up in an era of home parties for food storage containers, home decor, baskets, and other items. Now there is a new type of home party: those that serve a greater purpose and really make a difference.

If you're in the home party business, consider one of these options:

BeadForLife hosts BeadParties where you can purchase bracelets, necklaces, earrings, loose beads, music CDs, and note cards made by women in Uganda "Eradicating Poverty One Bead at a Time®."

Eternal Threads hosts parties in which you can sell totes at a home party or for a fundraiser. Totes are made by women in South India. Profits go back to India for education of young girls.

A Better Footprint hosts Fair Trade Fiestas or fundraisers to sell fair trade, organic, and multicultural products from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, South America, and other locations worldwide.

Bridge for Africa hosts Bridge Parties of unique handmade items from Africa, such as baskets, jewelry, dolls, purses, and other items.

Bright Hope International allows you to host parties or sell items to support economic development for artisans around the world.

Equal Exchange allows you to sell fair trade and organic cocoa, coffee, snacks, tea, and chocolate to support farmers in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the United States. Items can be sold through fundraisers, through the Equal Exchange's Interfaith Program, or through your campus.

Fair World Designs sell fair trade jewelry, baskets, and bags made is Asia and Africa through house parties and fundraisers.

Flavours of Life sells fair trade clothes, jewelry, crafts, and food through home parties and fundraisers.

Jolica hosts home parties to sell fair trade jewelry, crafts, purses, and accessories to support women artisans around the world.

Pacha World hosts home parties to sell fair trade products from artisans and farmers in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and other parts of the world.

Rwanda Basket Company hosts Basket Parties to sell handmade baskets made by women in Rwanda. Proceeds go back to Rwanda Partners to help local citizens.

Trade as One sells fair trade purses, jewelry, clothing, food & drinks, housewares, toys, body care products, and sports equipment through home parties, organizations, and fundraisers.

WorldCrafts sells a large selection of fair trade products through home parties. The product line includes kitchen items, soaps, stationery, baskets, jewelry, toys, hair accessories, cards, clothing, and many more items.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Guide to Graduate Business Programs Released

Net Impact's 2008 Business as UNusual: Guide to Graduate Business Programs is now available; this is the third year of the publication. The Guide offers a student's perspective from over 60 graduate business programs. It provides information on opportunities to learn about environmental and social issues, either through curriculum or through activities.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

SunNight Solar - Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week

SunNight Solar (Houston TX) is a company focused on the triple bottom line that makes solar-powered flashlights. The lights are rugged and durable and suited for harsh conditions in which no light is available. The lights use a low-environmental impact battery and can be used for either task lighting or room lighting. The solar-powered lights offer an alternative to kerosene, wood, and other forms of lighting used in developing countries.

SunNight Solar is home to the extremely popular BoGo Light program. For each flashlight purchased, the company donates one flashlight to a nonprofit for distribution in a developing country and gives them $1 per flashlight to offset importation and distribution costs.

Lights for Good is a fund-raising partnership with nonprofit organizations.

WarLights allows you to purchase a flashlight for distribution to American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Three new giving programs are being developed: Save Our Sisters (which will donate lights to women's groups and collectives in developing countries), Village Lights, and Need It/Take It.

Mark Bent started SunNight Solar in 2005.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week is a weekly behind-the-scenes look at what businesses are doing to be more sustainable and responsible in their operations.

Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week: If they can do it, so can you!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Conferences for Green Business

November is shaping up to be a very busy month for business conferences on sustainability-related topics. Here is a sampling of what's on the calendar.

Opportunity Green to be held November 8-9 in Los Angeles.

Green Festival to be held November 8-9 in Washington DC.

Co-Op America's Green Business Conference to be held November 12-13 in San Francisco.

Green Business Boot Camp to be held November 12-14 in Seattle.

The Sustainable Advantage: Creating Social and Environmental Value to be held November 13-15 in Philadelphia.

Green Festival to be held November 14-16 in San Francisco.

Greenbuild International Conference and Expo to be held November 19-21 in Boston.

Alternative Energy & Clean Tech Industry Conference to be held November 20 in New York City.

Green Business: Separating the Green from Business to be held November 20 in Fayetteville NY.

Social Venture Institute to be held November 21-22 in Philadelphia.

The Accountability Project CSR/Sustainability Training to be held November 25-28 in Toronto.

Business Adaptation to Climate Change to be held November 28 in Calgary.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Newly Published Books on Sustainability Topics

Like to read? Then check out some of these recently released books (below are the promotional descriptions of the books).

The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems (by Van Jones) debuted at number 12 on the New York Times best sellers list. Provocative, personal, and inspirational, New York Times best-seller The Green Collar Economy is not a dire warning but rather a substantive and viable plan for solving the biggest issues facing the country--the failing economy and our devastated environment. From a distance, it appears that these two problems are separate, but when we look closer, the connection becomes unmistakable.

SustainAble: A Handbook of Materials and Applications for Graphic Designers and Their Clients (by Aaris Sherin) has just been released. The book explores eco-friendly print and paper production and highlights companies who are making innovative products. The work of both established and emerging designers from around the world is featured. Projects are traced from concept through to practical considerations of production. The book itself is an example of sustainable design. It is printed with vegetable-based inks on Mohawk 100 percent post-consumer-waste paper. In addition, no two covers are alike as they reused the printing leftovers that would otherwise have been wasted.

Entrepreneur Journeys, Volume One (by Sramana Mitra). Venture capitalists are chasing hot areas with planet-scale problems: energy, water, global warming. Industry legends, including John Doerr and Vinod Khosla, have become prominent spokesmen for the issues, pumping huge sums of capital into these eco-markets. In our enthusiasm for green, however, there's a forgotten industry segment that remains woefully unaddressed – education. With the advent of social media, and with the revival of entrepreneurship and investments in consumer Internet services, technology-enabled education looks like a huge opportunity for wealth creation.

Greening Your Business: The Hands-on Guide to Creating a Successful and Sustainable Business (by Daniel Sitarz) helps create green standards by providing a step-by-step approach to analyzing business operations and developing detailed plans to make those operations much more energy and resource efficient. Greening Your Business provides small and medium business owners with a comprehensive guide to saving energy, saving materials, and saving money by reducing their businesses’ impact on the Earth. Every element of a business’ impact on the environment is examined in this book from energy and water use, waste generation, transportation, computing and office equipment, supply chains and purchasing, building practices to product and service design. Each copy of the book comes with a CD which contains dozens of computer templates and worksheets for developing a complete business environmental plan, along with Excel® spreadsheet programs that calculate a business’ carbon footprint. The CD also includes additional green business strategies and over 1,500 pages of business environmental publications.

And don't forget to browse the USGBC's Green Book Club. Books are categorized by Global Systems, Natural Systems, Human Systems (including Business & Economics), and Built Environment.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Payless ShoeSource Announces First-Ever Affordable Green Footwear Line

Payless ShoeSource Announces First-Ever Affordable Green Footwear Line

New Brand Shows Retailer's Passion to Democratize Green; Retailer Also Signs Agreement with Summer Rayne Oakes to Serve as Eco Consultant to Help Drive Innovation

TOPEKA, Kan., Oct. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Payless ShoeSource announced today plans to launch the first-ever affordable green footwear line due in stores early next year and that it has signed an agreement with Summer Rayne Oakes, Discovery Network's Planet Green fashion and beauty expert and author of Style, Naturally: The Savvy Shopping Guide to Sustainable Fashion & Beauty (Chronicle Books, February 2009), to serve as the green footwear brand's Eco Consultant.

The new brand is a key part of Payless' mission and strategy to democratize fashion, design and new ideas in footwear and accessories and to position Payless as a "House of Brands" retailer, offering well-recognized, fresh new brands -- all at a great price.

The forthcoming line will include on-trend, fashionable footwear and accessory products that are also green through the use of sustainable and eco-friendly materials such as organic cottons and linen, natural hemp and recycled outsoles, as well as the use of eco-smart packaging. The line will be seasonally refreshed offering the latest trends; the new brand will launch initially for women, expanding to include kids' and men's styles in the future. The "green" shoes will be available at prices, on average, of under $30 a pair early next year in about 500 stores with select styles appearing in 1,000 stores, as well as generally available on

"The sustainability movement is pervasive today and is touching so many elements of consumers' daily lives and they are interested in more and more green product options being available to them," said Matt Rubel, CEO of Collective Brands, Inc., the parent company of Payless ShoeSource. "But green items are often expensive and inaccessible to so many. With our mission to democratize the latest ideas in footwear and accessories, we are in the best position and proud to bring forward a green footwear line that is affordable and accessible to all.

Our alliance with Summer Rayne Oakes is important to this new brand initiative. Summer Rayne is a trend-setting expert in Eco Fashion, and she will help us launch our new green brand, as well as assist us in driving innovation with fresh, new eco-smart ideas for this brand going forward."

The new line is unique not only as the first-ever affordable green footwear, but also because it will stress fashion first, while being eco-smart.

"When Payless approached me to partner with them on what would be their first-ever affordable green line of footwear, it was an offer I couldn't refuse," said Oakes. "It's high time a stylish line of shoes can be both environmentally friendly and reasonably priced. Payless is at the forefront of a significant movement bridging fashion, environmental awareness and accessibility -- an undertaking I am proud to be a part of."
The contract between Payless and Oakes is a multi-year arrangement. Oakes will be involved in seasonal line reviews focusing on materials use and aesthetics for the product, packaging, and in-store materials, as well as participate in other marketing activities for the brand. Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed. Payless said it expects to launch the new brand name closer to when the shoes are available in stores next year.

About Payless & Collective Brands

Payless ShoeSource, Inc., a unit of Collective Brands, Inc., is the largest specialty family footwear retailer in the Western Hemisphere and is dedicated to democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories and inspiring fun, fashion possibilities for the family at a great value. As of the end of second quarter 2008, the company operated more than 4,500 stores. In addition, customers can buy shoes over the Internet through at

Collective Brands, Inc. (NYSE: PSS) is a leader in bringing compelling lifestyle, fashion and performance brands for footwear and related accessories to consumers worldwide. The company operates three strategic units covering a powerful brand portfolio, as well as multiple price points and selling channels including retail, wholesale, ecommerce and licensing. Collective Brands, Inc. includes Payless ShoeSource, focused on democratizing fashion and design in footwear and accessories through its more than 4,500-store retail chain, with its brands American Eagle(TM), Airwalk(R), Dexter(R), Champion(R) and designer collections Abaete for Payless, Lela Rose for Payless and alice + olivia for Payless, among others; Stride Rite, focused on lifestyle and athletic branded footwear and high-quality children's footwear sold primarily through wholesaling, with its brands including Stride Rite(R), Keds(R), Sperry Top-Sider(R), Robeez(R), and Saucony(R), among others; and Collective Licensing International, the brand development, management and global licensing unit, with such youth lifestyle brands as Airwalk(R), Vision Street Wear(R), Sims(R), Lamar(R) and LTD(R), World Snowboarding Championships(TM), Sugarboards(R), Carve(R), genetic(R), Dukes(TM), Rage(R), Ultra-Wheels(R), and Skate Attack(R) brands. Information about, and links for shopping on, each of the Collective Brand's units can be found at

About Summer Rayne Oakes

Summer Rayne Oakes is a model-activist and spokesperson, resident expert, and youngest board of advisors for Planet Green, Discovery Network's new eco- lifestyle channel. The Cornell University graduate and environmental scholar has received media accolades including Vanity Fair naming her a Global Citizen, Outside naming her one of the Top Environmental Activists, Cosmopolitan naming her Fun, Fearless Female of 2007, and CNN's Nicole Lapin nominating her as a "Young Person Who Rocks." Through her work as a consultant Summer Rayne advises companies and organizations, and works on sustainable development and environmental programs in the U.S. and abroad. In February 2009, she'll release her first book, Style, Naturally: The Savvy Shopping Guide to Sustainable Fashion & Beauty published by Chronicle Books.

SOURCE Payless ShoeSource, Inc.

/CONTACT: Mardi Larson, +1-612-928-0202,, for Payless/
2007 Collective Brands Inc. ® All rights reserved.

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