Monday, June 30, 2008

Lean and Green Summit

The Lean and Green Summit will be held in Boulder CO July 17 & 18.

Presenters from Interface, Burgerville, Harley-Davidson, the Nike Foundation, Pfizer, Deloitte & Touche, and others "will bring to light the deep connections between lean and green, with both seeking to reduce waste. (Participants will) Explore how the proven business strategy of lean (a strategy already at work in your company) can naturally be applied to issues of sustainability." The Summit is an executive-level event. Tours will also be available of local businesses engaged in sustainable practices.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Brilliant Earth - Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week

Brilliant Earth (San Francisco CA) specializes in conflict-free diamond jewelry. The conflict-free diamonds are from Canadian mines that follow the country's environmental laws, the most rigorous in the world. Sapphires used in Brilliant Earth jewelry are sourced from Australia or Malawi following fair trade principles. When possible, gold and plantinum are reclaimed through recycled jewelry and industrial waste.

Brilliant Earth dedicates 5% of profits to the nonprofit organizations Green Diamonds and MedShare International to support African communities negatively affected by the diamond trade industry. Brilliant Earth was created by Beth Gerstein and Eric Grossberg.

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, June 23, 2008

Webinar: Climate Change Policy and the 2008 Presidential Election

Press Releases

June 18, 2008

World Energy and Point Carbon to Host Webinar: “Climate Change Policy and the 2008 Presidential Election

Discussion highlights similarities, differences in US carbon policies

June 18, 2008 - Worcester, MA. World Energy Solutions, Inc. (TSX: XWE), a leading operator of online exchanges for energy and environmental commodities, will co-host with Point Carbon a new webinar, “Climate Change Policy and the 2008 Presidential Election,” on Wednesday, June 25, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. EDT. The complimentary webinar will feature an overview of the current status and future direction of US carbon policy.

WHO: Emilie Mazzacurati and Véronique Bugnion, Point Carbon
WHAT: “Climate Change Policy and the 2008 Presidential Election” Webinar
WHEN: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. EDT
WHERE: Registration for the webinar is available at: Climate Change Policy Webinar
WHY: To familiarize you with the current status and likely direction of US carbon policy

Overview: Climate change is acknowledged by each of the presidential candidates as one of the most serious challenges facing Americans today, but what does the future hold come November? In this complimentary, one hour webinar, join Point Carbon’s Véronique Bugnion and Emilie Mazzacurati as they discuss the current status and direction of US climate change policy. They'll delve into each of the presidential candidates’ positions on cap-and-trade programs and renewable energy subsidies, exploring questions such as:

  • How are the presidential candidates' climate change and carbon emission programs similar? How are they different?
  • Would either of the two candidates sign the Kyoto Protocol? Would either work for the development of a new global climate change accord? What might such a new accord look like?
  • What are the implications of these policies for companies in the emissions reduction, renewable energy, online environmental commodity exchange and other sectors of the cleantech industry?

They'll also review the climate change legislation debated by the Senate in early June that would have created a national cap-and-trade scheme for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 63% below 2005 levels by 2050. Although the bill did not receive the needed votes to move to final consideration, it will certainly be revisited in the future. Véronique and Emilie will discuss what changes might occur to the bill after the election, and how such a bill may affect the cleantech industry and the economy in general.

About World Energy Solutions, Inc.

World Energy operates leading online exchanges for energy and environmental commodities. Our proven approach provides market intelligence, promotes liquidity, and creates price transparency for all market participants, enabling our customers to transact with confidence and to seek the best possible price. To date, the company has transacted over 42 billion kWh of electricity, nearly one billion kWh of green power and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and one trillion cubic feet of natural gas. For more information, please visit

About Point Carbon

Point Carbon is a world-leading provider of independent news, analysis and consulting services for European and global power, gas and carbon markets. Point Carbon’s comprehensive services provide professionals with market-moving information through monitoring fundamental information, key market players and business and policy developments. For more information, please visit This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: our revenue is dependent on actual future energy purchases pursuant to completed procurements; the demand for our services is affected by changes in regulated prices or cyclicality or volatility in competitive market prices for energy; we depend on a small number of key energy consumers, suppliers and channel partners; there are factors outside our control that affect transaction volume in the electricity market; and there are other factors identified in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. For more information, please visit

SOURCE: World Energy Solutions, Inc.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Do You Have a Sustainable Business Lesson to Share?

Planning is already underway for the Sustainable Brands International conference, December 9-11, 2008 in Miami Beach FL and the Sustainable Brands '09 national conference, May 31-June 4, 2009 in Monterey CA.

Presentation submissions are currently being sought from around the world. Companies or individuals who feel they have a sustainable business lesson, story, or best practice to share with the audience should submit proposals by July 31, 2008 to Sustainable Life Media at

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Burgerville - Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week

Burgerville (Vancouver WA) serves up healthy fast food. No that's not an oxymoron! Burgerville is a chain of 39 Pacific Northwest quick-service restaurants offering seasonal organic, local, and healthy food.

"Burgers here are made from pastured vegetarian-fed and antibiotic-free beef. The eggs on our breakfast biscuits are from cage-free hens that have never been treated with antibiotics. Salads offer mixed greens topped with smoked salmon and Oregon hazelnuts. Even desserts and sides rely on seasonal, local ingredients—blackberry milkshakes are only available in season, as are the hand-prepared buttermilk-battered onion rings made from Walla Walla sweet onions grown in Washington and Oregon."

In addition, they use hormone-free milk and kid's meals come with safe and educational toys, such as biodegradable garden pots and vegetable seed packets.

Burgerville purchases 100% of their energy usage with wind power credits, they recycle used canola oil into biodiesel, and they offer affordable health-care to employees. They are working toward all 39 restaurants becoming fully recycling and composting.

Burgerville was founded in 1961 by George Propstra and is still family-owned as part of The Holland, Inc.

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, June 17, 2008

Diesel Fuel from Bug Excrement

The Times reports that scientists from LS9 in California have genetically altered small bugs so that when they feed on agricultural waste they excrete crude oil. The oil excreted is carbon negative, meaning it emits fewer carbon emissions as crude oil than it did as agricultural waste.

The bugs are bacteria from industrial yeast or nonpathogenic strains of E. coli. The fatty acids normally excreted by yeast or E. coli during fermentation are molecularly very close to crude oil. Through genetic modification of the DNA, they can easily change the fermentation process to create crude oil. The process is "the same as using natural bacteria to produce ethanol, although the energy-intensive final process of distillation is virtually eliminated because the bugs excrete a substance that is almost pump-ready."

Read the full story in The Times Online.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Green Cows: Flatulence Inoculation Developed

While most of us are focused on reducing carbon dioxide emissions, the fact is that methane emissions are more than twenty times more harmful in climate change. Methane emissions come from multiple sources, such as landfills and livestock. Livestock, such as cattle, sheep, and goats, emit methane through belching and flatulence. Depending upon the size of the agricultural sector of a country's economy, the amount of methane emissions varies.

In New Zealand, sheep and cattle are responsible for about 90% of the methane and methane accounts for more than half the country's total greenhouse gas emissions. New Zealand farmers already successfully fought a flatulence tax on their livestock. So it should come as no surprise that researchers in New Zealand claim to have developed a "flatulence inoculation" for sheep and cattle. The inoculation could help the country reduce its emissions.

It is estimated that livestock account for approximately 25% of methane emissions in Britain, 2% of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., and about 15% of worldwide emissions of methane.

Read the full story in The Telegraph.
Corrected June 17, 2008.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Big Money for Green Ideas

The Challenge winner will receive €500,000 in capital (approximately $769,674) from the Dutch Postcode Lottery to implement the idea. The competition closes on July 31, 2008.

Visit the PICNIC Green Challenge 2008 website for complete details.

FREE Ways to Begin Greening Your Business

I recently told one of my students that I work to help businesses become more sustainable or "green." His response was, "that costs money, doesn't it?" My response, "not necessarily." This made me think about the little things businesses can do that are environmentally-friendly, won't cost a penny, and will save the business some money.

So here are some tips for the business that wants to start the journey toward "green" but doesn't have the funds to implement big changes. All the tips below are free to implement (Oh Yes! It's FREE) but have one thing in common: change what you currently do.

  1. Office paper - switch from 100% virgin fiber paper products to recycled paper products. For example, we recently compared a business' current office and copier paper purchases to recycled office and copier paper. “The final combination of paper choices recommended to the client represented a 10% cost savings, 13% fewer carbon dioxide emissions, and 35% fewer trees when compared to their previous product.” Other recycled paper products to consider are file folders, hanging file folders, notebook pads, binders, calendars, posters, envelopes, business cards, letterhead, forms, self-stick notes, and anything else made from paper! Savings: cost reductions, carbon dioxide emissions reductions (carbon dioxide emissions contribute to climate change), and fewer trees used.

  2. Hand towels - switch from 100% virgin fiber hand towels to recycled content hand towels. In a recent comparison for a client, we were able to identify 100% recycled hand towels that represented a 2% cost savings over their current product. Savings: cost reductions, carbon dioxide emissions reductions, and fewer trees used.

  3. Toilet tissue - switch from 100% virgin fiber bath tissue to recycled content bath tissue. In a recent comparison for a client, we were able to identify 100% recycled bath tissue that represented a 46% savings over their current product. Savings: cost reductions, carbon dioxide emissions reductions, and fewer trees used.

  4. Napkins - switch from 100% virgin fiber napkins to recycled content napkins. In a recent comparison for a client, we were able to identify 100% recycled napkins that represented a 10% cost savings over their current product. Savings: cost reductions, carbon dioxide emissions reductions, and fewer trees used.

  5. Facial Tissue - switch from 100% virgin fiber napkins to recycled content napkins. In a recent comparison for a client, we were able to identify 100% recycled napkins that represented a 4% cost savings over their current product. Savings: cost reductions, carbon dioxide emissions reductions, and fewer trees used.

  6. Lighting - turn off lights when not in use and when replacing, use more energy-efficient lighting, such as compact flourscent bulbs or LED lighting. Savings: can help reduce energy bills.

  7. Electronics and office equipment - turn off when not in use and when purchasing, make sure it is Energy Star certified. Dispose of old electronics through a recycling program (most cities will take old electronics for recycling). Old office electronics, furniture, and equipment can also go to donation programs through public schools, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, or other worthy causes (see our blog post list of places to donate your e-waste). Savings: can help reduce energy bills, can reduce the amount of waste you pay to have removed, and will keep dangerous chemicals out of landfills.

  8. Recycling - Check with your city sanitation department (or check Earth911's search engine) to see what can be recycled and where it can be recycled. Common items for recycling include aluminum cans, glass, paper, plastic (including plastic bags), cardboard, styrofoam packaging (styrofoam food containers are not often recycled), electronics, cooking oil or grease, printer and ink jet cartridges, and many other items. Savings: can reduce the amount of waste you pay to have removed.

  9. Employee coffee mugs or drink cups - encourage employees to bring reusable coffee mugs or drink cups (and plates and utensils) rather than using disposables. Savings: can reduce the number of disposable items you purchase and can reduce the amount of waste you pay to have removed.

  10. Office supplies - use recyclable and/or refillable items, such as printer cartridges, pens, CD and DVD disks, batteries, and other products. Savings: can help reduce the amount of office items needing replaced and can reduce the amount of waste you pay to have removed.

  11. Printing & copying - For printing, begin by resetting the default font size on all computers to 10 or 11 and resetting the default margin to .8 or .9. By changing the default margin settings to 0.75" on University computers, Penn State found that they could save per year over $122,000 in paper costs, 45,142 reams of paper, 45 tons of waste, and 72 acres of forest. Use your computer and email program as your filing system rather than printing hard copies. Use a software program, such as Greenprint, that will alert you to wasted paper (such as printing a sheet with one or two lines). Learn to use online forms and PDF files. Next time you send out a printing job, select a green printing company. For copying, change the the default settings on the copy machine from one-sided to two-sided copies. Savings: can reduce the amount of paper you buy, can reduce the amount of waste you pay to have removed, and can reduce your company's carbon emissions.

  12. Cleaning supplies - use green cleaning products or a green cleaning service. Savings: there may not be any financial savings here, but you are taking steps toward healthier indoor air quality and your cleaning methods will be releasing fewer toxins into the environment.

  13. Website - switch to a "green" or "carbon neutral" web host provider. There are many web host providers available which are competitively priced. Savings: cost savings and reduced carbon emissions.

  14. Promotional products - next time you purchase promotional products for your business, select those that are environmentally-friendly, are made from recycled material, can be recycled, or those that are all three of these, such as SIGG water bottles. Savings: there may not be any financial savings here, but you are taking steps toward being environmentally-friendly and communicating that message to your customers.

  15. Green Team - establish a "green team" of employees who are interested in helping your business become more environmentally friendly. The Green Team's focus should be two-fold:
  • identifying additional ways to make your business more environmentally-friendly and

  • educating employees, customers, and suppliers on the importance of being environmentally-friendly as well as communicating the business' efforts and accomplishments in this arena.

Where do you find these products? You can begin by checking with your current supplier. If they don't carry the products, then check with other local vendors, with national suppliers, or online.

If you implement the suggestions above, you will have begun the journey toward "green" and will simultaneously save some green!

Call for Applicants: 2008 Innovation Awards

The Social Venture Network is accepting applications from social entrepreneurs who are making a difference.

Social Venture Network (SVN), the country's leading network of socially responsible entrepreneurs, announced today that it is now accepting applications for the 2nd Annual SVN Innovation Awards. The Innovation Awards program supports the "next generation" of socially responsible business and nonprofit leaders by providing them access to the people and resources to help develop their ideas into successful enterprises.

Applications are being accepted from June 1-July 15, 2008. Applications
will be accepted from individuals serving in an executive capacity at
a businesses or nonprofit organization which implements an
idea that is having a positive social or environmental impact. The idea
must have been implemented within the past 6 months to 5 years.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Carrotmob: Vote With Your Dollars & Support Green Business

We've all been told that we should vote with our dollars in order to support the companies whose values and ideals are sustainable and responsible. But what if our consumer purchasing power were organized and coordinated so that companies could more immediately experience our collective consumer voice? That is the idea behind Carrotmob.

Carrotmob is a nonprofit organization that approaches businesses and proposes that consumers would purchase their products if the company agrees to set aside a portion of those profits in order to green their business. Businesses then determine what percentage of their profits they would invest in green projects if the consumers would collectively purchase from their business. The business willing to make the greatest environmental commitment is then rewarded with an organized and coordinated shopping spree of the supporting consumers.

Carrotmob is the creation of Brent Schulkin. To test his Carrotmob model, he approached 23 liquor stores in his San Francisco neighborhood. He suggested that he could organize shoppers to come to their store if the business agreed to take a percentage of profits from these shoppers and reinvest them in their own business to make it more energy efficient and environmentally-friendly.

Stores began bidding on how much they would invest in environmentally-friendly improvements, with K&D Market winning the bidding war with an agreement to invest 22% of their profits. The store was then reviewed by the San Francisco Energy Watch Program and recommendations were made for improving the environmental performance of the store. Carrotmob then organized a three-hour timeframe in which supporting consumers would patronize K&D Market. To everyone's surprise, consumers were were lined up down the street and around the corner in order to vote with their dollars and support K&D Market's environmental efforts.

The reward to K&D Market: sales in the three-hour period were more than triple what they normally make in a full day and sales were nearly double their projections for this project. Following up on their commitment to reinvest 22% of the profit back into the store for environmentally-friendly improvements, K&D Market will be able to retrofit their entire lighting system and install new gaskets on all refrigerators.

The goal of Carrotmob is to "throw up more cash, and change the forecast."

Watch this entertaining 11-minute video to see Carrotmob's first campaign and check out the website's In Your Town link to find a Carrotmob campaign to support in your city.

Carrotmob Makes It Rain from carrotmob on Vimeo.

Electricity from Rice Husks

Husk Power Systems is the creation of Charles Ransler, Manoj Sinha, and Gyanesh Pandey. Husk Power Systems converts rice husks (a waste product from rice milling) into electrical energy for thousands of rural Indians.

"This technology provides off-grid power to rural Indian villages of 200-500 households. Using the husk-powered mini power plant, the team plans to offset close to 60 tons of carbon emissions per village per year in India."

They currently operate two rice husk generators and provide electricity to approximately 10,000 rural villagers in the Rice Belt of India, where villagers are "rice rich and power poor." A byproduct of the burned rice husks is ash, which can be used as fertilizer or an ingredient for cement.

You can read the history of Husk Power Systems' development and learn more at Husk Power Systems' website, Darden School of Business, or Business Green.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Fair Trade Sports - Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week

Fair Trade Sports (Bainbridge Island WA) is a sports ball and equipment distributor and manufacturer that ensures all items are made by adults who are paid fair wages (50% higher in this case) and who are provided healthy working environments. They offer "guilt-free soccer balls, futsal balls, rugby balls, volleyballs, and more" which are hand-stitched in Pakistan. Additionally, since the sports ball business can be seasonal, "micro-credit loans are offered to improve the village economy and to provide alternative or additional income opportunities to the workers."

The inner air bladders of the balls are made with FSC-certified latex from rubber plantations and then sent to Pakistan for assembly into sports balls. In the first ever Fair Trade deal with a plantation, Fair Trade Sports sources their rubber from the Frocester Plantation in Sri Lanka and from the New Ambadi Rubber Estate. Following the Fair Trade deal, the Frocester Plantation then created the Fair Trade Welfare Society for the plantation's rubber tappers and employees. Early funds generated from the Society led to the installation of a pump and piping system for nearby plantation households to access well water and to the restoration of a restroom facility on the plantation.

All after-tax profits of Fair Trade Sports are donated to children's charities to help at-risk children around the world . Items can be purchased online, either retail or wholesale. At their website, you can read the stories of their adult stitchers. Fair Trade Sports was created by Scott and Susan James.

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, June 10, 2008

North American Solar Challenge

The 2008 North American Solar Challenge will be held July 13-22. The 2008 North American Solar Challenge is a competition for students and engineers to design, build and race solar-powered cars in a 2400-mile cross-country event. This year's vehicles leave Plano TX on July 13 and will pass through Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, before finishing in Calgary AB around July 22. There are currently 26 team vehicles entered in the Challenge. The event is sponsored by Toyota and Crowder College.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Virtual Energy Forum, June 10-11

A few weeks ago, we told you about the free Virtual Energy Forum, which begins tomorrow (June 10-11). Senator John Kerry has been added as a Keynote Speaker for the event. The online event will feature live streaming video, virtual exhibits and booths, live chat, and an emerging technologies showcase. The conference seeks to connect businesses and executives with energy experts, products and services, and discussions of case examples and best practices.

Green = One Earth, One People

The green movement has been described as an effort to re-create our entire economy to be low-carbon, conserve and preserve, reduce reliance on oil, become more healthy and environmentally-friendly, and become less toxic. This societal and economic rebuilding is expected to create a wave of new green-collar jobs. However, the "green" movement has been accused of lacking diversity.

There are many leaders seeking to widen the scope of the environmental movement and make it more inclusive. Although attempting to list all the environmental diversity leaders would be impossible, here is a small list of some names you should know:

Van Jones - lawyer, activist, and founder of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. He is considered the lead advocate of the green-collar jobs movement and green economic development for urban America. He is also a co-founder of Green for All, "a national organization dedicated to building an inclusive green economy strong enough to life people out of poverty." He is a regular contributor at Huffington Post.

Majora Carter - an Advisory member for Green for All, she is founder of Sustainable South Bronx, a "non-profit environmental justice solutions corporation" which runs the Bronx Environmental Stewardship Training (BEST) program, "one of the nation’s first urban green-collar job training and placement systems." Watch a 2006 presentation she gave or the more recent May 2008 interview with Tavis Smiley. Hear an April 2008 Tavis Smiley interview with both Majora Carter and Van Jones.

Charles Jordan - has an impressive list of "firsts" including the first African American Chairman of The Conservation Fund. Listen to his NPR interview and read the recommendations of Bonta & Jordan for diversifying the environmental movement.

Marcelo Bonta - shares the broad vision of diversifying the environmental movement to audiences around the U.S. He is the founder of the Young Environmental Professionals of Color and the Center for Diversity and the Environment in Portland.

Roger Rivera - Chair of the National Latino Coalition on Climate Change which works to ensure that Latinos have an integral voice in the national dialogue on climate change.

Sanjayan - Lead Scientist at The Nature Conservancy, he seeks to be a "role model of color in the conservation movement." Listen to his interview "Where are the Green Minorities?"

Organizations working toward green and environmental diversity that you should know:

EcoEquity - seeks to contribute to a just solution to the climate crisis by emphasizing the importance of equity principles in all aspects of the policy response, by producing political and economic analyses that highlight equity issues, and by developing practical proposals for equitable climate policies.

Keeping It Wild - seeks to bring together members of diverse conservation communities, with a special focus on the perspectives of African Americans and other people of color, and hosts the annual National African American Earth Day Summit.

The Apollo Alliance - a leading proponent of clean energy investment and green collar job creation in the new economy.

Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative - seeks to represent and empower U.S. communities of color, Indigenous peoples, and low-income people with a demand for climate justice.

WE ACT for Environmental Justice - "a non-profit, community-based, environmental justice organization dedicated to building community power to fight environmental racism and improve environmental health, protection and policy in communities of color."

Black. Brown. Green. - seeks to integrate people of color and their needs and issues with the movement for environmental sustainability.

If we are to re-create our entire economy, let us learn from mistakes of the past and make this economic and societal re-creation an equal opportunity and inclusive effort. One earth, one people.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

"Leading Green" - New Blog from Harvard Business Publishing

Harvard Business Publishing has launched the Leading Green blog. In the first post on May 30, Paul Michelman states, "Our aim is for Leading Green to become much more than a source of thought-provoking ideas from some of the world's leading authorities on sustainable business. We hope this space becomes a hub of rich discussion about the challenges facing individuals, countries, and organizations today -- and a source of innovative solutions from you."

The following posts kick off the new Leading Green blog:

Planet Green Debut

Planet Green was launched this week by Discovery Channel. "Planet Green is the first and only 24-hour eco-lifestyle television network with a robust online presence and community," according to their website.

The online community "is filled with solutions-oriented tips and information that can help you make your life a little (or a lot) greener."'s sister site is

Friday, June 6, 2008

UNH To Get 85% Of Energy From Landfill Methane

From Environmental Leader, June 2, 2008

Tom Kelly, Chief Sustainability Officer at the University of New Hampshire, says that a landfill methane project will provide 85 percent of the UNH’s energy needs and cut its greenhouse gas emissions 57 percent below 1990 levels.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Post Jobs Free at

Where is the best place to find a nonprofit job? During the month of June, nonprofit organizations can post jobs for FREE! Give it a try. If you have a job to post, you're looking for a job, or simply want to connect with like-minded others, then visit

From their website: Idealist is a project of Action Without Borders, a nonprofit organization founded in 1995 with offices in the United States and Argentina. Idealist is an interactive site where people and organizations can exchange resources and ideas, locate opportunities and supporters, and take steps toward building a world where all people can lead free and dignified lives.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Clean Green Collision - Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week

At Clean Green Collision (Oakland CA) precautions are taken during auto repair to ensure that dust, remnants, and hazardous chemicals do not enter the car and leave odors and fumes that could potentially harm customers. Filtration is an important part of Clean Green Collision's eco-friendly approach. Paint fumes and other emissions are filtered. Air in the sanding area is filtered twice (most shops only filter the air once, if at all). There is also a filtration system to capture emissions from welding. Other eco-friendly efforts reported by owner Jacques Andres include using photosynthesis curing and using water-based paints. The shop was remodeled with used windows and doors and by using local suppliers.

The shop currently states that they create only 30-40% of the emissions of a typical body shop and their goal is to operate a 100% emission free auto body business.

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

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Solar Airplane Completes First Flight

Solar Impulse, a solar-powered airplane crafted by Swiss researchers, has completed its first manned flights. Pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg each completed 25-hour single-person manned flights earlier this month. The Solar Impulse uses no fuel and creates no emissions. According to their website, they plan the first night flight in 2009, the first trans-Atlantic flight in 2011, and then the first round-the-world flight.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Four-Day Work Week Gains Popularity

Why should businesses care about the impact on employees of higher gasoline prices? A recent survey found that "some 44 percent of respondents have changed the way they commute — from sharing a ride to driving a more fuel-efficient car. Others are working from home or looking for a closer job in order to reduce costs."

In response to high gas prices, businesses are rethinking the standard 5-day work week. The city of Birmingham AL plans to move all city employees to a 4-day work week effective July 1. City employees are expected to collectively save approximately $750,000 a year in gasoline purchases. The idea is also being implemented in governments and at companies in Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, New York, Florida, Washington, Texas, Arkansas, and numerous other locations. Some companies are providing public transportation passes as part of a "green benefits" package.

What about 4-day work weeks for businesses that provide transportation services, such as schools? Several schools have already moved to 4-day weeks to save on transportation expenses. The MACCRAY School District in western Minnesota expects to save $65,000 when they implement their new 4-day week in September. In Leavenworth County KS, the county expects to save approximately $11,000 this summer when road work crews move to a 4-day week.

For the business that is seeking to become more sustainable, a 4-day work week can reduce financial pressure on employees, can reduce carbon emissions of your workforce, and (for the business that provides transportation) can reduce expenses.

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