Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Boutique Mix - Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week

Boutique Mix (Washington DC) is a fashion boutique offering "An International Ethnik Chik Kollection" of unique items from around the world. Boutique Mix sources natural organic handmade items following Fair Trade principles and non-handmade items that are organic and use low-impact dyes and processes. Boutique Mix also offers its own line of Miatta-MiMi jewelry and gift baskets using beads and other accessories collected around the world.

Five percent of all Boutique Mix profits go towards rebuilding Sierra Leone by providing school supplies and other neccessities to needy children, and sponsoring children around the world through Plan USA, Children International and The Christian Children's Fund.

Boutique Mix's 2008 Pledge Campaign raises money and supplies for schools and children in Sierra Leone. The campaign seeks to rebuild Sierra Leone and impoverished Africa, one innocent child at a time. Just sending pens, pencils, notebooks, crayons or whatever you can afford for one child makes a difference!!! Boutique Mix will use the money to buy school supplies/uniforms for children at a deserving school(s). The 2008 Pledge Campaign ends November 30, 2008 and there is still time to contribute!

Boutique Mix is also sponsoring a 24 month calendar for 2009-2010 as part of the fund-raising campaign. The calendar is part of the 2009 campaign to raise money to create a scholarship fund for one deserving student at the University of Sierra Leone, and to help revamp the University Library. Part of this money will also be used to donate to Kiva for microloan funding.

Boutique Mix was founded in 2004, and is the creation of MiMi Dabo.

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, July 29, 2008

The Greening of Religion

St. Joan of Arc Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota composts at the Parish and at the on-site school, the church recycles, uses compostable dinnerware, hosts a Sustainable Fair Trade Market, and educates members on sustainability-related topics.

At All Souls Interfaith Gathering of Shelburne, Vermont, the new facility was built with locally harvested wood, bamboo flooring, compact fluorescent lights, and a furnace that will heat the facility using grass, corn or wood pellets. Programs often contain an environmental message and community members are invited to talk about their passion for the planet.

These examples are representative of a larger movement within religion and places of worship to address environmental issues. While this movement is not new to religion, it is becoming more mainstream and green buildings for synagogues, churches, and mosques are growing in popularity.

To help organized religious groups in the U.S., The Regeneration Project and the Interfaith Power and Light Campaign seek to mobilize "a national religious response to global warming while promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation." San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral will be installing photovoltaic panels through their work with the California chapter of the program. Check their website to find (or start) a program in your state that will help congregations of all denominations.

At least two denominations have made a concerted effort to encourage all their member churches to pursue environmental measures. One denomination is the Unitarian Universalist Church which sponsors "The Green Sanctuary" program. The program congregations and individual members to live a sustainable life in a way that nurtures life, builds relationships, and rejects material consumption as a way to measure happiness. The website lists the congregations in The Green Sanctuary program.

One of the Green Sanctuary churches is the Main Line Unitarian Church in Devon, Pennsylvania. The church is run on wind energy, recycles paper and batteries, sells shade-grown coffee, and composts to fertilize the children's garden. The church also encourages members purchase and install compact flourescent bulbs and proceeds from the sales help buy bulbs for low-income communities.

Another denomination promoting environmentalism is The National Council of Churches of Christ which sponsors the Eco-Justice Program. The program works with member Protestant and Orthodox denominations to protect and restore God's Creation. One example is the Church of the Savior, United Church of Christ, in Knoxville, Tennessee which has a compost bin, uses mugs instead of styrofoam, and purchases green power. And the Congregational United Church of Chrish in Greensboro, North Carolina recently held a tire clinic to check tire pressure on members' cars. There are many other examples of member churches' environmental efforts. You can search their website for locations.

For links to position statements on climate change from other denominations, click here.

For those interested in helping your place of worship begin the green journey, Church Solutions magazine explains how green relates to religion, why green is important, and offers tips on greening existing and new building projects. Or contact The Regeneration Project.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Coffee Launches New Website

Thanksgiving Coffee, one of last year's Sustainable & Responsible Business' of the Week, has launched a new website. On the website, you can watch a trailer of a documentary in progress about their line of Delicious Peace (Mirembe Kawomera) coffee grown by the Peace Kawomera Cooperative of Jewish, Christian and Muslim farmers. This story is covered in the August issue of O, The Oprah Magazine, available on newstands now.

You can also read about the Bikes to Rwanda campaign which raised enough money to build a bike shop and also seeks to provide cargo bicycles for co-op coffee farmers in Rwanda. In addition, the website tells the story of the company and its sustainability initiatives. And don't forget to purchase one of the Coffees for a Cause products, a gift basket, or other accessories!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Win $5000 and Free Smoothies for a Year!

Planet Smoothie is sponsoring the Re-Use It or Lose It contest. The company currently serves smoothies in reusable plastic containers and recycled polystyrene cups, but they want to do better. So the Re-Use It or Lose It contest seeks "individuals, companies, academic institutions to come up with an environmentally friendly solution to recycling or eliminating polystyrene from the waste stream." The contest is looking for

(a) an environmentally friendly alternative smoothie container that must be able to keep Sponsor’s smoothies “smoothie-like” (smoothie-like is the smooth, freshly-blended consistency of our smoothies) for at least 20 minutes with no effect on taste, quality or consistency and not be cost-prohibitive to produce in a mass production environment today or (b) a green solution that results in the reduction, “re-use” or elimination of polystyrene in the environment.

The contest closes September 30, 2008. Visit the website for complete contest details. The winner receives $5000 and free smoothies for a year!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Gaia Napa Valley Hotel & Spa - Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week

Gaia Napa Valley Hotel & Spa (American Canyon CA) is the world's first Gold LEED-certified hotel. To achieve this, all wood used in the construction was FSC-certified, paints are low VOC, and carpets contain post consumer recycled material.

In addition, restroom construction used recycled tiles and granite and low flush toilets and showerheads were installed. The hotel's koi pond uses filtered recycled water and the facility installed Solatube lighting, solar panels, and a reflective roof coating.

The hotel is furnished with natural, organic, and recycled materials, has all natural and organic landscaping, and uses green cleaning products. To reduce waste, bulk soap, lotion, and shampoo dispensers are used in guest rooms and only recycled paper is used. There are recycling bins throughout the property and educational kiosks inform guests of the environmental attributes of the property.

Gaia Napa Valley Hotel & Spa is owned by Wen Chang.

Video courtesy ZDNet.

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, July 22, 2008

FEMA's Katrina Saga Continues

It's been nearly 3 years since Hurricane Katrina yet the FEMA saga continues. Several months ago, USA Today reported that more than 75% of the FEMA-approved money for rebuilding Louisiana and Mississippi remains unused. FEMA approved $4.5 billion to rebuild Louisiana and Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina two years ago, but to date, only approximately $1 billion had been used due to red tape over local and federal rules.

Last month, CNN reported that $85 million worth of supplies intended for Katrina victims actually went to Mississippi agencies. Their investigation found that supplies went to prisons, colleges, volunteer fire departments, and other state departments. FEMA stated it was costing more than $1 million per year to store the supplies and declared them surplus. However, CNN does report that some of the surplus items are being returned for distribution through nonprofit agencies.

In addition, here in Arkansas, thousands of mobile homes and travel trailers intended to provide temporary housing to displaced residents following Katrina are still sitting at the Hope (AR) Municipal Airport (see photo image above). "FEMA spends more than $1 million a month to store and maintain the units at the airport, with payroll for 75 workers at the site making up nearly half the costs." There are more mobile homes and travel-trailers at the airport than there are residents of Hope, AR even though some of the trailers were issued to tornado victims in Feburary 2008. The travel-trailers cannot be auctioned off "due to the presence of potentially dangerous levels of formaldehyde."

In an effort to address the surplus of FEMA emergency housing being stored at taxpayer expense, Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas introduced the FEMA Accountability Act of 2007. The bill passed a Senate committee last month (June 2008) and will go before the full state Senate for a vote. The bill would give FEMA three months to make a decision about what to do with the surplus housing units and six more months to carry out the plan. FEMA reports there are 19,604 units still at the Hope (AR) Municipal Airport. Sen. Pryor reports there are more than 111,000 housing units sitting empty in all. Hope AR is the second largest storage site.

In the meantime, FEMA is finding the 146 acres leased from the Hope Municipal Airport is not enough space to manage the mobile homes and travel trailers. FEMA has been approved to lease an additional 85 acres at $5000 per month. And the town of Hope, Arkansas' website states, "If you are interested in purchasing travel trailers that FEMA is storing at the Hope Airport, please go to to bid on them."

Monday, July 21, 2008

Make Your Dollars Count

Last month we told you about Carrotmob, a nonprofit that seeks to organize campaigns of sustainability-minded consumers to collaborate and vote with their dollars. Carrotmob does this by coordinating consumers for a shopping spree at a local business that agrees to reinvest profits back into their own business for environmentally-friendly improvements.

Another way to support responsible business is to shop with companies listed in Co-op America's National Green Pages. The Green Pages directory lists businesses that have made "commitments to sustainable, socially just principles, including the support of sweatshop-free labor, organic farms, fair trade, and cruelty-free products." Businesses are screened and approved by Co-op America before being listed in the directory.

Another option, of course, is to vote with your dollars by NOT supporting businesses whose practices are not sustainable. Along these lines, you can visit several sites that track and report corporate behavior, such as Co-op America's Responsible Shopper, Business & Human Rights Resource Center, Campaign for Labor Rights, Corporate Watch, CorpWatch, Rainforest Action Network, International Labor Rights Forum, Knowmore, National Labor Committee, and a host of others. These sites provide information on current campaigns related to specific companies.

Make your dollars count.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Free June Issue of Sustainability: The Journal of Record

Sustainability: The Journal of Record is offering its June 2008 issue available free of charge online. The publication is geared toward professionals in academia, industry, policy, and government.

The June issue offers interviews with sustainability professionals, product reviews, tips on how to get started, profiles of green MBA programs, research findings, book reviews, and sustainability resources.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

New MBA Career Book Available

Press Release
from CSRwire

Best Selling Author and Net Impact Co-Founder Announces New MBA Career Book, "More Than Money: Questions Every MBA Needs to Answer"

Book is being offered for "free" to business schools for a limited time

(CSRwire) (CSRwire) DOVER, MA - July 15, 2008 - Dr. Mark Albion announced today an unprecedented publishing distribution program for his forthcoming book, More Than Money: Questions Every MBA Needs to Answer," which will be available August 15, 2008 as a .PDF file and will ship September 12 in hardcover ($19.95). A description, downloadable excerpt and MBA commentary on the book can be found here.

This short career guidebook helps aspiring MBAs, MBA students and graduates navigate a fulfilling life of contribution and comfort. The book is based on Dr. Albion's speeches at dozens of business schools each year, many as co-founder of Net Impact. The book includes stories of successful entrepreneurs, including SVN members Elliot Hoffman, CEO of the New Voice of Business, and Joe Sibilia, president of CSRwire.

Social Venture Network (SVN) member company Berrett-Koehler is offering the .PDF file of the book free until August 15 to business schools who order a copy for every student at the school. The first two business schools to do so are Duke's Fuqua School of Business (830+ MBAs), home of the renowned Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE), and Simmons School of Management (200+), which offers the nation's leading MBA program designed exclusively for women and is the site of Dr. Albion's first speeches to students on this subject. After August 15, bulk discounts will be available.

If you're interested in helping your alma mater or a business school you're connected to take advantage of this offer, please contact Dr. Albion as soon as possible (508 785.2091; In addition, if you are an MBA graduate and would like to add to the MBA commentary on the book, please contact him as well.

Video of Dr. Albion interview: Wall Street, Leadership & Business Schools
Video of Dr. Albion Keynote Speech at Fuqua (iTunes Required)

About Mark Albion
Mark Albion spent 18 years as a student and professor at Harvard University and its Business School. Dr. Albion left Harvard to develop a community of service-minded MBAs, co-founding Net Impact in 1993. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Making a Life, Making a Living® and True to Yourself: Leading a Values-Based Business ( He has spoken at more than 125 business schools on five continents, for which Business Week magazine dubbed him "the savior of B-school souls."

Sustainability Conference for Business Schools

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) will be hosting a Sustainability Conference in Salt Lake City UT on July 30 & 31. According to AACSB, "Business schools lay at the root of the movement toward sustainable and ethical business."

The conference is intended "to address the critical role business schools play in producing leaders who advance responsible and sustainable business worldwide." The conference will cover ethics, governance, peace through commerce, and responsible global leadership.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Greenway Maid - Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week

Greenway Maid (San Francisco CA) offers residential and commercial cleaning services using environmentally-friendly cleaning products and methods. The company uses natural non-toxic biodegradable supplies and HEPA microfiltered vacuums. Greenway Maid thoroughly researches cleaning products to find those that perform as well as conventional products and all staff are trained in green cleaning methods. Greenway Maid lists the products used and recommended on their website.

In addition to eco-friendly cleaning, Greenway Maid offsets emissions created from travel to its cleaning sites (carbon neutral cleaning).

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, July 15, 2008

Wal-Mart Joins WWF's Global Forest & Trade Network

Press Release

Commitment to improve the management of valuable and threatened forests

WASHINGTON, D.C. and Bentonville, Ark. July 14, 2008 – Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. joined the Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN), World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) initiative to save the world’s most valuable and threatened forests, WWF announced today. By joining the GFTN, Wal-Mart has committed to phasing out illegal and unwanted wood sources from its supply chain and increasing its proportion of wood products originating from credibly certified sources – for Wal-Mart stores and Sam’s Club locations in the United States.

“With nearly half of the world’s forests already gone, action is urgently needed,” said Suzanne Apple, WWF’s VP for Business & Industry. “Wal-Mart’s commitment to support responsible forestry answers that call to action. WWF welcomes the company to a global community committed to healthy business and healthy forests.”

The United States is the largest consumer of industrial timber, pulp and paper in the world. The U.S. is also among the top destinations for imports of wood from areas where illegal logging and trade are common, such as Indonesia, China and Brazil. Thus, the U.S. market is critical to protecting forests worldwide.

Wal-Mart’s commitment includes the importation and sale of all wood-based products with an initial focus on wood-based furniture. Wal-Mart sources furniture from the Amazon, Russian Far East, northern China, Indonesia, and the Mekong region of southeast Asia. These areas include some of the most biologically diverse places on earth, places that WWF is working to protect.

Within one year, Wal-Mart will complete an assessment of where its wood furniture is coming from and whether the wood is legal and well-managed. Once the assessment is completed, Wal-Mart has committed to eliminating wood from illegal and unknown sources within five years. The company will also eliminate wood from forests that are of critical importance due to their environmental, socio-economic, biodiversity or landscape values and that aren’t well-managed.

“One of our goals at Wal-Mart is to sell products that sustain and protect our resources. By joining the GFTN we can further this goal by providing our customers with a reliable supply of wood products that come from responsibly managed forests,” said Matt Kistler, Wal-Mart’s Senior Vice President of Sustainability. “This is just one way Wal-Mart is helping our customers save money and live better.”

WWF works with private companies like Wal-Mart and public agencies like the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to promote responsible forest management that gives weight to social values, environmental conservation and economic benefits. The World Bank estimates that illegal logging costs developing country governments more than $5 billion per year in lost taxes and other revenues.

USAID has invested almost $6.5 million since 2003 in WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network. WWF has leveraged USAID’s investment to secure an additional $33.8 million investment to expand GFTN operations into emerging economies. Many of those emerging economies are now part of Wal-Mart’s global supply chain.

“Today’s development assistance is about mobilizing the ideas, efforts and resources of governments, businesses and civil society by forging public-private alliances that stimulate economic growth, develop businesses opportunities and address environmental issues” said Jacqueline E. Schafer, Assistant Administrator for Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade at USAID. “Corporate engagement in WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network has enormous potential to curb the environmental destruction associated with illegal logging in producer countries, while contributing to the economic growth of both producer and consumer countries alike.”

Wal-Mart’s commitment to promoting responsible forestry builds on the company’s collaboration with WWF. Earlier this year, Wal-Mart committed to purchasing 100 percent of its wild caught seafood sold in the U.S. from sources certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) within four years.

About World Wildlife Fund
For more than 45 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature. The largest multinational conservation organization in the world, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. WWF's unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level, from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature. Go to to learn more.

About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart 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. Wal-Mart serves more than 176 million customers weekly in 14 markets. The Company’s securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMT. For more information:

Wal-Mart Adds a New Facet to Its Fine Jewelry Lines: Traceability

Press Release

Retailer Partners with Conservation International to Launch Love, Earth Jewelry and New Sustainable Criteria

Bentonville, Ark. and Arlington, Va. – July 15, 2008 – Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) today launched Love, Earth® jewelry, its first completely traceable fine jewelry line available exclusively at Wal-Mart stores, Sam’s Club locations and on and Marking a shift in how affordably-priced fine jewelry is produced and sold, the new line is the result of collaboration between Wal-Mart, Conservation International (CI) and Wal-Mart’s supply chain partners. It will give customers the ability to trace the path of their Love, Earth jewelry from mine to store by simply going online.

Love, Earth is the retailer’s first step toward having all of the gold, silver and diamonds used in the jewelry sold in its Wal-Mart stores and Sam’s Club locations come from mines and manufacturers that meet Wal-Mart’s sustainability standards and criteria. The criteria address both environmental, human rights and community issues. By 2010, the retailer aims for at least 10 percent of its jewelry offerings to achieve these standards.

“Wal-Mart recognizes that our customers care about the quality of their jewelry and its potential impact on the world,” said Pam Mortensen, vice president and divisional merchandise manager for Wal-Mart. “With Love, Earth, customers are getting an affordable and beautiful piece of jewelry that also helps sustain resources and strengthen communities.”

Consumers can visit to see where their Love, Earth jewelry was mined and manufactured, and learn about suppliers’ environmental and social programs. The site also offers information about the standards used to select suppliers and ensure the entire process is more sustainable.“With its considerable influence, market reach and commitment to sustainability, Wal-Mart has brought together like-minded suppliers, mining companies and conservation partners to work together to build a traceable jewelry supply chain at an impressive scale,” said Dr. Assheton Stewart Carter, Senior Director of Business Policies and Practices at Conservation International. “We hope others in the jewelry industry will follow this leadership example and thus enable consumers to make simple choices that benefit the environment and mining communities when shopping for jewelry.”

To create Love, Earth, Wal-Mart selected partners in the mining and jewelry manufacturing industries that already demonstrated environmental and social leadership, including Rio Tinto, an Anglo-Australian mining company; Newmont Mining Corporation, a global gold producer headquartered in Denver, Colorado; and Aurafin, a Florida-based jewelry manufacturer. During the next phase of the partnership, the retailer plans to expand the number of approved mining and manufacturing suppliers and introduce diamonds in the Love, Earth line.

The Wal-Mart Love, Earth collection is made from 10 karat gold and sterling silver; the Sam’s Club collection from 14 karat gold and sterling silver. Each collection includes fashion pendants, hoop earrings, bangles and fashion beads. Created with gold and silver, the Love, Earth collection is designed to symbolize the Earth’s elements and based on the precepts of recycle, reduce, and respect.

Want to trace a piece of Love, Earth jewelry from mine to market?Go to, find the “Trace it from Mine to Market” box and enter: SMPM88.

About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, millions of customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $296 million to local United States communities. To learn more, visit,, or

About Conservation International
Conservation International (CI) applies innovations in science, economics, policy and community participation to protect the Earth's richest regions of plant and animal diversity in the biodiversity hotspots, high-biodiversity wilderness areas and key marine ecosystems. With headquarters in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, CI works in more than 40 countries on four continents. For more information about CI, visit

Gore to Lay Out Unprecedented Challenge on Energy and Climate

Press Release

Gore to Lay Out Unprecedented Challenge on Energy and Climate

Address Will Set National Goal for Clean Energy Future

Washington, DC – Former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore will outline his bold vision for the future of America’s energy needs at D.A.R. Constitution Hall this Thursday, July 17. The speech will be hosted by the “We” Campaign, a fast-growing organization focused on solutions to the climate crisis.

The speech will offer a new way of thinking about our energy production and consumption and a new sense of what is possible when we choose to work together. It will propose a means of tapping America’s innovative skills to build a more secure energy future.

Who: Former Vice President Al Gore
What: A discussion on the future of America’s energy needs
Where: D.A.R. Constitution Hall – 1776 D St., NW, Washington, DC
When: Thursday, July 17 at 12:00 p.m. EDT:
Media should plan to arrive at least an hour before the speech begins.

Additional notes for broadcast media:
Pre-set: 10 a.m.-12 p.m. EDT
Final access: 12 Noon EDT
Press entrance: D Street entrance (between 17th St. and 18th St.)
Throw: 60 feet
Satellite truck parking: Directed on site
Cable run: 350 feet
Power, mult box to be provided on riser

About the “We” Campaign:
The “We” Campaign is a commercial-scale organizing and mobilizing effort using paid advertising, grassroots partnerships and online activation to build strong support for solutions to the climate crisis. The scale of the campaign is unprecedented: it is on track to be the largest public policy advocacy campaign ever and expects to reach 10 million members within three years. “We” is the work of the Alliance for Climate Protection, a nonprofit group founded by Al Gore, who currently serves as the chairman of the bipartisan board of directors. For more information, please visit

Monday, July 14, 2008

Fair Trade Holiday Song Contest

In the midst of the summer heat, are you ready to start thinking of the cooler days of winter? If so, Global Exchange is sponsoring a Fair Trade Holiday Song Contest. But hurry! Deadline for entries is July 21, 2008.

Entries must include Fair Trade-themed lyrics set to your favorite holiday tune. So if you're dreaming of a Fair Trade Christmas, or you're dashing through the (Fair Trade) fields, or all you want for Christmas is your Fair Trade tea, then jot down those lyrics and send them to Global Exchange!

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Pickens Plan

T. Boone Pickens has a plan. The billionaire oil man from Texas wants to help American break its dependence on foreign oil and replace its energy with home-grown alternatives from wind and natural gas.

The United States currently uses natural gas for energy but the Pickens Plan is to use wind for energy while using natural gas for transportation. He is building the world's largest wind farm in Pampa TX which is expected to double the current wind energy output of the United States.

The Pickens Plan proposes that if we shift our energy and transportation to wind and natural gas, within 10 years we can replace 1/3 of our foreign oil needs. The plan calls for leadership from our next Presidential administration.

Visit The Pickens Plan website for details on the plan, videos, and to join the Pickens Plan online community.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter," Says Bush

According to the Telegraph, as U.S. President George Bush left the G8 summit in Japan, he departed with the words, "Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter." Those present were shocked and surprised.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the White House response was "I don't have anything on this for you."

The G8 summit is a meeting of the heads of the richest industrialized nations to discuss world issues. This year's topics were Africa, climate change, intellectual property rights, political issues, world economy, and the food crisis.
Revised July 11, 2008.

Use Your Business Skills to Make a Difference

How can you use your business expertise to make a difference? The following organizations seek individuals with a business background to volunteer to use those skills (or provide capital) in order to make a difference.

CEOs Without Borders - CEOs Without Borders is a global non-profit enterprise that brings together businessmen and businesswomen willing to use their leadership positions, know-how and experience to foster the growth of businesses in developing countries.

Financial Services Volunteer Corps - FSVC is a not-for-profit, private-public partnership that carries out its mission by recruiting leading financial, legal and regulatory experts. FSVC seeks to build strong financial systems that enable developing and emerging market countries to realize economic opportunities and their citizens to achieve a better quality of life.

Geek Corps - Geekcorps’ international technology experts teach communities how to be digitally independent by expanding private enterprise with innovative, appropriate, and affordable information and communication technologies.

International Executive Service Corps - International Executive Service Corps (IESC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit economic development organization that uses volunteer experts, paid consultants, and professional staff to achieve our mission - to promote prosperity and stability through private enterprise development.

MBA-Nonprofit Connection - The MBA-Nonprofit Connection (MNC) provides services that help to bring MBA skills and energy to the nonprofit sector while bringing exciting new job opportunities to the business school student/alumni community.

MBAs Without Borders - an international not-for-profit organization bringing innovative solutions to developing countries by matching experienced business volunteers with local businesses and NGOs to unleash a big secret…Business Can do Amazing Things!

Net Impact - Net Impact is a global network of leaders who are changing the world through business.

New Ventures - The New Ventures program of the World Resources Institute promotes sustainable growth in emerging markets by supporting and accelerating the transfer of capital to businesses that deliver social and environmental benefits at the base of the economic pyramid.

Taproot Foundation - Join a team of highly skilled professionals who are doing pro bono work to help a local nonprofit increase its impact.

TeamMBA - students, staff, and faculty from business schools donate volunteer hours and raise dollars for charities and community organizations.

TechnoServ - TechnoServe helps entrepreneurial men and women in poor rural areas of the developing world to build businesses that create income, opportunity and economic growth for their families, their communities and their countries.

Wall Street Without Walls - we match senior and retired volunteers who have investment banking and capital markets experience with community development organizations who are seeking creative solutions to financing challenges of $10 million or more.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

FIO360 - Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week

FIO360 (Atlanta GA) is the nation's first eco-early care and learning boutique. The building is the first childcare center to be LEED-certified and has floors that emit radiant heat and are made from virgin rubber plants, paint that is zero-VOC (volatile organic compounds), and solar tubes for lighting.

The center uses organic furnishings, such as imported organic rugs, organic wooden toys, no PVC plastic products, and organic mattresses free of formaldehyde and other chemicals. Children are served organic and hormone-free meals using local fresh ingredients are created by the center's chef. The center also uses non-toxic personal care products on children and environmentally-friendly cleaning products throughout the building.

The curriculum is holistic, promotes multi-cultural awareness and learning, and, of course, environmental education. "Kids here open the day with an affirmation, take yoga lessons and recycling classes, eat meals like red pepper quiche and then round out the afternoon with a massage to help them sleep."

FIO360 opened in April 2008 and is the vision of Crissy Klaus.

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, July 8, 2008

New Cars in California Must Display Global Warming Score

By GreenBiz Staff Published July 7, 2008

OAKLAND, Calif. -- California is making it mandatory for cars to be labeled with global warming scores, figures that take into account emissions from vehicle use and fuel production. The law requiring the labels goes into effect at the start of next year for all 2009 model cars, though its expected the labels will be popping up on cars in the coming months. The labeling law forces cars for sale to display a global warming score, on a scale of one to 10, which is based on how vehicles in the same model year compare to one another. The higher the score, the cleaner a car is. The score takes into account emissions related to production of fuel for each vehicle as well as the direct emissions from vehicles. The score will be displayed next to the already-required smog score, which also rates cars one to 10 for how many smog-forming emissions they emit. For both scores, an average vehicle will have a score of five.California is the first state of pass such as law, and a similar law will take effect in New York for 2010 model year vehicles. Global warming scores will be included on the state's DriveClean website. While this law is intended to help consumers take into account emissions while purchasing cars, a proposed law in the European Union would require E.U. public sector bodies put a price on emissions. A law endorsed by the European Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety would make governments put a monetary cost on the emissions of vehicles they plan to purchase, and add that to expense calculations. The law would exclude certain types of vehicles, such as ambulances and fire trucks.

Hit the Lottery & Win Free Gas

As the price of gasoline continues to climb, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Washington have added gasoline giveaways as part of the state lottery. “Gas has become more precious than cash now,” states Bernard Feldman. Read the full story in the New York Times.

The Tangled Web of Biofuels, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and Food Prices

Despite goverment insistence that biofuels are not to blame for increased food prices and Sen. Grassley's claim that "the recent criticism of ethanol by foreign officials (is) “a big joke,” the evidence continues to mount against first-generation biofuels.

Research has already shown that Brazilian soy biodiesel, European rye ethanol, European rapeseed biodiesel, and US corn ethanol all have a worse life cycle impact on the environment than petrol. Now two reports have been released that connect biofuels to increased food prices.

Oxfam has released a report, Another Inconvenient Truth, stating that biofuels are responsible for 30 percent of the increase in world food prices. The report goes on to state that biofuels' contribution to increased world food prices have pushed 30 million people into poverty. According to the report,

Biofuels are presented in rich countries as a solution to two crises: the climate crisis and the oil crisis. But they may not be a solution to either, and instead are contributing to a third: the current food crisis....(T)he most serious costs of these policies – deepening poverty and hunger, environmental degradation, and accelerating climate change – are being ‘dumped’ on developing countries.

In a related report from the World Bank, Biofuels: The Promise and the Risks, they state that liquid biofuels from agriculture have pushed up feedstock prices, increased competition for land and water, and resulted in a 60% increase in the price of maize from 2005 to 2007. The report goes on to suggest that first-generation biofuels have not lived up to their promise of reduced greenhouse gas emissions and reduced reliance on oil, but second-generation biofuels (from waste) hold more potential.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Gorilla in the Greenhouse

SustainLane, Free Range Studios, and Alligator Planet have teamed up to create a new web series designed for children. Gorilla in the Greenhouse is set in a magical greenhouse in San Francisco, features a green gorilla and four kids, and inspires children to take action on environmental issues. Each episode will feature the gang addressing different issues, such as plastic bags, mountaintop removal, sustainable food consumption, global warming, deforestation, and alternative energy. The pilot episode, "Great Pacific Garbage Patch," is now available.

The website also features teachers' curriculum, facts behind each environmental issue, action ideas for kids, and video clips of real kids taking action on the issue.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Richard Branson's Latest Eco-ventures

Sir Richard Branson plans to turn the uninhabited Mosquito Island in the British Virgin Islands into the world's most eco-friendly resort. His vision includes harnessing all necessary power from wind and sun, use of biofueled vehicles, use of cool thermal airflows instead of air conditioning, and an organic orchard. The proposal is currently under review by the British Virgin Islands' planning department.

Branson also plans to start Virgin Green Owls in August, an eco-consulting firm to assist governments and corporations in becoming more environmentally-friendly.

Nau The Good News

Better than a Freddie Krueger movie - Nau has been resurrected. After reporting on the demise of innovative retailer, Nau, rights to the brand have been purchased by Horny Toad. The good news is that Nau will continue operations, albeit with a slight change to the business model.

The company reports, "Our new Nau will be smaller, and will grow more slowly, and though our ambitions have been tempered a bit by the realities of the marketplace, our passions are still very much intact." Nau will retain its autonomy as a business separate from Horny Toad; Nau will not have its own stores, but will sell its products through Horny Toad, other retailers, and wholesalers; and giving through the Partners for Change program may be reduced.

The renewed version of Nau will begin August 1. Welcome back!

Read our first post on Nau last year and read the full story of Nau's resurgence at Treehugger and at Sustainable Industries.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008 Launches Not-for-profit Initiative for Helping Green Businesses

Press Release Launches Not-for-profit Initiative for Helping Green Businesses

NewswireToday - /newswire/ - Baltimore, MD, United States, 07/01/2008 -

End-to-end digital business consultation for a green eco friendly company, every month.

To mark the World Earth Month, a small but influential Internet business consulting firm that advises its clients on how to discover, convert and multiply customers online has launched a groundbreaking scheme where green businesses are offered its services for free of cost. is a not-for-profit initiative from, an end-to-end Internet business strategy consulting, advertising and marketing company.

How does this work? According to, if a company has green products or services and has online presence, then they will provide free online business consulting for a month.

The idea is to help eco friendly companies and thereby helping the planet. This green revolution today is akin to the digital revolution we had 15 years ago. There are a lot of future champions waiting to emerge and we are here to find them and help them said Ranjith Pavithran.

As part of the free web business consulting service Kapston will be providing consultation for online competitor analysis, Web Analytics, heat map analysis, Internet strength weakness opportunity threat analysis, search engine optimization, search marketing, social media marketing, Internet strategy development, copywriting, creative, website user experience, usability testing, corporate identity, online branding, square inch analysis of website, remarketing, online marketing bridge analysis, up-selling on website, USP Analysis etc.

About Kapston
Kapston has presence in United States and India, and specializes in creating effective online campaigns.

Kapston believes every business will be successful if they address the 5 pillars of growth. Discovering the prospects, driving them to you, persuading them to convert, keep them with you and multiply them.

Natural Fusion Hair Studio - Sustainable & Responsible Business of the Week

Natural Fusion Hair Studio (Frederick MD) is an environmentally-friendly hair salon. Natural Fusion Hair Salon was founded by Earl Pindar and Kelly Chapin who combined "their expertise to open an environmentally-friendly hair salon in an effort to increase environmental awareness and do what (they) can in an industry that is not known for sustainability."

The Salon seeks to reduce energy and water usage throughout its operations, recycles, uses non-toxic environmentally-friendly cleaners,
refills bottles, uses only natural and organic hair and beauty products, and purchases from beauty supply companies with sustainable practices. In addition, the Salon gives back to the community and local charities.

Located in an historic house, when they remodeled they preserved the original wood floors and added linoleum floors where new flooring was needed. The cutting stations are 1920’s vanities and the Salon has utilized antiques whenever possible.

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!

Utah Mandates 4-Day Work Week for State Employees

Approximately 80% of Utah's state employees will be moving to a mandatory 4-day work week beginning in August. Governor Huntsman expects the move will "reduce the state's carbon footprint, increase energy efficiency, improve customer service and provide workers more flexibility." He also expects the move to help the state achieve its goal of a 20% reduction in energy usage by 2015. It also creates a better work-life balance which "is especially popular among younger employees and (this) action will make Utah more competitive in luring talent."

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

More Wild Weather in the Forecast

From the WE (Can Solve the Climate Crisis) Campaign:

According to a new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), climate change will likely lead to an increase in extreme weather in the United States. That means more droughts, heavy downpours, excessive heat, and intense hurricanes. Not good. We hope to alert 100,000 people to this NOAA report within the next 48 hours. If each of us tells 5 people, that's within easy reach. Please use our tell-a-friend tool to help educate your friends and family about this critical issue.

The report projects:

  • Abnormally hot days and nights, along with heat waves, are very likely to become more common.

  • Droughts are likely to become more frequent and severe in some regions.

  • Hurricanes will likely have increased precipitation and wind.

We will need everyone's voices to solve the climate crisis, starting with yours. Start a conversation today.


Cathy Zoi


July 2008 Webinars on Sustainability Topics

Sustainability-related webinars offered by various companies in July:

Update on Marine Renewables (July 10)

All About: Sustainability Webinar Series - Manage Your List the Green Way (July 10)

Greening Your Office 101 (July 16)

Seeing the Green: Bolstering Economic Development Strategies with Environmental Responsibility (July 17)

Green Purchasing (July 23)

Please visit our website for new webinars as they are added to the list and to access archived on demand webinars.

Save the it online!

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