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.

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