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Category Archives: Green business

It’s the law: Big EU companies must report on sustainability

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Wednesday was a historic day in Europe, where a new law will require its biggest companies to include sustainability factors as part of their annual financial report.

In a 599-55 vote, the European Parliament passed the law, which applies to publicly traded companies with more than 500 employees. They must address “policies, risks and results” in relation to “social, environmental and human rights impact, diversity and anti-corruption policies” in their annual reports.

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2014 in Green business

 

Made in America: Staggering amounts of toxic chemicals

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Recent spills in West Virginia and North Carolina cast a spotlight on toxic hazards in our midst. But as bad as they are, these acute incidents pale in scope compared to the chronic flow of hazardous chemicals coursing through our lives each day with little notice and minimal regulation. A new report by EDF, “Toxics Across America,” tallies billions of pounds of chemicals in the American marketplace that are known or strongly suspected to cause increasingly common disorders, including certain cancers, developmental disabilities and infertility.

While it’s no secret that modern society consumes huge amounts of chemicals, many of them dangerous, it is surprisingly difficult to get a handle on the actual numbers. And under current law, it’s harder still to find out where and how these substances are used, although we know enough to establish that a sizeable share of them end up in one form or another in the places where we live and work.

The new report looks at 120 chemicals identified by multiple federal, state and international officials as known or suspected health hazards. Using the latest, albeit limited, data collected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EDF identifies which are in commerce in the U.S.; in what amounts they are being made; which companies are producing or importing them; and where they are being produced or imported. An interactive online map accompanying the report lets the user access the report’s data and search by chemical, company, state and site location.

 

5 sustainable packaging trends to look out for in 2014

Read the full post in Packaging Digest.

Issues of global environmental instability and climate change are becoming nearly impossible to ignore these days, and consumers have taken notice. With demand for sustainably-conscious products and product packaging constantly increasing, it’s no wonder that firms have taken charge at creating sustainable, environmentally-friendly, “green” products to satiate the ever-growing consumer desire to be able to conveniently decrease their environmental impact. With the new year underway, here are five of the most exciting and innovative trends in sustainable consumer packaging to look out for in the next twelve months.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Green business

 

Department of Energy Issues Draft Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy Projects Solicitation to Foster Clean Energy Innovation

In support of the Administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, the Department of Energy issued a draft loan guarantee solicitation today for innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency projects located in the U.S. that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gases. When finalized, the solicitation is expected to make as much as $4 billion in loan guarantees available to help commercialize technologies that may be unable to obtain full commercial financing. This draft solicitation represents another step in the Department’s commitment to help overcome the financial barriers to the deployment of innovative, clean energy technologies.

“Through our existing renewable energy loan guarantees, the Department’s Loan Programs Office helped launch the U.S. utility-scale solar industry and other clean energy technologies that are now contributing to our clean energy portfolio,” said Secretary Ernest Moniz. “We want to replicate that success by focusing on technologies that are on the edge of commercial-scale deployment today.”

The Renewable Energy and Efficient Energy Projects Loan Guarantee solicitation is intended to support technologies that are catalytic, replicable, and market ready. Within the draft solicitation, the Department has included a sample list illustrative of potential technologies for consideration. While any project that meets the eligibility requirements is eligible to apply, the Department has identified five key technology areas of interest: advanced grid integration and storage; drop-in biofuels; waste-to-energy; enhancement of existing facilities; and efficiency improvements.

The Department welcomes public comment on a range of issues and will consider public feedback in defining the scope of the final solicitation. In addition to initiating a 30-day public comment period, a schedule of public meetings will be posted on the Department’s website. The draft solicitation can be found online at http://lpo.energy.gov.

Once the solicitation is finalized, the Department’s Loan Programs Office (LPO) will be accepting applications in three areas, which also include the $8 billion Advanced Fossil Energy Projects Solicitation that was released in December 2013 and the $16 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program.

Currently, the LPO supports a diverse portfolio of more than $30 billion in loans, loan guarantees, and commitments, supporting more than 30 projects nationwide. The projects that LPO has supported include one of the world’s largest wind farms; several of the world’s largest solar generation and thermal energy storage systems; and more than a dozen new or retooled auto manufacturing plants across the country.

 

Crowdsourcing climate change, one contest at a time

Read the full story in The Guardian.

For millions of people, Wikipedia is a quick and easy way to settle a factual disagreement or research a school paper. For Thomas Malone, professor of management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the online, crowd-sourced encyclopedia is an inspiration.

“It’s now possible to harness the collective intelligence of thousands of people all over the world at a scale and with a degree of collaboration that was never possible before,” Malone said. “We decided to basically crowd-source the problem of what to do about global climate change.”

The result is MIT’s Climate CoLab, a collaborative online community centered on a series of annual contests that seek out promising ideas for fighting climate change. Right now, 15 contests are active on the site, with more to come, Malone said.

 

H&M launches first campaign to promote sustainability initiatives

Read the full story in Marketing Week.

H&M is running its first campaign to promote its clothes recycling scheme as the retailer looks to raise awareness of its sustainability efforts and encourage more shoppers to donate unwanted items of clothing.

 

“Translating” CSR Effectively: Four Takeaways for Practitioners

Read the full story at CSRWire.

Listening carefully and crafting the message to meet your audience where they are is the key to expanding the CSR message beyond the circle of the converted.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2014 in Green business

 

3 magic words to mute ‘sustainababble’

The latest P2 Impact column is now available at GreenBiz.com. John Mulrow of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center explains how three magic words can mute “sustainababble” and clarify the progress that organizations are making to become more sustainable.

Read previous P2 Impact columns at http://www.greenbiz.com/business/engage/enterprise-blogs/p2-pathways.

 

IPCC report: 6 things you must know about reducing emissions

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s newest installment, Working Group III: Mitigation and Climate Change, highlights an important message: It’s still possible to limit average global temperature rise to 2°C — but only if the world rapidly reduces emissions and changes its current energy mix.

Getting to this finding meant analyzing more than 1,000 potential emissions pathways, modeled using the latest research and technology. In short, the report reveals the emissions trajectory we’re currently on — and the one we need to shift to if we’re to limit warming to 2°C, and avoid increasingly dangerous forest fires, sea level rise, heat waves and other climate impacts.

Here are six things you need to know about the level of emissions reductions needed to rein in runaway warming…

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2014 in Climate change, Green business

 

TripZero: A lean startup tries to ‘green’ the travel industry

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Carbon emissions are the elephant in the room for the travel and tourism industry but one startup is tackling the issue head on.
 
 
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