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100+ Green Stories  from across the globe

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To most organizations, going green is about taking actions that have measurable and verifiable impacts. Read the stories below and be inspired to join the transition to build a green economy and be proud to tell your grandchildren one day, “Sweety… I did it for you”.

 

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Sept. 19 A sparkle of green into CDI College curriculum

 A journey that began as an invitation by Mr. Munde to present a green angle to his oil and gas students at CDI College, Edmonton City Centre Campus, has expanded to oil and gas students at the CDI South Campus, and now to a combined session of all of Edmonton’s CDI College Business Program students. This series of green presentations to CDI Business students, called The Big BAM Project, is coordinated by Mr. Mike Reilly, Business Administration Instructor at CDI City Centre Campus, and delivered by Frankline Agbor, Edmonton’s Green Crusader.

The Big BAM Project, a combined session of CDI City Centre, South, North, and West campuses, is scheduled for September 19, 2012 at 9AM, CDI West Campus, 176 Mayfield Common, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The project will help bring students into the “green discuss” and conclude with group of students giving presentations to advise organizations on simple, practical and cost-effective steps to “go green.”

CDI Edmonton is taking its green initiatives to a whole new level by incorporating “a sparkle of green” into its Business Program curriculum. “CDI College is an industry leader when it comes to education. I believe adding a Green component to our Business Program is not only exciting, it’s vital”, Kyle Ferbey, CDI Regional Director – Northern Alberta. Read more

The Business Case for the Green Economy

www.globe-net.com

Rio de Janeiro, 16 June 2012 – Businesses making the transition towards the green economy are already reaping rewards worth hundreds of millions of dollars in savings and high return on investment, while benefiting consumers, communities and the environment, says a new report entitled The Business Case for the Green Economy:Sustainable Return on Investment.

Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan, which aims to integrate sustainability into business models, has led to savings of over US $10 million dollars annually. At the same time, their “one rinse” washing formulas, which save an average of 30 litres per wash, are now used across 12.5 million households worldwide – a 60 per cent increase over 2010. Read more

 

Before you learn lessons from our collection of 100+ green stories,

first read what the best in the business do.

To be the best, you have to learn a thing or two from the best…right?

So who are the best and what do they do?

Corporate Knights Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations Announced in Davos

List of companies practicing cleaner capitalism beating benchmark by substantial margin

DAVOS, SWITZERLAND, (embargoed until 2.01 a.m. EST) January 25, 2012

Novo Nordisk is the world’s most sustainable company for 2012. What does sustainability mean, and why is it important? ”Sustainability is when what is good for a company is also good for the planet, and vice-versa”, Toby Heaps, editor-in-chief of Corporate Knights, a Toronto-based media company. Corporate Knights also defined sustainability as “clean capitalism” - an economic system in which prices fully incorporate social, economic and ecological costs and benefits, and actors are clearly aware of the consequences of their marketplace actions.

Rank Company Country Score
1 Novo Nordisk A/s Denmark 74.37%
2 Natura Cosmeticos S.a. Brazil 67.09%
3 Statoil Asa Norway 65.73%
4 Novozymes A/s Denmark 64.81%
5 ASML Holding Nv Netherlands 64.79%
6 BG Group Plc United Kingdom 63.24%
7 Westpac Banking Corporation Australia 61.74%
8 Vivendi S.a. France 59.53%
9 Umicore S.a./n.v. Belgium 58.44%
10 Norsk Hydro Asa Norway 58.29%

Read more on Corporate Knights Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations

 

The top ten Canadian companies in this year’s ranking are:

Rank Company Industry Score
1 Desjardins Group Diversified Financials 84.86 %
2 Vancouver City Savings C.U. Banks 84.01 %
3 Co-operators Group Insurance 82.21 %
4 Canadian National Railway Co. Transportation 79.12 %
5 Royal Bank of Canada Banks 77.88 %
6 Mountain Equipment Co-op Consumer Durables and Apparel 76.09 %
7 Hydro One Utilities 75.62 %
8 Enbridge Inc. Energy 74.98 %
9 First Quantum Minerals Ltd. Materials 74.65 %
10 HSBC Bank Canada Banks 74.26 %

The Corporate Knights Best 50 ranking of Canadian corporate citizenship assesses the relative impact of companies’ carbon, water, waste, and energy use, pension fund quality, board diversity, ratio of highest-paid executive to average worker pay, and tax dollar generation, as well as sector-specific indicators such as renewable energy investments (for financial companies) and respect for human rights (for mining companies). Read more

 

B.C. publisher proposes $13B crude refinery near Kitimat

CBC News

Posted: Aug 17, 2012   2:39 PM ET

A prominent B.C. businessman is proposing to build an oil refinery near Kitimat to refine crude oil shipped from the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.

David Black, owner of Black Press Group Ltd., said his other company, Kitimat Clean Ltd., is submitting an environmental assessment application for approval to build the plant.

It’s a project worth $13 billion, and Black said the refinery will create 3,000 full-time jobs and 6,000 temporary jobs during the construction phase.

In a written statement published online, Black said the refinery is being designed specifically for processing Alberta oilsands heavy crude oil, and should have the capacity to process the entire output of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.

Black said the plant would process up to 550,000 barrels per day of dilbit — condensate diluent and Alberta oilsands bitumen — and would return the separated diluent to the Edmonton area through a proposed secondary pipeline.

He said the plant would produce 240,000 barrels of diesel, 100,000 barrels of gasoline and 50,000 of kerosene, or jet fuel, per day. Read more

 

CO2 emissions in US drop to 20-year low

By KEVIN BEGOS, Associated  Press

Updated 8:36 a.m., Friday, August 17, 2012

PITTSBURGH (AP) — In a  surprising turnaround, the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the  atmosphere in the U.S. has fallen dramatically to its lowest level in 20 years,  and government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful  natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from  dirtier-burning coal.

Many of the world’s leading  climate scientists didn’t see the drop coming, in large part because it happened  as a result of market forces rather than direct government action against carbon  dioxide, a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere.

Michael  Mann, director of the Earth  System Science Center at Penn State University, said the shift away from  coal is reason for “cautious optimism” about potential ways to deal with climate  change. He said it demonstrates that “ultimately people follow their wallets” on  global warming. Read more

 

Lamphier: Oilsands eco-hyperbole hides real emissions culprit

Canada’s total a drop in the bucket compared to China’s coal-fired economy

By Gary Lamphier, Edmonton Journal

EDMONTON – NASA scientist James Hansen recently claimed it would be “game over” for the climate — and indeed, human civilization itself — if Alberta’s oilsands were developed.

Hansen’s headline-grabbing comments, which appeared in an op-ed piece in the usually sober-minded New York Times, were part of the green lobby’s ongoing campaign to demonize the oilsands, and halt the Keystone XL pipeline project.

Such fearmongering is hardly unusual, of course. When it comes to the oilsands — the greenies’ favourite punching bag — exaggeration is the weapon of choice, and it’s often employed with little restraint from the media’s usual gatekeepers, the editors. Read more 

 

The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic

By RICHARD A. MULLER
Published: July 28, 2012

CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.

My total turnaround, in such a short time, is the result of careful and objective analysis by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, which I founded with my daughter Elizabeth. Our results show that the average temperature of the earth’s land has risen by two and a half degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years, including an increase of one and a half degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases. Read more

 

More companies find value in green supply chain

July 20, 2012

GLOBE-Net, July 20, 2012 – The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which publishes the carbon footprint of companies such as Coca-Cola, Ford and Phillips Electronics, is experiencing an increase in participation this year in its Supply Chain Program.

An unprecedented 6,000-plus suppliers along the supply chains of fifty-four companies were invited to participate in the program, which works with companies to track and improve supplier operations as they relate to sustainability and climate change.

The voluntary nature of the program suggests a growing importance of sustainable practices in corporate supply chains. For many companies, carbon and sustainability reporting helps to not only limit business impact on the environment, but is also used as a strategy to reduce exposure to scarce raw materials, utilize waste streams as new forms of energy, as well as reduce overall energy consumption and carbon emissions.

British retailer Marks & Spencer, for example, reported £105m in 2011/12 annual net benefits resulting from its sustainability strategy.

While a number of large Canadian companies, such as Canada Post, Royal Bank of Canada and Petro Canada, have participated in the CDP and some smaller BC-based companies, such as Harbour Air and Salt Spring Coffee, have worked to measure and reduce their carbon footprints, there is no voluntary reporting scheme in the province.

Nevertheless, companies with facilities that emit 10,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gas (GHG) annually must report such emissions to the Ministry of Environment according to the Reporting Regulation of the 2009 Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Cap and Trade) Act.

GHGs are attributed to six sectors: energy, industrial processes, solvents and other product use, agriculture, waste, and afforestation and deforestation.

The BC government discloses that the energy, waste, and industrial processes sectors are responsible for the highest emissions respectively; however, information on corporate emissions is not publicly available.


PICS Climate News Scan – Produced by ISIS, Sauder School of Business, UBC and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) Authors: Justin Bull, Liz Ferris, Clea Moray, James Noble, Tim Shah Editors: Neil Thomson (ISIS), James Tansey (ISIS), Jessica Worsley (PICS), Tom Pedersen (PICS)

Source: www.cdproject.net

 

Canada scores 11th out of 12 in energy efficiency -  next to Russia

July 12, 2012

First International Energy Efficiency Scorecard of 12 Major Economies Also Finds Germany, Italy, and Japan Ranking Highly; U.S. Behind Most Countries, Including China, France, and Australia.

WASHINGTON, D.C. July 12, 2012 – The United Kingdom comes in first in a new energy efficiency ranking of the world’s major economies, followed closely by Germany, Italy, and Japan, according to the first-ever International Energy Efficiency Scorecard published today by the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Read more

 

Cleantech Opportunities in Japan

July 12, 2012

GLOBE-Net, July 12, 2012 – As the world’s third largest economy, and with a government committed to renewable energy, the market opportunities for clean technology in Japan today are real and lucrative.

This is the key conclusion of a new report by Kachan& Co., carried out in partnership with JETRO (the Japan External Trade Organization), based on an online survey in June 2012 of Japan and U.S.-based professionals, experts and academia involved in cleantech in Japan. Read more

July 12, 2012, Energy firms collect $46 million towards six projects which aim to cut carbon dioxide emissions

By Bill Mah, edmontonjournal.com

EDMONTON – Alberta’s climate-change technology fund announced $46 million Thursday for six energy companies designing projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The money comes from the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corp. (CCEMC), a non-profit, arm’s-length group created by the Alberta government.

It invests money collected from Alberta firms whose greenhouse emissions total more than 100,000 tonnes of a year who have to buy offsets, reduce emissions or send $15 per carbon tonne over target to the fund. It has grown to $312 million, with more than $167 million paid out to 31 clean energy projects. Read more

Germany may reach 52 GW solar by 2014, ending subsidies: minister

London (Platts)–11Jul2012/747 am EDT/1147 GMT

Germany may reach 52 GW of installed solar PV capacity as early as 2014, at which level the government would stop any further subsidies to new solar PV installations, the environment minister Peter Altmaier said Wednesday.
“If we continue to drive the energy transition without coordination, we may end up with twice as much wind and solar capacity as we actually need,” the minister told German daily Passauer Neue Presse. Read more

Any organization or government may lead on going green. Small nations may have unexpected lessons for big ones. Check out the bright light emitted by the small nation of Singapore.

June 18, National Climate Change Strategy

The National Climate Change Strategy (NCCS-2012) document outlines Singapore’s plans to address climate change through a whole-of-nation approach. Entitled ‘Climate Change and Singapore: Challenges. Opportunities. Partnerships.’, the document reflects the key elements of Singapore’s climate strategy. They include reducing emissions across sectors, building capabilities to adapt to the impact of climate change, harnessing green growth opportunities as well as forging partnerships on climate change action. Please Read more

Recycling Theft

In March 2012, San Fransisco Examiner reported that hundreds of people drive around San Francisco, stealing cardboard, bottles and other recyclables. For Recology, the company hired by The City of San Francisco to pick up garbage and recycling, it also means the loss of up to $5 million in revenue annually, which otherwise could be used to help pay for the recycling service. The paper went on to add that the city seems trapped in a philosophical battle with itself over whether to crack down on the thieves or look the other way because recycling is how some of the City’s poorest residents, including the homeless, make a living. Read more

Get involved!

Do you have stories to share? What do you think…should Cities crack down on “Green Burglars” or look the other way because recycling is how some of City’s poorest residents make a living? Learn about a related story. Watch CNN Report

 

Local Alberta, Canada green success stories

Landmark Group of Builders, Edmonton

Saved $800 a month for sustainable waste management (RBC Greening your Business, 2010).

Capital Power Corporation

Reported that their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions volumes and emissions intensity were essentially unchanged in 2010. Across their North American operations, GHG emissions totalled 11.68 million tonnes (MT) in 2010, down marginally from 11.85 MT in 2009. In 2010, Capital Power also permanently retired 461,000 tonnes of GHG offsets in the Alberta market. Year-over-year changes in GHG emissions and emissions intensity are generally driven by:

  • changes in power production volume (maintenance outages at thermal facilities can have a significant impact on single-year results);
  • the introduction of new technologies that increase efficiency or decrease emissions; and
  • changes in our generating fleet (the development and acquisition of cleaner facilities add to emissions volumes while decreasing emissions intensity, whereas the addition of non-emitting sources leaves emissions volumes unchanged and decreases emissions intensity).

Caapital Power also invested in the purchase, and sale of verified emission offsets. Approximately $15.7 million in offsets were purchased in 2010, and 26 purchase and sale agreements were in place. Read more

 

CDI College

As technology advances and wireless tablets become an essential part of today’s professional communication,  CDI College has introduced iPads and eTextbooks for new students, creating an enhanced learning experience.  Business students will develop cutting-edge communication skills needed for on the job tasks. Today, many business professionals use iPads to read and edit documents, draft and respond to emails, as well as stay informed of relevant industry news.

This iPad move replaces paper-made Textbooks and learning materials for thousand of students across Canada, saving the planet from the cutting of trees, use of chemicals and polution as a result of paper production. Read more

CDI College Edmonton City Centre and Edmonton South campuses have become the first college to incorporate “green” into their curriculum for their Oil and Gas Administration Course. Read more

Manasc Isaac Architects Ltd.

At their office they reduce environmental impact by:

WASTE:

  • Eliminate all disposables
  • Reuse paper

CLEANING:

  • Green housekeeping supplies and practices
  • In-house housekeeping staff

ENERGY:

  • Reduce the energy use of the Oliver Building to < .5 GJ/m2/year
  • Install energy monitoring
  • Green transportation plan: reduce driving to the office and offer free transit passes

WATER:

  • Reduce water consumption by replacing toilets

OLIVER BUILDING:

  • Green roof
  • Landscaping
  • Solar Sunshades
  • Operable windows

Read more

 

Stantec Inc.

Governance and Management

  • Formally approved a corporate sustainability policy
  • Established an Executive Sustainability Steering Committee
  • Launched a mandatory business ethics training program

Economy

  • Over $1.5 billion in gross revenue
  • Included in the Jantzi Social Index since 2007
  • Recognized as a Carbon Disclosure Leader

Environment

  • Completed our first Company-wide environmental footprint
  • Over 2,000 employees participated in our Cool Commute Challenge
  • Gained three more LEED-certified offices

Society

  • One of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers
  • Lost-time injury rate was cut almost in half from 2009
  • Cash and in-kind donations totaled almost $800,000

Read more

 

Williams Engineering Canada Inc.

  • Have an in-house collaborative multi-disciplinary team across the organization who work continually to make the firm more sustainable.
  • Currently the team is tracking the company’s greenhouse gas emissions and is preparing to perform a water and waste audit.
  • This is the second year assessing the environmental impacts of its operations as part of a monitoring program.
  • Internal monitoring program helps understand overall environmental footprint while helping to demonstrate the effectiveness of the initiatives to implemented to reduce their environmental impact.
  • Their Arctic region maintains a composting program which has allowed them to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.
  • Composting programs are also being assessed for other regions.

Read more

 

“Anything that doesn’t go out as beer, 97 and a half per cent gets recycled, be it glass, batteries, light tubes, electronics,” said resident engineer Marc Ballantyne to Edmonton Journal on June 5th. “Even in the brewing process, the spent grains that are left over, we get that to farmers so they can use it in their fields.”

In the last three years, adopting suggestions from brewery employees reduced annual water consumption by over 10 million litres, recycled 63 tonnes of aluminum and 1,800 tonnes of cardboard a year and cut electricity usage by 22 per cent. Many male plant workers looked downright hirsute Tuesday as the result of a pledge to save water by not shaving.

Yet challenges remain. “All the raw materials are trucked in from Calgary or wherever our suppliers are, and all the finished goods are trucked out,” said brewery general manager Andre Gravelle.

Municipal Green Success Stories

  • In 2010, City of Edmonton saved 6.4 million kWh per year, reducing power consumption by 80% per light from the conversion of conventional street lighting to LED (City of Edmonton).

  • The City of Vancouver has set a target to become the “greenest” city in the world by 2020 – create 20,000 new green jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 33% below 2007 level, and plant 150,000 additional trees (City of Vancouver).

Dawson Creek lights way for cities going solar

By David Dodge, edmontonjournal.com

EDMONTON – Dawson Creek is in the heart of oil and gas country in the Northern Rockies and is famously located at Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway. Yet, everywhere you look are signs of green energy. From solar powered speed signs to solar thermal hot water systems on the majority of its public buildings you quickly get a sense that this city is already looking beyond fossil fuels.

The pièce de résistance is the Bear Mountain wind park — 34 wind turbines occupy the western skyline of Dawson Creek like green energy sentinels. The 102-megawatt wind farm consists of 34 German-made Enercon wind turbines that produce much more energy than the 12,000 residents of Dawson Creek need. Read more

 

City of Rio to Launch Low Carbon City Development Program

www.globe-net.com

The Rio de Janeiro Low Carbon City Development Program is a business model for green, sustainable cities worldwide. This is a timely initiative as the City of Rio de Janeiro prepares for a massive influx of investment, particularly in infrastructure, ahead of the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympics in Rio in 2016. The Program assists Rio in securing a low-carbon growth trajectory and respecting the city’s rich natural resources. “Rio de Janeiro is a leader in the area of ​​climate change mitigation. We were the first Brazilian city to set concrete and bold goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At the end of this year, Rio will have reduced its emissions by 8%,”said Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro. Read more

 

 Green stories from out of Alberta, Canada

  • Canadian Tire saved $6 million and 11,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2009 in energy savings from light bulb retrofits (RBC Greening your Business, 2010).

  • Memorial University in St. John’s saved $1.5 million and 7,311 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year for energy retrofit of 8 buildings (RBC Greening your Business, 2010).

  • Toronto District School Board saved $12 million in energy cost over nine years with an 18% reduction in carbon dioxide from installation of automated building systems, mechanical retrofits of 134 schools, and lighting retrofits at 224 schools (RBC Greening your Business, 2010).

 

Vancouver International Airport

Solar Powered Hot Water

The Airport Authority has had solar hot water heating systems on the Domestic and International buildings since 2003. These systems help heat more than 800-gallons of hot water every hour, resulting in an energy savings of $110,000 each year. The solar-powered hot water heating system, along with the implementation of night set-backs, CO2 sensors, and improved scheduling and system tune-ups, has led to a decrease of 25 per cent in natural gas use in the airport’s domestic terminal since 2001.

Taxi Incentive Program

One hundred hybrid and natural gas-operated taxis have been licensed to pick up passengers arriving at YVR. In 2004, the Airport Authority launched an incentive rebate program for alternative-fueled taxis and by 2009 the average taxi fleet fuel economy had improved by 47 per cent. With the thousands of passengers travelling to and from the airport by taxi each year, this incentive program has had a noteable impact on air quality. To provide an concrete example, this program has been the equivalent of taking 1,651 cars off the road, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 8,422 tonnes a year.

Energy Reduction Committee

In 1999, the Vancouver Airport Authority created a cross-departmental energy reduction team to identify and implement energy-reducing initiatives. Examples of energy-conscious initiatives include installing an econo-mode setting on baggage conveyor belts to shut down conveyors when no bags are present; installing carbon dioxide sensors to control heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) according to the number of people in area; and patenting a black box to regulate electrical power to the flight information display monitors when no flights are scheduled. Since the Energy Reduction Team’s creation, the Vancouver Airport Authority has saved more than 24 gigawatt hours of electricity and $5.5 million dollars.

Rapid Transportation

YVR has a direct rapid transit link to the downtown core – the Canada Line SkyTrain which opened in 2009.  By 2010, it is expected the Canada Line SkyTrain will serve approximately 100,000 riders every day. The Canada Line offers a fast, convenient and inexpensive travel option for YVR customers and employees, carrying riders from the airport or Richmond to downtown Vancouver in 25 minutes – half the average time it takes to drive the same distance.

YVR Recycling Containers

From 2005-2009, the Airport Authority installed 450 recycling containers in every wing of the airport.  The new containers were designed specifically for YVR and are made of recycled steel, aluminum, and plastic. The recycling containers help our community and passengers recycle over 1,250,000 kg of material each year – the weight of almost seven Boeing 747 jumbo jets.

 

Green Statistics and facts

    • 79% of small and medium size enterprises believe it is possible to grow the economy and protect the environment at the same time (Canadian Federation of Independent Business, 2007).
    • 90% of the Global top 500 companies see a business opportunity in “going green” (Carbon Disclosure Project Report 2010).
    • 84% of senior executives state that education and awareness is the key to achieving organizational sustainability (KPMG Climate Change Business Leaders Survey, 2007).
    • A 2011 study by MIT noted that sustainability is now a permanent part of 70 percent of corporate agendas.
    • According to a report by D S Simon Productions, “media initiatives with a corporate social responsibility focus generate 35-50 percent more positive media coverage on television, radio, web and social media than comparable programs without CSR.”
    • Social and environmental responsibility is also appreciated by investors: In the stock market, responsible assets rose more than 324 percent from 1995 to 2007, confirming growing interest in sustainability among investors.
    • 92 percent of young professionals would be more inclined to work for an environmentally friendly company, according to a MonsterTRAK poll on green employment

 

May 16

Canada’s Opportunity: Adopting Life Cycle Approaches for Sustainable Development

Canada’s Opportunity provides an overview of Life Cycle Approaches in use in Canada and elsewhere, the risks and opportunities related to their uptake, the conditions for their successful adoption in the private and public sectors, and identifies actions that the government can take to support their application.

It sets out the risks faced by Canadian companies that are unprepared for or unable to comply easily or quickly with existing or anticipated foreign government regulations that require product life cycle disclosure. It also identifies opportunities for companies that adopt a Life Cycle Approach to achieve better supply-chain performance, internal operation efficiencies, and increased institutional capacity to enhance innovation and support environmental stewardship. [Read the report

May 15

Solar powered dentist

By David Dodge’s Green Energy Futures

Dr. Keith King with a few of the 180 solar panels on the roof of the “The Ridge” in Medicine Hat. Photo David Dodge

You’ve heard of a bright-white smile, but what about a solar powered dentist? Dr. Keith King is the only orthodontist in Medicine Hat, and he was watching the Hat Smart program evolve very closely.

Click to see a flickr slide show of Dr. King’s solar project.

Dr. King and two partners own a professional building in Medicine Hat that’s home to his orthodontics practice, a chiropractor, a doctor, a physical therapist and an orthopedic surgeon. They call the facility “the Ridge.”

Dr. King wanted to do something to reduce his dependence on non-renewable energy, so he called Rick Dunsmore of Goose Creek Renewable Energy and convinced his two independent partners to each install 10 kilowatts of solar power on their shared building . Read more

 

May 14

Not thinking green will hurt Canadian businesses internationally: NRTEE panel

Canadian businesses are facing “significant economic repercussions” that will affect the country’s growth and international competitiveness because of inadequate policies to ensure environmental stewardship through the lifespan of products, says a report released Wednesday by a doomed federal advisory panel.

The research by the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy was requested last year by Environment Minister Peter Kent and included multiple consultations with officials from government, businesses and academics. Read more

 

UK’s only carbon-neutral chocolate arrives by sailing ship

Sustainable shipping : brigantine Tres Hombres : chocolate shipping

The 32-metre brigantine Tres Hombres maintains a sustainable freight service between Europe, the Atlantic islands, the Caribbean and America. Photograph: Menno Valkenburg/Tres Hombres

Which ticks more ethical boxes? Fairtrade organic olive oil from the Palestinian territories? Or organic chocolate grown by a co-operative of Grenadian peasant farmers on a solar-powered farm and transported to Europe from the Caribbean in a sailing ship with no engines?

The olive oil sells for £8.50 for a 500ml bottle, but the first 24,000 bars of “handpressed, single-estate, vanilla-free, vintage rootstock, grown-with-a-windward aspect” chocolate in the world arrives in Portsmouth next week – winds permitting – on the Tres Hombres, a 32-tonne square-rigged wooden sailing cargo ship.  Read more

 

May 11

Why Walmart’s better supplier scorecard is a big deal

Published April 19, 2012

Why Walmart's better supplier scorecard is a big deal

Walmart (NYSE: WMT) is poised to transform the sustainability and retailing world — again — with a significant expansion of its highly influential supplier scorecard program. This week in a webinar and its Global Responsibility Report, Walmart announced that it will broaden its initial 15-question scorecard to 100 major categories, with category-specific questions, by the end of this year.  Read more

 

Wal-Mart is unveiling a pilot program in closed-loop retail

May 17, 2012- I had a great talk the other day about the timing of innovation with Rahul Raj, Director of Sustainability and MerchandisingInnovation at Wal-Mart.

We were introduced through colleagues at Sustainable Brands, a conference Raj is speaking at this June. As we’d both attended several SB shows over the years, our chat naturally started with the metamorphosis of CSR reflected in the yearly events.

“I’ve seen sustainability evolve from being a bolt-on risk mitigation tool to something built into the company, to part of a company’s DNA” Raj reflected. “I see the Method model, where CSR is baked into the company charter, as the next step.”

 

May 11

Leaner, faster, greener: Nike’s new supply chain goals

Published May 04, 2012

Leaner, faster, greener: Nike's new supply chain goals

Nike (NYSE: NKE) is making some big changes to how it manages its supply chain. As part of its sustainability report released Thursday, the retailer said it plans to launch a new manufacturing index in 2012 that will place factories’ sustainable practices “on equal footing” with the traditional supply-chain measures of quality, cost and delivery. The index will now include environmental and labor-sustainability metrics, according to the report. And Nike will use that index to evaluate its suppliers. Read more

May 11

Sustainability strategy begins with 20/20 Vision

Published May 07, 2012

PepsiCo articulates it this way: “PepsiCo’s responsibility is to continually improve all aspects of the world in which we operate – environment, social, economic – creating a better tomorrow than today.” It put its vision into action through programs and a focus on environmental stewardship, activities to benefit society, and a commitment to build shareholder value by making PepsiCo a truly sustainable company.

An example of putting this into practice is its wildly successful Pepsi Refresh campaign. By garnering votes online, organizations can win grants. Since it started in 2009, more than $19 million in grants have been given to more than 1,000 local community projects, nonprofits and other groups, impacting more than 1.4 million people. And as often happens, a great additional benefit to Pepsi has been the massive wave of PR that has come with doing good. As of mid-2011, Pepsi had more than 76 million votes on their RefreshEverything.com site, and had chalked up over 3 billion online mentions.

 

May 11

Sustainability strategy begins with 20/20 Vision

Published May 07, 2012

Layne, where its vision includes sustainability at its core: “To be the leading sustainable solutions provider to the world of essential natural resources — water, minerals and energy. (Full disclosure: Layne is a BrownFlynn client.) As part of its overall business plan, Layne has a specific sustainability business plan that focuses sustainable efforts in detailed ways that support the business goals while also supporting environmental, social, and economic goals. Additionally, it highlights the importance of both tracking and continually improving. By establishing an organization structure, building measurement tools, engaging its workforce, and developing overarching strategies to help them measure progress, Layne’s employees are inspired to make progress towards their vision.

 

May 11

Sustainability strategy begins with 20/20 Vision

Published May 07, 2012

DuPont focused squarely on sustainability as critical to all aspects of their business. Its vision statement is, “Our vision is to be the world’s most dynamic science company, creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere.” How does it put that vision into action? DuPont lists safety, concern and care for people, protection of the environment and personal and corporate integrity as the company’s highest core values. Having this in place as a guide for making decisions has allowed DuPont to be named a Fortune Top 50 Most Admired Company, and number 19 on the Top 100 Best Corporate Citizens by Corporate Responsibility magazine.

 

May 11

Sustainability strategy begins with 20/20 Vision

Published May 07, 2012

At L’Oreal, sustainability is a source of inspiration: L’Oreal provides “access to products that enhance well-being, mobilising innovative strength to preserve the beauty of the planet and supporting local communities. These are exacting challenges, which are a source of inspiration and creativity for L’Oreal.” With this philosophy guiding them, they have designed some impressive programs like their Digital for All and Green Academies. Additionally, the company appreciates the value diversity brings to innovation, and has developed creative hiring programs to find the best talent available in multiple new markets where growth is accelerating.

 

May 10

Ecoist handmade handbags are made from recycled candy wrappers, food packages, soda labels, and other recycled materials.

They collect waste and “upcycle” it  into eco friendly bags, recycled purses, and one-of-kind, limited collection handbags. Learn how

 

May 10

Organic certifications for Canadian fish farms unveiled

Atlantic salmon on a fish farm in British Columbia. Farmed fish can now be certified as organic in Canada.

OTTAWA — Canadian farmed fish can now be certified as organic with the release of made-in-Canada standards.

The inaugural Canadian Organic Aquaculture Standard, to be released Thursday, prohibits the use of antibiotics, herbicides and genetically modified organisms, and severely restricts the use of parasiticides. The standard also sets measurable requirements for practices that minimize the impact of waste, including defining stocking rates, cleaning procedures and cleaning and feed materials that must be used. Read more

 

May 10

Coconuts, wind and sun to power Pacific nations

Pacific nations, like Tovalu, are aiming to get all of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

Tiny Pacific nations which are most at threat from rising seas have vowed to dump diesel and other dirty expensive fuels blamed for causing global warming and replace them with clean sources.

Using coconut biofuel and solar panels, Tokelau — which consists of three island dots half way between New Zealand and Hawaii — plans to become self-sufficient in energy this year. Read more

 

May 9

Canada Takes Lead in Turning Waste Heat into Green Air Conditioning for Electric Cars

By Debbie Lawes for Automotive Partnerships Canada

GLOBE-Net, May 2, 2012 – Vancouver-based Future Vehicle Technologies Inc. (FVT) has already piqued the interest of driving enthusiasts with a high-performance electric sports car that uses just two litres of gas per 100 kilometres.

The six-year-old company is going even greener with a technology that would overcome one of the biggest barriers to hybrid cars-finding a way to efficiently manage and recycle waste heat, and to use that energy for airconditioning. Learn more

 

May 7

Co-Op Innovates World’s First Transportation Carbon Offset Program Right Here in Northern BC

Carbon Offset Aggregation Cooperative

As awareness of the impact of greenhouse gas emissions has reached global levels, a new business concept based in northern BC is showing that individual companies can make a difference by reducing their fuel consumption which in turn, reduces the harmful emissions.

May 2

Environment Key to Preventing Childhood Disabilities

ScienceDaily (May 1, 2012) — The United States government would get a better bang for its health-care buck in managing the country’s most prevalent childhood disabilities if it invested more in eliminating socio-environmental risk factors than in developing medicines.

That’s the key conclusion of Prevention of Disability in Children: Elevating the Role of Environment, a new paper co-authored by a Simon Fraser University researcher. The paper is in the May issue of the Future of the Children journal, which is produced by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and the Brookings Institution.

“Our conclusions may sound obvious or benign, but they may also be viewed as medical heresy,” says Bruce Lanphear, the study’s SFU co-author. The health scientist was also involved in studies showing that there is no safe level of lead exposure for children. Read more

 

May 2

Green Affluents: The Newest Market Segment

Written by: Marc Stoiber from Co Exist

Futureproof brands are built on insights into future consumers. Turns out, the future of affluence exists today, and BMW is getting ready to pitch it.

My job is creating futureproof brands for clients. I believe those brands are built on sustainability, innovation, design, insight, and sociability. Among these attributes, insight has a special place. Get it right, and your brand lines up with what tomorrow’s consumers demand. Get it wrong, and you become the next Segway scooter.

I’ve often used BMW i, the new BMW sub-brand as an example of great futureproof insight. The division’s philosophy is about more than cool new cars like the BMW i3 and BMW i8 hybrids. Instead, the project is based on making mobility–not just driving–exciting in the future. Read more

May 2

Structural Batteries: Building in Power

By Imogen Reed of AlternergyMag

Structural batteries are sheets of carbon-composite material that can be molded into complex 3-D shapes to form the actual structure of a device. Thus, the rear wing of a racing car becomes an in-built battery, a torch is its own power source, and the fabric of a tent can capture solar energy. “Anything you can do with carbon fiber, you can do with structural batteries”, says Stewart Penney, commercialization manager of BAE’s Advanced Technology Centre. Structural batteries can be made microscopically thin and could even, potentially, be incorporated into fabric. They work just like normal batteries, and can be recharged either at the mains or using solar energy and other renewable power-sources. Read more

May 1

Can McDonald’s lead in green?

By Jennifer Inez  Ward of GreenBiz

McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) is finally sowing deeper green roots. The Oak Brook, Ill-based company over the last several years has launched a wide variety of environmental policies and programs; everything from reusing air conditioning condensation to water company plants to repurposing McDonald’s advertising banners into tote bags. Read more

April 26

How Genzyme cut its energy bill by 13% last year

By   Paul  Baier of GreenBiz

A longtime leader in energy and sustainability, Genzyme, reduced its energy spending and emissions considerably in 2011. It would be a major accomplishment for any organization, and especially for a large, complex multinational.

Sustainability and energy program leaders could learn much from this impressive program at Genzyme. For those unfamiliar with Genzyme, it is one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies, employing more than 10,000 people with $4 billion in annual revenue. Genzyme’s mission is to discover and deliver transformative therapies for patients with rare and special unmet medical needs, providing hope where there was none before.

April 26

How Microsoft is using data to slash its energy bills

By   Eric  Louie of GreenBiz

Many companies already collect data to make sure their sustainability programs stay on track. But data collection also can go a long way toward helping companies set up an effective — and potentially even profitable — program in the first place.

That message was underscored in sustainability sessions at the OSIsoft user’s conference in San Francisco this week. The software company’s event ends Thursday. Read more

 

A window into Microsoft’s quest to become ‘carbon neutral’

Published May 08, 2012

Microsoft today announced a commitment to achieve “carbon neutrality” for its energy use companywide during its upcoming fiscal year, beginning July 1. It’s a bold and somewhat unusual plan, but consistent with the software giant’s other recent sustainability initiatives, which favor sophisticated, IT-fueled projects conducted in a transparent and accountable fashion.

Whether or not it succeeds, the effort demonstrates the potential of pushing the responsibility for improving energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions and increasing use of renewable energy down to every business unit and operation across more than 100 countries, while creating economic incentives for them to do so. Read more

 

Carbon Neutrality – Latest Microsoft Goal

GLOBE-Net, May 8, 2012 – Microsoft Corporation is known for taking on tough challenges at a global scale and in making a difference in the world. But its latest initiative to promote positive change and to reduce its environmental footprint may prove to be one of the software giant’s most ambitious undertakings ever.

Beginning in fiscal year 2013 (starting this July 1st), Microsoft will be carbon neutral across all its direct operations including data centers, software development labs, air travel, and office buildings. Read more

 

April 19

New Los Angeles Program Transform Rooftops into Clean Energy by Globe-Net

Los Angeles, April 12, 2012 – More of those flat warehouse rooftops baking in the Los Angeles sun are soon to become mini-solar electricity power plants thanks to a new law signed today by Los Angeles City Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

The city’s much anticipated solar feed-in tariff program, which received unanimous votes by the City Council last week, will set in motion a 10 megawatt demonstration program that will enable Angelenos to transform underutilized rooftop spaces on multifamily residences, schools, warehouses, parking lots and retail spaces into a valuable and clean energy resource. Read more

April 19

“Green” Companies Make-up One-third of British Columbia’s Top 20 Innovators in 2012…did you know that?

The 20 Most Innovative Companies in B.C. 2012 by BC Business

We uncover 20 organizations in our province that are radically changing their sectors while boosting their bottom lines.

When we began our Top Innovators competition four years ago we took a big gamble. The leading contenders were obvious: MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates had put Canadian engineering on the map with its Canadarm, Lululemon Athletica Inc. had introduced a whole new category of leisure wear and AbeBooks had revolutionized bookselling. But once we burned through the obvious choices, would there be anything left? Read more from BC Business about what BC organizations are doing to build a green economy

April 19

UK Emission reductions by 80% can be done and will create 2 million new jobs by Globe-Net

GLOBE-Net, April 15, 2012 – A new report says the United Kingdom can achieve an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2050 with minimal impact on GDP and with minimal costs.

“The 2050 target – achieving an 80% reduction including emissions from international aviation and shipping” was published by the UK’s Committee on Climate Changewhich, was created to provide advice to the government on carbon targets and budgets and preparations for climate change. Read more

April 18

Google Street View for building energy efficiency by GreenBiz

A Cambridge, Mass.-based startup, Essess, has found a novel way to spot energy leaks for residential and commercial buildings: drive-by energy audits. Equipped with multi-spectral thermal cameras mounted on top of vehicles, the company captures high-speed images to build a database of energy consumption for buildings, neighborhoods and cities. Read more

April 18

TD Bank close to paperless

Paper touches almost every aspect of our business. But here at TD, we’re working to change that with a new initiative – TD Forests. It’s built around two main pillars – reduce and grow. By 2015 we intend to reduce our paper consumption by at least 20% and increase the amount of protected forest area…Read more

April 18

Korean green life encouraged by Green Credit Card by Globe-Net

By Jung Hwan Kim

GLOBE-Net, April 16, 2012 – The South Korean Ministry of Environment and Korea Environmental Industry & Technology Institute (KEITI) have announced that over 2 million people, about 10% of economically active population of 24.7 million, have signed up for the Green Credit Card in just 9 months since its launch. Read more

April 5

Urbee Hybrid Car Project

popsci.com

deskeng.com

At Kor Ecologic, when we design a product, we try to make the design fit our idea of the way things should be

The Urbee design team had a vision. That vision was written out and posted on the walls of their shop. It is the fundamental design ideals they followed in working on the Urbee Car Project.

  1. Use the least amount of energy possible for every kilometre traveled.
  2. Cause as little pollution as possible during manufacturing, operation and recycling of the car.
  3. Use materials available as close as possible to where the car is built.
  4. Use materials that can be recycled again and again.
  5. Use parts and materials that last as long as possible.
  6. Be simple to understand, build, and repair.
  7. Be as safe as possible to drive.
  8. Meet the standards and regulations applicable to traditional cars.
  9. Be buildable in small quantities so we don’t have to wait for it to become more widely accepted before we can begin manufacturing it for the public.
  10. Be mass-producable so it can be built more economically once it becomes more widely accepted.
  11. Be affordable.
  12. Be visually appealing.

Learn more

 

Source: Green Marketing TV

Making apple cider from waste apple

…instead of throwing the apples that weren’t deemed suitable for the supermarket into the trash, Batlow Apples decided to create a side business making apple cider.

Made with 3.5 apples per bottle, Batlow Premium Cider was developed out of a need to find a use for waste products produced in the apple growing industry. The apple co-operative, Batlow Apples, found that its waste fruit was just that – waste.

So instead of throwing the apples that weren’t deemed suitable for the supermarket into the trash, Batlow Apples decided to create a side business making apple cider. Their beverage is made without concentrates or sugar, is gluten-free, and apparently a favorite of Australians. Check out their quirky video on the selection of apples for the cider:

MyFarm.com Crowd-Manages Agricultural Production, Supports Small Farm

Source: Green Marketing TV

 

MyFarm.com crowdsourced social enterprise 300x86 Three Green Businesses Transforming Food Production and Waste

A Portuguese farm is now being run by the masses through MyFarm.com. This conventional farm was converted into farm land which is now being crowd-managed by urban dwellers, giving them the opportunity to participate in farm life without having to move to the farm.  Functioning much like a game (think Farmville), MyFarm.com makes real-life agriculture fun and creative.

Members of the farm co-operative are able to purchase 49 square meters of land for EUR 60, which gives them 600 points, with the opportunity to purchase more points at a rate of EUR 1 per 10 points.

The points are then converted into power that can be used to dictate what happens on the farm. Members can choose from activities like selecting which seeds to grow, determining when seeds should be planted and how many to sow, as well as some of the techniques used for cultivation. And if members aren’t sure what’s best, they can consult the online information available to them on how sustainable farms are managed. The workers on the farm are then to set to work within three working days (weather permitting) to carry out the plans of the members. They also receive updates on how their garden grows.

Once the season is complete, the members receive a portion of the crop to get a taste for what they’ve cooperatively created! Members are also required to pay a monthly lease of EUR 25 which goes to supporting the farm. It’s a great concept for educating people about the origins of food while supporting small farmers at the same time.

 

Zéro Gâchis Helps Businesses Discount Food to Avoid Spoilage Waste

Source: Green Marketing TV

Green business Zero Gachis 300x140 Three Green Businesses Transforming Food Production and Waste

In another stroke of food-saving brilliance, Zéro Gâchis, a French based green enterprise, has created a way for businesses to avoid food waste by advertising sales on foods that are near their expiration dates.  When a grocer or bakery finds that they have items that will soon spoil if they are not consumed, they can create promotions to offer the foods at a discount. Buyers are notified of the sales via the site and can take quick action to purchase the goods before they go. Buyers also earn points for using the site, which gives them even further discounts in the future or be given at donations that help to avoid food waste.

March 4

Sustainable restaurants expand use of recyclable materials

Restaurateurs mindful of sustainability are finding ways to expand the possibilities of what they can recycle at their establishments. As a result, they are moving beyond glass, plastic and paper to other, more complex items ‑ materials that range from carpets to cargo containers and adding momentum to the movement as both recyclers and users of recovered materials.

For example, wine bottle corks are now being collected by chain and independent restaurants for conversion into such items as shoe soles. Houlihan’s Restaurants is participating in a pilot program called ReCork at its specialty steak and seafood restaurants that could lead to cork recycling at its namesake 85-unit dinnerhouse chain. Read more

March 4

Using Soccer to Supplant Kerosene Use?

sustainable design, green design, soccket ball, alternative energy, renewable energy, social design, humanitarian design, energy generating soccer ball, kinetic energy

Children in South Africa test out the sOccket, a soccer ball that generates and stores electricity during normal game play. It can be used to provide light at night.

In many developing countries, heavy reliance on kerosene lamps has led to myriad health problems. The World Bank, for example, estimates that breathing the fumes created from burning kerosene indoors equals the harmful effects of smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. Read more

April 4

Are We Poisoning Ourselves With Beauty?

File:Woman applying make-up.jpg

Chemicals, heavy metals, bacteria, and other hazardous ingredients are  turning up in makeup, skin creams, and hair styling products. Here, the latest and most dangerous beauty alerts, and how to protect yourself without compromising your beauty routine. Read more

April 4

Fisker unveils 2nd electric car the Atlantic (formerly Nina)

FISKER NINA-1351

Electric car startup Fisker Automotive unveiled a design prototype of its second extended-range electric car that is now being called the Atlantic (formerly called Project Nina) at an event in New York City on Tuesday night. The company didn’t give many details on price and launch date, but said the car would be priced in the range of an Audi 85 and BMW 3 series, which would be less than its $100,000 first electric car the Karma.

Fisker’s Chief Design Officer (and former CEO) Henrik Fisker showed off a few design details of the car on stage including something called a “spider roof,” a next-generation power train, and lights that look like eagle eyes. Though, the car shown on stage is a prototype so features could change. Read More

April 4

Flying car cleared for takeoff  (not sure how green it is)

Watch video

Drivers hoping to slip the surly — and traffic congested — bonds of Earth moved a step closer to realizing their dream Monday, as a US firm said it had successfully tested a street-legal plane.

Massachusetts-based firm Terrafugia said their production prototype “Transition” car-plane had completed an eight-minute test flight, clearing the way for it to hit the market within a year.

“With this flight, the team demonstrated an ability to accomplish what had been called an impossible dream,” said founder Carl Dietrich. Read more

 

April 4

Ford to Gauge Public Acceptance of Stop/Start on New ’13 Fusion

Ford expects 20% take rate for stop/start system on ’13 Fusion

Fordwants to weigh how much U.S. consumers are willing to embrace stop/start technology by offering its system on the upcoming ’13 Fusion midsize sedan, a top marketer says.

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