• Deforestation, Afforestation, and Everything in Between

    Sep 23 • News • 3138 Views

    An article from Triple Pundit touched on the critical issue of global forestry. “Broadly speaking…economically developed regions have stable or growing forests, and economically developing regions have shrinking forests,” writes Eric Justian.

    However, Justian states that “it’s important for developed nations like the U.S. not to be smug about our current successes. We’ve been through the trajectory from deforestation to recovery that many developing nations currently face.”

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  • The Question Big Business Should Be Asking

    Sep 23 • News • 1414 Views

    A recent article from Sustainable Brands urges big business to ask themselves, “What can we do that will facilitate change for the better?”

    “Corporations are slowly recognising and accepting their roles as influencers and catalysts of social change,”  writes Thomas Kolster, founder of WhereGoodGrows. “Several big corporates are leading the way by example, and have run campaigns that have successfully fulfilled both their brand objectives and added value to lives that needed it the most.”

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  • Katie, Bar the Door! The Skeptics are Coming! The Skeptics are Coming!

    Sep 19 • Environmental, Featured • 1651 Views

    Time to reprise the Richard Muller interview from August of 2012. The interview uncovers the results of a detailed, independent study he conducted to analyze the relationship between global warming and CO2 emissions produced by man. Considered a skeptic of previous scientific reports, Dr. Muller scientifically proved the correlation.

    We live in a world of news that is more entertainment than fact, which seeks to polarize rather than inform. Thanks to the power of social media and the web “leaking” information. Julian Assange took what was once a privilege of profound investigation and news reporting, and turned us on end with WikiLeaks.org. The debate on global warming and climate change has no safe harbor from the “leaks” phenomena.

    On August 13 of this year, the proverbial “stuff” hit the fan when a 31-page summary of the nearly 2000-page Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Report (IPCC-AR5) for Policy Makers was leaked to the press. The leaked report generated a tsunami of reporting, magnifying and challenging the five profound conclusions that generated a collective “Holy Cow, Batman!” by thought leaders such as former US Vice President Al Gore.

    However, the ground shook again when the final report was leaked (I think news reporters say that all information is leaked to make them sound like they are scooping the others). And, to add insult to injury, the community serving and preparing the report started to share that there were “errors.” YIKES!

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  • Americans Moving to Homegrown Green Energy?

    Sep 18 • News • 2105 Views

    With the rise of highly responsive social media tools and our increasing interconnectedness, complex networks of localized shareability have become the rule of thumb for many industries facing decentralization. From car sharing programs such as Relay Rides to the ability of individuals to shame major corporations into compliance and reform, the power of technology and information in the hands of the population have brought about immense changes and a major shift away from rigid hierarchies towards networks of resources.

    The latest industry facing such a challenge would appear to be the utility companies that make up the United States electrical grid – a heavily regulated industry of highly monopolistic monolithic corporate entities that control a vast majority of the country’s energy.

    But perhaps not for long.

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  • Australian Energy Market Operator Predicts Decrease in Renewable Energy Costs

    Sep 18 • News • 1360 Views

    A model by the Australian Energy Market Operator has demonstrated the possibility of the cost of renewable energy falling to market rates comparable to those of current fossil fuel-based energies as soon as 2030. Along with news that the Danish government plans to provide half the nation’s power from wind by 2020 (and hopes to reach full renewable energy compliance by 2050), an at least moderately feasible if somewhat speculative timeline begins to emerge in regard to sustainable technologies.

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  • Bombardier Aerospace Awards Sustainable Suppliers

    Sep 18 • News • 1406 Views

    Since 2011 Bombardier Aerospace has presented Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) supplier awards to its suppliers who have a proven commitment to sustainable practices.

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  • Yvon Chouinard on Building a Sustainable Company

    Sep 12 • Environmental • 1774 Views

    Yvon Chouinard, founder of apparel company Patagonia and self-proclaimed “reluctant businessman,” speaks on building a sustainable company from scratch.

     

    Image credit: Sam Beebe, Ecotrust/Flickr

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  • Change is in the Air

    Jun 26 • Social • 2965 Views

    “Nature is not an option, not a luxury. Nature is the underpinning that keeps us alive.
    We have to do a better job at embracing it and caring for it.” – Sylvia Earle (Organizational Survival: Profitable Strategies for a Sustainable Future)

    We have an unprecedented opportunity to reshape our world. We have accumulated more knowledge than ever before. The last hundred years have yielded astounding advances in engineering and technology. We have put men on the moon, put satellites in the sky, created worldwide communication networks, and explored the ocean to record depths. Through satellite photography, we can see the world in a way that none of our ancestors could. In the words of National Geographic explorer-in-residence Sylvia Earle, “Now we KNOW.”

    We are starting to understand our impact on Earth. With that knowledge, we can take action to change things for the better. We are at a crossroads—continue business as usual and deplete the Earth, or take action to preserve it. The good news is this: Now we KNOW—while we still have choices available. The crises affecting our planet require fundamental and innovative changes to every aspect of our lives. We need to change our mindset and create a bold new future. Business as usual will not get us there. We need innovations that focus on solving real problems without creating new ones. We’re not talking about incremental changes in products or services, though they do play a part. We need revolutionary innovations: sidewalks that power streetlights, buildings that eat smog, nuclear plants that run on radioactive waste.

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  • Working on a Sustainable Future

    Jun 23 • Social • 1138 Views

    I feel like I spent the last 6 months in a dungeon. Outside of consulting just enough to pay my bills, I spent the remainder of my time writing a business book together with Greg Balestrero, my partner in crime! The book is titled Organizational Survival: Profitable Strategies for a Sustainable Future and will be released by McGraw-Hill Professional at the end of this year. 

    Even though we walked different paths in life, the drive for Greg and myself to write this book is the same. The world is faced with several crises: global climate change, a growing global population and middle class that could exhaust the planet’s resources and challenge our very survival by the middle of this century. Unless we change the way we are doing business, these crises will affect the supply chains of every company on our planet. Yes, there are many books on Sustainability; however, this is a conversation that needs to be had and to be continued. Today, like never before, we urgently need innovation to manage and protect precious natural resources; creative ways to avoid the depletion of critical raw materials; inventive approaches to reducing and repairing environmental damage; and strategies for building sustainable communities.

    I would like to share some excerpts from the book and start the conversation. Please let me know your thoughts and ideas!

    I have traveled a lot in my life, both for pleasure and work, and in the process I had developed a healthy distrust of corporate intentions regarding nature, wildlife, and people, simply from seeing the damage done on land and under water. When I heard more and more companies talking about Corporate Social Responsibility but could not see real progress, either due to lack of transparency or lack of action, it sounded to me more like a marketing tool than true intentions to sustain our environment and societies. Continue Reading

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  • “Reluctant Stewards of Public Trust”… The Need for Corporate Awakening

    Jun 25 • Environmental • 2701 Views

    Waking at six a.m. on the last day of our trip into the Amazon River basin and the Peruvian rainforest was both exciting and sad. My wife and I jumped out of bed and ran to the board ramps for the skiffs to begin our last expedition of the trip. We didn’t want it to end, but knew that we needed to drink in the world around us one last time.

    We and 25 other passengers had spent 8 days aboard a small river boat to search out and witness life and biodiversity in this amazing place. Our expectations had not only been surpassed, but they were blown out of the water.  The sounds of the rainforest are incredible. I relish the scents, the sounds, the feeling…a remarkable experience. Each day, we spent 6-8 hours in skiffs, riding through the estuaries and tributaries, walking through the rainforest, and watching for signs of prey and predator alike. My mind ran through the myriad experiences we had and what this rainforest, and others like it, represent to the world.

    The rainforests of the Amazon River basin, covering 9 countries, produce 15% of the world’s oxygen—second only to the oceans of the world. It also represents one-third of the remaining forests of the world.  Oh, and let’s not forget the biodiversity. One-fifth of all the birds in the world and 2500 species of reptiles find a home in the rainforests of the Amazon River basin. Too, the river itself supports over 2500 species of fish. Can you imagine? A study done in 2001 measured a 1 square kilometer area of the rainforest and found 1000 separate types of trees. I couldn’t believe that I was there, witnessing this abundance of life and biodiversity.

    And of course, there is the Amazon River itself. The Amazon River is nearly 4,000 miles long, stretching from its beginning—60 miles east of the Pacific Ocean in the Peruvian Andes—and emptying into the Atlantic. One day of water passing through the Amazon would meet the needs of the entire state of New York for a full year! Truly amazing!  Continue Reading

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