GreenBiz.com has released the fifth annual edition of its State of Green Business report, one of the most comprehensive discussions and measurement of the environmental impacts of the emerging green economy. In addition to documenting corporate progress in improving their environmental performance, the report tracks larger trends that will affect corporate America in 2012.
This free, downloadable report measures 20 aspects of environmental performance, from carbon emissions to paper use and recycling, includes essays from industry experts.
There’s good and bad news in this year’s report; the good news is that companies continue to dedicate time, money and staff to setting and meeting ambitious environmental goals.
The bad news is that their research shows declining momentum on some of the indicators. Among the downgraded topics include investments in clean technology innovations, overall energy intensity, certifications of LEED buildings, and paper use and recycling.
How does your business rate? How can you implement ideas presented in this report to benefit from the efficiencies outlined?
The shining sun and the coastal breezes refreshed the 28th Annual NAESCO Conference in San Diego, CA earlier this month. Exhibitors displayed energy-efficient innovations, presenters touted streamlined procurement protocols and economically viable projects. Yet a cloudy outlook was conveyed through stories of government gridlock and a maze of policy obstacles that inevitably attaches to energy initiatives large and small.
During the 2 ½ day conference, the Hilton’s halls were filled with energy industry thought leaders and regulatory designees; each of them – along with brilliant, high-powered attendees – was more impressive than the next. Immersed in this amazing brain trust, it occurred to me that everyone there needed to be an expert not just in their respective fields, but also incredibly savvy in ever-complicated public policy dynamics.
Awaiting my return flight from a trip to Boston, I heard an interesting announcement as I was zipping up my boots after security screening. It turns out that Boston Logan International Airport, New England’s largest transportation center, which serves over 20 million passengers each year and employs 12,000, is one of the nation’s most environmentally advanced transportation hubs. In 2008, Boston Logan won the Environmental Management Award presented by the Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) in large part as a result of their efforts to improve emissions in and around the airport
Innovations abound throughout the environmental movement, from highly engineered water-and waste management methodologies, to intelligent design and streamlined manufacturing techniques. In attempting to comply with regulatory or stakeholder requirements, companies have explored a variety of clean, green technologies. But sometimes, businesses can make a huge impact with even simple, low-tech ideas that fill a vital niche.
The ViridiSTOR Green Box™ Solution, is just such an idea, offering a self-contained system – a single 4GB ViridiSTOR USB – that replaces paper-based materials collected by the more than 60 million trade show, convention and conference attendees each year. Event organizers use the Green Box™ Solution to enable exhibitors to provide attendees with a wealth of organized, relevant information – including comprehensive social media and contact data – on a FREE USB stick. Not only does the system dramatically reduce the cost and environmental impact of paper-based literature, it saves on production, storage and waste management costs for all of the glossy materials that visitors so often simply toss. The digital devices can capture PowerPoint presentations, videos, and a range of media previously unattainable from trade show and conference materials, essentially forming a “library” of an event that extends its usefulness.
How many invitations are sitting in your inbox right at this moment for opportunities to spend a day learning about industry trends and network with like-minded professionals? 10? 20? Even more? One stood out for me, the CleanTech OC 2011 Annual Conference and Expo, and I wanted to encourage participation from anyone interested in learning more about how cutting edge energy technology is becoming more accessible to businesses and the community to their mutual benefit.
This past weekend, 10,000 activists gathered in Washington, DC for PowerShift 2011, a national summit focused on empowering young people to implement solutions to climate change. One of their key objectives was to send a resounding message to the US Chamber of Commerce: “you don’t stand for me!” In his speech at the event, author Bill McKibben criticized the US Chamber for “being the single biggest roadblock to reducing global warming emissions, and for urging the EPA not to regulate carbon.” Whatever your political views, these events demonstrate an organized effort and an important shift in voter and consumer expectations; businesses must heed the call for environmental responsibility to maintain and grow their consumer base.
Businesses and concerned citizens around the country are doing their part to conserve energy and incorporate more eco-friendly practices into their lives. Reusable bags are prevalent, recycling is commonplace, BPA-free water bottles are toted, incandescent light bulbs have been replaced with CFC’s….the list goes on. But one obstacle for many small businesses to joining the sustainability movement remains: the ability to calculate current environmental impact.
With upwards of 300 million computers and one billion cell phones produced every year, what happens to old equipment and why does it matter? Given the prevalence of electronics in our lives, and the short replacement timeframe, it’s no surprise that “e-waste” is the world’s fastest growing waste stream.