Green business

TreeHouse is like Home Depot with a green conscience

Earlier this week, I posted a link to a Guardian story about Treehouse, an alternative to existing big box home improvement stores launched by the guy who brought us The Container Store. Using that profile as a jumping off point, Grist’s Sam Bliss offers the chain some suggestions as they grow.

Transitioning to Safer Chemicals: A Toolkit for Employers and Workers

Establishing a chemical management system that goes beyond simply complying with OSHA standards and strives to reduce or eliminate chemical hazards at the source through informed substitution best protects workers. Transitioning to safer alternatives can be a complex undertaking, but a variety of existing resources make it easier. OSHA has developed this step-by-step toolkit to provide employers and workers with information, methods, tools, and guidance on using informed substitution in the workplace.

Building a sustainable future: why energy efficiency is everybody’s business

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Few dispute the need to make building stock more energy efficient. But is a lack of coherent central government thinking and bold grassroots leadership stalling progress?

Can materials innovation save the world? – video

Watch the video from The Guardian.

From creating leather handbags from old airplane seats, to making plastic out of sludge, materials innovation is taking place which could help solve huge resource scarcity problems. But are we moving fast enough? Can businesses, governments and consumers be persuaded to declare war on the word ‘waste’ and work instead to create new a permanent life for materials?

Jo Confino speaks to Sophie Thomas, co-director of design at of RSA, Scott Hamlin CEO of Looptworks, Richard Kirkman technical director of Veolia and Kresse Wesling co-founder of Elvis & Kresse about how to push forward sustainable innovation.

7 ways businesses can accelerate climate progress in the U.S.

Read the full story from GreenBiz.

This week’s historic U. S.–China climate agreement sends an important signal of momentum and progress. This is just a first step, but it is an indication by the two most important players in the climate challenge that we are starting down the path to a low carbon economy.

Companies that recognize that signal and take the lead in developing technologies that can accelerate progress will be the winners. Now is the time for the private sector to step up and do more to accelerate progress toward a low-carbon, prosperous future.

A large number of American companies already have shown encouraging leadership on climate. Many recognize the reality of human-caused climate change and the need for a price on carbon. Likewise, many significantly have reduced their own emissions to achieve both better financial results and contribute to environmental progress. These are positive steps that have been helping to build overall momentum, and the drumbeat of action is growing.

As we saw at September’s UN General Assembly, for example, 40 companies committed to zero net deforestation in 2030, including Cargill, Walmart, General Mills, and McDonald’s; 30 companies and organizations committed to help the world’s 500 million farmers improve resilience, boost productivity and reduce GHG emissions; and more than 1,000 companies signed a declaration calling on governments to strengthen policies to put a price on carbon.

Yet there is an opportunity for much broader and more visible business leadership.