Day: July 8, 2015

How parent companies can raise their ‘brand children’

Read the full story from GreenBiz.

I have been thinking about the impacts on culture to a brand and its parent when a parent acquires a new brand, particularly a brand known for being green. Think Ben & Jerry’s to Unilever, Honest Tea to Coca-Cola, Burt’s Bees to Clorox or Plum Organics to Campbell’s.

In those first transition years post-acquisition, there are significant challenges for company leaders to balance the maintenance of a unified culture with the expression of brands’ individual identities.

Letitia Webster discussed this topic in a presentation at the Sustainable Brands’ San Diego conference in June. As the global director of corporate sustainability at VF Corporation — a company spanning 30 brands and 60,000 employees — Webster is an expert on navigating company culture to drive sustainable growth.

Road to Paris: Examining the President’s International Climate Agenda and Implications for Domestic Environmental Policy

Download the document.

In a July 8, 2015 testimony, Karl Hausker addresses the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Nine ways to overcome barriers to sustainable business

Read the full story in The Guardian.

From competition to communication, there are numerous challenges to sustainable business. Here’s what the experts say about overcoming them.

Recycling Industry Created Its Own Mess

Read the full post from Bloomberg Views.

The American recycling business is in the dumps. According to Dave Steinert, the CEO of Waste Management, America’s largest recycling company, the industry is experiencing a “national crisis,” with almost all of America’s 2,000 high-tech recycling facilities — including Steinert’s own — running in the red. Things are so dire that some recyclers are preparing to do the once-unthinkable: charge cities and their residents for accepting their recycling.

The recycling industry likes to imply that the American public, and its allegedly lax recycling habits, bear responsibility for its sinking fortunes. But before reaching for their wallets, Americans ought to scrutinize why exactly recycling companies’ promises of a low-cost green future didn’t pan out. The real turning point wasn’t a decline in Americans’ interest in recycling, but a gradual shift in what Americans started throwing away — one that many recycling companies could have, but failed to, prepare for.

A Clash of Green and Brown: Germany Struggles to End Coal

Read the full story at Yale Environment360.

A recent battle over imposing a “climate fee” on coal-fired power plants highlights Germany’s continuing paradox: Even as the nation aspires to be a renewable energy leader, it is exploiting its vast reserves of dirty brown coal.

Study: All 50 States Could Run On Renewable Energy By 2050

Read the full story at Manufacturing.Net.

A new study by California researchers outlines a pathway for all 50 states to run entirely on renewable energy by 2050.

The researchers, led by Stanford University engineering professor Mark Jacobson, calculated states’ power demands if all fuel consumption was replaced with electricity, then examined their potential for various renewable sources to accommodate that demand.

The report, published in the journal Energy and Environmental Sciences, mapped each state’s capability to capture solar energy as well as the potential for wind farms located either on land or offshore. Geothermal energy could be an option for 13 states, while other sources could come from tides and from upgrades to current hydroelectric dams.

10 steps to a ‘new climate economy’

Read the full story from GreenBiz.

The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate this week launched a major report outlining key actions that governments and businesses can embrace to help the world tackle climate change.

The report lists 10 central actions, which the authors claim would achieve up to 96 percent of the emissions reductions in 2030 needed to hold the rise in global temperature to under 2 degrees Celsius, the level which governments have pledged not to cross.

Here’s the rundown of the business sectors, investors and policy levers identified in the New Climate Economy report:

A quantum of carbon: scientists devise new way to observe greenhouse effect

Read the full story in The Guardian.

British scientists have devised a new way to observe the greenhouse world, enabling researchers to measure with exquisite accuracy how atmospheric carbon dioxide builds up, migrates, evolves and absorbs radiation.

The technique will allow more accurate predictions about how much the Earth is likely to warm over the next few decades as a result of the inexorable rise in atmospheric CO2 – from car exhausts, power station chimneys and burning forests – that drives global warming and climate change.

Passions and Detachment in Journalism

Read the full post by Andrew Revkin from 2010 at Dot Earth.

Last week, in writing about James Hansen’s essay on why he became a climate campaigner after decades working as a NASA climate scientist, I promised to post a lecture I gave in 2005 at Willamette University explaining how I reconciled personal passions with the professional detachment that comes with life as a journalist.

Some of you will find several familiar passages, touching on themes that have resonated in me for awhile. (And keep in mind this piece was written while I was still a full-time Times reporter.) The talk starts with my journey from training in biology to a career in journalism, including a fortuitous research fellowship that took me around the world between 1978 and 1980.


In St. Louis, an Urban Farmer Uses a Rooftop and Food to Spur Renewal

Read the full story in the New York Times.

A two-story concrete building on the edge of downtown St. Louis is bearing its heaviest load 88 years after construction.

Mary Ostafi, an architect who founded the nonprofit Urban Harvest STL in 2011, has led an effort to dump some 40 tons of dirt on the building’s 9,000-square-foot roof and grow organic vegetables in a venture called the Food Roof Farm.

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