Webinar: The Power of Chemical Footprinting

June 6, 2017, 10am CDT
Register at https://www.chemicalfootprint.org/news/event/the-power-of-chemical-footprinting

Explore the value of calculating the chemical footprint for your company by hearing how one company took this on for the first time, from the Pure Strategies’ report, The Power of Chemical Footprinting.

Radio Flyer identified this is an improvement opportunity after taking the Chemical Footprint Project survey last year and the idea of measuring chemicals of concern resonated with the company’s approach and provided a common and easily understood metric to track progress in chemicals management.

Radio Flyer will share their experience and, along with their research partner, Pure Strategies, will provide tips and insight on how to get the most value and progress from this effort and the Chemical Footprint Project, to drive toward safer materials.

See also the Pure Strategies report on Radio Flyer’s transition to greater chemical transparency and safer products and supply chains. Free registration is required for download.

Symposium: Investing in the Age of Climate Change

On April 28, 2017, the University of Oregon held “Investing in the Age of Climate Change.” Organized by students, faculty, staff engaged in sustainability issues on campus, and the University of Oregon Foundation, the forum tackled the question of how climate change is affecting businesses and investors. The forum was videotaped and is now available free of charge at http://media.uoregon.edu/channel/archives/category/office-of-sustainability

The nine videos posted track the speakers throughout the day:

Steve Mital, UO Director of Sustainability, Quinn Haaga, President of the Associated Students of the University of Oregon, and Clay Hurand, UO student activist, started things off with introductions to the forum.

Paul Slovak, UO Psychology, provided a psychologist’s perspective on understanding risk.

Susan Gary, UO Law, discussed fiduciary responsibilities for those who make investment decisions for others and explained investment strategies that use environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.

Jay Namyet, CIO of the UO Foundation, and James Shephard, Chair of the UO Foundation, explored how the Foundation invests and its success with using ESG factors in analyzing risks and opportunities.

Max Fleisher, UO MBA student, introduced the four finalist teams from the Impact Investing Pitch Competition who proposed new investment ideas for consideration by the UO Foundation.

University President Michael Schill introduced the keynote speaker, Kate Gordon, of the Paulson Institute, who described the Risky Business Project’s research analyzing the risks and opportunities associated with climate change.

Dave Chen, Founder and Chair of the Equilibrium Capital Group, explained how investment managers manage climate risk.

Emilie Mazzacurati , Founder and CEO of Four Twenty Seven, explained the need for climate-competent boards of directors.

Stephen Brence, UO Philosophy, David Lewis, Consultant, Ethnohistory Research, and John Bellamy Foster, UO Sociology, explored our ethical responsibilities related to the environment.

How to break the political logjam on climate change

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

When the Trump Administration blocked federal climate action by undercutting the Clean Power Plan, the outlook was bleak. But climate protection has won new allies from an interesting direction: the right.

“Conservation” and “conservative” share the root “conserve,” and four key sectors have made the connection with climate change. Religious conservatives cite an obligation of stewardship over unbridled exploitation of God-given resources. Hunters and anglers see disrupted breeding, migration and other threats to wildlife. The military sees national security imperiled by flooded coastal installations and disrupted worldwide food and water supplies. Business faces extreme weather-related damage and costlier insurance. These sectors are bridging partisan gaps to inform lawmakers.

The business bulwark behind California’s climate progress

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

California, the sixth largest economy in the world, is positioning itself as a bulwark against the rollback of climate progress at the national level, strutting the state’s economic growth as it implemented the toughest environmental policy in the nation.

Think 13 percent job growth; innovations in electric and autonomous vehicles, smart grids, solar farms and 3-D printing; billions in clean tech venture capital investment and a GDP growth rate that doubled the national rate in both 2015 and 2016.

California traversed the Great Recession while implementing the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which launched its cap and trade system and other programs. The act set a goal of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 — which the state is on track to meet.

The state emerged from the experience with job growth of 13.18 percent between the depths of its recession in February 2010 and this March, adding 1.8 million jobs, according to the Pew Charitable Trust. The California Air Resources Board calculated that total greenhouse gas emissions dropped 9.4 percent in the decade ending 2014. Emissions per capita fell 18 percent even as the state’s GDP grew 28 percent

But back when lawmakers were pushing the Global Warming Solutions Act, its opponents cried it would kill business development. Until businesses claimed the contrary, that is.

How Global Value Chains Push and Pull U.S. Companies on Climate Action

Read the full story at BSR.

In the United States, companies are engaging in climate action as a result of different domestic business drivers: Investing in renewables, innovating to create climate-compatible products, and attracting new talent through environmental values are most often driven by local or regional imperatives.

But for most companies operating within global value chains, the pull and push of climate action also comes from abroad, and many U.S. companies now understand the potential to demonstrate global leadership through climate action.

Is greenwashing silencing the sustainability revolution?

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Businesses that trumpet their environmental credentials are often accused of greenwash. Rightly, organizations such as WWF have to show that when we collaborate with a company that isn’t getting everything right, it’s because we believe we can change how it works to become better. But there may be another phenomenon too, maybe a backlash to greenwash: that of “green hush.” If a company fears the accusation of greenwash or thinks customers won’t care about its attitude to climate change or the natural environment, then why would it shout about it?

Retailers Lead the Charge toward Bio-Based Packaging

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Retailers, with their increased use of sustainable packaging, are playing a leading role in encouraging consumers to adopt bio-based packaging materials; manufacturers and retailers that adopt biodegradable packaging materials will benefit through cost cuts and tax reductions, according to a Technavio market research analysis.