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The latest products, services and cleantech applications and how they are tackling some of our most pressing social and environmental issues.

Levi Strauss, Gap, Autodesk Join 24 Companies Supporting California's Sweeping Clean Energy Bill

Today, 24 companies with a substantial footprint in California, including Ben & Jerry’s, eBay, Gap, Levi Strauss, The North Face and Sungevity, announced their support for SB-350, the “Golden State’s Standard 50-50-50,” that sets new benchmarks for increasing renewable energy and energy efficiency, and decreasing petroleum use by 2030. Their support was communicated in a letter sent to the bill’s author, Senate President pro Tempore, Kevin de León.

Report: U.S. No. 1 in Clean Tech Innovation, But Lags in Reducing GHGs

The United States leads the world in cleantech investments, patents, renewable energy generation and electric vehicle (EV) adoption, but still is slow to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new ranking by Next 10.Over the last two decades, however, the U.S. has become more energy productive, using less energy per dollar of GDP generated.

Bank of America Commits Another $600 Million for Second Green Bond

On Thursday, Bank of America Corporation announced that it has issued its second green bond for $600 million in aggregate principal amount, as part of its ongoing commitment to promoting a low-carbon economy by advancing renewable energy and promoting energy efficiency.

Verizon Partners with Local Communities to Keep 2 Million Pounds of E-Waste Out of Landfills

In 2010, Verizon set a goal to collect two million pounds — or 1,000 tons — of electronic waste in communities it serves by the end of 2015. The company has announced that that five-year goal was achieved today, eight months ahead of schedule, during Verizon's e-waste recycling rally in Wilmington, North Carolina, as area residents, businesses and Verizon employees safely disposed of tens of thousands of pounds of unwanted computer hardware, TVs and small appliances.The two million pounds collected for recycling over the past five years is equal to the weight of 500 average cars, or roughly 50,000 cathode ray tube computer screens.

Using Dashboards to Distill, Compellingly Sell Complex Sustainability Stories

From sustainability consultants to environmental compliance professionals, and from emissions or waste monitoring specialists to Vice Presidents of Sustainability, the challenge is the same: to tell their story. Perhaps the most difficult — and arguably the most important — part of their job is communicating: communicating with the media, with their executive team and in-house decision-makers, with professional partners, and with the general public.

2016 Ford F-150 Comes with CNG/Propane Conversion Option, Reducing CO2 Emissions by 20%

Last week, Ford announced that its 2016 F-150 truck will have an available gaseous-fuel prep package that enables 5.0-liter, V8-powered models to run on clean, low-cost compressed natural gas (CNG) or propane, making Ford the only manufacturer of a CNG/propane-capable half-ton pickup.Next year’s F-150 will be available for order this summer. Along with the factory-installed, gaseous-fuel prep package, the new model includes upgraded intake and exhaust valves and valve seats to ensure the engine performs to customers’ expectations.

O2: How We're Measuring Up Against Our Think Big Blueprint Goals

In 2012, we launched the Think Big Blueprint, our first sustainability plan that set big, ambitious goals that we hoped would transform our role in the world around us. We set three goals and 40 commitments, and gave ourselves three years to achieve them.The idea at the heart of the Blueprint is that not only do we need to continuously improve our own social and environmental impacts, we also have a unique opportunity to inspire and enable millions of others to live more sustainable lives through our products and services.

Report: Some ‘Megacities’ Are More Sustainable Than Others

New York consumes too much energy, London and Paris use relatively fewer resources and Tokyo conserves water well, according to a new study on "megacity metabolism," as reported by ScienceDaily.As the world's first comprehensive survey of resources used and removed in each of the world's 27 largest metropolitan areas, the findings could point the way toward strategies to make cities more sustainable.

CFSI Launches New Reporting Template to Help Keep Conflict Minerals Out of Supply Chains

The Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI) has published its new Conflict Minerals Reporting Template (CMRT 4.0), a multi-industry tool designed to facilitate transfer of information throughout the supply chain in support of conflict-free sourcing. It includes an updated Standard Smelter List and numerous translation improvements.

Tesla Energy Set to Revolutionize Solar Storage for Homes, Businesses, Utilities

Tesla Energy, the latest from Tesla Motors visionary Elon Musk, was introduced last night onstage at the company's design studio in Hawthorne, California, just south of LA. A statement from the company describes the new development as "a suite of batteries for homes, businesses, and utilities fostering a clean energy ecosystem and helping wean the world off fossil fuels."

Report: Recycling Refrigerants Can Easily Eliminate Billions of Tons of Greenhouse Gases

If only 30 percent of hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) refrigerants are reclaimed for reuse by 2040, approximately 18 billion metric tons carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent would be prevented from reaching the atmosphere over the next 25 years, according to a white paper released today by EOS Climate, a company that incentivizes the complete life cycle management of harmful refrigerants — using the power of capital markets to address climate change.

Report: Cities to Invest $64 Billion in LED And ‘Smart’ Streetlights By 2025

Rapidly falling costs and clear benefits have led to a sharp increase in the number and scale of light-emitting diode (LED) and smart streetlight projects in the past year, according to a new study published today by Northeast Group.There currently are more than 2,000 LED and smart streetlight projects globally. By 2025, cities around the world will invest $64 billion in LED and “smart” streetlights.

‘Smart’ Grocery Cart Wins Sprint’s First Upcycled Smartphone Contest

Sprint, in conjunction with Brightstar Corp. and HOBI International, announced today the winner of its inaugural Smartphone Encore Challenge, a contest for Net Impact college students to find profitable and innovative ways to repurpose old smartphones or their components.

Study: Does Corporate Social Responsibility Performance Affect Reputational Risk?

You’re a Chief Executive. Why care about environmental impacts and employee wellbeing if the bottom line is improving? The business logic behind CSR contends that negligence of these issues increases reputational risks. Just as a positive image can endear a brand to consumers, a toxic spill or news of poor labor conditions may threaten its ‘social license to operate’ and worry investors about disruptions to business. History shows reputational damage can quickly translate into financial losses (case in point: the Deepwater Horizon spill.)

Aquion Energy's Carbon- and Cotton-Based AHI Battery First in the World to be Cradle to Cradle Certified™

Aquion Energy, Inc., developer and manufacturer of Aqueous Hybrid Ion (AHI™) batteries and energy-storage systems, has announced that its AHI S20 and S20-P Product Lines are the first batteries in the world to be Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Certified™ Bronze. The product lines were evaluated by MBDC, creators of the Cradle to Cradle Certified Products Program, across five quality categories.

#BusinessCase: Internal Carbon Fee Saves Microsoft Over $10M Per Year

With Earth Day this week, it’s a great time to reflect on the challenges we face and the advancements we’ve made. Last week, Microsoft released a whitepaper describing the progress made with our carbon fee since its inception in the hope to inspire other organizations to take similar action.

Apple Announces Chinese Solar Project and US Forest Conservation Effort

Apple has announced plans to invest in a new Chinese solar power project and help preserve some 36,000 acres of forests in the eastern United States.The tech giant is partnering with solar company SunPower to build two solar power projects totaling 40 megawatts (MW) in China — more than the amount of energy consumed by Apple’s 19 corporate offices and 21 retail stores in China and Hong Kong.The projects are expected to provide up to 80 million kilowatt-hours per year while also protecting the ecosystem. They will feature SunPower's "light-on-land" approach to solar photovoltaic power plant design and construction, which allows pasture farming to continue while power is generated.

RE100 Initiative Now Recruiting Chinese Companies to Switch to 100% Renewables

RE100, a global initiative aimed at recruiting and encouraging major companies to use 100 percent renewable power across their operations, has announced a partnership with the China Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA) as part of a major new drive to help companies in China adopt renewable energy.

As Sustainability Goals Get Harder to Meet, Better Analytics Can Create Competitive Advantage

Driven by consumer demands, and greater concern for resource scarcity and productivity, more companies are tracking and reporting performance in an effort to meet corporate sustainability goals. But once the low-hanging fruit is picked, further improvements can require sophisticated tools, such as emerging big data and geospatial analytics, to help companies make more informed decisions about sustainability goals, according to a new report from Lux Research.

Londoners Will Soon Have a Freshwater Swimming Pool Cleaned by Plants, Not Chemicals

Looking for a clean place to swim in London? City dwellers will have a freshwater, natural pool at their disposal in King’s Cross beginning in May. Designed by Rotterdam Studio, Ooze architects and artist Marietica Potrč, the chemical-free outdoor pool is the first of its kind in the UK. The King’s Cross Swimming Pool is a manmade, freshwater pond kept clean and filtered through natural processes. At forty meters long, the pool will accommodate up to 100 swimmers at a time within the new Lewis Cubitt Park.

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