Nearly 350 global institutional investors representing over $24 trillion in assets have called on government leaders to provide stable, reliable and economically meaningful carbon pricing that helps redirect investment commensurate with the scale of the climate change challenge, as well as develop plans to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels.
Seven months ago, this series kicked off with CVS’ surprise announcement that it would no longer carry tobacco products in its retail stores. Fast forward, the company announced Sept. 3 that it had met its goal a month ahead of schedule and had a new name to match its bold, new vision of a tobacco-free America — CVS Health.
Cross-Posted from Cleantech.
Shell and Brazilian soccer player Pelé this week showcased a first-of-its-kind soccer field capable of capturing kinetic energy created by players' movement and combining it with nearby solar power to generate renewable electricity.Located in the heart of Morro da Mineira, a Rio de Janeiro favela, the soccer field uses 200 high-tech, underground tiles that capture kinetic energy created by the movement of the players. The energy is then stored and combined with the power generated by solar panels next to the field to convert into renewable electricity for the new floodlights, giving everyone in the favela a safe and secure community space at night.
In 2013, legislation quietly passed within the UK that would require companies listed on the London Stock Exchange to disclose global greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) within their publically available annual Directors’ Report. These new reporting rules made the UK the first country to institute mandatory carbon reporting as of October 2013.
In her new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (due in stores September 16), author and social activist Naomi Klein espouses that capitalism, rather than carbon, is the core issue and key driver in imminent climate disaster.
Klein argues that current carbon trading programs, for example, offer perverse motivation, enabling manufacturers to produce excess greenhouse gases, which they are then compensated to reduce. Therefore, a fight against climate change is a fight against the inherent values of capitalism.
Novelis, a global leader in rolled aluminum products, is in the process of shifting its entire business model from a traditional linear model to a closed-loop or circular model. The company is embracing an entirely new way of thinking and operating in order to radically transform itself — and, in the process, reap the brand value associated with being a clear leader on that front in its industry.In 2013, Novelis introduced evercan™, the first independently certified, high-recycled-content (currently 90 percent, with a goal of 100 percent) aluminum beverage can sheet, while committing to making it available at no extra cost.
“Affairs are easier of entrance than of exit; and it is but common prudence to see our way out before we venture in.”AesopThe old phrase tells us that new and old ideas find a natural balance, that the introduction of the new requires that it is also “out with the old.” Indeed, sustainability should be about saying “let’s do something new” rather than “stop doing that old thing.” However, most sustainability practitioners and campaigners spend much of their lives fighting to change existing behaviour. Much time is spent rationalizing unsustainability, rather than doing as Buckminster Fuller advised:
The voices of the world’s younger generation — who potentially have the most to lose from climate change — have predominantly been left unheard in the whole debate about how (or if) to deal with it. Former Vice President Al Gore hopes to change that, however, with the launch of a new campaign offering young people the opportunity to have their say when the world’s leaders meet in New York next month for the UN Climate Summit.
The UK Environmental Audit Committee has released a new report – Growing a Circular Economy: Ending the Throwaway Society – which calls for lower taxes for businesses that repair or reuse goods; mandatory municipal waste separation systems; longer warranty periods for consumer goods; banning food waste from landfills; and increased funding for agencies that promote transitioning to a circular economy.The Committee was appointed by the British House of Commons to review government policies and programs in terms of their contribution to environmental protection and sustainable development.
A new study released by Airbnb quantifies the environmental benefits of home-sharing for travelers, and finds that the company’s business model promotes a more efficient use of existing resources and is a more environmentally responsible way to travel: using Airbnb results in significant reductions in energy and water use, greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), and waste, and encourages more sustainable practices among both hosts and guests.North American and European highlights from the study include:
Smallholder cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire produce 40 percent of the world cocoa supply and are the backbone of a global industry worth billions of dollars. Yet while they generate up to 15 percent of the Ivorian GDP, the vast majority still live in poverty due to declining productivity.Cocoa yields in Côte d’Ivoire are some of the lowest in the world, primarily due to aging trees, deteriorating soils and disease. In the absence of long-term financing opportunities, cocoa farmers have been changing to other crops with better income opportunity, such as rubber trees.
Sainsbury’s today announced it has agreed to a £200 million corporate “green” loan to invest in ongoing carbon reduction and sustainability projects. While Green Bonds are now increasingly issued by institutions to support sustainability initiatives, the retailer says this is the first time that a commercial loan has been structured to do the same.
The New York attorney general reports the State Supreme Court has granted an injunction that kept Lyft from launching as planned on Friday. However, Lyft claims this a "deliberate misstatement," and it put the launch on hold to make changes to its service that will comply with local regulations, The Verge reports.
More than a thousand California business leaders are urging the State to deny requests to exempt oil companies from its cap and trade program aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.The California Business Alliance for a Green Economy (CBAGE) is a network of more than 1,280 mostly small and mainstream businesses that support California's efforts to promote clean energy, fossil fuel independence and energy efficiency."Hundreds of California businesses have been successfully complying with the state's clean energy law — AB 32 — and the oil industry shouldn't receive a special exemption," said Susan Frank, director of the California Business Alliance for a Green Economy, which recently signed a letter to a handful of lawmakers seeking such an exemption.
French long-distance ride-sharing service BlaBlaCar has raised a solid $100 million from VC funding — the largest VC funding ever for a French startup — to expand its service and network globally. The funding was led by Index Ventures, with contributions from existing investors Accel Partners, ISAI and Lead Edge Capital.“BlaBlaCar has a huge potential market,” said Martin Mignot from Index Ventures. “Everybody needs to travel long distance, that’s why ride-sharing makes sense. Comparatively, Uber or even cabs are all about convenience. BlaBlaCar is both convenience and necessity.”
Sustainability isn't all about sustainability, as I found out from Nudie Jeans — embedding it into the culture and telling a story is where it’s at.Walking past 29 D'Arblay St in London, a window is decorated with the words “Repairing is caring.” What might surprise you is that this isn’t on the outside of a seamstress’s workshop, but a jeans retailer.Yes, Swedish clothing brand Nudie Jeans is encouraging its customers to repair their denim in a bid to make them last, and subsequently, help them hold off buying new ones for a little bit longer.
Brazil has created the first Forest Reference Emission Level (FREL), a technical assessment that will measure the country’s reductions in global warming emissions from deforestation.Deforestation is responsible for an estimated 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, and reducing deforestation emissions is a central part of mitigating climate change, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).
Cross-Posted from Collaboration.
Shell has joined the Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) “Methane Detectors Challenge,” a collaborative project between EDF and five other oil and natural gas companies aimed at identifying and bringing to market cutting-edge technologies that could ultimately help reduce methane emissions from oil and natural gas operations.Shell joins Apache Corporation, BG Group, Hess Corporation, Noble Energy and Southwestern Energy as an industry partner in this effort to help catalyze new technologies for enhanced detection of oil and gas emissions.
The time when we were happily seduced into reaching far, far beyond our means with a promise of infinite everything and the glittering lure of a‘larger-than-life’ life, seems, to some of us at least, quite archaic now.But even in our socially enlightened, austerity-shredded, community-conscious, light-speed-connected present, we still struggle to get to grips with a smarter, lighter, less financially and materially burdensome style of life.We’re all still living ‘larger-than-life’ lives. We seem to struggle to find meaning in the things that exist comfortably within our means.