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Mike Hower

Managing Director, Sustainability & Social Impact
thinkPARALLAX

Mike Hower is tagged in 834 stories. Page 12 of 42.
As UN Climate Conference Approaches, Renewable Energy Makes Major Global Gains
As UN Climate Conference Approaches, Renewable Energy Makes Major Global Gains

Cleantech / Clean energy is “key” to climate action, according to a senior advisor to President Obama in a blog post published last week, which discussed the United States’ official greenhouse gas emissions-cutting target to the United Nations. The proposal formalizes a U.S. commitment to reducing emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. - 5 years ago

Hilton Cuts Cages and Crates From Global Food Supply Chain
Hilton Cuts Cages and Crates From Global Food Supply Chain

Supply Chain / Hilton Worldwide has announced that it will begin to eliminate the use of cages for egg-laying chickens and gestation crates for breeding pigs in its global food supply chain.The announcement was made in conjunction with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the nation’s largest animal protection organization. - 5 years ago

Startup Hoping to Turn Computers Into Primary Source of Heat Generation
Startup Hoping to Turn Computers Into Primary Source of Heat Generation

Product, Service & Design Innovation / New York City-based tech startup Project Exergy is one step closer to developing a technology capable of heating smart homes using computers, following a successful crowdfunding campaign.The concept involves transferring the computation done in data centers into millions of home and office computers and putting the normally wasted heat to use through a liquid cooling system that can efficiently extract and thermally store the high-temperature heat. - 5 years ago

GISR Launches Platform to Help Cure Sustainability ‘Survey Fatigue’
GISR Launches Platform to Help Cure Sustainability ‘Survey Fatigue’

New Metrics / The Global Initiative for Sustainability Ratings (GISR) has announced the launch of its Center for Ratings Excellence (CORE) Program — designed to accelerate the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into the global financial markets.In 2014, sustainability-oriented assets under management eclipsed $20 trillion, according to the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance. These investments are shaped by a growing market for sustainability research and ratings from more than 100 organizations covering more than 50,000 companies on approximately 10,000 performance metrics. - 5 years ago

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Patagonia Invests in Natural Textile Treatments
Patagonia Invests in Natural Textile Treatments

Chemistry, Materials & Packaging / Patagonia today announced a strategic investment in a chemical company focused on making high-performance textile treatments based on natural raw materials.Beyond Surface Technologies, a Swiss firm, was founded in 2008 by scientists and marketing experts with more than 40 years of experience in the textile industry. They left careers at big chemical companies to build a business based on the premise that it is possible to make textile treatments based on natural raw materials — without sacrificing performance or reducing the lifespan of a product. - 5 years ago

UN Refugee Agency Buys 10,000 of IKEA's Lightweight 'Better Shelters'
UN Refugee Agency Buys 10,000 of IKEA's Lightweight 'Better Shelters'

Product, Service & Design Innovation / IKEA has announced that its line of flat-pack refugee shelters are going into production after being tested among refugee families in Ethiopia, Iraq and Lebanon.The “Better Shelter” is a temporary shelter with an expected lifespan of three years — far longer than conventional refugee shelters, which last about six months. Delivered in flat packs, it is designed with special attention to transport volume, weight, price, safety, health and comfort, and it can be assembled on site without additional tools and equipment. It also has a solar panel and lamp to provide light during the dark hours. - 5 years ago

Ellen MacArthur Foundation Taps Top Grad Students to Advance the Circular Economy
Ellen MacArthur Foundation Taps Top Grad Students to Advance the Circular Economy

Leadership / Innovation often comes from those who have not yet become entrenched in the status quo — they are better-positioned to recognize effective solutions that might otherwise be overlooked or seen as too as too radical by the already-initiated.This is doubly true when it comes to innovating for the “circular economy,” which is quickly moving from the fringe to the forefront of sustainable business thought. It is the idea that today’s take-make-waste consumption patterns should be eschewed for a more restorative process, where products are designed and marketed with reuse in mind. - 5 years ago

AP: Your Seafood May Come From Slaves
AP: Your Seafood May Come From Slaves

Supply Chain / Major seafood-selling brands such as Safeway, Walmart and Sysco are potentially benefiting from slave labor, a new AP investigation has unveiled. - 5 years ago

Volvo Bests Carbon Reduction Goal by 10M Tons
Volvo Bests Carbon Reduction Goal by 10M Tons

New Metrics / Volvo last year reduced the total lifetime carbon dioxide emissions of its products by 40 million tons against a 2008 baseline, besting its goal by 10 million tons, according to the company’s 2014 sustainability report.The automaker also surpassed its target to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from its production plants by 0.2 million tons (12 percent), compared to 2008, instead achieving a 20 percent reduction (0.4 million ton) by the end of last year.Other 2014 highlights from Volvo’s report include: - 5 years ago

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Avaya Exceeds CO2 Reduction Goal 2 Years Early
Avaya Exceeds CO2 Reduction Goal 2 Years Early

New Metrics / Avaya, provider of customer and employee engagement communications technologies, has exceeded its carbon reduction goal two years early by adopting desktop and mobile videoconferencing systems, according to the company’s 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility Report (PDF).Avaya delivers technology solutions that enable organizations — from mid-market companies to large enterprises — to increase customer and team engagement. It serves some 300,000 customers around the world across a broad range of industries. More than 95 percent of the Fortune 500 companies are Avaya customers. - 5 years ago

SCS Global Services Certifies One of the Largest Forest Areas in South Asia Under FSC Standard
SCS Global Services Certifies One of the Largest Forest Areas in South Asia Under FSC Standard

Supply Chain / Third-party certifier SCS Global Services has announced that Uttar Pradesh Forest Corporation (UPFC) — which manages all aspects of forestry operations within the State of Uttar Pradesh, located in northern India bordering on Nepal — has met all of the requirements necessary to earn certification for responsible forestry under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standard.The Forest Management Certification encompasses 13 forest divisions covering a total forest area of 349,296 hectares. This area represents roughly 40 percent of the FSC-certified forest area in South Asia. - 5 years ago

Report: U.S. Coal Sector in ‘Terminal Decline’
Report: U.S. Coal Sector in ‘Terminal Decline’

Cleantech / The market for thermal coal is in structural decline in the United States, according to a new report by the Carbon Tracker Initiative.The US Coal Crash – Evidence for Structural Change (PDF) finds that, in the last few years, US coal markets have been pounded by a combination of cheaper renewables, energy efficiency measures, increasing construction costs and a rash of legal challenges, as well as the rise of shale gas. - 5 years ago

Copenhagen ‘Big Data’ Marketplace Set to Spur Sustainability Innovation
Copenhagen ‘Big Data’ Marketplace Set to Spur Sustainability Innovation

Cleantech / Global IT firm Hitachi Consulting has been selected to construct a first-of-its-kind Big Data platform for Denmark’s capital Copenhagen to help achieve its sustainability goals.To develop the platform, the firm will work with the City of Copenhagen, Capital Region, the Danish cluster organization, CLEAN and a consortium of partners.The Copenhagen Big Data project will enable advanced analytics to support city functions such as green infrastructure planning, traffic management and energy usage. It will integrate data from multiple sources, including demographics, crime statistics, sensor-based sources — such as energy consumption meters, air quality sensors and traffic sensors, among others — and information submitted by citizens and businesses. - 5 years ago

Here’s How Satellites Are Saving the World’s Forests
Here’s How Satellites Are Saving the World’s Forests

Cleantech / The world’s besieged forests have found friends in high places — in this case, very high. Remote-sensing satellites keep constant watch from hundreds of miles above the earth, collecting data that — when combined with information sharing and human networks around the world — can be used to preserve the world's forests, which are disappearing at an alarming net loss of 12.8 million acres each year (an area the size of Costa Rica).Although deforestation has slowed slightly since the 1990s thanks to conservation efforts, the situation remains dire. - 5 years ago

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SAP: Increased Employee Engagement Helping Bottom Line
SAP: Increased Employee Engagement Helping Bottom Line

New Metrics / German software company SAP’s operating profit improves EUR35 million ($38 million) to EUR45 million ($49 million) when its employee engagement index rises one percentage point, according to the company’s 2014 integrated report.The financial impact of a higher employee engagement index results, among other things, from the fact that dedicated employees are more innovative and absent from work fewer days. Likewise, because they are more loyal to the company, there is less missed revenue and less recruiting and training costs traditionally associated with higher turnover rates. - 5 years ago

Carbon Fiber Vehicles Could Complicate Circular Economy
Carbon Fiber Vehicles Could Complicate Circular Economy

Waste Not / The British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) is calling on car manufacturers to ensure that using lightweight materials to achieve greenhouse gas reductions doesn't impede circular manufacturing processes, edie reports. - 5 years ago

Target Becomes Latest Retailer to Raise Worker Pay
Target Becomes Latest Retailer to Raise Worker Pay

Behavior Change / Target plans to increase the pay of all its workers to at least $9 an hour starting next month, following similar moves by rivals Walmart and T.J. Maxx.In February, Walmart announced it would be giving pay raises to around 500,000 full-time and part-time associates at Walmart U.S. stores and Sam's Clubs in the first half of 2015. Starting in April, current and future hourly associates will make $9.00 per hour, or $1.75 above the federal minimum wage. By February 2016, current associates will earn at least $10.00 per hour. - 5 years ago

Unilever Achieves Zero Waste Across Distribution Centers in North America
Unilever Achieves Zero Waste Across Distribution Centers in North America

Waste Not / Unilever North America announced on Tuesday it has achieved 100 percent zero waste to landfill (ZLF) at all dedicated distribution centers in North America.To achieve ZLF, the company has adopted the four ‘R’ approach — firstly reducing waste at source then reusing, recovering or recycling any non-hazardous waste that remains. It has meant reconsidering every single material that is consumed in a factory and distribution center — from reusing packing materials from supplier deliveries to food waste from staff cafeterias. - 5 years ago

New York Startup Wants to Clean Up the Hudson River One Pool at a Time
New York Startup Wants to Clean Up the Hudson River One Pool at a Time

Product, Service & Design Innovation / Taking a dip in the Hudson River typically is not something New Yorkers would advise — centuries of city sewage discharges have left the river toxic and harmful to human health. Although public policies aimed at cleaning up the Hudson have improved conditions over the past several decades, leftovers from past pollution remain, and new problems are becoming evident. - 5 years ago

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Hong Kong Cleantech Companies Showcase in San Francisco
Hong Kong Cleantech Companies Showcase in San Francisco

Cleantech / Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation ("HKSTP") is showcasing Hong Kong's sustainable innovations to the world by leading a delegation of cleantech companies at an event this week in San Francisco.The HKSTP delegation includes five cleantech companies that will showcase sustainable innovations ranging from a water filtration device to renewable energy technologies and energy management platforms.The participating companies in the HKSTP delegation are: - 5 years ago

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