Mike Hower

Managing Director, Sustainability & Social Impact
thinkPARALLAX

Mike Hower is tagged in 832 stories. Page 5 of 42.
General Mills, IKEA Among Latest Global Players to Join White House Climate Action Pledge
General Mills, IKEA Among Latest Global Players to Join White House Climate Action Pledge

Leadership / General Mills, IKEA and Best Buy are among the 81 companies to recently join the White House-led American Business Act on Climate Pledge, which sets significant greenhouse gas reduction and renewable energy sourcing goals for 2020 and beyond.The pledges focus on increasing energy efficiency, boosting low-carbon investing and making sustainability more accessible to low-income Americans. - 4 years ago

Toyota Sets Goals for Better Cars, Manufacturing and Communities
Toyota Sets Goals for Better Cars, Manufacturing and Communities

Cleantech / Toyota recently announced a set of goals to be achieved over the next 35 years, which address key global environmental issues such as climate change, water shortages, resource depletion and degradation of biodiversity.The Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 aims to reduce the negative impact of manufacturing and driving vehicles as much as possible. The challenge is composed of six individual challenges across three areas: Ever-better cars, ever-better manufacturing and enriching lives of communities.Ever-better cars - 4 years ago

Q&A: Gliimpse Wants to Translate Your Medical Records Into Actionable Data
Q&A: Gliimpse Wants to Translate Your Medical Records Into Actionable Data

Cleantech / Medical records, electronic or otherwise, might as well be Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics to, well, just about anyone other than a medical professional. This makes it next to impossible for us to make sense of our personal health data.But a startup called Gliimpse says it has developed the “Rosetta Stone” for medical records, which helps translate the esoteric information into fluid, actionable data. I recently caught up with Gliimpse co-founder and CEO Anil Sethi, and co-founder and president Karthik Hariharan. - 4 years ago

Off-Grid Solar Startup Bringing Affordable, Reliable Electricity to Haiti
Off-Grid Solar Startup Bringing Affordable, Reliable Electricity to Haiti

Product, Service & Design Innovation / Haitian off-grid utility startup RE-VOLT is on a mission to bring affordable and reliable electricity to families in rural Haiti and is running a crowdfunding campaign to help fund the expansion of its service to more customers, according to a recent announcement.RE-VOLT recently launched a campaign on crowdfunding site Indiegogo in order to raise the working capital necessary to grow its customer base on La Gonave to 2,000 households or 10,000 people by January 2016. - 4 years ago

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Report: Solar+Storage Can Increase Energy Resiliency in Affordable Housing
Report: Solar+Storage Can Increase Energy Resiliency in Affordable Housing

Cleantech / Solar combined with energy storage systems (solar+storage) can help protect vulnerable populations during power outages in multifamily affordable housing and provide an economic return to building owners, according to a new report by nonprofit Clean Energy Group. - 4 years ago

Tesla Battery Packs to Power World’s First Hybrid Electric Buildings
Tesla Battery Packs to Power World’s First Hybrid Electric Buildings

Cleantech / Tesla “Powerpack” battery systems will be used to power part of 24 office buildings in California, according to a recent announcement, as reported by Edie.Real estate firm The Irvine Company, which has properties throughout California, will install Tesla battery systems the size of five parking spaces. It is expected that these will reduce peak grid energy consumption across the company's entire portfolio by 25 percent. - 4 years ago

Climate-Smart Tech Improving Livelihoods of Kenyan Women Farmers
Climate-Smart Tech Improving Livelihoods of Kenyan Women Farmers

Cleantech / Equator Kenya, a food-processing company that produces African Bird’s Eye Chilies for export, has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to provide climate-smart technologies, training and market linkages to 8,000 smallholder farmers along the Kenyan coast.This business is designed to reduce the crop risks posed by climate change, which will help increase incomes among the farmers — 6,000 of whom are women — as well as improve crop yields and quality. - 4 years ago

Coca-Cola, Dow, Nestlé Commence Testing of New Natural Capital Protocol
Coca-Cola, Dow, Nestlé Commence Testing of New Natural Capital Protocol

Supply Chain / Coca-Cola, Dow and Nestlé are among the 10 companies testing the new draft of the Natural Capital Protocol against specific business applications.The Protocol will provide decision-making support to businesses in their risk-management processes, exploration of new revenue streams, and in product and value chain innovation. It is a product of the Natural Capital Coalition, a global platform that brings together the different initiatives and organizations working in natural capital under a common vision of a world where business conserves and enhances natural capital. - 4 years ago

Report: Hotel ‘Greenwashing’ is Off-Putting to Customers
Report: Hotel ‘Greenwashing’ is Off-Putting to Customers

Marketing and Comms / Greenwashing practices, combined with claims of corporate social responsibility, have reduced the trust of U.S. consumers who are increasingly recognizing hotels’ green claims may be self-serving, according to a new study in the Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, as reported by Eco-Business. All of this could cause hotels to lose valuable repeat customers. - 4 years ago

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U.S. Renewable Energy Rises to Historic Levels While Coal Use Sags
U.S. Renewable Energy Rises to Historic Levels While Coal Use Sags

Cleantech / U.S. reliance on wind, solar and other renewable sources of energy has reached historic levels and is poised to make even greater gains in the near future, according to new report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).A Tectonic Shift in America's Energy Landscape finds that the energy sector in the United States emitted less dangerous carbon pollution last year than in 1996, with a full 10 percent reduction over the past decade. Meanwhile, coal and electricity consumption are down nationwide, while oil use today is lower than in the early 1970s, the report shows. - 4 years ago

Solar, Wind Now Cheapest Electricity to Generate in Germany and UK
Solar, Wind Now Cheapest Electricity to Generate in Germany and UK

Cleantech / Wind power is now the cheapest electricity to produce in both Germany and the U.K., even without government subsidies, claims a new analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). This is the first time that threshold has been crossed by a G7 economy.Much of this is due to wind and solar power’s improving capacity factor, or the percentage of a power plant's maximum potential that's achieved over time. - 4 years ago

Berkeley Researchers Developing Artificial Leaves to Produce Carbon-Neutral Fuel
Berkeley Researchers Developing Artificial Leaves to Produce Carbon-Neutral Fuel

Chemistry, Materials & Packaging / Researchers at UC Berkeley have created a synthetic leaf that uses water, sunlight and carbon dioxide to make liquid fuels such as methane, butane and acetate — and releases oxygen into the air, The Los Angeles Times reports.Lead researcher on the project, Peidong Yang, plans to use a “genius” grant of $625,000 he recently received from the MacArthur Foundation to nurture the artificial leaf technology. Although it is still several years from being commercially viable, it could represent an important step on the road to creating a carbon-neutral and sustainable fuel system. - 4 years ago

Kuli Kuli's Moringa Green Energy Shots Create Jobs, Fight Deforestation in Haiti
Kuli Kuli's Moringa Green Energy Shots Create Jobs, Fight Deforestation in Haiti

Product, Service & Design Innovation / Energy shots such as 5 Hour Energy have proliferated in recent years as they have taken up an increasingly large portion of the multibillion-dollar energy drink market. The smaller, sugar-free energy shots often position themselves as a healthier alternative to full-sized energy drinks such as Red Bull and Monster.But can energy shots truly be healthy?They sure can, according to Lisa Curtis, CEO of mission-driven food startup Kuli Kuli. - 4 years ago

Hershey Joins Partnership to Help African Companies Improve Food Nutrition and Affordability
Hershey Joins Partnership to Help African Companies Improve Food Nutrition and Affordability

Collaboration / The Hershey Company has announced it is joining Partners in Food Solutions (PFS), an international public-private partnership that connects volunteer experts from the world’s leading food companies with their counterparts in Africa to help them improve and expand their businesses.These high-potential African companies can feed more people better, safer, more nutritious and more affordable food, while at the same time providing more stable markets for the crops of smallholder farmers in their region, PFS claims. The volunteer experts connect through a new model of remote consulting launched by PFS. - 4 years ago

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Amazon, Panera Have Best CSR Reputations in the U.S.
Amazon, Panera Have Best CSR Reputations in the U.S.

Marketing and Comms / Amazon, LEGO, BMW, Sanofi, Schneider Electric and Panera Bread have the best public perception for corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the United States, according to a new report by the Reputation Institute. The U.S. CSR RepTrak highlights the companies that have the best reputations for CSR among the U.S. public based on a survey conducted in Q1 2015. - 4 years ago

Ocean Conservancy Plan Could Cut Ocean Plastic Waste 45% by 2025, 100% by 2035
Ocean Conservancy Plan Could Cut Ocean Plastic Waste 45% by 2025, 100% by 2035

Waste Not / Ocean Conservancy on Wednesday released a report that proposes a four-point solution to cutting ocean plastic waste by 45 percent by 2025 with the ultimate goal of eradicating the issue by 2035. Stemming the Tide: Land-based strategies for a plastic-free ocean is a first-of-its-kind, solutions-oriented report in partnership with the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment that outlines specific, land-based solutions for plastic waste in the ocean, starting with the elimination of plastic waste leakage in five priority countries: China, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand. - 4 years ago

Report: 91% of Top Firms View Climate Shocks as Business Risk
Report: 91% of Top Firms View Climate Shocks as Business Risk

Cleantech / Ninety-one percent of companies in the S&P Global 100 Index see extreme weather and climate change impacts as current or future risks to their business, but many struggle to translate long-term, global climate data into short-term and local risks, according to a new report by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES).Despite growing access to climate-related data and tools, companies say they need “actionable science” that helps them to understand locally-specific risks or risk scenarios. - 4 years ago

New Tool Helps Businesses Act on Sustainable Development Goals
New Tool Helps Businesses Act on Sustainable Development Goals

Cleantech / GRI, the UN Global Compact and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) have launched a new tool to help companies navigate and contribute to a new set of global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations last week.The SDG Compass is a guide that companies can use to align their strategies with the relevant SDGs, and measure and manage their impacts. It is supported by a live and constantly updated inventory of business indicators and tools. - 4 years ago

Report: Investors Should Manage Climate Risks As ‘Forceful Stewards’
Report: Investors Should Manage Climate Risks As ‘Forceful Stewards’

Leadership / Climate risks currently aren’t top-of-mind for most mainstream investors, but the potential value at risk for investment portfolios is significant, according to a new report by Preventable Surprises, a business risk think tank. - 4 years ago

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This Startup's Shower Head Uses 70% Less Water
This Startup's Shower Head Uses 70% Less Water

Product, Service & Design Innovation / In a time when water conservation increasingly is becoming a top-of-mind issue, showers remain a guilty pleasure even for many of the eco-conscious. After toilets and clothes washers, showers are the third-largest water hogs in an average U.S. home — a typical eight-minute shower uses around 20 gallons of water, according to the Alliance for Water Efficiency. - 4 years ago

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