With lawsuits, moratoriums and bans on hydrofracking popping up across the United States, the promise of natural gas for a cleaner and more independent energy future is stuck between a rock and hard place
President Barack Obama and presidential candidate Governor Mitt Romney each addressed the nation’s major challenges in their recent convention speeches. With different perspectives and emphases, the candidates spoke to some or all of these issues: job creation and economic recovery, deficit reduction, education, healthcare, alternative energy development, and the elimination of poverty. In addition to the solutions offered by the candidates, the “third sector”--nonprofit organizations--can be a vital partner to the government and business sectors in achieving success.
Last week, top Obama administration officials joined representatives from leading health systems at a White House event to discuss advances in sustainability across the health care sector.
The event's attendees represented organizations and companies that are blazing a path to sustainability in the healthcare sector - a sector that has been criticized for its lack of effort on the sustainability front in the past.
A ten-year financial commitment to green energy is a good thing. So why all the cynicism?
At its annual shareholder meeting Thursday in Jersey City, New Jersey, Wall Street behemoth Goldman Sachs announced that it plans to invest $40 billion into global renewable energy projects over the next decade.
"This is another emerging opportunity we think will be quite large," said Stuart Bernstein, head of Goldman's clean technology and renewables investment banking group.
African greentech projects get a sustainable finance boost from the Scandinavian kingdom
Denmark has a long history with Africa. From the 17th to 19th centuries, the relationship was primarily that of colonizer and colonized, as the small European nation established several trading posts and forts along west Africa's Gold Coast.
General Electric and Gama Holding have completed its second wind farm project in Turkey. General Electric is the biggest maker of wind turbines in the U.S. The company recently surpassed 2 GW of installed capacity worldwide.
The 10 MW project Karadag farm in Izmir in the Aegeon region went online this month with four 2.5 MW turbines. Like many other countries, Turkey is trying to increase the share of sustainable renewable power in its energy mix and has set a goal of 30 percent for 2023.
We all produce heat. In winter we need more, summer, we want the opposite. Every day in all seasons, facilities managers work to ensure those who inhabit their office, condos and shopping centres are comfortable. Making us comfortable takes a whole lot of energy-and with that the price of a large carbon footprint.
"Fenix Energy has pioneered a new approach to installing renewable energy in urban centres that shaves months off new construction timelines." says a Vancouver-based cleantech firm.
Many including this author, believe that forward-thinking companies will integrate sustainability goals into their business models and will use their visions of sustainability to help define revenue-generating strategies. Certainly the recent implosion of financial markets around the world offers a clear and disturbing picture of what happens when people lose faith in the long-term viability of businesses and business models.
Sophisticated and experienced NGO/nonprofit board members and CEOs routinely ask me to explain the role of the board. It's not surprising and I'm glad they do. So let me share my four essentials for effective governance.
1. Achievement: The role of the board is to achieve the organization's greater potential as well as its mission.
In order to build a good corporate sustainability report (CSR), it is important to have a solid team in place. The steps to recruit and motivate that team, however, are not unique to sustainability. Solid project management, expert networking and persuasive leadership are among the key business skills needed to guide your team in delivering a world-class report.
Producing a corporate sustainability report (CSR) is a team sport. The stronger the team is, the stronger the report will be. Each player needs to bring specific expertise that is complementary to the team as a whole. So, it is important to recruit and rally the key experts that can deliver what you need to make the company’s report a success. Choose carefully and look for people who already demonstrate some passion about sustainability.
Not all corporate sustainability reports (CSRs) are created equal. Some reports areglossy marketing brochures that lack substantive data. Others are so data focused that reading them requires a strong cup of coffee to resist boredom-induced sleep. The best reports provide a balance of accessible, engaging text and comprehensive, material data presented in a well-designed format. It is both art and science.
For the first time in its 8-year history, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) has assigned a theme to its Annual Meeting--"Design for Impact"--to remind participants that the goal of the organization is action, not simply ideas.
Last month, I had the opportunity – and the privilege – to participate in the Maximum Cityprogram in Toronto. This program is the brainchild of Josh Fullan, a high school humanities and languages teacher at the University of Toronto Schools, my alma mater.
For anyone to accept the premise that social responsibility is a business strategy, we must be able to define and quantify the business benefits that can be derived from adopting this model. This is so that success can be measured, just as with any business strategy.
First things first. Before setting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard to write outlines or strategies or any text at all, there are a few important steps that will help build the foundation for a qualitycorporate sustainability report (CSR).
Sadly, most American companies do not produce sustainability (or responsibility) reports. In fact, a recent study of sustainability reporting by the US Conference Board, Bloomberg, and the Global Reporting Initiative shows that only a tenth of the 1000 largest U.S. publicly listed companies effectively disclose sustainability data.
“The artist has a special task and duty: the task of reminding men of their humanity and the promise of their creativity.”
As historian, sociologist and critic Lewis Mumford (1895-1990) so eloquently noted in the quote above, all art – visual, musical, literary, architectural, performing, culinary – reflects the best of humanity. We are, after all, the culture that we create.
Given financial threats and opportunities and a passion for their missions, a growing number of NGO/nonprofit boards are seeking to assess how they can become stronger and more effective in maximizing their greater potential.
Business executives and professionals and people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives who serve on NGO/nonprofit boards can bring valuable expertise in helping boards consider new revenue models and opportunities and explore ways of increasing the organization's impact through new partnerships.