Climate Notes, published by the World Resources Institute (WRI),
Washington, DC, assesses the potential interaction between one important
market-based environmental mechanismthe Clean Development
Mechanism (CDM)and the framework of international investment
Rules about global environment and international economy are currently
separate realms. Yet environmental agreements can have strong economic
implications; and meanwhile, economic liberalization rules can limit
the environmental agreements effectiveness. The question is
whether industrialized countries should be allowed to use their
development assistance funds to finance CDM projects.
After examining the arguments, recommendations said CDM rules should
prohibit aid-funded credit-earning projects and leave capital investments
in the CDM to the private sector. At the same time, in developing
countries that prioritize the CDM, aid could be used for human and
institutional capacity development in both sectors, focused on creating
circumstances conducive to attracting CDM projects.
For more information, visit
Canon, Toyota Earn Stewardship Awards
Canon USA and Toyota received Environmental Stewardship Awards at
the 15th Annual Corporate Conscience Awards for their responsible
business practices. They were selected by the Center for Responsibility
in Business panel of judges, which represents a cross-section of
experts in fields relating to corporate, social and environmental
Judges cited the following reasons for their selections:
Canon USAIt is recognized worldwide as a premier producer
of photographic and imaging equipment. In operating its toner cartridge
return program, Canon designs and builds some of the most energy-efficient
office machines, supports endangered species and habitat conservation
with leading non-profit organizations, and encourages its employees
to practice workplace conservation.
ToyotaPrius (Latin for to go before) is
a fitting name for the worlds first
mass-produced vehicle powered by both gas and electricity. Toyota
first introduced this hybrid to Japan in 1998, and today there are
more than 50,000 of these vehicles on the road in the U.S. and abroad
providing a safe, efficient and practical alternative to conventional
cars. With hopes of engaging motorists in the new technology, pricing
for the Prius is set at
a fairly affordable $20,000.
Web Helps USPS Get Green
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) selected GreenOrder, a firm that
facilitates procurement of resource-efficient products, to build
a Web-based system to assist it in meeting its environmental goals.
The Postal Service has long been committed to greening its
operations, said Mike Fanning, environmental specialist at
the USPS. We are always looking for new opportunities and
partners, and GreenOrders expertise and technology offer unique
GreenOrder is creating customized procurement tools for the USPS
to make it easier and more economical for its employees to source
and purchase energy-efficient products made with recycled content,
or are otherwise environmentally preferable. GreenOrder also explores
the feasibility of using network technology to facilitate reuse
and recycling of personal computers and other electronic equipment.
GreenOrders contract with the USPS demonstrates the importance
of information technology to sustainable procurement. Despite growing
interest among enterprise buyers in environmentally preferable alternatives,
inefficiencies impede these purchases.CERES
Gains Network Participants
Environmental Defense, New York, NY, a national non-profit organization,
and its corporate partnership program,the Alliance for Environmental
Innovation, have joined the Coalition
for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES).
By joining CERES, Environmental Defense lends promotional support
for environmental responsibility among CERESendorsing corporations.
Such coalition members help initiate and monitor corporate environmental
progress and foster accountability by bringing together a range
of experts that help corporations find solutions to their environmental
Environmental Defense is a leading advocate for economic incentives
as a new approach to solving environmental problems. Since 1967,
it has linked science, economics and law to create innovative, equitable
and cost-effective solutions for the most urgent environmental problems.
Its staff includes more than 75 full-time scientists, economists
working on myriad issues.
The Alliance for Environmental Innovation is a joint initiative
of Environmental Defense and the Pew Charitable Trusts. It works
cooperatively with businesses to reduce waste and build environmental
considerations into business decisions. By bringing the expertise
and perspective of environmental scientists and economists together
with major corporations, it creates solutions that make environmental
and business sense.
Domini Celebrates 10 Years
The Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEF), the nations oldest and
largest socially and environmentally screened index fund, is celebrating
its 10th anniversary. DSEF has played a leadership role in the growth
of socially responsible investing over the past decade. It has also
pioneered the promotion of responsible share ownership and corporate
governance, being the first mutual fund in America to publish its
proxy votes, and filing more than 60 shareholder resolutions on
issues ranging from environmental disclosure to board diversity
and from sweatshops to excessive CEO compensation.
The 10th anniversary of the DSEF is a milestone not only for the
Socially Responsible Investment industry, but also for the mutual
fund industry as a whole. Some of the nations largest financial
institutions have embraced aspects of social investing as a result
of strides achieved by Domini Social Investments. The DSEF itself
is now a core offering of some of the nations largest private
and public retirement plans.
Students Green-e Electrify
Students at Connecticut College, New London, CT, celebrated a win
for the environment as their university committed to support 100-percent
Green-e certified renewable electricity. The students spearheaded
the switch to the cleaner, environmentally friendly energy.
The Connecticut Energy Co-op, Hartford, CT, is an electricity supplier
pioneering the effort in New England to offer 100-percent, Green-e
certified renewable electricity. The Co-op will serve Connecticut
College with renewable resources through its EcoWatt program,
offering electricity at a price lower than the current electricity
Green-e is a program of the Center for Resource Solutions, San Francisco,
CA, and is the nations first voluntary certification and verification
program for renewable electricity products. The Green-e Program
sets consumer protection and environmental standards for electricity
products and verifies that Green-e certified products meet standards.
Connecticut College students have challenged every other student
body in America to accept responsibility for the energy they consume
and the pollution their campuses generate, said Bob Maddox,
co-op marketing director. The student body, organized by Sara Ziza
and Kassie Rohrbach, raised $1,500 to join the co-op as an organizing
partner and circulated a petition seeking support for the $25 tuition
increase. The Student Government Association overwhelmingly supported
the initiative and the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the
measure on May 5.
The students have also pledged to reduce the environmental impact
of the college through conservation. The co-op will assist students,
staff and faculty in developing a strategic energy management plan,
audit building energy use, suggest ways to use energy more efficiently
and conduct educational seminars. As an organizing partner, the
entire Connecticut College community will have access to all co-op
products and services, including reduced lifetime memberships for
their private use.
The colleges purchase will reduce its emissions of sulfur
oxide by 17,254 pounds-per-year, nitrogen oxide by 3,612 pounds-per-year
and carbon dioxide by 2.3 million pounds-per-year.
For more information on Green-e, visit www.resource-solutions.org.
Best Practices for Hotels
The Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES),
Boston, MA has launched the Green Hotel Best Practice Survey, a
conference planning tool that businesses can use to communicate
their environmental preferences to the hotel industry. Companies
that have committed to using the Best Practice Survey for business
travel and hotel services include General Motors Corp., Aveda Corp.,
American Airlines, Northeast Utilities, The Bullitt Foundation,
Bethlehem Steel Corp., Interface Inc., Recycled Paper Printing,
Inc. and William McDonough + Partners Architects.
The Green Hotel Initiative (GHI), launched by CERES in October 2000,
a national campaign to catalyze the demand and supply of environmentally-responsible
hotel services. GHI involves business, the hotel industry, non-governmental
organizations, academia and
The GHI Best Practice Survey is an easy-to-use list of criteria
that measures a hotels environmental performance. It allows
meeting planners and travel buyers to choose hotels that meet their
business needs, including environmental considerations. American
Airlines, the only airline to endorse the CERES Principles of environmental
conduct, is incorporating the Best Practice Survey in its procurement
process for crew accommodations.
On average, American Airlines secures 6,500 hotel rooms every
night for our flight crews around the worldor more than two
million rooms a year, said the airlines manager of hotel
contracts, Monica Chamberlain. Its important that we
consider hotels that not only meet the specific criteria for overnight
crew stays, but also hotels that can share our personal commitment
to environmental stewardship. The Best Practice Survey is now a
part of our procurement package.
According to Sarah Raposa, project manager for CERES, the GHI was
born out of the organizations desire to run a world-class
conference with as little environmental impact as possible.
Raposa knows first hand the value of the Best Practice Survey, having
recently managed a two-day conference at Swissôtel Atlanta.
Swissôtel agreed to add a Green Commitment clause to the conference
contract. The hotel then appointed a green team and
worked with a representative of the Pollution Prevention Assistance
Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to assess
the state of the hotels environmental performance. The team
then identified and implemented improvements in the three major
areas of energy, water and solid waste.
Swissôtel Atlanta exceeded expectations in providing
a green conference by implementing dozens of programs ranging from
improved air quality and supply purchasing to the methods of serving
food and beverage, says Raposa
According to Tedd Saunders, executive vice president of Saunders
Hotel Group and president of EcoLogical Solutions, the greening
of hotels is simply smart business.
Id like to hear of any other strategy where hotels can
lower their operating expenses while generating new business and
building customer loyalty, says Saunders
Swissôtel in Boston, MA, has been implementing environmentally-responsible
practices for a few years and reports that its recycling programs
have reduced the amount of trash by 2,000 to 3,000 pounds, saving
close to $7,000 annually.
If large companies with their significant buying power place
environmental requirements in their RFPs for meeting space, we as
an industry will meet their demand, says David Gibbons, general
manager of Swissôtel Boston. It is not only ethical
business practice, but also good economic sense.
For more information, visit www.ceres.org.
Improving Visibility in National Parks
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Christie
Whitman has signed a national park visibility protection proposal,
widely known as the BART rule, containing no significant
changes to its original proposal. The proposed rule provides guidelines
for states and tribal air quality agencies to determine air pollution
controls for a number of older, large power plants and other industrial
The BART (Best Available Retrofit Technology) rule was delayed until
EPA had completed an energy impact analysis required in a May 18
Executive Order directing all federal agencies to prepare an energy
impact statement on any major regulatory action. EPA has determined
that this proposal is not likely to have an adverse effect on supply,
distribution or use of energy. Plans for signing the proposal were
announced in an EPA press release May 29.
The proposal aims to clear the skies in the nations most treasured
national parks and wilderness areas, such as the Grand Canyon and
Yellowstone, by helping states control haze-causing emissions from
older power plants and industrial facilities. Specifically, BART
amends EPAs 1999 regional haze rule to guide states and tribal
air quality agencies in deciding which facilities must install air
pollution controls and the types of controls to be installed.
The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments required EPA to establish a rule
to improve visibility in 156 national parks and wilderness areas.
The Amendments also called on states to require these older plants
to install best air pollution controls available.
The proposed amendments will appear soon in the Federal Register
(with a 60-day public comment period), and can be accessed immediately
Silvercrest Builds Sustainable Homes on
Portland General Electric (PGE), announced that Silvercrest Western
Homes Corp., Portland, OR, is the first manufacturer to sell certified
sustainable manufactured homes on the West Coast.
Silvercrest is also the latest to enroll in PGEs Earth Advantage
program. Homes certified as Earth Advantage are at least 15 percent
more energy efficient than those built to state code and have healthier
indoor air. Earth Advantage also promotes environmental responsibility
and resource efficiency through better building practices.
Earth Advantage offers manufacturers an opportunity to set themselves
apart in the marketplace while positively impacting the community
and the environment. The program also offers invaluable tools and
resources, including marketing and sales support and technical guidance.
For more information, visit www.earth advantage.com, or call (888)
Foster Wheeler Garners DDE
Foster Wheeler Environmental Corp., Clinton, NJ, received the 2001
Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence in construction from the
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). This prestigious award
is granted annually to one large business excelling in its use of
small businesses as subcontractors. The winner is recognized for
outstanding achievements in utilization of small businesses in performance
on federal contracts. Award criteria also include participation
in mentor-protégé programs, mentor outreach and use
of the SBAs database of certified companies called PRO-Net
At the end of 2000, Foster Wheeler Environmental had 40 prime contracts
with the federal government. It awarded approximately $84 million
to various categories of small business concerns from a total subcontracting
value of $120 million. The company has been involved with the U.S.
Department of Defense mentor-protégé program since
1993. The company also offers specific business and technical management
training to its mentor companies.