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green@work : Magazine : Newlines : January/February 2007

Actions and initiatives worth noting

Weather Channel Announces First One Degree Hot List

One Degree, a Web site developed by The Weather Channel Interactive, recently named the 10 individuals or companies that had the greatest influence on global climate change in 2006. The list, named the One Degree Hot List, is the first from The Weather Channel.

The Hot List was determined by a panel of environmentalists, academics, scientists and editors from The Weather Channel and will be published annually. The 2006 One Degree Hot List exemplifies the global climate change movement during this past year, and where the debate is headed.

The following were named to the inaugural list:
• Former Vice President Al Gore: Gore became the official climate change spokesperson for millions across the globe, presenting possibly the most widely distributed—and highest-grossing—global climate change lecture in history with his hit film, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

• Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state lawmakers Fabian Nunez, Don Perata and Fran Pavley: The bipartisan foursome of California state lawmakers can take credit for enacting the most sweeping greenhouse-gas-emissions-reductions law in U.S. history to date.

• Coopetitive Enterprise Institute: The non-profit public policy organization that advocates for free enterprise and a limited government played defense as one of the most influential contrarians to the mainstream scientific view of global climate change.

• President George W. Bush:
On the subject of climate change, the Bush administration pursued diplomatic partnerships with countries such as China and Japan to advance technological research and cooperation. Also, his opposition to the Kyoto treaty and to mandatory reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions gave states such as California and New York reason to act on their own.

• James Hansen: As director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, his clout with his colleagues in the scientific community and his commitment to engaging policymakers and the press allows him to assume the role of a trusted dean of all climate scientists, rather than just an individual researcher.

• Sen. John McCain and Sen. Joe Lieberman:
The bipartisan duo of senators continued to serve as the climate change conscience of the Senate this year, working tirelessly to educate their colleagues on climate change science.

• Laurie David: The activist—wife of “Seinfeld” co-creator Larry David—is fusing the science of global climate change with popular culture by serving as a juggernaut of activism and entertainment. Together with Ariz. Sen. John McCain and environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., David founded the nonpartisan Stop Global Warming Virtual March.

• Richard Cizik: Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs at the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), is spearheading efforts to persuade churches that it’s their responsibility as like-minded evangelical Christians to combat global climate change, and that it’s in the best political interest of lawmakers to respond to their concerns.

• Wal-Mart: Cutting GHG emissions became a priority this year for the retail giant, as it moved forward with a series of steps to meet ambitious environmental goals.

• British Prime Minister Tony Blair: Blair relentlessly pushed climate change and has put the United Kingdom on a path to exceed its Kyoto commitments. Blair’s government has taken a wide array of steps to reduce emissions, including imposing a climate levy on British industry, exploring emissions cuts in the transportation sector and increasing its use of renewable energy.

GLOBE Foundation Launching Sustainable Living Expo

To mirror the success of what the GLOBE Conference & Trade Fair has done for business, the GLOBE Foundation is following up with EPIC, a sustainable living expo in Vancouver, Canada, March 16-18.

EPIC, which is open to the public, is centered on the motto, “I am EPIC.” EPIC isn’t about being ultra-environmental; it isn’t about abandoning your car, eating only food grown in your backyard, or leading a life you wouldn’t want only because it’s better for the environment. According to the foundation, it is about doing what you can, when you can. EPIC is aimed at people who want to make smarter decisions, but don’t want to sacrifice on design, quality or price. From recycling paper to choosing ethical brands to reusing coffee cups, it’s the little things that count, and EPIC showcases those businesses that have made a commitment to making their companies and their products better for the planet and humanity as a whole. EPIC will feature the latest in fashion, technology, transportation, food and home style.

EPIC is produced by Sustainable Events Limited (SEL), a subsidiary of the GLOBE Foundation. The GLOBE Foundation is an international consultancy in the business of the environment. Its expertise is in project management, event development, and management and consulting in the fields of environment and energy, urban development, and corporate responsibility. Vancouver is a fitting locale for the event, as it is recognized internationally as the world’s leader in sustainability.

Johnson Controls Develops Sustainability Navigator

Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls, Inc. recently announced the launch of Sustainability Navigator—the latest version of its Solutions Navigator™ planning tool—to thousands of green-building professionals at the annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Denver, which was held Nov. 15-17.

The Solutions Navigator planning tool helps key stakeholders quickly assess and prioritize common organizational needs and improvement practices. Navigation sessions last between two to four hours, and are facilitated by certified Johnson Controls consultants at a customer’s location or Johnson Controls site. Other specific versions of Solutions Manager include security, health care technology and manufacturing.

The Sustainability Navigator is a game-board-inspired planning tool designed to engage cross-functional teams in a structured, interactive process for quickly assessing sustainability-related needs and practices. The tool helps address a wide range of sustainability issues, from the design and construction of a green building, to improving the efficiency of a portfolio of facilities or developing an organization-wide sustainability strategic plan.

“ It is very appropriate that this version be released during Greenbuild, the annual meeting place for the green building industry,” said Clay Nesler, Johnson Controls Innovation Services vice president. “As a global leader in sustainability, Johnson Controls knows that developing top-level commitment and prioritizing goals are the keys to long-term success. The Solutions Navigator provides an interactive approach to sustainability strategic planning for an entire organization.

”Study: Biodiesel Will Add $24 Billion to U.S. Economy

America’s biodiesel industry will add $24 billion to the U.S. economy between 2005 and 2015, according to a study by the National Biodiesel Board. The figure foresees biodiesel growth reaching 650 million gallons of annual production by 2015.

The economic analysis, conducted by John M. Urbanchuk of LECG and funded by the soybean checkoff through the United Soybean Board, also found that biodiesel production will create a projected 39,102 new jobs in all sectors of the economy.

Additional tax revenues from biodiesel production will more than pay for the federal tax incentives provided to the industry, Urbanchuk said. It will keep $13.6 billion in America that would otherwise be spent on foreign oil. This total impact of biodiesel on the economy includes the temporary impacts of construction, the permanent impacts of annual production, and the direct value of biodiesel and co-products (glycerin).

“ Because these plants buy local goods and local services, the second- and third-round employment-generating impacts are really significant,” Urbanchuk said. “You’re looking at a fairly substantial employment-generating impact. Most of these jobs are going to be located in rural communities, and you can’t overstate the impact of the biofuels’ industry on these rural economies.”


Goldman Sachs Awards First Green Research Grants

The Goldman Sachs Center for Environmental Markets has awarded its first research grants, totaling more than $2.3 million, to fund programs focused on finding market-based solutions to climate change.

The grants have been awarded to:
• Resources for the Future, for support over one year of its Climate and Technology Policy Program, which seeks to advance economically sensible approaches to dealing with climate change. Anticipating the adoption and implementation of federal controls on GHG emissions, the program’s main project brings together companies from across the spectrum of the U.S. economy to inform a report to be written by RFF researchers on well-vetted, detailed policy options, important criteria for policy assessment, and well-articulated concerns from which effective federal policy might be crafted.

• World Resources Institute, for a two-year project to analyze the viability of the various technology options that could be deployed both in the United States and elsewhere to reduce GHG emissions and diversify the world’s energy sources, including coal gasification, biofuels, renewable power, and carbon capture and storage, among others. The project will assess the financial and market barriers to deployment and scale-up of each technology, and the government policies and economies of scale needed for rapid deployment and delivery of the technologies to the market. The project will also include two in-depth reports analyzing the specific opportunities and issues associated with two of the most promising of the options developed.

• Woods Hole Research Center, for a three-year project to examine how to value forest ecosystems and analyze economic alternatives to cutting valuable rainforests. Competing demands on forests for land, soils, water, vegetation and carbon capture necessitate a method of valuing these ecosystems and their associated services in determining the true costs and benefits in making decisions on land usage. This project aims to understand how to value sustainable management of forest ecosystem resources and services at the local, national and international levels.


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