Water: A few study tips for a grade boost

Posted by: Janelle Heslop  /  April 01, 2013 / in Headlines
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Near-failing grades and where test prep went wrong

Last week, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released its quadrennial report card on America's infrastructure. The report examines the status of 16 of America's infrastructure systems across several factors such as the systems' ability to meet current and future capacity demands, existing and near-future condition, innovation, and funding. In somewhat predictable fashion, all water-related infrastructure systems (drinking water, wastewater, inland waterways, and levees) scored a 'D' or below. It's not that the rest of America is doing much better--the average score was a 'D+' with the highest score at a 'B-' grabbed by the solid waste industry--but when the whole class is failing, who really wants to be the dunce that's below the curve? 

Cleantech Goes Social

Posted by: Samantha Buechner  /  July 25, 2014 / in Headlines
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Cleantech Group and Facebook challenge you to use social to accelerate cleantech

by Sheeraz Haji

Cleantech products and services are inherently social. When my neighbors install solar panels on their roofs or buy an EV, they want to tell all their friends about it. Demonstrating how one is contributing to the broader public good by reducing their impact on the environment has become somewhat of a status symbol (at least in Berkeley!). However, the cleantech industry has not done a great job of using the web in creative ways to amplify the social aspects of cleantech products and services. 

With that in mind, Cleantech Group and Facebook are excited to announce "Cleantech Goes Social," a contest that aims to harness the power of Facebook's billion-person network to accelerate cleantech adoption and engage the public on sustainability issues. We are challenging cleantech companies and others to find new ways to use Facebook to accelerate cleantech, whether it's through an app on the Facebook platform or a new method of integrating Facebook into products and services. We are asking contestants to tell us their story about how they will use Facebook to address energy and resources challenges, accelerate cleantech adoption, and engage the public in dialogue about sustainability issues. 

The winner of the contest will receive $25,000 of prize money, as well as personalized guidance from my Cleantech Group colleagues and members of the Facebook team on how to deliver on their concept. Cleantech Group, Facebook, and members of the Global Cleanweb Initiative will judge the entries. The three finalists will be invited to Cleantech Forum San Francisco 2013 (March 18-20), where they will pitch their concepts to a panel of investors in front of an audience. To make this experience as interactive as possible, we will ask participants of Cleantech Forum San Francisco to vote on the three finalists. The winner will then be announced from the main stage on March 20th. 

In the spirit of social, this contest is very much open. We invite everyone, from around the world, to enter, including cleantech companies, enterprises, non-profits, developers, students and others with a passion for cleantech.

How are you taking cleantech social? Enter the contest now!


What Fed Chair's First News Conference Means for Sustainability

Posted by: Stephen Linaweaver  /  April 26, 2011 / in Headlines
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Tomorrow the Federal Reserve will enter the age of transparency as Chairman Ben Bernanke holds a press conference directly following the release of the Federal Open Markets Committee's scheduled statement. Why does this matter?

For two reasons. One, it is another example of a buttoned-down establishment opening up, and is a model for companies. Secondly, one of his potential topics, food commodities, is critical to sustainability.

Don't expect anything earth shattering from Bernanke. He will provide some insight into what this month's monetary policy actually means. He may speak to the impact of the Middle East uprising on GDP or the global rise in commodity prices, and what that does or does not mean for U.S. inflation.

And like the average Fed statement, he may be somewhat vague. But he nonetheless is sticking his neck out for one reason: to provide reassurance. His calm tone and slightly erudite aloofness are intended to make sure that the markets don't actually do anything in response.

Executives should take note of this move. Some senior executives do not engage in public discourse regarding their companies' sustainability efforts because it is a really complex subject, they don't have much to say, or they are afraid of the questions. Welcome to Ben's world.

What's Next for the Sustainability? Thoughts on the Economic Recovery

Posted by: Melissa Matlins  /  November 22, 2010 / in Headlines
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GreenOrder's Stephen Linaweaver has authored a thought-provoking series of articles on the economic recovery and its effect on the sustainability movement on GreenBiz.

Stephen writes...

Staying Out of the Red

Posted by: Dan Saccardi  /  October 15, 2010 / in Headlines
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Focusing solely on compliance is so 1990s, or at least pre-BP Deepwater Horizon. That’s why I was surprised by the official statements from MAL Rt. immediately following the “red sludge tsunami.”
 
By way of quick background for those who haven’t been following this, nearly 200 million gallons of what is euphemistically described as red sludge – noxious industrial byproduct of the aluminum-making process – escaped its containment reservoir at an aluminum factory in Hungary, killing nine people, hospitalizing more than 100, rendering 100s of homes uninhabitable, and potentially contaminating the Danube river ecosystem for years to come.
 
As the story broke, company officials said that “the red sludge waste is not considered hazardous waste” according to E.U. standards and that the company had “conformed to all safety standards.”

Much of my work at GreenOrder focuses on working with clients to uncover innovative sustainability opportunities. But we always caution not to lose sight of environmental fundamentals.