ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES - NEWS
FEBRUARY 08 2/5/08 Democrats Push Green Growth, Los Angeles Times. Democrats in Congress are seeking to add tax breaks for alternative-energy investment to the stimulus package.
DECEMBER 07 12/19/07 Closing on December 24 Good for Environment, Edie. On that basis, even better for the environment to close down the rest of the year as well. We need criteria that balance consumer convenience with environmental benefits. 12/19/07 Green Building: the Next Steps, Gotham Gazette. 12/18/08 Market-Based Environmental Initiatives, Business for Social Responsibility (BSR). Resource guide prepared with the help of four oil and gas companies. 12/14/07Luxury Firms Said to Be Doing Too Little to Save Planet, Agence France Presse. The World Wildlife Fund UK study of the world's 10 largest publicly traded luxury firms chided them for being “slow” to recognize their responsibilities and opportunities to improve the outlook for global warming and ethical trade issues. It called on celebrities who help sell the brands to sit up and take note. Comment:The Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices quickly put out a response saying the WWF-UK study was unfair. 12/10/07 Al Gore’s Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech, Huffington Post. Near to the seventh anniversary of the Supreme Court decision to stop recounting the votes in Florida. 12/06/07 Green Jobs, report by the Urban Agenda. Jobs in energy efficiency - first in a series of reports to implement some of the sustainability ideas in PlaNYC. 12/4/08 Activists Descend on 70 Sears Stores, protesting the mailing of 425 million catalogs a year made from trees from endangered forests with little or no recycled content.
ENVIRONMENT JANUARY 1/6/08 (Blogspot): Ecotourism in the Americas. Tourism can damage or (less often) restore the environment, depending on how it is handled. If you want to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem, look for a hotel/resort that supports local conservation of the environment - i.e., a place committed to ecotourism or sustainable travel. This kind of shopping for a better world is now easier with the second edition of Go Green! A SmartGuide to Sustainable Travel in the Americas. More: Blogspot, John Tepper Marlin,
EcoTourism in the Americas.
DECEMBER 12/27 (HuffPost): LEEDing the Way to Green Buildings. Former Vice President Al Gore will reportedly take space for his investment company in a Durst building going up near Bryant Park in New York City. A selling point to him was that the building is pursuing LEED Platinum status, the highest level of environmental probity. The certification process is moving with all deliberate speed - it just may take longer than he expects. 1. Number of Buildings Pursuing LEED Certificates in the NYC Area: 250 or More The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program is a project of the U.S. Green Building Council, based in Washington D.C. I was asked by the Sallan Foundation to look at LEED through the prism of my work on standard-setting, accreditation and certification dating back 40 years. As their advertising and billboards suggest, hundreds of developers are pursuing LEED-certified buildings or renovations in the NYC area, with 155 projects listed on the area Green Buildings Council registry as being in the process and more than 200 additional buildings in NY State (no regional breakdown available) pursuing their certification confidentially. 2. Actual NYC & Metro LEED Certifications, 2004-2007: 14 The number of buildings actually certified to LEED standards is just 14, according to information through September 2007 I obtained from the NYC area chapter of the Green Building Council. The first NYC area certification was in April 2004 at the Gold level, the only certification that year. In 2005, one more was added at the plain-vanilla certification level. In 2006, eight more were added, including the first Platinum certification. This year, 2007, has added four more through September. The fact that only one project is certified to the Platinum level - an architect's office in the Flatiron District, not an entire building - suggests this level is very hard to achieve. More: John Tepper Marlin, Huffington Post, LEEDing the Way to Green Buildings.
12/26/07 (Blogspot): How Many Consumers Are Green? How Many Could There Be? According to BBMG, a marketing agency specializing in CSR, almost nine out of ten Americans surveyed identify themselves as "conscious consumers". BBMG said of their late-November report: "Consumers are hungry for more information about the products and services that they choose in their lives. They want companies to be transparent about product attributes and ingredients, and honest about their impact on the environment and society." On the other hand, another marketing agency, egg, puts the number of green consumers at fewer than 7 out of 10 consumers because of a sizeable group of sceptics, and the number of consumers who actually show in their buying practices a sensitivity to CSR practices of the brands they buy is down to 7-20 percent. What is the truth? 12/26/2007 Blogspot, CSRNYC, John Tepper Marlin, How Many Consumers Are Green? How Many Could There Be?
NOVEMBER 11/16 (Blogspot): Government Regulation of the Environment. Corporate executives have come to accept that greater government regulation of corporations is likely in the next few years. Some embrace it because they believe it is right. Others, like a boxer facing off against a punishing opponent, would rather embrace it than be socked by it. A national survey last month of senior executives by the Chicago-based accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP, found both (1) strong support (by 72 percent of respondents) for more environmental regulation of companies, and (2) strong expectation (by 70 percent of respondents) that this regulation will happen within the next five years. These views may reflect the reality that environmental issues are very much in the forefront of political debate. A different survey, of UK opinion leaders, by Chatsworth Communications was reported last month by Edie as concluding that one-fourth of respondents believe companies pursue green policies to protect their reputation, with one-fifth saying these initiatives result from consumer pressure and good business sense. Only 1 percent said they believed genuine concern for the environment was the main motivation for companies. Although Brits tend to be more sceptical and critical of corporations than Americans, it's clear why corporate executives on either side of the Atlantic might believe more regulation is on its way. More: 11/16/07 Blogspot, John Tepper Marlin,Corporate Executives See the Writing on the Wall.
11/16 (Blogspot): Pepsico and the Environment. With its reorganization behind it, Purchase, NY-based Pepsico, starting in FY 08, may be able to do more with its largest single division, its Americas food operations. The division has reduced the environmental impact on local communities of its Frito-Lay factories, which is terrific for the workers and the community. Now it would be wonderful if Pepsico could could give us more food options. I teach from 6 to 9 pm many evenings and the vending machines all belong to Pepsico. They do not cater to professors seeking to stay away from salt, processed sugar or anything fried. How hard would it be to include raisin-and-nuts packages? More: 11/16/07, Blogspot, John Tepper Marlin,Pepsico's Food Opportunity.