A blog focused on sustainable business issues and challenges

Archive for November, 2010

USGBC Launches LEED for Retail and LEED Volume Program

November 29, 2010 | No Comments →

In an effort to enable retailers to better integrate sustainability into their real estate footprint, the US Green Building Council (USGBC) has released a new retail specific rating system for LEED building certification.

The LEED for Retail rating system was modeled after the long-established LEED for New Construction and LEED for Commercial Interiors rating systems; however, the new retail system includes key considerations for retail space, such as occupancy, waste streams, energy consumption and water use.

Developed with the support of nearly 100 pilot participants, including RILA members’ Delhaize America, Best Buy, Target, Staples and REI, LEED for Retail underscores the retail industry’s commitment to sustainability initiatives. More than 650 retail projects have already achieved LEED certification. Perhaps more importantly, more than 4,000 additional retail projects have been registered and are working towards LEED certification. (more…)

CDP Finds Water Risk Now a Common Boardroom Issue

November 26, 2010 | No Comments →

Water security has made its way onto the corporate agenda.

Virtually all (96 percent) of companies in a recent survey were able to identify whether or not they are exposed to water risk, and more than half of those that reported risks classify them as current or near-term (1-5 years).

The survey, prepared by Environmental Resource Management (ERM) and sponsored by CDP Water Disclosure, polled more than 100 of the world’s largest companies asking for information on their water use and other water-related business issues. The results show that water is already impacting business operations. For instance: (more…)

Unilever Launches Ambitious Sustainable Living Plan

November 24, 2010 | No Comments →

Last week, Unilever launched its Sustainable Living Plan, which includes more than 50 social, economic and environmental targets. According to CEO Paul Polman these goals represent “new ways of doing business which will ensure that our growth does not come at the expense of the world’s diminishing natural resources.”

Specifically, Unilever wants to: (more…)

GSA Launches Small Business Greenhouse Gas Disclosure Pilot Program

November 22, 2010 | No Comments →

The Obama administration wants to promote clean energy and cut waste and pollution in the federal supply chain, and so last week it announced the launch of the GreenGov Supply Chain Partnership and Small Business Pilot.

The program is voluntary, and federal suppliers that join the GreenGov Supply Chain Partnership agree to measure and report their organization’s greenhouse gas emissions. Participating companies will share their experiences to help GSA develop a phased, incentive-based approach to developing contracting advantages to companies that track and disclose their greenhouse gas emissions.

According to White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, the federal supplier network presents a unique opportunity to explore the benefits and challenges of measuring greenhouse gas emissions with small businesses.

“The federal government is the single largest energy consumer in the US economy and purchases more than $500 billion in goods and services every year,” Chair Sutley said. “It is our responsibility to lead by example to improve efficiency, eliminate waste, and promote clean energy in our supply chain.” (more…)

Study: Cloud Computing Saves Energy and Reduces Carbon Emissions

November 19, 2010 | No Comments →

Businesses turn to the cloud for a variety of reasons. For some, the decision is financial. For others, it’s a matter of capacity, agility or simple practicality.

Now, a new study has revealed two more benefits of cloud computing: It’s more energy efficient and can significantly reduce your environmental impact.

The ground-breaking  study, commissioned by Microsoft Corp. and conducted by Accenture and WSP Environment & Energy, assessed the carbon footprint of server, networking and storage infrastructure for three different deployment sizes (100, 1,000 and 10,000 users) of Microsoft’s popular business applications Exchange, Sharepoint and CRM Dynamics. The results show that:

  • When small organizations (100 users) move to the cloud, the net energy and carbon savings can amount to more than 90 percent on a per user basis!
  • For large corporations, the savings are typically 30 percent or more in energy consumption and carbon emissions. For instance, in a case study with a large consumer-goods company, the team calculated that 32 percent of emissions would be avoided by moving 50,000 e-mail users in North America and Europe to Microsoft’s cloud.

According to the report, the lower energy use and carbon emissions enabled by the cloud stem from a number of key factors, including: (more…)