Green & Clean in 2013: Six Top Environmental Stories of the Year1
Many excellent articles from reputable environmental news sources have been published recently rounding up and summarizing the top green stories and trends of 2013. Here’s a look at some of our favorites:
From the massive Bangladesh fire and factory collapse, to the horse meat scandal and ongoing international natural disasters, 2013 was a year of new issues, challenges and opportunities within CSR. Companies and consumers alike were bold, even brazen, in their approaches to accelerating positive change. This year was marked by continued digital innovation, audacious goals, new industry support and unexpected partnerships.
Environmental Defense Fund
By Derek Walker
There is never a dull moment on the California environmental policy scene, and 2013 was particularly action-packed. Everywhere you turn there seems to be a new innovative solution or a fresh example of a company, city, organization, or individual making a profound difference in putting the Golden State on the path to a clean energy future. Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has the privilege of being in the middle of many of these groundbreaking developments, and in the past 12 months, California has taken a number of exciting steps forward.
What follows is our “13 for (20)13” recap of the most consequential stories in the California climate change and energy policy world, in our own words.
By Elaine Cohen
It wouldn’t be the beginning of the year without a flurry of year-end posts, among them my pick for the Top Ten Sustainability Reports of 2013. For previous selections, see posts covering the Top Tens in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
My selection is always based on reports that cross my radar throughout the year, not a scientific or strict methodical evaluation of the report quality. However, as I have done for the past couple of years, I use the AIM model to consider the reports that I found worthy of mention. It’s always tough to restrict myself to ten reports. I browse, review, read and use hundreds of reports each year, and there is always something positive that can be said about every single report. Each report adds value in its own way, and each report is evidence of progress.
The Energy Collective
By Deron Lovaas, Federal Transportation Policy Director, Washington, D.C.
Five years ago I was defending a new report sponsored by NRDC, EDF, various government agencies and foundations, as well as the American Public Transportation Association, the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, Shell Oil and the Urban Land Institute. This report – Moving Cooler: An Analysis of Transportation Strategies for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions – filled a huge analytical gap in transportation. While ample study has been made of the technical potential to reduce emissions by improving vehicle technology, there have been fewer comprehensive assessments of the potential to cut pollution by reducing traffic levels and improving the efficiency of the transportation system.
The report warranted defense from some advocates and analysts who were skeptical about its findings, namely that there is ample opportunity to save oil and reduce pollution by changing travel activity. The team of analysts and a steering committee chaired by yours truly examined about 50 policy tools that could reduce emissions in 9 different categories…
By Mike Hower
Entrepreneurship is about imagination and action, envisioning solutions to both new and long-standing problems, and innovating to make them a reality. Sustainable business was born of the realization that we cannot continue down our current path if we hope to achieve a proud and prosperous future. Innovation became its lifeblood.
Recent years have seen an explosion of start-ups focused not only on generating profit, but also bettering the planet and everyone living on it. Whether it’s tackling climate change, alleviating global poverty or reducing landfill burdens, these entrepreneurs are figuring out how to make a living while also making a difference.
Here are some of our favorites from 2013…
By Jasmin Malik Chua
2013 wasn’t an unbroken litany of gloom and doom. From H&M’s pledge to deliver a “living wage” to more than 850,000 textile workers by 2018 to Ralph Lauren’s American-made Team U.S.A. Olympic uniforms, here are 11 stories that put a skip in our step. Above, Levi Strauss’s’ Dockers “Wellthread,”, a first-of-its-kind process that prioritizes sustainable design, environmental practices, and the wellbeing of the apparel workers who make the garments.