Opportunity Green: Green Business Startup Competition Finalists

The 2nd annual green startup competition recognizes twenty-five of the most innovative eco-startups. This year's winner will receive BBMG's $25,000 Brand Innovation Charette, and a $1,000 shopping spree at Office Depot. OG25 Innovative Green Startup finalists will be showcased at this year's Opportunity Green conference, September 23rd - 24th at Los Angeles Center Studios. Mobile voting will be provided by MobileGive, whose innovative texting solutions are being utilized again this year. Watch this site for the voting widget.
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Walmart and the Sustainability Index: Green Dreams Die Hard

It’s been exactly a year since Walmart’s historic launch of a Sustainability Index and other measures to assess suppliers and products and, remarkably, the sun still rises in the East and sets in the West. Most skeptics say there is less than meets the eye. A brief review: Last summer, Walmart announced that it would assess its suppliers on environmental and social criteria. It announced a Sustainable Product Index to “establish a single source of data for evaluating the sustainability of products,” the company said. Walmart said it would introduce the initiative in three phases, beginning with a survey of its more than 100,000 suppliers around the world. The survey includes 15 questions that “serve as a tool for Walmart’s suppliers to evaluate their own sustainability efforts. For more on where Walmart stands one year later, visit GreenBiz here.
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Making Sense of Sustainability Certifications

With sustainability certifications abounding, learn what businesses should consider for their sustainability certification from Melissa Schweisguth in this post from Greenbusinesses.com 10 Tips for Savvy Shopping in the Certification Marketplace In the face of surging skepticism around social and environmental claims, sellers and buyers alike are demanding verification. Sustainability certification has become a booming industry with over 400 in use and new ones emerging almost weekly. This, in turn, has led to scrutiny and public criticism of apparent shortcomings. Understandably, the net result has been mounting confusion and uncertainty about what particular certifications deliver and their relative value. To help consumers and businesses navigate this landscape, the Consumers Union launched its Greener Choices database several years ago, providing basic information on over 300 labels. Realizing greater breadth and depth were needed, the World Resources Institute recen…
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Sustainability Pays: IBM Saves Money by Conserving Energy

From Environmental Leader IBM CR Report: Energy Conservation Cuts Energy Costs by $26.8M IBM’s energy conservation program saved the company $26.8 million and prevented more than 142,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions in 2009, according to the company’s 2009 Corporate Responsibility Report. IBM’s report provides an overview of four key areas: energy conservation and climate protection, process stewardship, product stewardship and supply chain management. Here are the highlights. In 2009, IBM’s energy conservation initiatives delivered savings equal to 5.4 percent of its total energy use, which exceeded the corporate goal of 3.5 percent. These projects saved more than 246,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity and more than 410,000 million BTUs of fuel oil, cutting nearly $27 million in energy costs. IBM has saved 5.1 billion kWh of electricity, which also prevented 3.4 million metric tons of CO2 emissions between 1990 and 2009. As part of its effort, IBM is le…
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Public and Private Roles in Sustainability

By Eric McNulty I had the pleasure of introducing Rep. Edward Markey for his opening keynote at the recent Executive Council Sustainable Cities leadership forum. Markey has been at the forefront of the Congressional response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, is the co-author of the Waxman-Markey climate change bill, and author of the bill that increased auto mileage standards for the first time in three decades. The League of Conservation Voters calls him the environment’s best advocate in Congress. Markey gave a fiery address about the need for the U.S. to become the leader in alternative energy. What I found interesting was his view that regulation can be a catalyst to those efforts. While many business leaders think that regulation in anathema to innovation, Markey disagrees. He pointed to his prior work on the Telecommunications Committee that shifted a segment of the broadcast spectrum into commercial use for cellular and other wireless com…
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Walmart, Folgers Share Compost Farm

With $500,000 and 10 acres of land you may want to start your own Commercial Composting business. By Laura Baverman of the Cincinnati Enquirer Marvin Duren started composting 35 years ago because it was good for the environment Today, he's helping Walmart do the same. The owner of Marvin's Organic Gardens in Lebanon won a contract from the world's largest retailer to compost food waste from as many as 160 of its stores in Ohio. It's a major feat for the organic farmer, who founded the 75-acre operation in 1999 with a plan to dedicate one third of his land to composting. (more…)
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