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.
Read more
  • 0

Kaiser Coughs Up $1M for Green Health Clinic

A $1 million grant from Kaiser Permanente helped to construct a community health clinic that could be the first of its kind to earn LEED certification. The newest La Maestra Community Health Center located in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego will sport a slew of green features expected to earn the facility a LEED Gold certification. Project designers had a goal of constructing a building that would play many roles: Aside from providing a high level of comfort and using less energy, the building would also serve to introduce the concept of green building to the community. Green elements include high performance insulated glass, a rooftop solar photovoltaic array expected to generate 15 percent of its energy needs, recycled materials, energy management system, and materials with low volatile organic compounds. The site was the building was chosen for its solar orientation and prevailing breezes. A high-efficiency landscape irrigation system was installed, in a…
Read more
  • 0

Apple sidesteps a recall and stays green

Last Friday Apple CEO Steve Jobs stepped in front of the world to address the widespread iPhone 4 antenna issues that effectively made the smartphone lose reception when a user engaged in the "iPhone death grip." He addressed his wide consumer saying, "You know, we're not perfect. We know that, you know that. And phones aren't perfect either." Most iPhone 4 owners claimed they didn't experience these problems but once notorious tech media writers got a hold of Jobs acknowledging the claims, word spread like wildfire. (more…)
Read more
  • 0

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…
Read more
  • 0

Chevy Volt launching in four new states

Chevrolet is adding Texas, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to the launch markets for the Volt, Ed Whitacre, General Motors chairman and CEO, announced today. Whitacre said the company is expanding the initial launch of the groundbreaking electric vehicle in response to intense interest in the Volt from customers across the country. Today's announcement brings the initial Volt retail markets to seven, including California, Michigan, and Washington, D.C. The retail launch in Texas and New York will begin with Austin and New York City in late 2010. The balance of Texas and New York, as well as New Jersey and Connecticut, are scheduled to begin receiving Volts in early 2011. The Wall Street Journal is also reporting that General Motors Co. said today it will build 10,000 Chevrolet Volts in 2011 and another 30,000 in 2012, the first time the auto maker has outlined production plans for the battery-powered car. By 2012, GM expects to be selling Volts…
Read more
  • 1