Category Archives: Green Business

Demand Response Is the Best Cure for Texas Ailing Grid

The Texas Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has, yet again, kicked the can down the road on securing reliable energy to power the state’s growing population. The PUC, the state agency charged with managing electricity rates, meets to securely plan for the future, yet they continue to delay planning meetings. This will benefit no one in the short or long-run. To secure reliable power and safeguard against threats of blackouts, the PUC needs to keep pace with the times and leverage technologies that require little to no water, generate negligible carbon emissions, and can respond to the call for electricity.

Last week, the PUC decided to postpone indefinitely an important meeting, originally scheduled for May, to discuss Texas’ recent blackout scares. The PUC has been in a heated debate over Texas’ electricity market structure, and in the midst of backlash from stakeholders, they have decided to push the decision onto the Legislature in 2015. This is not necessarily in the best interest of the state. Texans were asked to conserve energy several times this winter after colder temperatures forced heating units to ramp up. This request to turn down thermostats for threat of rolling blackouts came at the same time the state power grid operator assured Texans that reliability is on the upswing. But it’s time Texas faces the facts. 

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BrightFarms to Build the World’s Largest Urban Greenhouse for Giant Food Stores

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Giant Food Stores has inked a deal with BrightFarms, a pioneer in constructing greenhouses attached to supermarkets, to build the world’s largest urban greenhouse. The greenhouse will extend over an area of 100,000 square feet. It will deliver nearly one million pounds of fresh produce a year to about 30 Giant supermarkets in the Washington, D.C., metro area.

BrightFarms specializes in building as well as operating greenhouses, and expects the new greenhouse to open this fall. In addition to providing produce through the greenhouse, the company plans to open this massive facility to schools as an educational tool on urban agriculture and sustainability.

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Too Big Profits are Bad for U.S. Business

“Big American companies are maximizing their profits instead of investing in their people and future projects.” That’s the blunt, provocative first sentence of a recent commentary by Henry Blodget, CEO of Business Insider. Blodget argues, “this behavior is contributing to record income inequality in the country and starving the primary engine of U.S. economic growth—the vast American middle class—of purchasing power.”

Blodget’s conclusion is that the profit obsession of corporations is, ironically, blocking their ability to grow—and therefore to produce future revenue. Some sobering facts support his argument. Business profit margins are at an all time high. As a percentage of the economy, profit has risen from .04 percent in 2000 to 0.11 percent in 2013. Wages have fallen from 0.47 percent in 2000 to 0.42 percent in 2013. The bottom line is that the share of national income that American corporations share with their employees is at an all-time low, from 107.5 percent in 2000 to 96.5 percent in 2013.

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Transformational Company Case Study: Sustainable Customer Offerings

Sustainable Customer Offerings – Integrate sustainability into the full life-cycle if product and service design, use and disposal, and advance sustainability through continuous improvement of core products and services

Philips (Royal Philips Electronics) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving lives through innovations.  As a leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions. Through their EcoVision program Philips has set a target to increase their sustainable customer offerings to 50% of total sales by 2015.  In 2012 Green Product sales increased to 45% of total sales ($15 billion USD) putting them on track to reach their target.  By design, green product sales contribute significantly to Philips total revenue stream.

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Barrier-Breaking $10 Cree LED Bulb Now Even More Affordable with Utility Rebates

DURHAM, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As part of its ongoing mission to drive 100 percent adoption of LED lighting, Cree, Inc. (Nasdaq: CREE) has earned ENERGY STAR® qualification for the game-changing soft white Cree® LED Bulbs. ENERGY STAR qualification signifies these Cree LED Bulbs now qualify for incentive rebates through certain local utilities. Not only do the ENERGY STAR qualified Cree LED Bulbs look and light like traditional incandescent bulbs, use 84 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than typical incandescents, but now they will be even more affordable in select markets with utility rebates.

“ENERGY STAR qualification can enable the Cree LED Bulbs to be purchased with an instant utility rebate delivering consumers a quality LED bulb for under $5”

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Posted in Alternative Energy, Business, BusinessWire, Electronics, Energy, Energy Efficiency, Energy Management, Goods, Services & Product Design, Green Business, Green Living, Home Energy, Home Improvement & Decor, Lighting, Sustainability News, Technology | Leave a comment

Lincoln Financial Foundation Awards Nearly $268,000 in Grants to N.C. Nonprofits

Greensboro, N.C., October 1, 2013 /3BL Media/ – Grants from Lincoln Financial Foundation are supporting Guilford County agencies that provide housing for the homeless, food for the hungry and needed services to adults and children at risk.  Lincoln Foundation recently awarded $267,880 in human services grants to 15 local nonprofit organizations, a portion of $1.8 million in charitable funds it has allocated for Greensboro in 2013.

Housing Greensboro received $25,000 for its Weatherization Home Repairs project, a subset of the overall home repair program, which provides energy-efficient upgrades to homes owned by low-income seniors and those living with disabilities in Greensboro.  This program focuses on making the repairs necessary to provide warmer homes in the winter and cooler homes in the summer, equating to lower utility costs for the homeowner. All repairs meet the Home Performance with Energy Star model which was designed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy.  As a result of these repairs and upgrades, the homeowner has a warmer, drier and safer home, lowering their utility costs by at least $25 per month and allowing them to purchase necessary food, clothing or medications that they might forgo in order to heat their house.

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Brazil Worker Engagement Program: Midpoint Review

Brazil Worker Engagement Program: Midpoint Review

Interview with SAI Representative Doug Cahn, the lead facilitator for the program to improve health and safety issues.

On August 19th, the four worker-manager teams from the Brazil Worker Engagement Program’s first wave of companies gathered in Sao Paulo for their Midpoint Review Workshop. This was the Day 50 mark in their 100-day Social Fingerprint® Rapid Results (SFRR) projects tackling occupational health and safety.

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Inside Christina Aguilera’s Emotional Trip to Africa to Help Fight World Hunger

“I came home and really wondered about why some people are born to some situations and others are born in a different place,” she continued. “I had to come to terms with a little guilt even for coming home and not doing more. The people of Rwanda touched me in a way I cannot express or put into words. They are in a place that needs our help and I am so proud of the work that we are doing there.”

Aguilera, who’s a mother to 5-year-old son Max, added, “After the birth of my son, I started looking into causes that touched me as a mother and I was so moved by the work the World Food Programme and Yum! Brands World Hunger Relief did.”


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