Category Archives: Sustainability News

A place to discuss the latest sustainability news.

Ebola Vaccine Candidate Ships to Liberia

SOURCE: GSK

DESCRIPTION:

Today marks an important milestone in the fight against Ebola—and our work with many partners to develop a vaccine for it. The first batch of the GSK/NIH candidate Ebola vaccine left Brussels this morning and will land in Liberia in West Africa this afternoon. It will be used to start the first large-scale vaccine efficacy trial run by the National Institutes of Health in the coming weeks. 

Shipping the vaccine is a major achievement. The initial phase I data are encouraging and give us confidence to progress to the next phases of clinical testing, which will involve the vaccination of thousands of volunteers, including frontline healthcare workers in Africa. If the candidate vaccine is able to protect these people, as we hope it will, it could significantly contribute to efforts to bring this epidemic under control and prevent future outbreaks.

The development of medicines and vaccines is incredibly complex—it takes many years and many resources—so we are proud to be able to work with partners to streamline the process whilst observing quality standards.

This step further signifies our commitment to the development of vaccines and treatments for developing countries, as well as doing what we can to ensure they are affordable and made available to all. This accelerated process—10 months, for what often takes up to 10 years—was made possible by unprecedented cooperation between governments, NGOs, and pharmaceutical companies.  

For the Ebola vaccine, we will continue working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US to assist with the design and to potentially support trials in other affected countries—Sierra Leone and Guinea—in the coming months. We are also planning to begin large phase II safety trials in non-affected West African countries. 

Tweet me: BRU>ROB: @GSKUS ships ebola vaccine candidate ships Liberia || http://3bl.me/65p962

KEYWORDS: Health, ebola, vaccine, GSK, GlaxoSmithKline, NIH

 

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Synergistic Seawater Biofuels Project Provides Food and Fuel with Minimal Impact

by RP Siegel

SOURCE: Justmeans

DESCRIPTION:

An interesting and potentially very exciting project was unveiled today at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. It combines biofuels and aquaculture to produce a combination of food and fuel in the unique coastal desert environment that is found in the Middle East and numerous other places in the world. Considering the fact that 20% of the world’s land area is desert and 97% of our water is salty, this is a considerable case.

Members of the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium laid out the plan for what they are calling the Integrated Seawater Energy and Agriculture System (ISEAS), which aims to grow sustainable fuel and food in the desert.

Here’s how it will work. Seawater is pumped into a series of ponds to grow fish and shrimp for food. Nutrient-rich wastewater from the ponds will be used to feed and water fields of salt-tolerant halophyte plants, which will be raised for biofuels. Fertilizer runoff will be diverted through mangroves, which will extract nutrients, and purify the waste stream for reuse,  storing carbon along the way. It is envisioned as essentially a closed-loop system, through some make up water will be required to account for evaporation.

To continue reading, click here

Image courtesy of Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium.

RP Siegel, author and inventor, shines a powerful light on numerous environmental and technological topics. He has been published in business and technical journals and has written three books. His third, co-authored with Roger Saillant, is Vapor Trails, an eco-thriller that is being adapted for the big screen. RP is a professional engineer – and a prolific inventor, with 50 patents, numerous awards, and several commercial products. He is president of Rain Mountain LLC and is an active environmental advocate in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y. In addition to Justmeans, he writes for Triple Pundit, ThomasNet News, and Energy Viewpoints, occasionally contributing to Mechanical Engineering, Strategy + Business, and Huffington Post. 

Tweet me: Combining #biofuels & #aquaculture to produce food & fuel in coastal deserts http://bit.ly/1E9Ualf via @Justmeans @RPSiegel

KEYWORDS: Energy, Environmental Business, Boeing, GE, Honeywell UOP, Etihad Airways, Masdar Institute, halophyte plants, Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC), Integrated Seawater Energy and Agriculture System (ISEAS)

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Game-Changing Medicines Planned by the Pharmaceutical Industry for 2015

by Sangeeta Haindl

SOURCE: Justmeans

DESCRIPTION:

2015 is expected to be an exciting year for medicine as the pharmaceutical industry sees years of research coming to fruition. It could just be ‘the year of the product.’ Over the last year or two, there have been major breakthroughs in oncology, and, looking ahead, the potential of combination treatments may be even more exciting. Thanks to advances in the understanding of disease mechanisms, modelling, data analytics, genetics, and translational medicine, patients can expect improved productivity as science begins to bear fruit in the form of new treatments.

Tackling the Ebola outbreak remains a top priority for this sector. The World Bank has also agreed to indemnify Johnson & Johnson’s $200 million commitment to an Ebola vaccine. This is a significant precedent for future pharma business models, as it means these types of companies will be assured of not losing money. Ebola has brought attention to the fact that there is a lack of health care infrastructure in Africa, particularly sub-Saharan Africa; this all could prompt this year to be more focused on vaccines. Some of the headline launches expected are Sanofi’s tetravalent dengue vaccine (CYD-TDV) and GlaxoSmithKlein’s RTS,S the world’s first vaccine against malaria. These will be game-changing medicines since both have the potential to reduce the risk of suffering or death for millions of people in endemic markets such as Brazil and India, including other developing countries.

To continue reading, click here

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Sangeeta Haindl writes on social innovation, social enterprise, and social entrepreneurs. She is the owner of Serendipity PR, in London, U.K., where she works with high-profile brands and organizations in the public, non-profit, and corporate sectors, winning awards for her work from the communications industry. She describes herself as a Spiritual Entrepreneur, Conscious Explorer, and Futurist. She enjoys helping others, paying it forward, and being a mum.

Tweet me: Expect 2015 to be an exciting year for #medicine http://bit.ly/1t1YoYf via @Justmeans @SangeetaHaindl #health

KEYWORDS: Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Business & Trade, Venture Philanthropy, funding, Cause Global, nonprofit organizations, Social investment, vaccination, pharmaceutical industry, world health

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Cutting America's High Health Care Costs: A Prescription – The Minute

SOURCE: 3BL Media, LLC

DESCRIPTION:

Competition is reducing costs in health care. That’s the argument in a recent Fortune article by Ezekiel J. Emanuel, Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. Exhibit A is the health insurance exchanges of the Affordable Care Act. An evaluation by Kaiser Health News of the 2015 premiums for plans in 34 states with federally operated exchanges shows that in counties with no new insurers in the market, premiums increased an average of seven percent. In those with at least one new insurer, premiums increased just one percent.

Emanuel cites a previous example where increased market competition has resulted in decreased costs. Medicare Part D, which went into effect in 2006, established a competitive market for drug benefit plans. Today, there are over one thousand Part D plans, and the Congressional Budget Office reports that the program has cost $197 billion less than projected, 50 percent below original estimates. Competitive bidding for durable medical equipment, also included in the Part D law, has resulted in savings of 42 percent. This program will expand under the ACA in 2016. Sounds like competition is the right prescription for healthy cuts in U.S. health care costs.

I’m John Howell for 3BL Media.

Video source: Cutting America’s High Health Care Costs: A Prescription

Tweet me: Cutting America’s High Health Care Costs: A Prescription http://3bl.me/x249cx #CSRminute

KEYWORDS: Health, Business & Trade, Affordable Care Act (ACA), Ezekiel J. Emanuel, Kaiser Health News, Congressional Budget Office, Medicare Part D

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WGL Energy's Carbon Offsets Achieve Green-e Climate Certification

Commercial customers’ offsets can now earn points toward LEED certification

SOURCE: Center for Resource Solutions

DESCRIPTION:

SAN FRANCISCO, January 22, 2015 /3BL Media/ – Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) today announced that WGL Energy Services’ carbon offsets for commercial customers have been Green-e® Climate certified.

WGL Energy Services is one of the largest competitive energy suppliers in the mid-Atlantic region. Its Carbon Offsets are locally sourced from the Henrico County Landfill Gas Combustion Project, which captures and destroys methane from the Springfield Road Landfill located in Henrico County, Va. The project reduces greenhouse gas emissions from the landfill by installing gas collection and destruction systems that destroy the landfill gas in an on-site power generation facility, and transmits the resulting electricity to the grid. It is validated by the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS).

“By purchasing certified carbon offsets through WGL Energy Services, companies can help reduce emissions from a large contributor to greenhouse gases in the U.S.—municipal landfills,” said Todd Jones, Green-e Climate manager. “We are excited to work with WGL Energy Services as they provide this important option to their large commercial customers.”

Commercial customers can choose to offset activities such as business travel or corporate events, or can match any portion of their natural gas usage with carbon offsets. In addition, customers purchasing Green-e Climate certified offsets can use them to earn points toward Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification on new and existing buildings.

“WGL Energy Services is dedicated to helping our customers reduce their carbon footprint and achieve their sustainability goals,” said Laura Pagliarulo, Green Products manager. “By purchasing Green-e Climate certified carbon offsets, businesses can be confident that they are aiding the development of projects that wouldn’t have otherwise been built, leading to real reductions in emissions from landfills in the U.S.”

Green-e Climate is an independent certification and consumer-protection program requiring that carbon offsets include greenhouse gas emission reductions that have been verified according to strict project-level certification programs that ensure the emissions reductions have taken place, are permanent, and come from projects that would not have happened under a “business as usual” scenario. Green-e Climate verifies that reductions have been correctly and exclusively delivered as advertised, based on a yearly audit of a seller’s supply and sales. Sellers of certified offsets must provide customers with a carbon offset content label or project-specific information that explains where the reductions were sourced from, along with other important disclosures.

 

About WGL Energy Services
WGL Energy is an entity that delivers a full ecosystem of energy offerings including natural gas, electricity, green power, carbon reduction, distributed generation and energy efficiency provided by WGL Energy Services, Inc. (formerly Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc.) and WGL Energy Systems, Inc. (formerly Washington Gas Energy Systems, Inc.). To learn more about Carbon Offsets from WGL Energy visit www.wglenergy.com/commercialoffsets or call 703-793-7533.

About Green‑e and Center for Resource Solutions
A program of the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions, Green‑e is North America’s leading independent consumer protection program for the sale of renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions in the retail market. Green‑e offers certification and verification services through Green‑e Energy, a renewable energy certification program; Green‑e Climate, a greenhouse gas emission reduction certification program; and Green‑e Marketplace, a program that provides forward-thinking organizations a simple, nationally recognized logo they can use to communicate their renewable energy and climate commitment to their customers and stakeholders. To learn more about Green‑e Certified products and programs available in all 50 states and Canada, visit www.green‑e.org.

 

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©2015 Center for Resource Solutions. For more information, see us at www.resource-solutions.org or call 415-561-2100.

Contact Info:

Jeff Swenerton
Center for Resource Solutions
+1 (415) 561-2119
jeff@resource-solutions.org

Ruben Rodriguez
WGL Energy Services
+1 (202) 624-6620

KEYWORDS: Environment and Climate Change, Awards and Recognition, WGES, WGL Energy Services, climate change, carbon offset, Green-e, green-e climate, certification, Washington D.C., Center for Resource Solutions

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Global Investment in Clean Energy Rises 16% in 2014 – The Minute

SOURCE: 3BL Media, LLC

DESCRIPTION:

Bloomberg New Energy Finance is reporting that three hundred ten billion dollars was invested globally in green energy last year, a rise of sixteen percent over 2013. That amount almost matches the record total of three hundred seventeen billion, set in 2011. It should be noted that due to decreasing costs, the dollars invested in 2014 bought almost double the clean electricity capacity than in 2011.

Solar power, with its rapidly dropping costs, was the main driver, attracting over half the total funding for the first time. Solar investment rose by twenty-five percent in 2014, while wind power rose by eleven percent, to one-third of all investment. The nineteen point four billion invested in offshore wind projects was a record for that category. Energy efficiency and electric vehicle investment increased ten percent.

Measured by country, China was the leader, with clean energy investments rising thirty-two percent to ninety billion dollars. The U.S. was second, up eight percent to fifty-two billion, while Japan was up twelve percent to forty-one billion. Europe saw investment rise only one percent, but to a big number, sixty-six billion dollars. I’m John Howell for 3BL Media.

Video Source: Global Investment in Clean Energy Rises 16% in 2014

Tweet me: .@BloombergNEF reports global investment in #cleanenergy rises 16% in 2014. Read more at http://3bl.me/22627b via @3BLmedia #CSRminute

KEYWORDS: Energy, Green Business, CSR Minute, 3bl media llc, csr, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, China, Solar Energy, wind power

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Looking Ahead to 2030

by RP Siegel

SOURCE: Justmeans

DESCRIPTION:

Last month I wrote an essay about a vision of my city, Rochester, NY, in the year 2030. That essay won the Masdar Blogging Competition that will allow me to attend Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, which will include the World Future Energy Summit. Many of the talks and presentations will be on sustainable options for the future.

In preparation for this, I just read this post on GreenBiz where the author had interviewed a number of leading thinkers in various fields about their thoughts on what 2030 might bring.

Not surprisingly, each focused on his or her own corner of the world. For example Darrel Smith of Microsoft talked about the importance of the cloud infrastructure and the kinds of services that could grow from that. Energy consultant Matthew Norden of MNL Partners foresees a nuclear power renaissance.

To continue reading, click here

Image credit: Dany Eid: Flickr Creative Commons

RP Siegel, author and inventor, shines a powerful light on numerous environmental and technological topics. He has been published in business and technical journals and has written three books. His third, co-authored with Roger Saillant, is Vapor Trails, an eco-thriller that is being adapted for the big screen. RP is a professional engineer – and a prolific inventor, with 50 patents, numerous awards, and several commercial products. He is president of Rain Mountain LLC and is an active environmental advocate in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y. In addition to Justmeans, he writes for Triple Pundit, ThomasNet News, and Energy Viewpoints, occasionally contributing to Mechanical Engineering, Strategy + Business, and Huffington Post. You can follow RP on Twitter, @RPSiegel.

Tweet me: What will be big in 2030? Vegetarianism, Nuclear Energy, Pasture Cropping? http://bit.ly/1CgYgU9 @RPSiegel via @Justmeans #CSR

KEYWORDS: Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Energy, Masdar, Abu Dhabi, Greenbiz, liquid flouride thorium reactors, Paul Hawken, David Friedberg, The Climate Corproation, Darrel Smith, MAtthew Norden, Wes Jackson. Land Institute, Microsoft, MNL Partners, Tensie Whelan, rainforest alliance

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UN Global Compact Bulletin (January 2015)

SOURCE: United Nations Global Compact

SUMMARY:

The UN Global Compact Bulletin is designed to keep participants up to date on news, engagement opportunities, resources and events. Participants are encouraged to look to this monthly communication for important information. Please note that engagement opportunities and events are intended for Global Compact stakeholders unless otherwise indicated. The Bulletin is published in EnglishFrenchSpanish, Chinese, Arabic and Russian

DESCRIPTION:

Global Compact+15: Business as a force for good 23-25 June 2015, New York

Marking the UN Global Compact’s 15th anniversary, the conference will bring business and civil society to the United Nations to show how the private sector is taking action and partnering to advance societal priorities, with an emphasis on the United Nations global agenda for sustainable development to be released later this year (the SDGs).

NEWS & UPDATES

  • Business Leaders Collaborate to Stop Ebola
  • Major Companies Set the Stage for Ambitious Climate Agreement in 2015
  • Companies and Investors Mark 10th Anniversary of the Global Compact’s Anti-Corruption Principle
  • Global Compact Encourages Deeper Business Engagement at UN Forum on Business and Human Rights
  • Brazil Collaboration Lab Promotes Innovative Partnerships in Water and Sanitation
  • Business to Support International Year of Soils in 2015

LOCAL NETWORK NEWS

  • Local Networks Enter New Era with Strengthened Governance
  • Local Networks in Africa and MENA Share Innovative Approaches to Promote Corporate Sustainability
  • Business and Human Rights Focus of Regional Meeting Asia/Oceania
  • Global Compact Network Spain Celebrates 10th Anniversary

FEATURED RESOURCES

  • Joining Forces: Collaboration and Leadership for Sustainability
  • Resources Released at the Caring for Climate Business Forum

ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

  • Join the Women’s Empowerment Principles
  • Call for Case Studies: Responsible Business Best Practice Toolkit for the Land, Construction and Real Estate Sector
  • Sign Open Letter: Call on Academic Institutions to Incorporate Human Rights in Management Education
  • Sign the Business Action Pledge on Ebola Elimination
  • Align with Business Leadership Criteria on Carbon Pricing
  • Call to Action: Anti-Corruption and the Global Development Agenda

UPCOMING EVENTS

  • 2015 WEPs Annual Event – Unlimited Potential: Business Partners for Gender Equality (New York)  
  • Global Compact+15: Business as a force for good (New York)  
  • 2015 Global Forum for Responsible Management Education: 6th PRME Assembly (New York)  
  • United Nations Private Sector Forum (New York)  
  • Caring for Climate Business Forum (Lima) 

WEBINARS

  • The Role of Business in Equality and Human Rights for the LGBT Community (10:00 am EDT)

 

Read the UN Global Compact Bulletin online:

www.unglobalcompact.org/NewsAndEvents/UNGC_bulletin

Follow the UN Global Compact on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn

Follow the WEPs on Facebook and Twitter
Follow PRME on Facebook and Twitter
Follow PRI on Twitter

Published 14 January 2015

 

Tweet me: Check out latest @globalcompact Bulletin for latest news, events & engagement opportunities! http://bit.ly/1sHerud

Contact Info:

Kristen Coco
UN Global Compact
+1 (917) 367-8566
cocok@un.org
@globalcompact
www.facebook.com/unglobalcompact
https://www.linkedin.com/company/united-nations-global-compact

KEYWORDS: Events, Conferences & Webinars, Business & Trade, united nations, Global Compact, webinars, opportunities, Business, private sector, csr, sustainability, UNGC

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