GM Creates Green Construction Blueprint, Takes Program Global

Since launching General Motor’s Green Construction program in 2012, all of our U.S. construction sites follow strict environmental requirements throughout the demolition, build and renovation processes. In fact, since 2009, GM has announced almost $11 billion of investments in U.S. facilities, all of which involve plant refurbishments.

The program helps facility teams and partners reduce construction debris weight per project by 90 percent through recycling and reuse. It also helps manage indoor air quality by reducing airborne particles and reducing onsite energy use through rechargeable battery-powered equipment.

Given the program’s success, we created a blueprint and shared the process with our colleagues around the world. The result: a couple of facilities in Russia and Europe are starting their own pilot programs. Continue reading

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The Great Snow Gun Roundup to Save Energy and Dollars in Vermont

RikertsnowgunsThis summer Vermont ski resorts are investing nearly $15 million to upgrade their snowmaking equipment, thanks in part to an innovative rebate offer from Efficiency Vermont. Efficiency Vermont’s

Great Snow Gun Roundup supports the purchase of approximately 2,300 new low energy snow guns for the upcoming season, and in return the resorts will donate 1,800 older model snow guns to scrap. The snow gun exchange program is expected to help the state’s ski industry reduce carbon emissions and save $2 million a year in energy costs.

For more, click HERE

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China Making a Major Shift to Natural Gas

Two weeks ago we wrote about the surprising announcement that Beijing would be banning the burning of coal by 2020. Though the move was largely prompted by the intolerable levels of air pollution, there is also growing evidence that they are determined to clean up their act on carbon emissions.

A recent report from IEA says that a “golden age” of natural gas is coming to China. The report predicts a 2.2% annual growth in global demand for gas through 2019, driven largely by China where demand is expected to nearly double. That forecast is actually down slightly from the previous year, due to “slow economy, supply constraints, sluggish LNG trade, and competition from coal and renewables in the power sector.” Europe, in particular, saw a sharp drop in demand for gas. Even oil grew faster than gas last year which managed only a modest 1.2% pace. But that will likely be superseded by growing Chinese demand, which according to the report grew at a 13.3% rate. Continue reading

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The New Company-Charity Partnership

Companies are becoming increasingly interested in community investment as a means to support value creation in communities they touch. Community investment can help establish mutually beneficial relationships between a company and its stakeholders, contribute toward long-term improvements in the quality of life for communities, and help create an environment conducive to private investment.

The ways in which businesses engage with charities, nonprofits and social enterprises through community investment programs, has changed significantly over past 10 years. Powerful, mutually-beneficial partnerships are emerging. Along with these partnerships come enhanced benefits for business, charities and wider society. Together more sophisticated and strategic ways of planning to achieve impact and program delivery are becoming more evident in community investment portfolios.

Businesses want to do more than “their part”, and are keen to show how their products and services have the capacity to positively impact society. New partnership models are exploring means to leverage the expertise of both the business and community partners to ensure relationships go beyond providing and receiving financial support. Continue reading

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Show Me the Money: How Sustainability Creates Revenue at Bloomberg

Curtis Ravenel dates his enthusiasm for purpose-driven business to his first job as a program associate with the National Recycling Coalition. “I got very interested in the idea that being an environmentalist need not hurt your economic opportunities,” he recalls.

But it would be some time before the notion defined Ravenel’s career.

Ravenel joined Bloomberg LP in 2002 as a financial analyst for internal operations. He eventually rose to a management position in the firm’s capital planning group. Still, his interest in reconciling environmental issues with business was dormant rather than defeated. Continue reading

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Eco-friendly “GreenBox” Pizza Packaging Launched in Boston

America’s love for pizza knows no bounds. 93 percent of Americans eat pizza at least once a month. Out of total five billion pizzas consumed worldwide each year, the US alone consumes three billion. Across the US, around 70,000 pizzerias are in operation, and the average pizzeria uses 55 pizza boxes per day. That translates to about 1.4 billion pizza boxes used in the country each year.

GreenBox, the multi-functional, environment-friendly pizza box by Ecovention, LLC, offers a revolutionary eco-conscious pizza packaging solution. GreenBoxbreaks into plates and a storage unit for leftovers, and is made of 100 percent recyclable material. It has been dubbed “the pizza box of the 21st century” by Fox News. Continue reading

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Greater Twin Cities United Way and Medtronic Join Forces to Advance Health Equity in Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS, August 20, 2014 /3BL Media/ Greater Twin Cities United Way today strengthened their long-standing commitment to improving the health and well-being of Twin Cities’ communities by teaming up with Medtronic Philanthropy on a new partnership designed to promote access to quality healthcare in the region. This commitment is a five-year, $2.5-million initiative that will leverage shared research, resources and community-based approaches to give people in underserved communities a better chance to understand and manage their health, and to see a doctor or healthcare professional in their neighborhood.

Ultimately, the partnership aims to reduce health-related inequities, anchored with an effort which will significantly increase the number and capacity of front line healthcare workers.  These workers will function in lower income communities to help people better manage their health and navigate available resources. Continue reading

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Connections Matter in Mexico’s Northern Border Region

In Monterrey, Mexico, deep economic and social gaps separate rich from poor, educated from uneducated, legal from illegal. In 2008, the city started experiencing violence related to turf battles between warring drug cartels. Drug use and high murder rates continue to steal the lives of youth, tempting those who lack the skills for traditional jobs into much higher-paying, high-risk careers of narcotics and crime.

To help young people withstand the pressure of crime and violence in cities near the United States-Mexico border, Cisco has partnered with World Learning and the United States Agency for International Development to provide information and communications technology (ICT) and entrepreneurship training at high schools. Cisco Networking Academy courses are offered as part of the program. In the first year, almost 500 students participated. Continue reading

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