Posts tagged ‘Green Business’

A car that runs on coffee waste. Finally!

A converted 1988 Volkswagen Scirocco that downs about 56 espressos per mile, the Daily Mail reports.

Cappuccino car graphic

The concept came out of the BBC1 science program called “Bang Goes the Theory,” and will go on a 210-mile drive between Manchester and London that consumes about 11,760 espressos. But coffee aficionados shouldn’t scream just yet — the fuel comes from waste coffee grounds provided by a branch of Costa Coffee.


March 9, 2010 at 10:49 AM Leave a comment

The Many Shades of Green

March 9, 2010

By Barbara Grondin Francella

With a significant portion of Americans saying their purchasing behavior and other business interactions are influenced by environmental factors, even purveyors of fossil fuels, cigarettes and Styrofoam cups could benefit from a greener marketing strategy.
Continue story HERE

March 9, 2010 at 10:21 AM Leave a comment

Solar Plane Almost Ready for Record Flight

In Switzerland, two pioneers are coming closer and closer to a flight around the world powered only by solar energy.

It doesn’t make good business sense, physics sense, or much of any kind of sense, to try to fly an airplane on solar power. Not yet. With the state of the technology, and how relatively young the solar sector still is, such an endeavor would be considered quixotic today—let alone in 2003, when Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg, co-founders of Solar Impulse, announced they would design a solar-powered aircraft and fly it around the world.

It would be a statement, they said, about our global dependence on fossil fuels and the untapped promise of burgeoning green technologies. The Swiss pilot-entrepreneurs were after “perpetual flight”: a plane that could climb to 9,000 feet and fly on the sun’s energy by day, then descend below cloud cover to lower altitudes, where it would cruise on stored battery power by night.

It was a long shot. And yet seven years of innovation later, the 70-person Solar Impulse team is nearing its goal. “We were intrigued by this notion of perpetual flight,” said Borschberg when visited in September in Solar Impulse’s massive hangar, situated smack in the middle of Düendorf Airfield, a Swiss military zone. “We wanted to be totally independent of any fuel.” Forget hybrid planes, or the biofuels fixating most of the sustainable aviation sector today; Piccard and Borschberg are purists. “No fuel, no CO2, no pollution. It could fly almost forever, assuming good weather,” Borschberg said of their invention.

By November of last year, test pilot Markus Scherdel—formerly of DLR German Aerospace, the NASA of Germany—was climbing into the cockpit of the completed prototype to taxi down the Dübendorf runway for the first time. Soon after that, Scherde was back in the cockpit, this time guiding the plane not just down the runway but up into the air for a series of successful “flea-hop” mini-flights over the tarmac.

The Solar Impulse HB-SIA, as it is officially named, is a strange sight to behold. Resting under the sky-high ceiling of its hangar at Dubendorf, it looks fragile to the point of breakable. And no wonder: HB-SIA, comprised of a carbon skeleton covered in a flexible polycarbonate “skin,”� weighs only about 1.5 tons, about as much as a small car. Its wings are so light that a single person can carry them. And when I tested both the pilot’s parachute and the detached nosepiece of a second prototype of the plane for weight, the parachute was heavier.

Article continues:

March 2, 2010 at 11:00 AM Leave a comment

Olympics Create a Green Business Tipping Point in Canada

On the eve of the Winter Olympics, over 300 CEOs and senior executives of Canadian businesses met in Vancouver to accelerate the implementation of sustainable business practices. The highly interactive day not only gave the executives an opportunity to explore new opportunities for collaboration, but may yet prove to have been a green business tipping point in Canada.

David Cheesewright, Walmart Canada’s CEO and the host of the event, kicked off the day by challenging the delegates to use the summit as a vehicle to “build a bigger team” — to share lessons learned and best practices that will benefit all businesses, large and small. He encouraged the delegates to create stretch goals and foster experimentation in their organizations, with the understanding that the road to sustainability is full of unknowns.

David Suzuki put the present moment in context for the Summit participants: our grandparent’s and parent’s generations did not understand that they were destroying the very systems that support our lives but, us—we are the first generation that does understand. How can we face our children and grandchildren and say that we knew and we did nothing? With that premise, summit participants spent the day thinking and talking not only about what meaningful action would look like but how they might work together to make it happen.

Participants were primed for the afternoon collaborative working session through the sharing of highpoint stories in their own experiences and by a lively panel discussion where the leaders of Mountain Equipment Coop, SC Johnson Canada, Heinz Canada, Walmart Canada and a senior executive of Maple Leaf shared case studies of how they have simultaneously addressed sustainability challenges and created business value. Panelists also discussed how leadership, collaboration and innovation were fundamental to enabling Canadian businesses to make real progress against the challenges that Suzuki so eloquently delineated. The key, they agreed, will be to make addressing sustainability challenges core to the business rather than a profit-draining sideline.

Article continues HERE

March 1, 2010 at 1:42 PM Leave a comment

Many Shades of Green: Diversity and Distribution of California’s Green Jobs

Click to download report

This report from Next 10 tracks the growth of green jobs in the Golden State over the last 14 years, and finds big growth and regional hotspots for different types of environmentally oriented careers.

With an annual increase of 2.4 percent per year, jobs in a wide number of green areas have far outpaced employment rates in other industries. The research found some regions of the state fared better than others, and each region developed a niche market for different green jobs. The Sacramento area was the clear leader in job growth, with an 87 percent improvement since 1995; San Diego found a 57 percent growth in green jobs in that timeframe, and the San Francisco Bay Area and the Orange County / Inland Empire region grew by 51 and 50 percent, respectively.

Sacramento was a hotspot for jobs in biomass energy generation, while the Bay Area led in energy research and consulting jobs; the San Diego region ranked highly in a number of areas, but was the overall leader in jobs in co-generation technologies.

Among the highlights of California’s Core Green Economy:

• Between 1995-2008, green businesses increased 45 percent, green jobs grew 36 percent while total jobs in the state grew only 13 percent.
• Even in rural areas with a smaller economic base, green jobs are growing faster than the overall economy.
• Between 2007-2008, green jobs grew 5 percent while total jobs dropped one percent.
• Manufacturing represents 21 percent of all green jobs, and grew 19 percent, while manufacturing represents only 11 percent of all jobs in California (January 2008.)
• Half of all manufacturing jobs are split between Energy Efficiency and Energy Generation.
• Services accounted for 45 percent of all California green jobs, the largest portion in Environmental Consulting.
• With nearly 43,000 jobs in 2008, Air & Environment is the largest of California’s green segments. While this segment’s jobs remained steady, hovering around 35,000 from 1995-2005, since 2005 the number of green jobs in this segment has increased 24 percent.
• From 1995-2008, Energy Generation employment expanded 61 percent by nearly 10,000 jobs. Solar makes up the largest portion, and strongest growth (63 percent).
• Employment in Energy Efficiency increased 63 percent from 1995-2008.
• Employment in Green Transportation has increased 152 percent since 1995. Green Transportation Jobs are primarily in Motor Vehicles & Equipment and Alternative Fuels, with the latter growing faster at 201 percent, and representing 48 percent of all jobs in this segment.
• Green Logistics is an emerging field, only in the Bay Area at present, with employment growing by 1144 percent since 1995.

More details about the report are available at

January 20, 2010 at 11:08 AM Leave a comment

University of San Francisco: unplugged

USFUNPLUGGED is brought to you by the Environmental Safety Community Outreach Liaison’s of USF. Here to educate, assist and encourage, we want you to get involved with the GREEN movement taking place on campus!

Unplugged Rewind