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Blogs By Ceres

A listing of blogs authored by Ceres
Is ESG Data Going Mainstream?
Jan 28, 2011
It wasn't so long ago that U.S. corporate reports on environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks were as rare as penguins in the desert. Not anymore. Last week, American Electric Power published a sustainability report detailing its environmental and social performance, including laudable goals to double renewable energy sources and reduce contractor injuries by 10 percent. Coca-Cola Co.'s recent 10-K filing outlined water scarcity risks and how those risks will likely be exacerbated by climate change. National Grid is now disclosing publicly how it is linking executive pay to greenhouse gas reduction goals.
Growing Business Risks from Global Water Scarcity
Jan 28, 2011
With global temperatures increasing, scientists have told us to expect water scarcity problems like those California and China are now experiencing to increase and become even more severe. The consequences for an already reeling global economy will be profound. Numerous industry sectors should expect decreased water allotments, shifts towards full-cost water pricing and ever-more stringent water quality regulations.
Short-Term Strategies Don't Work for Wall Street or the Planet
Jan 28, 2011
The fiscal crisis on Wall Street is a painful lesson in how entire industries can delude themselves into ignoring the most fundamental issues -- in this case, the hidden risks from easy sub-prime mortgages. It also reveals the vast pitfalls of an economic system obsessed with short-term gains and growth at all costs while ignoring essentials such as building long-term shareholder value and protecting the future of the planet. As we confront global climate change -- perhaps the biggest challenge mankind has ever faced -- business and government leaders have an opportunity to learn from the ongoing Wall Street debacle and get it right.
For a Long-Term Stimulus, Invest in Green Energy
Jan 28, 2011
A green stimulus bill that spurs innovation in energy efficiency, renewable energy and achieving a smart grid will help America get its swagger back. Consider energy efficiency, the lowest-hanging fruit for improving company bottom lines and slashing global warming pollution.
Whole Foods Needs a Holistic Approach on Climate Change
Jan 28, 2011
Why would a new Ceres report give low scores to Whole Foods, one of the nation's largest purchasers of renewable energy, for the way it is responding to the challenge of climate change? Precisely for the word that Whole Foods uses to describe itself: "whole." Many of the company's actions on climate change are laudable, but it still lacks a holistic strategy for dealing with this colossal challenge that will ripple across all industry sectors.
From Starbucks to Nike, Business Asks for Green Legislation
Jan 28, 2011
Would it surprise you to learn that Starbucks is a leading advocate for action on climate change? "The way we see it," says Ben Packard, Starbucks VP of Global Sustainability, "addressing climate change will help companies like ours reduce operating costs and mitigate future economic instability. Starbucks has joined with other companies to form a coalition that calls itself BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy) and it has a clear message for next year's Congress--move quickly on climate change to kick-start a transition to a clean energy economy.
Why Cleantech Investors Haven't Panicked
Jan 28, 2011
The short-term blowback from the global financial panic has been pretty logical: A flight to value and safety and reallocation of assets to deal with longer-term risks of the new economy. So what does this mean for cleantech investing?
How to Cure Our Short-Term Thinking
Jan 28, 2011
If we have any doubt about the prevalence - and cost - of "short-termism" in global capital markets, the current economic meltdown is an obvious reminder. But, beyond the $700 billion bailout and other financial band-aids to stop the bleeding, the bigger debate is how to fix the regulatory and corporate governance systems to avoid future calamities -- whether financial or environmental.
How Insurance Has Become a Well-Spring of Green Innovation
Jan 28, 2011
We all know the saying: adversity begets opportunity. Today, the insurance industry is heeding that idea and discovering that hurricanes, among other climate adversities, can create innovation -- and revenue.
Telecommuting's Small Carbon Footprint
Jan 28, 2011
The concept of open work is a relatively new one for me. If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be sending email to my staff during half-time at my daughter's soccer game, videoconferencing via the internet with a colleague in London from our office in Boston, and writing a blog post on the benefits of working remotely from my couch at home, I would have told you that you were crazy. And it makes me wonder--are we really maximizing the impact of open work as a strategy to combat rising energy use, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and the greater climate change crisis?
Can Canada's Oil Sands Solve the Energy Crisis?
Jan 28, 2011
The Wall Street Journal may not like T. Boone Pickens' clean energy plan, but it has a lot of merit. What Pickens sees -- and the WSJ ignores -- is that our oil-driven global economy is stretched to the limit and is likely not sustainable. A telling indicator is an enormous oil-extraction project in Alberta, Canada -- an enormous energy-intensive, financially questionable undertaking that oil companies are now treating as the next great oil bonanza.
Climate Change: Investors' Next Global Mega-Trend?
Jan 28, 2011
Warning to U.S. companies: Just because national lawmakers are dawdling on global warming, don't think your business can dawdle, too. While U.S. policymakers are running in place on climate change, global investors are moving quickly to make money from its far-reaching risks and opportunities.
In Green Business, Strange Bedfellows Are Becoming the Norm
Jan 28, 2011
Ceres president Mindy Lubber blogs on the growing importance of stakeholders in corporate sustainability.
Support U.S. Business Making Green Investments
Jan 07, 2011
If there’s one thing Americans agree on in these divided times, it’s the urgent need to move toward cleaner energy. Polls as recently as November show a majority of Americans favoring comprehensive energy reform that limits pollution, develops domestic sources and stimulates renewable power.
Cleantech Momentum Gives Reason to Be Optimistic in 2011
Jan 03, 2011
Even though comprehensive reform for clean energy is not likely to happen in the year ahead, there are still strong paths toward a cleaner, more sustainable economy, according to Ceres' President Mindy Lubber. That's because smart entrepreneurs are taking the lead.
Swimming for Wind Power in America
Dec 09, 2010
Ceres' President Mindy Lubber blogs about what her team is learning at COP-16 in Cancun, such as that exciting wind projects are popping up all across the globe - except in America. For the first time in history, wind energy installations in developing countries this year will outpace those in industrialized countries.
Companies Tackle Climate Change Together
Dec 05, 2010
Anne Kelly, co-director of policy at Ceres, blogs from COP-16 in Cancun about how companies are working together to tackle supply chain climate problems, despite the fact that climate action is stalled in Cancun and Congress.
'Tis the Season for Greening Wall Street
Dec 01, 2010
Ceres' President Mindy Lubber blogs about the enormous worldwide business innovation that is taking place to build a clean sustainable economy - and how it's only a matter of time before it translates into huge financial rewards and a new business paradigm.
9 Miles a Gallon - and Lovin' It
Nov 23, 2010
Ceres' President Mindy Lubber blogs about how the Environmental Protection Agency and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are considering new mileage standards, and how standards for heavy-duty trucks should - and could - be 9 mpg.
Walmart and General Mills Bullish on Sustainable Palm Oil
Oct 22, 2010
Many consumers don't know that food producers, through their heavy use of palm oil, are a major driver of rainforest deforestation in Southeast Asia. Walmart and General Mills recently committed to changing that practice by "sourcing palm oil in a socially and environmentally responsible manner."