Clean Tech

LOHAS Health Trends

Sunday, April 28, 2013 by

wellness trendsI am in a unique position to view various market verticals and get some ideas on what are trends for various elements of LOHAS. Here are a few I think to be on the lookout for in the health and wellness space.

Happiness and Health

More of us will see happiness as key to achieving good health and vice versa. We will increasingly understand that happiness and health go hand in hand. There have been several studies indicating the connection between these two vital factors.

Mindful Living

Just think about the last time you ate your meal in peace. Mindful eating involves savouring every bite without distraction from electronics, whether phones or TVs. But this type of mindful living will also follow us through our everyday errands — mindful shopping, for example, means not overspending and buying only what’s needed to feel fulfilled at that moment.  Mindful Stress Reduction research has shown to be highly effective in teaching responsible in the health management, vitality and healing.

Nature As An Antidote

More people are looking at nature as an escape from noise, pollution and traffic and overall brain fatigue from the numerous stimuli we face daily that lead to stress. A recent study from Scotland claims that you can ease brain fatigue simply by strolling through a leafy park. The premise is that “grounding” the body to the earth’s surface stabilizes natural electrical rhythms and reduces disease-causing inflammation. Footwear companies such as Juil are using this concept for thier products and providing copper pressure points on your feet and ground you to the electromagnetic field of the earth. Its all about remembering to connect with the relaxing and energizing qualities Mother Nature has always provided.

Detoxing the home

For most, a new year means cleansing our bodies and getting rid of junk from our diets and kitchen cupboards. But detoxing in 2013 will also be about detoxing our homes and the environment around us. Consumers and brands are both turning to chemical-free and toxin-free products to use everyday. This means opportunities for green cleaning companies such as Method, Ecover and Seventh Generation.

Fitness Self-monitoring

In the past data was commonly equated with tech nerds. Today data is king and will go mainstream thanks to an increasing number of smartphone apps that help you easily store data on your own behavior via collection of wearable devices, from Nike Fuel to LarkLife, that do all the work for you.

Your Favorite Class Will Go Mobile

Mobile, portable classes are the wave of the future — thanks to the rise of beloved celebrity teachers who can’t be everywhere at once. Set up your iPad for a yoga class with the simulated feeling of individualized attention. Open up your laptop and decide what kind of class you’ll do that day — on your own time.  Providers include MyYogaOnline, GaiamTV and YogaVibes, Hotels, for example, are designing guest rooms to accommodate people doing yoga or cardio, or providing workout videos, while some airports, like San Francisco International Airport, even offer yoga rooms.

Healthy Hotels

In 2013 and beyond, what constitutes a true “vacation” will be redefined and “hospitality” will be rewritten. We’ll see an explosion of new “wellness everywhere” hotel chains and environments becoming more mainstream. In the past, gyms and spas have been positioned as mere amenities, but now these walls are being conceptually (and literally) broken down. Established hotel chains are re-branding around wellness and it’s not just about fitness. Customized food and beverage offerings (gluten-free and vegan menus) are becoming standard fare, and hotels are jumping into the juice-themed vacation frenzy.

Adult Playgrounds

Cities worldwide are trying to tackle obesity and overall inactivity by designing playgrounds for adults. These workout spaces are meant to eliminate cost and accessibility limitations and help adults get more active. In 2012, New York City opened its first adult playground and plans to create two dozen more.

Yoga Continues to Grow

Yoga booming – The latest “Yoga in America” study, released by Yoga Journal shows that 20.4 million Americans practice yoga, compared to 15.8 million from the previous 2008 study*, an increase of 29 percent. In addition, practitioners spend $10.3 billion a year on yoga classes and products, including equipment, clothing, vacations, and media. The previous estimate from the 2008 study was $5.7 billion.

Standing Desks

If research has shown us anything in 2012, it’s that sitting at our desks with poor posture is slowly killing us. As we head into the new year, experts at JWT predict more upright desk features for offices across the country. Companies like Ergotron have already created standing workstations with cart-like features.

 

Ted Ning is renowned for leading the annual LOHAS Forum, LOHAS.com and LOHAS Journal the past 9 years Ted Ning is widely regarded as the epicenter of all things LOHAS leading many to affectionately refer to him as ‘Mr. LOHAS’. He is a change agent, trend spotter and principal of the LOHAS Group, which advises large and small corporations on accessing and profiting from the +$300 billion lifestyles of health and sustainability marketplace.  The LOHAS Group is a strategy firm focusing on helping companies discover, create, nurture and develop their unique brand assets.  For more information on Ted visit  www.tedning.com

Sweden green rocks

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 by

One of my dreams has been to live in a sustainable self-sufficient house buried in pristine nature. A house with low energy consumption, low service costs, simple maintenance, no connection to municipal drains or district heating, gray water and human waste recycling. Simply, a house with a minimal impact on the environment - in its construction, running and end-life. Does that sound surreal?

Well, it is not. Sweden is where green dreams come true. When I saw their houses, I immediately fell in love with its simple design and complex environmental consciousness. 

EcoCycleDesign, however, goes beyond building new housing. They take the challenge of greening your current construction.

In Sweden, sustainability has a long history. Although dependent on heavy industry like forestry and metals, especially aluminum, Sweden was one of the first countries in the world to develop solutions that were environmentally friendly. Somewhere back in the fifties and sixties.

Lars Ling, the Chief Executive of CleanTech Region, who represents those progressive companies, would tell you that “since the early nineties, the nation has run an aggressive campaign to reduce the damage caused by climate change, and its adoption of green technologies is considered exemplary. Among others, Sweden can claim one of the largest ethanol-powered bus fleets in the world. It’s a world- leader in the conversion of waste into power – dozens of municipalities now produce biogas from sewage. And rather than wringing their hands over pollution from road vehicles, successive governments have set an example to ordinary motorists by mandating that nearly all publicly-owned vehicles are ‘flexible-fuelled’ and insisting that petrol stations offer at least one type of biofuel.”

If you look for some inspirations yourself, don't miss this crispy green online magazine - Green Solutions from Sweden

Ah, have I mentioned you can touch and feel the Swedish sustainable designs? There are trips organized to the CleanTech Region, so you may want to check those too.

 

From Growth Capitalism to Sustainable Capitalism: The Next 20 years of Sustainable Investing

Monday, December 3, 2012 by

By Joe Keefe, President and CEO, Pax World Management  (From the special 20th Anniversary issue of the GreenMoney Journal and www.GreenMoney.com )

Twenty years from now, we will have either successfully transitioned from our current economic growth paradigm to a new model of Sustainable Capitalism or we will be suffering the calamitous consequences of our failure to do so. Likewise, sustainable investing will either remain a niche strategy or it will have supplanted mainstream investing. This is the critical point we must embrace: sustainable investing can no longer simply present itself as an alternative to traditional investment approaches that ignore environmental, social and governance (ESG) imperatives; it cannot simply be for some people; it must actually triumph over and displace traditional investing.  

The current model of global capitalism - call it growth capitalism - is premised upon perpetual economic growth that must ultimately invade all accessible habitat and consume all available resources.[Footnote 1] Growth capitalism must eventually collapse, and is in fact collapsing, for the simple reason that a finite planet cannot sustain infinite growth. Moreover, the dislocations associated with this infinite growth paradigm and its incipient demise - climate change, rising inequality and extreme poverty, resource scarcity (including food and water shortages), habitat loss and species extinctions, ever more frequent financial crises, to name just a few - will increasingly bedevil global policy makers in the years ahead. The public sector is already experiencing a high degree of dysfunction associated with its inability to confront a defining feature of this system: the need for perpetual growth in consumption spurs a corresponding growth in public and private debt to fuel that consumption, which has roiled financial markets and sovereign finances across the globe. 

Meanwhile, the environmental fallout from this infinite growth paradigm is becoming acute. All of earth’s natural systems – air, water, minerals, oil, forests and rainforests, soil, wetlands, fisheries, coral reefs, the oceans themselves – are in serious decline. Climate change is just one symptom. “The problem is the delusion that we can have infinite quantitative economic growth, that we can keep having more and more stuff, on a finite planet.”[FN 2] The problem is an economic system that makes no distinction between capital investments that destroy the environment, or worsen public health, or exacerbate economic inequality, and those that are aligned with earth’s natural systems while promoting the general welfare. Under growth capitalism, a dollar of output is a dollar of output, regardless of its side effects; short-term profit is valued regardless of the long-term consequences or externalities. 

It is therefore discouraging that, in the U.S. at least, there is no serious discussion in mainstream policy circles about alternatives to the present system. Nor do I think there will be for some time given our current political/cultural drift. Political and economic elites, and the public itself, remain committed to growth capitalism, accustomed to “having more and more stuff,” for a host of economic, social and psychological reasons. As Jeremy Grantham has written, “[t]he problems of compounding growth in the face of finite resources are not easily understood by optimistic, short-term-oriented, and relatively innumerate humans (especially the political variety).”[FN 3] Our campaign finance system, wherein policy makers are essentially bought off by and incentivized to advance the very interests that stand to profit most from the current system, is no help. Making matters worse, large segments of the public do not even accept what science teaches us about climate change, or natural systems, or evolution, or a host of other pressing realities. The late U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said that everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts. Today, it seems that a growing number of people, aided and abetted by special interests that stand to benefit from public ignorance, are increasingly opting for their own “facts.”

So, neither the public sector nor corporate and economic elites, as a result of some newfound enlightenment, seem poised to consider alternatives to the current system. To the contrary, their first impulse will be to resist any such efforts. This is the critical problem at the moment: while there is an array of powerful forces aligned against the type of sweeping, systemic change that is needed, there is no organized constituency for it. There are individuals and groups who support this or that reform, or who are focused on critical pieces of the larger puzzle (e.g., climate change, sustainable food & agriculture, gender equality, sustainable investing), but there is no movement, no political party or leader, no policy agenda to connect the dots.

That is a shame because there is a clear alternative to growth capitalism that has been articulated in recent years by a diverse body of economists, ecologists, scientists and other leading thinkers - including leaders in the sustainable investment community.[FN 4]

Although there is as of yet no unified theory or common language, let alone any sort of organized movement to speak of, what has emerged is essentially a unified vision, and that vision might best be described as Sustainable Capitalism.[FN 5]

Sustainable Capitalism may be thought of as a market system where the quality of output replaces the quantity of output as the measure of economic well-being. Sustainable Capitalism “explicitly integrates environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into strategy, the measurement of outputs and the assessment of both risks and opportunities…. encourages us to generate financial returns in a long-term and responsible manner, and calls for internalizing negative externalities through appropriate pricing.”[FN 6] Essentially, business corporations and markets alter their focus from maximizing short-term profit to maximizing long-term value, and long-term value expressly includes the societal benefits associated with or derived from economic activity. The connections between economic output and ecological/societal health are no longer obscured but are expressly linked.[FN 7]

There is no question that growth capitalism must give way to Sustainable Capitalism. It’s as simple, and as urgent, as that. Over the next 20 years, the sustainable investing industry must play a pivotal leadership role in ushering in this historic transformation. We will need to connect the dots and catalyze the movement. Why us? For the simple reason that finance is where the battle must be joined. It is the financial system that determines how and where capital is invested, what is valued and not valued, priced and not priced. The sustainable investment community’s role is vital because the fundamental struggle is between a long-term perspective that fully integrates ESG factors into economic and investment decisions and our current paradigm which is increasingly organized around short-term trading gains as the primary driver of capital investment and economic growth regardless of consequences/externalities.

The notion that sustainable investing can simply keep to its current trajectory - a few more assets under management here, a few more successful shareholder resolutions there, a few more GRI reports issued, another UN conference, an occasional victory at the SEC - and achieve what needs to be achieved on the scale required is, frankly, untenable. We need to be more ambitious in our agenda.

We will also need to take a more critical stance, not only advocating for ESG integration but against economic and investment approaches that ignore ESG concerns. We will need to consistently critique the notion that externalities associated with economic output are somehow collateral, or that financial return is sufficient without beneficial societal returns, or that markets are inherently efficient and self-correcting. We will need to unabashedly offer sustainable investing not as an alternative approach but as a better approach - as the only sensible, responsible way to invest.

I believe the sustainable investing industry will also need to align itself with a more explicit public policy agenda - while remaining non-partisan - and work with like-minded reformers to advocate for that agenda. For example, sustainable investors should be sounding the alarm about resource scarcity and advocating for a massive public/private investment plan in clean energy, efficiency technologies and modernized infrastructure.[FN 8] The age of resource scarcity and the need for efficiency solutions is upon us.[FN 9] At Pax World, we offer a fund - the Global Environmental Markets Fund (formerly the Global Green Fund) - whose investment focus is precisely that. Our industry needs to fashion such investment solutions, and I believe there will be opportunities to do so collaboratively as well as competitively.

I also feel strongly that the greatest impediment to sustainable development across the globe is gender inequality. Advancing and empowering women and girls is not only a moral imperative but can unleash enormous potential that is now locked up in our patriarchal global economy. Sustainable investors need to press the case that gender equality needs to be a pillar of Sustainable Capitalism. At Pax World, we also have a fund - the Global Women’s Equality Fund - whose investment focus is exactly that.

In my view, the sustainable investing community should also be advocating for public funding of federal elections, either through a constitutional amendment or, absent an amendment, through a voluntary public funding system. The notion that we can tackle any major public policy issue, let alone undertake the epochal transition to Sustainable Capitalism, while politicians and regulators are captive to the very interests they are supposed to regulate, is beyond naïve. We will not be able to reform capitalism if we cannot reform Congress. 

Finally, asset management firms like my own will need to find ways to craft new, more persuasive messages, launch new products, form new partnerships, and fashion new distribution strategies and alliances that are focused on lifting the industry as a whole, because a rising tide will lift all boats. Pax World has taken a step in this direction in launching our ESG Managers Portfolios, where many ESG managers and strategies are now available under one roof in one set of asset allocation funds. There is more to be done - together, as an industry. 

The times call for leadership. The transition to Sustainable Capitalism is necessary and urgent, as is the triumph of sustainable investing over investment approaches that effectively prolong and exacerbate the current crisis. Twenty years from now, our industry will be judged by whether we have met this burden of leadership. Our impact either will be dramatic or inconsequential. We either will succeed or we will fail. We should resolve to succeed, and to work collaboratively toward that end. 

 

Article by Joe Keefe, President & CEO of Pax World Management, headquartered in Portsmouth, NH. Pax World manages approximately $2.5 billion in assets, including mutual funds, asset allocation funds and ETFs, all of which follow a sustainable investing approach. Prior to joining Pax World, Joe was President of NewCircle Communications (2000-2005), served as Senior Adviser for Strategic Social Policy at Calvert Group (2003 – 2005), and was Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Citizens Advisers (1997-2000). A former member of the board of US SIF (2000 - 2005), Joe was named by Ethisphere Magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics” for 2007, 2008 and 2011, and in 2012 was recognized by Women’s eNews a one of “21 Leaders for the 21st Century, where he was the sole male honoree. 

You should consider a fund's investment objectives, risks and charges and expenses carefully before investing. For this and other important information, please obtain a fund prospectus by calling 800.767.1729 or visiting www.paxworld.com . Please read it carefully before investing.

Equity investments are subject to market fluctuations, a fund’s share price can fall because of weakness in the broad market, a particular industry, or specific holdings. Emerging market and international investments involve risk of capital loss from unfavorable fluctuations in currency values, differences in generally accepted accounting principles, economic or political instability in other nations or increased volatility and lower trading volume.

Distributed by ALPS Distributors, Inc., Member: FINRA            PAX002590 08/13

Footnotes:

[1] See, William E. Rees, “Toward a Sustainable World Economy,” Paper delivered at Institute for New Economic Thinking Annual Conference, Bretton Woods, NH, April 2011, p. 4.

[2] Paul Gilding, The Great Disruption, Bloomsbury Press, 2011, p. 186.

[3] Jeremy Grantham, “Time to Wake Up: Days of Abundant Resources and Falling Prices Are Over Forever,” April 2011 GMO Quarterly Letter.

[4] I am thinking of such writers and thinkers as Wendell Berry, Lester Brown, Paul Gilding, Herman Daly, Thomas Friedman, Paul Hawken, Richard Heinberg, Mark Hertsgaard, Amory Lovins, Hunter Lovins, Bill McKibben, Donella Meadows, Jorgen Randers & Dennis Meadows, James Gustave Speth and, of course, E.F. Schumacher. Contributions from the sustainable investing community include Steven Lydenberg’s Corporations and The Public Interest, Robert Monks’s The New Global Investors, Marjorie Kelly’s The Divine Right of Capital, and The New Capitalists by Stephen Davis, Jon Lukomnik & David Pitt-Watson. See also the work of The Capital Institute, www.capitalinstitute.org

[5] Credit Al Gore, David Blood, Peter Wright and the folks at Generation Investment Management for putting a stake in the ground and endeavoring to define and popularize this concept.

[6] “Sustainable Capitalism,” Generation Investment Management LLP, 2012, p. 2.

[7] This notion of Sustainable Capitalism is not unlike the concept of “shared value” s advanced by Michael E. Porter and Mark E. Kramer. See, “Creating Shared Value,” Harvard Business Review, Jan-Feb 2011.

[8] See Daniel Alpert, Robert Hockett & Nouriel Roubini, “The Way Forward: Moving From the Post-Bubble, Post-Bust Economy to Renewed Growth and Competitiveness,” © 2011, New America Foundation, www.newamerica.net

[9] See Jeremy Grantham, “Time to Wake Up: Days of Abundant Resources and Falling Prices Are Over Forever,” supra; See also, “Resource Scarcity and The Efficiency Revolution,” Impax Asset Management, www.impaxam.com

 

For more information go to- www.GreenMoney.com

 

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4 Green Pinterest Boards Every Eco Conscious Person Should Follow

Monday, August 6, 2012 by

Pinterest may be the newest social media/bookmarking site that most college students are enamored with at the moment—after all it features tons of great fresh and trendy DIY crafts, recipes, and clothes—but the digital pin board can also be used for a greater purpose: teaching users how to live a greener lifestyle. Whether you're looking for inspiration to transform your home (or dorm room) into an eco-friendly haven or you're simply wondering what new clean technologies are in developments, Pinterest can help satisfy your curiosity. That said, below are some prime "green" Pinterest boards you should start following today.

Plants Anything Green Garden

One of the easiest ways to promote sustainability is to plant your own herb or vegetable garden in your backyard. But if you're unsure of where to start, what to plant, or how to construct beds for your plants, then this board can really help you out. With more than 78 fabulous pins that explain what perennial herbs are and how to construct a DIY self-watering planter for example, this particular board is loaded with tons of useful information for the eco-conscious. Just make sure to double click the images to re-direct you to the original location of the pin for step-by-step directions.

Green Buildings I Digg

Like the name suggests this board is filled with beautifully constructed sustainable buildings that the owner, Bidgette Meinhold, finds interesting. But we find her particular taste interesting too. If you're looking for some inspiration on how to design and construct your new eco-friendly home or you just want to know what some consumers in various parts of the world are doing to make their homes and businesses sustainable then become one of the 300 plus followers of this board.

Clean Tech

If you're interested to know what certain clean tech gadgets and tools universities are working on then this board would be essential to follow. While it allows users to get a better idea of what's in store for the future, it also has some great clean tech DIY tips that the average user can construct at home, such as how to turn your plants into a cell phone charger. Hopefully the owner Planet Forward continues to add to the 34 pins already featured on the board.

Green Lifestyle Consulting

Green Lifestyle Consulting, which like the name suggests is a board that is designed to help users live a greener lifestyle. The board is run by a wife-husband duo. There are so many different pins featured that they're organized into different categories, including: For the Home, Political Action and Ideas, Tips to go Green, and Raising Green Children.

LOHAS

And of course there is the LOHAS board that provides visuals of the various elements LOHAS embodies. For those who are visually inclined it may provide a clearer picture on how LOHAS sectors are connected and the best contexts to consider when explaining it to others or determining if one is LOHAS. Boards include personal develolpment, images of nature, food and energy efficiency to name a few.

An expert in the construction industry, freelance writer Kristie Lewis offers tips and advice on choosing the best construction management colleges. She also enjoys writing about green building practices for business and home owners. She welcomes any questions and comments you might have at Kristie.lewis81@gmail.com.

Innovating Up River

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 by

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Bigadventures

Unlike this lucky bloke,  green innovation is starting to feel pretty dam hard.

Many out there are struggling to develop new sustainable strategies, products, processes and implementing them all by pushing against the current flow.  Most are attempting to look at this world with green tinted glasses and reform almost all of the products and processes we live by.  The opportunity is certainly abounding and yet the reality can be sobering.  
Innovators are being asked to be more even more compelling, operate with less resources, and eek-out more value to each respective need.  A greater responsibility to improve current models, under the lens of sustainability, is falling on the brave and courageous few people to change the world.  The true goal may be to actually recruit "green" marines, the few and the proud… Hooo-Rah!


Pick any challenging real world issue and look closely… you can find just a handful of truly passionate social entrepreneurs working for change in that arena.  Whether the innovation is in food, agriculture, energy, technologies, products, or waste... we are being asked to redesign them all.  Only a few out there are truly developing system-wide changes to save time, resources and precious money, all in the greater name of sustainability.  When did the fate of so many lay in the hands of so few? But are we all trying to rebuild a ship after is has hit the iceberg and taking in water? Let's hope not.



At some point it all begins to feel like paddling upstream against the current while having "conventional" rocks appear in your path.  One can imagine the timeless innovators felt this great resistance… maybe we are no different now.  Oddly, most what we are transforming makes a product, service or process- simpler, easier, cheaper, with have less impact.  Consider clean technologies such as electric vehicles; simple to use (no gas), effective operations (gets you there) and easy to power (plug-in). Yet in today's ecological thinking, we must still prove the business case for them. Who is being asked to prove the business case for pollution, obvious waste with the harsh negative impacts we see daily... no one!



A collective grand vision for the green movement is to get all parties involved into the millions of innovations, as our evolution is seeking the best collaborative solutions to our varied modern problems. If we leave these crucial tasks only for a few to solve, making major inroads may simply take too long.  The conventional model is to work in a resource constrained systems that are functioning under old corporate cultures of; time equals money, bigger and better, and of course... not "my" problem.  


Our greatest task as innovators is now recruitment of conscious leaders... yes I do mean you! If you have made it this far, then you too could decide that now is the time to rally and gain momentum. Whether it be for noble ideals, lofty aspirations, personal gain or for the greater collective good of future generations... does it really matter anymore?  What matters now is what you do, how you live and what you support. We are all gifted with constant access to new communication channels, reliable information and available resources.  Even though there are few valid excuses left to claim… some certainly will.



If we wait, if we dilly-dally, if we decide not to give these bold efforts 110% now... where will it leave us all exactly?  Will we be able to move our own evolution forward fast enough to make real progress? Can we recruit others fast enough to the grand vision, so they can grasp it for themselves and realize this is our only way forward.  It may simply come down to values and a few questions to ask.



Trust- Do we have enough to move forward together?


Integrity- Similar to trust, can we commit to do what we say we will?


Responsibility- Can we find our own and help others see theirs?

Creativity- Can we look at the real issues with freedom and inspiration?


Motivation- Will what we are building move others to action?

Interested to hear your ideas, solutions and opinions?  Please share them here, it is a first step towards change. 

Jared Brick recently attained an MBA in Sustainable Management at the Presidio Graduate School in SF.  He is developing the first ever reusables tracking platform, rewarding consumers everywhere in their retail experiences.  Follow the journey at traxactions.com or on twitter: traxactions

Sustainability Trends for 2012: energy, water and employee engagement

Friday, April 27, 2012 by

Energy EfficiencyA quick review of sustainability trends reported on the internet shows (not surprisingly) that energy will stay a high priority. The focus is on alternative energy, energy efficiency  and solar energy. Within the green building movement, retrofitting buildings for sustainability is gaining momentum.

This poses a huge market opportunity for businesses. However, it helps if (local) governments create the environment that is beneficial for investing in clean energy. For rapid introduction of new technologies a so called ‘innovation system’- the needs to be in place. Innovation systems are networks of organizations that work together on diffusing new technologies. They are facilitated through entrepreneurial activity, knowledge development through collaboration with educational institutions, and knowledge diffusion through networks such as accelerators and business platforms. Governments can play pivotal roles in facilitating innovation systems.

A more recent trend is concern over water issues. Many places in the world don’t have access to enough water to meet agricultural, urban and industrial water needs. Large areas deal with droughts, and disruptive weather patterns caused by climate change  aggravate these issues.

Though this is important for business, especially in the food industry, it is even more important to governments. Water supplies are directly related to energy and food needs. The repercussions of water shortages in combination with an exploding world population cannot be underestimated – and may lead to water wars. Meriting this issue to be dealt with from a diplomatic point of view. For example: it is for a good reason that China does not want to leave Tibet: the country is the source of all the rivers in the region.

Thirdly, employee engagement is finally on the corporate agenda. Which is great, because the social side of the triple bottom line often gets little attention.  I often wonder why we have so few very successful cases for sustainability. In my opinion, engagement is the missing link – you can’t just roll out policies, or change light bulbs. Sustainability becomes a part of the organization when employees are engaged in the subject. Luckily for us, there is a strong business case for engagement, and links to sustainability within a company

CAR COLLECTING, THE ULTIMATE REUSE, RESTORE, REPAIR, AND RECYCLE

Monday, July 18, 2011 by
ORANGE COUNTY, CA - I spent Saturday morning at one of the world's best car museums, viewing a mind-blowing collection of classic automobiles from the 1930s--arguably the modern era's high point of car design as art.  These cars are owned by General William Lyon, an octogenarian renaissance man who has accumulated dozens of one-of-a-kind classics that are the automotive equivalent of Renoir, Pissaro, de Kooning, Rothko , you get the idea.  

Rolls Royce Owners Club
Photo Credits: Jennifer Schwab, SCGH

So what was a Clean Tech girl like me doing looking at some of the world's greatest Mercedes, Packard, Rolls Royce, Bugattis, Lincolns, Cadillacs, among many others?  After all, aren't cars the antithesis of green?

Believe it or not, I don't buy into that at all.  I studied at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, probably the world's number one institution for training car designers.  Looking at classic cars can be likened to viewing art in a museum.  If you appreciate fine art, you can understand the appeal of legendary car design, especially the "French curves," mascots (otherwise known as hood ornaments), exotic materials, colors, shapes, angles, brightwork, not to mention the engines and their industrial chic.  

On some level, preserving these rolling masterpieces IS Ecological Thinking at a high level.  Instead of finding their way to landfills, these cars have been restored, refurbished, repaired, recycled and reused over the years to keep them in the mostly pristine condition they are found in today.  Admittedly, they are polluters of the worst kind since they pre-date catalytic converters and computerized fuel injection.  They also usually get lousy fuel economy, as gas was a nickel a gallon when these cars prowled the few roads of America, which was before the modern national highway system was constructed.   However, most collector cars of this ilk are driven less than 500 miles per year, if at all.  Mostly they sit in public or private museums, starting up occasionally to be loaded onto a transporter to participate in "concours d'elegance" which are venues where they compete for prizes and give the general public a chance to view these treasures.

I will also admit to owning classic cars and participating in this hobby with my husband.  In fact, we drove our 1936 Rolls Royce Phantom III Barker Coupe (see photos) to see the Lyon Collection.  It was a meeting of the Rolls Royce Owners Club, and seeing a parking lot filled with 40 Rolls and Bentley automobiles (referred to by the cognoscenti as PMCs, or, "Proper Motor Cars")  was visually pleasing indeed.  Don't get the idea this hobby is only for the elite.  While overall it is rather expensive, there are newer models of Rolls and Bentley, for example, that can be had for anywhere from twenty to forty thousand dollars and are considered collectible.  And unlike some stocks, mutual funds and the like, they will most likely hold their value as proven over the past several years.

1936 Rolls Royce Phantom III Barker Coupe. Photo Credit: Jennifer Schwab, SCGH
1936 Rolls Royce Phantom III Barker Coupe. Photo Credit: Jennifer Schwab, SCGH

So if you're looking for a hobby that combines sustainability's basic tenets, "reuse, repair, and recycle" with compelling aesthetics and plenty of interesting people and elegant events, you might want to think about the classic car world, as opposed to dismissing this as "anti-green."

I'd love to hear from any other green car collectors out there.  As always, thanks for reading!

Follow Jennifer and Sierra Club Green Home on Facebook or @SCGreen_Home on Twitter

10 Things That Make the LOHAS Forum Unique

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 by

1. Cross section of attendees is like no other event. Where else will you find Fortune 500 companies shoulder to start up entrepreneurs next to mainstream media and celebrity. It is a great networking event for those who want to stretch their comfort zone and meet new people.

2. Permission to drop the armor of image is granted and expected. Everyone at the event wants to know who each other is at heart first and then get to professional interests second. This makes the attendees really open to each other and sincerely attentive to each other’s needs.

3. On the cutting edge of what is next. Many events have large corporations as the core of their speakers where at LOHAS you see more of the larger corporations in the audience learning how to enter the LOHAS market.

4. Boulder City is the epicenter of LOHAS activity. Despite being just over 100K in population it is the hub of organics, clean tech, outdoor industry, spirituality, alternative medicine, technology, entrepreneurship and is beautiful place to be in June when the LOHAS Forum occurs.

5. St. Julien Hotel & Spa is the best hotel in Boulder and has a very accommodating staff and has fully embraced sustainability. They provide the measurements for landfill alleviation for the LOHAS forum and organic and locally sourced meal options. Last year we were able to recycle 87% of our waste from the event. We strive to do more this year. The spa is top notch as well. 

6. The LOHAS gift room is legendary. Rather than provide a pre stuffed conference bag of brochures that are typically dumped in the hotel room we provide a gift room of various items from LOHAS companies that attendees can pick and choose from. Attendees love this and the gift bags are usually quite stuffed when people leave the room!

7. Market data worth thousands of dollars is presented by a variety of green market trend specialists. Those that are interested on what is happening in the LOHAS space can collect a tremendous amount of insight from these highly sought presentations.

8. Program content transcends green business to include elements to connect with the human spirit and community in a way that is energetic and inspiring.

9. A paperless program for this year and digital signage. The program will be on an app that is also a mobile website. The app will be downloadable on iTunes and will allow those who are not attending to see what is happening by reading the social media feeds, text alerts and uploaded images by attendees. Conference signage are flatscreen monitors that double as media centers for video.

10. Not just a conference but a community celebration! We have a variety of ways built into the event ranging from morning yoga and meditation to musical entertainment to after parties to engage the senses for attendees.

If you are an attendee and have other elements I have forgotten I would love to hear them. Please share!

 

Ted Ning is renowned for leading the annual LOHAS Forum, LOHAS.com and LOHAS Journal the past 9 years Ted Ning is widely regarded as the epicenter of all things LOHAS leading many to affectionately refer to him as ‘Mr. LOHAS’. He is a change agent, trend spotter and principal of the LOHAS Group, which advises large and small corporations on accessing and profiting from the +$300 billion lifestyles of health and sustainability marketplace.  The LOHAS Group is a strategy firm focusing on helping companies discover, create, nurture and develop their unique brand assets.  For more information on Ted visit  www.tedning.com

Consumer Electronics Association Moving Towards Green

Thursday, January 13, 2011 by
CESThe Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®, owner and producer of the International CES, donated $75,000 to Green Chips, a non-profit organization promoting carbon neutrality, to support sustainable energy in southern Nevada.
 
“This donation illustrates CEA’s commitment to sustainability in the Las Vegas area as we launch another successful International CES,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA. “Green Chips is creating clean energy and showing the power of green innovation and ingenuity in southern Nevada, which mirrors CES’ dedication to being a green tradeshow and to implementing sustainable practices.”

Shapiro presented a check today to Oscar Goodman, chairman of Green Chips and Mayor of Las Vegas, in a ceremony at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the official site of this year’s CES from January 6-9.

The donation was made to Green Chips’ Non-Profit Energy Audit and Retrofit program, which typically covers the cost of a building’s energy efficiency audit and construction retrofit needs. The Shade Tree, a Las Vegas women’s shelter, has utilized this energy efficiency audit and solar retrofit program, along with installing solar panels, to cut energy costs by a projected 10 percent.

“This contribution will enable Green Chips to conduct more audits and prepare more buildings for clean solar energy,” Goodman said. “We applaud CEA’s contribution and welcome another year of the CES, the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow.”
In 2009, CEA was honored by Trade Show Executive Magazine with the “Leader in Green Initiatives” Gold Grand Award for the greening of the CES. At the 2010 International CES, CEA worked with the Las Vegas Convention Center to recycle 68 percent (372.2 tons) of the total solid waste generated by show attendees through diversion of cardboard, paper, metal, wood, carpet padding and plastic from landfills.

Last year at CES, CEA donated $50,000 to the Las Vegas Metro Police Department to purchase seven Vetrix electric motorcycles, which are on the streets of the tourist corridor every day helping to keeping Las Vegas both safe and green.

More details on the greening of CES are available here: www.cesweb.org/cesgreening.asp.

The Cutting Edge in Green Home Power Is Here

Friday, December 17, 2010 by

I have been anxiously awaiting an alternative to conventional electric power and the economic benefits that follow. Of course solar comes to mind, and while I love solar power, it can be expensive and because of the space requirements for panel installation, it is not for everybody.

My prayers were finally answered, as ClearEdge Power of Portland, OR, has rolled out the first home fuel cell. Initially available only in California, the ClearEdge5 self-contained fuel cell was actually announced last year but that was somewhat of a well-kept secret. The availability of this product marks the first time in America that fuel cell technology has become available to individual consumers. The ClearEdge5 can create energy that can power, heat and cool your home, and swimming pool, without using electric power from the utility company. You'll reduce the power you pull from the grid while using natural gas - the cheapest power source available at least for now.

2010-12-13-CEPResidentialFuelCell.jpg

"After significant private equity investment and seven years of research by our 50+ R & D team, ClearEdge Power is proud to be the first to offer this groundbreaking technology to California's homeowners," said Russell Ford, CEO of ClearEdge Power. "This is a major development in America's push to become energy independent. We hope to roll this product out to other states, beginning with New York in the early part of 2011. But California is the first, and homeowners can receive federal and local incentives up to $17,500 by installing a ClearEdge5 kilowatt fuel cell."

Fuel cells provide an alternative to solar, wind and other types of renewable energy. They can also work in concert with solar, wind and other renewable energy sources to power a home or commercial structure. Fuel cells were once considered the technology of the future, but have finally become a clean energy solution for today.

A fuel cell is an electrochemical device which converts a source fuel into electrical current. The electricity generated inside the cell is a reaction between the fuel and an oxidant. Fuel cells can operate indefinitely, so long as the necessary reactants and oxidants are replenished. A hydrogen fuel cell uses hydrogen as its fuel and oxygen as an oxidant. Fuel cells can also use hydrocarbons or alcohol as fuel and chlorine or chlorine dioxide as oxidants.

Unlike petroleum-based fossil fuels, fuel cells are a clean energy source creating virtually no toxins or pollutants. The main byproducts are water, heat, and carbon dioxide. The CO2 emissions are substantially less than those produced by conventional power systems.

I contacted a real-world customer of ClearEdge Power to find out more about how the home fuel cell actually works. Gary Dillabough, of Atherton, CA, is a green industry professional who wanted to find an energy alternative with a smaller footprint than solar panels. "The payback is just over three years," Dillabough explained. "I think several of my friends will also adopt this technology after seeing how well it works." Admittedly, Dillabough is a sophisticated investor and early adopter of advanced technology, and the ClearEdge5 penciled nicely for his larger home. As should be the case for a pioneer, he is among the first people in the country, if not the world, to try a home fuel cell. But hopefully his favorable experience is a precursor to much more volume, and lower prices as the technology progresses.

2010-12-13-CEPFuelCellHome.jpg

You may have heard of the other significant fuel cell provider, Bloom Energy. Unlike ClearEdge Power, Bloom has received tons of publicity. While Bloom focuses on commercial applications - their initial deliveries to corporate headquarters buildings for Google, E-Bay and FedEx among others, attracted lots of attention - I think ClearEdge Power can potentially be even a bigger player in this space because of its suitability for single family homes and small commercial applications. The hype surrounding Bloom has yet to be proven, as the cost to install and run those commercial applications still exceeds the savings by a significant margin. (I should disclose here that I personally have a small investment in Bloom Energy).

Billions of dollars have been invested in alternative and renewable energy technologies. Bloom is rumored to have spent over $450 million to date, and its product is still in the developmental stages. ClearEdge Power is a true pioneer in America's vision to create energy independence. You can now power your home while reducing your energy bills by as much as 50% and reducing your carbon footprint by as much as 40%.

I should note that initially, the ClearEdge5 makes most sense for homes with a larger footprint and power needs, but as the technology is further developed and power costs continue to rise, future CEP models will become accessible to homeowners with smaller homes. We urge you to visit the Sierra Club Green Home website to learn more about this stunning new technology.

 

Follow Jennifer Schwab on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SCGreen_Home

Alliance Forms in Colorado to Promote Benefits of Solar Thermal Technology

Wednesday, December 8, 2010 by
Solar Thermal Panels installed by Capitol Solar EnergyLast week I was invited to attend the first stakeholder’s meeting for the newly formed Solar Thermal Alliance of Colorado (STAC).

Founded by the executive directors of the Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES) and the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA), STAC aims to promote awareness of the potential of solar thermal to contribute to the sustainability of the renewable energy industry.

If you’re like most people, you may not realize there’s more than one type of solar energy technology. You may just be familiar with photovoltaic or PV technology, the science of converting the sun’s rays into electricity. Solar thermal technology, on the other hand, is different in that it converts the sun’s rays into heat, functioning in a water and space heating capacity.

In Colorado, in particular, the potential for the clean technology of solar thermal is extraordinary. Thanks to warm days—over 300 of them bright and sunny—cold nights, and cold groundwater temperatures, Colorado is the most fitting state in the nation to take advantage of solar thermal. What’s more, solar thermal is 70 percent efficient at capturing and utilizing energy as compared to 17 percent in PV technology and the 30 percent efficiency coal produces. Solar thermal is affordable, the majority of the materials used to manufacture it are made in the U.S., it can adapt to partial shade, can store solar energy, reduce demand off the grid, could displace natural gas, and save homeowners and businesses a tremendous amount of money.

“Colorado is the bullseye for solar thermal technology,” said Laurent Mellion, president of Capitol Solar Energy, a Colorado-based solar thermal installation company. “I have been in business for over twenty years, and I have never seen an opportunity like the potential for solar thermal in Colorado. Solar thermal could address over half of energy needs for homes in addition to providing local labor and manufacturing opportunities. The opportunities far outweigh the challenges.”

Why then, has it been largely ignored by the public in favor of the less-efficient PV? A lack of public awareness and education is one reason and a lack of solar thermal incentives and consistent permitting policies is another. But all of these factors aside, the low cost of natural gas is the main challenge of solar thermal.

Natural gas is priced well below what many think it should be and others argue we shouldn’t be using it at all.  “Natural gas shouldn’t be burned anyway. It’s more valuable as a feedstock for petroleum than it is as a fuel,” said Susan Perkins of Perkins Energy Law. “We should leave it in the ground for future generations. We should be using the sun. We need to monetize the value of not using natural gas.”

As Colorado continues to export natural gas to California and other states at what Mellion calls “an alarming rate,” it’s time to start considering other alternatives. What happens when we run out of natural gas or when demand overtakes supply and the price rises? If we’re not prepared for that scenario – which most energy analysts will tell you isn’t far off – we could be in big trouble.

A solution like solar thermal technology, that’s affordable, ecofriendly, reliable, efficient, and sustainable, just may be the socially and environmentally responsible answer.


New York Restaurants Move Toward Sustainability

Thursday, October 28, 2010 by
Everyone loves to eat out at a restaurant—food just tastes better when a chef prepares it and you don’t have to wash the dishes. But when it comes to sustainability reporting, most restaurants are in the black, not the green.

Restaurants use large amounts of energy and water and produce vast amounts of waste. “There’s huge potential for increasing sustainability in the hospitality industry as we are a huge user, and abuser, of energy,” says Allen Someck of the New York State Restaurant Association.
 
Someck is the director of a new Green Restaurant Initiative grant awarded to the NYS Restaurant Association by the Environmental Protection Agency. The purpose of the grant is to educate restaurant owners on energy conservation and sustainability.  

“Our focus will be on how to reduce energy, water, and hazardous waste at the restaurant level while supporting each individual restaurant’s bottom line,” said Someck. “It’s a way for us to facilitate the green movement in the hospitality sector.”

The grant includes providing a series of eight conservation trainings for restaurant owners over a period of 18 months. Trainings include presentations from energy industry leaders and departments as well as sustainability experts. In addition, audits will be performed at each restaurant in order to customize conservation recommendations and energy efficiency tips.

“We have found the best way to implement change is to work with restaurants on a one-on-one basis. We’ll be making recommendations for short and long term investments,” says Someck. “Some of the recommendations will be immediate and easy to implement. Others will require more planning.”

Among the innovative clean technologies discussed at the training series will be an affordable energy management system that allows a restaurant owner to control the restaurant’s energy system, including temperature and compression levels, remotely from a laptop.

A big step in the right direction, I’d say. Kudos to the NYS Restaurant Association for leading New York restaurants into a greener, more ecofriendly future.


FTC's New "Green Guides" Finally Emerge

Friday, October 8, 2010 by

After almost three years of consultation and planning, and following a great deal of anticipation in recent months, the Federal Trade Commission has finally published “Proposed, Revised Green Guides.”  This latest version of the Green Guides will be open for public comment until December 10, 2010.  After that, according to an FTC press release, the agency will issue a final, official version of the Guides. 

It’s a sad truth, but consumers and regulators view environmental marketing claims with increasing skepticism.  While many companies make fair claims about the environmental attributes of their products, others are exploiting consumer demand for sustainable products with false or unsubstantiated marketing claims.  Thanks to such tactics, the term “greenwashing” has entered the marketing lexicon.  The environmental marketing firm TerraChoice brilliantly describes and defines greenwashing in its 2009 Greenwashing Report, and concludes that many, if not most, environmental marketing claims are unfounded. 

In this climate, it’s no surprise that the FTC is stepping up efforts to combat greenwashing.  A key step in this new enforcement effort is to provide more guidance on environmental marketing claims through the Green Guides.  The Guides (last updated in 1998) provide non-binding “interpretations” of federal consumer protection regulations, namely Section 5 of the FTC Act (15 U.S.C. § 45), which is the law that empowers the agency to punish deceptive practices. 

The Green Guides provide common-sense instruction on green marketing strategy, and more specific guidance on particular marketing terms that were popular in 1998, including “biodegradable,” “compostable,” “recyclable,” “refillable,” and “ozone safe.”  The new proposed Green Guides address those terms, but also provide guidance on new terms and concepts found in present-day green marketing, such as:

  • environmental seals of approval,
  • “free-of” and “non-toxic” claims,
  • carbon offsets,
  • claims concerning renewable energy, and 
  • claims concerning renewable materials. 

Given the explosion of environmental marketing claims in recent years, revised Green Guides are well overdue.  But what kind of impact will they have?  The new Guides do not really change the rules; the FTC has always identified the Green Guides as “guides” useful in applying consumer protection law.  Ultimately, product claims for clean technologies will be evaluated under the FTC Act itself, for their potential to deceive consumers.  If claims are vague and unqualified, or cannot be substantiated by scientifically proven facts, they are going to be suspect. 

The FTC provides a brief summary of the proposed Green Guides here, provides the complete Guides with analysis and comment here; public comments on the proposed Guides may be submitted here.  Read more insightful commentary on the new Green Guides here, and here.

Guest Blogger Joseph ("Jay") Eckhardt is an attorney at Stoel Rives LLP, based in Portland, Oregon.
 

Recommended LOHAS Oriented Conferences To Consider Attending

Sunday, August 29, 2010 by


 

In my time at LOHAS I have been to a lot of green events. A few years ago there were only a handful of events to choose from and it was a bit of a close circle. However now it seems that green and sustainably oriented events are popping up everywhere. How does one know which are solid and which are just flashes in the pan? I am putting together my travel schedule and like you have to be selective as to where to put my energy and travel budget.


Here is a list of events I have either been to or have heard about that make my list and are organized by month:

September

The International Ecotourism Conference (Sept 8-10 Portland, OR)
The event for the ecoutourism industry that brings a global attendee base.  Eventhough the ecotourism industry is a small section of the overall tourism industry, it is an excellent place to learn what is happening in the space and who’s who. I have not been to this event and have always wanted to and this year is my chance. I look forward to it. Yours truly will be speaking on the future of sustainability trends and the ROI of green travel. Should be fun!

Opportunity Green  (Sept 22-24th Los Angeles Center Studios, CA) – This is their 3rd event and is very green business and design oriented. The speakers are primarily big business with some cutting edge entrepreneurs in the mix. Design conversations range from buildings to automobiles to fashion and the blend of people here is good. The event is really the only national oriented event I know of in LA that is green oriented and it has the LA look and feel. I feel you need to come to this event with a bit of a strategic game plan and set up some meetings to make the most of this event. You can also hear some interesting speakers and chat them up at the cocktail receptions and meals which are quite nice.

West Coast Green (Sept 30-Oct 2nd, San Francisco, CA)
The green building conference for the west coast featuring speakers such as Bill McDonough and an exhibit area of 300. I have not been to the event but I hear great things and if you are in the green building and design market you should go to this or Greenbuild (see below). 

October

Green Spa Network (Oct 3-7, Avon CO)
The Green Spa Network has come from those in the spa industry that are seeking to reclaim the world of wellness from the clutches of pampering and luxury. GSN is a membership organization and looking to get those in the spa world to recognize sustainable product creation and spa properties. This will be their second year convening and are still in infancy but are moving fast and furious to make headway into the spa world. Those in the spa world who truly want to engage green practices should definitely attend this event. 

SoCap (Oct 4-6th, San Francisco, CA)
Honestly, I have not been to SoCap yet and am looking forward to my inauguration to the event this year. I have only heard good things about this event. It appears to have a Silicon Valley type vibe from those that attend from its free form programming and type of people who are there. A great event for start ups and investors looking to match values in socially responsible businesses.

Expo East (Oct 13-16th Boston, MA) 
These are great to get a pulse of the natural products industry. Expo East in the fall is on the east coast (hence the name) and is much smaller than the mega sized Expo West held in the spring (and in Anaheim)  I like Expo East because it is smaller and you can walk the floor without the onslaught of people that Expo West has. You can have conversations in depth at Expo East that are a bit more challenging at West.  Typically the executive teams are at the shows the first few days so if you want to meet top brass you need to schedule meetings or come by booths at the beginning of the shows.  There is also no need to buy meals as only a quick stroll through the exhibit spaces can fill a stomach. Be careful about trying everything you see as sometimes food mixing may not agree with you. I found that out the hard way. Urp!

Bioneers (Oct 14-18 San Rafael, CA)
Bioneers is the gathering of what seems like all the activists, free spirits and dark greenies of California who want to learn about ecology, social justice and indigenous wisdom. It is a public/consumer event so expect to encounter some interesting characters. The general speakers are quite remarkable as they come from all over the globe and the audience can get pretty fired up on issues. They do talk about some of the more difficult issues society faces but I really like this event because the speakers challenge us to question things and help understand some of the issues people don't see in conventional media. If you can't get to the main event there are a few locations that have smaller gatherings and live video feeds into the larger event but they do not capture the energy and the other activities that happen there. As you walk through the crowded parking lot try counting how many hybrids you see or the bumper sticker slogans that have some activist slogan. I don't know which is the larger of the two.

Green Biz Innovation Forum (Oct 19-20th San Francisco, CA)
I have not been to this event but anything that Joel Makeower and his Greener World Media team does I back. They always seem to have the ability to get top speakers and relevant content that makes the event special. I have heard great things from those that have attended and really like the format.  Joel always seems to be on the cutting edge of what’s what in the green business world.

Social Venture Network (Oct 21-24th, Long Branch, NJ)
SVN is a membership organization and has an open door conference in the fall and a members only event in the spring. The members are successful social entrepreneurs such as Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s, Jeffrey Hollander of Seventh Generation and Priya Haji of World of Good. I really like this event as it brings a lot of good and experienced minds together. The matra of this event is bonding and there are men’s and women’s circle meetings to promote this. Expect a lot of hugs and soul sharing which is a good thing to do for us all. Because of the intimacy some of the members feel among peers and get heated in conversations they feel important to them that I see more often here than other events. It is refreshing  especially after seeing many other events that stick to the talking heads format.  The event provides plenty of times to have conversations with members and provide opportunities for mentorship for start ups. Some of these conversations have resulted in future board members and even investment for startups. 

Greenfestivals (Oct 23-24th DC / Nov 6-7 San Francisco, CA)
The Green America Green Festivals as some of the most well attended green consumer events I have attended. Each has a very local focus for the vendors but make sure you go to the speaker sessions because they have outstanding speakers from all over to come and grace the audience with their perspectives. Big hitters such as Deepak Chopra, Dr. Weil, Paul Stamets and a few other TED talk types present and you cant beat the ticket price for a front row seat. I have not been to the DC Greenfest and hear that each of the events reflect the vibe and culture of each city. The SF Greenfest rocks and is packed with all kinds of great booths and events. If you go get ready to be emersed in the dark green side of San Fran - free hugs, poetry, dreadlock and all. Green America is not doing their Green Business Conference this year that typically is right before their San Francisco Greenfest. Instead they have developed a green business pavilion within the San Fran Greenfest that will have business oriented talks. If you have not been to a Greenfestival I highly recommend them as they embody a variety of aspects that LOHAS does – organics, alternative therapies, personal development and social justice elements.

Net Impact (Oct 28-30th, Ann Arbor, MI)
Another event I have heard great things about but have never attended. It is primarily focused on CSR and brings together students and large corporations to openly discuss issues. It is also a great recruiting ground for companies seeking new green talent from recent graduates. The event brings together over 2500 people and has workshops and discussion groups to get down and dirty on complex issues. Their keynote speakers are solid with Majora Carter, Jeffery Hollander and Bill McDonough.

SRI In the Rockies (Nov 18-21 San Antonio, TX)
Anyone who is a financial planner or interested in socially responsible investment nitty gritty must put this event on their calendar. This is a blend of financial jargon and social justice and clean tech orientation. About 800 people attend the event from all over the world and is typically in a mountain setting. Being in San Antonio this year is a stretch.  it is a packed schedule for the most part but they do make time for long networking hikes and excursions . I have seen speakers ranging from Jane Goodall and David Bornstein to Calvert and Domini fund managers at the event. It is a great place to understand how to unravel the complexities of financial issues and know what mutual funds are actually doing as they relate to socially responsible investing. They throw a great evening party and many are not afraid to show off their dance moves.
 
Greenbuild (Nov 17-19th Chicago, IL)
The mother of green building products and originated from the USGBC this is the event for anyone interested or involved in the green building sector. The exhibit area is about 1000 booths and attracts about 25-30,000 attendees from all over the world. The green building industry has really picked up and does not look likely to slow down. I like this event a lot because of the creative energy efficiency exhibits and speakers.

Investors’ Circle (Nov 10-12th Washington, DC)
A membership organization of over 150 angel investors who are looking for solid socially responsible companies to invest in as a group. They have funnelled over $134M into 200 companies addressing social and environmental issues. A great place for LOHAS oriented start ups to present who are seeking seed capital. There is an application process with an extensive screening but nothing too overloading.  The event focuses on vetting good seed capital candidates for an investor audience and mixes in some good quality speakers sucha as Acumen and Ashoka. If you are an investor or seeking funding from a good values base source check out Investor’s Circle.

ISPA Conference & Expo  (Nov 15-18, Washington, DC)
The spa association where everyone in the spa world congregates - green and conventional. If you attend you can see there is a strong emphasis from many about sustainability than ever before but there are still those brands that have their share of green washing along those who just don’t care. Regardless, anyone who is interested in the spa world and creating spa products should attend to understand the trends in the industry. LOHAS has a strong foothold in the wellness and beauty industry and it is a good place to learn macro trends and spa operation techniques. This is probably the most well groomed attendee base I have seen which I have no trouble surrounding myself with.

Spring/Summer

LOHAS Regional Events (April TBD, NYC, LA, Atlanta, Minneapolis)
Taking the LOHAS conference on a bit of a roadshow and working to get some momentum build in these areas. Its tough to go to all these events so we have decided to try to make it easier by providing single day events. Stay tuned for more details!

BALLE (June 15-17th Bellingham, WA)
Business Alliance for Local Living Economies celebrates local businesses and local orientation. There are a lot of local loyalists at the event and mostly smaller and mid size companies, non profits and academia. But the conversations are lively and some really interesting networking. A lot of cross over with speakers from the Greenfests and SVN groups. I like the workshops and the networking here. The production of the event is low key as the focus is on the content and type of people who attend which is really nice.

LOHAS (June 22-24th Boulder, CO)
Of course I have to put this one on the calendar as I think EVERYONE should consider this one. Well...maybe not everyone. We have about 5-600 people attend who are business executives, thought leaders, academia and enterpreneurs. As much as many equate LOHAS with the converted dark greens of the world the event is set up to not be an 'Us' and 'Them' atmosphere. Rather we welcome all who are interested in understanding LOHAS and how it applies the them personally and professionally. We set up plenty of networking opportunities and workshops to provide tangible takeaways. To see some of the videos from previous LOHAS sessions visit our LOHAS YouTube page. We work hard to get a solid program together with a great attendee base. If you have any recommendations or tweaks I'd love to hear from you.

These are only a few of the many that are out there and more to come. I truly feel that any conference you attend is what you make of it and how you prepare ahead of time setting up meetings, scheduling and follow up. With that said, good luck with your planning and hope to see you at one of these events. If you have other events you feel should be added I would love to hear about them. Please share!


 

The Black and White on Going Green

Thursday, June 24, 2010 by

Needless to say, I try lots of green products. Since we are still in the second inning of America going green, new products are just now entering the marketplace in slightly increasing numbers. I do my quarterly big box runs to examine just how close we are getting to green alternatives of everyday products. Fortunately or unfortunately, I have had the opportunity to test drive many new products and quite frankly the results are mixed.

I worry about this because when curious but non-green citizens are ready to try a green product, it had better live up to its billing. Otherwise, those folks won't try going green again for many years, if ever.

While admittedly lots of the things I try are personal care products, here is an overview of what has worked well -- and what hasn't.

I tried Organic makeup, the Foundation product is just super, easy to apply, feels nice, right consistency. Other Organic makeup products, however, fell short. Especially the pressed powder packaging. While environmentally friendly, the paper containers virtually ripped apart after only two weeks, thus rendering the products useless. Cost is about on par with an average brand like L'oreal but longevity of the product and packaging did not match up.

EcoVer Laundry DetergentEcoVer laundry detergent is a "must" as is their all-purpose cleaner. It is one of the few cleaning solvents that is comparable in results to Clorox Greenworks. Simple Green, I'd take a pass. It left an oily residue on my counters.

As for green shampoo and conditioner, the Burt's Bees items I bought seem better suited for my dog (who will use them as I sure won't) than a long haired woman. They left my hair frizzy and dry. Burt's Bees lip balm, hand cream and other products are really good on balance, it should be mentioned.

Time to dry your hair? Don't bother with an Eco hair dryer. Painfully slow due to reduced power wattage, it takes twice as long, thereby negating the power savings. Next. I tried sustainable cork sandals; they looked reasonably stylish, but the fit and comfort left a lot to be desired. So much so that cork shoes are off my list. And while I buy my clothes at second hand boutiques, I don't really want to wear somebody else's shoes...

We tried to decorate our living room with sustainable furniture. Overall, even from a high quality store like Cisco on the West Coast, we found it to be 30-40 percent more expensive, and the designs were, well, homely. Sorry but this category has a long way to go. On the other hand, we picked up some FSC wood outdoor patio furniture that is great looking, very affordable and seems to be weather resistant. Ours came from Target and other large retailers also carry FSC outdoor lines. Buy these -- a great way to test out some sustainable products that you will be happy with!

We also had to replace our wood deck due to termite damage. We told our contractor it had to be made of FSC wood, period, no options. After an exhaustive search, he finally located a suitable batch of FSC wood, which had to be sanded and sealed. The texture was quite rough. This added cost but otherwise, the raw wood cost was the same as normal pre-treated wood. This took a little extra work and expense but not too much, and the results are fabulous. I highly recommend that if you are building decks, fences, water bridges, and so on, insist on FSC wood.

FSC FurnitureA not so great home improvement experience came when using AFM Safecoat wood sealant. Our home is made of spruce, so, it needs to be sealed every two to three years. We had to do quite a bit of research but identified a San Diego-based firm that makes fully sustainable sealant which is water not oil based. We purchased it at a slight premium price, and upon first application it looked great -- we were thrilled. Then, it rained. And rained some more (we LOVE this in Southern California, the more rain the better!). Lo and behold, the sealant literally rinsed off the wood, which felt dry and looked "naked" after the rain. We had to re-seal the entire structure at great expense, Ouch! Another case of a sustainable product that cannot compete with its non-sustainable brethren. Too bad.

The list goes on but you get the idea. When it comes to green products you can use at home, there is some risk involved. Like most new Clean Technologies, there is still a lot to learn and overall quality will improve. Hopefully, these personal anecdotes will help steer you in the right direction. Comment back to us and we will advise you on which green products to try -- and which ones to avoid.

 

Follow Jennifer Schwab on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SCGreen_Home


All That Glitters Is Green: First-Ever Christie's Green Auction

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 by

How about a private lunch with Vera Wang, followed by a visit to her boutique for a $10,000 shopping spree focusing on Eco Friendly Fashion? Or lunch with Ted Danson, plus a painting from his personal art collection? Ladies, how about a day on the set with Hugh Jackman? Or for Yankee loyalists all over the world, dinner with General Manager Brian Cashman plus four game tickets? Want to find out what working for George Steinbrenner is really like!?

There were items available through May 6th at http://www.charitybuzz.com/abidtosavetheearth, which is the silent auction portion of Christie's first-ever green auction. The celebrity-rich live event, held at Christie's near Rockefeller Center in late April, offered similarly unique and desirable items and experiences, all to benefit environmental charities including Oceana, Conservation International, Natural Resources Defense Council and Central Park Conservancy. Indeed, these four charities will end up splitting a pot of around $2 million dollars, a wonderful windfall especially when contributions have been hammered by the Recession.

At the live event, guests entered an environment that looked more like something out of Babylon and Adam and Eve than an auction house. The theme was "a collision between art and nature" and the result was spectacular, especially after entering on the green carpet - literally - surrounded by a throng of paparazzi. A crowd of over 800 attended including a host of celebs such as Candice Bergen, Sam Waterston, Ted Danson, Salma Hayek, Brian Williams, and many more from Hollywood, business, the arts and government. Speeches were short, just a few meaningful words from Christie's Chairman Christopher Burge and Susan Rockefeller (she and her husband David were co-chairs of the event).

This was a great concept, taking what has traditionally been a bastion of the elite -- Christie's -- and putting their vast resources to work for a good green cause. Christie's was supported by Target, Deutsche Bank, NBC Universal and several other sponsors, which resulted in a super high end event that brought visibility to climate change issues and created significant revenue for the general funds of four deserving charities.

I really hope this becomes an annual event for Christie's and that other organizations and NGOs take advantage of this innovative green marketing strategy for fundraising. Everyone knows that the recession has been brutal on the budgets of most non-profit organizations, as donations are down and their own portfolios have been decimated. The green auction idea is a fun and ecofriendly way to raise consciousness as well as funding for the environmental movement. Come to think of it, also very appropriate for Christie's since their very business is sustainability as they sell old items which get "re-used" as they are handed down through generations.

A final anecdote: at risk of sounding like a celebrity hound (I'm not) and a TV fan (I don't watch much), a personal highlight was the chance to visit one on one with Sam Waterston of Law & Order at the after-party, held at the trendy Monkey Bar. I admit to being a bit of a Law & Order junkie, and got to ask him about the departure of Detective Goren, his thoughts on our clean energy future, amongst other tidbits around Oceana and the environment. All in all the Christie's Green Auction lived up to its hype in every way. Click on the link and enjoy your opportunity to participate -- http://www.charitybuzz.com/abidtosavetheearth

 

Follow Jennifer Schwab on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SCGreen_Home


Fortune Brainstorm Green 2010: A Conference for the Environment

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 by

Billions of dollars are at stake. Not to mention reputations of leaders in business, academia and government. Even the public image of our country on the world stage is hanging in the balance. 



Despite differing viewpoints on nuclear energy, coal-fired power plants, wind energy and a variety of important subjects in the world of green, one consistent theme emerged at the Fortune Brainstorm Green conference, held earlier this month at the sumptuous Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel Resort in Southern California. And that is: we need an official, approved and legislated policy on carbon reduction and we need it now. Not only careers, but also many thousands of jobs and potentially the future of our planet (not to mention Sierra Club Green Home.com) are all seemingly on "hold" until Washington can cobble together a bill on carbon reduction that will pass in the Senate.

Over 300 luminaries from the environmental world, as well as corporate America, Wall Street and Silicon Valley populated 
the conference. Listening to the panel discussions, I realized just how committed the big time venture capital groups are to the clean energy movement succeeding. It almost felt like we are all loaded into the same boat together, furiously rowing out to sea but without a compass. Environmentalists, corporate sustainability officers and the investment community look back in nostalgia to the 2009 conference when it seemed certain the U.S. would have an energy policy in place by now.

Some companies and investors cannot proceed without knowing exactly what the U.S. government will ultimately call law on carbon reduction. Be it cap and trade, cap and dividend, a straight carbon tax, or some hybrid thereof, it seemed most participants would be happy with any reasonable approach at this point. In my mind, it would be the start of an evolving framework that will take years to perfect. 



Aside from this glaring issue, a wide variety of provocative topics were batted about, including Lee Scott from Wal-Mart on how the company is going green (Wal-Mart's proposed Sustainability Index is truly groundbreaking as it requires their supplier companies to use sustainable practices or lose their accounts with the retaining giant); Fred Krupp of Environmental Defense Fund, Mark Turcek of Nature Conservancy and our own Michael Brune of Sierra Club trying to explain what environmentalists really want; "Electric Cars: Mass Market or Mirage?" featuring BMW Engineering VP Tom Baloga and David Sokol, who is Warren Buffet's point man on energy investing; legendary green guy Stewart Brand along with several power company CEOs on whether nuclear power is part of the answer (I am still very questionable on this); Aspen Skiing Co. CEO Mike Kaplan on whether sustainable business can operate without the usual hypocrisy and morality issues; "Chasing the Dream of Sustainable Consumption" with top execs from Dell, Starbucks and Wal-Mart, among many, many more.

A representative from Dell explained their commitment to going carbon neutral: they are changing their packaging from polyethylene to bamboo; powering down all corporate machines every evening; offering free recycling for all Dell computers among other initiatives. IBM's expertise in nanotechnology is being leveraged to improve the water desalinization process. Starbucks is feverishly working on making all their cups recyclable, as due to the high temperatures of the beverages, standard recyclable paper cups will not work. Bill Ford of Ford Motor Co. reminded us that no true economic recovery has ever occurred in this country without a strong industrial base. Manufacturing, he said, is critical to keeping America employed and productive.
 


Also way cool was a performance by rock keyboardist Chuck Leavell, best known for his work with the Allman Brothers and Rolling Stones. Leavell was on hand not only to entertain, as he is co-founder and primary investor in Mother Nature Network, the green news and information site.

Equally impressive was the true green practices utilized for the entire conference. The Ritz-Carlton offers extensive recycling; efficient watering systems for all landscaping; greywater recycling of washing machine water; and reuse of sheets and towels unless otherwise specified by guests. FORTUNE served organic and sustainable produce from local providers; organic wines, beers and teas; reusable water bottles provided by Dell; onsite shuttle service by electric and hybrid vehicles; and all leftover food was given to local shelters. These are things that ALL conferences and meetings should do, but kudos to FORTUNE for keeping it real -- I've attended too many green events that didn't even have recycling, much less green practices or sustainability management!


I'm already looking forward to next year's conference. At least by then, there should be resolution one way or the other about what legislation governing carbon reduction we will be working with. 



As always, we love to hear your comments, let us know what you think will happen in Congress and how it will affect green business and jobs.

 

Follow Jennifer Schwab on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SCGreen_Home


ECO:nomics -- Creating Environmental Capital

Thursday, March 11, 2010 by

Santa Barbara, Calif -- Talk about brains, power and money in one room. This was the ECO:nomics Conference, put on by The Wall Street Journal at the lush Bacara Resort. Legendary investor T. Boone Pickens; top venture capitalists John Doerr and Vinod Khosla; CEOs of Royal Dutch Shell, Rio Tinto and American Electric Power; Energy Secretary Steven Chu; the list goes on. This was almost enough business horsepower to warrant autograph seeking.

If there is one clear message coming out of this gathering, it's that we need to assign a price or cost to carbon emissions, and soon. Almost all the speakers agreed that be it through a direct tax on carbon -- which would affect the average consumer at the pump and on their energy bills -- or the cap and trade model, which auctions off "permits to pollute" to all businesses that emit carbon, we need to enact some serious legislation on this immediately.

Other provocative subjects discussed included wind energy, natural gas, nuclear energy, other types of alternative power, synthetic genomics (I will admit I had a hard time following J. Craig Venter's rocket science, but it involves using genomic research to discover new ways to produce energy) and not incidentally, water.

In fact, one of the best speakers was Patricia Mulroy, General Manager of Southern Nevada Water Authority. She explained that even with the winter rainfall we have been enjoying, Lake Mead (which supplies water for most of Southern Nevada) will be at dangerously low levels by 2016 and Hoover Dam may stop producing electric power. Scary stuff indeed. Mulroy added that water conservation efforts have been quite successful so far, including incentivizing citizens and developers to remove grass and replace it with low-water landscaping. Southern Nevada's water requirements have been reduced by almost a third since 2002, quite an amazing statistic. My comment is this: for those who think climate change is a myth, what do you propose we do about a situation like this? Even with strong conservation measures in place, we are running out of water...

I am one of many who were wondering whatever happened to T. Boone Pickens' wind energy initiative? Well, the answer is oil prices that were $125 a barrel ended up around $80 and thus the math no longer works. Pickens had 648 wind turbines on order from GE, he was able to negotiate that down to 324 and those will indeed be arriving on his doorstep. He will deploy them but the problem with wind energy remains transmission. Of course, Pickens has now moved on to natural gas as our savior. This concept had a number of supporters in the room but was far from unanimous.

Tom Albanese, CEO of Australia-based Rio Tinto, one of the world's largest mining companies, believes in clean coal and thinks it can be part of the energy solution. (As Director of Sustainability for Sierra Club Green Home.com, I must add that I strongly disagree.) Gregory Boyce, CEO of Peabody Energy which is one of the largest coal companies in the world, gave statistics showing just how married to coal American, Japanese, India and Chinese industrial companies are. Albanese made a very strong point that businesses and investors have been preparing for a cost on carbon for quite awhile now, and not having legislation in place leaves a giant question mark going forward for everyone. This point was echoed by top V.C. John Doerr, who ought to know since he has deployed hundreds of millions of dollars into Cleantech over the past nine years.

One of Doerr's early investments was Bloom Energy, which makes a fuel cell technology called the Bloom Box. This self-contained power unit runs off natural gas and provides enough energy, off the electric power grid, to run a large industrial facility and eventually, a smaller unit will power homes. Bloom has used up over $400 million of investor capital already and the audience was mixed on whether the Bloom Box will ultimately be commercially viable. Stay tuned on this one.

The final speaker was Energy Secretary Steven Chu. I was hoping he would address the important question raised by Rio Tinto's Albanese: now that the world's leading companies have braced themselves for assigning a cost to carbon emissions, when will that be, what will that entail, and how will it be administered? His answer: I am optimistic that energy legislation addressing this issue will be passed this year. And that America still can win the worldwide race to lead the green economy. "The Clean Energy movement is ours to lose. China is moving quickly; they see this industry as a huge export opportunity," he added. "This is an incredible economic opportunity for the United States. We have to rebuild our energy infrastructure to make us energy independent."

 

Follow Jennifer Schwab on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SCGreen_Home


Is the Green MBA a Myth?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 by
At a time when the U.S. economy is facing its biggest crisis in decades, clean technology offers the promise to be the next big engine of business and economic growth.

What is clean tech? At Clean Edge, a firm that covers the clean technology market, our definition refers to any product, service, or process that delivers value using limited or zero nonrenewable resources, and/or creates significantly less waste than conventional offerings. Clean technology comprises a diverse range of products and services—from solar power systems to hybrid electric vehicles—that:

• Harness renewable materials and energy sources or reduce the use of natural resources by using them more efficiently and productively
• Cut or eliminate pollution and toxic wastes
• Deliver equal or superior performance compared with conventional offerings

Clean tech covers four main sectors: energy, transportation, water, and materials. It includes relatively well-known technologies such as solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP), wind energy, biofuels, advanced lithiumion batteries, and large-scale reverse-osmosis water desalination. It also includes emerging technologies such as wave and tidal power, silicon-based fuel cells, distributed hydrogen generation, plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles, and nanotechnology-based materials.

So how did clean tech go from the stuff of back-to-the-earth utopian dreams to its current revolution among the inner circles of corporate boardrooms, Wall Street trading floors, and government offices around the globe?

We’ve identified six major forces—what we call the six Cs—that are pushing clean tech into the mainstream and driving the rapid growth, expansion, and economic necessity of clean tech across the globe: climate, costs, capital, competition, China, and consumers.

Costs. Perhaps the most powerful force driving today’s clean-tech growth is simple economics. As a medium to longterm trend, clean-energy costs are falling as the costs of fossil fuel energy, despite the drop in the price of oil in the second half of 2008, are going up. The future of clean tech is going to be, in many ways, about scaling up manufacturing and driving down costs. Recent advances in core technology and manufacturing processes have significantly improved performance, reliability, scalability, and cost of clean energy sources, primarily solar and
wind.

By contrast, in conventional fossil-fuel power such as coal and natural gas (which together provide approximately 60% of the world’s electricity), the generating technologies are mature, stable, and already widely deployed—so their technology costs are relatively steady and predictable. What determines the price of conventional power is the cost of fuel—and the price of fossil fuels, while certainly experiencing directional gyrations as we’ve seen in the past year, has nearly always moved in the same general direction over the long term: up.

With solar, wind, small-scale hydroelectric, geothermal, and even the nascent technology of ocean tide and wave generated electricity, the price-determining formula is just the opposite. There is no cost of “fuel”—the sun, the breeze, the heat of the earth, the tides and waves arrive free of charge daily.

Climate. Alarm is growing about the climate-change consequences caused by our continued dependence on carbon-intensive, greenhouse gas (GHG)–emitting energy and transportation sources, and manufacturing processes. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned in 2007 that global GHG emissions must be in decline by 2015 to avert disastrous “runaway” climate change. And with insurance giants such as Swiss Re and Munich Re thinking twice about climate impact on the issuance of their policies (try getting an insurance policy for an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico), the climate issue is coming front and center for companies, governments, and individuals.

This is driving clean-tech investment and deployment and becoming an increasingly important factor in assessing
investment risk factors. Global companies from DuPont to Wal-Mart are investing heavily to promote energy efficiency and clean tech in their operations to reduce their GHG contributions. “As an investor, do you believe that we’re going to take climate change seriously in terms of legislation?” asks Mark Trexler, president of Trexler Climate + Energy Services, a firm in Portland, Oregon, that advises companies and utilities on carbon-reduction strategies. “To completely ignore it, in terms of investment decisions, would be a terrible thing.”

Consumers. Rising energy prices, polluted ecosystems, and growing awareness of climate change and the geopolitical costs associated with fossil fuels are driving a shift in consumer attitudes and consumer demand for clean-tech products and services. That’s forcing companies that sell to consumers – from appliance makers to auto manufacturers to Wal-Mart – to produce and sell cleaner, more efficient products and to market them aggressively.

Who is driving this demand and growth, which is also evidenced by the steady expansion of the LOHAS demographic sector? Both early adopters, who installed the first solar PV system in their neighborhood or purchased an early-model Toyota Prius, and mainstream customers, who are installing high-efficiency water heaters, buying higher-mileage cars, insulating their homes with recycled denim, and demanding efficient EnergyStar appliances and windows.

These 21st century consumer preferences don’t seem to be slowed by the dramatic drop in gasoline prices that began in the fall of 2008. A Consumer Federation of America survey in February 2009 found that 76 percent of U.S. adults were still concerned about high gas prices and an equal number worried about American dependence on oil from the Middle East.

Capital. An unprecedented influx of capital is changing the clean-tech landscape, with billions of dollars, euros, yen, and yuan pouring in from a myriad of public and private sector sources. Since the 1970s, investments in clean technology have moved from primarily government research and development (R&D) projects to major multinationals, well-heeled venture capitalists, and savvy individual investors.

General Electric, the world’s largest diversified manufacturer, plans to invest up to $1.5 billion a year in clean-tech R&D by 2010 as part of its “Ecomagination” business strategy. Spain-based energy giants Iberdrola and Acciona are both poised to spend billions of dollars building out their clean-energy portfolios, primarily wind power, over the coming years. Toyota reportedly spends some $8 billion annually in R&D, much of it for hybrid and fuel-cell development. Sanyo, the fourth largest solar cell manufacturer in the world behind Sharp, Q-Cells, and Kyocera, has said it will invest $350 million over 5 years to expand its solar operations as well.

The trend is significant. In 2008, despite its fourth-quarter downturn, venture capital investments in clean tech (in North America, Europe, China, and India) grew 38% to $8.4 billion, according to research firm The Cleantech Group in San Francisco.

China. Clean tech is being driven by the inexorable demands being placed on the earth not only by mature economies but also China, India, Brazil, Russia, and other rapidly developing nations. Their expanding energy needs are driving major growth in clean-energy, transportation, building, and water-delivery technologies.

China is emblematic of the resource-constraint issues facing our planet; China will not be able to sustain its growth if it doesn’t widely embrace clean technology. The Chinese government is starting to understand this and in 2006 committed to investing more than $200 billion over 15 years to meet nationally mandated targets for clean energy. China is planning to have 60 gigawatts of renewable energy (not including large hydroelectric) by 2010 and 120 GW by 2020.

Competition. This refers to competition among cities, regions, and nations to attract and grow clean tech as a core industry for job creation and economic development. Thrust into the national spotlight in the past year with the focus on “green jobs” as a major component of U.S. economic recovery, clean tech as a development tool is gaining significant traction. Whether promoting the retraining of laid-off steelworkers to build wind turbines or employing inner-city job seekers to weatherize homes in their neighborhoods, more governments are seeking (and seeing) the benefits of clean tech-focused development efforts.

These powerful global forces—the six Cs—have put clean tech onto center stage and awakened a diverse range of stakeholders across the world. From Beijing to Berlin, from San Francisco to Bangalore, the clean tech revolution is well under way. It will determine which regions lead and prosper and which regions are left drowning in their own effluents, choking on their own emissions, and struggling to compete in a world that is leaner, greener, and less reliant on fossil fuels.

We believe the choice for investors, companies, governments, and individuals is simple, especially as we seek a dramatic transition out of our current financial crisis. Be part of one of the greatest business and economic shifts in recorded human history, or become extinct like the dinosaurs whose fossils fueled the last great industrial revolution.

Where to find a LOHAS job

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 by

Job searchMore often then not I get emails and calls asking if there are any positions available at LOHAS. I also get many emails and meetings over coffee to discuss options with collegues who are between things which is the PC way of saying they too are out of work. The fact that there are more people looking for fewer poistions makes it a competitive arena and intimidating. Plus many don't want to sacrifice their LOHAS values for the sake of food on the table. To aid those in search of a future LOHAS employer we have comprised a list of links that you may find useful to your desired field of work.

GREEN INDUSTRY
Great Green Careers
Great Green Careers lists jobs in renewable energy, the environment and sustainable building.

Idealist.org
A place to find dream job in the nonprofit sector, or find resources to continue growing in career.

Ethical Jobs
Jobs and resumes in ethical fields - Charities, Corporate Social Responsibility, Family & Children and other categories.

Care2.com Job Listing
Care2 is the largest online network for people who want to make a difference.

Greenjobs
"One-stop" site where recruiters and job seekers can interact.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy - Career Network
Employment opportunities in company gift, charity and fund raising programs.

SpiritList.com (Southern California)
SpiritList is designed for all involved in the fields of holistic health and well-being.

Clean Edge
Your source for Clean Tech jobs.

ENVIRONMENTAL/ ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Green Career Central

Green Career Central is a membership website that provides expert career coaching and advice. There is  a green job board that is open to everyone as source of green job and career openings.

Green Dream Jobs at Sustainablebusiness.com
Offer opportunities that fulfill society's needs while contributing to the well-being of all earth's inhabitants.

Environmental Career Opportunities
500+ Environmental Jobs in conservation, education, policy, science & engineering and more!

EnvironmentalCAREER.com
Assists individuals and employers in matching potential employees with employers.

EcoEmploy.com
Find environmental jobs in government, companies and non-profits. Includes science, natural and green opportunities.

Green Biz Job Listing
Provides a listing of opportunities in various environmentally oriented businesses.

Envirolink
A grassroots online community that unites hundreds of organizations and volunteers.

The UK Green Directory 
Information about the environmental sector in the UK for consumer, professional and business users.

GeographyJobs
GeographyJobs is a job search and job by e-mail service that is focused on bringing together geographers and employers in need of their talents.

WELLNESS/FITNESS
Wellness Jobs
Post Wellness job employment resume or find a Wellness job listing

WellnessCoachCareers.com
Search for Personal Trainer Jobs, Fitness Jobs, and Careers in Corporate Fitness and Wellness.

American Herbal Products Association Job Bank
The AHPA Job Board powered by CPGjobs provides natural health product companies with a specialized tool to assist in the recruitment and hiring of quality candidates.

Yoga Finder
Find yoga jobs and opportunities.

Health and Yoga Community
As the Yoga community grows around the world, Health and Yoga Placements & Recruitments allows Yoga Job Seekers and Yoga Recruiters to find each other.

FitnessJobs.com
FitnessJobs.com is an internet recruitment site/job board that specializes in the health, fitness, recreation and leisure industries.

HEALING ARTS
Healing Schools Job Listing
This listing can help you transition from student to practitioner with a salary. You can also find internships as well.

DIVERSITY/MINORITY
Jobs4.0
The leading source of job opportunities for candidates 40 and over.

Diversity Jobs
Diversity job board and workplace diversity blog with the latest news, articles, opinions and information.

MinorityJobs.net
Free Resume posting & Job listing site, with Career guide, civil rights, legal & government news archive, plus scholarship links.

DiversityWorking.com
The largest diversity job board online, career opportunity and news source resource and job search engine for the cultural diversity marketplace.

Women on Hire Job Listing
National career fair and diversity recruitment information as well as career advice for women including: job interview questions, resume example and cover letter.

Women’s Job List
Over 2000 companies and organizations link to this site, providing employers with exclusive access to highly qualified candidates.

OUTDOORS
Outdoor Adventure Professional Network Job Listing
Free job search and posting site for outdoor adventure professionals.

OceanCareers.com
Explore over fifty ocean-related careers.

Wilderdom Job Listing
Current outdoor education jobs and employment opportunities - links to adventure education positions around the world.

NON-LOHAS SITES (but information on LOHAS jobs available)
Juju
Speed up your job search and find better jobs! Juju searches millions of jobs from thousands of sites.

Simply Hired
Search over 5 million job listings and thousands of jobs sites to find a job you love.

Craigslist
craigslist provides local classifieds and forums for jobs, housing, for sale, personals, services, local community, and events.

CareerBuilder.com
Search 1.6 million Jobs on CareerBuilder.com. Find new employment or work. Fresh job listings posted daily.

Indeed
Search millions of jobs from thousands of job boards, newspapers, classifieds and company websites.

If there are any others you wish to add please let me know. There are a ton out there and Id like to know which ones are good and bad. Good luck in your search!